New York Jets: A.J. Bouye Should Be Targeted in Free Agency
There is a lot going on with the New York Jets these days, especially with the cornerback situation. The situation with Darrelle Revis could land him in a lot of trouble. For anyone that wasn’t aware, he has been charged with four felonies following an altercation in Pittsburgh.
The recently released video of the incident may exonerate Revis, according to Will Brinson of CBS Sports. But regardless of that, he has likely played his last game for the Jets simply due to his declining pay and the salary that he’s due in 2017.
As a result, an already thin position group for the Jets could get thinner. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, however, Mike Maccagnan and company are interested in making a move at this position when free agency opens:
From what I hear, they’re exploring the high-end market and could make a quick splash once free agency opens.
If the Jets are truly going to go into the high-end market for the cornerback position, they need to give a good long look at A.J. Bouye from the Houston Texans.
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The Texans are not likely to give Bouye the franchise tag, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, despite some speculation they might. The financial commitment would just be too large for the Texans, though.
If that is the case regarding the Texans’ plans, that could work in favor of New York. Put simply, he’d be a great fit in the Jets defense that took a significant step back against the pass in 2016. At times, it felt like they couldn’t stop anybody. They finished ranked 17th against the pass, allowing 243.6 yards per game through the air. This is unheard of for a Todd Bowles defense. His game is built on unrelenting quarterback pressure, meaning the defensive backs have to be great. Last year they weren’t with Revis serving as the poster-child. Now, they need to get better.
In this day and age of the quick passing game, you need a guy that can cover the slant. Who was the best at covering the slant in 2016? Well if you ask Eliot Crist of Pro Football Focus, the answer was Bouye. Crist notes that Bouye allowed just five catches in the 15 times he was thrown at in those routes. More importantly, he also notched three picks among those 15 throws coming his way.
Crist’s entire article enumerated the best cornerback at covering each route in the 2016 season, and Bouye earned honorable mention for in and out routes in addition to top marks against slants. Bouye also was credited with 16 passes defended last year, tied for seventh in the league (per Sporting Charts). He posted a career high of 62 tackles as well.
There is also an in-house connection with the impending free agent, which never can be discounted. When Bouye made the roster in Houston back in 2013, you know who the scouting director was? Maccagnan. Having a connection with the team can only help and will never hurt their chances.
If the Jets want a cornerback, go get this cornerback. Moves will have to be made regarding the salary cap and clearing room for such a deal, but the defense would greatly benefit from such a strong addition.