5 Free Agents the New York Jets Should Target This Offseason
5 Free Agents New York Jets Must Consider
The New York Jets finished the 2013 season with a respectable 8-8 record. With most people, including myself, expecting them to finish with three or four wins, the Jets far exceeded expectations, and they did it with their coach’s job on the line.
They did it by starting off the year 5-5. They then fell to 6-8, and looked well on their way to falling into a 6-10 season, but they inspired the fan base by winning their last two.
They did it with a rookie quarterback, who looked like a rookie quarterback for most of the year, then showed serious signs of improvement in the final weeks of the season.
Listening to sports radio in New York before Week 16, a listener could have heard many plans to breakup the team and rebuild the Jets. However, if you listened at any point after Week 16, or 17 for that matter, a listener could have heard fans gushing about Geno Smith and the much-talked about defense.
With the improvement that Smith showed, and with Rex Ryan returning at head coach, Ryan and GM John Idzik must notice the holes on this team, and be willing to spend money to fix them.
The Jets have a chance to be a legitimate playoff team in 2014, they could even be Super Bowl contenders. It’s up to Idzik, Ryan and owner Woody Johnson to make the moves necessary to make this work.
Not all of the following free agents are necessary, but all of them fit the Jets well at positions the team desperately needs.
Michael Vick would be a great addition for this team, if he is willing to be Smith's backup.
Vick would be used as the veteran quarterback who teaches Smith how to play the position in the NFL. Vick may not seem like that type of guy, but he would be very valuable to Smith because of his style of play. Vick is a running quarterback, Smith has always been hesitant to play that way, but it is something he should definitely try and add to his game, like he started to in the final two games of the year.
Vick has a well-documented past, and many wonder how well he would fare with the New York media. However, he handled Philadelphia pretty well, and he seems to have matured, as evidenced by how he handled the Riley Cooper situation.
Vick may be too expensive, or he may not be ready to be a backup, but if he is, he would be a solid addition to the Jets.
The Jets have a lot of problems on offense. If they want Smith to develop, they need to give him time; time as in experience, and time in the pocket.
The offensive line has two very solid blockers in D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, but the rest of the line has been suspect for a few years.
Michael Oher would be a great addition to help sure up the offensive line. Ferguson has made a home at left tackle, which was Oher's original position. However, this past couple years, the Baltimore Ravens moved him over to right tackle. Oher had a rough time with the move, but a player of his caliber should be trusted, especially after getting a year under his belt.
The Jets need to upgrade the offensive line, and Oher is the answer.
Hakeem Nicks is another player who finds himself to be a free agent after a rough year.
Nicks has spent his whole career with the Jets' roommates, the New York Giants, so he is familiar with playing wide receiver in the cold.
Nicks is a big physical receiver who would be a benefit to the Jets' offense, which had almost no weapons last year.
Another former Giant who could benefit the Jets is Jon Beason. He could really round out the Jets' linebacker core, which could use another stud in the middle of the field.
The Jets have a strong defensive front, with Sheldon Richardson at defensive tackle, Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison on the ends, and Quinton Coples and Calvin Pace playing at the outside linebacker positions. In the middle of their 3-4 defense, David Harris has made a home for himself, and if Beason joined him, nobody would be able to run the ball on the Jets.
Jairus Byrd is a much more expensive option, he's one of the best safeties in football, and he's still got plenty of years left in him at 27 years old.
The Jets' secondary got a lot better toward the end of 2013. Much like Smith, cornerback Dee Milliner showed serious improvement in the final two weeks of the season. What they need to add now, is somebody who can help over the top in the passing game. Byrd is that guy.
Adding a good safety who could cover tight ends and provide help over the top in Cover-2 would make this already good defense so much better.