The exciting parts of the New York Jets offseason are now in the past, with free agency, the draft, and rookie minicamp all in the rearview mirror. The upcoming dates to keep an eye on include OTAs which start on May 22nd, and will continue sporadically through June 7th, which will be followed by minicamp from June 12-14. There will then be about a month break before training camp. Over the next two months, the Jets will likely bring in a decent number of both veteran players, looking to find a new home, or young players looking for their shot. Who are some of veterans the Jets could bring in to both help in the young locker room, and on the field, before training camp starts in late July?
Kenny Vaccaro is set to visit the Jets this week. He is a former first-round pick who has flashed a lot of ability when on the field. His biggest issue has been his health. While the Jets have good starters at the safety position, they can definitely afford to bring in some higher-level depth. Vaccaro can guard players in the slot, and would be one of the best third safeties in all of football. If the price is right, even on a one-year deal, the Jets should definitely bring him on-board.
T/G Byron Bell
Bell worked out for the Jets this past Monday, and no contract has been signed, but that doesn’t mean its off the table. The Jets are clearly looking for more depth along the offensive line, as they have a shaky group, with an extensive injury history. Bell is not the best player, but he has plenty of experience, with 74 career starts. He has the ability to play both tackle or guard, and would make a nice depth signing. The contract likely would not include heavy guarantees, meaning he could be cut if he is outplayed by a younger, less-experienced player during camp.
Cushing is one of the bigger names left on the market. Cushing is a player who can play all linebacker positions, but is likely best suited to play the strong-side outside linebacker spot at this point in this career. His play has dropped off a lot, but the Jets do not have much talent at OLB, so bringing in a veteran to help out the young players, while bringing a hard-work ethic on and off the field wouldn’t be the worst use of resources for this young team.
Hali fills a bigger need for the Jets, as he has more pass-rush ability than Cushing. Hali is 34, and didn’t play much last season due to injury. He had just 16 sacks over the three previous seasons before last year, which is a huge drop off for him, but would still be the best on the Jets, with their extreme lack of a pass-rush. If the Jets were to bring in Hali, it would likely be on a small contract, and he would function as a situational pass rusher if he still any juice left in the tank, and hopefully also as a coach, who could teach young guys like Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins some of his pass rushing moves.
TE Coby Fleener
The New Orleans Saints released Fleener just two years into a five-year deal. Fleener has a lot of receiving ability, but has underwhelmed overall during his career. He would instantly be the Jets best receiving tight end if they chose to bring him in. The Jets likely won’t want to invest much in hum, as they have a large group of young tight ends battling to make the team, but if they don’t look good in OTAs and minicamp, don’t be surprised if the Jets bring in a veteran tight end to be a safety blanket for Sam Darnold. Some other tight ends who might fit that role include Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas, and Marcedes Lewis, however, it is expected that those guys try to latch on to a true contender.
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