As we wait patiently for football activities to get going there is be a fun discussion to be had regarding all the possibilities of next years offseason. Considering our cap situation and our expectation that Idzik will be spending pretty big next year due to needing to meet the cap spent salary floor, I found the list of potential free agents for 2015 very interesting - I leave it to you folks to predict and discuss all the various possibilities of any free agent player . At first glance, I see the potential for some good pass rushers as well as wide receivers, although I would not be surprised that many of these players are retained by their respective teams through new contracts or franchise tags. Also, this thread can be useful for discussing our own players who happen to be either on their last year or simply are playing out a 1 year deal. It has been discussed at great length by various members regarding how much Idzik will need to spend on free agency, so why not have fun and see who might be a big splash signing.
**Disclaimer** - If I make any mistakes regarding contracts, like for some reason I talk about someone who has already been resigned, please gently bust my chops.
Here is a solid list that gives a comprehensive look at unrestricted free agents:
Before diving into the list, I figure that the "target" positions that we would consider signing (big splash) free agents would be the following: Wide Receiver, Potentially both Inside and Outside (Rush) Linebacker, & Cornerback. I am sure many of you can argue that there will be more positions of need, like QB or RB, or OT/OG/C, but I consider the positions I listed as the best chances for their being a big splash signing.
Lets go ahead and name a few potential Wide Receivers:
Dez Bryant - I find his case VERY interesting, the cowboys have a ton of cap issues - I would expect the 'Boys to simply franchise Dez for 1 year hoping to lock him up long term after, I see no real logical reason for just letting him walk - although they did cut Demarcus Ware which not many expected, if I saw Dez on the FA market I would be thrilled if the Jets put in a huge bid for him. That kind of value for the price is absolutely worth it.
Wes Welker - I doubt he is resigned to anything more than 1 year deals after this year, probably will return to the Broncos, but what if he was sitting on the open market? I bet he would love chewing up the Pats twice a year, I doubt this would happen though.
Demaryius Thomas - The Broncos are preparing for his contract and I am confident that he is not going anywhere. But what if he has another insane year and wants 12+ a year, can the Broncos afford that? They may need to tag him.
Jordy Nelson - If I could bet on a player who would slip through the cracks its Jordy, despite his tremendous connection with Rodgers and excellent catching ability, Nelson has had durability issues and may not want to take a smaller contract to stay at Green Bay. I could see Jordy getting a contract similar to what Decker received, a fair contract for a wide receiver who isnt exactly an unquestioned #1 but a phenomenal #2. If Jordy came onto the open market I would be thrilled if we went for him, a Decker/Jordy combo would be delightful, yet doubtful, but potentially dangerous.
Michael Crabtree - I would not be surprised to see Crabtree as the best wide receiver on the free agent market next year, I doubt the niners are willing to give him a real lucrative contract - and he appears to be expecting a top 5 receiver payday. I've read articles suggesting he expects the same deal Mike Wallace got from Miami. His character/diva issues are known and despite being a talented receiver with decent hands, his durability is a concern. Giving him a large contract with big guarantees does not feel Idzikish, so I see them passing on Crabsy.
Nate Washington - Some of you may say, who?? Nate Washington was a team captain for the Titans and is the leader of their wide receiver group. He is being overshadowed by younger receivers and maybe looking for a better payday than the TItans are willing to offer. Still, look him up, he is a fast (not speedster but solid speed) possession receiver who is a leader in the locker room and fits the bill for character players that the Jets desire. This is my *sleeper* FA signing.
Jeremy Kerley - I have read so many different opinions on this guy. Personally I feel hes going to be locked up safe and sound for something like 4 years - 15 million with something like 6-7 guaranteed. But, what if he goes on the market, should we spend more than 4/5 million a year - what if he has a breakout season and puts up great numbers? If he really comes out as a receiver in a way few would expect, I think the continuity with Geno is justifiable to overpay. Do we really want to put a price on production when we finally have the cap space to do so?
There are also some interesting Tight Ends, but I am confident that we will be comfortable with our TEs after this year
Im not going to even pretend to know what the OT/OG market looks like next year. Apparently there are some good players but I do not know nearly enough to have a credible opinion.
There are a few OLBs to highlight:
Justin Houston - He is probably going to one of the highest paid free agent next year - especially since the Chiefs drafted his replacement Dee Ford. The Chiefs are also in a tight cap situation, Im sure they are looking forward to saving like 8-9 million from his loss alone. Although I doubt the Jets would go this far to sign an OLB, why not? What if Pace is non-existent or just doesnt perform as well as we hoped, he is cuttable after this year and could need to be replaced.
Ricky Sapp - Just kidding
Brian Orakpo - Yes lets go down this road again, he could very well be available next year, will he be worth the investment?
Jason Worlids - Could also be a real possibility, I do not see the Steelers giving him a huge contract extension, he could very well be available for the taking.
As for ILBs there does not appear to be much of a good list, also David Harris is not listed, weird. Anyway I do not know anything about most of these guys - guess we will be aiming for the draft again!
David Harris - We need to have this discussion because we may not "want" to retain David Harris, but unless we can fully trust Demario and either a rookie or the guy we drafted this year (forgetting his name), I see Harris returning on either a 1 or 2 year "stopgap" type deal. The question is then what is he worth, he may hold us at ransom knowing he could get a good deal somewhere else, if we paid him 2 years 14 million that would be just about expected for what we would overpay for Ol' Harris.
Kyle Wilson - I never understood why people have such a big distaste for Kyle. So many fans stick to the first rhetoric forced on a player, for good or worse. Wilson is a phenomenal slot receiver and should be paid like one, I see the Jets easily retaining Kyle for a deal similar or higher to Kerley - something around the range of 3 maybe 4 years for 15 or 20 million, basically average roughly 5 million a year. Wilson will not get a better offer by any other team, and if he does, then peace dude - I guess that team would see him as an outside corner which at this point he just shouldn't bother at anymore. If the shoe fits at slot, which is an extremely important position, then no need to make any adjustments.
It actually looks quite thin at CB, so perhaps Kyle will get a bigger deal than what we would consider fair. We need to be grateful for our players even if they frustrate us from time to time, this should be the case with Kyle - he could've and should've been better, but he is what he is, and we need to be ok with that. IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE!
As for our fellas:
Our important restricted FA is Harrison, which is awesome, because we can keep him at a fair deal and hopefully have him still play at a high level - awesomeness.
The rest of the FAs who are unrestricted:
Kendrick Ellis: I see us resigning Ellis as well, unless someone gives him a great starter caliber deal, I see the jets keeping him around for a modest 2-3 million a year for another 2-3 years. Call me crazy, but I do not see many teams bidding high to bring Kendrick in as their starting NT. The best he will get from another team is a little bit more money but a lesser defined role with the chance of not fitting in as well and screwing up his career as a result. This is why I see Ellis remaining in Green & White for the next couple years.
Bilal Powell: No doubt he will be back, if not ill be bummed out, the kid fights for yards and almost always falls forward showing off his excellent motor. Although I do not like him as a goaline back, which should be Ivory only, I do like him as injury relief for Ivory who should be our primary featured inside back. We should be able to pay him cheap for a couple years and use him when we need him.
Thats all I have, please give me comments, feedback, and go crazy with your own debates/discussions. Also if you enjoyed this even remotely, please give me the honor of a Rec. If not, thanks for reading anyway - I look forward to you gently busting my chops!