Players Signed, Acquired or Re-Signed
Before free agency even started, the Jets were working the phones to improve their team. They needed a true #1 receiver and they got one in Brandon Marshall. Often citied as a problem child, the Jets bagged Marshall and a 7th round draft selection in exchange for a 5th round draft selection in the 2015 NFL draft. Bowles worked with Marshall in Miami, so he knows exactly what he is getting. Ankle and rib injuries slowed him down last year, but that didn't prevent him from racking up 61 receptions, 721 yards and 8 touchdowns in 13 games.Marshall is signed for $7.5 million in 2015 and the Jets can cut him after the 2015 season without penalty. His contract runs through 2017 however.
If you believe all the reports, if Harris had his free agency he wouldn't have struggled to find interested teams. Apparently both Buffalo and Miami were interested. The Jets didn't allow the career long Jet to reach that point and signed him up for another 3 years. the contract is worth $21.5 million with $15 million in guarantees. It is a lot of money, but I'm pleased to see us looking after our own. I hope Harris retires a jet and if he puts up 150 tackles in 2015, I'll be pretty chuffed with that.
Powell was criminally underused last year as the Jets tried to force the Chris Johnson square peg into a round hole. We gave vital carries to Johnson when we could have been feeding Powell. It was pretty disappointing, but I'm pleased to see that the new regime saw the talent and value to be had with re-signing Powell. We tied him up for another year at a $2 million cap hit and I'm hoping for a successful season from Bilal as the 3rd down back.
Here is the big one, the Jets made a statement by plucking the best cornerback away from the divisional rival Patriots. In my opinion he is worth every single penny. It was a steep price at 5 years, $70 million with $39 million fully guaranteed. It offers long term security for Revis and it instantly improves one of the biggest weaknesses on this Jets roster. Todd Bowles can stick Darrelle on the opposing teams best receiver and mix up his blitz packages as a result. Corners who excel in man to man cover defense are vital to Bowles system, we went out and got the best cover corner there is.
It's no secret that I didn't love this deal, he was targeted a lot last year and gave up a lot of touchdowns (8) and even more penalties (15, 11 accepted). We signed him to a 4 year deal worth $25 million with $13 million guaranteed. I'm willing to give Buster a fair shot here in New York, he has excellent athleticism and you can't ignore his play-making ability, last year he had 4 interceptions and 18 passes defended. I'd prefer to see him inside as the #3 rather than on the outside, but lets hope this one pays off.
We needed to solidify the offensive line and we did that with the signing of Carpenter. He's a big mountain of a man who has struggled with injuries and conditioning, but who's also improved over the course of the last two years. He's only 25 and he has plenty of room to grow. Last year he struggled with his run blocking but performed well in pass protection. If the Jets can work closely with him and improve his conditioning, Carpenter can be a very good player for the Jets going forward. We signed him to a 4 year deal worth $19.1 million with $7.5 mill guaranteed.
The Jets needed a capable veteran to push Geno Smith and they got that by trading a conditional 7th round draft selection to the Houston Texans for Fitzpatrick. Ryan is signed for the 2015 season at $3.25 million and that's a very good price for a back-up quarterback. He has a better TD-INT ratio and knows the system, he's intelligent and will actually push Geno Smith to his limits. I see absolutely no downside in signing Fitzpatrick and actually think this could work out for the Jets in 2015. I'm not saying he's taking us to the Super Bowl but I wouldn't bet against him having a 2012 type season, 24 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 3,400 yards etc. He has two established receiving threats in Marshall and Decker, an up-and-coming tight end in Amaro and a bruiser of a back in Ivory.