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New York Jets rumors: Team expected to ‘make waves’ during NFL free agency

Vincent Frank
New York Jets rumors: Shaq Barrett, NFL free agent
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Boasting nearly $70 million to spend under the 2021 NFL salary cap, New York Jets rumors have pointed in the direction of the team being pretty darn active during free agency.

It makes perfect sense with general manager Joe Douglas attempting to change the culture in New Jersey, a ton of needs on both sides of the ball and new head coach Robert Saleh being enticing to defensive free agents.

Sure teams have made the mistake of overpaying for quality players on the NFL free agent market in the past. But the long-downtrodden Jets are not going to sit idly by with this much cap room and allow their roster to remain the least-talented in the league. At least, that’s what we are hearing from Jersey.

Read More: NFL salary cap tracker: Where each team stands in 2021

New York Jets expected to “make waves” during NFL free agency

“There is absolutely no financial restriction on Douglas this offseason, per sources. He has means and green light to build team however he wants,” Connor Hughes of The Athletic noted. “That means pursuing top-tier FAs and giving them top-tier money, if he wants. Expectation from those around league is #NYJ make waves.”

With needs pretty much all over the field, these Jets can target specific positions and outbid other teams for priority signings. That’s especially true given the lowered 2021 NFL salary cap number due to the revenue downfall created by COVID-19. The Jets are just one of 12 teams with north of $30 million to spend under the cap.

The needs are also pretty darn vast. Running back, offensive line, tight end and wide receiver are all target areas on offense. Meanwhile, a defensive-mined head coach in Robert Saleh will look to put his imprint on that unit.

Read More: Top 50 NFL free agents of 2021

New York Jets rumors: Who will be the targets on defense?

New York Jets rumors: Richard Sherman, NFL free agent
Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on against the Washington Football Team during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The expectation has long been that these Jets will look to Saleh’s former 49ers team for scheme fits on defense. That’s good news with the high number of impending free agents coming from San Francisco.

Cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams could make a ton of sense. All three have continued to perform like Pro Bowl-caliber players. Meanwhile, safety Jaquiski Tartt could be an option to team up with Marcus Maye in the defensive backfield.

Big-ticket options such as pass rushers Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue and Shaq Barrett also seem like potential options for New York. We saw how young pass rusher Nick Bosa performed under Saleh in San Francisco as a rookie in 2019. The Jets might want to look to duplicate that with a big free-agent signing this week.

Read More: New York Jets draft picks: Top 2021 selections, ideal prospects to target

New York Jets expected to go big time after a wide receiver

New York Jets rumors: Kenny Golladay
Sep 27, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Recent New York Jets rumors conclude that they are the leaders in the clubhouse with the division-rival Miami Dolphins for Detroit Lions Pro Bowl receiver Kenny Golladay. He’s likely looking at $15-plus million annually, a number that the Jets could meet due to their cap situation.

JuJu Smith Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts pass-catcher T.Y. Hilton are two other options for the Jets to consider once free agency opens.

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