The New York Jets have key players that are free agents and in this offseason they should make it a priority to re-sign these five players.
1. Damon Harrison
Damon Harrison has gone from being an undrafted free agent to one of the NFL’s best nose tackles. He is a large reason why the Jets had the fifth best rushing defense in 2014. He is not a pass rusher, but he constantly closes the gaps running backs look to squeeze through. He finds his way through those holes to get to the running back and tackle him behind the line of scrimmage. You could make a case that he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl, but unless he gets injured, Harrison should be selected eventually. He is still very underrated.
2. Kendrick Ellis
Kendrick Ellis is Damon Harrison’s backup nose tackle, but he is still a top priority to get re-signed. Before Harrison emerged to the elite player he is today, Ellis was primed for a breakout season. An injury put Harrison atop him on the depth chart, and even though Ellis got healthy, he never ascended back to the top. He provides exceptional depth at the nose tackle position, so when Harrison needs a break or if he gets ever injured, Ellis is there to replace and there is little-to-no dip in production.
3. David Harris
Due to the fact that Jets run a 3-4 scheme, the Jets use two inside linebackers, both David Harris and Demario Davis are big parts of the Jets’ defense. If one leaves, there will be a large drop in production. Davis isn’t going anywhere, but Harris said that he will take a pay cut to play for a contender. If the Jets can woo him back, that will considerably help this team. Coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, it wont be easy getting Harris back, but unless they can find a good replacement for him, like Brandon Spikes possibly, they can let him go
4. Jaiquawn Jarrett
Jarrett single-handedly dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Jets’ Week 10 matchup. Almost all of his meaningful production on the season came in that one game. He had a pair of interceptions, a fumble recovery, a sack, and 10 tackles. He was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his dominant performance. Jarrett has struggled to get playing time throughout his career, but showed the NFL why he deserves a roster spot and maybe even a starting position with his burst of production. When one says a player “shows flashes of excellence”, they mean that a player seems to have some good qualities and can occasionally come up with a good play. This one game for Jarrett showed all of his flashes combined into one match. On a team lacking a quality secondary, Jarrett is starter-worthy, or at least a great backup.
5. Kyle Wilson
Labeled a “bust”, Kyle Wilson continues to struggle in every role the Jets give to him. At the age of 27, time is running out for the former first round draft pick to become a solid cornerback. He constantly blows coverage and gives up big plays, misses tackles, and drops interceptions. He specializes in the Nickel formation, which is why the Jets should re-sign him. Todd Bowles was not only a defensive backs coach, but also a Nickel Package coach- he also played safety for the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. If anyone can get the most out of Kyle Wilson, it is Bowles. Wilson was drafted in the first round for a reason, but hasn’t showed the Jets why in his five-year career. The Jets are extremely shallow cornerback so keeping Wilson can’t possibly be a bad idea. They won’t get enough quality cornerbacks this offseason to make Wilson invaluable.