Day two of the legal tampering period and the Jets continue to add quality players at positions of need. After signing guard Laken Tomlinson and tight end C.J. Uzomah and re-signing Braxton Berrios and Tevin Coleman, Joe Douglas was ready on day two. After the Jets missed out on safety Marcus Williams, who signed with Douglas’ former employer the Baltimore Ravens, he quickly pivoted adding two solid young players to the Jets’ 30th ranked pass defense. Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback D.J. Reed and former Tampa Bay Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead are coming to MetLife Stadium to bolster the Jets Secondary.
From the Elmerald City to the Big Apple
The days of flying coach are over for Reed who inked a 3-year $33 million deal and heads from Seattle to New York. Reed a fifth-round pick out Kansas State by the San Fransico Forty-Niners in 2018. He has some familiarity with head coach Robert Saleh, who coached him in San Fransico. The undersized Reed (five-foot-9 and 193) is only 25. He received an overall grade of 78.6 from Pro Football Focus (PFF), ranking him eight out of 116 cornerbacks. Reed has good ball skills picking off two passes and breaking up six in 2021. He also allowed a passer rating against of just 66.0. Reed joins Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols, among others, in the Jets’ young cornerback room.
A Super Bowl champion heads north
In his second big move of the day, Douglas secured Whitehead with a two-year $14.5 million deal. The Pittsburgh native is a cousin of former Jets’ cornerback, The GOAT Darrelle Revis. Whitehead brings a championship pedigree to the Jets. He is a strong safety that will immediately improve New York’s run defense. He was PFF’s eighth-ranked safety against the run. Whitehead will turn 25 in a few days and is another young ascending player.
After addressing the offensive side of the ball yesterday, Douglas attacked the defensive side today. Yesterday it was older veterans at key positions, today younger players with significant upside. Overall Douglas has filled some big holes on the roster, right guard, tight end, safety, and cornerback. Free agency is far from over but as far as big moves the Jets may be done. They still have needs at wide receiver, edge rusher, and linebacker but they may wait until April’s draft to address those spots.
Jets keep one of their own
The Jets also retained one of their own in-house free agents. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network defensive tackle, Nathan Shepherd has re-signed with the Jets. Details of the contract are not known at this point. Shepherd is the first draft pick by former general manager Mike Maccagnan to receive a second contract from the Jets. Outside of Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins the Jets are thin at defensive tackle. Shepherd is nothing more than a depth signing, expect New York to draft a defensive lineman in April.
Jets lose two free agents
Two of the Jets’ in-house free agents signed with other teams. Former second-round pick Marcus Maye heads to New Orleans on a 3-year $28.5 million deal. Coming off an Achilles injury and a DUI suspension looming, this is a great deal for Maye.
Offensive tackle Morgan Moses is also leaving Gang Green, heading to the Ravens on a 3-year $15 million deal. Moses was solid last season starting 15 of 16 games after Mekhi Becton got hurt and missed almost all of 2021.