Jets free agency and trade buzz: Gang Green signs former Patriots OT Yodny Cajuste
Here's the latest Jets free agent and trade buzz during the 2023 NFL offseason...
May 30, 3:50 p.m.
The Jets have officially signed offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste, releasing fellow lineman Eric Smith to make room on the roster.
The former third-round pick visited both New York teams this past week, and now just a few days later, he has an agreement in place to join Gang Green.
The Patriots selected Cajuste with the 101st overall pick of 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of West Virginia. While with the Mountaineers, he was a two-year starter and 2018 Big 12 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year.
While Cajuste offers plenty of upside, he has struggled to stay on the field throughout his four-year NFL career. He’s appeared in just 17 games, five of which were starts, over the past two seasons due to a number of different injuries.
As a result, New England turned to the draft to make additions to its offensive line, and the 6-foot-5, 310-pounder was recently placed on waivers.
Cajuste will now look to add to the Jets' depth at the offensive tackle position. He joins Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, Billy Turner, Carter Warren, and Max Mitchell in the mix for New York.
May 24, 9:45 a.m.
The Jets are working out free agent punter Matt Araiza on Wednesday, his agent told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Araiza, a sixth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2022 NFL Draft, was released on Aug. 27 during training camp two days after a civil lawsuit accused him of rape while he was at San Diego State.
The university recently concluded that there were no findings against the punter during their investigation into the alleged gang rape and a criminal investigation into the matter did not result in charges. However, the civil suit remains ongoing.
The Jets are the first NFL team to host Araiza for a workout since his release.
During his time kicking with the Aztecs, the now 23-year-old set the FBS record with 51.2 yards per punt on 79 punts in 2021 and with 39 punts of 50-plus yards.
Earlier this offseason the Jets brought back 37-year-old punter Thomas Morstead and released 2020 sixth-round draft pick Braden Mann, who was claimed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
May 18, 9:28 a.m.
Defensive lineman Carl Lawson reached an agreement with the Jets on a new reworked deal, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Lawson was set to make a non-guaranteed $15 million, according to SNY NFL Insider Connor Hughes, sources have said the pass rusher essentially took a $6 million pay cut. He can make $3 million of that $6 million back with incentives tied to sacks and playing time.
This move helps the Jets create $12.7 million in 2023 cap space.
Lawson signed a three-year, $45 million deal with Gang Green back in 2021. He missed that whole season due to an Achilles injury but returned to start all 17 games last year. He recorded 33 tackles, seven sacks, and a forced fumble.
May 16, 5:12 p.m.
According to multiple reports, the Jets have claimed CB Javelin Guidry off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.
Guidry, 24, was with the Jets in 2020 and 2021, with Gang Green originally signing him as an undrafted free agent out of Utah.
Guidry appeared in 28 games for the Jets over his two seasons with the team, making five starts. He broke up three passes and forced four fumbles while with the team.
May 15, 6:20 p.m.
The Jets announced Monday that they've signed TE Izaiah Gathings after he participated in a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp.
Gathings, who's listed at 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, played WR in college at Gardner-Webb University before transferring to Middle Tennessee State for his junior and senior seasons. He recorded 60 catches last year for 559 yards and two touchdowns over 12 games (11 starts).
May 15, 12:35 p.m.
Jets free-agent LB Kwon Alexander is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 28-year-old former fourth-round pick was only on a one-year deal with the Jets, and he played a significant role, starting in 12 games and playing over 550 snaps.
Alexander ended the season with 69 tackles, including six tackles for loss.
May 11, 4:40 p.m.
The Jets have released offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Gang Green re-signed Ogbuehi just three weeks ago. He spent all of last season in New York and appeared in seven games, five of which were starts.
Ogbuehi was brought back to help serve as depth, but with Carter Warren and Billy Turner being added in the draft and free agency, respectively, he appears to be the odd man out.
New York still has Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton and Max Mitchell in the mix at guard.
May 1, 7:20 p.m.
The Jets announced the signing of veteran offensive lineman Billy Turner, with NFL Media's Tom Pelessiro reporting the one-year deal is worth up to $3.15 million.
Turner, who visited on Monday, will be the latest player to reunite with Aaron Rodgers and Nathaniel Hackett.
May 1, 5:30 p.m.
The Jets hosted veteran free agent offensive lineman Billy Turner on Monday, according to ESPN's Field Yates.
Turner played three seasons in Green Bay (2019-2021) with Aaron Rodgers and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett before following Hackett to Denver last offseason.
The 31-year-old has appeared mostly at right guard and right tackle in recent years, but has NFL experience at left guard and left tackle, as well.
Turner signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Packers in March 2019 and started all 16 games at right guard. He featured in 14 games at right guard and right tackle in 2020, before playing 13 games at right tackle in 2021.
After his release from Green Bay, Turner was limited to eight appearances for the Broncos last season due to a knee injury.
