We can’t say for sure which players will be available in free agency for the Jets to potentially sign. Some potential free agents will sign new deals with their respective teams. Some potential cap casualties will either restructure their deals or get traded. Here are five players I think the Jets should avoid if they do hit the open market.
Romo would obviously have the best resume of any Jets quarterback since Brett Favre. There are some problems, though. The first is durability. He has suffered three major injuries in the last two years and only started four games. Admittedly the games started number would be higher had Dak Prescott not earned the Dallas starting job in his absence, but Romo also struggled to stay healthy with the best offensive line in the league protecting him. The Jets couldn’t offer anything close to that level of protection. The second issue is age. Romo will be 37 when the season starts. His advanced age certainly won’t help durability issues, but it also makes Romo a likely one to two year rental. The Jets are building for a longer timeframe. Romo at age 33 would be intriguing. Romo at age 37 shouldn’t be for the Jets.
Cruz actually is a free agent now since the Giants cut him. You hear his name draw Jets mentions, primarily because he is an important name in New York football lore and he has a pair of memorable past performances against the Jets (one of which came in preseason). His glory days are gone, though. He missed a year and a half due to a serious injury, and he didn’t look like the same player this year after returning from it. He’s also already 30 years old and on the downswing.
Bennett has all the tools of a complete tight end. There are stretches where he is excellent. He has been plagued by inconsistency, though. There isn’t much doubt that the Jets need to upgrade their tight end position. Bennett just isn’t the guy they should target. Like Cruz, he will be 30 by the time the season starts. He might want to stay with a winner. If he doesn’t he probably will be looking to cash in. Inconsistent pricey 30 year olds should not be where the Jets focus their free agent spending.
Perry had a big 11 sack season for the Packers. The problem is he had 12.5 sacks in his previous four NFL seasons combined. Sometimes a season like the one Perry just had is a sign of a guy being a late bloomer and putting it all together. Much more frequently, however, it is an aberration. What is more compelling evidence, a one season body of work, or a four season body of work? It goes double when such a jump in productivity happens in a contract year. It’s usually easier to recover from passing on a player like this and being wrong than it is to sign a player like this and be wrong.
I don’t have anything Reiff. I think he’s a solid starting tackle who can play on either side. I don’t think he’s anything better than average, though. The free agent class is weak at tackle, and that likely means a guy like Reiff will be way overpaid.