Now that the Super Bowl is over, we’re rolling out a get-to-the-point offseason plan for every team:
1. KEEP MUHAMMAD WILKERSON AT ALL COSTS
Yes, it’s true the talented defensive tackle broke his leg in the team’s regular-season finale, but that doesn’t matter. Wilkerson is due to hit the free-agent market, and even though the Jets have excellent depth in their front seven, keeping a difference-maker in the fold is paramount. For what it’s worth. GM Mike Maccagnan told reporters that, "yes, we’d very much like to have Muhammad back in the organization." So, that means they have to hit the negotiating table hard. And if all else fails, use the franchise tag on him. Players usually bristle at that, but the Jets must take that risk if a long-term deal is untenable.
2. FIND A RUNNING BACK IN THE DRAFT
Re-signing Ivory may not be a priority for the Jets.
The Jets have the 20th pick this year. And they also have a big question mark in the backfield. Chris Ivory did rush for a career-high 1,070 yards in 2015, but he is a free agent and seemed to fade down the stretch. It’s unlikely the team will be willing to pay what it would take to keep him given that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Wilkerson will be higher priorities. Gang Green could be in a position to grab Ohio State star Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, or it could wait until the later rounds to see whether someone is available at a cheaper price. But it would be good for the Jets to have a clear No. 1 option who can be counted on for 20 carries per game.
3. FIND A THIRD WIDE RECEIVER
You can’t complain about Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Both receivers topped 1,000 yards in 2015, and each had 10-plus touchdown catches. Now it would be nice to have a guy who can get open in the slot. Maybe Quincy Enunwa can develop into that guy. Maybe Kenbrell Thompkins can. Or maybe the guy the Jets are looking for is outside the organization. There are some tantalizing options who could be available via free agency. Mohamed Sanu? Andre Caldwell? However, it might be even better to see if there is a burner available in the draft. TheJets’ offense had a surprisingly solid season in 2015. Things could get even better with another piece or two.