Trying to predict an offseason acquisition's statistical contribution to the 2013 New York Jets so early in the NFL year yields an appreciation for the symbiotic relationships within an NFL team. It's especially challenging because so many 2012 Jets who are pursuing free agency do not know who their next employer will be.
For example, the Jets may need to replace starting guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson as well as starting tackle Austin Howard. Predicting the productivity of a running back such as Mike Goodson without knowing the quality of the Jets' offensive line sounds like an exercise in futility.
It doesn't matter how good the back is if he doesn't have guys in the trenches who can create the initial running lane. He'll just keep racking up rushing attempts that yield little or no gain.
It's the same with quarterbacks. How can we project their passing efficiency without knowing the quality of protection they'll get and the ability of their receivers to get open?
The Jets face that situation in the third full week of March 2013. As noted, three of the offensive line's starters, tackle Austin Howard as well as guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, are pursuing free agency (although Howard has been tendered but not officially re-signed).
A starting wide receiver, Braylon Edwards is unsigned. Tight end Dustin Keller is gone, and his backup, Jeff Cumberland, is tendered, but not officially re-signed.
That's not the only problem. Many acquisitions' roles are not finalized. For example, David Garrard's place on the quarterback depth chart will not be clear until Rex Ryan announces his starter during training camp.
If that were not enough, many of the Jets' new acquisitions have lost significant playing time because of injuries.
You'll learn more about this in the upcoming slides, but it's suffice to say that the best-case scenarios assume that the new guys make the team, stay healthy and realize the potential they displayed before the injury bug struck. Should the injury bug strike again, the Jets could easily face a repeat of 2012 or worse.
So take this all with the proverbial grain of salt and let's have a look at the Jets who are coming back and the new faces who will join them.