The NFL’s “legal tampering period” kicks off Monday at noon, when teams can officially negotiate/discuss contracts for impending free agents with their agents. (Back-channel discussions, of course, began a couple weeks ago at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.)
The Jets are sitting on a league-high $90 million in salary cap space, so expect Gang Green to be linked to many players (even though most of the chatter will be exaggerated white noise).
The first order of business for Mike Maccagnan & Co. will be getting clarity on the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins, who was the organization’s top free-agent target, signed with the Vikings. The Jets have now turned their attention to the Vikings’ Teddy Bridgewater.
The Jets hope to address some of their other deficient areas in the coming week or so, too. They’ve already engaged in discussions with representatives of in-house free agents like cornerback Morris Claiborne, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and linebacker Demario Davis.
Keep it here for updates throughout the week:
(Updated Wednesday, March 14 at 6:58 a.m.)
— The Jets gave safety/free-agent safety Rontez Miles the right-of-first refusal RFA tender (one-year, $1.9 million), according to a source.
— The Jets are expected to sign former Titans inside linebacker Avery Williamson, according to a source. Williamson, 26, is entering his fifth season out of Kentucky. He finished with 92 tackles and three sacks last season. Demario Davis, who is a free agent, started at inside linebacker for the Jets alongside Darron Lee last season. Williamson’s agreement with Gang Green likely means Davis will not return to New York in 2018.
— The Jets might have missed out on prized free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, but they landed the big fish in the cornerback pool by reeling in Trumaine Johnson. Gang Green will sign the coveted cornerback to a multi-year deal for about $15 million per year, according to sources.
— With Kirk Cousins headed to Minnesota, the Jets are on to Plan B. Gang Green is negotiating with former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who hasn’t started a game in two seasons after suffering a grievous knee injury.
— The Kirk Cousins drama is all but over. The coveted free-agent quarterback will visit with the Vikings on Wednesday, according to sources. It would take a minor miracle for Cousins to leave Minnesota without signing on the dotted line, according to people in the know. The Vikings are prepared to pay the former Washington signal caller around $28 million/year in a three-year deal. It’s time for Plan B for the Jets, which will likely include a Josh McCown reunion, a look at Teddy Bridgewater and a first-round quarterback in the upcoming draft.
— Former Giants center Weston Richburg reportedly plans to sign a five-year deal with the 49ers. The Jets, who are looking to upgrade at center, had interest in the former Giants starter, who played only four games last season due to a concussion.
— The Broncos are out of the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes after reportedly striking a deal in principle with Case Keenum (for $18 million – $20 million/year) in the early hours Tuesday. So, Cousins is down to three suitors: The Jets, Vikings and Cardinals.
— Coveted free-agent wide receivers Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins are no longer options for Gang Green. Robinson, who would have been a dynamic piece for Gang Green, came to an agreement in principle with the Bears early Tuesday morning. Watkins has a deal in place with the Chiefs. The Jets still desperately need an offensive weapon (or two).
— Former Cowboys defensive end Benson Mayowa will visit the Jets, according to a source. Mayowa, 26, was released by Dallas last week after a disappointing 2017 campaign (one sack in 14 games). The five-year veteran, who has also played for the Seahawks and Raiders, had six sacks in 2016. The Jets are desperate for an edge rusher, in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years.