6 impending free agents Jets should've been watching closely during Sunday's Wild Card games

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Scott Thompson
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Matt Judon
Matt Judon

It’s no secret GM Joe Douglas has a big amount of cap space waiting for free agency to begin. The NFL has yet to set a cap ceiling, though, so making a game plan for the offseason is a bit challenging.

That doesn’t mean Douglas and the rest of his team can’t start scouting their potential targets, some of which played on Sunday. Here are a few impending free agents the Jets might be focused on:

Ravens EDGE Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue

The Jets will certainly be in the edge rusher market this offseason and there’s a few studs to choose from in that area. Two of them play on the same team in Baltimore.

Judon has been wreaking havoc for the Ravens all season long, while Ngakoue was traded for at the NFL deadline to bolster Baltimore’s already scary bunch up front. Ngakoue has eight total sacks between the Ravens and Vikings this season, while Judon has totaled six and nine tackles for loss.

One would think that the Ravens will be aggressive in signing Ngakoue because draft capital was given up. Of course, the Jets could give the 25-year-old a price he can’t refuse. But Judon will also have a solid market, as he is only 28 years old and always shows a high motor when he steps on the turf.

Bears WR Allen Robinson

The Jets also need help in the wide receiver department, and look no further than a guy who will be at the top of the free agent list this offseason.

Even through all the flip flopping of Bears quarterbacks this season, Robinson once again showed that he is a No. 1 receiver in this league, hauling in 102 catches for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, the Penn State product has shown a diverse route tree with a wide catch radius and reliable hands. And that’s why he should be getting a pretty hefty bag to whoever is the highest bidder.

Gang Green could use an established receiver to go along with rookie Denzel Mims, who has the ability to be a good No. 2. Since the Jets own the No. 2 overall pick and No. 20 (Seattle’s loss on Saturday solidified that second first-rounder), a receiver might not be in the cards when they draft. Robinson could already be on the squad by the time the draft comes anyway.

Titans WR Corey Davis

Another receiver option, Davis is sometimes overshadowed by one of the best deep ball threats in the game, AJ Brown. But 2017’s fifth overall pick secured 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns in his best NFL season to date.

The Titans declined his fifth-year option, as they wanted to see if Davis could provide more for the offense after mediocre numbers in 2019. He answered that call, but maybe the Titans’ wavering faith in him could result in testing the market. Turning just 26 this Monday, Davis’ speed and room for more growth is intriguing, and should be for the Jets.

Titans TE Jonnu Smith

Chris Herndon had a promising end to the 2020 season, but he was basically a non-factor throughout. Whenever a new head coach comes into play for the Jets, evaluating the entire roster might result in wanting a different tight end to work with.

Smith could be that guy. He’s turning 26 in August, has good run blocking numbers and proved to be a favorite end zone target of Ryan Tannehill this season, collecting eight touchdowns among his 41 receptions.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards

The Jets need a featured running back, and now that they have the No. 20 pick in the draft, that might be the exact spot they wanted to take one later in the first round. But Edwards, a player that has had to work behind J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram, has gotten a lot of love from John Harbaugh this season.

The Ravens have trusted Edwards throughout the year, whether he had to step up with hurt/COVID-restricted players out or on close red zone attempts. At the end of the day, though, he isn’t the featured back with Dobbins getting that title.

Playing his high school ball on Staten Island at Tottenville and one year in college as a graduate transfer at Rutgers, Edwards might want to return to the New York area if offered the right deal. The Jets would be taking a little risk because he’s never been a featured back. But 723 yards over 16 games – just six starts in that span – with six touchdowns at age 25 is more than enough to gain some intrigue.