A third-round pick in 2014 by the Miami Dolphins out of North Dakota State, Turner has 75 career starts (91 total games) during his nine-year NFL career.
April 6, 1:10 p.m.
While waiting in Aaron Rodgers limbo, the Jets have added another former Green Bay Packers quarterback with ties to OC Nathaniel Hackett.
According to multiple reports, the Jets are signing UConn and Eastern Kentucky product Tim Boyle to a one-year deal.
Boyle, 28, originally signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2018, working with Hackett from 2019-20. He’s also had stints with the Detroit Lions in 2021 and the Chicago Bears last season.
Boyle has primarily been a reserve during his pro career, but he’s appeared in 16 games with three career starts.
April 3, 5:18 p.m.
The Jets are set to host veteran defensive tackle Al Woods on a visit this week, according to a report by Ian Rapoport.
Woods, 36 -- who totaled 34 tackles and two sacks in 14 games with the Seattle Seahawks this past season -- is also visiting the Cleveland Browns this week, Rapoport said.
The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has 162 tackles and nine sacks in 155 games over 12 seasons with five different NFL teams since 2010.
Originally, the New Orleans Saints selected Woods from LSU with the No. 123 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
April 2, 1:33 p.m.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, Odell Beckham Jr. is thought to be seeking a one-year deal worth $15 million.
Considered the favorites to land the wide receiver, Gang Green would likely offer OBJ a deal in the $10 million to $12 million range with a chance to earn more in incentives, per Cimini, given his injury history and having not played in the NFL since the Super Bowl in February 2022.
April 1, 1:20 p.m.
The Jets apparently came very close to making a huge splash on the defensive line this offseason.
While speaking on former NFL player Chris Long’s podcast, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox admitted that he was very close to signing with the Jets, before he ultimately decided he wanted to finish what he started with the Eagles.
“It came down to some decision making, talking with family, and it was close. But at the same time, I wanted to stay home, I wanted to be here in Philly and finish this thing here in the city of Philadelphia,” Cox said.
The Jets reportedly were willing to offer Cox more money, but he decided to stick with the familiarity instead.
The Eagles selected Cox in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he’s been one of the top interior defensive linemen in the league.
Cox is a six-time Pro Bowler and he was still extremely productive last season, accumulating 43 tackles, seven sacks, and 14 QB hits.
March 29, 8:54 a.m.
Free agent defensive lineman Calais Campbell is signing with the Atlanta Falcons.
He had previously been scheduled to visit with the Jets on Thursday.
After choosing the Falcons, Campbell explained why he picked them over New York.
"The Jets made a strong offer as well," Campbell texted to Josina Anderson of CBS. "It really came down to where I felt like I could have the biggest impact both on & off the field."
Campbell, 36, was released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this offseason in a salary cap move. He had 5.5 sacks and 36 total tackles (18 solo) with four tackles for loss and 14 QB hits and two forced fumbles in 14 games with Baltimore last season. The 15-year NFL veteran has 99 career sacks in 227 career games, with 11 sacks in the last three seasons.
March 23, 3:45 p.m.
It was reported this afternoon by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the New York Jets are among three teams remaining on running back Ezekiel Elliott’s list of desired landing spots for next season.
The other two teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals.
Elliott was cut by the Cowboys earlier this offseason. He spent the first seven years of his career running behind one of the top offensive lines in football and recorded 8,262 yards and 68 touchdowns.
Elliott lost more and more touches to Tony Pollard last season after battling injuries and seeing his production decline. While he averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt, he still had a nose for the end zone, posting 12 scores.
While some may welcome the addition of the three-time Pro Bowler to the Jets' backfield, it appears the teams current running backs aren't so fond of the idea.
Shortly after the report came out, Breece Hall and Michael Carter took to twitter to share their thoughts.
In a since deleted tweet, Carter simply responded, "agreed."
The Jets' current running back room consists of Hall, Carter, Ty Johnson, and Zonovan Knight. While the players seem to think that group is fine as is, it remains to be seen how the front office feels.
A decision from Elliott is expected to come by the end of the next week, per Schefter.
March 23, 2:30 p.m.
The Jets are bringing back one of their own, as they've reached an agreement with running back Ty Johnson on a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Johnson has been with Gang Green since they claimed him off waivers midway through the 2020 season. He mainly appeared on special teams, but received some reps towards the end of last season.
Over the past two seasons, he's recorded 91 carries for 398 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson's also reeled in 46 receptions for 460 yards and a pair of scorers.
He figures to continue serving as depth in a Jets running back room that now consists of Johnson, Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight.
March 22, 2:35 p.m.
The Jets are adding another offensive weapon, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with wide receiver Mecole Hardman, per multiple reports.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Hardman could earn up to $6.5 million in 2023.
Hardman, 25, was a second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, earning Pro Bowl honors as a rookie for his kick and punt return skills.
