With the 2022 NFL draft in the rearview mirror, it is time for the New York Jets to fill the remaining holes on the roster.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will this Gang Green team. However, with free agency and the draft over, the remaining needs on the team are glaring.
Fortunately, there may be a clear path to filling one of their biggest holes on the roster.
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Are You Saying There’s a Chance?
Following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL draft, each NFL reporter for ESPN was tasked with proposing and answering the biggest remaining offseason question.
Rich Cimini asked if the Jets’ run defense is vulnerable?
This offseason they lost Foley Fatukasi to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency for over $30 million. Despite that, they haven’t made any significant addition to the interior defensive line.
Cimini urged Gang Green to “add a widebody in post-draft free agency.” He then said if the Philadelphia Eagles make “Fletcher Cox available” he’d be worth checking out.
“Our pro scouting staff combs through the depth charts to see if there are any scenarios like Morgan Moses last year. Where a player may have a certain amount of guaranteed money that a team might not be comfortable staying with after they have drafted a young player.”
That could lead the Jets to call about Cox. The Eagles traded up in the first round of the draft to select Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. That could create some wiggle room potentially with Cox.
Earlier this offseason the Eagles cut bait with Cox and ended up bringing him back on an altered deal. However, all of that was prior to the results of April’s draft.
Regret Can Be a Funny Thing
Cox would immediately provide some extra pop as a pass rusher. During his decade in the league, he has registered over 58 career sacks.
Although the even bigger reason the Jets should add him to the roster is his ability to defend the run. While last year was an uncharacteristically bad year for him in that category (53.6 PFF grade), historically speaking Cox has been fantastic:
- 2020: 70.9
- 2019: 67.7
- 2018: 81.3
- 2017: 78.1
- 2016: 80.2
- 2015: 79.5
- 2014: 90.2
Currently, Cox is under contract with the Eagles so the Jets would have to get creative to land him. The good news is both organizations have a really good relationship with one another so they could make something happen.
This could be a potential trade situation or the Jets could hope things play out similarly to Moses last year when he got cut during the summer. Although that last prayer may be nothing more than wishful thinking.
The veteran defensive lineman is 31 years old, but it would plug a massive hole on this roster and bring some more leadership into the locker room.