The New York Jets could look to target two high-profile stars on the Dallas Cowboys in free agency if they hit the open market this offseason.
The New York Jets will undoubtedly enter this upcoming offseason looking to make some pretty substantial changes to the roster. And aside from the draft, the Jets should remain very active in free agency for yet another year.
If they do want to make a free-agent splash, the Dallas Cowboys should provide the team with one or two huge names who could serve as immediate upgrades at key positions of need.
The Cowboys are going to have some tough decisions to make in the offseason. Of course, most of the attention will center around quarterback Dak Prescott and his expiring contract, but he’s far from the most notable name set to hit the open market.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones will both see their contracts expire in the offseason and it’s going to be incredibly difficult for the Cowboys to retain all three. Not to mention star pass rusher Robert Quinn who has found new life again in Dallas.
And the Cowboys don’t exactly find themselves in the most favorable of cap situations either. Dallas is already paying $10 million or more a year to the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyron Smith, Ezekiel Elliott, Zack Martin, Jaylon Smith, Travis Frederick, and La’el Collins.
Paying Prescott will put them in such a cap bind that they may not be able to re-sign either Cooper or Jones. Either way, one is likely set to hit the open market.
And that’s good news for a team like the Jets that are looking for upgrades at both receiver and cornerback.
The Jets are estimated to have a little over $62 million in cap space this offseason, per OverTheCap, but that figure is certain to rise substantially before free agency comes around.
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Trumaine Johnson‘s $15 million cap hit will be reduced to $12 million in dead cap giving them $3 in savings. Cutting ties with Avery Williamson could save them $6.5 million. And releasing veteran Brian Winters would give the team an extra $7.2 million in cap space.
Not to mention the ever-increasing likelihood that the Jets move on from players like Darryl Roberts, Josh Bellamy, and even Quincy Enunwa. Cutting all three would give the team an extra $10.6 million in free cap.
At the very least, Roberts and Bellamy are expected to be goners.
The Jets will have the space and the need. And with at least one of the two set to hit the open market, there is absolutely no excuse for the Jets not to make a move in free agency.
Cooper has already put together his second consecutive 1,000-yard season this year with 70 catches for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns through 13 games. The eight touchdowns are a career-high for him while he ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Jones remains one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL despite not having the interception stats to show for it. Jones remarkably has just two interceptions in 77 career games and hasn’t picked off a pass since 2017.
That said, he remains one of Pro Football Focus‘ top cornerbacks and few defensive backs in the NFL have allowed fewer yards per game. He would immediately give the Jets a top-flight, No. 1 cornerback.
The Jets will have plenty of opportunities to make a big splash this offseason and the Cowboys will, in all likelihood, be the creators of at least one of those opportunities.