The New York Jets are heading into what is expected to be a very important offseason for the future of the franchise. After a few years of suffering through disappointments, the Jets showed signs of improvement in 2017. They weren’t able to make a run to the playoffs, but the future looks brighter than it did at this time last year.
Looking ahead at the upcoming offseason, there are a few things in particular that the Jets will need to focus on improving if they want to take the next step in 2018.
First and foremost, the Jets will need to figure out who their starting quarterback is going to be moving forward. Josh McCown did a solid job in 2017, but is aging quickly and is not a viable long-term option. New York could take a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, or they could dip into free agency and pick up one of the talented options that will be available.
Free agency is going to be busy and there will be quite a bit of movement this offseason. There are big names that could change cities and quite a few underrated players that will make major impacts in 2018.
All of that being said, what free agents should the Jets consider targeting this coming offseason?
Kirk Cousins, Quarterback
Needless to say, the Jets would be signing their long-term franchise quarterback if they could get Kirk Cousins. He has become a very good starter over the past few seasons and would be a huge pickup for the Jets. New York will have a lot of competition if they try to sign him, but he certainly should be a target.
Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback
Let’s go ahead and stick with the quarterback position. Just a couple short years ago, Teddy Bridgewater was considered to be one of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks in the NFL and was the future in Minnesota. While he suffered a gruesome leg injury, the Jets should consider bringing him in and handing him the keys to their offense.
Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
Another major need for the Jets last season was finding a lockdown cornerback. Malcolm Butler won’t come cheap this offseason, but New York will likely be open to spending money for a top corner. Butler has shown why he deserves a nice pay raise this offseason during his tenure with the New England Patriots and would make the Jets’ defense immediately better.
Alex Okafor, Defensive End
Alex Okafor may not be hyped up heading into the offseason, but the Jets should take a look at him. According to Spotrac.com, Okafor is projected to receive a contract worth around $9.4 million annually. That wouldn’t be a bad long-term contract for the Jets and they should strongly consider pursuing him.
Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver
Finally, Marqise Lee would be a huge pickup for the Jets if he ends up leaving Jacksonville. New York is in need of a No. 1 receiver and Lee showed flashes of being that guy for the Jaguars. Lee isn’t going to come cheap, but the Jets should be very aggressive in talks with him when free agency opens up.