With NFL Free Agency in full swing, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has already made moves across the entire roster that have skyrocketed New York into the competitive sphere. However, with a specific focus on bolstering the Secondary, Maccagnan has transformed the Jets’ defense into one of the best in the NFL in just a matter of days.
The Jets started this offseason with $89 million in cap space, and the front office was certainly not afraid to spend it, as the team has already landed 8 players from other teams, in addition to the 12 Jets they’ve resigned. With QBs Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater already locked up, the Jets turned their sights towards securing former Rams CB Trumaine Johnson, as well as Titans ILB Avery Williamson. The Jets also re-signed CB Morris Claiborne, and with 2nd-year safeties, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye rounding out the team’s secondary, the Jets’ pass defense might turn into one of the best groups of DBs in the NFL sooner than we think.
The Jets have been creating a world-class defense for years now, and while most fans have been clamoring for a solution to the team’s quarterback problem, the front office has been quietly crafting one of the best defenses in the entire NFL. Through first round picks like LB Darron Lee, DE Leonard Williams and SS Jamal Adams, the Jets have been plugging holes in their defense each and every year. In fact, the Jets have not spent a first-round pick on an offensive player since they drafted QB Mark Sanchez in 2009.
And while the Jets defense has looked fairly mediocre on the surface, the additions of Johnson and Williamson could be a monumental turning point for a team that has failed to impress over the course of the past few years. Now, the Jets have talent at nearly every defensive position, and where there isn’t a star, there’s a solid player who’s proven he can produce results.
For now, the team has seemingly cooled off when it comes to more free agent moves, especially after missing out on CB Malcolm Butler and FS Tyrann Mathieu. But now, the Jets’ focus turns towards fleshing out the remainder of the roster, as defensive ends and 2017 Jets Kony Ealy and Xavier Cooper both remain on the free agent market. Even when the final 53 man roster is completed, the focal point will still be directed onto the Jets’ secondary, as Johnson, Adams, Maye, and Claiborne could potentially rival some of the great modern secondaries such as Denver’s “No Fly Zone” or even Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”
Still, the first Sunday of the 2018 season is about six months away, and although the free agent circus is beginning to slow down, the Jets still have approximately $37.584 million left to spend, leaving the door wide open for a few more signings and maybe another major move. However, Maccagnan and the rest of the front office have done plenty, and by forging one of the greatest on-paper defenses in the NFL, the Jets’ offseason is looking like one of the brightest in the entire league.