Wednesday afternoon, the Jets and Giants will provide a preview of their direction in 2021.
No, it won’t have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day, and both teams won’t be giving us any blarney. In fact, they both likely will be mirror images of each other.
Even though he will be playing with the second-largest salary-cap space at $69.2 million, Jets GM Joe Douglas won’t be handing out mega deals like in the recent past.
Don’t expect to see another CJ Mosey or Le’Veon Bell in the fold.
Like his counterpart Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman, Douglas will take the shrewd path. Why? It’s simply because the Jets have too many holes even with an abundance of draft picks.
Douglas wisely placed the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye, as he and Mosley can be the cornerstones of the 2021 defense.
The Jets made a minor move by releasing defensive lineman Henry Anderson, who had an unproductive year, and there will be more options out there.
Their desired top prize is Tampa Bay edge rusher Shaquil Barrett and Baltimore’s Yannick Ngakoue and Matthew Judon along with New Orleans’ Trey Hendrickson all could be mentioned in the same breath.
There also is new head coach Robert Saleh’s San Francisco connection in which the 49ers have a plethora of options.
Rookie cornerback Bryce Hall is penciled in as a starter, and the Jets could pluck 49er corners Ahkello Witherspoon. K’Waun Williams, and/or Jason Varrett to form a young combo, and add vet Richard Sherman to provide stability. Safety Jaquiski Tartt is also an option to pair with Maye.
Growing speculation has Thomas signing Niner running back Tevin Coleman — who missed most of last season with an injury — as a prime back paired with La’Mical Perine. Defensive end/edge rusher Kerry Hyde also can be in the mix.
Up front, filling the guard spots is the priority and New England’s Joe Thuney is the top pick, but may garner some big money.
With Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson hit with the franchise tag, Pittsburgh’s JuJu Shuster is considered to still be in their price range. There is a long roster of other possibilities.
The Jets literally can fill nearly every position, and it will be intriguing to see how creative Thomas will be.
This week also will be a big indicator on which way Thomas is leaning toward Sam Darnold, choosing to take a quarterback or Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, already being touted as a perennial All Pro.
As for the Giants, their recent release of guard Kevin Zeitler, wide receiver Golden Tate, and linebacker David Mayo bumped their cap number close to 12 million. They also placed the franchise tag on Leonard Williams.
Gettleman did an outstanding job with a budget that with a somewhat larger budget last season, bringing in cornerback James Bradberry, linebackers Kyle Frackrell and Blake Martinez, and cornerback/safety Logan Ryan.
Tackle Nate Solder, who became Gettleman’s largest lineman deal and sat out last season due to COVID, still is in limbo after his release seemed like a foregone conclusion. He may be spared to help anchor a relatively young, but promising offensive line this season.
Gettleman could be considered a major player in the market if the Giants continue to shed salaries this week and tight end Levine Toilolo, punter Riley Dixon, edge rusher Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman BJ Hill could be among the casualties to free around another $10 million.
The Giants want to resign defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson to keep their newfound front intact.
In a few days, the bidding officially will begin for both teams.
Whatever side you lean on, you may not be too excited over the next few days or weeks.
Instead, your excitement should have an uptick this fall.