We kept hearing from Joe Douglas that he wants to build through the draft and complement the roster with free agents. He has been active but he missed out on the real need of the Jets. All we heard last year was that he was fascinated with guard Joe Thuney but the Patriots franchised him. Coming into this free agent class, Jets fans all thought we’d have a good shot and should get one of three free agent offensive lineman, Thuney, guard Brandon Scherff or center Corey Linsley. Thuney signed with the Chiefs. Scherff was tagged by the Washington Football Team and Corey Linsley went to the Chargers who seem to know how to build an offensive line. Besides these three I thought that Douglas should have made a strong play for free agent guard Kevin Zeitler who was let go by the Giants. Out of the four mentioned there seems to be a question behind each whether it was Joe Douglas not wanting to overpay, or the Jets did not want to move Connor McGovern from center to guard. Whatever the reason the Jets did not address their number one need unless you count offensive lineman Dan Feeney as a good pick-up, but more on that later. Whether Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson or Justin Fields plays quarterback, it will be more of the same as last year unless the Jets hit the lotto with two offensive lineman in the draft. If Joe could have secured one of these players, the other free agent pick ups would have made all these picks a home run. This isn’t to say his signings were not good, in fact for the most part they were very good but we needed to address the offensive line. And, by the way I’ve heard different reports about how the Jets offensive line improved over the year in 2021 with PFF (Pro Football Focus) grades, rankings etc. Don’t buy any of that baloney! There was almost instant pressure on every play with the Jets offensive line looking slower off the ball than the defense they were playing. It was like the defensive line knew the snap count. Especially the pressure coming from up the middle. I like Joe Douglas as much as any general manager the Jets ever had and I believe he will turn this thing around in the long run.  But I, like many Jets fans, was very disappointed by failing to get a top tier player that could protect the quarterback. 

Jets Free Agents Signings (so far)

DE Carl Lawson, Prior team Bengals. Three years, $45 million ($30 million guaranteed). Biggest prize for the Jets.The 25-year-old appeared in all 16 games in 2020, finishing with 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a career-high 32 quarterback hits. Sacks tends to be overrated. When Jet fans see how quick he gets in the backfield and how disruptive he is, you’ll see why the Jets paid this much.

WR Corey Davis, Prior team Titans. Three years, $37.5 million ($27 million guaranteed). A major upgrade over Breshad Perriman. Caught 65 passes for 984 yards last year. And this being on a team with a running back who rushed for over 2,000 yards. He put up good numbers on play-action in 2020 -- 26 catches for 544 yards, a 20.9 average.  At 6’3” Davis does well on 50/50 passes. And he is a superb blocker.

LB Jarrad Davis, Prior team Lions. Three years, $37.5 million ($27 million guaranteed) . I’ve heard it said that the Jets think this former first round draft pick who was only a part time player last year can thrive in the 4-3 defense. He is suppose to be faster than CJ Mosley but is not a good cover guy which I hate. To me he is an underachiever that the Jets think Robert Saleh can get the most out of him.

DB Justin Hardee, Prior team Saints. Three years, $6.75 million ($1 million guaranteed). My personal favorite. A gunner on special teams, he approaches his kraft like Michael Jordan. He is hard nosed and a great locker room guy. If you go to some of the New Orleans Saints fan message boards, he looks to be the most missed Saint so far besides Drew Brees. Everybody eats at Hardees. 

DT Sheldon Rankins, Prior team Saints. Two-year deal worth up to $17 million. Tons of injuries here! Only 26 with a lot of upside.

His best year was 2018. Played and started 16 games. Had 8 sacks and 15 QB hits. Could be a really good pick up but this is right from ESPN Jet’s beat writer Rich Cimini:

'16: Missed 7 Gs, broken fibula

'19: Missed 3 Gs, foot surgery

'20: Missed 4, MCL

“Tore Achilles in '18 playoff. Preventative surgery on other Achilles in '19. Suffered from Haglund's Deformity, which puts stress on Achilles. He says it has been resolved.”

WR Keelan Cole, Prior team Jaguars. One year, $5.5 million.

Low risk, possible high reward. Can return punts and kickoffs. Cole (6-1, 194) finished second on the Jags with 55 receptions and 642 yards in the 2020 season. His 5 receiving TDs were also tied for first. He was an undrafted free agent from Kentucky Western. His rookie year, 2017 he had 748 yards receiving.

S Lamarcus Joyner,  Prior team Raiders. One year, $4.5 million. Another one-year contract. Played nickel but is a better fit at safety. At 5’8” this 30-year old is on the small side. Versatility is a theme with some of these free agents, which I like. In the Robert Saleh defensive scheme, look for 3 safeties to be on the field a fair amount of time.

TE Tyler Kroft, Prior team Bills. One year, $1.5 million. Another one of my favorites. This ex-Bill went to Rutgers and is an excellent blocker. We should see more Jet running backs turn the corner in ’21 with Kroft in there. He is 28-years old and besides his blocking he can catch the ball. His best season was in 2017 playing for the Bengals when he caught 42 balls for 404 yards with 7 touchdowns. Ryan Griffin and/or Trevon Wesco could be gone!

OL Dan Feeney, c-g, Prior team Chargers. One year, $3.5 million ($3 million guaranteed). Will get to be known as “Swiss Cheese Dan” when you see how easy defensive linemen go through him on pass plays. In his defense he has  started every game the last 3 years, 48 in total. A better run blocker than pass blocker. He plays center and guard and showed a lot of promise his first two years but the last two he was awful. I don’t think he could block a door right in front of him.

