The Jets missed out on the Khalil Mack sweepstakes, but will continue looking for help rushing the passer. They recently brought in outside linebacker John Simon for a visit, although they didn’t end up signing him. New York has also worked out a string of other lower-profile defensive linemen and outside linebackers in recent weeks.
Their intention to bring in outside help was recently confirmed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who writes that acquiring such a player remains the team’s primary objective. He adds that the Jets were even more serious about trading for Mack than was originally reported, and that they would likely have been willing to meet or beat the Bears’ winning offer, which included two first-round draft picks.
La Canfora says the Raiders essentially ended the bidding on Mack once they received assurances that Chicago was willing to part with two first-rounders, especially since trading him to the Bears allowed them to get Mack out of the AFC.
But the Jets have a ton of cap space and a commitment from ownership, so they will continue to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of a QB hunter. Former NFL agent Joel Corry wonders if, next offseason, the Jets could be involved in the first edge rusher tag and trade since Jared Allen was tagged by the Chiefs and traded to the Vikings in 2008 (Twitter link). Whatever happens, expect the Jets to be aggressive in building their roster as they transition into the Sam Darnold-era.