Jets Free AgentsUFA (4): David Bass, Bruce Carter, Demario Davis, Julian Stanford
XRFA (1): Freddie Bishop
The MarketNotable Linebackers:*Nigel Bradham (PHI), Zach Brown (WAS), NaVorro Bowman (OAK), Avery Williamson (TEN), *Preston Brown (BUF), Paul Posluszny (JAX), Anthony Hitchens (DAL), Todd Davis (Denver Broncos), Tahir Whitehead (DET)
Notable Edge Defenders: DeMarcus Lawrence (DAL), Ezekiel Ansah (DET), Alex Okafor (NO), Junior Galette (WAS), Barkevious Mingo (IND), Trent Murphy (WAS), RFA Dion Jordan (SEA), Eric Walden (TEN), Jerry Attaochu (LAC), Connor Barwin (LAR)
SynopsisAn unlikely summer trade gave* *Demario Davis the opportunity to go back where his professional career started. After spending a year with the Browns in 2016, the Jets' third-round selection in the 2012 Draft returned in a player-for-player swap as he was acquired in exchange for Browns S Calvin Pryor.
"Every player's dream is to build their legacy in the place they got drafted," Davis said.
Davis did just that in 2017, quarterbacking the Jets' defense and thriving with a career year. He paced the Jets with 172 tackles and five sacks while helping a young unit take some steps forward in a building year.
The 6'2", 239-pound Davis, who paired with second-year defender Darron Lee at inside 'backer, has an expiring contract.
"It's an exciting time for me. It's very exciting," he said at the onset of the offseason. "I feel like I've done everything I can do. At this point, it really comes down to the owner, the GM and the coaching staff and what they want and what they envision."
Davis labeled the environment at One Jets Drive as "unique" and he praised the leadership in place with CEO Christopher Johnson, general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles.
"I honestly feel like they're on the same page and that doesn't always happen. It's very rare," said the six-year league veteran. "And then having character and chemistry inside the locker room — I love going to work every day because honestly it's like a family in the locker room."
Best Snapshots of the Jets LBs During the 2017 Season
Without outlining his plan in detail, Maccagnan did tell reporters that he would like to re-sign some of his free agents. The Jets still have a few weeks to negotiate with Davis before the League Year commences on March 14.
Edge rushers are always in high demand and DeMarcus Lawrence just racked up 14.5 sacks in 16 games. The Cowboys don't want to lose the 2014 second-round pick and they may use the franchise tag to keep him in Big D.
The situation is similar in Detroit where the Lions may want to prevent Ezekiel Ansah from motoring out of Motown. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Ansah has 44 career sacks including 14.5- and 12-sack campaigns in 2015 and 17.
Junior Galette collected just three sacks last year in Washington, but the 6'2", 254-pounder totaled 22 sacks with the Saints in 2013-14 before injuries slowed his ascent. A bust early in his career, Dion Jordan showed some flashes last year in Seattle while amassing four sacks in five games. Another defender who could have late-bloom potential is Jerry Attaochu. He is Georgia Tech's all-time sack leaders in sacks with 31.5 and just turned 25 a couple of months ago.
An outside linebacker with Arizona from 2013-2016, Alex Okafor tallied four sacks at defensive end for the Saints last year in 10 games. Elite athlete Barkevious Mingo, the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 Draft who hasn't emerged as an elite pass rusher, did play the best football of his career last season in Indianapolis.