Recapping Jets needs following 1st wave of free agency

Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) celebrates with defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd (97) after a defensive play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) celebrates with defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd (97) after a defensive play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The first wave of free agency usually lasts only a day or two with many of the top available players agreeing to deals. The New York Jets were certainly active during that time, but not in a way many had expected. 

Going into the start of free agency, the Jets had needs along the OL, at defensive tackle, and especially at quarterback. The last week has certainly changed much around Florham Park. 

A trade for future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not been completed yet by the Jets. But while talks are still ongoing with the Packers, it’s the four-time MVP’s intention to play with Gang Green in 2023. That alone is enough to alter the entire offseason plan for the Jets, and enough to change many of the team’s current needs.

A trade for Rodgers would only be the first step in the off-season plan for general manager Joe Douglas. So while New York tries to put the finishing touches on a trade for the former Packer, let’s take a look at the other positions the Jets need to address before the 2023 season kicks off. 

Defensive Tackle

Outside of a Rodgers trade, locking up All-Pro Quinnen Williams is probably the second most important thing Douglas and the Jets need to do this off-season. Supplying Williams with more depth around him is another key part of the process. 

New York lost Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd during the first wave of free agency and only has Solomon Thomas and Tanzel Smart as depth. The team was in but lost out on Fletcher Cox last week and continues to be in the market for more defensive tackle help. 

Shelby Harris and Michael Brockers are just a few names that could interest the Jets as they look to find a way to keep their stalwart franchise tackle healthy and ready for a deep playoff run in 2023. Until that happens though, the Jets will have a need at defensive tackle. 


Wes Schweitzer is a solid pickup for the Jets at the center position, but he would be an even better piece if he were expected to be the backup. Ben Jones is an obvious name to watch because of his connection with Kevin Carter and with his being released by the Titans last week. 

The Jets need to make sure they have plenty of quality offensive linemen to help protect their franchise quarterback. The first position they should focus on for that goal is the tackles. Then, it’s the center position because of how much is being asked of the position nowadays. 

Jones and New York make a lot of sense here, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they figure out a way to agree to a deal. 

Free Safety 

LeMarcus Joyner and Jordan Whitehead are gone (or at least soon to be gone in the case of Whitehead). The trade for Chuck Clark was a savvy move by Douglas not to pay top price for an in-the-box safety. But the team still has a need at the free safety spot. 

Tony Adams is the only player on the depth chart currently in that position and the safety market has been significantly beaten over the first week of free agency. Still, the Jets need to solidify the backend of their defense. Adrian Amos, Rodney McLeod, and Terrell Edmunds all make sense here. 


CJ Mosley and Quincy Williams are two very good linebackers. But the way New York plays, a third one on the weakside is needed. Kwon Alexander could very well be brought back, but the Jets need a quality guy that can play all three downs. 

Other names like Myles Jack and Deion Jones could fit well with New York’s aggressive style of defense. As constructed right now, Gang Green can provide Rodgers with one of the best defenses the quarterback has ever played with. With a couple of additions, this could be one of the best across the NFL. 

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