New York Jets: 2014 Free Agency

Jets let Ro-Cro leave without deal

March, 15, 2014
Mar 15
The cornerback-needy New York Jets visited Saturday with Denver Broncos free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but he left without a deal and headed to meet with the New York Giants, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter. Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to huddle Sunday with the Giants.

The Jets want Rodgers-Cromartie, thought to be the best man-to-man corner left on the open market, but they couldn't come to an agreement. It would be tough losing him and doubly tough if they lose him to the Giants.

After a few big contracts early in free agency, the cornerback market has slowed down. Rodgers-Cromartie reportedly turned down a six-year, $54 million contract from the Broncos ($24 million in the first three years), so that should give you an idea of his asking price.

The Jets have to replace Antonio Cromartie, whom they released last Sunday for cap considerations. He has said he'd like to return to the Jets.

What we learned on Day 3 of free agency

March, 14, 2014
Mar 14
A few takeaways on a quiet day for the New York Jets:

1. Is there a plan at cornerback?: The most alarming development so far is the gaping hole at cornerback. The Jets have yet to replace Antonio Cromartie, who is on an overnight visit with the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets have watched as five top corners, including that guy Revis, signed with other teams. On Thursday, Captain Munnerlyn, who was on the Jets' radar, signed a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Rex Ryan, whose defensive scheme is predicated on man-to-man coverage on the perimeter, has to be feeling a bit nervous. If the Jets had to play today, the starters would be Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson. What about a Cromartie reunion? The Jets didn't try to renegotiate before cutting him -- telling. Their best bet might be Cromartie's talented, but enigmatic cousin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

2. Shrinking market: Things have settled down after two days of crazy spending around the league. Now it's a buyer's market, and there are bargains to be had. Of course, the true difference makers are all gone. The Jets continue to talk with Brandon Pettigrew, whom one AFC scout described as "an average to better-than-average starting Y tight end" -- meaning a conventional, in-line tight end. They also remain interested in wide receiver James Jones, another complementary player. The've also been linked to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Let's see if John the Deliberate (Idzik, that is) can find some good values in the second wave.

3. All hands on Decker: It's official: Eric Decker signed his five-year, $36.25 million contract, which includes a guaranteed $15 million in the first two years.

4. Scout's take on Breno: Former Seattle Seahawks right tackle Breno Giacomini, whom the Jets signed to replace Austin Howard, is a bit of a mystery man. An AFC personnel executive assessed him this way: "He's a serviceable starter. He can function, but he's not a world beater. He just does his job." Asked to compare Giacomini to Howard, the executive said, "(Giacomini) is a little different. He has a different body build and more movement skills. He's not as strong or heavy bodied. He's a better foot athlete, with less power. He's a little stiff, but competes."

5. No movement on the QB front: It's quiet, almost too quiet. One noteworthy development: Former St. Louis Rams backup Kellen Clemens, an ex-Jet, signed with the San Diego Chargers. St. Louis could be a potential landing spot for Mark Sanchez, whose first coordinator with the Jets, Brian Schottenheimer, runs the Rams' offense. The Jets have until March 25 to make a decision on Sanchez.

6. Quote of the day: Leger Douzable, a relatively anoymous backup defensive lineman, spoke to reporters to comment on re-signing with the Jets. "I feel like we are going to be the best D-line in the league this year," he said. Sounds like he's excited to be sticking around.

Ranking the Jets' free agents

January, 6, 2014
Jan 6
The Jets, who suffered major losses last year in free agency, should have an easier time in 2014. In fact, only four starters and one specialist are due to become unrestricted free agents. We ranked them in order of priority:

1. Austin Howard, right tackle -- $2.02 million in 2013 salary

2. Nick Folk, kicker -- $780,000

3. Jeff Cumberland, tight end -- $1.32 million

4. Calvin Pace, outside linebacker -- $1.0 million

5. Willie Colon, right guard -- $1.16 million

6. Leger Douzable, defensive tackle -- $715,000

7. Ed Reed, safety -- $940,000

8. Ellis Lankster, cornerback -- $585,000

9. Vladimir Ducasse, guard -- $630,000

10. Kellen Winslow, tight end -- $840,000

Analysis: In reality, it should be a two-man list -- Howard and Folk. Cumberland still hasn't reached his ceiling, so he'd be worth bringing back if the price is right. Pace has value if he agrees to another one-year deal. There will be no tears shed if any of the others leave; they're interchangeable parts. Colon's situation is complicated by biceps surgery.

Other UFAs: David Garrard, quarterback ($1 million); Isaiah Trufant, cornerback ($555,000); Josh Mauga, linebacker ($730,000); Josh Cribbs, kick returner ($840,000); Aaron Berry, cornerback ($700,000); Lex Hilliard, fullback ($715,000); Darius Reynaud, kick returner ($715,000); Jermaine Cunningham, linebacker ($630,000).

Restricted free agents: Garrett McIntyre, linebacker ($555,000); Nick Bellore, linebacker ($555,000); Darrin Walls, cornerback ($555,000); Konrad Reuland, tight end ($480,000).