New York Jets' Free Agency: Sports Column
The New York Jets ended the 2017 regular season 5-11. They have the thirrd pick in the NFL draft and over $90 million in cap space. They have many holes in the team, but the biggest hole is the quarterback position. They are going to continue being mediocre until they find the guy that can lead the team. They don’t have a quarterback for the future. Over the past few years they have used bridge guys to fill the spot. They drafted Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown and none of them got the Jets to the next step.
The free agency period is where teams can start signing players who aren’t under contract. It started Wednesday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m. Mike Maccagnan, the Jets general manager, said the New York Jets were going to be active and they were. They made a lot of great signings that will help the team. Mike Maccagnan said the franchise will be very active in free agency this spring during a news conference on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. He also discussed the team's young core and veteran leadership, which he said make him excited about the future.
On the first day the Jets resigned quarterback Josh McCown for a one-year $10 million deal. Josh is coming off his best season in the NFL. He surpasses all of his career highs with the Jets. They also signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a one-year $15 million deal. Teddy hasn’t played a meaningful snap in two years. He is coming off a brutal knee injury. But the Jets feel confident in him and are going to give him an opportunity to compete for the starting job.
The Jets also added running back Isaiah Crowell to a three-year $12 million deal. He is an explosive back who will add depth to our running back position after Matt Forte retired. They also signed a center Spencer Long to a four-year $28 million deal. He is a good replacement for the centers that we had last year. The team really needed a center coming into this offseason and they have that now. He is a good pass blocking center and will protect for whoever is taking the snaps from him.
They signed free agent receiver Terrelle Pryor to a one-year $6 million deal. He is a very talented player. He is a tall receiver that has a big body frame. That is what the Jets need he will help us in the red zone. He will look to have a bounce back season because he got injured last year and didn’t produce many good numbers last season. They also brought back Quincy Enunwa for one-year at $2.9 million. He is a key receiver to the offense. He had neck surgery last season and missed the whole season. Enunwa wants to have a bounce back year. They signed kicker Cairo Santos to a one-year $2 million deal. He is a good kicker. He has a good leg and can hit the long field goals like nothing. We lost our kicker from last year to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They will look to draft some more players who will help take this offense to the next step.
To upgrade the defense they made some key moves. The Jets defense is very young and talented and by adding some free agents, it will make a big difference. The first signing they had was adding middle linebacker Avery Williamson to a three-year $22.5 million deal. He is very young and is fast and can hit. The Jets lost Demario Davis to the Saints, who had a great season for them last year. Williamson will fill the hole that Davis left.
Their next signing was the biggest of the all. The Jets signed an elite cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a five-year $72 million deal. He is a great cover corner who will shut down other opponents best receiver. He is still young and that's what the Jets wanted. They also brought back Morris Claiborne on a one-year, $7 million deal. He is also young and is a good cover corner. He had a good season for the Jets last year. Both these moves sure up the secondary for the Jets. They signed linebacker Kevin Pierre-Lewis to a two-year $6 million deal. He brings good depth at the position. He is a good tackler and run-stopping linebacker. They signed linebacker Neville Hewitt to a one-year deal. He isn’t really a starting linebacker, but he is great on special teams.
The Jets had one of the worst special teams in the league last year. They also signed linebacker Brandon Copeland to a one-year deal. He will get some playing time, but will mostly play special teams.
Overall, the Jets had a great offseason. The ESPN guys gave the Jets an A on overall moves. They added some key pieces to the team, in order to take the next step. The Jets all agree on their motto which is "One Team. One Dream. One Goal." They have a very passionate locker room. They want to win and have good attitudes towards each other. Jets fan are looking forward to the 2018-2019 NFL season.