This is the fourth in a series of posts ranking the New York Jets' 23 free agents. Today we will look at players ranked between 11 and 15.
The ranking is simple. If money was not an issue, what would the order of priority be in keeping the free agents the team has?
10. Kenbrell Thompkins (Restricted)
Thompkins is older than you think at 27. He did a pretty good job when called upon this season due to injuries. Thompkins had 10 catches in two weeks in early November. He disappeared for a while, but Devin Smith's injury brought him back into the fold. His catch late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys helped the Jets win a game, and he would have had a huge game a week later against the New England Patriots with a few more accurate throws targeting him. He did fail to come up with two passes in the finale against the Buffalo Bills that could have made a difference, but Thompkins is solid depth for camp. If the Jets find something better, they can let him go.
9. Demario Davis (Unrestricted)
It was a disappointing season out of Davis. In many ways, Davis' career has been disappointing. He never developed into the coverage linebacker the team was hoping he would become. On a cheap contract, the Jets could still retain Davis. It is easy to lose view of how interconnected free agents are. Say the Jets re-sign Muhammad Wilkerson. That is going to leave a lot less money for other positions such as linebacker. Wilkerson's ability to win his assignments and tie up blockers means you do not need to have as good of a linebacker, though. A guy like Davis who can clean up tackles is a workable solution. On a cheap deal as like the ninth or tenth best player on a defense, you can do worse.
8. Leger Douzable (Unrestricted)
He flies under the radar, but he is a good backup and rotational guy along the defensive line. He played a role in helping the team get through the absence of Sheldon Richardson early.
7. Willie Colon (Unrestricted)
The Jets had a number of young linemen in camp with a chance to stake a claim to the right guard position. None did. Colon took the job and played reasonably well until a knee injury that had been bothering him landed him a spot on injured reserve. It might end his career. If it does not, I could see him at least coming back to camp. This was the fifth time in six years Colon's season ended with a serious injury, so his starting days might be over. Can he stay healthy enough as a backup to give a quality game here or there? It might be worth seeing.
6. Erin Henderson (Unrestricted)
I could live with Davis being back on a cheap deal, but Henderson would be my preference. Davis' struggles opened the door for Henderson to see more playing time as the season progressed, and he took advantage of it. He also played well on special teams. This season was a nice first step for Henderson in rebuilding his career. He still will likely be cheap. The Jets could offer him a starting job to return.