New York Jets: Looking at the In-House Free Agents

By Raymond Mencke
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have ten unrestricted free agents after the season that could all be playing their last game with the team this weekend in Buffalo.  The team also has four restricted free agents where they can match any offers for them.

The team could bring back all four restricted free agents in Jeff Cumberland, Austin Howard, Joshua Mauga and Tanner Purdum.  Howard should be back as the starting right tackle unless the team feels they can upgrade through the draft.  Mauga has been on the injured reserve list for most of the year but he was getting action in place of Bart Scott before he got hurt.

Purdum is the long snapper and will probably be brought back as he’s very solid in his role and won’t cost a lot of money.  Cumberland is an interesting case.  He’s played most of the season as a starter due to injuries to Dustin Keller.  Keller is one of the unrestricted free agents so if he leaves it would make the case for Cumberland to return.  I don’t believe the Jets will let both Keller and Cumberland exit.

Yeremiah Bell, Mike DeVito, Nick Folk, Shonn Greene, Laron Landry, Brandon Moore, Chaz Schilens, Matt Slauson and Bryan Thomas fill out the rest of the unrestricted free agents.  The Jets pass defense hasn’t missed a beat with the absence of Darrelle Revis so the Jets would like to bring Bell and Landry back.  It should be easier to bring back Bell and they will have to wait and see what Landry can get on the open market.  Landry has already said he won’t give the Jets a discount.

DeVito and Folk should be brought back.  DeVito is one of the best run stopping defensive linemen in the NFL but will probably have to be a backup to Quinton Coples if he returns.  Folk is a solid yet unspectacular kicker who can probably be brought back on the cheap as well.

Either Moore or Slauson will be brought back but probably not both.  Moore is probably the best run blocker on the Jets offensive line but he’s getting up there in age.  Slauson has been subbing in and out of the lineup with former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse.  Ducasse will probably take one of the starting guard spots next year.

Greene, Schilens and Thomas are likely goners.  Greene has seen his carries decrease more and more due to the emergence of Bilal Powell.  Greene has yet to establish himself as a featured back in the last two seasons.  Schilens already seems like he’d be the fifth receiver if he signed today.  Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley are locks to be on the team next year.  The Jets should re-sign Braylon Edwards as well.  Schilens will have to compete with Clyde Gates, Jordan White and potentially Royce Pollard for a spot on the team next season.

Thomas is the longest tenured Jet as he was the team’s first-round pick in the 2002 draft.  The Jets need to get faster at the linebacker position and he doesn’t seem to be a fit going forward.  Thomas has talked about potentially retiring as well.

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