Image Credit (Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
It has been a crazy offseason for the NFL where many teams made a ton of moves. One of those teams is the New York Jets, especially as the Jets have been heavily involved in free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft. So, since Training Camp is around the corner, I thought I would go through all of the New York Jets moves during the offseason.
OG Dr Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
I really wanted the Jets to bring back Dr. Duvernay-Tardif after we fleeced the Kansas City Chiefs in a trade. But it looks like Dr. Duvernay-Tardif will be putting his NFL career on hold as he entered a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital. Basically, he is trying to take care of the medical requirements to become a physician and it is a usual move for graduates from medical school or medicine. I fully respect this man for his dedication to the medical world. I would love for a sports documentary to be dedicated to Duvernay-Tardif just based on his journey of juggling an NFL career and a Medical career. Now Duvernay-Tardif is not retiring, but whenever he is ready to come back to the NFL I will be cheering him on.
WR Jameson Crowder
The signs were there as the Jets tried trading him multiple times the last few seasons. Which I myself wasn’t a fan of as he was their best receiver during the Adam Gase years and Crowder is a solid receiver for QB Zach Wilson to throw to. With the Emergence of Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore, along with Corey Davis’s contract, Crowder was the odd man out. One thing is for sure, Crowder was the best signing of the 2019 offseason. That is saying something as that was an offseason where the Jets signed Le’Veon Bell (Flop), LB CJ Mosley (Bad Luck & 1 good year), acquired Kelechi Osemele via trade (had potential, but was released due to getting Shoulder Surgery), and etc. Crowder signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills and I hope he does well with the Bills.
WR Keelan Cole
Keelan Cole showed flashes of being a solid receiver but just was not consistent enough for the Jets to re-sign him to a new deal. He signed another one-year prove-it deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. I wish him luck, and hopefully, he plays more consistently.
TE Tyler Kroft
Stinks that Kroft was not the answer for the replacement at Tight End. Injuries have affected him and even when healthy, he just did not fit the Jets offense. Hopefully, he impresses in San Francisco and becomes the backup behind George Kittle.
OT Morgan Moses
Not a surprise the Jets decided to not re-sign Morgan Moses. George Fant had a fantastic season and Mekhi Becton (when healthy) is a fantastic tackle. There was no spot for Moses on this team and along with Moses being older than the two. He was the odd man out, which sucks because Moses did a great job blocking for Zach Wilson while Becton was out all season due to an injury. Moses signed a 3 year deal with the Baltimore Ravens, which is a well-deserved deal. I wish Moses well, as he was underrated in Washington and a great blocker with the Jets.
DT Foley Fatukasi
It is a shame that the Jets were not able to keep Fatukasi on the Jets. I often kept referring to him as the hidden gem of the New York Jets roster due to his impact on the run game. He was not great as a pass rusher but was improving every week. I am going to miss Fatukasi on this team and I wish him luck during his time in Jacksonville.
LB Jarrad Davis
Not a surprise the Jets decided to not sign Davis to another contract. He got worse and worse by the week. He was abysmal with his coverage ability and was injured for a part of the season. It was worth a shot giving him a 1-year prove-it deal although it did not work out.
S Marcus Maye
There were rumors that the Jets were planning to trade him during the deadline, but that did not happen. I thought that the Jets would come to a deal with Maye during the season, but then he suffered a Torn Achilles and I knew he was not coming back. It sucks because I always liked it when the Jets drafted Maye in the 2017 NFL Draft. I told people that Maye was a great selection and was hyped to see him play alongside Jamal Adams. Maye played well and when healthy the Saints will love seeing Maye in the secondary. I wish Marcus Maye luck for next season.
OG Greg Van Roten - It wasn’t an if, but when the Jets were going to cut Van Roten. He was the clear weakness on the Jets offensive line and with the additions made during the offseason, Van Roten’s time was done. Plus releasing Van Roten clears $3.5 million in cap space, so it was not a surprise this move was made. I won’t be shocked if the Jets bring him back on a cheaper deal as Saleh was vocal in saying the team would welcome him back anytime.
TE Ryan Griffin
Not much to say here as Griffin has been released multiple times throughout his time with the Jets. He was a below-average player for the Jets, hopefully, he can keep playing and succeed with the Chicago Bears.
QB Joe Flacco - Signed a 1-year deal for 3.5 million dollars (2.85 million guaranteed)
I don’t mind bringing him back as a veteran backup guiding Zach Wilson and it's better to sign him than give up a late-round pick to reacquire him last season for some reason. No offense to Joe Flacco the person, but I never want to see Flacco start another game as a Jet ever again as he as the starting QB reminds me too much of the Adam Gase years. I'd rather see Mike White as the starter than Flacco.
