Recently on JetNation Radio Joel Corry from the National Football Post and CBSSports.com joined us to discuss free agent options for the New York Jets. As a former player agent Mr. Corry shared several interesting points that Gang Green will have to consider as the team approaches free agency.
How much will the Jets be willing to pay for a veteran quarterback? If Gang Green is looking to bring in a signal caller like Josh McCown it could cost the team $4-5 million on a one-year deal or something like 3 years for $20 million. Quarterbacks like Mike Vick or Matt Cassell could be looking for starter money which would be higher than McCown. Is the team ready to make that type of financial commitment to provide Geno Smith legitimate competition? Or will the Jets look to players like Shaun Hill, David Garrard, Colt McCoy, or Tarvaris Jackson to fill the backup role?
What to do with Antonio Cromartie?
Joel believes that the Jets should try to lower Cromartie's deal to approximately $5 million per season which would match the contract that cornerbacks Brent Grimes, Aquib Talib, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie received last year.
Now the question is whether or not Antonio will accept a lesser contract when there are several teams with significant cap space looking for defensive back help. A team like the Denver Broncos could offer Cromartie a solid deal and a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl ring.
Break the bank for a safety?
If the New York Jets are going to sign one of the premiere free agent safeties the team better be ready to go deep into their pockets. Mr. Corry believes that both Jairus Byrd and TJ Ward will want to be amongst the highest paid safeties in the NFL : $8-9 million per year with roughly $25 -30 million guaranteed. Are the New York Jets prepared to set the market for the safety position?
It is no secret that the Jets will be looking to upgrade the talent at the wide receiver position. The speculation is that Golden Tate will command a contract around $25.5 million over 4 years while Emmanuel Sanders will be in the $6 million per with $15 million guaranteed range.
Other options for the Jets include Jason Avant, Sidney Rice, Andre Roberts, Brandon LaFell, Hakeem Nicks, and Miles Austin (if released).
Tight end options
It appears to be a scarce tight end market for the Jets as Dennis Pitta resigned with the Ravens and Jimmy Graham received the franchise tag from the New Orleans Saints. Jermichael Finley is the top player available but there are serious concerns about his neck injury. After Finley Gang Green could consider Brandon Pettigrew, Scott Chandler, and John Carlson. An interesting player is Zach Miller who could be cut by the Seattle Seahawks according to Joel Corry.
Plenty of cap space
As you can see general manager John Idzik will have several tough decisions to make as he tries to upgrade the Jets roster. The one plus is that Idzik will have the benefit of significant cap space (could be up to $40 million) which will give the organization plenty of flexibility. It will be very interesting to watch the approach the Jets take in terms of aggressiveness.