Injuries limited Hardman to just eight games this past season, but he still put up solid numbers as a Chief, totaling 2,213 yards from scrimmage with 18 touchdowns and proving himself as both a receiver and a runner during his four seasons in Kansas City.
March 17, 4:20 p.m.
The Jets have signed veteran punter Thomas Morestead.
Morestead broke the news that he was returning for his second stint with Gang Green on Twitter Friday. He punted with New York for seven games during the 2021 season after signing to fill in for the injured Braden Mann. Those two will now compete for the Jets’ gig.
Morestead, 37, played the first 12 seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints before splitting time during the 2021 season with New York and the Atlanta Falcons. He was the punter for the Miami Dolphins last year and averaged 47.15 gross yards on 60 punts.
March 17, 3:00 p.m.
The Jets are signing offensive lineman Trystan Colon, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. ESPN's Rich Cimini reports it is a one-year deal.
Colon, 24, was an unrestricted free agent and decided to join New York after he visited Friday with the Atlanta Falcons, per Garafolo. He spent the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens after he joined as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri in 2020.
As a reserve lineman with Baltimore, Colon played 47 snaps at right guard and two at center a season ago. He played 115 snaps at center, six at right guard, and 26 as an eligible receiver in jumbo packages in 2021. And all 127 of his offensive snaps during his rookie campaign came at center. (All stats according to Pro Football Focus.)
In total, Colon has appeared in 20 games with four starts over three NFL seasons.
March 16, 8:30 p.m.
The Jets have added some depth and versatility to their offensive line.
The team announced on Thursday night that they've agreed to terms with lineman Wes Schweitzer on a two-year deal worth up to $7.5 million.
Schweitzer has taken snaps at every offensive line position since being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth-round back in 2017.
He was limited to just six games last season with the Washington Commanders due to injuries, but appeared at both right guard and center.
March 16, 12:29 p.m.
Another former Jet has signed with a division rival.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Jets receiver and punt returner Braxton Berrios is signing a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, reuniting with former Jets teammate Mike White in South Florida.
Berrios was released by the Jets after he and the team couldn't agree on a contract restructuring, a move that created $5 million of cap space.
March 15, 9:05 p.m.
The Jets have signed veteran DL Solomon Thomas, reports SNY's Connor Hughes. The deal is for one year and worth up to $3.9 million, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Hughes added that the Jets are "not done here" and will add another interior DL.
March 15, 3:30 p.m.
Jets free agent DT Sheldon Rankins has agreed to a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Houston Texans, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Rankins, 28, played the last two seasons in New York after spending the first five years of his career with the New Orleans Saints. The 6-foot-2, 305 pounder was drafted by the Saints with the No. 12 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Jets prior to the 2021 season.
He made 75 combined tackles (40 solo) with six sacks, 14 QB hits, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries over 31 games (18 starts) in two seasons with New York.
Rankins started in all 15 games he played during the 2022 season.
March 14, 1:45 p.m.
The Jets have been linked to just about every former Packer in this year's free agency group, and it's clearly no coincidence.
According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, Aaron Rodgers has provided a "wish-list" of free agents that he would like the Jets to target. They've already been linked to receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, along with tight end Marcedes Lewis, but you can also add Odell Beckham Jr. to the list.
The Jets were among the teams in attendance for Beckham's Friday workout in Arizona.
The veteran is still reportedly searching for a deal worth $20 million per season.
March 14, 11:30 a.m.
If Aaron Rodgers does ultimately end up with the Jets, a pair of his favorite receivers might be coming with him.
Reports earlier on Tuesday indicated that the Jets were "actively working" to sign Allen Lazard, with another team involved, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Jets are now the only team working on a deal with the former Packer.
Also, according to multiple reports, Rodgers favorite Randall Cobb could also end up with the Jets if the QB gets traded to Gang Green. Cobb has played 10 of his 12 pro seasons with the Packers, and has been on the receiving end of 48 Rodgers TD passes.
March 14, 8:32 a.m.
The Jets are "actively working" to sign free agent wide receiver Allen Lazard, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Per ESPN, there is another team in on Lazard.
While the connection between the former Green Bay Packers receiver and Aaron Rodgers is clear, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that Gang Green likes Lazard in their offense regardless of who the quarterback is.
It should also be pointed out that the Jets' new offensive coordinator is Nathaniel Hackett, whom Lazard is familiar with from their time together in Green Bay.
Lazard, 27, had 60 catches for a career-high 788 yards with six touchdowns last season.
He has spent five years in the league, all with the Packers.
March 13, 2:01 p.m.
All eyes are on who the Jets bring in at the quarterback position, but they had one of their QBs leave on Monday afternoon, with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting that Mike White has signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Per Schefter, White's new two-year deal is worth up to $16 million.
White, 27, electrified the fan base during his chances to start with Gang Green, but he ultimately wasn't successful enough to win the full-time starting job, posting a 2-5 record. He threw for 2,145 yards with the Jets in seven starts, including a 405-yard performance in a memorable 2021 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.