Hi everybody, I made a similar Mock Offseason the last two years and had a ton of fun creating it so I decided to do it again this year. Just as disclaimer, these are decisions that I would make if I were the GM, NOT what I think will actually happen. Comment and let me know what you think, I love discussing this stuff! Cap and Contract numbers come from a mix of OverTheCap and Spotrac.
Cap Space: Approximately $102,000,000 (overthecap.com)
6 Draft picks: Rd 1 (3), Rd 3 (68), Rd 3 (93 from NO), Rd 4 (105), Rd 5 (140), Rd 7 (217).
Transactions That Occurred Before My Mock
Cut: IOL Spence Long
Extended: WR Quincy Enunwa (4 Years $20M)
RFA Tender: WR Robby Anderson (2nd Round), $3.1M Cap Hit
HB Isaiah Crowell: $3M cap savings. He’s Shonn Greene re-incarnated. Plodding along for 1 and 2 yarders most of the game and then breaks a 40 or 50 yarder to make his YPC look decent. I’m not a fan of his.
CB Rashard Robinson: $2M cap savings. The guy is straight up not very good. It was a bad trade to begin with. Correct that mistake and cut him. If your’re worried about our already paltry CB depth, give his roster spot to and UDFA CB, they’ll provide about the same level of production.
WR Charone Peake: $720K cap savings. Copy and paste what I said about Rashard Robinson. He made the 2018 squad because he can fly as a punt team gunner, but he didn’t make much of impact in the regular season.
** CAP SPACE UPDATE: Approximately $104,800,000**
DT Steve McLendon. 1 Years $3M, $3M Guaranteed. $3M cap hit. McClendon is basically the lone veteran leader on the defense, maybe even the whole team. Jamal brings the hype and energy, but McClendon is the hand that steadies the ship. He’s still playing above average football, and Fatukasi showed nothing to prove he’s ready to see starting action. A 1 year hold-me-over deal is fine here.
EDGE Brandon Copeland. 2 Years $6M, $3M Guaranteed. $3M cap hit. Cope was probably the teams most effective pass rusher last year, which isn’t saying a lot. Nonetheless, I think he earned an extended look, especially since there’s no guarantee you land the EDGE you want in FA or the draft. If nothing else, he’s solid depth.
CB Daryl Roberts. 2 Years $7M, $4M Guaranteed, $4M cap hit. On a team with Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne, Daryl Roberts was probably the best CB on the field. He’s not a world-beater, but he’s solid. Going into a free agency period with zero depth at CB, this is a smart signing to make sure you at least have something back there if things don’t turn out how you want.
K Jason Myers. 2 Years $8M, $4M Guaranteed. $4M cap hit. He was a pro bowler who was routinely hitting 55-Yarders. Hard to justify not bringing him back.
LB Neville Hewitt. 1 Year $805K, $50K Guaranteed. $750K cap hit. Provides solid depth as a fast, rangy off ball linebacker. Veteran’s minimum.
RFA and ERFA Re-Signings:
QB Davis Webb. ERFA Tender. $645K cap hit. No reason not to keep a potential long-term backup QB on the roster at this price.
S Doug Middleton. ERFA Tender. $645K cap hit. The heir to the "Rontez Miles Physical Box Safety That’s Good on Special Teams" throne.
CB Jeremy Clark. ERFA Tender. $570K cap hit. This is a value thing. At $570K, take the depth at a very thin position, maybe he surprises.
HB De’Angelo Henderson. ERFA Tender. $570K cap hit. With the Departure of Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell, RB depth is weak too. This will be addressed later, but it’s good to have a camp body.
WR Deontay Burnett. ERFA Tender. $570K cap hit. Criminally underused last year, he flashed whenever he was on the field. Hopefully Gase gives him more reps.
LB Frankie Luvu. ERFA Tender. $570K cap hit. A very solid undrafted rookie addition last year. He deserves to continue showing what he can do.
OT Ben Braden. ERFA Tender. $570K cap hit. We don’t know much about Braden, but at his price, he’s worth another look in training camp.
LB Anthony Wint. ERFA Tender. $495K cap hit. This is a depth-value thing. This roster needs bodies, this is a cheap and young one.
