FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – A look at the events surrounding the New York Jets:
1. Joe design: An early takeaway in the free agent class from Joe Douglas: This is a general manager planning to smash the 2021 NFL draft. He believes this is the most prudent way to improve his talented squad.
He must be right or the misery in Gotham continues.
While the Jets signed eight players for $ 75 million in guarantees, nearly $ 20 million more than last year, it wasn’t “all gasoline, no brakes”. It certainly wasn’t (Bill) Belichickian either, with about $ 25 million salary left.
Douglas went on the defensive early and high on Carl Lawson and wide receiver Corey Davis, whom he identified as the best in their respective positions, but the rest of the class is filled with band aids. Part of the Jets fan base is nervous and watches big-name players fly off the board while the Jets sit on the corner with urgent needs, run back, play offensively, have a tight end and of course, quarterback.
The first five on the offensive line are left untouched, the same line that occupies 29th place in sack percentage, 31st place in print percentage, and 29th place in pass block win rate. They ran towards coveted security guard Joe Thuney, but he signed a recording deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. All-Pro-Center Corey Linsley would have been a nice addition that would have allowed them to get Connor McGovern on guard, but the Jets showed no interest and he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Your justification? The Jets believe McGovern is a better center than the guard where he would be isolated from the best pass rushers inside. They also saw an improvement in his game late last season. They believe the overall play of the line will improve in Coordinator Mike LaFleur’s zone blocking scheme, which can camouflage any shortcomings.
The offense is far from complete, even if Davis and Keelan Cole Sr. upgrade the reception corps. With nine draft picks, including three in the top 34, Douglas has a chance to remedy the situation. He can earn more draft capital by trading with quarterback Sam Darnold, but there is already enough draft capital to find several starters.
The offensive line looks different when you add Oregon tackle Penei Sewell or USC guard Aliyah Vera-Tucker. The guns get a boost with Florida Tight End Kyle Pitts or Clemson runs back Travis Etienne. This is the Douglas strategy: fill in the gaps in the free agency, build the core through the draft. Douglas has remained true to this philosophy more than any of its predecessors.
But what about those extremely aggressive New England Patriots? Relax. The Jets didn’t have to go on a Belichick-esque shopping spree because they have a resource the Patriots don’t – an abundance of design capital. And Douglas plans to get the most out of it. He’d do better.
Chris Canty says the Jets calling for Sam Darnold prove they are not fully committed to him as a franchise quarterback.
2nd dollar bill: Don’t say the jets aren’t spending any money. The numbers are constantly changing, but the Jets’ $ 75 million spending ranks fourth in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Belichick’s Patriots have paid out warranties of $ 156 million, the New York Giants in second place with $ 97 million, and the Jacksonville Jaguars with $ 82 million.
The Jets laid most of their eggs in two baskets, Lawson and Davis.
3. Core story: An AFC scout told me he believed Davis would make a smooth transition to the Jets’ offense because it was similar to that of the Tennessee Titans. In Tennessee, he posted good numbers for game action in 2020 – 26 catches for 544 yards, an average of 20.9. It was effective on intersection routes beyond the linebackers. The Jets plan to make game actions a large part of their offense. One great stat about Davis: For the past three seasons, the Titans’ quarterbacks have intercepted while aiming at him.
4. On the edge: Got a film degree through Lawson and was impressed with his breakout in the field. It has closing speed and the Jets haven’t had such a player in a while. One wonders why he only had 5.5 sacks last season, including two cover sacks and two against 39-year-old leftist Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles. At one game, he made Peters look silly and hit him with a twisting motion that turned him around.
Lawson played the right ending for the Cincinnati Bengals, at times almost in a wide-9 technique – which makes him a scheme that fits into coach Robert Saleh’s defense. I wouldn’t describe him as strongly against the escape, but that didn’t make him a $ 30 million guarantee. He’s paid to influence the quarterback. He has to be a double digit sack to justify his massive contract. Talent assessors love their advantage.
– New York Jets (@nyjets) March 20, 2021
5. Big, big money: Let’s put Lawson’s contract into perspective. Based on warranties, it is the fifth largest company in the world after CJ Mosley ($ 43 million), Darrelle Revis ($ 39 million), Muhammad Wilkerson ($ 37 million), and Trumaine Johnson ($ 34 million) Franchise history. It’s fair to say the last three didn’t work out; Everyone had a five-year contract, but it only lasted two years.
6. Here’s a kick: This might come as a surprise considering they already have Sam Ficken and Chase McLaughlin. (Or maybe it’s no surprise because … well, it’s Ficken and McLaughlin.) But the Jets have been quietly dealing with free-agent kickers. There aren’t many left on the market.
7th corner market: The jets hope for a cornerback with a starting caliber. The biggest name is Richard Sherman, but I would be surprised if that happens. Douglas will again rely on the draft for long-term solutions. They were also interested in security / linebacker Keanu Neal, but he settled on the Dallas Cowboys.
8.Medium men: The addition of linebacker Jarrad Davis has fueled speculation about Mosley, whose squad spot looks shaky. Yes, the Jets are open to trading with him, a source said, but that’s going to be difficult because he owes $ 14 million in guarantees over the next two seasons.
The Jets believe Davis can thrive as a middle linebacker in their 4-3 scheme, which emphasizes lateral movement over the downhill style of the 3-4. Its speed attracted the jet trainers. (He’s faster than Mosley, but slower than Neville Hewitt according to tracking data.) They also believe he has positional flexibility and could slide to one of the outer points, but that could be a stretch. Statistically, he’s terrible at reporting. In 366 reporting snaps over the past two years, he allowed 39 closings and two touchdowns on 50 goals as the next defender according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Mosley’s cap fee is a manageable $ 7.5 million, but it means that there is $ 13 million tied up with two players in the same position.
9.High praise for Hardee: Justin Hardee’s addition didn’t make big headlines, but he will make the specialty teams better, according to former longtime specialty teams coordinator Mike Westhoff. He coached the New Orleans unit in 2017 and 2018, Hardee’s first two seasons. He said Hardee was so good as a shooter in 2018 that “he could have gone to the Pro Bowl”.
Westhoff remembered Hardee’s persistence in practice as the cornerback of the Scout team, battling star-wide receiver Michael Thomas every day.
“There was something to be seen; they would get into fistfights,” Westhoff said with a laugh. “I think he helped make Michael Thomas a better football player.”
Hardee suffered an infamous moment during his four years in the Big Easy; He was killed on the wrong boat on the Los Angeles Rams in the 2018 NFC championship game. As a shooter, Hardee gave pillows and stepped back on Sam Shields too quickly, leaving him open to a pass from Punter Johnny Hekker. Westhoff took the blame, saying he directed Hardee to play the wrong technique.
Westhoff called it a “good pick up” by the jets.
10. Last word: “I looked up a few things about coach Saleh on YouTube. I’ve heard from him all over the league and I’ve seen him take the job here. I’ve watched some of his interviews and just got away with how impressive he was, the message He was preaching. Even on a video, I felt like he was talking to me. That was in the back of my mind. It kind of started there. “- Lawson of his decision to pick the jets.