The draft and free-agent signing periods are over. For the most past, the Jets’ stage appears to be set for a late July training camp.
Yet, there are still some lingering questions about the team’s receiving corps, secondary, and kicking game, all three areas that could determine whether or not they will be a contender for the Tom Brady-less AFC crown.
RECEIVERS: Robbie Anderson took a deal from Carol, and he reportedly refused a similar deal from the Jets. Tampa pickup Breshad Perriman has the potential to be a major playmaker, and Jamison Crowder. All eyes will be on top receiver pick Denzel Mims, who is slated to be a long-range threat. The Jets still need a veteran in the fold and resigning Demaryius Thomas is an option. Fellow free agents Chris Hogan and Tavon Austin could enhance the core.
SECONDARY: The Jamal Adams situation will be an interesting one, likely until the start of the season. It could end as Darrell Revis 2.0 with both sides agreeing on a new deal on the eve of the opener. The bigger question are the cornerbacks. Arthur Maulet and Pierre Desir have been penciled in as projected starters, but they are both coming off inconsistent seasons. Brian Poole is an ideal nickle back, but he could see more time. Veteran free agent Logan Ryan — who is seeking close to $10 million a year — is still in the mix and could solve a major problem.
KICKING GAME: GM Joe Douglas really didn’t address the placekicking issue last summer, and Sam Ficken won the derby of auditions. Ficken made 19 of 27 kicks, missing some timely ones. The Jets added former Cowboy Brett Maher to push Ficken. Still, the Jets may look elsewhere. Veteran punter Lachlan Edwards has not been signed and rookie Braden Mann, who has a booming leg from Texas A&M, has been handed the job.
OUTLOOK: These three areas — –among some others — will determine if the Jets can take a major step forward.
Perriman’s and Mims’ production will help shape the offense as well as Sam
Darnold’s year. Depth will be a factor, especially if a veteran isn’t added. Jamison Crowder should have another consistent year.
Douglas must have the kicking and punting situations solved late in preseason.
Adams’ situation will be fun to watch. They may be forced to sign him to avoid a major distraction. The real quandary will be the corner situation where Douglas may need to pull another rabbit out of his hat, like he has with Frank Gore and Joe Flacco.