Free agency is only a few hours old in the NFL. Where do the Jets stand?
The Jets lost a pair of their key starters from a year ago. Chris Ivory signed a lucrative contract with the Jaguars, while Damon Harrison got his big payday from the crosstown rival Giants.
A pair of long-anticipated cuts were made. Tight end Jeff Cumberland and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley were let go, clearing up over $3 million in new cap space. It was a bittersweet end to a pair of relative success stories. Cumberland was never a great player, but getting a passable at times tight end out of an undrafted free agent still was nothing to mock. Kerley was a definite success story as a fifth round pick. In 2012 and 2013, he was about the only receiver the Jets had who deserved playing time on an NFL roster. He just did not fit what the new coaching staff wanted to do.
The Jets made a splash by adding five-time 1,000 yard rusher Matt Forte to their backfield. He will presumably be called upon to carry some of the slack for Ivory. Final contract figures are not known at this time, but early reports indicate Forte will make appreciably less. He is older with much more tread on his tires, but he is a more complete back. Forte should be a major upgrade as a receiver. He certainly should help add another weapon to a passing game that might have leaned too heavily on Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at times last season.
The Jets made a low tender offer to Kenbrell Thompkins to try and keep him around. Return man Marcus Sherrels is also scheduled to visit.
Last year the Jets owned free agency. On day one this year the other New York team stole the spotlight. In addition to signing Harrison, the Giants made Janoris Jenkins the second highest paid cornerback in the league and gave Olivier Vernon a reportedly record-setting deal. Jerry Reese is acting like a general manager who thinks his job is on the line throwing money around like that.
In other news, Brock Osweiler left the Broncos for the Texans. This takes Houston out of the Ryan Fitzpatrick sweepstakes, but it might put the Broncos in the middle of it. We will have to wait and see.