The Jets capped off their roller-coaster 8-8 season with 2 wins over the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. While winning the last 2 games of the season and playing spoiler to the Dolphins playoffs chances felt real good heading into the offseason, plenty of work needs to be done. The Offense needs to address the glaring holes at Wide Receiver and Tight End. The Defense could use a younger version of Ed Reed to go with the older Ed Reed and a Cornerback (I dream of Revis). Special Teams needs a dynamic kick returner and a punt returner that actually returns punts and doesn’t try to set records for fair catches.
GM John Idzik should have plenty of money this offseason to spend to upgrade the roster in the areas bereft of talent. With Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, and the wildcard in Antonio Cromartie likely to be released, Idzik will have north of 40 million in cap room to use.
My short covet list for players I hope to see at least one in a Jets uniform in 2014 via free agency or the draft:
- Eric Decker, UFA Wide Receiver
- Golden Tate, UFA Wide Receiver
- Julian Edelman, UFA Wide Receiver
- Dennis Pitta, UFA Tight End
- Sammy Watkins, Draft Wide Receiver
- Marqise Lee, Draft Wide Receiver
- Odell Beckham Jr, Draft Wide Receiver
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Draft Tight End
- Jace Amaro, Draft Tight End
- Darelle Revis, Not an UFA yet, All world
- Alterraun Verner, UFA Cornerback
- Aqib Talib, UFA Cornerback
- Julian Edelman, UFA Punt Returner
The Jets are in great shape cap wise. With a talented and young Defensive Line expected to get better and a veteran Offensive Line(I expect Willie Colon to return), the Jets are solid in the trenches. The Secondary I expect to be better with progress from Dee Milliner and Antonio Allen, and with adding a veteran Corner(Revis). The Linebackers are steady with David Harris having a bounce back year and Quentin Coples getting more comfortable as an OLB as the year went on. The Running backs are solid with Chis Ivory, Bilal Powell, and injured but not forgotten Mike Goodson to return in 2014. Wide Receivers and Tight Ends need an overhaul. I like Jeremy Kerley in the slot and David Nelson was a refreshing signing on the outside, but the lack of a wideout that can consistently beat press coverage and a Tight End to dominate the middle will stifle the Offense and Geno Smith. Ultimately, 2014 will be determined by the progress Geno Smith makes. Adding 2 or more of the Wide Receivers or Tight Ends from my Covet list will help Geno build on the positive play he showed to close 2013.
Lastly, please please please find a punt returner that does more than perfect the fair catch.