Disclaimer: This is my first "fanpost" I only did it because no one has talked about this yet. And the fight scene of Rocky IV is on right now, so I am slightly distracted.
As everyone should know by now, Jason Avant was released by the Eagles - he is 30 years old (turning 31 in April) and has played his entire career with the eagles since he was drafted in 2006. He is renowned for his character and excellent leadership in the locker room, basically making him the best off-field player a team could ask for. On top of that, he is considered reliable on the field, making clutch catches throughout his career, although typically used in the slot, he is a versatile player who can be capable of handling routes on the outside. For the price tag of what will be roughly 1-2 million a year, I wouldn't even be surprised if he received a vet minimum, the jets should absolutely be in the market for this player.
Jets fans need to be realistic, do we want to pay Emmanuel Sanders or a FA receiver 7-8+ million a year or should we draft an NFL ready receiver at 18? I vote for Jordan Matthews at 18 but wouldn't complain if we picked up Marquise Lee or anyone else the Jets feel good about, as long as they are NFL ready, then draft another, more developmental receiver in the 2nd or 3rd round. Both can learn the system under a new culture created by Avant and really bring true leadership to the receivers group. His vast knowledge of MM's system would be phenomenal for rookie receivers, he would also be a fine supporting player, who would be a serviceable #2 WR or even as a slot receiver in sub packages or if replacing Kerley if he has another injury and misses some time.
It is generally said, and Bill Polian noted that, in free agency it is difficult to find a great skill position player who also is a great character type player, while also getting them for an affordable price, it is simply easier said than done. So I say this, why not sign Jason Avant, giving him roughly 1.5-2 million (or less), and draft two wide receivers that can be plugged in and start growing with Geno & the MM system, within a great, new locker room culture. It would cost much less, allowing us to save our cap for future free agents who may come into the market next year, as well as having plenty of space to keep our core players long term. Plus, since Avant is only 30 (31 by next season), keeping him around 2-3 years isn't insane to consider barring injuries, we need to bring him in & create a new offensive culture for the Jets.
Disclaimer: Rocky IV is over, Rocky beat the Russians and now some show about arm wrestling is on, this looks pretty extreme.