Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NYJ Free Agency Analysis

As we're only minutes away from the official start of the new NFL season, and more importantly free agency, we're going to take the time to analyze the current suitors to land in NY with the Jets next season. Let's start with players who were talked to have Jets fans and FO interest, but have already landed or reportedly decided where they will land:

Brian Hoyer (QB)More competition, but would have served no real upgrade. Agrees to sign with HOU.
Ryan Mallett (QB): Would've been nice competition for Geno, but stays in HOU with 3yr/$14M contract.
Josh McCown (QB)Same as Hoyer. Lands overpaid 3yr/$14M contract with CLE.
Frank Gore (RB): We're looking for speed in the backfield and Ivory already provides plenty of underrated power to it. After getting cold feet with PHI he reportedly agrees to sign in IND, but who knows at this point.
Shane Vereen (RB): Versatile back who can add a new dimension to the field with his receiving abilities. Agrees to contract with NYG.
Dez Bryant (WR)For every WR talked about I will simply reason by saying Brandon Marshall from here on. Franchise tagged by DAL.
Randall Cobb (WR): Brandon Marshall. Cobb stays in GB for 4yr/$40M contract.
Jeremy Maclin (WR)Brandon Marshall. Maclin reportedly agrees to a reunion with Andy Reid in KC.
Torrey Smith (WR): Brandon Marshall. Smith officially signs in SF.
Demaryius Thomas (WR): Brandon Marshall. Franchise Tagged by DEN.
Jermy Parnell (OT): Would have been great depth signing and maybe progressed to starter over Giacomini or taken over after D'Brick, but lands in JAX for 5yr/$32M.
Orlando Franklin (OG): Upset we missed out on this guy. Could have been a nice upgrade from our mediocre OGs last year. Agrees to sign with SD 5yr/$36.5M.
Ndamukong Suh (DT): Was a long shot to begin with. Lands 6yr/$114M contract with MIA.
Davon House (CB): Young guy who could have panned out nicely. Sign with JAX for 4yr/$25M contract.
Kareem Jackson (CB): Another nice CB who would've fit our scheme, but re-signs with HOU 4yr/$34M.
Bryon Maxwell (CB): Gained a lot of interest, but he wouldn't have exactly fit our scheme. Goes to PHI under 6yr/$64M contract.
Tyvon Branch (SS): We need a FS, but could have possibly been a nice depth signing. Goes to KC for 1yr/$4M.
Devin McCourty (FS): Was my crush for this years FA. We need FS help badly and McCourty could have helped tremendously. Can't win them all; stays in NE with 5yr/$47.5M contract.

***The players who have agreed to sign with other teams are subject to change since no contracts are official or allowed to be signed until 4PM ET March 10th.

Potential NYJ Free Agents and Signings:

Bilal Powell (RB): Underrated back in my opinion. Never fumbles the ball, is great on screens, good vision, blocks well, and runs hard. Re-signed earlier today, but we still need some speed in the backfield.
Percy Harvin (WR): Harvin will most likely be kept under contract until March 19th. After that point the Jets 6th round pick used to trade for Harvin will become a 4th round pick. If he restructures I can imagine them possibly keeping him, but it just doesn't seem likely he'll be a Jet next year. Officially released by the Jets. Would be a great fit in PHI or OAK.
James Carpenter (OG): Coming over from SEA the Jets added a nice depth signing to their offensive line who can compete for a starting job.
Damon Harrison (DT): Huge part of our D-Line. NYJ put a tender on him and hopefully we can match even if another team offers to him.
David Harris (MLB): The core of our defense and still has some gas left in him at 31 years old. Re-signed to 3yr/$21.5M contract. Glad we kept him even though we may have overpaid a little to do it.
Jaiquawn Jarrett (FS): Depth signing and potential starter. Showed flashes last year. Received a tender.

Alright so now that those are out of the way let's look at some remaining possibilities:


Ryan Fitzpatrick: Could potentially be cut by HOU after the signing of Mallett and the agreement to bring in Hoyer. Fitzmagic had his best season(s) under Jets OC Chan Gailey with the Bills from 2010-2012. He'd be a great competition for Geno and is the only potential starter I see to beat him out for next season (unless a trade is made). If he gets cut he'd be a great signing for NYJ.
Jake Locker: Just announced retirement.
Matt Moore: Moore is a guy I actually like. He's not scared to sling the ball deep and seems confident with the ball in his hands. He'd be interesting competition for Geno and would be a viable backup who can win games for us. If Fitzpatrick isn't cut he'd be my go to in this QB pool.
Christian Ponder: I'd put him below Locker on my list. He's just not a serviceable QB and probably couldn't compete for the starting job. He'd be a desperation signing at most.


