LATEST PAPER
70° Good Evening
70° Good Evening
SportsJets

10 free agency options for the Jets in 2016

NFL free agency begins March 9 at 4 p.m., and the Jets have about $6.2 million to spend. Here are 10 names the Jets could target in free agency (listed by position):

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB

It may be cheating to list a team's
Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

It may be cheating to list a team's own free agent on this list, but frankly, it would be a surprise if the Jets didn't at least try to bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick after the resurgence he had in 2015. The veteran QB with the giant beard had career-highs in passing yards (3,905) and passing touchdowns (31, also a Jets single-season record). He had great chemistry with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, so the Jets may decide that keeping that rapport intact is worth whatever additional salary Fitzpatrick may be seeking.

Matt Forte, RB

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are both hitting
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are both hitting free agency, and given the Jets' other needs and salary cap constraints, it may be unlikely that one or both will be back for 2016. If they want to combine Ivory's running ability with Powell's receiving skills, they could decide to kick the tires on Matt Forte. Forte was cut by the Bears after an injury plagued 2015 season. When healthy, the eight-year veteran has a well-rounded skillset that makes him a true three-down back. But at age 30 -- often the beginning of the end for running backs -- there are questions about how much he has left in the tank.

Alfred Morris, RB

Alfred Morris is a cheaper option that may
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Patrick Smith

Alfred Morris is a cheaper option that may intrigue the Jets. The former undrafted free agent has rushed for 1,000 yards and averaged at least 4 yards per carry in three of four seasons in Washington. But he fell off in 2015, rushing for 751 yards and scoring just one touchdown in 16 games while splitting time with rookie Matt Jones and third-year pro Chris Thompson. Morris will be 27 in 2016, so he could be a buy-low option for a team in need of a powerful, between-the-tackles runner.

Damon Harrison, DT

Yes, we have another Jet on this list.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jared Wickerham

Yes, we have another Jet on this list. But while Damon "Snacks" Harrison isn't as big a name as Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson or Leonard Williams, the third-year pro flourished in 2015, grading as Pro Football Focus' highest-rated run-stuffer. The 27-year-old will fetch a big contract in free agency, but if the Jets can clear up some cap room, they would like to bring him back.

Jaye Howard, DT

If Harrison is too pricey for the Jets,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire

If Harrison is too pricey for the Jets, there are a few other nose tackle options out there. Jaye Howard is the same age as Harrison and finished the season as PFF's third-best run-stopping interior defensive lineman. He flew a little bit under the radar in a Kansas City defense that was loaded with front-seven talent, but he has a great deal of talent and could fit right in with the Jets.

Ian Williams, DT

A sleeper pick, Ian Williams was an unheralded
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson

A sleeper pick, Ian Williams was an unheralded part of a 49ers defense that was decimated by retirements in 2015. Williams played 16 games last season for the first time in his five-year career and finished among PFF's leaders in run stops and run-stop percentage. He's not a household name, but he's very productive and can be a solid anchor in the middle of a defense.

Bruce Irvin, Edge rusher

Lorenzo Mauldin had a good rookie season, but
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Grant Halverson

Lorenzo Mauldin had a good rookie season, but the Jets still need to upgrade their pass rush, especially with Calvin Pace turning 36 this year. Bruce Irvin will be one of the higher-paid edge rushers in this class, but he was a key part of Seattle's stingy defense ever since he was drafted in the first round in 2012. The West Virginia product has 22 sacks in four seasons and would provide an immediate jolt to the Jets' pass rush. The question is, will he opt for familiar faces and play for former Seahawks defensive coordinators Dan Quinn (now the head coach for the Falcons) or Gus Bradley (now at the helm of the Jaguars)?

Junior Galette, Edge rusher

Junior Galette is a high-risk, high-reward player. The
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chris Graythen

Junior Galette is a high-risk, high-reward player. The fifth-year edge rusher has 31 1/2 career sacks with New Orleans and knows how to get into the backfield. However, numerous off-field issues -- including a domestic violence charge that eventually was dismissed -- led to his release from the Saints, and he spent the 2015 season with Washington. It's unlikely Todd Bowles would go after a player with such off-field baggage, but if he can prove he has changed for the better, then he could be worth a one-year, incentive-laden offer.

Danny Trevathan, LB

Demario Davis and Erin Henderson are free agents.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Stephen Dunn

Demario Davis and Erin Henderson are free agents. Henderson could return after reviving his career following two drunk-driving arrests in two months, but the Jets could still seek reinforcements at middle linebacker. Danny Trevathan was one of the more underrated members of the Broncos' vaunted Super Bowl defense, but he put up big numbers (109 total tackles, two interceptions, six passes defensed) and will be just 26 at the start of the 2016 season. He'll likely have a lot of suitors in free agency, though, which may keep the Jets out of the running.

Brandon Marshall, LB

On the other hand, Trevathan's teammate Brandon Marshall
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ezra Shaw

On the other hand, Trevathan's teammate Brandon Marshall (not to be confused with the Brandon Marshall that's already on the Jets) could be an option. The fourth-year pro has 220 total tackles in the last two seasons as a starter for the Broncos and will turn 27 early in the 2016 season. He's a restricted free agent, though, which means two things: the Broncos have right of first refusal for any offer, and the Jets would give up draft pick compensation, depending on what tender the Broncos give Marshall.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Top Photos & Videos