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Jets Free Agency | It Continues Up Front With the Defensive Line 

GM Joe Douglas Wants to Control the Line of Scrimmage; Jets Could Add Up Front to Flank Quinnen Williams


Defensive Linemen on the Roster (GP/GS in 2020)
Trevon Coley (0/0), Folorunso Fatukasi (15/8), John Franklin-Myers (15/2), Bryce Huff (14/0), Kyle Phillips (7/3), Nathan Shepherd (14/3), Tanzel Smart (3/0), Quinnen Williams (13/13), Jabari Zuniga (8/0)

Potential Free Agents
Unrestricted: Coley.

Jets DL Free Agent Picture
The Jets' defensive line could be one of the positions that won't see a lot of turnover in the offseason. Trevon Coley is the only DL with an expiring contract. GM Joe Douglas recently released Henry Anderson, who spent three seasons with the Green & White.

The Jets have a foundational piece up front in Quinnen Williams, who led the team with 7 sacks in the 2020 season. He was flanked by players like John Franklin-Myers and Folorunso Fatukasi, who each had career years.

"I don't think my vision has changed from when I first stood in front of you guys," Douglas said midseason. "I think it starts up front, and I think it starts with the offensive and defensive lines. That's going to lead to the rest of the team, and so we really have to win the line of scrimmage first."

Take a look at the Jets players slated to become unrestricted, restricted, or exclusive rights free agents when the NFL's free agency period begins.

Free Agent Candidate Capsules
Dalvin Tomlinson (6-3, 319), Giants
Tomlinson was selected in the second round, No. 55 overall in 2017, and was a plug-and-play starter. He's been a steady force in the interior of the Giants' defensive line, starting all 64 games. He's predominantly a run defender, totaling 207 tackles and 21 TFLs. He's had 3.5 sacks in each of his past two seasons. He and Jets former DL Leonard Williams, who is also set to become a free agent, helped the crosstown rival finish No. 10 in the NFL in rush yards per game (111.4 yds). Williams posted a career best 11.5 sacks and 30 QB hits and is likely to be earn top dollar among defensive linemen.

Larry Ogunjobi (6-4, 305), Cleveland
Ogunjobi flashed his rookie season, starting one of the 14 games he played in before earning a full-time role in the Browns' defense. Since, he's started in all 46 games he's played in although his play dipped each of the past three seasons, according to Pro Football Focus, with defensive grades of 60.6 (2018), 56 (2019) and 51.4 (2020). Ogunjobi, who's totaled 180 tackles, 37 TFLs and 14.5 sacks in four seasons, has Jets ties. He's from Livingston, N.J., even though he attended Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, N.C. He also overlapped at Charlotte with Jets OL Cameron Clark.

Solomon Thomas (6-2, 280), San Francisco
Thomas played under Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh since he was drafted No. 3 overall in 2017. He only played in two games in the 2020 season, but in 2019 Thomas lined up in multiple spots for the 49ers. He lined up both inside and outside, taking 226 snaps on the interior of the line and 184 on the outside, according to PFF. Last week, Saleh said there is comfort in familiarity, but that is not the determining factor when deciding whether to pursue free agents who he's coached. Thomas has 95 career tackles, 16 TFLs, 6 sacks and 23 QB hits in 48 games (30 starts). 

Shelby Harris (6-2, 290), Denver
After two seasons in Oakland (2014-15), and stints with the Jets and Cowboys in 2016, Harris developed into a nice piece for the Broncos DL. He started played in 59 games (33 starts) from 2017-20 and totaled 154 tackles, 27 TFLS, 15.5 sacks, 33 QB hits and 23 PDs. Harris, who will be 30 at the start of the regular season, would be a steady presence for any team and would add to an already healthy rotation the Jets have now minus Anderson, one of the NFL's best run defenders last season.     

Adam Butler (6-5, 300), New England
Butler has been a rotational piece for the Patriots since he signed as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt. He started 6 games his rookie year and has started 12 of the 63 games he's played in. He's totaled 96 tackles, 20 TFLs, 9 PDs, 15 sacks and 22 QB hits. He had a career-high 6 sacks in the 2019 season despite starting just 2 games.

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