The New York Jets made a savvy free-agent signing on Friday with the addition of veteran right tackle Morgan Moses, which only furthers the concerted effort this offseason to set up rookie quarterback Zach Wilson for success.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Moses inked a one-year deal with the Jets worth $3.6 million that can get to $5.3 million with incentives. Moses played at a high level for the Washington Football Team in 2020 and is an instant starter in New York.
But if Gang Green really wants to maximize its ceiling in 2021, it’s going to take a little more than what’s been done to date to truly compete at a high level. Let’s look at three more moves the Jets can make to improve.
New York Jets sign Richard Sherman
It’s probably going to take a combination of money and scheme fit for the most prized free-agent cornerback still on the market to sign somewhere. Richard Sherman is just the type of veteran leader New York needs, he’s still capable of playing at a high level, and always has a healthy chip on his shoulder.
First-year Jets head coach Robert Saleh was Sherman’s defensive coordinator on the San Francisco 49ers. The fit here is obvious. It’s just a matter of whether Sherman could be sold on New York truly competing for a playoff spot in 2021.
Well, if Sherman were to play to his All-Pro capabilities, and Wilson winds up lighting it up in his maiden pro campaign, much crazier things have happened in the NFL.
New York Jets bring back Brian Poole
The offensive line now has three legitimate pieces in Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker on the left side in addition to Moses on the right edge. Even though the Jets’ receiving corps was solid on paper with Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder entering the draft, they still picked up Elijah Moore near the top of Round 2.
What does that have to do with this whole hypothetical exactly? Well, even if Sherman signs, this New York secondary could still use more depth at cornerback. Poole was actually one of the few bright spots for the Jets over the past two seasons, yet he’s still unsigned as a free agent.
There’s little need for New York to play hardball with Poole anymore. The team will still has the third-most cap space in the league even with Moses’ new contract on the books.
Poole is a truly excellent slot cornerback, and that’s such a key position in pro football these days. Pairing Poole on the inside with Sherman out wide would make the Jets’ overall defensive outlook so much better.
New York Jets acquire a veteran quarterback
It almost doesn’t matter who it is at this point. Right now, the Jets don’t have a single QB who’s taken a snap in an actual NFL regular-season game.
Even though Wilson is the obvious starter, that’s not a great situation for the BYU product to be in, much less the team as a whole. What if Saleh inspires New York to overachieve in Year 1, but the undersized Wilson gets dinged up and has to miss a couple starts?
All due respect to James Morgan and Mike White, but those current signal-callers aren’t exactly reliable to get a spot start and go in and win. That’s especially the case due to Wilson receiving as many reps as possible throughout the offseason program to fast-track his rookie-year development.
General manager Joe Douglas didn’t get all stubborn and stick with a lesser player in George Fant at right tackle. He recognized a clear weakness, and upgraded in a big way to Moses, Pro Football Focus’ 18th-ranked offensive tackle from 2020.
How can’t it be obvious to Douglas and everyone in the Jets’ building that they need a vet to mentor Wilson who can help him prepare like a true pro?
Whether it’s someone like former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles — who’s buried on the Chicago Bears’ depth chart — or a pseudo-coach like former Jet Josh McCown, this team needs someone not only in the event of an emergency start, but also to help Wilson get off on the right foot in terms of mastering the art of preparation.