New York Jets: 5 free agents to target in 2015


The 2014 season was likely make-or-break for head coach Rex Ryan, although his departure surely won’t be finalized until Black Monday. Despite the criticisms, Ryan had very little to work with this year, so it shouldn’t have been a shock that the New York Jets are sitting at 3-12, with one game remaining on the schedule. While the team does have a good nucleus of players on the defensive side of the ball, the offense has been a bismal since New York went to back-to-back AFC Championship games in Ryan’s first two seasons with the team (2009 and 2010).

With Ryan and likely general manager John Idzik gone, the Jets need to be very careful as to whom they decide on to manage this team going forward. This past week, owner Woody Johnson announced that NFL Network analyst and former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly would serve as a consultant if Rex Ryan and/or John Idzik were relieved of their duties. NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk confirmed Saturday that Casserly is contacting candidates to replace both Ryan and Idzik.

While New York has to sort out in the front office, the team itself needs to figure out what players to keep and what additions should be made in order to make the Jets a contender again. It all starts with the quarterback position, which the Jets have failed to find stability at since Ken O’Brien back in the 1980s. Of the free agents available this offseason, I don’t see any truly being worthy of the Jets adding to their team. Let’s take a look at a few value players that the New York Jets should add through free agency.

1 Brandon Flowers San Diego Chargers cornerback

On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback is undoubtably the Jets’ biggest area of need. This particular area was decimated with injuries this past season, and realistically wouldn’t have been spectacular had they not been hurt. Dee Milliner has the potential to turn into a good Pro corner, but this team needs experience, which Flowers would provide. In his seven seasons in the NFL, Flowers has recorded 20 interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Despite his short stature, he is a more than capable corner, with a very physical style of coverage.

2 Jeremy Maclin Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver

Although I find it unlikely that the Eagles will let go of a talent like Maclin, especially coming off of a very productive 2014 campaign, the idea of him joining the New York Jets is intriguing to say the least. If Maclin were to come to New York it would cost Gang Green a pretty penny, but after watching this team the past few years, having an overabundance of weapons on offense can’t be harmful. Maclin, Decker, and Harvin sounds like the making of an elite offense. Of course the Jets would still need to find a quarterback though. Marcus Mariota? Jameis Winston? We’ll hold off on that until we’re closer to the draft.

3 Jason Worilds Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker 

Since joining the Jets in 2008, Calvin Pace has recorded 43 sacks at the outside linebacker position. As productive as he has been though, he can’t play forever. Worilds, a New Jersey native, would be an excellent replacement for Pace, who still has another season or two left in the tank. While with the Steelers, Worilds has recorded 24.5 sacks. The ability to learn from someone like Pace would be very beneficial a player like Worilds, who is only 26 years old. Although Rex Ryan likely won’t be back as head coach, Worilds will have a strong supporting cast of players to help him make the transition into the league’s seventh best defense.

4 Mike Iupati San Francisco 49ers guard

New York has a need on the offensive line for sure. Guards Willie Colon and Oday Oboushi were average at best this past season, creating an even more difficult time for the Jets’ quarterbacks. Iupati is a proven commodity at the guard position, which will make him the most coveted free agent on the offensive line this offseason. He’s a three-time Pro Bowl lineman, as well as being named first team All-Pro in 2012. Whomever ends up being the starting quarterback in 2015 for the New York Jets would surely be content with Iupati leading the way up front, along with Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and company.

Rahim Moore Denver Broncos safety

While Flowers would be a much greater acquisition because of the team’s severe need for a Pro Bowl caliber cornerback, the Jets will certainly be looking to add another safety this offseason. Rookie Calvin Pryor can probably turn into a quality safety at the NFL level, but he still has a lot to learn. Antonio Allen had to transition to corner for much of the 2014 season, due to the injuries suffered by Milliner and Dexter McDougle, but he’s still a quality safety. Moore is a big, physical safety, who would pair very well with someone like Pryor. He has had eight interceptions in his four seasons with the Broncos, along with 20 passes defended.

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