Home News Positions Jets need to address when free agency begins next week

Positions Jets need to address when free agency begins next week

The time for speculation is almost over.

On Monday at noon ET, the NFL’s legal tampering period will be the unofficial start of free agency. That is when teams can enter contract negotiations with unrestricted free agents. Contracts can be agreed to during this period, but they can’t be signed before the beginning of the new league year on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The Jets are expected to be active in free agency after finishing 7-10 for the second consecutive year last season following Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles tear four plays into the season opener. This led to owner Woody Johnson telling reporters last month at the NFL Honors award show in Las Vegas, “We have to do a lot better than seven wins.”

Entering free agency, Gang Green has $27.5 million of salary cap space. They could free up more money by trading Zach Wilson and restructuring a few contracts.

Before the legal tampering period begins, here are the positions the Jets should address this offseason:


It’s no secret the Jets have to improve their offensive line this offseason.

In 2023, the Jets used 14 different offensive line combinations in 17 games, which led the league. The prior season, 11 different players started at least one game.

With Rodgers, 40, returning from a torn Achilles, the Jets offensive line is even more of a glaring weakness. Gang Green will need at least three new starters on the line and extra insurance if and when injuries occur.

Who the Jets decide to target in free agency could depend on where Alijah Vera-Tucker plays next season. He has been a Swiss Army knife for the Jets since he was drafted in the first round in 2021. Vera-Tucker has played every offensive line position other than center.

If Vera-Tucker remains at guard, then the Jets will be in the market for two tackles and a guard. But if they move the 24-year-old to right tackle, the Jets would need a left tackle and two guards.

Dolphins guard Robert Hunt, and Patriots guard Mike Onwenu could be two potential targets. Hunt was one of the better guards in the NFL last season. In 11 games, he allowed just one sack and committed two penalties on a Dolphins offense that led the league in yards per game (401.3).

Signing Onwenu would benefit the Jets because he is one of the more versatile linemen in the league. During his four seasons with the Patriots, Onwenu has taken snaps at left guard, right guard and right tackle. In 850 snaps last year, Onwenu allowed three sacks and committed four penalties.


The Jets dropped the ball at backup quarterback last season. Instead of securing a better contingency plan in case Rodgers was injured, the Jets decided Wilson would be the backup quarterback, which was a complete disaster.

Now that the Jets are planning for life after Wilson, it is time for them to find a more adequate backup. Ryan Tannehill (Titans), Jacoby Brissett (Commanders), and Gardner Minshew (Colts) are likely at the top of the Jets’ backup quarterback wish list. Tyrod Taylor (Giants) or Jimmy Garoppolo (Raiders), assuming he gets released, could also be potential options.


Almost a year ago, the Jets signed Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million contract, hoping he could be a strong second option to Garrett Wilson. But Gang Green still needs another receiver following Lazard’s disappointing 23-catch, 311-yard season in 2023.

A player who makes sense is Cardinals wideout Marquise Brown. He would provide a speed threat for Rodgers and the offense. Having a weapon like Brown, would take pressure off Wilson and running back Breece Hall, who defenses will likely key on.

Brown’s numbers have declined the last two seasons after his 91 catches, 1,008 yards and six touchdown season in 2022. Because of that, Brown could come at a cheaper price.


With Solomon Thomas, Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson all free agents, defensive tackle has become a priority for the Jets.

They could wait until the draft to address this need. But if Gang Green goes the free agent route, Browns defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. could be a solid veteran option.

After playing 15 games during the last two years, injuries have been a big problem with Hurst. But when he does play, Hurst has been equally great rushing the passer and in run defense.


Jordan Whitehead, Ashtyn Davis, and Chuck Clark will be free agents. Even if the Jets were to bring one or two of those players back, they would likely still be in the market for another safety.

The Seahawks released Quandre Diggs on Wednesday after he was scheduled to have a cap hit of $21.2 million. Last season, Diggs registered 95 tackles and an interception in 17 games for Seattle.

The Seahawks also released Jamal Adams earlier this week, but don’t expect a reunion with the Jets.


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