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Free Agency Landscape | Jets Could Look to Add OL, WR From Talented Pool

OT Tyron Smith, WR Calvin Ridley Set to Hit Market in NFL's New League Year

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas speaks during a press conference during the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kara Durrette/NFL)

The Jets offense should receive an incomplete grade in 2023 without QB Aaron Rodgers. Talented young players like Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall cemented themselves as young NFL stars, TE Tyler Conklin had a career year, but the injury bug bit the offensive line -- the team started 13 combinations throughout the season.

GM Joe Douglas will certainly leave no stone unturned at any position, especially the OL.

Here is an overview of the free agents at each position when the legal-tampering window opens on Monday (March 11).

Offensive Line

Following the release of LG Laken Tomlinson, the Jets will navigate the beginning of the new league year with two starters under contract – Alijah Vera-Tucker and Joe Tippmann. Vera-Tucker, coming off an Achilles tendon injury, has played at both tackle and guard positions while Tippmann started at guard and center as a rookie. The OL free agency crop has more interior talent than at tackle.

Tyron Smith (Cowboys)
Smith has had a decorated NFL career with eight Pro Bowl selections. He's older (33) and hasn't played a full season since 2015, but, when healthy, he's one of the best in the NFL. Pro Football Focus graded Smith as their fourth-best tackle last season among players who took at least 50% of the snaps and led the league in pass-block grade. Smith had played 13 games in five of the last eight seasons including 13 in the 2023 season.

Michael Onwenu (Patriots)
Onwenu, 26, is young and versatile. Like Vera-Tucker, he's played both guard positions (mostly RG), but has more experience at right tackle. A sixth-round pick out of Michigan in 2020, Onwenu has taken 1,548 snaps at RT and 1,425 at RG. Douglas has shown a hankering for acquiring versatile offensive linemen and Onwenu certainly fits that bill.

Robert Hunt (Dolphins)
When thinking of maulers in the run game who are expected to be available, most think of Dolphins G Robert Hunt and Seahawks G Damien Lewis. After playing his rookie season at RT, Miami kicked Hunt inside where he's flourished each of the last three seasons. The former second-round pick out of Louisiana had a PFF grade of 76.4, which ranked No. 6 in the NFL among players who took at least 20% of the snaps (Hunt played in 11 games).

Other top options at guard include Kevin Zeitler (Ravens), Kevin Dotson (Rams), Jonah Jackson (Lions) and Graham Glasgow (Lions).

Other top options at tackle include Jonah Williams (Bengals), Donovan Smith (Chiefs), Charles Leno (Commanders) and Jermaine Eluemunor (Raiders).

See the players who will become unrestricted free agents when the League Year begins on March 13 at 4 p.m.

Wide Receiver

The Jets have a stellar wideout in Garrett Wilson, who's eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. The Jets' second-leading wideout last season was Allen Lazard, who totaled 311 receiving yards. With Aaron Rodgers returning to the field, the production from that room will naturally improve, but there are some intriguing free-agent options.

Calvin Ridley (Jaguars)
Ridley, a precise route runner, played and started in a full regular-season schedule for the first time in his NFL career. The No. 26 overall pick out of Alabama in 2018, Ridley totaled 76 catches, 1,016 yards and 8 touchdowns for Jacksonville in his first season after his suspension.

Gabriel Davis (Bills)
Jets fans are familiar with Davis, who's played for Buffalo since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2020. He has a knack for the end zone – he has 27 touchdowns in 64 games. Over the last two seasons, the UCF product has totaled 93 receptions, 1,582 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Tyler Boyd (Bengals)
Sometimes it's hard to know what a team is getting in a free agents, but Boyd seems to be a model of consistency. He's had at least 60 receptions and 750 yards and in five of the last six seasons. The 29-year-old's best seasons came before Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins arrived in Cincinnati, but he's been able to stay productive. Boyd (6-2, 203) predominantly plays in the slot.

Other WR options include Marquise Brown (Cardinals), Odell Beckham Jr. (Ravens), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Chiefs) and Kendrick Bourne (Patriots).

Tight End

The Jets have a good tight end room with Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert. It would be surprising if the Green & White elected to spend big money at this position, but perhaps they could look to add a player or two to fill out the room.

Robert Tonyan (Bears)
Tonyan, and his Bears teammate Marcedes Lewis, played with Jets QB Aaron Rodgers. Tonyan's best season came with Rodgers under center in 2020 when he caught 52 passes for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. Tonyan played 17 games last season (6 starts) and only tallied 11 receptions. Perhaps the Jets could look to "buy low" here.

Other TE options include Noah Fant (Seahawks), Mike Geisicki (Patriots) and Jonnu Smith (Falcons).

Running Back

Breece Hall is one of the NFL's best backs and he proved to be a dynamic player last season, his second in the NFL. The Jets also have second-year back Izzy Abanikanda in the fold. Douglas has added a running back in each of his four drafts, but he could look to fill out the room with a good free agency crop.

A.J. Dillon (Packers)
Fans might see this, roll their eyes and think, "another former teammate of Aaron Rodgers" but Dillon could be a good insurance policy. Head coach Robert Saleh likes violent, downhill runners and Dillon (6-0, 247) fits that mold. Hall is a do-it-all back, Abanikanda has a lot of speed and Dillon could bring the thunder in the backfield and short-yardage situations. He's averaged 562 rushing yards in his first four NFL seasons.

Antonio Gibson (Commanders)
Gibson seemed to have fallen out of favor with Washington as Brian Robinson has emerged as its No. 1 back, but Gibson is a versatile piece. He totaled over 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons and totaled 811 rushing yards and 742 receiving yards (94 receptions) in his last two. He could help spell injury and contribute at both RB and WR.

Other RB options include Cordarrelle Patterson (Falcons), J.K. Dobbins (Ravens) and Craig Reynolds (Detroit).

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