New York Jets NFL

2021 New York Jets Free Agency Recap, so far…. (Part One)

It seems like the New York Jets 2021 Free Agency class may be full and I’d say it was a heavy one. I really like what out GM did, he signed good players to team friendly contracts. In today’s article, I’ll be grading and analyzing these new signings and will give one full grade for this year’s FA class. We all know the Jets had the second-most money going into free agency alongside Jacksonville at #1 and New England at #3. Our Jets were indeed active and spending money in free agency but didn’t exactly sign those who they were expected to sign. While on the other hand the Patriots were extremely active in the market and paid low-name players with decent talent to massive contracts. The Jets filled in multiple needs in free agency and have now created and absolute beast on the defensive line. The DL is probably our best position as of right now. In this year’s free agency class the Jets signed DE Carl Lawson (Bengals), WR Corey Davis (Titans), LB Jarrad Davis (Lions), DB/ST Justin Hardee (Saints), WR Keelan Cole (Jaguars), OL Dan Feeney (Chargers), DB Lamarcus Joyner (Raiders), TE Tyler Kroft (Bills), DT Sheldon Rankins (Saints), DL Vinny Curry (Eagles), RB Tevin Coleman (49ers), and LB Del’Shawn Phillips (Atlanta). That is a total of 12 new players on this roster. Now that is obviously a lot of players for one article so this will be split up into 3 parts. Let’s start with our new EDGE RUSHER….. CARL LAWSON!

1. DE Carl Lawson (Bengals); 3 years for $45M

@OptimisticJets on Twitter

The Jets have finally signed their edge rusher and Jet fans couldn’t be more excited. He inked a three year contract worth $45M with $30M guaranteed. That gives him $10M guaranteed per year but he can earn up to $15M. Lawson has quickly became a fan favorite just because of the way he lives and his incredible enthusiasm for this franchise. The fact that we are going to have Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson on the same defensive line makes me excited. Carl isn’t a massively talked about free agency due to the team he played for previously and the lack of sacks he had in 2020. He was the anchor on a poor Bengals defensive line, he was consistently double-teamed and still racked up 5 sacks with the second most QB hits behind Pittsburgh’s TJ Watt. We know that he has the ability to have lots of sacks because in his rookie year (2017), he had 8 sacks. That’s impressive for a rookie. Out of the Bengals 73 total QB hits in 2020, he racked up 32 of them. That is a little over 43% and that is the highest in the league by a far margin to DeForest Buckner’s and Romeo Okwara’s 32%. Lawson and Quinnen could spark the second coming of the Sack Exchange, if they play up to the hype. I predict one of them will have a double-digit sack year. They are being coached by Jeff Ulbrich and Robert Saleh, so I think they’ll be a dynamic duo. Here were his 2020 stats and his measurements:

– Age: 25
– Weight: 261lbs
– Height: 6’2″
– 5.5 Sacks
– 36 Tackles
– 32 QB Hits (2nd in the league)
– 27 QB Knockdowns (Led the league)
– 2 Forced Fumbles
– 76.3 PFF Grade
– 16 Games Played

My Grade: A-, this was a great signing IF he keeps up the production. I won’t give it an A because we overpaid a little but if he works out you’ll see an A on next year’s free agency 2021 review.

2. WR Corey Davis (Titans); 3 years for $37M

Corey Davis, Jets Jersey Swap. Made by me (@jd_5bd on twitter/insta)

Now this right here is PrimeTime. Corey Davis to the Jets has to be one of the most underrated signings in free agency this year. Jets fans and I were looking at Allen Robinson II, Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster but Joe Douglas signed Corey Davis to a great team-friendly contract. We’ve all heard since his combine that he’s a physical monster and has most of the intangibles to be a WR1 in this league. He ran a 4.45 in his 40-yard dash and is 6’3″. That’s absolutely incredible, and on top of it all he can run routes. Now you maybe asking, then why wasn’t he such a sought after free agent? It’s because he was very inconsistent in his career and just hasn’t been able to put it all together for one full season. However, he’s coming into NY and is expected to be our WR1 and he’s going to have to live up to it. Personally, I think he’s going to wonders for whoever the QB is and he’s going to have a big factor on Denzel Mims. Davis is going to attract lots of double-teams, meanwhile that lives Mims open and that will boost his stats. Here are his 2020 stats and measurements:

– Age: 26
– Weight: 205lbs
– Height: 6’3″
– 984 REC Yards
– 5 TDs
– 65 Receptions
– 92 Targets
– 70% Catch Percentage
– 86.9 PFF Grade
– 14 Games Played

My Grade: A, this was another great signing and I think will not hurt us. He’s getting paid a little more than his worth but the way that GM Joe Douglas constructed the contract helps us because it doesn’t hurt us long-term in future years. He’s a versatile WR and is easily our best. Great signing.

3. LB Jarrad Davis (Lions); 1 year for $5.5

Getty Images

This signing was a very much under the radar signing. Jarrad Davis was the Jets’ first signing in the offseason and he was actually highly sought after. The LB had an incredible first two season with the Lions but in his last two years he became a disappointment. However, multiple teams blamed it on Matt Patricia and still think that he is a good LB. GM Joe Douglas and HC Robert Saleh were apart of one of those teams and picked him up. He will be apart of the LB crew alongside CJ Mosley and Blake Cashman. I think that Davis can be really good in a Robert Saleh defense, if he can play as good as he did in his sophomore and replicate those 100 tackles and 6 sacks then we may have a beast on our hands. I’m going to show his 2018 stats and measurements due to the lack of games he started in the last two years.

– Age: 26
– Weight: 245lbs
– Height: 6’1″
– 100 Tackles
– 73 Solo Tackles
– 6 Sacks
– 5 Pass Deflections
– 1 Forced Fumbles
– 51.0 PFF Grade
– 16 Games Played

My Grade: B, this is nice signing. I’m excited to see how he fits in and I think he can be dangerous. However, I think we paid him a bit much. He’s getting a full $5.5M guaranteed and could earn up to $7M. GM Joe must’ve wanted him badly.

4. DB/ST Justin Hardee (Saints); 3 years for $6.7M

New York Jets

We’ve got a special teams ACE. This guy is an absolute gunner on the special teams. Justin Hardee is listed as a defensive back but his specialty is his ability to stop punt and kick returners. We all know that our special teams was an issue and that’s why (Punter) Braden Mann’s kicks were statistically considered as “meh” but if you watch them he did great, the players just couldn’t tackle. I think we got Hardee at a good price and he’s going to bring value to our special team. I think he’s going to quickly become a fan favorite just because of his love for the game and he cares about winning just as much as us.

– Age: 27
– Weight: 200lbs
– Height: 6’1″

My Grade: C+, this is a great special teams signing. He brings good value in special teams and personality to the team, but he’s not a good DB and it’s a position we need.

Thanks for reading everybody. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBorough Dispatch. Have a great day, everybody!

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