NFL free agency at this time of year is like playing Deal or No Deal. Players can accept the banker’s offer before free agency begins, or they can take a chance a huge payday and chase the case with the big money in free agency. This high stakes battle is where GM’s careers are made, but one bad contract can hamstring a franchise for years.
The Jets have a few needs to kick off this season. Running back and a pass rushing linebacker are the most glaring needs. Offensive tackle is also a need, especially if D’Brickashaw Ferguson does not agree to restructure his contract and winds up with his walking papers. Bringing in a tight end to play behind Jace Amaro is also going to have to be addressed somehow. What free agent could the Jets look to signing to fill these voids? Glad you asked…
Matt Forte RB-The Jets need for a running back is real. Three out of the four running backs on the roster are not under contract for 2016. If the Jets even thought about resigning Chris Ivory, why not go after for Forte for an extra $2 million a year. Ivory is looking to command $4 million a year, why not a three year $18-$20 million dollar contract for Forte? Forte was injured for a good part of last season, but has not really shown signs of slowing down. He is a top notch back in terms of catching balls out of the backfield something the Jets utilized during their five game win streak last season.
Bruce Irvin OLB-With the huge need for a pass rushing linebacker, and the departure of Demario Davis, the Jets may choose to offer Bruce Irvin a contract. Starting in 12 and appearing in 15 games last season, Irvin had 5.5 sacks. Tallying 22 sacks in his 4-year career, Irvin is the kind of linebacker the Jets could use. Irvin has shown interest in returning to the Seahawks, but offering him a five-year $30 million contract would perk up his ears.
Junior Galette OLB-Galette is a talent linebacker no question. He signed a one-year contract at the veteran’s minimum for the Redskins last year, but missed the entire season due to an Achilles injury suffered in preseason. He would more than likely sign the same deal, and that could be a good short-term answer. Going into 2015, Galette was coming off back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks totals. This might be the most inexpensive ways to fill a void.
Andre Smith OT-Smith once looked poised to become one of the most dominant tackles in the league. Coming off a triceps tear in 2014, and essentially a slump before that, the seven-year veteran may be someone worth looking at. Smith looking to prove that he still has it, and the Jets looking to get a bang for your buck type sign might be a match made in heaven. Would Smith be willing to entertain a two-year $10 million deal? It gives the Jets a chance to secure the tackle position for a couple of years while allowing Smith to show he can be dominate enough to command once last big money contract.
Antonio Gates TE-This one is the most far fetched, considering the current Jets cap situation. Gates has had an amazing career, and would be a fantastic mentor for Jace Amaro. Gates had five touchdowns in 11 games last season, and could still be a great red zone option. It would probably take a two-year $10 million deal to corral Gates, and at this point, that might be out of the Jets price range for the tight end position.