2012 Free Agency: 5 Big Time Free Agents the Jets Should Target

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IDecember 3, 2011

2012 Free Agency: 5 Big Time Free Agents the Jets Should Target

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    The New York Jets are in the middle of the playoff race right now, but the team is already eyeing possible free agents in next year's class.

    The 2012 free agency group is loaded, with Pro Bowl players available at nearly every spot on the field.

    New York has an extremely talented roster, but are still a mess at several important positions on the depth chart.

    The big lights of New York City and a playoff roster will attract many high-priced free agents next summer. The Jets are a couple stars away from being a complete team, so a few blockbuster deals could shook the football landscape and make Gang Green Super Bowl favorites for years to come. 

Robert Mathis

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    The Jets are in desperate need of a dynamic pass rusher on the defensive side of the ball.

    Gang Green's defense struggles putting pressure on the quarterback, even in Rex Ryan's bizarre blitz packages.

    The addition of Robert Mathis could finally bring the Jets the terrific defensive end they have craved. Mathis' superb talent would allow him to adjust accordingly from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive front. 

    Mathis has an amazing skill set, full of blistering speed and awesome strength. The perennial Pro Bowl selection has been a force on the Colts feared defensive line for many years, but with Indianapolis' recent struggles, they could choose to let him go. 

    The Alabama A&M product will be one of the most sought-after free agents in next year's class, but the big lights of New York and the desire to play for a winning franchise could lure the 31-year-old phenom to Gotham. 

John Abraham

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    If the Jets miss out on Robert Mathis, then they could make a run for veteran defensive end John Abraham.

    Abraham, an ex-Jet, has been one of the most feared pass rushers in the league for over a decade. He has recorded double digit sacks six times and has appeared in four Pro Bowls. 

    The South Carolina product's age (34) and injury history could scare off potential competitors for his talent and could allow New York to claim the star player's talents.

    Although the contract would be limited to only one or two years, Abraham would provide the Jets with the powerful pass rusher they need. 

DeSean Jackson

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    New York has an above-average receiving corps, but the lack of a true deep threat is allowing opposing defenses to bottle up the offense. This prevents the Jets from establishing a solid ground game and the ability to open up passing lanes for Mark Sanchez.

    If Gang Green claimed DeSean Jackson, they would possess one of the game's most dangerous deep threats. 

    The Eagles wide receiver is one of the most explosive players in the NFL, but his childish behavior and persistent drops have angered players and coaches across the country.

    Philadelphia seems to be tired of D-Jax's actions and look poised to let him test free agency.

    Many teams will avoid the 25-year-old because of his erratic attitude on and off the field. This will lower the value on the Pro Bowl wide out and allow the Jets to swoop in and claim him for a very cheap price.

    The move would be risky, but New York could have outstanding rewards if Jackson came to enjoy the Jets locker room and the coaching staff.  

Marques Colston

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    The Jets need for a deep threat could lead them to dynamic Saints wide receiver Marques Colston next summer.

    Colston is a very talented receiver, as he has terrific size and great hands. He would be a consistent weapon for Mark Sanchez in the passing game. The Hofstra product is also a terrific locker room character, unlike New York's other offensive weapons. He would provide a young and inexperienced Jets offense with veteran leadership. 

    Many teams will avoid the wideout because of his history of leg injuries, and reliance on elite quarterback Drew Brees. This will allow New York to claim the star wide receiver at a very affordable price and look the dependable weapon into the lineup for years to come. 

Jim Leonhard

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    Jim Leonhard may not be a household name like the other players on the list, but his importance to the Jets is undeniable.

    The safety is the leader of New York's stifling defense and is well respected throughout the locker room. The 29-year-old has terrific tackling ability and is always relied upon to make a big play. The former Raven is also a valued punt returner, as he has great hands and tremendous speed. 

    If Gang Green allows Leonhard to walk next summer, then the team would leave a gaping hole in the secondary and in the locker room's leaders.