Demario Davis, New York Jets, NFL
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The New York Jets have a ton of money to spend in free agency. But what about their own free agents? ESNY breaks down who should stay and who should go. 

On my afternoon drive radio show on The Score 1260 in Syracuse, I do a special segment every week called ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ It’s inspired by The Clash’s hit song, and we’re going to apply this to the New York Jets.

MLB Demario Davis

Demario Davis took a pay cut when he was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets before the start of the season. I’d expect he’d like the Jets to return the favor this offseason.


Davis had a career-year with the Jets in 2017 and I hope it’s a sign of things to come. The Jets don’t want to have a different mike linebacker for three straight years. That’s what’s going to happen if they let Davis go in free agency:

That wouldn’t be wise, especially considering what Davis brings to the table in terms of his intangibles. This is a guy that has re-dedicated himself to the game and his intangibles are infectious. The Jets need to pay up here and I think they do.

Verdict: He Stays!

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

This past offseason I proclaimed time after time on The Jets Zone, that this would be the move that takes the Jets offense to the next level. He’s got the prototypical size (6-foot-6, 250-plus pounds) and the speed to deliver.

While the stats don’t jump off the page for those reading the box score, he had a tremendous impact on this team. I would love to see the Jets pay the man. Money will be no object for any of these players, with the Jets expected to have nearly $100 million in available cap space.

Although there was some weird controversy over the weekend when ESPN Insider Rich Cimini reported that perhaps the interest isn’t mutual between the two parties, I shared that info on social media and it caused quite the situation, you can check out that engaging thread here.

I don’t know how I always get into these controversial spats on Twitter with Jets players or their moms, but it’s a part of the job. Anywho, I think the Jets and ASJ find common ground.

Verdict: He Stays!

New York Jets

CB Morris Claiborne

Sometimes those low risk vs. high reward moves pay off and boy did it pay off big time for the Jets in 2017. Former top-10 pick Morris Claiborne had a bumpy road during his initial stop with the Dallas Cowboys, mostly due to durability concerns.

With the Jets, he played 15 out of a possible 16 games and, for the majority of the season, played like an All-Pro. I was getting prime-time Darrelle Revis flashbacks when Claiborne kept shutting receivers down and wasn’t allowing any touchdowns on him for much of the season.

This will be one of the Jets most expensive purchases if they dare. Claiborne will be 28 entering next season and, in theory, entering his prime. Corners are hard to come by and if he reaches unrestricted free agency he could become too pricey.

But it’s worth it for the Jets and Todd Bowles’ man-to-man schematics. They need corners and Claiborne fits the bill when healthy. I would sign him to a long-term deal with a ton of incentives for injuries so the green and white can protect themselves.

Verdict: He Stays!

C Wesley Johnson

It seemed like the Jets had a plan after the 2016 season. Despite being a future Ring of Honor member and arguably a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Jets decided to move on from Nick Mangold.

He was getting long in the tooth, the ironman started to have some durability issues, and apparently other teams felt the same way as he went unsigned throughout the 2017 season.

So the Jets turned to his understudy Wesley Johnson, who was an utter disappointment this past season. Johnson has never started a full season in his career either due to injury or lack of playing time.

By letting Johnson go they’ll have to either find a veteran in free agency or take a shot in the dark during the 2018 NFL Draft. Not an ideal position to say the least.

Verdict: He Goes!

NFL

DE Kony Ealy

At the beginning of the season, it seemed like Kony Ealy was the steal of the offseason. The Jets stole him from the New England Patriots off of waivers and he dominated in terms of affecting the game.

Ealy was ‘JJ Watt-esque’ with his pass deflections early in the season. Although it seemed to be a bit of a flash in the pan which should concern the Jets in terms of how much they want to cough up.

Even with Muhammad Wilkerson being held out of the lineup, Ealy couldn’t get into the starting lineup. That’s troubling. Ealy is more so a depth signing and with the inevitable loss of Wilkerson, the Jets could use more bodies.

If the deal is right, I’d bring him back. He shouldn’t be overly expensive and Ealy has bought into what the Jets want to do in the future defensively.

Verdict: He Stays!

K Chandler Catanzaro

A lot of people thought the Jets chose the wrong man by opting to stick with Chandler Catanzaro after the kicking competition in the preseason. But Catanzaro’s huge leg and ability to get touchbacks earned him the job.

In 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals, Catanzaro had his worst season as a pro. He missed seven field goal attempts and had an overall 75 percent clip, the worst of his career. In 2017, he only missed five kicks and converted 83 percent of his tries.

The only real struggles he had during the season was during near Hurricane conditions at home against the Atlanta Falcons late in the season. I feel like we can give him a pass for that. Let’s keep the good times rolling with another contract extension.

Verdict: He Stays!

Dakota Dozier

Head coach Todd Bowles said that Dakota Dozier was the most improved player on the Jets during the 2017 season. That’s good news for a guy who’s headed for unrestricted free agency this offseason.

If he has improved half as much as Bowles claims, then the Jets should keep him because depth along the offensive line has been an issue for years. Dozier has some scheme versatility and can play a variety of positions.

I’m not sure if he’s starting caliber talent, but he’s got some intriguing traits that I’d be willing to keep and pay. Hopefully, Bowles feels the same way.

Verdict: He Stays!

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