Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What stands out about the Jets' seven unrestricted free agents on offense?
EA: Earlier this week, Jets GM Joe Douglas said that he and HC Robert Saleh are looking for "explosive, dynamic" playmakers. Breshad Perriman is a vertical threat who averaged 16.8 yards a reception last season, registering 505 yards on 30 catches with 3 TDs. The Jets have an interesting decision to make at receiver because there are not only intriguing players out there with expiring contracts, but this is again a deep wide receiver class in the NFL Draft. Last April, Douglas got Denzel Mims in the second round. An intriguing prospect who flashed in Year 1, Mims was the 13threceiver taken in the draft. Also consider Vikings' wideout Justin Jefferson, who had 1,400 yards receiving and 7 TDs as a rookie, was taken No. 22 overall last year. While people speculate about what the Jets will do at QB in 2020, the backup position has gone under the radar. Joe Flacco, the former Super Bowl MVP who made 4 starts last season for the Green & White, is a UFA. If Frank Gore does end up retiring, it's fitting the NFL's third-leading rusher ended with 16,000 yards on the button. Gore has had an amazing career and his desire is unmatched, so he will be saluted no matter what comes next.
EG: Similar to the UFAs on defense, there are a handful of players who took meaningful snaps on offense for the Jets in the 2020 season, including RB Frank Gore, QB Joe Flacco and WR Breshad Perriman. Perriman took the most snaps among Jets on offense with expiring contracts with 651. He finished second on the team with 505 receiving yards and tied for second with 3 TDs. GM Joe Douglas and HC Robert Saleh said they're in the market for explosive playmakers. Douglas will likely cater players who will fit new OC Mike LaFleur's system for not just playmakers like Perriman but all free agents. Douglas has continuously stressed the importance of the offensive line and the Jets have two players who took meaningful snaps in the 2020 season. OL Pat Elflein, who was claimed on Nov. 16, started six games. Josh Andrews, another UFA, started four games. Flacco and Gore are the veterans of the bunch, but what do their futures hold?
RL: What stands out to me is that as much as the Jets might want some of their offensive UFAs back, if some or all depart, the Green & White should be OK since no one position group will be devastated with exits. It was great having warhorse Frank Gore around for a season, but he may be contemplating retirement to start the clock ticking toward his Hall of Fame induction. Joe Flacco similarly brought uber-veteran experience to the QB room but he wants to be a starter again before he hangs up the pads and it seems likely he'll say goodbye. OLs Pat Elflein and Josh Andrews handled the bulk of the snaps at both guard spots for the team's most productive four-game stretch of the season, from the near-triumph over the Raiders to the back-to-back wins over the Rams and Browns. But the FA departure that would sadden me most would be WR Breshad Perriman. It would be nice to see him teamed with Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims again, this time for 16 games instead of seven, and when he was on last season, his downfield dimension was impressive (three 49-yards-plus receptions in an eight-game span, for instance). But every NFL team undergoes change every year and the Joe Douglas/Robert Saleh the Jets are no different. Holes will be filled in free agency and the draft and onward and upward they will go.