Ranking the New York Jets' 5 Best Remaining Free Agency Options

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2014

Ranking the New York Jets' 5 Best Remaining Free Agency Options

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The New York Jets have shocked both fans and experts with their inactivity over the first week of free agency. 

    Despite having one of the largest cap spaces in the NFL, John Idzik and Co. haven't been one of the teams that is stocking up on talent early on. 

    Outside of the signing of Eric Decker, Gang Green has done little of note. 

    If New York is to improve this season, though, the team needs to address some of the holes on its current roster in free agency. 

    Click through to see which five remaining free agents would be the best fits for Rex Ryan's squad. 

5. Maurice Jones-Drew

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    New York's backfield isn't one of the team's major needs, as Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell emerged as a formidable rushing duo last season. 

    However, the Jets have significant interest in former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News

    There are several warning signs about Jones-Drew.

    He is coming off a horrendous season in which he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 234 touches and scored just five touchdowns, he's been somewhat plagued by injuries throughout his career and he will be 29 in a week. 

    However, Jones-Drew comes with significant upside as well. He led the league in rushing just a couple seasons ago, he's a phenomenal pass-catcher and he would bring leadership into New York's locker room. 

    If New York can sign MJD to a one- or two-year deal that doesn't break the bank, it could pay dividends. Anything more than that is a huge risk, though. 


4. Owen Daniels

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    There hasn't been any reported interest between the Jets and former Texans tight end Owen Daniels. 

    However, the pair would be a perfect match. 

    New York is in desperate need for a pass-catching tight end, and Daniels is the best tight end on the open market by a significant margin after Brandon Pettigrew decided to return to Detroit. 

    Daniels is 31 and coming off an injury-ridden season in which he only played five games. However, Daniels was still a force when on the field, as he averaged a shade under five receptions and over 50 yards a contest. 

    The Wisconsin product is certainly on the downside of his career, but he would still provide Geno Smith with a solid checkdown option on third down and in the red zone. 

    And perhaps most importantly, Daniels can be had on the cheap.  


3. Chris Clemons

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    New York's pass defense dropped off significantly last season, and it wasn't just because of the absence of Darrelle Revis and the struggles of Antonio Cromartie. 

    Despite some big plays, Gang Green's safeties had a tough time in coverage, as they allowed huge games to a multitude of tight ends and slot receivers. 

    For the Jets defense to take the next step forward and emerge as an elite defensive unit, John Idzik and Co. need to upgrade the back end. 

    Former Dolphin Chris Clemons would be the perfect man to solve New York's safety woes. 

    Clemons is subpar against the run game and isn't a ball hawk, but he is terrific in coverage. 

    The Clemson product would undoubtedly improve Gang Green's pass defense, and he wouldn't be too costly either. 

2. James Jones

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    Even after signing Eric Decker to a long-term deal, the Jets reportedly aren't done trying to improve their receiving corps in free agency. 

    According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, New York is very interested in acquiring former Packer wideout James Jones. 

    Despite averaging over 800 yards and eight touchdowns as the No. 3 receiver in Green Bay's offense the last two seasons, Jones hasn't had much of a market thus far in free agency. 

    Jones doesn't possess elite speed or size, but he boasts great hands and his route running is crisp. He can also be a huge factor in the red zone. 

    The San Jose State product would be the perfect complement to Eric Decker if he can be had on an affordable contract. 

1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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    After releasing Antonio Cromartie, the Jets knew they had to find a starting-caliber cornerback in free agency to line up across from Dee Milliner. 

    However, New York has been unable to sign any of the top corners on the market. 

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie now stands alone as the only true elite cover man left in free agency. 

    According to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com, the Jets are in a heated battle with the crosstown rival Giants to acquire Rodgers-Cromartie's services. 

    Gang Green cannot afford to miss out on the former first-round pick, despite questions about his effort level. 

    Whether this offseason is judged as a good or a bad one may decide on whether the Jets reel in DRC, and at what price.