New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas speaks at a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center.

New York Jets Free Agency Grades

The New York Jets were among the more active teams through the first wave of free agency. Joe Douglas entered the 2024 offseason with major question marks at various positions and now over one week removed from free agency Douglas and the crew have found a lot of answers to those burning questions.

Today let’s grade what the Jets have done on offense, defense, and special teams to help go all-in on the 2o24 campaign.

New York Jets Free Agency Grades


After rolling out a historically bad offense for 17 games in 2023, it was no surprise the Jets biggest needs entering free agency were all on offense. These needs were a backup quarterback, a number two wide receiver, and the biggest of them all, three new starting offensive linemen. Not only did Douglas feel these needs with high-end talent, he filled them fast which now leaves the Jets with options the rest of the way.

Starting up front, the Jets were able to acquire guard John Simpson and tackle Morgan Moses via trade, and the biggest of three moves was future Hall of Famer tackle Tyron Smith. These new pieces will pair with the likes of center Joe Tippmann and guard Alijah Vera-Tucker all of whom will be tasked with protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. On top of this, Douglas added quarterback Tyrod Taylor on a two-year deal worth up to $18 million as New York finally finds their answer behind Rodgers. The cherry on top was Monday afternoon when Douglas struck a deal with wide receiver Mike Williams to pair alongside Garrett Wilson. Williams was one of the top receivers left on the open market and his career 309 receptions for 4,806 yards and 31 touchdowns will be taken to “The Big Apple”. His ability to go up and make tough contested catches will pair perfectly with Wilson’s play style and Rodgers’ accuracy.

Now when you look at this Jets offense it is on paper arguably one of the best in football, especially with a healthy Rodgers leading the way. Douglas will still need to look for more depth on the offensive line and another playmaker. So far, in a crucial offseason, Douglas has hit on a lot of pieces, but ultimately it is still a results-driven business and these moves need to work out if Douglas wants to see a 2025 in New York.

Grade: A


Unlike the offense, the Jets defense entered the offseason with fewer needs and instead, the defensive needs were more about trying to retain certain players. One of those players was edge rusher Bryce Huff, who New York did not retain and Huff signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. While Douglas has pressed a lot of the right buttons this offseason, letting Huff go was a mistake.

In 2023, Huff generated 10 sacks, making him the first Jets edge rusher in a decade to hit the double-digit sack mark. To add on, Huff’s 22.8% pass rush win rate ranked third among all edge rushers. Huff’s contract in Philly was something New York could have easily done but Douglas decided to move in a different direction which in the moment is leaving a sour taste among the fanbase.

Douglas has since pivoted and has brought in solid pieces to the defensive line and more help could be on the way. New York added former first-round pick Javon Kinlaw, run-stopper Leki Fotu and re-signed Solomon Thomas who is coming off a career year. They also brought back safety Chuck Clark and signed cornerback Isaiah Oliver for depth in one of the most talented cornerback rooms in football.

Expect more moves on the way one of those could be former first overall pick in 2014, Jadeveon Clowney who visited with the team on Wednesday. Look for New York to add another piece or two on the defensive line as they aim to replace the 33% sack production they are losing with Huff and Quinton Jefferson finding new homes.

Grade: B

Special Teams

New York’s special teams unit was one of the best in 2023 and one of the best the Jets have rolled out in a while. For Douglas and the rest of the front office, the main task was keeping their kicking duo together which New York got done. Kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Thomas Morstead both reached agreements to remain in the green and white.

For Zuerlein, it is a two-year deal worth $8.4 million with $4.2 million guaranteed. In 2023, ‘Greg The Leg’ accumulated 35 field goals and a 92.1 field percentage which were both franchise records. On top of this, Morstead’s contract is a two-year deal worth up to $5.1 million with $2.21 million guaranteed. Morstead finished 2023 with 36 punts inside the 20 which ranked second in the NFL. He also set a new career high in put yards with 535.

One more move could still be on the horizon for New York which would be re-signing gunner Justin Hardee who has been with the team since 2021. Hardee has been named team captain in each of his three seasons with the Jets and made the Pro Bowl in 2022.

Grade: A

Main Image: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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