What the New York Jets Should Do with Their Free Agents This Offseason when the Lock Out Ends

Steve O Speak

A Guest Blog By Howard Ticker

The New York Jets have a huge off season ahead of them with the amount of free agents they have. Most of them have been key contributors to their past 2 season’s playoff runs. In a perfect world, most of them can get resigned, but realistically there isn’t a way they can hold onto all of them.

First I will go into the Quarter Back position. They already have Mark Sanchez who isn’t going anywhere. They also have Mark Brunell who is a solid back up for the next season or so. They drafted Greg McElroy and have Kevin O’Connell as well. Their only free agent Quarter Back is Kellen Clemens who I think they should let leave to try and get more playing time somewhere else.

The Jets have no free agents at Running Back but there is talk the Jets may release LaDainian Tomlinson to give Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight more carries. I think they should hold onto him one more year though to give him a chance to win a ring and help mentor newly drafted Bilal Powell.

At Full Back, I believe it is a simple decision. As much as I love Tony Richardson, it is time to let him go and let “The Terminator” John Connor be the starter.

Then there is Wide Receiver which is probably going to be the toughest decisions the Jets need to make this off season.  Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Brad Smith are all receivers. They are their number 1, 2, and 4 receivers respectively. Jericho Cotchery is their number 3 who can be a number 2 on most teams.  It will be extremely hard to hold onto all 3 of them. They drafted wide receivers Jeremy Kerley and Scotty McKnight in case they lose some of their free agent receivers. I really like the Kerley pick. First off, the Jets need to do everything in their power to resign Santonio Holmes and keep him happy. He came up with big play after big play for them this season. Braylon Edwards has a huge season for the Jets and improved his hands. As much as I would love for Edwards to resign, I do not think they have the money. It is more realistic for them to resign Brad Smith with Holmes even though I would much rather have Edwards than Smith. Brad Smith who is also a free agent is not only big for the Jets in their offense, like in the Wild Cat formations, but he is also huge on Special Teams returning kicks.

Next they have a few free agent Offensive Linemen. They released starting right tackle Damien Woody so they need someone to step in there. I wouldn’t mind if they resigned him for a cheaper price but I think they will give 2nd year guard Vladimir Ducasse a chance to move there. Wayne Hunter is also a free agent who is a solid back up tackle that I would like to see get resigned. Robert Turner is a free agent center. He plays behind Pro Bowler Nick Mangold. I wouldn’t mind them resigning him but he can easily be replaced if he signs elsewhere.

Now to defense, where we will start with Defensive End. Shaun Ellis is a free agent. He has played all 12 of his seasons with Jets. He is getting old but the Jets love him and so do the fans so they will probably try and work out a short term contract. They need a Nose Tackle because of Kris Jenkins retiring. I believe rookie Defensive Tackle Muhammad Wilkerson and Nose Tackle Kenrick Ellis can come in and get playing time. They also have versatile defensive linemen Sione Pouha and Mike Devito. They shouldn’t try and resign Trevor Pryce. I know he knows Rex Ryan’s system from when they were with the Ravens but he didn’t do much last season.

Now to linebacker, where they only have one key player who is a free agent. Middle Linebacker Davis Harris was franchise tagged but he should get a huge contract extension. He was team MVP and always makes huge plays against the run. I always believed he was an underrated player and never gets enough credit. Also, I think they should let Jason Taylor go so he can either retire or sign with another team. He had a few big plays this past season but he is not the same player he once was.

Now to Corner Back where the Jets have a few free agents. To start, they already have arguably one of the top 3 corners in the game in Darrelle Revis. They also have Dwight Lowery who had a pretty good season and last year’s rookie Kyle Wilson. I think the reason for Lowery’s success is because of free agent to be Antonio Cromartie.  He had a great season last year and I think they will do everything in their power to resign him. They will definitely need him to come back because Kyle Wilson has a poor rookie year. Another free agent corner is Drew Coleman who I think they will let go, even though he had a pretty decent season.

At safety, the Jets currently have only one man on their roster. That man is Jim Leonhard whose season ended early with an injury. The Jets free agent safeties are Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and Jame Ihedigbo. All 3 of them should be resigned because they shouldn’t cost too much money. Pool had a pretty good first season with the Jets. Smith is a solid back up who played well once Leonhard got hurt. Ihedigbo is another solid back up who plays well on special teams as well.

Kicker Nick Folk was way too inconsistent and I do not think the Jets should bring him back. Punter Sam Weatherford should be brought back but I won’t be too upset if they fail to do so.

I can’t wait for the lock out to end so I can see all of the excited player movement that normally stretches out over the whole offseason only happen in a few weeks. I hope my predictions and suggestions are correct because I would hate to see some of these guys go.

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