Allen Robinson
Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

The New York Jets should waste little time in their pursuit for the top free agents on the market. 

With all the recent moves the lowly Cleveland Browns made, the New York Jets are the new kings of free agency. Gang Green has the most cap space with approximately $90 million at the top of the leader-board.

General manager Mike Maccagnan promised the Jets will be active on the opening day of free agency March 14. Well, just a promise is not good enough.

For the green and white to truly maximize their position, they must also be the most active team during the legal tampering period which officially stars on Monday, March 12.

New York Jets

While according to the NFL rules, no deals can be consumated, you can still check everything off of the proverbial bucket list and then cross some t’s and dot some i’s officially on March 14 at 4:00 p.m.

Obviously the No. 1 name on their hit list is ‘Captain’ Kirk Cousins. While the odds makers and analysts have considered it a mere formality that Cousins is signing with the Minnesota Vikings, you have to do due diligence.

Lets be honest, the Jets are no slouches in their pursuit of Cousins. They can offer the most money in the NFL, they have the familiarity with Jeremy Bates, and they’re close to turning it around.

Although, there are two ideologies at quarterback: Go all-in on Cousins and make him the highest paid quarterback in NFL history or move to the top of the draft and select your favorite quarterback. It’d certainly be the most cost-effective option to go the draft route, although in theory the Jets have a better chance of winning right now with Cousins under center.

After the Jets make that initial call, they better pay their cell phone bill and get the unlimited talk and text feature. I remember when I had overages, my parents weren’t pleased and I doubt new owner Christopher Johnson would be as forgiving.

Another nugget on a veteran quarterback: A deal hasn’t been consummated yet between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. I doubt he leaves, but it’s always worth kicking the tires. He would be optimal because he puts you in a position to win now, but you could still draft a quarterback with the sixth overall choice for the future.

ESNY City Stream

Speaking of forgiving, forgive me if I’m mistaken but the Jets need help at receiver. Quincy Enunwa is coming off neck surgery and hasn’t been given a tender yet to his restricted free agent status. Robby Anderson seems to like prison cells more than locker rooms. It’s time to get a true No. 1 receiver.

The Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t willing to tag Allen Robinson, so it looks like he’s going to reach unrestricted free agency on March 14 but it’s up to the Jets to express interest early during the legal tampering process.

The phrase “buying championships” is often thrown for teams that try to fix all their issues in free agency. Robinson isn’t your run-of-the-mill free agent; he’s going to be 25 by the time the season starts. That’s a player worth investing in. He is coming off major surgery, but he’s been in recovery since last September.

While the worst kept secret in the NFL is that the Jets are going to be going heavy after corners in free agency. They could retain Morris Claiborne, but even if they do that won’t preclude the team from adding another top-tier player like Malcolm Butler or Trumaine Johnson.

Although the Jets should be weary about overpaying for cornerbacks when they’re approaching 30 years old. We saw the bad side of that with Darrelle Revis’s last deal with Gang Green.

While Maccagnan stated he’ll be very active on day one, that shouldn’t just be for marquee free agents. The Jets really need to attack the second and third-tier market to find good value deals. Here are some potential options to consider.

  • Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, Vikings
  • Dion Lewis, running back, Patriots
  • Weston Richburg, center, Giants
  • E.J. Gaines, cornerback, Bills
  • DaQuan Jones, defensive line, Titans
  • Ryan Jensen, center, Ravens
  • Aaron Colvin, cornerback, Jaguars
  • Isaiah Crowell, running back, Browns