By: Anthony Russo
Prior to free agency, the New York Jets made several cuts primarily to their veteran players in an effort to start rebuilding their team. The highest salary players that were cut were offensive lineman Nick Mangold, cornerback Darelle Revis, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and kicker Nick Folk.
By cutting several players, the Jets cleared over $30M of cap space for free agency. On the first day of free agency they didn’t sign any new talent but they re-signed left tackle, Ben Ijalana, to a two year, $11M contract. The Jets also tendered center Wesley Johnson along with cornerback Marcus Williams.
On the second day of free agency, the Jets signed former Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Cantanzaro and former Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Kelvin Beachum to a three year $24M contract.
According to Rich Cimini, Jets columnist for ESPN, the Jets might not be finished making cuts. He mentioned Marcus Gilchrist, Calvin Pryor, Eric Decker, Buster Skrine and Sheldon Richardson could be in danger of losing their “roster spots” in an article. Cimini also said the Jets have been trying to trade Richardson, due to his off field conduct and their surplus of defensive lineman.
Cimini said the Jets might try to sign more players. He said the Jets have interest in New England Patriots linebacker, Dont’a Hightower. Cimini compared him to a younger version of current Jets linebacker, David Harris, calling Hightower one of the better linebackers in the NFL.
Cimini followed up in his article and said if the Jets are able to agree to terms with Hightower, it would likely mean the end of Harris’ career with the Jets.
The Jets’ quarterback situation, in which they have third year pro, Bryce Petty and second year pro, Christian Hackenberg under contract. Throughout Petty and Hackenburg’s NFL careers they’ve combined for just 4 NFL starts.
The Jets, according to Adam Schefter, have expressed interest in Jay Cutler. The Jets have an experienced quarterback free agent in their 2013 second round pick, Geno Smith.
Smith lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick due to a broken jaw sustained in 2015 and later tore his ACL in 2016.
Smith could remain a possibility for the Jets to re-sign due to their inexperienced quarterbacks, pushing Petty and Hackenburg to try to outperform him.
Colin Kaepernick is another quarterback prospect for the Jets, who vowed to sit during the national anthem until “meaningful change” towards oppression occurs. Kaepernick, who just opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, will now reportedly stand for the flag.
Kaepernick will now stand for the flag, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, is that several teams have indicated they would not consider signing him if he continued to sit for the national anthem.
The Jets could wait until the draft and pick one of the top ranked quarterbacks, Mitch Tribusky or Deshaun Watson, if they’ve given up on either Petty or Hackenburg.