After reaching two straight AFC championship games, the main goal for the Jets has to be keeping together their team. They made their first step towards that goal by resigning wide receiver Santonio Holmes to a 50 million dollar deal. With the new salary cap at 120.3 million dollars, this contract will make it very difficult for the Jets to re-sign other members of their receiving core including Braylon Edwards and Brad Smithm while still having room to fill other needs in the offseason. Here are a few tasks the Jets need to accomplish in the upcoming weeks:
Decide who Mark Sanchez will throw passes to besides Holmes, Jericho Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller.
The Jets are not going to be able to re-sign Edwards, and numerous other teams are interested in Brad Smith which will drive his price up. Smith is invaluable to the Jets, returning kicks, running the wildcat and catching passes, but resigning him could cost the Jes the chance to improve their team elsewhere. The Jets are looking into cheaper veterans such as Plaxico Burress and even Randy Moss. Moves like this have worked in the past with players such as Ladanian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor, so look for the Jets to try again this offseason.
Find a corner to play opposite Darrelle Revis.
The Jets signed Antonio Cromatie last year to fill this gap, and he played well, especially late in the season, but Cromartie is sure to demand a high price, last years first round draft pick Kyle Wilson did not look ready to start. Many fans would love to see the Jets go for former Raiders shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha who would give the Jets the Jets the best corner tandem in recent history. Asomugha is considered the top player on the market this year and will most likely demand more money than what Revis is receiving. Either option would be good, but the salary cap could prevent the Jets from making the big move to get Asomugha.
Choose whether to sign a right tackle.
The Jets released former right tackle Damien Woody in February after he struggled with injuries at the end of last season. They resigned tackle Wayne Hunter who replaced Woody in the playoffs last year, and also have second year lineman Vlad Ducasse who narrowly lost the left guard job last preseason. Ducasse played tackle in college, and the Jets hope that a move back to his natural position will help him progress. The Jets seem ready to go with one of these two players, but will not hesitate to bring in a veteran if both players struggle.
Sign Shaun Ellis
Ellis, a defensive end and the longest tenured Jet is a free agent this season and is contemplating retirement. The jets drafted defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson in the first round of the draft, but most Jets fans will be much happier with at least one more year from the veteran Ellis. With thoughts of former first round bust Vernon Ghoulston still lingering, Wilkerson is better off easing into his new spot on the team.