New York Jets: Odds of Gang Green Landing Each Major Free Agent
After a hugely disappointing 2011 season, the Jets enter the offseason with some major question marks.
New York is weak at many major positions, including safety, outside and inside linebacker, right tackle, defensive end and, some would argue, quarterback.
Mike Tannenbaum and company need to upgrade these positions significantly for the Jets to make another deep playoff run.
Although it will be difficult to make a major free-agent splash while staying under the salary cap, New York has shown before that they will do anything to put a winning team out on the field.
With so much talent out on the free-agency market this year, the Jets could turn into Super Bowl contenders very easily.
Here are the odds of New York landing each major free agent this offseason.
Major Free Agents the Jets Have No Chance of Signing
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The Jets could start planning their Super Bowl parade if they signed Drew Brees this offseason. Unfortunately, the former Super Bowl MVP is one of the most loyal players in the NFL. He will do anything to remain in New Orleans.
Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch and Matt Forte are four of the most dangerous backfield threats in the league. Although the Jets would love to sign an elite runner this offseason, the four of them are all likely to remain with their current teams. They are the keys to their respective franchise's offense.
The Jets are set at tight end with Dustin Keller, so there is no need for the team to pursue free agents Jermichael Finley and Fred Davis.
Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and Mike Wallace would be terrific options for the Jets, and would finally give Mark Sanchez a true deep threat. However, they are all likely too expensive for New York and will never probably hit the open market anyway.
The Jets have arguably the best cornerback duo in the NFL. Therefore, Brandon Carr, Cortland Finnegan, Brent Grimes and Carlos Rogers are all certainly not heading for Gotham.
Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs are arguably the two best guards in the league, and will be heavily pursued in the free-agency period. Both players will be too expensive for the Jets to sign.
Calais Campbell and D'Qwell Jackson would fill need positions for the Jets, but both players are likely to be dissed the franchise tag by their respective team.
Major Free Agents the Jets Have a Low Chance of Signing
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The Jets need for a pass-rusher has reached its boiling point. With so many options on the market this year, this could finally be the time when New York lands an elite pass-rusher.
Mario Williams is the prize of the free-agent market. The outside linebacker is one of the most talented defensive players in the NFL, and he could be an immediate game-changer. Williams will be very expensive if he hits the open market, but rumor has it that the Jets have the cap room to make a run at him.
Cliff Avril, John Abraham and Robert Mathis are terrific consolation prizes for teams who miss out on Williams, but they will also make franchises dig deep into their pockets. New York may opt to go a different direction with their cash.
Ahmad Brooks has shown that he can rush the passer from the outside linebacker position. The Jets may throw some cash his way if they miss out on the elite options.
As for wide receivers, DeSean Jackson would be an amazing pickup for the Jets, but he is likely to be retained by the Eagles.
Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne and Steve Johnson are three of the most talented wideouts in the league, but they all come with major question marks. Colston's injury history, Wayne's age and Johnson's attitude problems will scare away some teams and make them cheaper options for New York.
New York's need for a steady presence opposite David Harris at middle linebacker could lead them in the direction of Stephen Tulloch or Curtis Lofton. Lofton is likely to be retained by the Falcons, but Tulloch will hit the open market. Tulloch won't be cheap by any means, but he would fix a gaping hole for the Jets.
Peyton Hillis will hit the open market and likely be the top running back on the open market. The Madden cover boy will drift out of the Jets' price range sooner or later, as New York has other priorities.
Major Free Agents the Jets Have a Good Chance of Signing
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Re-signing Sione Pouha should be the top priority for the Jets this offseason. The 33-year-old is the anchor of the defensive line and has been a terrific replacement for Kris Jenkins. Pouha will most likely be back in the Big Apple next season.
New York needs a viable duo of safeties. Jim Leonhard has dealt with injuries recently, but he is a locker-room leader and his value to the Jets is unparalleled. Leonhard has a good chance to be back in Gotham this offseason.
Michael Griffin is a physical and talented safety that is likely to hit the open market. His large frame and blazing speed would shore up the Jets' interior pass defense. Right now, Gang Green has to be the favorite to land Griffin.
If Rex Ryan and company miss out on Griffin, then LaRon Landry and Tyvon Branch are terrific consolation prizes at safety.
Robert Meachem would provide the Jets with a potent aerial attack, as he is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league. He would also be a much cheaper alternative to the bigger names on the market.