Free agency is still several weeks away, players can not be signed until 4pm on March 10th. John Idzik is gone, but he left the Jets in excellent position when it comes to the salary cap. The state of talent on the Jets roster, now that is another story. We aren’t going to try and determine exactly how much cap room the Jets have, but reports indicate that it is at least 40 million dollars. If they waive Percy Harvin, that frees up another 10.5 million. So any way you slice it, the Jets have money to spend. Let’s take a look at some potential free agent targets, starting with players currently on the roster.
LB – David Harris: Bryan Costello from the NY Post had this to say about Harris.
The Jets met with Harris’ reps in Indianapolis and I think the two sides will reach a deal. If Harris does become a free agent, an obvious suitor would be Rex Ryan in Buffalo. Ryan loved Harris, but don’t count on a reunion. The Bills are loaded at inside linebacker with the return of Kiko Alonso and Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown.
CB – Byron Maxwell and Antonio Cromartie: Costello also had an interesting note on two free agent cornerbacks.
The Jets are expected to be one of the primary suitors for Seahawks free agent Byron Maxwell. The talk in Indy was that the Jets and Eagles would be the two teams fighting for him. After Maxwell, there is a bit of a drop-off, but the Jets likely will add one of the second-tier corners, too — possibly Antonio Cromartie, who has publicly campaigned for a return to the Jets. Everyone I spoke with expects the Patriots to bring back Darrelle Revis, so the Jets might not get a crack at bringing back their former first-round pick.
Pro Football Focus disagrees with Costello’s assessment on Maxwell. They actually have two CB’s ranked ahead of Maxwell.
CB – Brandon Flowers
At 5-foot-9 Flowers lacks the length that seems to be en vogue in the NFL, but he possesses the mobility and cover skills to stick with his man, and is savvy enough to make a play on the ball. Flowers was at his best when covering the slot for the Chargers, allowing just seven catches for 115 yards and holding passers to a 45.1 QB rating.
CB – Kareem Jackson
Drafted by the Texans with the 20th overall pick in 2010, Jackson hasn’t always lived up to that first round billing. His first two seasons were marred by inconsistency, which meant he had a difficult time cementing himself in the line-up. However that all changed in 2012 when Jackson’s propensity for making plays on the ball (four picks and 15 batted passes) helped him earn a +13.4 coverage grade, sixth-best in the league, and become an almost constant presence in the Texans secondary. Jackson’s form took a large step back in 2013, but he was close to his best again in 2014.
QB – Josh McCown
Josh McCown is visiting Browns on Tuesday & Wednesday. He also visited w/ Bills last week, met Bears & Jets at combine. (via @JFowlerESPN)
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 24, 2015
Another free agent name you hear a lot is:
OG – Mike Iupati: Not sure the Jets will have the stomach to getting into a bidding war for an interior offensive lineman, but he would be an upgrade. Here is how PFF ranks Iupati.
14th ranked OG in NFL. Second highest run block rating in the NFL in 2014 behind Yanda Marshall of Baltimore. Allowed 7 QB sacks (tied for most in NFL for OG), 2 QB hits, 22 QB hurries. Graded out above average run blocker seven times in fifteen games with zero negative run block grades. Five below average pass block grades with zero above average pass block grades.
Those are only some of the potential free agents. It will be a busy offseason for the Jets front office and new coaching staff. You can continue the conversation and let us know who you think the team should target in our NY Jets forum.