Reggie Bush: Adds the speed, versatility and hands we would want in the backfield. If we missed out on Spiller, Bush should be the next target. 
Justin Forsett: I've seen some people talk about him and although he is a great RB, I still think we need some speed to add to the group. He's an every down back so they'll have to pay up for him and I don't think the Jets are ready to do that.
DeMarco Murray: Same as Forsett, but I think Murray is the more complete back. Once again they'll have to pay up especially with the season he just had and I don't think the Jets will want to.
CJ Spiller: Had his best season (1600+ total yards, 8 TDs) under current Jets OC Chan Gailey in 2012. Adds a huge amount of speed to match with Ivory's power and now you've got the right combination. Re-signing Powell might draw us away from Spiller, but he'd still be a great add for reasonable mid-tier money.

Other Possibilities:

Roy Helu
Darren McFadden
Jacquizz Rodgers
Antone Smith

Wide Receivers:

After the trade for Marshall what's left of the top tier WR pool will not be discussed, only depth signings are neecessary.

Kenny Britt: Britt hasn't been the same in years. He still sometimes shows flashes of the ghost that was Kenny Britt, but he's far too inconsistent to even be compared to that guy. Would offer depth, but not much more than that.
Stevie Johnson: Along with Fitzpatrick and Spiller, their best years came under Jets OC Chan Gailey. Would offer great depth and would be able to step up in the event of an injury. Could also be signed for a reasonable amount.
Michael Crabtree: Has shown flashes of greatness, but will probably expect too much money for what he'll provide. For a reasonable pricetag it may be possible, but he'll probably go somewhere as a starter (like MIN).

Other Possibilities:

Miles Austin
Jason Avant
Jarrett Boykin
Andre Holmes
Jermaine Kearse
Lance Moore
Hakeem Nicks
Cecil Shorts
Nate Washington

Tight Ends:

Amaro will service as our receiving and every down TE. Blocking TEs will most likely be the only signings at this position for the Jets.

Offensive Lineman:

Jake Long (OT): Injury prone, but plays very well when healthy. He wouldn't be cheap, but if he avoids injury he can be well worth it.
MIke Iupati (OG): Officially signed with Arizona.
Clint Bolin (OG): Played  well for CIN last year and is only 26.

Other Possiblities:

Joseph Barksdale
Byron Bell
Justin Blalock
Rob Sims

Defensive Lineman/Linebackers:

With the resigning of David Harris and the tender places on Damon Harrison, all signings in this area with be to provide depth. One of our biggest priorities should be to get Wilkerson under a longer contract before next season.

Defensive Backs:

Darrelle Revis (CB): We all know we're going to have to pay up big time for him if we want him to come back. He's expressed interest in returning and NYJ has expressed interest in having him back. According to reports it's down to NYJ and NE for him. Having him back would be great, but so would be signing two solid corners for roughly the same price. That being said I don't think I'd love or hate either possibility, he's one of the greatest CBs ever and we are desperately trying to improve our secondary. Plus I'd be able to recycle my old jersey.
Antonio Cromartie (CB): Along with Revis, he has also expressed interest in coming back and reuniting while coach Bowles in NY. We have the money to have both back next year, but it comes a very large pricetag. If we missed out on Revis, I'd be more than satisfied welcoming Cro back on a reasonable contract. 
Chris Culliver (CB): We have been linked to having serious interest in him. After missing most of the 2013 season with an ACL tear, he came back this year and played well. 
Tashaun Gipson (FS): Received a tender from the Browns, but would be well worth it to pay it up. At only 25 years old Gipson is proving he's one of the best FS in the league with 6 INTs last season. It's unlikely that the Jets would want to pay up the tender along with a hefty contract, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities.
Rahim Moore (FS): Much more likely than Gipson, and also 25 years old is Rahim Moore. After being injured, he came back and played well. We're in desperate need of improvement in our secondary and Moore would be a solid addition to play alongside Pryor.

Other Possiblities:

Walter Thurmond III (CB)
Sterling Moore (CB)
Buster Skrine (CB)

Da'Norris Searcy (S)
Louis Delmas (S)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cromartie signs with the Cardinals: What this means for the Jets

Very simply put, they're moving on.

Over the last two weeks of free agency the Jets have missed out on bringing in a handful of top cornerbacks including ex-Jet Darrelle Revis and veteran Antonio Cromartie after he signed a one year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. This leaves them with the shaky Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner as their #1 and #2 cornerbacks. Assuming Kyle Wilson didn't miraculously improve at his respective position, this would mean they may put all their trust into the improvement of Milliner. 

