Buster Skrine – For 6 million, I can sign just as good of a slot corner.
Trade: Jermaine Kearse to Carolina for 2018 6th round pick
Jermaine Kearse at 5 million is okay as a veteran backup but not the most efficient use of cap space. If I can offload him to a WR hungry team for a 6th, that’s a good asset management in my opinion. From Carolina’s perspective, head coach Ron Rivera has mentioned his desire for a veteran wide receiver to help stabilize the young WR core they have.
Cap Space Check: $100,469,171
Demario Davis: 4 years 28 million (7 APY) with 10 million guaranteed (7,3,0,0 per year).
This locks up Davis for 4 years. As he’s on the older side at 29 and relies on his speed, there are no guarantees past the second year allowing the Jets to move on if his play declines in the next two seasons.
Chandler Catanzaro: 2 years 4.5 million (2.25 APY)
Catanzaro did his job this year for the most part but still isn’t a top 10 kicker in the league and thus shouldn’t be paid like one. This deal puts him around 15th.
Terrance Brooks: 1 year Vet Min .79 million
Julian Stanford: 1 year Vet Min: .79 million
Brent Qvale: Original Round Tender: 1.9 million
Lawrence Thomas: ERFA Tender
Quincy Enuwa 2nd round Tender: 2.9 million
Some of these players won’t move the needle much (Brooks) but I saw enough of through special teams play or a small role on the team to justify bringing them back. Enuwa needs to show he can rebound from his injury and continue his upward career trajectory. If he can, he’ll get a bigger contract in a year. If not, under 3 million in a year with 100 million in cap space is the year to gamble on that.
Cap Update: $86,363,171
Free Agent Signings:
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, 2 year 22 million (1st year: 7 million, 2nd year 15 million)
Teddy Bridgewater is my preferred ‘veteran’ quarterback. He’s still young enough to be a long term solution but he’s proven to be an adequate game manager even if he doesn’t develop into anything more. Due to his injury, he’ll be looking for a shorter term prove it deal. Normally, with the cap space the Jets have, I’d prefer to front load deals. But in this scenario, it’s a gamble. He plays 1 year at 7 million. If he plays well, the Jets can keep him for 15 million. If he doesn’t work out, they can get out of the contract. It’s the compromise of wanting to sign him for more than 1 year but not willing to pay him big money up front without him proving himself besides the injury.
Allen Robinson, WR, 5 year 70 million (14 APY) with 10 million guarantees (2,2,2,2,2)
The big splash of free agency for the Jets. Signing Robinson lifts the Jets receiving core to new levels. A trio of Robinson, Anderson, Enuwa is a strong young WR core that can continue to grow. Robinson is recovering from a major injury which certainly makes this a gamble. It’s possible Robinson settles for a one year prove it deal as well but I believe this offer to put him among the top 10 receivers will help him decide to take it.
Virgil Green, TE, 1 year 2.5 million
I know, he’s on the older side and not a receiving threat. But he’ll help largely with his blocking ability. It’s not a sexy signing but it’s a 1 year deal to boost what’s a pretty weak group right now. Sometimes cheap band-aids are better than overpaying for mediocre production.
Weston Richburg, C, 3 years 26 million (8.67 APY)
Young and coming off an injury. Are you noticing a trend yet? My thoughts are generally that young free agent signings have the best potential to make a longer-term impact for the team which, when your team has as little talent as the Jets have, is important. The coming off an injury part isn’t ideal but it does try to exploit people’s fears by allowing the Jets to pay slightly less for what could be top tier talent if the injury concerns don’t pop up. It’s essentially a lottery ticket and as long as the guarantees are kept to a minimum, it doesn’t produce a lot of risk. Richburg can be a top 5 center in the game, but paying him top 10 money instead due to injury risk can turn out to be a steal.
Marcus Martin, C, 1 year 1.5 million
As mentioned, Richburg is an injury risk so I’m not going into the season with no back-up plan. Martin was a high draft pick that hasn’t put it together so far. However, he’s still extremely young, 24, and has starting experience. Hopefully, given the chance to sit for a bit behind Richburg may allow for him to finally realize his potential.
Tank Carradine, DE, 2 years 6 million (3 APY)
A run stuffer to go on the other side of Leo. With Wilkerson and Ealy out, some defensive line depth is required. Luckily, with sacks as the all-valued stat, run stuffers are easy to find good value replacements with.
DaQuan Jones, DT, 3 years 10.5 million (3.5 APY) 4 million guaranteed (2,2,0)
Another dominant run stuffer to add to the defensive line. Jones is young and can occasionally contribute with a pass rush up the middle. His last season did end with an injury though.
Jerry Attaochu, OLB, 1 year 2 million
Signing a pass rusher that didn’t log a single sack in the past season is a questionable strategy for sure. However, Attaochu is a gamble of a second round pick who hasn’t produced early and happened to get stuck behind two of the best pass rushers in the league in Bosa and Ingram. Still 25, If he can earn snaps here, maybe he’ll show off why he was drafted so early.
E.J. Gaines, CB, 4 years 40 million (10 APY) 20 million guaranteed (10,5,5,0)
Another young player who has played some great football when healthy. I’ll take a gamble on one of the top cornerbacks on the market and trust him as my top cornerback for the next few years.
Aaron Colvin, CB, 4 years 28 million (7 APY) 15 million guaranteed (7,5,3,0)
Slot cornerbacks seem to be undervalued despite how often they see the field. I’m going to take full advantage of that and take one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league who’s just entering his prime.
