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2021 New York Jets Free Agency

GM for A day: How New York Jets Free Agency Should Be Attacked Going Forward

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Curtis Samuel #10 of the Carolina Panthers during the second half during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

After a busy opening day of free agency, Joe Douglas and the New York Jets have been very calculated over the past 48 hours. Corey Davis, Carl Lawson and Jarrad Davis have all agreed to term with Gang Green, but there are plenty of holes left to fill.

So if I were GM, how would I attack the remained of the free agency period? Let me walk you through it:

Cuts and Trades:

  • Cut Alex Lewis: Cutting Lewis would save the Jets a further $5M in cap space for 2020. While the team is yet to upgrade the interior of the offensive line, I wouldn’t be counting on Lewis to be a contributor either way. Move on and allocated the cap to more talented players.
  • Trade Sam Darnold to SF for #43: I fear the Jets have been too passive in their attempts to trade the former #3 pick and will now struggle to maximise his return. Waiting to draft Wilson or Fields before moving Darnold seems redundant to me. If he’s not “your guy” at QB, there is no point holding on to Sam, even if you don’t love this draft class.

Free Agent Signings:

  • Curtis Samuel – 3 years/$36M: The Jets have already taken strides to improve their WR core, after signing Corey Davis on Monday. Now, they add a dynamic, versatile, YAC monster for the LaFleur offense. Samuel is an outstanding schematic fit and would be a nice compliment to Mims/Davis on the outside. While this would take the Jets WR spending to around $36M, you can’t put a price on supporting a rookie QB with weapons. Cutting Crowder would also be on the table here (saving $10M in cap space)
  • Jadeveon Clowney – 1 year/$8.5M: I can hear the comments already. “Clowney? Really? He didn’t have any sacks last year and never lives up to expectations!” While all of that is true, this is a gamble I’d be more than willing to make if I were Joe Douglas. Clowney is an elite run defender and has the athletic profile to be an above average pass rusher. Playing next to Quinnen, JFM and Lawson would be perfect for the former #1 pick.
  • Kwon Alexander – 2 years/$13M: Linebacker is both a huge position of need and importance to Robert Saleh’s scheme. Reuniting with Alexander would give the Jets a starting calibre WILL LB, even if they address it in the draft. Kwon Alexander would bring an element of speed and coverage ability that hasn’t been seen in NY for years.
  • Desmond King – 3 years/$16M: Brian Poole has been elite in the slot over the past two years, but it seems as though he will be signing elsewhere in free agency. Rather than replacing him with a familiar face (K. Williams), I’d opt to sign King. When healthy, he’s been one of the premier slot CB’s in LA and still has plenty left in the tank. While boundary corner is a more valuable position, the value and talent is significantly better in this slot class.

And just like that, the New York Jets are on the right track and ready for the NFL Draft! After these moves, they’d have to take a QB at #2 (Wilson) and look to invest heavily at CB and OL on Day 1 & 2.

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