The New York Jets were a complete disaster last season. After going 10-6 in 2015 with arguably lesser personnel than they had in 2016, they fell back down to earth and finished 5-11.
Now, they hold the No. 6 pick in the draft but have a multitude of questions on both sides of the ball. Darrelle Revis isn’t certain to be with the team, they don’t have a surefire starter at quarterback, and the defense is aging at several spots.
Not to mention, they have limited cap space and a handful of veterans they’ll likely need to cut to free up space for outside free agents. Assuming the Jets make those cuts and provide themselves with enough money to spend in free agency, these six players should be atop their list as targets.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
QB Brian Hoyer (Bears)
The Jets can’t go into 2017 with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg as their only viable starters. Hoyer is an experienced veteran who actually played extremely well before breaking his arm this season. With him, you know what you’re going to get: A reliable quarterback capable of coming in for spot duty, typically protecting the football and avoiding turnovers. As a cheap option, Hoyer would be a smart investment for the Jets, who are looking for a bridge to their younger quarterbacks.
TE Jermaine Gresham (Cardinals)
No team has utilized tight ends less than the Jets the past two seasons. It’s been a non-existent position for them, essentially leading them to use three wide receivers as a base formation. It’s time for that to change. Gresham could be a low-cost option for the Jets, providing their quarterback with an athletic weapon at tight end to open up the receivers on the outside.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys)
If the Jets are looking for a cheaper cornerback option, Claiborne could fit their needs. Because of his injury history and lackluster play for five years, it’ll likely be a one-year “prove-it” deal that allows him to show he can stay healthy. He played well for the first seven games of the season in 2016 before an injury derailed yet another year for him, and while the Jets can’t exactly afford to risk adding another injury-plagued corner (see: Dee Milliner), Claiborne could pay off big.
CB A.J. Bouye (Texans)
Even if Darrelle Revis didn’t find himself in the middle of a terrible situation, the Jets would need to add at least two cornerbacks. Now they really need to. Bouye is overlooked by some with Trumaine Johnson and Stephon Gilmore available, but he’s arguably the best one on the market. He can play the slot and move outside, offering the Jets good versatility at cornerback.
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LT Matt Kalil (Vikings)
The Jets parted ways with Ryan Clady after just one (disastrous) season, opening up a hole at left tackle yet again. Kalil isn’t a top-tier guy, but he’s good enough that the Jets would be able to put their assets elsewhere to address the many holes they have on the roster. Kalil would at least provide decent protection for whoever plays quarterback in 2017.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
OLB Melvin Ingram (Chargers)
The Jets are aging on defense and lack playmakers beyond their defensive line. Ingram can be their next great edge rusher and it’s sounding more and more likely that the Chargers will let him hit the open market. If that were to happen, the Jets should make room for him any way they can – cutting David Harris, Breno Giacomini, Brandon Marshall. They don’t have much cap space, but Ingram would be worth the money.