New York Jets Free Agency Preview: Will Muhammad Wilkerson, Chris Ivory, Ryan Fitzpatrick Return?

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Feb 16, 2016 03:34 PM EST
Ryan Fitzpatrick
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick directs the offense in a 2015 game."

New York Jets Salary Cap: $13,106,364

Free Agents: 23

Muhammad Wilkerson (Defensive End/Age: 26): Wilkerson is easily the Jets biggest free agent, so he is the most likely to be franchise tagged. Wilkerson suffered a broken right fibula towards the end of the season and will likely miss most of the summer OTAs but should be ready in time for training camp. Wilkerson would have tremendous value on the open market however the Jets will most likely hold onto their best pass rusher, in 2015 he recorded 12 sacks, 7 pass defenses, 2 forced fumbles, and 64 combined tackles.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB/Age: 33): Fitzpatrick is likely to be viewed as the Jets second most important free agent considering he is the Jets starting quarterback. Franchise quarterback seems like a bit of a stretch and it is possible the Jets will look towards the draft to find their true franchise quarterback. But Fitzpatrick played too well for him not to be resigned. Fitzpatrick is likely the best quarterback who could hit the free agent market and that could cost the Jets a lot of money. Fitzpatrick had a productive 2015 recording 3,905 yards, 31 touchdowns, and only 15 interceptions. Fitzpatrick finished the season with a quarterback rating of 88.0 and it is very clear the Jets will do whatever is in their power to bring Fitzpatrick back.

Chris Ivory (RB/Age: 27): Ivory is likely the fourth most important free agent the Jets have which means he is unlikely to get signed even after having a very productive season. Ivory recorded 247 rushing attempts, 1,070 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, and 7 touchdowns in 2015. Since the Jets will likely not have enough cap space to resign the talented running back teams such as the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers will all likely fight for his services.

Damon Harrison (DT/Age: 27): Harrison played and started in all 16 games in 2015 and was one of the most productive nose tackles in the NFL. Harrison recorded 72 combined tackles, .5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Harrison will most certainly be overpaid and priced out of the Jets price range come free agency.

Calvin Pace (OLB/Age: 35): The Jets want some young pass rushers this season and with Pace at 35 he will likely be cut to make some cap space. Pace only started in 12 games for the Jets however he did record 3 sacks, a pass defense, and 2 forced fumbles. Pace should catch on for one more season to either a contender such at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Green Bay, or Arizona. He could also be sought after by the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, or Buffalo Bills.

Bilal Powell (RB/Age: 27): Powell has been a staple of the Jets running game however there is a solid chance he leaves for greener pastures (no pun intended). The 49ers, Titans, or Texans make the most sense here. Powell did average 4.5 yards per carry in 2015 so he should have some interest.

Demario Davis (ILB/Age: 27): Davis played in all 16 games in the 2015 season and recorded 90 combined tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 pass defenses. It is likely that the Jets will resign Erin Henderson over Davis as he may be a more cost effective option for the franchise.

Stevan Ridley (RB/Age: 27): Ridley is another running back that is likely to fall to the wayside as he hits free agency. A reunion between Ridley and the Patriots would make a lot of sense here. 



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