Do not make the mistake of thinking for one minute that the Jets failed 2011 free agent experiments will stop them from reaching out again this offseason.
The Jets have several internal contract issues they must resolve before going after more players in free agency, but the potential for doing so eventually is certainly there.
I will not be surprised at all when Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum makes a substantial effort to retain would-be free agent receiver Plaxico Burress. Burress’ 2011 production was not nearly enough to raise his value on the open market, but did provide enough of an occasional spark for the Jets to consider keeping him around to work with (knock on wood) a new offensive coordinator next season.
Potential free agent acquisitions for the Jets are very interesting, as they could go in several different directions given the right circumstances.
Considering the likelihood that this past season was the last for LaDainian Tomlinson in a Jets uniform, the Jets could certainly look for a solid rusher in free agency. Starting running back Shonn Greene has yet to prove himself as the legitimate every down back that the Jets philosophy requires.
The Jets' smash-mouth approach to the game leads me to believe that they are certainly capable of making a play for disgruntled Cleveland Brown Peyton Hillis. It is safe to say that an offensive backfield consisting of two bruising backs like Greene and Hillis would be custom-made for Rex Ryan’s ground-and-pound philosophy.
Notwithstanding the financial impact of such a move, the release of resident punk Santonio Holmes could also entice Gang Green to pursue one of the more tempting receivers in free agency. Players like Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson and Marques Colston would be welcome additions to the anemic Jets passing attack. In the wide receiver pool, there is also the highly improbable possibility that stars Wes Welker and Jermichael Finley appear on the Jets radar screen.
There is also a plethora of defensive talent in this year’s free agent market, which of course falls right in head coach Rex Ryan’s wheelhouse. Defensive ends Cliff Avril and Calais Campbell could very easily bring their 11 and eight sacks respectively this season with them to MetLife Stadium without any complaints from Ryan.