The Jets declined the team options Tuesday on three defensive backups — nose tackle Mike Pennel, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and safety Terrence Brooks.
The moves created about $5.5 million in salary-cap space, leaving the Jets a little more than $100 million under the cap. They also have a league-low 39 players under contract, so there is a lot of work to be done in free agency.
Jet Free Agents-Keep’em Or Not
Decision time is coming for the Jets and the rest of the NFL. Here is my take on the Jets free agents.
Jonotthan Harrison, C
Keep him! Sign him and give him a raise. You know my thoughts on offensive lineman. We need as many good ones as possible. Harrison started the final 8 of 9 games at center last year and I though he did a very good job. In fact the year before I couldn’t understand why he didn’t play more instead of Wesley Johnson. Love for Harrison to diversify and learn the guard position. He can become very valuable.
Josh McCown, QB
Don’t keep him! Mccown will be 40 years old. He has been a good Jet for two years though when Darnold went down, it was obvious that Josh can’t play anymore. He has been a great mentor for Darnold and if there is some way the Jets can keep him as an assistant quarterbacks coach, I would do it.
Henry Anderson, DE
Keep him! He tied for the team-lead in sacks with seven and was a disruptive force. He is 27 and I would disregard the talk that he is not a fit in Gregg Williams’ defense. The Jets don’t have any pass rushers knocking the door down to play for them.
Buster Skrine, CB
Don’t Keep him. This cornerback has driven Jet fans crazy with his untimely penalties. He showed he can be a pretty good blitzer but he’ll be 30 in April and the Jets need someone who can stay with Edelman in the slot.
Morris Claiborne, CB
Not sure! He made some great plays this past year and looked like the player people thought he would become when he was chosen the 6th player in the draft. On the other hand some of his penalties left Jet fans scratching their head. For a great athlete, he looked so un-athletic at times it was crazy. What ever the Jets do, I wouldn’t give him more than a one-year contract which would make it his third in a row.
Jason Myers, K
Keep him! I say that but he may want to cash in on his Pro Bowl season. If he prices himself out of the market, let him go. Remember the Jets got him off waivers and kickers are so hot and cold I never like to commit a huge contract to one.
Jermaine Kearse, WR
Don’t keep him! Nice guy and good receiver but he made too many clumsy plays this season. The Jets have got to get younger and faster. Kearse is just not a burner.
Neville Hewitt, LB
Keep him! Hewitt was very active the last 4 games of the year filling in for Darron Lee. If you gave me a choice between the two, I’d take Hewitt. Adam Gase had him in Miami and cut him once but all I know is #46 was on my screen a lot in the last 4 games he played.
Brandon Copeland, OLB
Keep him! Like Hewitt, Copeland made plays when he was on the field. He had 5 sacks for the Jets. He has been around the NFL since 2013 with the Jets being his 4th team. This Ivy league product from the University of Pennsylvania can be a solid player off the bench.
Darryl Roberts, CB
Keep him! If I had a choice, I’d keep him over Trumaine Johnson which will never happen. This CB who also played safety showed some talent. A former 7th round pick by the “dark side” Roberts was late for a meeting or more and was benched the last game of the season.
Bilal Powell, RB
Keep him! Everyone says he is gone. If he comes back 100% from his injury, why would the Jets cut this vastly underrated pro? All he does is run hard, catch passes, block and is a great locker room guy. Powell can be a very good spot player. And if the Jets upgrade their offensive line, I’d love to see how effective he can be.
Steve McLendon, NT
Don’t Keep him. At 33 years old this mountain of a man is just not as effective as he once was. The Jets need a huge upgrade here!
James Carpenter, G
Keep him! He is probably gone. But after losing Spencer Long (he played well at guard) and until I see a plan and the Jets pursue offensive lineman, I would keep him but leave the final decision up to new offensive line coach Frank Pollack. I’ve said for two years that Carpenter would play much better if he lost 15 lbs.
Other free agents:
OL Ben Ijalana, OL -Don’t Keep Him.
Brent Qvale,-Don’t Keep Him.
OL Dakota Dozier-Keep him,
TE Neal Sterling,-Keep him
S Rontez Miles, Don’t Keep Him.
OLB Josh Martin,Don’t Keep Him.
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu,Don’t Keep Him.
LB Emmanuel Lamur Don’t Keep Him.
WR Rishard Matthews.Don’t Keep Him.
Jets Long Shot Receivers To Root For!