RB Tevin Coleman - Signed a 1 year 1.5 million dollar contract (650 thousand guaranteed)
Not a bad deal as Coleman provides a veteran presence to the running back core. Plus his connections with Saleh during his time with San Fransisco can help as they are running the same system on offense.
FB Nick Bawden - Signed a 1 year, $895 thousand dollar contract
Mainly a practice squad guy last season, but it is very interesting that they chose to bring him back. I heard his name mentioned a few times as a player the coaches were impressed by in Detroit years ago. He will compete for Trevon Wesco during the pre-season. I wish both luck in the positional battle.
WR Braxton Berrios - Signed a 2-year, 12 million dollar contract (7 million guaranteed)
Thank goodness the Jets were able to bring back Braxton Berrios as he had a fantastic season on both special teams and offense. It would have made me upset to lose Berrios, but luckily they got the deal done. The best part is the deal was a lot less expensive than what I thought it was going to be. I am hyped to see Berrios play next season for the Jets.
WR Jeff Smith - Signed a 1 year 780 thousand dollar contract (Fully Guaranteed)
Smith impressed by surprisingly making the roster last season. He was mainly a special teams player but has seemingly jumped Denzel Mims on the depth chart last season. Even in camp recently Smith was said to have impressed the Jets and was seen working with the 1st team offense. It would not be a surprise if Jeff Smith made the roster.
OG Dan Feeney - Signed a 1 year 3 million dollar contract (Fully Guaranteed)
Ehh not sure about bringing back Dan Feeney as there were not a lot of great moments last season. He was very inconsistent as both a run and pass blocker, however, what he does have is the experience in the Jets system. I would not consider him a lock to make the roster, but a strong preseason would be a big benefit.
OT Conor McDermott - Signed a 1 year 1.55 million dollar contract (450 thousand guaranteed)
I am fine with the Jets resigning McDermott as he can have a quality veteran presence in the locker room and on the offensive line. If McDermott can stay healthy, he should make the roster and be a backup for the Jets.
DT Nathan Shepherd - Signed a 1 year 1.085 million dollars (50 thousand guaranteed)
I am super surprised the Jets decided to bring Nathan Shepherd back, as he has not been a great player. I don't think his job is safe for next season and he needs to impress in the preseason.
S Lamarcus Joyner - Signed a 1 year 2.6 million dollars (2.1 million guaranteed)
Joyner could not showcase his skills last season due to suffering a season-ending elbow surgery. When Joyner is healthy he is a solid player on any defense. He will battle Ashton Davis, Jason Pinnock, and Elijah Riley for the starting role at safety.
QB Mike White - 1 year 2.54 million dollar contract (RFA Tagged)
Mike White’s performance against the Bengals solidified him a job for next season, there was no question. I never understood the way the Jets handled him after that game. Looking back against the Bills, half of those picks were not his fault. Like the preseason last year, he is going to need a strong preseason to solidify his job, but he overall is better than Joe Flacco.
K Eddy Pineiro - 1-year contract $2.433 million dollar contract (RFA Tagged)
Pineiro ended the year strong with the New York Jets as he made 8-for-8 on field goals and 9-for-10 on extra points. This was a no-brainer move for the Jets to bring him back due to how well he performed. He has to go through Greg Zuerlein, but if he continues to perform as he did at the end of the season then he should have the full-time job.
LB Blake Cashman (Traded to the Texans) - I could not believe that the Jets got an asset for an injury-prone linebacker. I don’t know what the Texans see in Blake Cashman but for some reason, they paid a 2023 6th round draft choice in order to acquire him. It wasn’t for his performance on special teams as he wasn’t impressive.
TE CJ Uzomah - Signed a 3-year deal worth 24 million dollars (15 million guaranteed)
Tight End has been a position of need for this team for many years. They have not had a consistently good tight end on this roster since the Mickey Shuler years. I have begged for this team to get a tight end, but it was a position largely ignored. That changed with the Jets signing CJ Uzomah to a contract. Uzomah had a strong season for the Bengals and was a strong piece for the Bengals playoff push. My question is can he stay healthy and impress being the guy for the Jets? But he is a solid addition, but Uzomah is not the only tight end that the Jets signed.
