New York Jets NFL

New York Jets: The Best EDGE Rushers available in Free Agency! Should we be interested? Part One!

Oh it’s that time of year. Players without contracts, money flying in the air, and the time of uncertainty is upon us. It is the NFL’s Free Agency! Today we will focus on the best Edge Rushers that will be available in the Free Agency period. There are a lot of big names available that I think Coach Robert Saleh would love to have in his arsenal of players. However, the price tag on some of these players are high, you also will have to take their age into consideration but I’m going to give you all the information you need. Let’s dig in:

#1- Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We all know who #58 is and his incredible talent on the field. It isn’t easy to put him at number one due to his age but his resume is enough to put him at one. Last year he had one of the best breakout seasons in football history. He went from a meh 3.0 sacks year to a league-leading 19.5 sacks year. Many could debate that he is just a product of the system, which I wouldn’t debate because Todd Bowles is a genius but the man has talent and we have a defensive genius of our own in Coach Saleh. He went from that incredible season to a 8.0 sacks year in 2020, but he had an incredible postseason which will likely dictate his market value. In the NFC Championship game he had 3 sacks, and a sack in the Super Bowl. He was a monster and was a huge part on why the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Here are his measurements and stats:

Measurements and Information:
– Age: 28
– Weight: 250
– Height: 6’2″
– Market Value Estimation: $18-19M

Achievements:
1x Pro-Bowler
2x SB Champ

2019 Stats:
– Sacks: 19.5 (Led the league)
– Solo Tackles: 30
– 6 Forced Fumbles (3rd in the league)
– Played in 79% of his snaps
– 16 Games Played 
– 77.7 PFF Grade

2020 Stats:
– Sacks: 8.0
– Solo Tackles: 42 (3rd in the league)
– 2 Forced Fumbles
– Played in 77% of his snaps
– 15 Games Played
– 70.7 PFF Grade

My Signing Prediction:
He’s going to likely get a contract similar to this 4 years, $72M ($45M guaranteed), if I had to guess I’d say with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since Tom Brady is taking less money than he was before.

#2- Haason Reddick, Arizona Cardinals:

Haason Reddick, Jets Jersey Swap created by me (@jd_5bd on Twitter)

Now this is a very underrated player right here but Haason has so much potential and he is actually available in Free Agency, which to me is surprising. They had a chance to have JJ Watt, Chandler Jones and Haason Reddick on the same defensive line but said no. They had enough money to resign him, $21M in cap space, but I guess they were reserving that money for Kyler Murray in the future. However, Haason had a breakout season and a mind-blowing game against the New York Giants. He was put into a different position this year and they used him as an outside linebacker instead of an inside linebacker and he excelled. He had a 12.5 sack season and still had over 60 tackles. The best part is that he’s only 26 and won’t even be as expensive as Shaq Barrett. I don’t know about other analysts or Jets fans but if we were to sign him, I’d be ecstatic and would be confident in saying the sky is the limit for that young man in NY. When he was used a inside linebacker he wasn’t the best player and you can tell he had potential but just not as a ILB. He would always have more than 60 tackles in each of his seasons starting at ILB, but he was meant for the OLB position and even at the OLB position he still had 60+ tackles. My only worry would be his playing time. He’s played all 16 games this season but he only started 11, but he still played in all 16. Here are his measurements and stats:

Measurements and Information:
– Age: 26
– Weight: 235
– Height: 6’1″
– Market Value Estimation: $10-12M

2020 Stats:
– Sacks: 12.5
– Total Tackles: 63
– 6 Forced Fumbles (Most in the NFL)
– Played in 79% of his snaps
– 16 Games Played, 11 games started
– 72.8 PFF Grade

My Signing Prediction:
Although the market value indicates he’ll make $12M at the most, I think someone will give him a little extra. So, I see him signing a 3 year, $42M contract with $25M guaranteed. I can see him with signing with either the Jets, Ravens or Bengals.

