A lot of the discussions involving the New York Jets thus far this offseason have been around what they will do at the quarterback position. Will they stay the course with Sam Darnold and surround him with help for the first time in his career? Will they push for a trade for a veteran, such as Deshaun Watson? Or will they stay put at No. 2 in the NFL Draft and have their choice of quarterback prospects presumably other than Trevor Lawrence?
No matter what the Jets do at the quarterback position, you can be sure the roster will look a lot different in 2021 than it did in 2020. They have a new head coach in Robert Saleh who will want to have some new players to fit his schemes. Joe Douglas has a ton of money to spend in free agency and plenty of draft capital as well.
New York is projected to have the most cap space available of any franchise in the NFL. If there is a player the Jets want in free agency, they will be able to aggressively pursue them. The team has plenty of holes to fill.
The prescription-based, The Athletic, predicts they will fill at least one of them by landing Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.
Ngakoue would fill a much needed pass-rushing hole on the Jets’ defense. Last season, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams led the team with 7.5 sacks. The next closest person was Tarell Basham, who recorded only 3.5. Ngakoue, on the other hand, has never recorded fewer than eight sacks in a season.
He was traded twice in 2020, which will diminish his value in some people’s eyes, and he won’t offer much help in stopping the run. But, his presence as a pass rusher is well worth the price tag.
He is tied for ninth among edge rushers in pass-rushing grade according to Pro Football Focus over the last four seasons, so you know you are getting a player that consistently gets after the quarterback.
25 going on 26 year olds with this kind of pass-rushing pedigree rarely hit the open market. If the Jets want to make a splash and start rebuilding what used to be a respectable defense, Yannick Ngakoue fits the bill.