As of now, the Jets added 5 new players to their roster, re-signed 4 players, and traded for 1 (not including Aaron Rodgers). Of these 10 total players, 5 are on offense, 3 are on defense, and 2 are special teamers. Let’s look at the stats of all the signings.
Allen Lazard (WR, Green Bay)
Contract: 4 years, $44 million ($11 million yearly average)
Notable Stats: 73.9 PFF Receiving grade (35th), 788 receiving yards (39th), 13.1 yards per reception (36th), 12.5 air yards per target (16th) in 2022.
Lazard was one of the biggest free agent receivers available, and the Jets made him their biggest signing. He was the 35th highest graded receiver in 2022 and most of his stats hover around that ranking, so he’ll be a great WR2 behind Garrett Wilson. He does need to clean up on his low catch rate of 60%, but his air yards per target was one of the highest in the NFL, so you know Rodgers is going to sling the ball downfield to him. Lazard also ran the 3rd most slants in the NFL and had the 15th most receiving yards against man coverage – something the Jets have faced a ton of in previous seasons. He’ll make an immediate difference in boosting the receiver room (and even more of a difference when his old teammate Aaron Rodgers arrives).
Mecole Hardman (WR, Kansas City)
Contract: 1 year, $6.5 million
Notable Stats: 65.8 PFF Receiving grade, 297 receiving yards, 6.4 YAC per reception, 73.5% catch rate in 2022.
I love the Hardman signing for 3 reasons. First, he’s a great add given the Jets traded Elijah Moore about an hour after they signed Hardman. Second, he’s a consistent speedy receiver who is also a strong rusher. Third, he can return kicks and punts! Losing Berrios created a bit of a hole there, and Hardman’s been a proven returner who should take the brunt of those responsibilities. Hardman’s PFF receiving grades have been consistently in the mid to high 60s his entire career, so you know what you’re getting. He’s not that flashy receiver, but he’s a great gadget player who will complement Wilson and Lazard well by grabbing more of the shorter passes.
Thomas Morstead (P, Miami)
Contract: Not yet announced
Notable Stats: 72.9 PFF Punting grade (8th), 30 punts inside the 20 (9th), 45.9% punts inside 20 (4th), 15% punts inside 10 (10th) in 2022.
A competent punter! Braden Mann actually graded higher than Morstead last season, but Mann had too many bad outlier punts and plays that sealed his fate and really hurt the Jets. Morstead didn’t punt all too often with Miami’s strong offense last season, but he had the 4th highest percent of punts inside the 20 (45.9%), so he creates an immediate advantage in terms of field position.
Wes Schweitzer (G/C, Washington)
Contract: 2 years, $5 million ($2.5 million yearly average)
Notable Stats: 59.3 PFF Offensive grade (27th of all centers), 3 sacks allowed, 3 hits allowed, and 15 pressures allowed in 2022.
Should the Jets choose to re-sign McGovern, draft a Center, or pick up a different one who’s still a free agent, Schweitzer will be a solid depth piece at the position (and on the line given his versatility). But right now, he’s listed as the starting Center, and that’s something you don’t want to see heading into Week 1. Schweitzer isn’t a bad Center and is definitely stronger in run blocking, but he was the second worst center at pass blocking (42.9 grade) last season – where he allowed 3 sacks, 3 hits, and 15 pressures.
Trystan Colon (G, Baltimore)
Contract: 1 year, $1.66 million
Notable Stats: 72.0 PFF Offensive grade (on 49 snaps), 1 pressure allowed in 2022.
Colon hasn’t played more than 150 snaps in each of his three seasons with Baltimore, but when he’s been in the game he’s been solid and graded very well by PFF. Depth on the offensive line is something the Jets will always need, and he’s a really strong option if someone were to go down next season (but hopefully he’ll never have to see the field).
Chuck Clark (S, Baltimore)
Trade: Jets gave up a 7th round pick
Contract: Will make $2.5 million in 2023
Notable Stats: 66 PFF defensive grade (46th), 101 tackles, 69% catch rate allowed, 8.8 yards per reception allowed in 2022
The Jets gave up only a 7th round pick for an immediate starter on defense who can line up just about everywhere. Clark owns the current highest consecutive snap streak on defense with 1,248. His PFF grade was 46th out of safeties last season, which was actually tied with current Jets safety Jordan Whitehead, and one spot above highly sought after free agent Jordan Poyer. He’s much better in run defense (15th highest graded safety) than in coverage, and the Jets should view that as a strength since their safeties weren’t necessarily strong against rushes that reached the secondary last season.
Solomon Thomas (DT)
Contract: 1 year, $2.35 million
Notable Stats: 49.9 PFF defensive grade (98th/126 DT), 1 sack, 3 hits, 11 pressures, and 7 hurries in 2022.
I was on the side of letting Solomon Thomas walk in free agency, but after Nathan Shepherd and Sheldon Rankins got big contracts elsewhere, it’s good the Jets brought back one of their defensive tackles for cheap. Thomas didn’t have great stats in 2022 though, allowing 3 hits and a sack on limited snaps, so hopefully he won’t have to see the field all too often in 2023, but he’s good for depth.
Quincy Williams (LB)
Contract: 3 years, $18 million ($6 million yearly average)
Notable Stats: 55.2 PFF defensive grade (62nd of LBs), 4 sacks, 12 tackles for loss (19th in NFL) in 2022.
I had originally said to re-sign at least one of Kwon or Quincy (while prioritizing Kwon), but I completely understand where the Jets were coming from in re-signing Quincy first. He’s on the upward trajectory and had the best season of his career in 2022 alongside his brother Quinnen. He’s still got a little bit more developing to do and needs to clean up on the missed tackles (had 17 in 2022), but he’s a highlight reel player and incredible locker room presence.
Ty Johnson (RB)
Contract: Not yet announced
Notable Stats: 90.2 PFF rushing grade, 5.3 yards per rush, 4 yards after contact, 12 forced missed tackles in 2022.
I love this re-signing. Johnson is a solid backup running back who was outstanding down the stretch when he was put in the game. He averaged a big 5.3 yards per rush and 4 yards after contact last season. He didn’t see a ton of action, but we know that Johnson can step up in a big way when his number is called.
Greg Zuerlein (K)
Contract: 1 year, $2.6 million
Notable Stats: 71.3 PFF FG/XP grade (18th), 84.0 PFF kickoff grade (4th), 30/37 FGs, 6/11 FGs from 50+, 28/29 XPs.
The Jets finally have a reliable kicker and they do the right thing by re-signing him (unlike Jason Myers). Zuerlein was one of the best at kickoffs and about average in his field goal percentage last season.