A month out from the commencement of the 2019 league year and free agency, the “offseason” is fully underway at One Jets Drive. Adam Gase has finalized his coaching staff and college scouts are back in town for meetings as the organization simultaneously prepares its shopping list for March and its wish list for April.
Equipped with financial flexibility, the Jets are set to make a plethora of transactions.
“I think going into free agency we still have to sit down with ownership and kind of finalize your plan,” said general manager Mike Maccagnan when he met with the media following the conclusion of the regular season. “I’ve said before, we’re going to be active in free agency. That’s been everything we’ve discussed with myself and Christopher [Johnson]. And we’re going to go out there and figure out ways, every way possible, to improve the talent base on the team and go from there.”
In the weeks ahead, we will take a look at players from the league’s other 31 teams who have expiring contracts. But the Jets have two dozen players whose contracts are set to end in March and the club has to make the critical decisions on whom they want to bring back and whom they want to move on from.
Jets Unrestricted Free Agents (23)
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu: After signing with the club in September, the 6’3”, 252-pound Attaochu appeared in 11 games and totaled 13 tackles, two sacks and nine quarterback hits.
DL Henry Anderson: “Goose” went hunting in 2018, tying OLB Jordan Jenkins for the most sacks on the club with seven. His 21 QB hits also tied Jenkins’ mark as they both finished tied for second in that category behind Leonard Williams (24). Anderson was acquired from the Colts on draft weekend in exchange for a seventh-round pick largely because Indianapolis was moving to a four-man front.
LG James Carpenter: After signing in 2015, Carpenter started all 58 Jets’ games from the ’15 season opener through Game 10 against Buffalo last season. He played in 97% of the team’s snaps since 2015 before heading to injured reserve with a shoulder injury on Nov. 28th. Carp will turn 30 on March 22nd.
CB Morris Claiborne: In his second season with the Green & White, Claiborne had a team-leading 14 pass defenses in addition to two interceptions. The 29-year-old thought he was playing the best ball of his career through 10 games but foot, neck and ankle injuries slowed him a bit late before Claiborne was placed on injured reserve prior to the season finale.
OLB Brandon Copeland: The Jets thought Copeland would provide some depth along with special teams contributions, but the fourth-year pro ended up starting 10 games and finished tied for second on the team with five sacks. Copeland’s most natural defensive position is outside ‘backer in a 3-4.
OL Dakota Dozier: After appearing in 27 games in 2016-17, the 6’4”, 313-pound Dozier only saw action in six contests last season.
OL Jonotthan Harrison: The versatile Harrison started eight games for the Jets in 2018, taking over the center duties from Spencer Long down the stretch.
LB Neville Hewitt: A high-motor player, Hewitt finished second on special teams with 12 tackles including 11 solos. The 25-year-old Marshall product started the team’s final quartet of games alongside Avery Williamson with Darron Lee serving a suspension.
T Ben Ijalana: The veteran swing tackle missed the entire 2018 season after sustaining a shoulder injury in a Jets-Redskins training camp practice in Richmond, VA.
WR Jermaine Kearse: After setting career highs with 65 receptions and 810 receiving yards in 2017, Kearse was limited to 37 catches and 371 receiving yards this past season.
OLB Emmanuel Lamur: Starting the 2018 campaign in Oakland, Lamur was a Raider for nine games. The Kansas State product, who will turn 30 in June, suited up against the Patriots in Week 17.
OLB Josh Martin: Atop the depth chart at outside linebacker last summer, Martin suffered a concussion against the Giants in a preseason contest and then suffered another head injury in his only regular season action at Jacksonville in Week 4.
WR Rishard Matthews: After starting the year in Tennessee, Matthews joined the Jets and had a pair of receptions in five contests.
QB Josh McCown: There is only one player left from the 2002 NFL Draft, but McCown will turn 40 on July 4th and he has said everything is on the table regarding his future. The Jets couldn’t have had a better mentor for Sam Darnold during his rookie campaign and McCown has made his mark inside the locker room the past two seasons.
DT Steve McLendon: The wily vet started 37 contests for the Green & White in 2016-18 while lining up the majority of the time at the nose position.
K Jason Myers: In becoming the first Jets’ placekicker to be selected to play in the Pro Bowl, Myers connected on 91.7% of his field goals including an NFL record five makes of 55+ yards. He also set a franchise mark with 60 touchbacks.
RB Bilal Powell: The fan favorite suffered a neck injury in a Week 7 contest against the Vikings and a subsequent surgery ended his season. Powell, a Louisville product who was taken in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, is the tenth-leading rusher in franchise history with 3,446 yards. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry with 15 of his 20 career touchdowns coming on the ground in addition to 264 receptions for 1,567 yards
T Brent Qvale: The fourth-year pro, a 6’7”, 315-pounder, has appeared in 60 games for the New York’s AFC representative and started 14 contests.
WR Andre Roberts: The NFL’s best return man became the first Jet since Darrelle Revis in 2011 to make the Associated Press first-team All-Pro.
CB Darryl Roberts: The man who on twitter goes by @_SwaggDee stepped up when called upon by the Jets. Finishing with 45 tackles, seven pass defenses and an interception, Roberts moved from reserve corner to starting free safety in the lineup after Marcus Maye went to injured reserve.
CB Buster Skrine: Joining the likes of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in the 2015 free agency class, Skrine has manned the all-important nickel position for the majority of the past four seasons. He had 57 tackles and eight pass defenses last season along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
TE Neal Sterling: The former receiver, a Monmouth product, started four games for the Green & White this season and recorded six receptions for 47 yards but suffered two head injuries in a seven-game span.
TE Clive Walford: Acquired by the Jets on waivers from Oakland in April, Walford was waived in September and eventually brought back prior to the club’s Week 17 matchup against the Patriots.