The Jets have had a relatively quiet offseason — especially compared to their 2015 free agent haul — as they’ve added complementary pieces like Matt Forte and Steve McLendon while retaining inside linebacker Erin Henderson and running back Bilal Powell. The elephant in the room remains free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and earlier today Rich Cimini of ESPN.com looked at how the ongoing Colin Kaepernick trade talks might affect the possibility of Fitzpatrick returning to New York.
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from the Big Apple, all courtesy of Cimini’s column…
- Though Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has said he is not “actively pursuing” a trade involving defensive ed Muhammad Wilkerson, Cimini says the Bears are a “team to watch” as the draft approaches, noting that New York would instantly accept an offer of the No. 11 overall pick. Wilkerson, who was designated as the Jets’ franchise player, can be assigned the franchise tag again in 2017, essentially allowing Gang Green to lock him up for $34.5MM over two years.
- The Jets have no interest in free agent defensive end Greg Hardy, per Cimini — though the club could certainly use help at pass-rusher, Hardy simply carries too much off-the-field baggage to be worth the risk. Most of the news surrounding Hardy this offseason has been teams saying they are not interested in bringing in the mercurial defensive end, though Jason Cole of Bleacher Report said last month that several clubs are pursuing Hardy using an “under the radar” approach for fear of generating bad PR.
- After agreeing to terms with linebacker Bruce Carter on Saturday, the Jets are expected to use something of a platoon at inside linebacker, according to Cimini. While veteran David Harris will likely remain an every-down player, Henderson will probably play on early downs before ceding to Carter on third down.
- Just a few years ago, Mike Catapano was a defensive tackle with the Chiefs, but after slimming down to the 260-pound range, he’s getting the opportunity to act as a full-time linebacker with the Jets, per Cimini.