Franchise Tag Special
We now have a clear idea who will be available in free agency.
Good evening Jets fans. I’m back in the 21st century, my internet got hooked up this morning, so after a good day of work (and box unpacking), I thought I’d get out a short newsletter around the players who got tagged.
Tight End Market Hit
I was firmly in the sign Dalton Schultz camp, but the Cowboys put the breaks on that idea by slapping the franchise tag on him just before the deadline yesterday. There was always a good chance he was getting tagged, but it was never a guarantee. He wasn’t the only tight end to come off the market either, Cleveland decided to use their tag on David Njoku and Miami used theirs on WR/TE Mike Gesicki.
Straight off the bat, I’m not upset about the Dolphins tagging Gesicki, the Jets likely wouldn’t have been interested because he’s a big WR, and in our system, the TE has to be able to block, and Mike can’t block. The Dolphins tagging him made sense for them as they’re basically getting a WR at a TE’s salary, although Gesicki may contest that tag considering he rarely stays in to block.
Njoku was a very interesting option for the Jets, but I’m not overly surprised to see Cleveland use the tag on him. The TE franchise tender for 2022 is $10.9 million, and Cleveland/Dallas won’t mind paying their guys that amount while they try and work out a long-term deal.
The good thing about the tight end market this year is that it’s extremely deep. A lot of the top talent has come off the board, but the Jets still have options in free agency and the draft is absolutely loaded with talent at the position.
Here are a few names to keep an eye on for the Jets in terms of free agency and the tight end position:
Maxx Williams - Underused in Arizona, Maxx is a big body receiver who has a safe pair of hands and can block better than anyone currently in the Jets TE room.
Rob Gronkowski - He’s still officially out there, but he’s not coming to the Jets.
Zach Ertz - Like Gronkowski, I don’t see Ertz landing in NY. He wants to play with a contender and he’s 31 now. Can see him heading back to Arizona.
Gerald Everett - Things are getting blown up in Seattle. Everett is a reliable receiver but he doesn’t offer much in the run game. He’s an athletic guy though who can be moved around the formation.
Evan Engram - He has raw athleticism and great speed for his size, but he has inconsistent hands and doesn’t offer much as a blocker. Pass from me.
C.J Uzomah - Uzomah had a very impressive season and earned the trust of Joe Burrow. He’s a big-bodied receiver who works over the middle and is difficult to tackle. He’s an inconsistent blocker but he has shown an ability to do it to a good standard.
Mo Allie-Cox - Probably the most underrated player on this list. He has safe hands, he’s tough to bring down and he’s one of the best blocking TE’s on here. I’d be interested to see him given the chance to be a TE1 here.
Robert Tonyan - The Packers just re-signed Rodgers and tagged Adams, so they may look to keep the gang together. Tonyan is going to be coming off a significant ACL injury and he doesn’t block well, but he’s got great hands and should come relatively cheap.
Jared Cook - At 34 years old the Jets aren’t the right team for him unless it’s on a one-year deal as a mentor for a couple of rookies.
O.J Howard - Never lived up to his potential, but he’s largely been sharing time in Tampa, a team with a lot of mouths to feed. He’s still young enough to fulfill that potential, but it’s getting less and less likely as the years go by.
The DK Question
Seattle traded their superstar QB to the Denver Broncos and then cut their 8 x All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, it seems the Seahawks are heading into a little bit of a rebuild. What I will say is just because you’re heading into a rebuild doesn’t mean you trade away every single asset. The Seahawks will be looking for a young QB and having someone like DK onboard for that young QB makes a lot of sense. He’s still only 24, but he’s also very close to needing a firm commitment financially. If Seattle is willing to pay him around the $20 million/year it’s likely going to cost to keep him, there is no question here.
However, let’s just say that the Seahawks aren’t willing to pay that kind of money to DK, then they will surely look to cash in this year and gain extra draft capital for a rebuild. So…should the Jets entertain the idea of trading for DK?
Metcalf has played just three years in the league and he’s amassed:
49 games played
14.7 yards per reception
PFF rating of 80.9 in 2021
If you’re in the camp of let’s take a wide receiver at #10, you should be in the camp of let’s trade that 10th overall pick for a young proven budding superstar receiver. I don’t see this as being much of a question. The Jets can get out of Corey Davis’s contract next off-season which opens things up financially for a cap commitment at the position to someone like DK.
If you want to talk about supporting your young QB, trading a first-round pick for someone like DK Metcalf is exactly the kind of thing you should be looking at.
Prospect Profile: Charles Cross, Mississippi State, OL
Cross has one of the best pass-blocking skill-sets in the 2021 class, with quick feet, ideal length, and plenty of core strength to take on the strongest pass-rushers. He didn’t allow a single pressure against Alabama in 2021 and allowed just 16 pressures on over 700 pass-blocking snaps in 2021. He’s still just 21, and he has all the pure athleticism you could hope for in a tackle. Cross doesn’t get the attention that Ekwonu or Neal gets, but he’s got as much potential as both.
He’s not perfect, he still needs to work on his foot placement and getting the proper depth in his sets and needs to be more consistent in the run game, but he’s a top-10 talent that should start at tackle in year one and prove to be the best pass-protecting tackle in this class.
Iowa safety Dane Belton’s 5 INTs were tied for 1st in the FBS and his 8 PBU’s led all safeties, doubling the next highest number (Kerby Joseph had 4).
Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson had 1 more sack than Aidan Hutchinson in 2020 and only one fewer “stop” in total, stops constitute a defensive failure (37 v 38).
Isaiah Likely’s 1.9% drop rate ranked 2nd in the FBS for tight ends who had at least 50 targets. Marshon Ford from Louisville was the only high usage TE with a lower drop%
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