In my last post, I had my wishlist for the 2019 NFL Draft. Arguably more important than next year's draft will be next year's free agency. We have Rockefeller-type money available to spend compared to the other teams...so we need to get this right. In my opinion, it's finally time to spend big and swing for the fences. Here are my top 10 targets so far:
(note: not including current Jets with expiring contracts)
1. Jadeveon Clowney (DE, Texans): The chances Clowney hits the open market are very slim. I think Demarcus Lawrence stays with Dallas without a doubt which is why I left him off this list. However, with Clowney, if the Texans let him go, he instantly becomes our number one priority. It seems like he's starting to hit his prime and he can become our premier edge rusher that we've been looking for, filling a major hole prior to the draft.
2. Le'Veon Bell (RB, Steelers): Bell's been in every Jets fan's mind all season. I've never been against the idea, but I've also never been for it either...until now. It's clear that our offense needs talent. It's becoming more apparent every week. Bell is the most talented skill position player in the league (in my opinion) and would instantly become the best player on our team. Yes, the price is steep. Yes, he a running back. Yes, he's had off field issues. But either way, we need him. He's just that good.
3. Daryl Williams (OT, Panthers): This is a rough free agency class for offensive linemen. Perfect timing for us, I know. With that being said, Williams is worth the target. He's primarily a right tackle, but I believe he can step in on either side, depending on how the rest of the line takes shape. The big concern here is that he's been on IR all year with a knee injury. Regardless, he's the best guy out there and is someone who can help protect Darnold for several years.
4. Matt Paradis (C, Broncos): I find it hard to believe that the Broncos let go of Paradis, but the two have yet to enter any contract negotiations, so as of now he's fair game. Spencer Long has been underwhelming at center so far, so we may need to look for an upgrade. When Paradis is at his best, he's a top five center in the league. He would be a very reliable anchor to our o-line and help Darnold worry less about bad snaps.
5. Tevin Coleman (RB, Falcons): Did I mention that we need talent on offense? Should Bell decide to go elsewhere or we decide to not pursue him, Coleman would be a hell of a consolation prize. He's been stuck in Devonta Freeman's shadows for too long and I feel he'll be on a mission to show why he deserves to be a number one back in this league.
6. Dante Fowler (DE, Jaguars): We've silently been asking for Dante Fowler since the preseason. We thought he'd may come in a possible Bridgewater trade, but that never happened. We will have a full chance to go get him in the offseason. Fowler appears to get overshadowed by the rest of the talent on the Jags defense, but he's more than capable of being an every-down pass rusher.
7. Jordan Mills (OT, Bills): Like I said, it's an off-year for offensive linemen in free agency. The next best tackle after Williams would be Mills. Like Williams, he's also predominantly a right tackle. Unlike Williams, he's not injury prone. He's a consistent starter who should also be a pretty decent upgrade up front.
8. Tyler Eifert (TE, Bengals): Eifert has had one roller coaster of a career. The talent is there. When healthy, so is the production. The problem is that he's hurt every single year. I feel like the Bengals are going to move on from him due to the constant injuries. This means that he'll be one of the more intriguing flier options. Some team will take a chance on him, hoping that he can remain healthy and play as the top ten tight end he is. Maybe that team should be us.
9. Shane Ray (DE, Broncos): I, much like most Jet fans, tend to group Ray and Fowler together in that mid-tier pass rusher group. While I feel Fowler is a better player with more upside, that doesn't mean Shane Ray isn't any good. If added to our current defense, he immediately becomes our best pass rusher. With the Broncos adding Bradley Chubb, that seemingly kicked Ray out of Denver, so he should definitely be available if we wish to pursue him.
10. Kevin White (WR, Bears): I'm throwing a big time flier option out here. Remember when he was the popular choice for us in the 2015 draft? White hasn't come close to the first round expectations he once had, but most of that was due to injury. He's starting to show flashes of what he can do this season, but it looks like he's on the outside looking in on the Chicago depth chart. I think White is definitely worth signing as a prove-it contract to see if he can resurrect his once very promising career.