#3- Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers:

Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

Bud is a great edge rusher and one of the deadliest in the game, but he suffered a terrible Achilles tear which will set back his career. He’s highly talented and was on the cusp of yet another incredible year but that injury set him out for the year and he’ll likely miss sometime in this upcoming year. It’s sad to see because he’s a dog and he was just getting started. The duo he created with T.J. Watt was a big reason on why the Steelers were so dominant in the first half of the season. When they lost him, it started to crumble and eventually they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. So, that goes to show that he made a huge impact on that team and if he gets back to normal he can be very impactful on another franchise. He’s aging a little but this is likely when he enters his prime, he’ll just have to hope that a team shares the same mentality. If he wasn’t injured I would guarantee that he would be #1 or #2 on this list, but due to the uncertainty the injury has put upon him I can’t do it. It is almost 100% sure that he will be suiting up for another franchise because the Steelers barely have enough money to pay their own players that are under contract. They didn’t franchise tag him, so on Wednesday he will be open to the market at 4pm EST time. Here are his measurements and stats:

Measurements and Information:
– Age: 28
– Weight: 269
– Height: 6’4″
– Market Value Estimation: $15-18M

2019 Stats:
– Sacks: 11.5
– Total Tackles: 68
– 4 Forced Fumbles
– Played in 91% of his snaps
– 16 Games Played 
– 77.7 PFF Grade

2020 Stats:
– Sacks: 8.0
– Total Tackles: 31
– 2 Forced Fumbles
– Played in 59% of his snaps
– 11 Games Played
– 60.2 PFF Grade

My Signing Prediction:
We all know Bud is an elite edge rusher when healthy, but hes coming off an Achilles tear so the future is unpredictable for him. He deserves $17M, but due to that devastating injury I think he might have to take less or sign a prove-it deal. If he goes long-term he’ll get a 4 year, $64M contract with $30M guaranteed. If he does a prove-it deal, I’d say a one year worth $15M. I’d expect the front-runners to be the Browns, Dolphins, and Colts. Maybe the Patriots and Texans as well.

#4- Yannick Ngakoue, Baltimore Ravens:

AP Photo/Terrance Williams

I think Yannick Ngakoue is a terrific talent but due to the transactions that have involved him, it set back his development in the league. He had a great sophomore season with 12 sacks but he’s been a consistent 8 sacks per year type of guy ever since that 12 sack season. I think when he finally settles down with a team that actually cares about him he’ll be back to that elite 12 sack type of guy. He played on two different teams this year and that’s just not beneficial for a young player like him. He has raw talent that someone needs to help develop. I think that he’s possibly found a home in Baltimore but that’s still to be determined since they didn’t franchise tag him. There were rumors that he’d be traded to the Jets back in July, but that didn’t go anywhere. Instead he was traded to Minnesota, where I thought he would blossom because he’ll have Danielle Hunter on the other side but that hasn’t the case. He’s a great player and deserves a chance on a roster and organization that cares for him. Here are his measurements and stats:

Measurements and Information:
– Age: 25
– Weight: 246
– Height: 6’2″
– Market Value Estimation: $13-15M

Achievements:
1x Pro-Bowler

2020 Stats:
– Sacks: 8
– Total Tackles: 23
– 4 Forced Fumble
– 15 Games Played, 8 games started
– 70.0 PFF Grade

My Signing Prediction:
Yannick is a premiere talent and deserves the money. He’s still a very young player at only 25 years of age, so this’ll probably be his first of two big possible contracts in his career. I’d say he’ll sign a 3 year, $44M contract with $32M guaranteed. Possible suitors could be a reunion with the Ravens or sign with the Jets, Cowboys, or Washington Football Team.

#5- Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is yet another very underrated player. Romeo is coming off a breakout year, he had 10 sacks after having just one sack the year before. Many may say he’s a one-year wonder like Trey but Romeo didn’t have Cam Jordan on the other side, he also wasn’t given much of an opportunity when he had only one sack. He only started one game that year. Another benefit is that he is so young and won’t be anywhere near as expensive as a Shaq Barrett or a Bud Dupree would be. I honestly think Okwara will be able to do magnificent things with Coach Saleh. He also seems like a guy that GM Joe would interested in. Here are his measurements and stats:

Measurements and Information:
– Age: 25
– Weight: 263
– Height: 6’4″
– Market Value Estimation: $8-10M

2020 Stats:
– Sacks: 10
– Total Tackles: 44
– 3 Forced Fumble
– Played in 67% of his snaps
– 16 Games Played, 9 games started
– 68.8 PFF Grade

My Signing Prediction:
Okwara’s potential is high, especially with his young age. If I had to guess I’d think he signs a 3 year contract worth $27M with $18M guaranteed. Possible Suitors being the Jets, Panthers, or Dolphins.

Thanks for reading everybody. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBoroughDispatch, have a great day; everybody!

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