** CAP SPACE UPDATE: Approximately $83,360,000** (51 Players Under Contract)
Free Agent Signings:
*I would pursue LeVeon Bell, however I think he will go to a more established team like Indianapolis*
Matt Paradis, IOL, DEN. 4 Years $45M, $25M Guaranteed. $12M cap hit. Matt Paradis should be the Jets number one priority in free agency. He’s a top tier Center who will vastly improve the offensive line. By the way, I’m now uising "IOL" (Interior Offensive Line) as the position descriptions to fall in line with modern NFL thinking. Contract modeled after Ryan Jensen
Rodger Saffold, IOL, LAR. 3 Years $29M, $20M Guaranteed. $9.5M cap hit. Saffold is a very good Guard and should provide some much needed stability along the line replacing an ineffective Carpenter. Contract Modeled after TJ Lang.
Tevin Coleman, RB, ATL. 4 Years $35M, $20M Guaranteed. $7M cap hit. Coleman is a young, versatile RB, who will likely come at half the cost of LeVeon Bell. He’ll need a backfield partner, but he’s a strong weapon for Sam. Contract Modeled after Jerick McKinnon.
Ronald Darby, CB, PHI. 6 Years $80M, $55M Guaranteed. $12M cap hit. Darby is the best CB on the Market. Yes it’s a lot of money to invest into the CB core, but the team has an out in Trumaine Jonson’s contract in a few years and Darby is just 25 years old. With limited draft capital, this is a move for the present and future.
Brian Poole, CB, ATL. 3 Years $12M, $6M Guaranteed. $3M cap hit. I originally had Bryce Callahan here, but between his age and the big contract to Darby, I went with a value signing and picked up Brian Poole, who’s proved himself to be an above average Nickelback.
Za'Darius Smith, EDGE, BAL. 3 Years $30M, $15M Guaranteed. $11M cap hit. Smith had a career year last year 8.5 Sacks and 24 QB hits as a part-time starter. Given that I believer DeMarcus Lawrence, Clowney, Dee Ford, and Frank Clark all get tagged or extended, this leaves us with Smith as an under the radar option as pass rusher. Given his only recent breakout, I think he’ll want to test the market again before his 30th birthday, giving us a 3 year deal.
Jesse James, TE, PIT. 4 Years $16M, $10M Guaranteed. $3M cap hit. James is a perfect TE2 to provide depth at the position behind Herndon. He should provide Sam with a reliable safety valve, without costing too much.
Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS. 1 Year $3.5M, $3M Guaranteed. $3.5M Cap hit. Crowder was an effective player that saw his usage severely decline last year. He takes a prove-it deal and serves as WR3 or WR4.
Andrew Adams, S, TB. 2 Years $3.5M, $2M Guaranteed. $1.5M Cap hit. Adams hat 4 INTs in backup safety roll in Tampa. He’d be a good depth move as a 3rd safety, especially with Maye’s injury risk.
Chance Warmack, IOL, PHI. 2 Years $3M, $1.5M Guaranteed. $1.5M Cap hit. Once a first round picked hailed as a future Hall of Famer, Warmack’s career has devolved into being a solid backup Guard. Warmack will serve as the primary backup on the interior, maybe even pushing Brian Winters for time if he can regain his form.
Trevor Siemian, QB, MIN. 1 Years $1.5M, $1.5M Guaranteed. $1.5M Cap hit. Siemian is the only backup QB not named Brock Osweiler on the market that has legitimate experience and is still relatively young. I hope the team can bring back McCown in some kind of assistant role, but last year’s couple of starts show he’s done as a player and Webb isn’t ready to be the primary backup yet.
** CAP SPACE UPDATE: Approximately $17,000,000** (62 Players under contract)
2019 NFL Draft (Will take up about $9.1M in cap space):
Before I continue, I’d just like say that it is a virtual certainty that player rankings and draft stocks are going to change between now and the draft. It’s almost pointless to do a mock draft this early, but a mock offseason is not complete without one, so I’ll include one.
I used the nfldraftnetwork.com Mock Draft Machine, which I find more accurate and detailed than Fan Speak.