TE Tyler Conklin - Signed a 3-year deal worth 20.25 million dollars (10 million guaranteed)
That's right the Jets decided to make another big signing at the Tight End position by signing Tyler Conklin. I can’t remember the last time the Jets signed two Top 10 Tight Ends that were available in Free Agency. Many expected that once Irv Smith went down with an injury, and acquired Chris Herndon via trade that Tyler Conklin would remain in backup duty. Well, that did not happen and Conklin became the starting Tight End of the team. Conklin fits more as a blocking tight end, but he deserved to get another contract after doing well in his last season with the Vikings and making them regret acquiring Chris Herndon via trade. Hopefully, Conklin along with Uzomah can be the guys at Tight End.
OG Laken Tomlinson - Signed a 3-year deal worth 40 million dollars (13.9 million guaranteed)
Definitely an upgrade over Greg Van Roten. Alijah Vera Tucker was a great blocker last season, Connor McGovern was a strong center (Even though I wanted them to draft Linderbaum), and the Jets already have two great tackles in George Fant and Mekhi Becton (When Healthy). The Jets needed to upgrade the other guard position and I believe they did with Tomlinson who had a career resurgence during his time in San Francisco. Providing Zach Wilson with a lot of protection is a good idea, along with opening holes for the run game in Michal Carter and Breece Hall. Tomlinson should transfer well with the New York Jets.
OG/OT Nate Herbig - Claimed Via Waivers
Technically the Jets claimed Herbig via waivers, but I am adding him to the list of him being signed by the team. There has been a lot of hype surrounding Herbig; some called him a hidden gem. He has been a rotational player for the Eagles being used at guard and tackle. He can be useful as a backup, but I don’t see Herbig being the week 1 starter. He is worth a shot for the Jets.
DT Solomon Thomas - Signed a 1 year 2.25 million dollar contract (1.91 million guaranteed)
I guess connections do pay off, as Solomon Thomas. Keep in mind Solomon Thomas has experience in Robert Saleh’s defensive system during their time in San Francisco. In fact, they both joined the 49ers and left at the same time. Thomas did not work out in San Fransisco being a 3rd overall pick, but he was not completely terrible. Look at how well he performed in Las Vegas having 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Thomas will likely be the Fatukasi replacement on the defense and hopefully, he impresses during his time with the Jets. Him being on a 1 year, prove-it deal is worth it in my eyes
DE/EDGE Jacob Martin - Signed a 3-year 13.5 million dollar contract (6 million guaranteed)
It still makes no sense why the Texans did not re-sign Jacob Martin as he was their best pass rusher last season. Then again Jack Easterby is still a part of the Texans organization, for some reason, I still have no clue why. Martin was the only one that had provided the most amount of pressure throughout the season for the Texans. I am interested in seeing how Martin will play without a bunch of scrubs surrounding him. This is a solid contract for the Jets to sign him to and help improve the Jets pass rush.
CB DJ Reed - Signed a 3-year deal 33.3 million dollar contract (10.5 million guaranteed)
The secondary for the Jets last season was abysmal, especially at the cornerback position. It was a must as excluding Bryce Hall and maybe Brandon Echols, the cornerback crew was not that great. DJ Reed should help that as he has been a solid piece for the Seahawks defense the past few years. He should compete for the number 1 spot with Bryce Hall or Ahmad Sauce Gardner (We will get to him later).
S Jordan Whitehead - Signed a 2-year deal 14.5 million dollar contract (7 million guaranteed)
The safety crew for the Jets last season was a mess. Marcus Maye was their best safety and he got hurt/injured, Lamarcus Joyner as well got hurt, Ashtyn Davis stinks and has been a wasted 3rd round selection, and Elijah Riley had hype but did not do much. The only safety that impressed me was Jason Pinnock when he changed positions from cornerback to safety. They had to make an addition in the offseason at safety, and they did that by signing Whitehead.
Whitehead was a strong part of the Buccaneers defense, and I was shocked he did not resign with the Buccaneers. He is solid in coverage, a hard hitter, and has strong awareness. He should be a strong part of the Jets defense and will absolutely be the starter for this defense.
S Jovante Moffatt - Signed a 2-year 1.9 million dollar contract (950 thousand guaranteed)
This is a solid addition as Moffatt showed promise with the Browns. He was on and off the active roster but was decent with the role he was given. but he mainly was brought in to help the Jets special teams and become a depth piece.
