As we move into the slow part of the offseason, we're beginning to see a lot of stories remarking upon how many experienced free agents are still available at this stage compared to the norm.
A few factors are relevant in this, with one of the main reasons being the fact that the market has been depressed since the start of the league year, partly due to the cap coming in lower than expected, partly because teams had cap space swallowed up by the increase in minimum salary rates brought about by the new CBA and partly because of uncertainty due to the Coronvirus crisis.
With training camps unlikely to start on time and in their usual format, there also perhaps isn't the same level of urgency to bring veterans into the fold. For some teams, there may be certain dates they are waiting for, too. In the Jets' case, for example, they might be holding out until June, so that they can tap into the extra $11 million that will become available once the Trumaine Johnson June 1st cut is officially official.
Yesterday's article in the ringer names several potential impact free agents who are still available and even names three of them - Logan Ryan, Markus Golden and Larry Warford - as possibilities for the Jets.
The pool of experienced talent goes deeper than that though. Last week, Field Yates tried to put together a team of free agents:
Free agent "all-offense" team:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 6, 2020
QB: Cam Newton
RB: Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller
WR: Taylor Gabriel, Paul Richardson
TE: Delanie Walker
OT: Jason Peters, Cordy Glenn
G: Ronald Leary, Josh Kline
C: Justin Britt
Free agent “all-defense” team:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 7, 2020
DE: Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen
DT: Snacks Harrison, Mike Daniels
OLB: Markus Golden, Clay Matthews
ILB: Nigel Bradham, Alec Ogletree
CB: Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamara
S: Eric Reid, Tony Jefferson
Since these tweets went out, Amukamara was signed by the Raiders, but the overall talent pool arguably got even better when pro bowl guard Larry Warford was released by the Saints.
We can easily replace Amukamara with someone like Eli Apple or Aqib Talib without losing too much. Besides, there were already 12 men on defense anyway.
There are even some further names that could be considered. Players like Chester Rogers, Reshad Jones and Marcell Dareus are still out there, as are former Jets Kelvin Beachum and Demaryius Thomas.
You could even fill out a special teams unit with players like Stephen Gostkowski, Matt Bosher, Marcus Sherels and Zac DeOssie.
In fact, you could probably come up with a solid 53. Perhaps the NFL should adopt the XFL's approach and pay these guys to practice together as "Team 33" so that teams can dip into this talent pool during the season.
Anyway, looking at this potential team, do you think they could:
(a) Beat the Jets in a one-off neutral site game; or (b) Enter the NFL and end up with more wins than the Jets in 2020.
If the answer to (b) is yes, then perhaps the Jets should be thinking about spending some more money to bolster their ranks.
In either case, one surefire way to weigh things back into the Jets' favor would be to sign a few of these guys as the Ringer article suggests could happen. It remains to be seen whether the Jets will look to add potential stop-gaps like the players listed here or simply try and rely on unproven talent to step up.
Which players mentioned in this article would you like to see the Jets bring in? Let us know in the comments section.