This article was written by Alan Schechter of The Jet Press.
When free agency opens on March 12th, new Jets’ GM John Idzik have a lot of work to do. Anyone who watched the Jets play in 2012 knows that the roster needs a lot
of work. They need improvement at QB, RB, WR, TE, LB, edge pass rusher, and they have to preserve what they have at safety. This is no easy task.
The Jets did free up a lot of money against the salary cap, once they released the likes of Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith, and Jason Smith. However, this only brought the team to around 9 million dollars under the cap, with a lot of starting positions left unfilled. The Jets don’t have a starting tight end signed, they don’t have a “Bell-cow” running back, they are thin at linebacker, and they have no starting safeties under contract either.
This is why you hear the Jets and John Idzik talk a great deal about the NFL draft. Look at how the best teams around this league, and yes, that includes our friends up in New England. How do they bring sustainable success? Through the draft. The Jets are going to do their best work improving their franchise through the draft.
Free agency, however, will be performed through some bargain basement shopping. With the precarious situation with the salary cap that the Jets are in, the Jets are going to have to look at mid-level free agents that will give them a lot of bang for their buck. It would be nice to say that the Jets are going to have a chance to sign Reggie Bush to bolster the running game. Heck, he would be the perfect guy to add to the new West Coast style offense. But, the fact of the matter is that he is going to be out of their price range. In all likelihood, Matt Moore, who would also be a good fit, will also be out of their price range.
Look for the Jets check into running backs like Chris Ivory or Justin Forsett, for example. These are guys that have performed well when they have had the chance, but will come at a lower price. This is why we are hearing about guys at QB like Brady Quinn and David Garrard as well.
That will be the theme for the Jets free agency tour of 2013, bargain hunting.