I’m one of the only people who really think that Robby Anderson can develop into a #1 receiver. He has the size and the speed. If he has the desire to master his craft like a Julian Edelman and perfect his route running, and maybe stay off the road in the off season, he has the potential to be an All-Pro. It is all up to him. Some Jet fans want them to sign Antonio Brown. This would be a huge mistake. The interesting thing about wide receivers, if you have a good eye and patience, you can get one on the cheap. There is story after story about wide receivers that go un-drafted or switch positions to (receiver) and make it. Every team is looking for these type of players so they don’t have to spend draft picks and millions for established players like Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. (me thinks he will be an ex-Giant soon). Look at Adam Thielen of the Minnesota Vikings. He was an un-drafted free agent who did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine. In the last two years Thielen has caught 204 passes for 2,649 yards and 13 TDs. Very impressive. Mike Maccagnan has been doing pretty good getting receivers in the later rounds or in free agency. Quincy Enunwa was a 6th round pick. Chris Herndon was a 4th round pick and Robby Anderson was an un-drafted free agent. And now the Jets just signed two other wide receivers in the last month that are both very interesting stories. The players are Tim White and DeAngelo Yancey. Both were signed to future reserve contracts and will be busting their butts to make the 53-man roster. I’m not a betting man but I would say one of the two will make the Jets. DeAngelo Yancey was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 175th overall selection. Tim White signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an un-drafted free agent in 2017. We’ll look at each one but first the money difference for practice squad players and roster players is night and day. In 2018 practice squad players were paid a minimum of $7,600 per week, which equates to $129,200 for the season. The NFL minimum salary in 2019 will be $495,000 which is almost 4X as much. So the money motivation is there for the player(s) if they have the ability and the desire.
Full disclosure that I have been a Tim White fan going back to his days at Arizona State University. His is one of those typical stories you hear about an athlete who works his way through horrible conditions. Growing up in the LA area, White actually walked round trip 16 miles each day to school and back. His days started at 5:30 AM. He was one of nine brothers and sisters in a family that was homeless for stretches of his childhood. His brother, Elwood who Tim was very close to was unfortunately shot to death in 2012. Where his bothered strayed into a life of gangs, Tim escaped through sports he became a dual sport athlete in both track and football (started in only his junior year) in high school. He went to a junior college and in two years at ASU, he had 3,381 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs. He is slightly built at 5 feet 10, 181 pounds. But why this story is a little different from similar ones you and I hear is that this former 2016 Olympic trials participant not only worked hard on the athletic field but he actually took a loving to scholastics and eventually took pride to get better grades instead of just depending on football. In addition to being a potential slot receiver, White returns punts and kickoffs. I’ve seen him at his best and he is explosive. His chance to wear the new Jet uniform this Fall is very small but as a Jet fan and ASU alumni, I’m rooting for Tim White to be a New York Jet.
Collegiate triple-jumper with good speed and great explosiveness. Plays fast when attacking down the field. Early accelerator off the line of scrimmage and runs with a smooth gait. Has ability to hit second gear and climb over cornerback. Tape shows a quality ball tracker able to adjust his route and body to the throw. Has unusually large hands for his size. Bouncy feet help trigger quick escapes when challenged by press corners. Operates with good foot quickness in and out of his breaks with a whip route that can put cornerbacks in a trailing position. Talented return man with two years of experience as both a kick and punt returner at Arizona State.
Tim White Highlights
DeAngelo Yancey was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 175th overall selection. He is from Georgia and was never considered a five star football player and only ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. Yancey was one of the state's top sprinters. He got a scholarship to Purdue and during his career there he played in 39 games and caught 141 passes for 2,344 yards and 20 touchdowns. While with the Packers, Yancey had players like Devante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson ahead of him on the depth chart plus a quarterback that was calling most of the shots on offense. He spent part of last season on the Packers practice squad but was released in October. Like Tim White, Yancey seems to have some kind of maturity that has inspired him to work at his craft. It is a tough climb to make an NFL roster and tomorrow the Jets could say good-bye to both. But these are the type of players you hope will make the best of any chance to make it in the NFL. Let’s hope the Jets got something here!
A good player on a bad team, DeAngelo Yancey has the size and speed to fight for a spot in the NFL. Averaged 19.4 yards per touch his senior season. He's a vertical threat with the stride and long speed to take defenses over the top. With his size, Yancey can go up and get 50/50 balls and has the length to be a threat in contested situations. Yancey's top-end speed and range are eye-catching and his 10 touchdowns in 2016 provided him the film to show teams what he can do as a developmental prospect.
Walter Cherepinsky has been running Walter Football for years! Walter Football is one of the best draft sites around. I have been following them forever. The brilliance of Walter Football is the yearly update on every prospect. No detail is left out! If you love the draft like Green Rewind’s Ralph Sharaga, Ray Clifford and myself, you have to check out www.WalterFootball.com!
1. Knowing the Jets have $99+ million in cap space and their weaknesses, where and on who would you spend the money on?
The Jets must upgrade the offensive line, first and foremost. They need to protect Sam Darnold. There are some quality blockers available on the market like center Matt Paradis, guard Rodger Saffold and right tackle Ja'Wuan James. I'd like to see the Jets obtain at least one of them, then perhaps another somewhat lesser offensive lineman.
2. The talk here is NY is that the Jets may pursue Le'Veon Bell in free agency. Is this a good move?
I would not pursue Le'Veon Bell. He wants too much money, and teams aren't going to get the same player as before, at least not for the long term. Bell is also a bad guy to have in the locker room. Running backs grow on trees, so overpaying for a runner seems like a bad idea to me.