K Greg Zuerlein - Signed a 1 year 2.75 million dollar contract (1 million guaranteed)
The Jets have not had consistency at this position since Nick Folk left this team in 2016. They almost had it with Jason Myers, but for some reason, the Jets did not franchise tag him. Anyway, last year did not work as Matt Ammendola was a flop, and Alex Kessman was terrible. Eddie Pineiro showed promise last season but will have to battle Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein. Now It will be a close battle as you never know how kicker battles will go. Plus Greg Zuerlein has suffered a decline since he suffered that back injury years ago. It will be a battle to watch, but I really want the Jets to find the answer at the kicker position for next year.
2022 NFL Draft Class
CB Ahmad Sauce Gardner (1st Round 4th Overall)
The Jets desperately needed help at the Cornerback position badly. Excluding Bryce Hall, the Jets did not have a great cornerback on the roster last year. I mean Brandon Echols showed promise, but I don't see him as a number 1 shutdown cornerback. So we all knew one of the Jets 1st round picks was going to be at cornerback and it was going to be 4th overall. So I was not shocked the Jets decided to select Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. He has a ton of potential being a shutdown cornerback for the Jets and if he develops as projected, should be a big boost for the Jets secondary. He might even get the Number 1 corner spot if he impresses and is developing ahead of schedule.
WR Garrett Wilson (1st Round 10th Overall)
The Jets had to get Zach Wilson another target to throw to. Now, Elijah Moore has a lot of promise and Braxton Berrios impressed, but they are not number one receivers on this team. I would call Corey Davis a number 1 receiver, but he can’t stay healthy. Garrett Wilson is a nice choice at this spot and has potential as the #1 receiver on this team.
DE/EDGE Jermaine Johnson (1st Round 26th Overall)
Like I said when grading the 1st round of the draft, I could not believe how the Jets got Johnson 26th overall. Especially as there were talks that the Jets might be using him with the 4th overall pick. The Jets have had a need at DE/EDGE for multiple years. Carl Lawson was supposed to be the guy but injuries took him out. Johnson has a lot of tools that you want in a pass rusher including his technique, awareness, and tackling ability. With a healthy Carl Lawson along with Jermaine Johnson, the Jets pass rush should be a lot better.
RB Breece Hall (2nd Round 36th Overall)
If you were to tell me that the Jets RB Michael Carter, would have the projected best runningback in the 2022 NFL Draft class to be on the same team, I would have thought you were joking. The Jets making this pick at the time surprised me, but it made sense as Ty Johnson wasn’t great, Tevin Coleman is not the future, I mean La’Mical Perine is already out the door, and his career with the Jets is done. The Jets needed a dependable guy behind Carter and Hall can be that guy. If he develops as planned and Carter continues to shine, the Jets may have one of the best running back core’s in the NFL
TE Jeremy Ruckert (3rd Round 101st Overall)
Interesting that the Jets decided to go Tight End here after they signed Jack Conklin and CJ Uzomah. But overall I like the move, because like I said with Conklin and Uzomah, I really want the Jets to find a consistently good tight end since the Mickey Shuler years. Ruckert has a lot of tools you want in a tight end with a strong blocking technique, athleticism, and is a decent receiver. Hopefully he develops with the Jets and becomes the long term answer at tight end.
OT Max Mitchell (4th Round 111th Overall)
I will never complain about any team trying to bolster the offensive line. The only time I will ever hate a selection on the o-line is if the pick was a reach, which the Mitchell pick was not. The Jets with this pick is kind of an insurance option if Becton gets hurt and Mitchell can potentially fulfill his duties as the starter.It would not shock me if Mitchell became a rotational offensive lineman for the Jets, but he has a lot of potential as both a pass and run blocker.
DE/EDGE Michael Clemons (4th Round 117th Overall)
The Jets pass rush last season was abysmal when Carl Lawson went down. So the Jets earlier selected Jermaine Johnson, but they need depth pieces as well. Clemons can be a great player and has a lot of upside, but is a bit of a project player as he is a bit raw with his mechanics. But Clemons is a solid pick in the 4th round and hopefully, it pans out for the Jets.
The Jets made a lot of necessary signings and draft choices during the offseason. The best part of the Jets free agency moves is that GM Joe Douglas did not overspend on one player as Maccagnan and Idzik did. He spread out the money with multiple different signings. The big concern for me is if Zach Wilson is the guy at QB and if Robert Saleh is the guy as the head coach. I know it is their first year in the NFL and Wilson should get better with more protection on the offensive line, a strong run game, and good receivers to throw to. Many will think I am overreacting, but I don’t know about Robert Saleh as he made many questionable coaching decisions last season. I am very hyped to see how these offseason moves pan out for the Jets and hopefully, it all works out. One thing is for sure, the Jets should absolutely get more than 4 wins this upcoming season.