The Jets had a boat load of money this free agency coming in around $90M, they had plenty of options to go with to continue building up this roster. They ultimately missed out on Kirk Cousins which might be a blessing in disguise – but the jury is still out on that. The Jets didn’t dole out one of those crazy contracts the top receivers were fetching on the market this year, instead they went out and locked up the most coveted cornerback that fits perfectly into Todd Bowles defense – Trumaine Johnson. Johnson a long press corner who is vastly underrated in my mind, he will come in and instantly continue to turn this secondary around with the help of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Maccagnan continued to re tool the defense when he decided to upgrade the front seven with the signing of Avery Williamson to play alongside Darron Lee. Avery is a young, athletic & physical linebacker who will fill in for Demario Davis flawlessly. I am impressed the Jets chose not to overpay for an almost 30 year old inside linebacker who had his best year as a pro in his contract year. We should fully expect Darron Lee to continue taking steps forward, if he can do that alongside Avery the Jets will have their best middle line-backing duo since the David Harris and Bart Scott days. Trumaine Johnson and Avery Williamson will be contributors on this defense right away for the next several years.
The one signing I am the most intrigued by is that of former Vikings quarterback – Teddy Bridgewater, can he resurrect his career and get back to being the quarterback he was before his gruesome knee injury. He is being brought in on an incentive based deal that obviously is determined by what he does on the field. I envision Teddy coming in highly motivated and ready to get a crack at the starting job this season. If he does wind up starting It would not surprise me at all if the Jets just roll with him and a rookie for the entire 2018 season. The Teddy signing brings up more questions than anything thus making it the most intriguing signing we’ve made this offseason. The remaining moves made from the likes of Spencer Long at center or Isaiah Crowell at running back are contract friendly deals for solid football players who will come in and contribute immediately.
Signing your own is always key to building out a successful roster – the handful of players the Jets resigned have all contributed already throughout last season and carved out roles for themselves. Josh McCown was the first domino to fall in Mike Maccagnan’s Plan “B” after Kirk Cousins signed with the Minnesota Vikings. McCown played very well last year and was a key piece to the rebuild from a locker room stand point. My expectation for him this season is to help lead this quarterback room with Bridgwater and our rookie. There is though a chance McCown is not on the roster come opening day depending if Bridgwater and the rookie convince coaches there all they’ll need – definitely something to keep an eye on as offseason programs begin.
As for Mike Pennel, Ben Ijalana, Xavier Cooper & Terrence Brooks these are all great “depth” signings that will round out the bottom half of the Jets roster. The last name to ink his return to the Green and White was Mo Claiborne who will come in and be our starting cornerback opposite Trumaine Johnson – a much better cornerback combo than what we had last year. Bringing back Mo was huge for us as he will now be relied on as our #2 corner, a spot I believe the Jets need him to be in order for this defense to take the next step forward. The concern with Claiborne is his durability of course as he finished last year banged up which resulted in his play to drop off slightly.
Each one of these guys being brought back will contribute for this team whether its on special teams, depth, or even a starting role. I am impressed so far with how Maccagnan has built and continues to build out the bottom of this roster with “role” players this team will need. I don’t believe he is finished bringing in players as we had wide receiver Terrelle Pryor formerly of the Redskins in on a visit yesterday and we will have wide receiver Allen Hurns in for a visit today.
Written by; Michael Barry – Creator of Home of the Jets