Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
With the 2019 coaching staff starting to take shape, let’s assess whom the new Jets coaches could look to target, based on whom they’ve coached in the past.
Edge defender Robert Quinn, Miami
The 28-year old Quinn was the Dolphins’ highest paid player last season and is widely expected to be a cap casualty during the offseason. If he is, expect the Jets to show interest because he was one player who played hard down the stretch for head coach Adam Gase. While he only ended up with 6.5 sacks, 5.5 of those came in the final seven games. Earlier in the year, Gase jumped to Quinn’s defense, saying creating pressure was more important to the way the Dolphins were playing than recording sacks.
Quinn also has a link to new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, as he played three years with Williams as his defensive coordinator with the Rams. In 2014, Quinn went to the Pro Bowl up with 10.5 sacks despite another slow start. The Jets certainly have a need for an edge defender, and Quinn would provide an immediate upgrade at the right price.
Wide receiver Albert Wilson, Miami
As Gase’s tenure wound down in Miami, several offensive players expressed frustration with their roles. However, Wilson was firmly in Gase’s corner, referring to him as a genius. The 26-year old was on his way to a career year before missing the second half of the season due to injury. Even so, his playmaking ability was a key feature of Miami’s strong first half.
Wilson, who describes himself as one of the league’s best receivers after the catch, is under contract for two more years, but his cap number for 2019 is over $9 million, so perhaps the Dolphins could be persuaded to part with him for a draft pick. On the Jets offense, his ability to produce on short passes could free up Quincy Enunwa to play a more versatile role.
Center Matt Paradis, Denver
The 28-year old Paradis is regarded as one of the top pending free-agent offensive linemen, although the Broncos have expressed a desire to try and retain him. If he shakes loose, the Jets should pounce after center Spencer Long suffered through an injury-plagued 2018 campaign. Paradis started nine games in his rookie season in Denver with Gase as his offensive coordinator.
Guard Ronald Leary, Denver
Leary is two years into a four-year, $36 million deal and has a cap number of over $9 million in 2019. If the Broncos opt to make him a cap casualty, he should interest the Jets, having played so well for new offensive line coach Frank Pollack in Dallas.
Leary is still only 29 and has been a solid performer in Denver, but each of his first two years with the team has ended with him on injured reserve. They’ll presumably be weighing up how effectively they could spend the cap saving if they release him.
Guard Jonathan Cooper, Washington
Cooper is another 29-year-old lineman who could be a target to provide some veteran depth. The former top-10 pick has had a disappointing injury-plagued career, but had probably his best season under Pollack in 2017.
Last season, Cooper signed with the 49ers but didn’t make the team and was released in final cuts. He later signed with Washington, who was in the middle of an injury crisis at the time, only to once again end up on injured reserve himself. He’s a free agent and shouldn’t command much, if any, guaranteed money at this stage of his career.
Defensive back LaMarcus Joyner, LA Rams
The 28-year old Joyner is another player who played for Williams with the Rams. He’s a pending free agent who played under the franchise tag in 2018 and could be a surprise big-money target.
The Jets already have Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye at safety, but perhaps will be tempted to bring in some quality depth at the position after Maye spent most of last year hurt. Furthermore, Joyner’s ability to cover slot receivers could mean that the Jets would be able to run a lot of sub-packages with all three in the game at once.
Defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Cleveland
Williams spent the last few years with the Browns, but they don’t have many key defensive free agents. However, the 26-year old Boddy-Calhoun is a restricted free agent. If the Browns opt not to tender him at a second-round level, then the Jets could make him a target. Boddy-Calhoun has done a good job as a slot cornerback with the Browns over the past few years and can also fill in at safety.