  As a Jets fan maybe nothing could satisfy me, but their offensive line still stinks. If you could have just added Kevin Zeitler to this list it would have been great! Now the Jets have to draft two offensive lineman within the first three rounds and hopefully they can start right away. And they should be guards. Rashawn Slater from Northwestern is a natural tackle who has been working out at guard. He is an incredible athlete but won’t be there at 23 when the Jets pick with their second first rounder. A more realistic choice would be USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker. Another player listed as a tackle, he can easily move to guard. With the Jets 34th pick, if he slips I like guard Wyatt Davis from Ohio State. His 2019 season was better than this past season but he is a road grader. Joe Douglas should get two of them. 

  The Sam Darnold issue is beyond hope at this point. My co-hosts from the Jets Rewind Podcast, Ray Clifford and Ralph Sharaga were right all along knowing the Jets would not get a 1st or 2nd rounder for Sam. The Jets would be lucky now to get a 4th and might have to settle for only a 5th. It is what it is. Draft a QB at #2 and sign a veteran. How about Alex Smith? Moving forward Joe Douglas should have done better with the offensive line. He didn’t! So now he must strike gold with the draft. The New York Jets saga continues!

Marty Schupak has been a New York Jets football fan since 1964. Ray Clifford another lifelong fan contributed to this article. Their blog and Podcast are both at:


If you liked this article, you may like:

Jets Draft Decisions & Value Chart

Deshaun Watson, Thanks But No Thanks For Jets!


Visit Our Blog Archive Page To See All Our Articles

Jets Rewind Blog Articles


  1. G.R.Langworth on March 22, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Sell the No. 2, collect Penei Sewell, keep Darnold, build the OL and DBs. You already got TEs, you already got Tall Wideouts. Eff the sizzle, let’s buy steaks cheap with the Draft, leave the stars in the sky. 4 yards and a cloud of rubber. That’s what I say today.

  2. MARTY SCHUPAK on March 22, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Hey GR!
    I would agree but back 3 weeks I thought Sam might be the QB. Now it is looking like no one wants him and maybe he Is done! If there was a chance we could “undo” Sam’s regression but everyone doesn’t agree. Hang in GR, we are getting talent (somehow) but need OL. Thanks for your comment!


  3. G.R.Langworth on March 23, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Alright, you guys. Why doesn’t Darnold get any loyalty, he’s only 23. Don’t be ‘fair weather’, Marty Shupak. With Beckton and Sewell we can put Alex Leatherwood at right guard. How about Landon Dickerson for center — he’s more savage and more versatile that the Okies’ Creed Humphrey. We need an OL that licks it chops at any defense. When are the NYJs getting serious about dominating? Maybe now.

  4. MARTY SCHUPAK on March 24, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Hey GR!
    Thanks for your comment!

    Nothing would make me happier if Sam turns into a HOF QB leading the Jets to multiple Super Bowls. But the issue is whether we can undo some of the things he does. Plus the Jets Rewind staff is petrified that if the Jets pass on Zach Wilson and he lights it up elsewhere. But GR, I brought up I personally am petrified if Sam leaves and he lights it up with another team. This issue is intense with both sides having a case.

    I’m really not and it is said in jest. BTW my name is spelled “Schupak” and most humans have missed that first “c” for generations.

    That’s alot of high picks but love your thinking. Actually they can all be had.

    I love him and with all his injuries the Jets can take a gander in the 2nd round.
    Look at what I dug up:

    In five college football seasons, Dickerson suffered four season-ending injuries. He tore his ACL in 2016, missed nine games in 2017, and was forced to redshirt by an ankle injury in 2018. Then, of course, he tore his ACL again at the tail end of the 2020 season

    GR, as disappointed that I was with the free agents and the OL, it looks like JD will go big OL in the draft.
    So this should make both you and I happy. Hang in and go Jets!


  5. scionce on March 25, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Gutted, as most Jet fans, that JD couldn’t get Thuney or Scherff. His non-interest in Linsley might have something to do with the Lafleur connection. So, if it’s a personality issue, I’m fine with it. It’s time everyone from the organization to the fans buy fully into the concept of culture breeding success.

    IF Rankin can stay healthy, the DL could be a pocket wrecking nightmare with him and Q up the middle and Lawson and [draft pick/roster player] collapsing from the edges. WR Davis is a decent complement to Mims, but I’d still like to see a pass catching THREAT taken early in the first. Hardee will be fun to watch. Definitely has that gunner mentality. 3 Safety looks with Maye, Joyner and Ashtyn isn’t too shabby. Keanu Neal probably would’ve been a better get. C’est la vie.
    Rest look like depth pieces. The LB Davis signing is a bit of a curiosity. Does Saleh and his staff believe they can transition him to one of the 4-3 OLB positions? Or are they unsure of Mosley’s aptitude after almost 3 years away from playing a full football game?

    As far as the draft goes, I have to agree with G.R. regarding the 23 yr old QB already on the roster. I’d like to see JD trade down and fetch a haul from maybe Carolina for no. 2 overall. Armed with picks 8, 23, 34, 66, 73 and 87 (based on the 2016 Browns-Eagles trade), JD could significantly improve the overall team talent in quick fashion. AND if Darnold still can’t put it together after an infusion of support and weaponry, the Jets will have the ammunition of THREE 1st round picks in the 2022 NFL draft to move up if needed. And that QB will be coming on to what should be an almost stacked team. BUT if Darnold can show that his shortcomings were the makings of poor coaching and subpar talent, then imagine the ridiculously stacked team JD can make the Jets into with those 3 first rounders and two 2nds. That’s called win-win, folks.

Leave a Comment