One man’s trash can quite often be another man’s treasure.
That is the motto of NFL free agency and the New York Jets have been on both the sending and receiving end of that.
This week one of their former players inked a multi-year deal with an AFC foe.
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A Surprising Plot Twist
Ex-Jets defensive back Arthur Maulet re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a new two-year deal ahead of free agency. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network was first to share that news.
The former undrafted free agent out of Memphis has been a journeyman in the NFL by every definition of the word.
After bouncing between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts to start his professional career, he finally found a home with the Jets in 2019.
Maulet went from barely used depth guy to a legitimate starter and key cog for the team over his two seasons:
- 23 games played, 11 started
- Two interceptions
- Seven pass deflections
- Over 67 total tackles
After his run with the Jets, he took a one-year flier with the Steelers back in 2021 and made the most of his opportunity.
Maulet had a career year in games played (16), combined tackles (47), and did a really nice job replacing Mike Hilton for Pittsburgh.
The small (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) scrappy slot corner has carved out a nice career for himself and now has some financial security for his future.
Some Interesting Free Agent Nuggets
Speaking of cornerbacks, the Jets are still in a desperate search to find their top-flight guy.
There have been a lot of conflicting reports about their potential interest in JC Jackson out of New England.
Some have said they will have no interest whatsoever because of the likely price tag (expected to land a deal somewhere in the $18 to $20 million per year range).
While others believe they will jump into the deep end of the pool to try and wrangle him in.
The one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t seem to fit the Joe Douglas MO is the crazy money it’ll likely take. Jackson is a 26-year-old cornerback that has 25 career interceptions already.
Cornerbacks are normally overpaid in free agency, what do you think will happen with a young ballhawk in a potential bidding war with multiple teams involved?
That funny money could get into a crazy stratosphere ($100 million-plus) that Douglas has never proven willing to dip into during free agency.
One of the biggest storylines to watch will be whether Douglas breaks character and does something that would prove to be an out-of-body experience. Or will he simply just invest minimally and attack the position in the NFL draft?
Fortunately, the Jets thanks to their overflowing assets have options and that is convenient because there are a million different ways to skin a cat and build a roster. We’ll soon find out how Douglas plans to build his with the legal tampering period getting underway on Monday, March 14 at 12:00 pm ET.
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