3. Is this year a strong draft?
This is not a strong draft. It was expected to be strong, but several players returned to school, while others like Deionte Thompson and Bryce Love have seen their draft stock plummet for various reasons. The 2020 draft class looks excellent.
4. The Jets have tons of holes to fill especially at: offensive line, edge pass rusher, wide receiver and cornerback. How do these positions rank as far as strength in this year’s draft?
This is the year to get an edge rusher, and the Jets should be able to obtain either Josh Allen or Nick Bosa with their first pick. Edge rusher is strong, while the other positions are medium to slightly sub par in terms of strength.
5. Things may change but right now, give Jets fans 3 players in each round that the Jets should consider knowing where they pick?
The first pick should be one of Allen, Bosa or Quinnen Williams. Round 3 could be a receiver like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a cornerback like Saivion Smith or a running back like Darrell Henderson. Round 4 could be an interior lineman like Ross Pierschbacher, a cornerback like Sean Bunting or a running back like Wes Hills. In Round 5, the Jets could take a receiver like Keelan Doss, an edge rusher like Ben Banogu or a running back like Alex Barnes. In Round 7, the Jets could take a cornerback like Alijah Holder, an edge rusher like Nate Hall or a tackle like Bobby Evans.
6. Everyone is looking for the next Brady situation getting a steal in the late rounds. What players are teams overlooking who are slated as late round picks or un-drafted free agents?
Some late-round sleepers include an edge rusher like Penn State's Shareef Miller, who has plenty of upside and a frame to pack on some muscle, and cornerback Jimmy Moreland, who is a very instinctive cornerback from James Madison who will likely play in the slot.
7. I am hoping that the Jets trade back with one of the teams looking for a quarterback. What do you see the chances of that happening and how do you rate this year’s QB class?
I could definitely see that happening, most likely with the Redskins or Dolphins. This quarterback class is not very good. The 2020 and 2021 quarterback classes will be far better.
8. Are there any division 2 or 3 players the Jets should look at?
John Cominsky from Charleston (Division II) would be a solid choice in the fifth round. He looked great at the East-West Shrine Game.
9. Do you see any players especially QBs that might have a chance at another position in the NFL?
This may sound crazy, but Kyler Murray is too short to be a quarterback, so if he fails at the position, he would be a great receiver/offensive weapon, but he'd likely go to baseball if he were to fail at quarterback. Buffalo's Tyree Jackson is another quarterback who could move to receiver.
10. When do you think Kyle Murray will be picked?
I think Murray will be taken in the top 15. Every team Charlie and I have spoken to believes Murray should be a second-round pick, but will go in the first because he's a hot name.
What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Brian Costello, NY Post
The 2019 Jets are going to look drastically different than their 2018 counterparts. Adam Gase and a nearly entire new coaching staff is in place, but the roster also will be much different. The Jets have 23 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 13, or 43 percent of their 53-man roster. It is a big number, and it will be interesting to see how many of them re-sign with the Jets. Gang Green already took care of locking up their priority on the free-agent list with a four-year, $36 million extension for wide receiver Quincy Enunwa in December. Now, general manager Mike Maccagnan must comb through his other free agents and get evaluations from Gase and his staff to see who is worth keeping and to whom they should wave goodbye…..They have one notable restricted free agent — wide receiver Robby Anderson, who should be in line for a second-round tender.
2019 NFL Draft Order
*Asterik next to teams that might draft QBs
Rnd. Pick # NFL team
1 1 Arizona Cardinals *
1 2 San Francisco 49ers
1 3 New York Jets
1 4 Oakland Raiders *
1 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
1 6 New York Giants *
1 7 Jacksonville Jaguars *
1 8 Detroit Lions
1 9 Buffalo Bills
1 10 Denver Broncos *
1 11 Cincinnati Bengals *
1 12 Green Bay Packers *
1 13 Miami Dolphins *
1 14 Atlanta Falcons
1 15 Washington Redskins *
1 16 Carolina Panthers
1 17 Cleveland Browns
1 18 Minnesota Vikings
1 19 Tennessee Titans
1 20 Pittsburgh Steelers
1 21 Seattle Seahawks *
1 22 Baltimore Ravens
1 23 Houston Texans
1 24 Oakland Raiders from Chicago [R1 - 1]
1 25 Philadelphia Eagles
1 26 Indianapolis Colts
1 27 Oakland Raiders from Dallas [R1 - 2]
1 28 Los Angeles Chargers *
1 29 Kansas City Chiefs
1 30 Green Bay Packers from New Orleans [R1 - 3]
1 31 Los Angeles Rams
1 32 New England Patriots*
Feb. 26-March 4 -- NFL combine, Indianapolis.
March 13 -- League year and free agency begin.
March 24-27 -- Annual owners meeting, Phoenix.
April 25-27 -- NFL draft, Nashville, Tenn.