Jets normal supervisor Mike Maccagnan and proprietor Christopher Johnson each mentioned Tuesday that they plan to be “lively” in free company this offseason.
The strategy is predictable. The group enters the brand new yr with near $80 million in cap house, and that quantity ought to enhance to round $100 million as soon as Maccagnan cuts some expensive veterans, beginning with defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.
Earlier than making any massive splashes, although, the Jets should first determine which of their very own free brokers they need to deliver again. Quite a lot of key contributors from 2017 might check the open market as soon as free company begins March 14. From now till then, the Jets can have unique rights to barter with and re-sign their free brokers.
Here’s a full have a look at the listing, with ideas from the gamers and Todd Bowles on how they see the following months unfolding. (You possibly can vote on who to maintain and dump right here.)
QB JOSH MCCOWN
The Jets’ beginning quarterback from 2017 will flip 39 in July and has but to make a remaining resolution on whether or not he desires to proceed his profession. McCown will communicate along with his household. The Jets, in the meantime, are very open to bringing him again. Bowles mentioned it will be “nice” to have McCown for an additional yr. Maccagnan mentioned he would have “no downside” with McCown being on the roster in 2018. The query, after all, is what McCown’s position can be, which can rely solely on how the Jets deal with their quarterback scenario. They may signal a distinct starter in free company (perhaps Kirk Cousins or Teddy Bridgewater) or commerce for one (Alex Smith). In that case, McCown might return as a backup. They may draft a quarterback within the draft. In that case, McCown might come again as an preliminary starter and mentor.
CB MORRIS CLAIBORNE
After an injury-riddled begin to his profession in Dallas, Claiborne guess on himself this season by signing a one-year take care of the Jets and attempting to re-establish his worth. For essentially the most half, he succeeded in doing so. Claiborne performed in 15 video games regardless of battling by way of a sprained foot for the second half of the season. He helped anchor a younger however improved secondary. He might positively garner curiosity from different groups. Claiborne, although, is lifeless set on returning to the Jets and never testing the open market in March.
“I hope to remain right here. Hopefully we get one thing achieved earlier than then,” Claiborne mentioned this week.
It appears like he’ll be again in 2018.
“I’m comfortable proper right here,” Claiborne mentioned. “I like every part about this group, from the gear employees to the coaching employees to the coaches. So why pack up and transfer elsewhere for those who received every part right here?”
ILB DEMARIO DAVIS
Within the spring, the Jets dealt struggling security Calvin Pryor to the Browns in trade for Davis, who performed his first 4 NFL seasons with Gang Inexperienced. Davis was a very totally different participant this yr, vastly improved. The Jets lower longtime Mike linebacker David Harris in June, and Davis was thrust into the position of defensive signal-caller. He carried out admirably, serving to stabilize and set up a unit full of recent and younger items. Davis led the crew in tackles (135), sacks (5) and tackles for loss (9).
He largely refused to touch upon his future with the Jets in Florham Park this week, apart from to say, “I get pleasure from it right here. It’s a terrific locker room. … I get pleasure from this group. I get pleasure from my teammates. I get pleasure from my coaches. An incredible group, I’ve received nothing however excessive reward for the Jets.”
When requested if he desires Davis again, Bowles mentioned, “There’s a whole lot of guys I’d like again, but it surely’s a enterprise.”
In the event that they transfer on from Davis, which appears uncertain, Bowles can be compelled to begin with a distinct Mike linebacker for the third straight season. He mentioned that potential state of affairs wouldn’t be a “setback.”
“It wasn’t a setback this yr,” Bowles mentioned. “It’s soccer, it’s going to be a revolving door. Individuals make selections for his or her household. Individuals make enterprise selections. We’ll see. Demario had a great yr.”
TE AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS
The Jets claimed Seferian-Jenkins off waivers final season, after the Bucs lower the tight finish within the aftermath of a September DUI arrest. Since then, Seferian-Jenkins has remade his life off the sphere, a journey he’s detailed to the Day by day Information a number of occasions this season. With assist from the Jets, he stopped ingesting alcohol and is nearing a full yr sober.
On the sphere, Seferian-Jenkins began 2017 on a tear, catching not less than 5 passes in 4 of his first six video games. However his manufacturing petered out over the second half of the season. He completed with profession highs in receptions (50) and yards (357) — commendable numbers, however not the type that demand a profitable long-term contract.
Seferian-Jenkins, who lately employed new illustration, “completely” desires to be again and spoke very fondly of the group.
“I need to be right here, and I actually love Coach Bowles,” Seferian-Jenkins mentioned. “I actually love him as a coach, as an individual. He’s a terrific particular person. I like my tight finish coach. I like our OC. I like my teammates. I like the possession, and most significantly, I like the town of New York. It’s a very cool, distinctive place, and I want to name it dwelling, not only for nevertheless lengthy I find yourself being right here, however only for the remainder of my life.”
DE KONY EALY
Ealy was one other good addition Maccagnan picked up off the scrap heap. The Patriots surprisingly launched Ealy in late August, and the Jets claimed him off waivers. Regardless of restricted follow time, Ealy made a direct affect. He batted down 9 passes within the Jets’ first 9 video games, however he didn’t register a single one within the remaining seven video games. Ealy nonetheless completed second within the league in passes defended amongst defensive linemen, trailing solely Professional Bowler Camerson Jordon. Nonetheless, he solely totaled one sack and three quarterback hits all season — low numbers for any outdoors go rusher. The Jets might let him stroll. Ealy desires to be again.
“Hopefully every part will get labored out upstairs and I’ll be right here for the brand new yr and coaching camp and preserve constructing on this factor,” Ealy mentioned.
C WESLEY JOHNSON
Johnson, a former fifth-round choose of the Steelers, had huge footwear to fill this season after the Jets lower longtime heart Nick Mangold in February. His play was inconsistent. By the season finale on the Patriots on New Yr’s Eve, he was splitting time with backup Jonotthan Harrison. The Jets should improve the offensive line in free company and/or the draft. If Johnson returns, it will almost definitely be in a backup position.
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The remainder of the listing:
DL Mike Pennel
Ok Chandler Catanzaro
C Jonotthan Harrison
LB Bruce Carter
OLB David Bass
LB Julian Stanford
S Terrence Brooks
OL Dakota Dozier
TE Chris Gragg
Carter, Stanford and Brooks are all particular groups leaders. Bowles labeled Dozier as one of many two most-improved gamers on the crew this yr (the opposite was defensive lineman Steve McLendon). Bass was tied for second on the crew with three.5 sacks this season. Catanzaro hit 25 of 30 discipline aim makes an attempt and completed eighth within the league in touchback share.