The New York Jets, who have been linked to Kirk Cousins, plan to be active early in free agency.
The NFL offseason is in a full sprint as we move towards the draft. Free agency opens on March 14, while the legal tampering period, where teams can contact pending free agents, begins on March 12.
The New York Jets have around $90 Million in cap space entering the free agent period, and according to Brian Costello at the New York Post, general manager Mike Maccagnan plans to use it to be active on day one of free agency. He told Costello that:
Obviously we’ll be very active on the first day in terms of the higher profile guys. I think the one thing I’ve noticed in the NFL this year or in the past years, I should say, is free agency moves very quickly. If you have guys targeted and you have your range how you value them, we’ll be very active.
Maccagnan clearly plans to jump early while there is a large selection of players on the market. However, he did not give away whether it will be a big-ticket player or smaller value players, saying:
We may sign a big-ticket guy. We may sign a small-ticket guy. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out. … Everybody is well aware we have quite a bit of cap space to work with. There are quite a few players we’re interested in.
The team has been linked to Kirk Cousins for months and is expected to be one of the finalists for the quarterback, along with the Minnesota Vikings. He would be a major improvement over Josh McCown and could be the franchise leader the Jets have been desperately looking for.
The team could also look to improve at center, where Wesley Johnson has struggled. That position is weaker in free agency this year, but former Giant Weston Richburg could be an interesting target for the Jets.
EDGE rusher is also a position that the Jets could look to improve, although with Demarcus Lawrence and Ziggy Ansah receiving the Franchise Tag, that position is very weak in free agency. Adrian Clayborne had success as a situational pass rusher last season, and the team could also look at re-signing Kony Ealy.
The Jets have a chance to improve greatly in free agency, provided that they play it smart and aren’t afraid to be aggressive. It appears they’re willing to go all in to improve themselves.