By Anthony Dyce
Published: April 10th, 2019
The New York Jets put their faith in General Manager Mike Maccagnan this offseason by giving him a second chance while firing head coach Todd Bowles. Ownership was making it clear that they believed in Maccagnan because he has the right plan for the team, by drafting Quarterback Sam Darnold and a handful of other impact players like Safety Jamal Adams. The good news is that the Jets don’t have to worry about the QB position this offseason but fill out other roster spots.
The Jets entered free agency with nearly $100 million in salary cap space and were very active in pursuing free agents and resigning their own. This offseason is one of the most important in recent Jets franchise history, as they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010.
Here are the signings the Jets made so far:
Maccagnan biggest move of the offseason was signing Running Back Le’Veon Bell. This was a win for Maccagnan and the Jets. Bell was the best player on the market and perfect weapon to help QB Sam Darnold. It was no secret the Jets were interested in signing Bell and the only team to offer him the contract he desired. He signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $25 million guaranteed, this is a relative steal because they didn’t have to overpay for the position. If things don’t work out, Bell could be cut in year three without the Jets receiving repercussions from the contract. This move has no risk but high reward because Bell instantly becomes the Jets best offensive player since Curtis Martin.
The Jets signed Linebacker CJ Mosley to a five-year, $85 million contract which includes $51 million guaranteed. The Jets added a four-time Pro Bowl player and arguably one of the best linebackers in the league. Jets overpaid for Mosley, making him the highest-paid linebacker in league history. He’ll be a huge upgrade over Darron Lee, who is now expendable. Maybe they did overpay for him, but they had to be aggressive through free agency.
The Jets signed Wide Receiver Jamison Crowder to a three-year deal worth $28.5 million which includes $17 million guaranteed. Darnold has a true slot receiver, something new coach Adam Gase loves in his offense. The 5-foot-9 Crowder provides Darnold with a shifty, speedy target in the middle of the field. The Jets had to be aggressive to add another weapon to make this offense click.
The signing of wide receiver/special teamer Josh Bellamy was a good, low-risk deal for special teams. Bellamy signed to a two-year contract for $7 million but can be cut after one season. He projects as the fourth receiver for depth.
The signing of Brian Poole addressed the Cornerback problem for the Jets. They were fairly desperate for cornerback help after losing Buster Skrine and deciding to not sign back Morris Claiborne. Poole projects as Skrine’s replacement as the slot corner. He signed a one- year, $3.5 million contract.
The Jets signed QB Trevor Siemian, who agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract. He provides experienced backup for Sam Darnold and mentorship, something the team needs with QB Josh McCown still mulling his future.
Trading for Offensive Guard Kelechi Osemele, the Jets flipped a fifth-round pick and sixth-round pick to the Raiders. The Jets get a two-time Pro Bowl OG. He fills a massive hole on their offensive line and allows them to stay out of what was a weak free-agent market for offensive linemen. The deal was a steal.
The Jets re-signed place-kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who kicked for them in 2017. It’s a one-year deal worth $2.3 million. He fills a need for the Jets, who let Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers leave the building as a free agent.
Resigning Defensive End Henry Anderson who played well last season for the team and brought him back for three years, $25.2 million and $17 million guaranteed. He earned his contract by leading the team in seven sacks tied with Jordan Jenkins. Pass-rushers are premium so they get overpaid nowadays.
Resigning Cornerback Darryl Roberts by giving him a three-year deal worth $18 million with $4 million guaranteed. The money indicates that the Jets see him as a starter opposite to Trumaine Johnson. He did start 10 games last season and played well. There’s no harm in this signing.
Overall, the Jets did well in their free agent signings. Maccagnan landed Bell the best free agent on the market. Bell is an elite running back, he provides a security blanket for Sam Darnold and running game that is needed in their offense. They added another weapon on offense and difference maker on defense while the other signings filled a need. The Jets and GM Mike Maccagnan made some good moves but they still have work to do.