New York Jets Can Find Solutions at Wide Receiver, Offensive Line in Free Agency
The New York Jets have several holes to fill this offseason, meaning new general manager John Idzik will certainly have his hands full.
Given the Jets' salary-cap issues and need for youth and speed, it is likely that Gang Green will seek to address most of their needs through the draft and a strategic trade or two. That said, the Jets will also need to pursue values in free agency.
Bill Polian has a good breakdown of available free agents up on ESPN Insider, and while it is a bit early to look at how specific players would fit with the Jets, there are a few positions where the depth of the market lines up well with the needs of the Jets.
The Jets probably can't afford (or shouldn't choose to afford) top-flight options like Mike Wallace and Wes Welker, but there are several second-tier free agents who could boost the Jets' overall receiving talent.
Danny Amendola could be a fit as a possession receiver, and if he gets too expensive, players like Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson are less-heralded options. It might also be possible to buy low on Greg Jennings or Dwayne Bowe, though this is less likely.
Throw in tight end options such as Jared Cook, Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano, and the development of Stephen Hill, and Gang Green may be able to substantially increase their pass-catching options while only using a mid- or late-round pick on the position in the draft.
There is a bounty of experienced offensive linemen available on this year's free-agent market, enabling the Jets to take their time regarding decisions about whether to re-sign Brandon Moore and/or Matt Slauson and whether to pursue a replacement for Austin Howard at right tackle.
Jake Long and Ryan Clady are out of the question, but Jermon Bushrod and Gosder Cherilus are just a couple examples of players whose prices may slip due to the strength of the overall market.
It will be interesting to see what the Jets do at guard, where they may be able to get better values in the draft or by converting a tackle such as the Chief's Brandon Albert (as Polian suggests).
Safety is another position where the strength of the free-agent market may affect the Jets' decisions regarding their own players. If LaRon Landry becomes too expensive, there will likely be several quality replacements available.
Polian ranks five safeties other than Landry in his "A" tier, including younger, potentially better values such as Jairus Byrd, Louis Delmas and Glover Quin.
There is a decent chance that Landry will be overpaid in the coming months based on his reputation, Pro Bowl status and a few headline stats. If that happens, the Jets may be better off signing a cheaper replacement and pairing him with Yeremiah Bell.
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