By Daniel Friedman
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jets are under new management, and they’ve got their work cut out for them.
General manager Mike Maccagnan has cash to spend — Gang Green is reportedly $55 million under the salary cap — and holes to fill, and he must buy effectively if the Jets are going to be competitive again off four straight seasons out of the playoffs.
Here are five (of several) potential free agent targets they could consider:
Before you laugh, just keep in mind the alternative options (or lack thereof) at quarterback, the one position the Jets never seem to get right. Perhaps they’ll make a trade for Nick Foles, or maybe they’ll take a chance on a kid in the first or second round of the draft, like they’ve done unsuccessfully in recent history. Whoever comes in will be battling Geno Smith for the starting job, at least in theory. Locker is a former No. 8 overall pick who’s had multiple injuries and three different offensive coordinators during his career with the Tennessee Titans. A change of scenery might do him some good. We know he’s talented, so there’s that. Brian Hoyer could be another option.
In the event that New England chooses to not pick up his $20 million option for 2015, the Jets will certainly try and lure Revis back to East Rutherford. I don’t know if it’ll work, but they’re definitely going to try. We know Woody Johnson is game.
Gang Green’s offensive line has has lacked the effectiveness of year’s past. Franklin could help fix that. He’s a pretty reliable guard who’s played multiple positions well on Denver’s offensive line. Mike Iupati would be a better signing, obviously, but I suspect he’ll sign elsewhere for more.
New head coach Todd Bowles coached Cromartie in Arizona. Cromartie has played for the Jets and has openly lobbied to return. You do the math. During the seasons that he was playing on the opposite side of Revis, he performed pretty well. He’d be a nice addition (or re-addition).
The Jets haven’t had a bona fide running back since Thomas Jones, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. I’m not sure Spiller will be as good as Jones was, but in tandem with bruising Chris Ivory he’d sure as heck be a significant upgrade over Chris Johnson. Chan Gailey, Spiller’s former head coach in Buffalo, is on the Jets coaching staff, which could be a selling point.