Jets Mailbag | Will Joe Douglas Be Aggressive in Free Agency? Clear Option at No. 2? 

Free Agency Begins March 17th, NFL Draft Less than Two Months Away 


Each week Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Rangy Lange will answer your questions about the Jets. If you would like to submit any questions, please click here. The views expressed are not representative of any Jets front office personnel.

With the legal tampering window quickly approaching, which free agents make the most sense based upon scheme and financial disposition? Will Joe Douglas be aggressive or conservative as he was last year? – Makhail Anderson / Charlottesville, VA

EA: General manager Joe Douglas publicly stated that signing Marcus Maye was one of the Jets' offseason priorities. And while he's talked in the past of winning the line of scrimmage first, acquiring explosive playmakers and pass rushers in addition to skilled coverage defenders, Douglas believes the best teams in sports draft well and develop their own players. The Jets have great flexibility to strike in free agency. With a new head coach in Robert Saleh and new offensive and defensive systems, I'll be curious to see if the Jets bring in a couple/few free agents who've played for the staff in the past. I'll never forget the importance for Rex Ryan & Co. when the Jets in 2009, led by GM Mike Tannenbaum, brought in a pair of huge culture and system fits in ILB Bart Scott and S Jim Leonhard. Longtime 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco was a recent guest on The Official Jets Podcast and he mentioned 49ers corner K'Waun Williams, who has an expiring contract, as someone who could make a lot of sense.

EG: The good news is GM Joe Douglas has the projected second most cap space in the NFL and as NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah stated, Douglas can shop in a different price range than last year if he wants to. It's hard to pin a couple players, but I think any projected list starts with the trenches because Douglas has consistently talked about protecting the quarterback and getting after the quarterback. Then adding speedy playmakers on both sides of the ball. With former 49ers coaches including HC Robert Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur, it makes sense to look at 49ers players who have expiring contracts. As EA mentioned, K'Waun Williams and Richard Sherman could make sense for the Jets. Other defenders with expiring contracts include Solomon Thomas and Kerry Hyder. There are also a handful of players the 49ers with expiring contracts on offense including RB Jerick McKinnon, RB Tevin Coleman, TE Jordan Reed, FB Kyle Juszcyck and QBs C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens.

With all the Jets' needs, is the staff leaning towards trading out of the #2 overall pick for more picks or is there a clear-cut option in this year's draft? – Eric Cuevas / Peoria, AZ

EA: The Jets have options. And as March begins, I would imagine they are going to examine every possible scenario. Douglas is committed to building a winner and the expectation now is the NFL Draft will begin with the Green & White if Jacksonville takes Clemson signal-caller Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall. I think the landscape can change quickly, so we have to see what transpires in free agency not only here but throughout the league. Mock drafts are eye candy to consume, but I feel like we need another month to get a better feel of the situation. What is clear is the Jets could draft a difference-maker on offense at No. 2 and the outside interest in that selection typically only grows with each passing day.

EG: I don't know what the staff is thinking, but the Jets are in the driver's seat. If Douglas & Co. decide there is a player who is clearly the right option for them at No. 2, that player is theirs. If they decide to trade the pick for more assets, they'll receive a nice haul in return that will help build the roster with young talent at multiple positions. Douglas will be able to draft and develop players whether the Jets stay at No. 2 or not. As of now, I don't believe there's a clear-cut No. 2 overall prospect among draft analysts.

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