Rich Cimini offered some insight into the offseason priorities of the Jets front office over the weekend.
The Jets have 15 unrestricted free agents. Naturally, they can’t keep them all -- why would they want to? -- but they hope to re-sign a few. They’ve prioritized their targets and, from what I understand, their top three are cornerback Morris Claiborne, linebacker Demario Davis and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, likely in that order.
There shouldn’t be any desperation to keep a 5-11 team together, but there are some free agents worth keeping.
Of the three, I would say Davis should be the top priority presuming he can be retained at the right price. He had a lot of success in a new role for the team this season and was the one player of the three who was a plus starter for the bulk of the season.
I don’t think Claiborne or Seferian-Jenkins should be priorities. Neither has put together a full quality season in their NFL careers. They both have enough skill that there would be logic in retaining them on cheap deals, but neither player seems worth stretching to keep.
Seferian-Jenkins already reportedly turned down a deal that would have paid him $4 million, which seemed very generous to me for a player with such a small resume of success. I think it might be a mistake to pay him more than that.
Claiborne had a good start to the season but struggled in the second half while battling injuries. That has been the story of his career. He flashes talent, but inconsistency and injuries have been just as prevalent. It is tough to depend on him for a big role.
Sometimes a player makes sense at a certain price but not a bigger one. There are points where it is a better move to let a player walk away. For all three but especially Claiborne and Seferian-Jenkins, the Jets need to show discipline if the price gets too high.