What does this mean for Jets fans? Don't freak out. Milliner began the season injury plagued and missing valuable practice time. You better believe that this contributed to his rocky start at the beginning of the season. After being continuously burned off the line and getting benched for it, Milliner stepped his game up for the last stretch of the season and even managed to grab the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award after his week 17 performance against the Dolphins. Over the last 2 games of the season Milliner picked off 3 passes, 1 against the Browns in week 16 and 2 against Miami to knock them out of the playoffs in week 17. Even more impressive was that he was lined up against Josh Gordon and Mike Wallace during that two game span which may lead you to believe that they were readying Milliner to take the #1 spot. To add onto that, Milliner finished the season tied for 9th in passes defended (17) even after missing 3 games, ahead of players like Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib and DRC. There's a reason Dee was last years top rated cornerback going into the draft and he showed why towards the end of the season.

Want me to shed some more light? Kyle Wilson was one of the best nickel corners in all of the NFL. Not only that, but Wilson was the best corner in the Jets secondary while still having to cover the toughest position to line up against. He led the Jets by giving up the fewest receptions, TDs and the lowest completion percentage. BUT this does not exactly translate to becoming a CB2 because of the difference in playstyle. Don't expect the Jets to plan on moving him out there. They'll try hard to get someone to put on the outside in order to leave Wilson on the slot man.

What I can imagine the Jets doing to try and prepare their secondary for 2014 is to go after a CB to accompany Milliner and Wilson early in the draft. This years draft is VERY strong at the WR position which means that many defensive players could potentially fall well past their projected spot. Now this can mean one of two things: A) the Jets fill a WR hole with the 18th pick and address the CB position in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, or B) they fill a CB hole if a guy like Darqueze Dennard or Justin Gilbert fall to their pick and fill the WR position in the 2nd round. Now both of these seem like possibilities, but if there is one thing I've learned about John Idzik this offseason, it would be that us Jet fans are better off not trying to predict his moves.

One more thing Jet fans, quit saying that the strongest part of your defense (the secondary) is now your weakest point. In 2013, the Jets were 22nd in passing yards allowed per game and 19th in passing TDs allowed. Antonio Cromartie was consistently burned off the line, committed a wealth of pass interference calls, and was an all around average CB last year. If anything, it is better off that he finally ended up elsewhere. Maybe back in 2009 the secondary was the strong point of the Jets defense, but now it's time to change your focus to the 'Sons of Anarchy' on your D-Line.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: Sunday 1:00PM ET

The New York Jets (5-4) come off of their bye week to go into Buffalo to play the Bills (3-7) this Sunday afternoon at 1PM ET. The Bills lost to the Jets 27-20 in week 3 and look to try and take the second, and last faceoff of the season. The Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is making his second appearance after coming back from a knee injury and a poor game against Pittsburgh last Sunday.

Put pressure on EJ Manuel early:

One of the keys for the Jets is to get the 'sons' (Harrison, Richardson, Wilkerson) working early. Last time these teams faced each other the Jets sacked Manuel 8 times. Getting pressure kept EJ guessing and uncomfortable in the pocket, completing only 19 of his 42 pass attempts. If they can set the tempo early, it can change the passing game for the Bills for the continuation of the game and keep EJ from getting into rhythm.

Get the running game going:

Last time these teams faced off, Bilal Powell rushed for 149 yards off of 27 carries. With Chris Ivory healthy this time and coming off of a huge game, rushing 139 yards with only 18 carries against the Saints, Ivory can have another huge impact on this one. They need to get him around the edge and keep him away from Mario Williams if they wanna pull this one out.

The same goes for the Bills. Buffalo's receiving core is beat up for this game and if they want a chance in this one they need to create some sort of running game, even though that has been a difficult task against the Jets all year. Despite allowing only 73.8 rushing yards/game, Fred Jackson was able to round up 72 yards off 7 carries, gashing them for 59 of those yards up the middle on one missed tackle. Also, even though he hasn't been the player they expected him to be this year, they need to find a way to work CJ Spiller into their gameplan.

Throw the deep ball:

Geno threw for 331 yards and 2 TDs on only 16 completions last time these two went against each other. Smith completed a 51-yard TD to Stephen Hill early in this one and hit Santonio Holmes on another 69-yard TD to seal the game. The Jets haven't let Geno throw deep as of late, but they need to let him in this one. He's shown he's capable of throwing a dime of a deep ball, but he's also shown he's capable of throwing multiple interceptions off the deep ball too. Regardless, he was successful against Buffalo with the deep ball last game and I think they have to let him loose again.


In their last outing, the Jets committed a franchise record 20 penalties for 168 yards. It was the only thing keeping the Bills relevant in this matchup. They need to not let the rivalry get to them and keep level-headed if they want a chance.

New York Jets 24 - Buffalo Bills 13

I think Chris Ivory can come out and have another big game for the Jets and help them to finally overcome their win - lose trend so far this season. If they can get pressure on EJ Manuel throughout the game, they can definitely come out on top and maybe, just maybe, we'll see a turnover from the newly acquired Ed Reed.