New York Jets Blast Into Free Agency To Improve Offense
NFL free agency began on Monday. New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas had 48.5 million reasons to be excited. That's how much salary cap space that the former New York Titans franchise has this year. Only the Indianapolis Colts have more money to spend. Gang Green head coach Robert Saleh is hoping that spending some cash can buy at least a half dozen more wins in 2022. It was a good start on day one.
According to espn.com, on the first day of the free agent frenzy, Douglas gave his young QB one of the best tight ends on the market, former Cincinnati Bengal, C.J. Uzomah. Coming off of a fine Super Bowl year, Uzomah cashed in for 3 years and $24 million dollars. If the former Bengal can stay healthy, this is a terrific deal for the Jets. Uzomah is a great blocker and set career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season. A reliable tight end that can block and catch is gold for any QB. This is a win for Zach Wilson.
There were a few more wins on Monday. The Jets wasted no time improving the offensive line in front of their prized quarterback. According to friend of The Drive with Charlie & Dan, Andy Vasquez of usatodaysports.com, the Jets signed offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson to a three-year $40 million deal with $27 million of it guaranteed. This is a big deal in an area the Jets desperately need consistency.
According to Vasquez, who appeared on The Drive on Monday, "Tomlinson made the Pro Bowl last season for the 49ers, where he played the last five seasons at left guard. Four of those seasons were with current Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur on the coaching staff, so the Jets know exactly what they're getting in Tomlinson." Another big win for Zach Wilson.
Jets also brought back two of their more productive players from the 2021 season. Receiver and kick-returner Braxton Berrios agreed to come back to Gang Green. ESPN.com reported the deal is for two years, $12 million with $7 million of it guaranteed. Berrios is definitely a dynamic slot receiver that seemed to form a nice bond with the Jets rookie quarterback in 2021. For that price tag, he will certainly be asked to do more in 2022. Joe Douglas also re-signed running back Tevin Coleman to a team friendly deal. Coleman finished his first season in New York with 84 carries for 354 yards and 11 catches for 49 yards in 11 games.
All of these moves help the Jets offense, which leads me to believe that the Jets will focus on the draft to fix their terrible defense. Robert Saleh is a defensive guy. He has to have a plan to improve that side of the game for the Jets. So far, so good Jets fans. I really like what Joe Douglas accomplished on Monday. There is definitely more to come!