With the legal tampering period opening on March 15, 2021, the New York Jets are expected to make some moves to boost the roster.
Here we’ll keep track of free agents signings, as well as resigning’s.
Free Agent Signings
Jarrad Davis (LB/Detroit)
The first move made by Joe Douglas was signing Jarrad Davis to a 1 year, $7 million dollar contract. This is a $5.5 million base, plus incentives. Davis at worst is a depth signings, considering the durability issues of Blake Cashman and C.J. Mosely. His role, however, is likely more of a replacement for Neville Hewitt. Davis outscored Hewitt in almost every metric by Pro Football Focus.
Corey Davis (WR/Tennessee)
Later in the evening, the New York Jets agreed to terms with former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis. For a team lacking at wide receiver depth, Davis should start week 1. At 6’3, 209, the large-bodied receiver is a complimentary piece. Standout slot receiver Jamison Crowder will be entering the last year of his contract, and so far has been the most consistent pass-catcher for the team.
The addition of Corey Davis will take the attention off Crowder, as well as the developing young star Denzel Mims. The goal should still be for Mims to develop into WR1 for the franchise, but Davis provides good security if things don’t pan out, or Mims has another season plagued with injury. The contract is 3 years worth $37.5 million.
Carl Lawson (DE/Cincinnati)
Originally it was believed the Jets would grab Saints EDGE Trey Hendrickson, but the two parties reportedly flirted around noon and nothing came from it. (Hendrickson is now in Cincinnati to replace Lawson). The 3 year $45 million dollar contract provides the Jets with true pass rusher they have been missing since Calvin Pace or John Abraham. The Jets interior defensive line was top-10 in the league with an ability to generate pressure, but was missing a solid edge defender to clean up. Considering safety Marcus Maye had has many sacks this season as the EDGE players for the Jets, there’s no wonder why the team couldn’t convert pressure into sacks.
Lawson finished last season with only 5.5 sacks, but with an IDL that couldn’t generate pressure the way Gang Green could. Despite this, Lawson finished second in the league in QB hits, and 4th in the league in total pressures. An edge defender was really the missing piece to this Jets front line. Despite this production last season, Lawson is now only the 17th highest paid EDGE.
Oh yea, and he’s only 26.
Justin Hardee (CB/ST/New Orleans)
After his introductory press conference, Hardee made one thing very clear: he’s a dog. The film will run that back too. It seemed social media associated with the Saints were upset at this loss, Hardee has been a standout special teams player for the gold and black. Now he brings that same dog-mentality to the New York Jets where Coach Saleh is trying to change the culture. Hardee is one of those guys.
Imagine him in a Matthew Slater-type role, contributing and dominating on special teams. He’s on a 3 year, $5.25 million deal. One thing is for sure- Brant Boyer is going to have a ton of fun with this signing.
Keelan Cole (WR/Jacksonville)
Signed to a 1 year, $5.5 million dollar deal, the addition of Cole adds another significant player to the Jets receiving core. Again, this room was decimated with injuries last year and the lack of depth quickly became apparent. Cole is a solid WR4 who has played both in the slot and outside. His catching ability, especially in contested situations, is top of the league.
Additionally, he played a fair amount of special teams for the Jaguars. A valuable, versatile grab.
Dan Feeney (OL/Los Angeles)
For a team in desperate need of an offensive line that, similar to the receiving core, was injury-riddled, Feeney provides some depth at the center and guard position. He took the most snaps this past season of an offensive lineman, per Pro Football Focus, and during that time allowed 2 penalties and 4 sacks.
Lamarcus Joyner (S/Las Vegas)
The Jets have agreed to a 1-year, $4.5 million deal with former Raiders defensive back Lamarcus Joyner. After spending the majority of the time in Vegas in the slot, and a career with the Rams at safety, Joyner brings a lot of versatility to the table. Even though the Jets still won the trade, Bradley McDougald was constantly injured, and when he wasn’t injured he was a liability.
While Ashtyn Davis develops, there’s a possibility Joyner moves to free safety, and the franchise tagged star Marcus Maye can move to his old college position at strong safety.
Vyncint Smith (WR)
Not a head-turning move. Smith only caught one pass last season after appearing in 7 games. He missed the beginning of the season on IR due to core-muscle surgery. The 6’3 wideout is a veteran player who will be going into his third season with the Jets, and provides depth and consistency compared to the revolving door of injured receivers last year.
Josh Adams (RB)
Signed to another one-year deal, Adams spent most of his time dancing between the active roster and practice squad. His most productive game this past season garnered 74 yards on the ground versus the Raiders. The 24 year old is the fourth back in a room consisting of La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson, and Pete Guerriero.
Jeff Smith (WR)
Similar to Vyncint Smith, another veteran depth signing for the wide receiver core.