Florham Park, N.J. - It's clear that the 2016 NFL season has been a large disappointment for the New York Jets. Coming off of a year where they won 10 games and were moments away from a playoff berth, the Jets have ultimately flopped this year, sitting at 4-10. Once the season ends, the Jets lose these players to free agency: Josh Martin, Brian Winters, Ben Ijalana, Bruce Carter, Tanner Purdum, and Kellen Davis. They also lose two of the most controversial QBs in franchise history: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith. The Jets need to completely revamp their roster in 2017 if they want some success. They need to attack the free agent market. I'm talking about just going for win-now free agents because that shouldn't even be a thought. The Jets need to build for the future. The team has pieces right now that are starting to turn out well for them, they just need a couple more to complete the puzzle. Here are five free agents the Jets should target in 2017:
1. Stephon Gilmore, CB: The top position that the Jets need to improve on in 2017 is the secondary, specifically the cornerback position. Gilmore could be that answer in 2017. He has shown that he is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL right now. In 14 starts with Buffalo, he has 44 tackles, 11 passes defended, and is tied for 2nd in the league with five interceptions. Gilmore has shown consistency throughout his time in the NFL, amassing 14 interceptions and 61 passes defended in five seasons. Not to mention he's 26, so the age is not an issue. Hate to say it, but Darrelle Revis is on his way out. Marcus Williams and Buster Skrine haven't had the year that they thought they would. The Jets have Darryl Roberts and Juston Burris to build around for the future, but they need a standout cornerback now. Also, how sweet would it be for the Jets to steal one of Rex Ryan's players?
2. Tony Jefferson, SS: The Jets need to get their hands on some of the top players in the secondary come free agency. They rank 21st in the league, allowing 251.8 yards through the air, but were once ranked dead last earlier in the year. Jefferson could be the spark-plug that the team needs. This season with the Cardinals, Jefferson has 96 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and five passes defended. This season is his first as an everyday starter and he has stepped well into his roll. Jefferson has helped put the Cardinals at 5th in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass, allowing 212.9 yards per game. He is a hard-hitter, just like Jets strong safety Rontez Miles. Jefferson can be used to help ease Marcus Gilchrist back from injury, but can also compete for Calvin Pryor's job, who has taken significant steps back in 2016. Did I also mention that he's only 24?
3. Mike Remmers, OT: In 2016, the Jets lost a significant part of their offensive line to injured reserve: Ryan Clady, Nick Mangold, Breno Giacomini, and Brian Winters. The Jets were one of the top teams in the NFL at protecting the quarterback in 2015, but are 20th in the league allowing 32 sacks this season. Remmers is a top option to replace Clady and Giacomini. Remmers has started every game for the past two seasons for the Panthers and has played well for the team who went to the Super Bowl last year. This season, he's allowed six sacks. Remmers is 27-years-old and could be with the Jets for a long time.
4. Chandler Jones, OLB: Jones can be the outside edge-rusher that Jets have needed. Earlier in the year, the Jets was one of the top teams in the NFL in stopping the run. Now, they rank 14th, allowing teams to run for 99.9 yards per game. They also rank 30th with 23 sacks. Jones has no trouble getting to the quarterback. This season for the Cardinals, Jones has 44 tackles, 15 QB hits, eight sacks, two passes defended, and three forced fumbles. At 26, he is one of the best at his position. The addition of Jones can help the Jets develop Jordan Jenkins at their own pace while having a better reason on why they should get rid of Sheldon Richardson.
5. Matt Schaub, QB: This free agency signing is strictly for developmental purposes. Everyone forgets that Schaub is the all-time leader in nearly every single passing category for the Houston Texans. He should only be brought in to help develop and guide Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, both whom could be the future for the Jets. After being traded in 2014 to Oakland, Schaub has played sparingly with the Raiders, Ravens, and Falcons. It would be smart for the Jets to bring in him to help Petty and Hackenberg, as he had so much success earlier in his career. If neither Petty nor Hackenberg work out (which I hope does not happen) then maybe Schaub could rejuvenate his career here in New York.null