The New York Jets had a trying 2012 season, resulting in the firing of general manager Mike Tannenbaum and a likely search for a new franchise quarterback.
But while much of the organizational focus will remain on the quarterback position, there are several areas of the roster that the Jets need to address. The following positions represent the greatest non-quarterback needs the Jets face heading into the 2013 season.
The Jets' once-promising linebacking corps has aged and declined in talent over recent years, and Gang Green desperately needs an injection of youth and speed into the unit.
David Harris and Bart Scott were once an elite run-stopping pair at inside linebacker, but Harris is not the star he used to be and Scott is on his last legs. Harris will remain a starter and is still a productive player, but the Jets may look to restructure Scott's contract and/or find a younger replacement. At the very least they would likely aim to limit Scott's snaps and find a viable alternative.
Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas have not provided the Jets with the dynamic play they need from the outside linebacking position, and it would not be a surprise to see the new general manager make a splash at this position either in free agency or the draft.
Garrett McIntyre and Demario Davis are useful younger players who may see bigger roles next season, though their emergences alone will not cure the Jets' woes at the position.
Santonio Holmes will be back next year, but the Jets are still thin at the receiver position and lack top-flight talent.
It isn't clear that Holmes will be a true No. 1 receiver after returning from injury, but even if he is the Jets do not have a real No. 2 receiver to pair alongside him.
Stephen Hill is talented but still very raw and Jeremy Kerley is decent slot receiver, but there is no real separation ability on the Jets' roster right now. The Jets may look to make a few moves in free agency here because they probably cannot afford to spend a first- or second-round pick on a difference-maker at the position.
Dustin Keller, who has proven injury-prone and is a free agent, may not be back with the team next season either, so the Jets may have to look for someone to complement Jeff Cumberland at the position.
Despite a poor December performance, the Jets actually had one of the best offensive lines in the league. But their line is top-heavy and there are positions at which the Jets can upgrade.
Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson aren't going anywhere. But Brandon Moore is a pending free agent, Matt Slauson is a solid but unspectacular player and Gang Green can do better than Austin Howard at right tackle.
The Jets will likely make a play to bring Moore back, but they are not in a great salary cap position and his return is not assured. In any event, an addition at guard would compete with both Moore and Slauson for playing time even if Moore did return. They will certainly be open to upgrades at right tackle as well.
Vladimir Ducasse hasn't developed as planned and the Jets haven't had many draft picks in recent seasons, so improving depth throughout the line will also be a priority.
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