Which upcoming free agents should Jets GM Joe Douglas keep on his roster?

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Ralph Vacchiano
·5 min read
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Joe Douglas has a lot of work to do this offseason as he begins to reshape the roster the way he wants it to be. And he'll start with the Jets' 23 unrestricted free agents -- most of whom will likely be gone when he's done.

Here's a look at those players -- and whether Douglas should keep them or not -- plus the lone restricted free agent, and a few other players who could be, and perhaps should be, offseason salary cap cuts:

 

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

WR Robby Anderson - He wants to stay and the Jets rejected trade offers for him at the deadline. He has played much better in recent weeks, though, and may have priced his way out of New York. He's going to want more than $10 million per season over the long term. The Jets should try to get him short-term for around $8 million per year, or let him go. Really, even $8 million is a lot for a guy who's career highs are 63 catches for 941 yards - two years ago.

LB Jordan Jenkins - He's their best pass rusher, which isn't saying much, but he does have 14 sacks over the last two seasons. Edge rusher is a big need for the Jets, but they could do worse than having Jenkins on the opposite side of whatever top pass rusher they import. Jenkins won't be cheap, but he's far from the top tier.

LT Kelvin Beachum - The Jets will likely have four new players on the offensive line next season. They could do worse than bringing Beachum back on a one- or two-year deal to minimize that turnover. He could play on the left until a replacement is ready, then switch to the right.

WR Demaryius Thomas - A reliable receiver who knows Adam Gase's offense and would be welcomed back on a one-year deal. But at age 32, coming off an injury plagued season, they can't pay him much.

CB Brian Poole - A valuable slot corner who played on a one-year, $3 million contract. It might take multiple years this time, but it's a small price to pay and a position where they're dangerously thin.

G Alex Lewis - Of the five Jets linemen, Lewis appears to be the one the Jets want back the most. He shouldn't cost much, but he's played well and good linemen are hard to find. The price could be higher than you think.

C Ryan Kalil - It was worth a shot, luring him out of retirement. But it's over.

QB Trevor Siemian - A valuable backup until he got hurt. Worth bringing back on the same one-year, $2 million deal.

LB Neville Hewitt - He played pretty well as the Jets lost all their linebackers around him. Still projects as a backup, especially with Avery Williamson and CJ Mosley likely to return. Worth a small deal to bring him back for depth.

RB Ty Montgomery - Adam Gase either couldn't figure out how to use him, or didn't want to. Hard to imagine he'd even want to return.

T Brandon Shell - The Jets are going to upgrade their line and Shell isn't the future anymore. If he returns, it'll be for a small deal as a backup.

P Lachlan Edwards - A solid punter finishing up a four-year, $2.4 million deal. Shouldn't cost much more than that to keep him again.

LB Brandon Copeland - Has a PED suspension and not a lot of production on his resume (though he's currently suing a supplement maker for causing that suspension). The Jets will likely move on regardless.

G Tom Compton - If the veteran journeyman sticks around, it'll be for depth and insurance only.

S Rontez Miles - A valuable special teamer, but he's suffered way too many injuries the last two years.

OL Brent Qvale - A depth player and spot starter, and another player worth keeping around at the minimum, but no more.

RB Bilal Powell - He still looks like he's got it in very short bursts. The Jets could do worse with a backup running back, but he is 31 and definitely on the downside.

LB Albert McClellan - A former Raven, like the Jets GM. For a small deal he'd be a decent depth player.

TE Daniel Brown - Assuming Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin are the future at tight end, there isn't much room for Brown except for a camp invitation.

QB David Fales - He'll probably lose out to Trevor Siemian, but the Jets will keep him on speed dial since he knows Gase's offense.

LB Paul Worrilow - A veteran, journeyman lineman who arrived in November and will be gone just as quickly.

CB Maurice Canady - The Jets are going to overhaul their entire corner corps, but Canady - another ex-Raven - is only 25. An invitation to training camp to see what he's got left might be in order.

RB Kenneth Dixon - Another ex-Raven who could get a camp invitation or a small deal to come and back up Le'Veon Bell or whoever the Jets' starting running back is next season.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

WR Josh Malone - He spent most of the season on the practice squad. He won't be tendered, but could return for the minimum salary.

POSSIBLE SALARY CAP CUTS

CB Trumaine Johnson - Terrible contract, poor play, nothing but trouble. It'll cost them a $12 million dead cap hit, but they'll gladly cut him to clear $3 million.

WR Quincy Enunwa - After multiple neck injuries he very likely won't play again. He'll cost $5.4 million in dead money, but there may not be a choice for the Jets. 

G Brian Winters - Likely to be gone as part of the Jets' line overhaul, not to mention the $7.2 million in cap savings.

CB Daryl Roberts - He had his good moments for a bad secondary, but cutting him clears $6 million and leaves no dead money, making this a no-brainer.

WR Josh Bellamy - Brought in for special teams, but he landed on IR with a shoulder injury in November. He'll be 31 in May and cutting him clears $2.25 million, so that will likely happen.