The New York Jets did go after now-Green Bay Packers edge man Za’Darius Smith. Just how badly did they want him?
The New York Jets found themselves on the outside looking in pertaining to the NFL free agency edge market. It appears, however, it wasn’t by choice.
Not only did Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr snub their affection, but Za’Darius Smith chose the Green Bay Packers’ ridiculous contract offer in favor of New York’s.
Peter Bukowski of SB Nation let the football world in on Smith’s words while on Ian Rapoport’s Podcast.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) March 20, 2019
Smith, 27, signed a massive four-year, $66-million contract with $20 million guaranteed and an incredible $34 owed over the first two seasons. The money has been questioned due to Smith’s relatively nonexistent first few seasons in the league. His 8.5 sacks a season go nearly matched his 10 career sacks headed into the season.
In addition to Za’Darius, Green Bay—a team usually known for building the sturdy way through the draft—also snagged free agent pass rusher Preston Smith.
Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley cannot take away the disappointment of not landing any legitimate offensive lineman or pass rushers in free agency—the two spots the Jets have been desperate at for years. At the same time, Smith’s money is outrageous.
At the very least, we now understand Mike Maccagnan was in on another edge man not named Anthony Barr. Not matching the deal as a sole move is understandable and sensical.
Not snagging at least one edge, however, might be unforgivable (considering how much talent is needed up front on the offensive side of the ball).