Pick 1 (ARI) – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma.
Pick 2 (SF) – EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State.
Round 1, Pick 3: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State. This is a selection I haven’t seen mocked to the Jets too often (yet). I think it makes total sense, Burns is super athletic, quick twitch pass rusher. He was a monster for Florida State this year, the only knock on him was that his playing weight was in the 230s, maybe even a smidge lower. Burns showed up at the combine at a chiseled 249 lbs. and demonstrated that even with the added mass, it did not affect his athleticism negatively. In the modern NFL, it doesn’t make sense to get hung up on 3-4 OLB Vs 4-3 DE, coaches today (good ones, anyway) play their players in the best spot for them to succeed. Josh Allen from Kentucky is another player to consider here, and I honestly think I’d feel just as excited.
Round 3, Pick 68: Michael Deiter, OT, Wisconsin. Having not addressed offensive Tackle in Free Agency, I wanted to make sure I added a potential starting option in the draft at some point. At pick 68, the value was too good to pass up on Dieter, who may go in the 2nd round. Deiter is versatile offensive lineman, with starting experience all along the line. He could start from day 1 as a rookie, or the coaching staff could acclimate him slowly, as Beachum and Shell are actually pretty capable starters. If Winters struggles and Warmack doesn’t look up to the task, Beachum could easily slide inside to OG and let Dieter pick up LT.
Round 3, Pick 93: Khalen Saunders, IDL, Western Illinois. Yes, another 3rd round pick on an interior DL from a small school. But, I believe Saunders is special, he’s short, but he’s got incredible explosiveness and athleticism for a big man. His motor is relentless, he dominated small school competition and was a wrecking ball at the senior bowl. I think he’s going to be a really great player.
Round 4, Pick 105: Travis Fulgham, WR, Old Dominion. Sam needs a true number one WR. Fulgham probably will never be that guy, but he can sure be a number two. Fulgham stands 6’3 and is renowned for his work ethic by coaches at Old Dominion. He’s the player that outworks those who are physically superior to him and rises up the depth chart, those are the guys you want on your football team. Fulgham brings the Jets to 4 starting caliber WRs on the roster, which is what you want in today’s NFL.
Round 5, Pick 140: Devine Ozigbo, RB, Nebraska. Ozigbo was a start at the East-West Shrine Game, showing elusiveness, agility, vision, and power all on a 230lb frame. He comes in and is immediately the best powerback on the team, with a chance to develop into a full time bellcow. He completes a well-balanced backfield with Tevin Coleman and Elijah McGuire getting the majority of reps.
Round 7, Pick 217: Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State. Will he stay at QB? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for certain, he’s a football player. He reportedly turned down requests at the combine for him to participate in DB drills, but it shows you that the league thinks he’s got some special athletic ability. If he could play something similar to a Taysom Hill role here, it’s worth the 7th round pick.
QB: Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemien, Davis Webb, Trace McSorley
RB: Tevin Coleman, Eli McGuire, Devine Ozigbo, Trenton Cannon, De’Angelo Henderson
X WR: Quincy Enunwa, Travis Fulgham, Tim White, Deangelo Yancey
Y WR: Robby Anderson, Deontay Burnett, JJ Jones
Z WR: Jamison Crowder, Andre Roberts, Stacy Coley
TE: Chris Herndon, Jesse James, Jordan Leggett
LT: Kelvin Beachum, Michael Dieter, Dieugot Joseph
LG: Brian Winters, Chance Warmack
C: Matt Paradis, Jon Toth
RG: Rodger Saffold, Jordan Morgan
RT: Brandon Shell, Ben Braden, Eric Smith
EDGE: Za’Darius Smith, Brandon Copeland, Charles Tapper
EDGE: Brian Burns, Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham
DE: Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd
DT: Steve McLendon, Khalen Saunders, Foley Fatukasi
ILB: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Neville Hewitt
OLB: Frankie Luvu, Anthony Wint, Harvey Langi
CB: Ronald Darby, Daryl Roberts, Jeremy Clark
CB: Trumaine Johnson, Derrick Jones, Tevaughn Campbell
NB: Brian Poole, Parry Nickerson, Arthur Maulet
FS: Marcus Maye, Andrew Adams
SS: Jamal Adams, Doug Middleton, Brandon Bryant
This isn’t really part of my mock, just some names I wanted to throw out there that could contribute as Undrafted Rookie.
