Jets have longer shopping list outside of landing quarterback

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The biggest order of business in the Jets’ universe remains the Aaron Rodgers trade.

But that does not mean they still don’t have other needs.

Saying the Jets are a quarterback away from being a great team has become one of the things that has been repeated during this pursuit of Rodgers this offseason but it is a bit hyperbolic.

They still have holes on their roster.

It felt like Thursday the NFL entered the next wave of free agency.

The first wave is when big names come off the board with big deals that happen quickly.

Then, things slow down.

There will be free agents now taking visits to teams, the contracts will slide back into the teams’ favor and there are bargains to be had.

This is where Joe Douglas and the Jets will do most of their offseason shopping.


Jet general manager Joe Douglas has more holes to fill on the Jets’ roster than just the quarterback role.
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Their only big signing so far this week of an outside free agent has been wide receiver Allen Lazard, who got a four-year, $44 million deal.

They also made a trade for safety Chuck Clark to strengthen the secondary.

Douglas now must shop for some players to fill holes and decide whether the options left in free agency are better than the draft.

The Jets almost certainly will be parting with one draft pick this year once the Rodgers deal is agreed to, so that has to factor in as well.

Here are what I see as the Jets’ biggest remaining needs:

Center

This is pretty simple: The Jets don’t have one right now.


Connor McGovern #66, who could be option for the Jets, gets set against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium.
Connor McGovern #66, who could be option for the Jets, gets set against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium.
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Connor McGovern is a free agent.

The Jets seem ready to move on, but could they turn back to McGovern if his market does not develop?

They tried to sign 49ers free agent Jake Brendel, but he opted to return to San Francisco.

Many of the top options at center are already off the market.

This may be a position that Douglas targets early in the draft, but do you want a rookie center for Rodgers?

This one is going to be interesting to watch.

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE

The Jets wanted to re-sign Sheldon Rankins, but he took a one-year, $10.5 million deal from the Texans.

The Jets did not want to pay that much, and Rankins was also asking for assurances he was going to play on third down more, something the Jets were not willing to give.

The Jets also saw backup Nathan Shepherd leave for the Saints this week.

Right now, they have Quinnen Williams, Solomon Thomas and not much else.

They can move John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons inside on passing downs, but coach Robert Saleh loves to rotate defensive linemen, and the Jets need some more.

A’Shawn Robinson and Poona Ford are two players still on the market.

Running back

Breece Hall is coming off a torn ACL and is expected to be ready for the start of the season, but the Jets could use another running back as Hall works his way back to go along with Michael Carter.

There was reported interest in Jamaal Williams, but he signed with the Saints.

Kareem Hunt and Devin Singletary are two free agents who could make sense for the Jets.


Devin Singletary runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium.
Devin Singletary runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium.
USA TODAY Sports

Tackle

The Jets had interest in Orlando Brown, which is fascinating since he landed a big deal (four years, $64 million) from the Bengals.

I did not think the Jets would go after such a high-priced player at tackle.

Right now, the Jets have three question marks at the position Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton and Max Mitchell.

All three are coming off injuries or health scares.

It is hard to know what to expect from that trio right now.

Douglas needs to add to this group, but, like center, the options are not attractive in free agency, and this might be another spot he wants to fill in the draft.

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