Nate Ebner, S 2 years 3 million (1.5 APY)
Ebner is more special teams standout than safety. But the Jets need some depth at the safety position and Ebner fills that need while contributing on special teams.
Cap Update: $32,353,208
1st Round 6th Overall: Jets Select Josh Allen, QB
*sigh* I’ve likely lost most people here. He’s an extremely polarizing figure and I understand. I’m a big stats guy and people with his completion percentage just don’t work out. But I’ve watched the tape for his worst performances and I’m still coming out of them thinking he’s a future franchise quarterback. Yes, he’s big and has a strong arm, but sometimes I believe he gets stereotyped into more inaccuracy than I see on tape. The stats certainly don’t lie and I’m not listing it on his strengths anytime soon but I don’t view him as crazy inaccurate as most seem to portray.
Trade: 2nd round pick (37th overall) to Oakland for 2nd round pick (41), 6th round (210) and 2019 4th round pick
Oakland looks to jump over Tampa Bay (selecting 38th) to grab a top RB (Guice) of their choosing. Drafting a strong RB to pair with Carr and take the pressure off him. He can be the answer to their offense that Marshawn lynch was supposed to be. The Jets slide back only a few picks and gain another pick this year as well as gain a solid mid round pick for next year.
2nd round pick (41): Jets select Carlton Davis CB
A physical press corner that can come in and compete for a job. CB generally takes time to adjust to the NFL and given the recent signings, the Jets are prepared to give Davis time to develop into a high level corner he can be. In today’s passing heavy game, you can never have too many good corners.
2nd round pick (49): Jets select Frank Ragnow, C
Yes, the Jets signed a center in free agency. But that doesn’t stop you from taking a first round talent falling to the mid second round. He is a home run pick in my opinion and if it wasn’t for the injury, he’d be picked outside the Jets range in the late first round. Ragnow can come right in and win the center job or potentially start at guard and slide over when he’s ready.
3rd round pick (72): Jets select Raashard Penny, RB
Seems to be a lot of GGN’s favorite RBs and one of mine as well. I think I prefer Michel but he’ll be gone in the second round. Penny’s ability to be successful relies on his subtle adjustments that navigate him through holes quicker than a lot of backs with more wiggle. Adding Penny to Powell represents a good 1-2 punch in the run game with the potential for Penny to take over full time as Powell ages.
4th round pick (107): Jets select Shaquem Griffin, LB
Griffin’s tape shows he’s a very good linebacker. His combine performance validates this. And he’s likely available in the 4th round. Sign me up all day for that.
Trade: Jets 5th round pick (157th overall) to Cincinnati for Darqueze Dennard
Cincinnati has a crowded secondary and Dennard is no longer going to be a starter and likely won’t be retained by them after next season. It’s been rumored Dennard might be moved and I believe the Jets can spend a 5th to grab him. He’s still young and will be playing on a contract year with the chance to prove he’s apart of the long term solution for the Jets.
6th round pick (179): Dalton Schultz, TE
In the 6th round, you’re unlikely to get productive players. Here’s a guy who is a very sound blocker that I believe can come in and contribute on specials and help out as a blocker. The hope is he’s flashed some potential as a pass catcher as well so he might be able to develop and be a better pro than college player.
6th round pick (197) Nathan Shepherd, DL
If the Jets have done one thing well, it’s develop late round talent on the defensive line. Here’s a guy with lots of physical tools who went to a lesser known school. Let’s plug him into our rotation and see how he develops.
6th round pick (210): Martez Carter, RB
Double dipping at RB may come as a surprise as it’s not a glaring weakness coming in but at this point in the draft, it’s all about talent you can find. Here’s an undersized running back with tons of quickness and shiftiness that is otherwise missing for the Jets.
7th round pick (235) Jake Wienke, WR
I don’t know a ton about prospects buried this deep in the draft but my understanding here is Wienke was an absolute beast at South Dakota State and most scouts don’t believe he’ll be able to repeat that success in the NFL. However, the 7th round seems worth a gamble for this type of player.
Jets 2018 Project Depth Chart:
QB: Bridgewater, Allen, Hackenberg
RB: Powel, Penny, McGuire, Carter, Thomas
WR: Robinson, Anderson, Enuwa, Stewart, Hansen, Wienke, Smith
TE: Green, Leggett, Schultz
OT: Beachum, Shell, Qvale
OG: Winters, Carpenter, Martin
C: Richburg, Ragnow
DE: Williams, Jones, Carradine
DT: McLendon, Simon, Shepherd
OLB: Jenkins, Mauldin, Attaochu, Griffin, Martin
ILB: Davis, Lee, Stanford
CB: Gaines, Dennard, Colvin, Davis, Robinson, Roberts
SS: Adams, Ebner
FS: Maye, Brooks
How much you like this offseason likely revolves heavily around the QB position (as it should). This plan leaves the Jets with two options for franchise quarterback with the true hope being Josh Allen and the chance that Bridgewater not only returns to his old form but continues to develop. The team is built to Allen with deep threats in Robinson and Anderson available as well as Enuwa a vertical threat from the slot. The interior of the line has been improved with Richburg and Ragnow allowing for a stronger running game led by a Powel and Penny timeshare. This should be one of the more talented offenses the Jets have had in recent memory with the weakness being the offensive tackles. On the defensive side, some run stoppers have been added up front for depth and the secondary transformation that started last offseason has been completed. The defense should be very competitive with the biggest downside being a weak pass rush. For future years, plenty of cap space remains along with tons of flexibility in the contracts signed and an additional 4th round pick next year.