New York Jets Named As Potential Destination For Pro Bowl Safety

New York Jets
NFL Analysis Network

The New York Jets don’t exactly have a dire need at safety, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt the club to improve at the position, either.

Many expected the Jets to key in on a safety in the NFL Draft, but they did not select one until the seventh round, when they took Alabama’s Jaylen Key with the last pick of the draft.

Right now, New York is employing Chuck Clark and Tony Adams as its two starting safeties, and it may end up just heading into the season with that tandem.

It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great.

But could the Jets turn to the free-agent market to solidify the position?

During a recent mailbag, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated suggested that New York should pursue former Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, who was released back in March.

Simmons is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he played 15 games and registered 70 tackles, a sack, three interceptions, a couple of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and eight passes defended en route to his second Pro Bowl appearance and fourth Second-Team All-Pro selection.

In spite of being cut, he clearly has something left in the tank.

So, why is Simmons still available?

Well, the NFL does not value safeties like it once did, so Simmons’ asking price may be too high. Either that, or perhaps Simmons is simply waiting for the right opportunity.

Simmons has played in the league for eight years and has never made the playoffs, as each of his NFL campaigns have come with the Broncos. It’s entirely possible he wants to land with a contender that can offer him legitimate playing time.

The 30-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Boston College, was selected by Denver in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

He made his first Pro Bowl in 2020 after racking up 96 tackles, 1.5 sacks, five picks and 12 passes defended, and between 2019 and 2022, Simmons accumulated 20 picks. He led the league with six interceptions in 2022.

For a Jets team that has made numerous moves to improve its roster this offseason and is clearly trying to contend for a championship, it could represent a fine landing spot for Simmons.

New York has not made the postseason since the 2010-11 campaign, good for the longest active drought in the NFL. That could all change in 2024.

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