Caplan’s NFL Corner: Jets Trying to Re-sign OL
Now that we’re less than two weeks from the start of NFL free agency, we’ll start going around the league for the latest on each team’s plans for the NFL’s spending period:
Here’s an inside look at two AFC teams–
New York Jets: Word coming out of last week’s NFL Combine is that GM Joe Douglas will re-build the team’s offensive line in addition to adding speed at WR and help on defense at CB, OLB (pass rushers).
Regarding their offensive line, the team wants to re-sign starting LG Alex Lewis, sources said.
Lewis is a pretty amazing story when you consider the Baltimore Ravens would have released the former fourth-round pick (2016) had they not been able to trade him for a conditional 7th-round pick last August. The conditions were met, I’m told, so the Jets will give up a 7th-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, which they’ll be happy to do.
According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the Jets are preparing to make a push to sign UFA RT Jack Conklin (Pro Football Talk indicated he may sign with the NYJ), and from talking to several NFL sources last week at the Combine, the Jets have interest in UFA G/C Graham Glasgow. The 5th-year OL should have a pretty strong market due to his versatility.
Regarding WR Robby Anderson, sources said the Jets definitely want to re-sign the former UDFA. However, they have a price in mind and if it’s more than they want to pay, they’ll look elsewhere to replace him. While it’s not known what the Jets are willing to pay Anderson, he should be able to find a deal that averages $11-$12m per season. True speed is relatively hard to find on the open market and in the NFL Draft.
Had you asked me before last season if this coaching staff and front office would want to re-sign him, I would have told you that it’s not likely to happen.
However, Anderson played in all 16 games, developed good chemistry with QB Sam Darnold (especially during the 2nd half of the season), and remained one of the NFL’s best deep threats. It seems clear that the Jets want to continue this relationship.
Should Anderson sign elsewhere, the two best deep threats in free agency for any team looking for speed are Breshad Perriman and Phillip Dorsett. In this year’s draft, the best are Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) and K.J. Hamler (Penn St).
Las Vegas Raiders: The plan here, according to sources, is for them to spend relatively big on defense, while adding speed on offense at WR and depth at other positions.
The expectation is that they’ll attempt add a few mid-to-high priced players (they have interest in signing CB Byron Jones, for example, sources said) on defense.
Last year, the team signed former Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict due to his experience in DC Paul Guenther’s defensive scheme when both were with the Bengals.
Look for them to apply a similar approach this time around.
One LB believed to be on their radar is Nick Vigil (3rd-round pick in 2016), sources said. Not only is the 5th-year defender familiar with the Raiders defense, but from talking to personnel execs from around the NFL, he’s one of the better coverage LBs available in free agency.
While the Raiders will bring back WR Tyrell Williams for his second year, the Raiders, I’m told, want a player to stretch the field opposite him.
Williams, who played well before suffering a lingering plantar fascia injury, had his $11m base salary for this season become fully guaranteed on 2/5, a source confirmed.
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