QB David Blough – Purdue. RB Wes Hills – Slippery Rock. FB/TE Keenan Brown – Texas State. TE Matt Sokol – Michigan State. WR Keelan Doss – UC Davis. WR Alex Wesley – Northern Colorado. WR Jesper Horsted – Princeton. OT Mitch Hyatt – Clemson. EDGE Mathieu Betts – Laval. EDGE John Cominsky – Charleston. EDGE Markus Jones – Angelo State. EDGE Porter Gustin – USC. LB Dakota Allen – Texas Tech. LB/S BJ Blunt - McNeese State. LB Jordan Kunaszyk - California. CB Corey Ballentine – Washburn. CB Blessuan Austin – Rutgers.
Popular Moves I Didn’t Make:
I know some people are going to take issue with both moves I made, and didn’t make. Here’s my reasoning behind some of them.
Cutting IOL Brian Winters: I didn’t cut Winters because I didn’t see it as wise to open a third hole on the offense line to fill. We already needed a Center and a Guard, cutting Winters just makes that job harder. Yes, it would have opened $6M in cap space, and yes, Winters isn’t the long term answer at Guard- but he’s passable as a starter. You only have so many assets in one offseason, no sense in creating another hole to replace a somewhat average player when you’ve got 15 million other holes to fill already. Drafting Dieter and signing Warmack may give him the push he needs, and if not, let them compete for his job- you can do a lot worse at backup Guard than Winters.
Signing Dante Fowler Jr.: I’m simply not a fan of his. I think he’s overrated and is going to command a huge salary I’m not willing to pay. He’s going to want to be paid like an elite EDGE when he really just isn’t one.
Signing a Tyrell Williams or Adam Humphries: I’m not going to lie, I wanted to. I was looking for a way to squeeze one of them in. Spotrac’s Market Value pegged them at over $10M per year, it just wasn’t a price I was willing to pay for a non-dominant starting WR. They’re good players, I just wasn’t in the cards. Next year’s focus should be on getting Sam his true number one WR. Jamison Crowder was less than half the cost for probably about 75% the production.
Signing Grady Jarrett, Trey Flowers, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, or Jadaveon Clowney: Let me be clear- I would love one or multiple of these guys to sign here. It’s just not realistic. Flowers to Miami seems like it’s already in motion. Clowney, Lawrence, Jarret, and Ford are all either already tagged or reports are circulating that they will be tagged. Again, they’d be priority, but it’s not going to happen unless they’re tagged and traded.
Make any trades: Just no way for me to realistically gauge trade value for players on the Roster. I also don’t want to head into the draft with fewer picks than we already have. Either way, the only player on the Roster I’d trade is Jordan Jenkins for a 5th or 6th. There’s not enough depth on the roster yet to be trading away Robby Anderson, Leo Williams, or Darron Lee like a lot of people have suggested.
Trading down from 3 to acquire more picks: Having not had the opportunity to sign a premier pass rusher in Free Agency, I needed to guarantee the opportunity to take one in the draft. Trading down from 3 jeopardized that.
Drafting Jonah Williams, DK Metcalf, Quinnen Williams, or Josh Allen at 3: Again, I wanted a Premier EDGE after how free agency came together. As far as I’m concerned, Burns and Allen are interchangeable to me at 3. I like the speed and extreme bend and flexibility Burns brings, so I chose him. Jonah Williams is going to be frequent pro-bowler at LT, so that’d be a good pick too, but I think EDGE was more pressing. I love DK Metcalf, but those Agility scores at the combine scare me a little and his massive bulk could be an injury problem in the future, he’d be a target in a trade down. Quinnen Williams is a monster too, but God help me with another 1st round IDL. Anyone outside of those guys seems like a reach to me.
So there it is, your 2019 mock offseason. Let me know how you think I did and why you’d do anything different. Thanks for reading!