Jets' Team Needs to Fill in 2022 NFL Free AgencyFebruary 28, 2022
Jets' Team Needs to Fill in 2022 NFL Free Agency
The New York Jets are going to be busy during the 2022 NFL draft. They own nine picks, all of which will come during the first five rounds, and those include two of the top 10 selections and four of the first 38. But that doesn't mean the team won't be active during free agency.
After missing the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season in 2021, the Jets again have work to do this offseason if they are going to get closer to ending the longest active postseason drought in the NFL. They will acquire more young talent to build around in the draft, but free agency offers a faster route to plugging holes.
New York is projected to have $48.2 million of available cap space, per Over the Cap, so it will have a ton of financial flexibility. So the Jets will have the ability to make moves—they will just need to make sure they are the right ones.
Here's a look at some of New York's biggest needs that it could address with free-agent signings.
With Corey Davis and Elijah Moore under contract for 2022, the Jets have a pair of wide receivers who should be solid targets for quarterback Zach Wilson, who will look to keep developing in his second NFL season. But in order for Wilson to take a big step forward, New York may need to acquire a true No. 1 receiving option.
Davis and Moore are solid players, but the Jets still need to bolster their receiving corps, especially with Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios set to hit free agency. Instead of bringing either of them back, New York could use more assets to land a top-tier receiver on the market.
An elite playmaker such as Davante Adams or Chris Godwin would be a huge upgrade to the Jets offense, but they may not be in a position to land either, as both of them likely want to stay on a playoff contender. Instead, perhaps New York could target a free-agent receiver such as Mike Williams or Allen Robinson II.
If the Jets can land a No. 1 wide receiver, it should help Wilson make larger strides in 2022. And it would likely lead to much better results for their offense, which has been lacking playmakers of late.
Another way for the Jets to help Wilson for the 2022 season? By bringing in a tight end who can serve as a viable receiving option. Because that was something New York was greatly lacking this past season.
There are plenty of strong tight ends set to hit the free-agent market, including Dalton Schultz, Mike Gesicki, Zach Ertz and more. Gesicki was born in Manahawkin, New Jersey, so perhaps he would be interested in moving closer to home after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
Any of those tight ends would give the Jets a huge upgrade at the position. They return Ryan Griffin, who had 261 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 14 games in 2021. Despite those less-than-stellar numbers, Griffin was New York's most productive tight end last season.
So if the Jets want Wilson to succeed and their passing attack to put up bigger numbers, a true receiving tight end would be a great addition. And there should be numerous players to pursue on the free-agent market.
Over his first five NFL seasons, Marcus Maye has been a solid contributor in the Jets defense. The 28-year-old safety was limited to six games in 2021, as his year ended early with a torn Achilles tendon, but he's been productive when he's been on the field.
Maye is set to be one of the top safeties on the free-agent market. And if New York decides it doesn't want to bring him back, there will be plenty of teams interested in the talented defensive back.
Not only is Maye set to hit free agency, but the Jets could also be losing LaMarcus Joyner, who played only one game in his first season with the team before he suffered a torn triceps. So there's a good bit of uncertainty at the back of New York's secondary.
It may be a good idea for the Jets to bring back Maye, as long as they can do so without overpaying him. Otherwise they are going to need to find a safety who can plug that hole in their secondary, whether that's with a free-agent signing or a draft pick.