Jets Warned to Avoid High Priced Lockdown Corner in 2022

Stephon Gilmore Panthers

Getty Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore warming up ahead of an NFL contest.

The New York Jets group of corners played well above expectations this season.

Head coach Robert Saleh bet on his young guys and they gained invaluable experience through the ups and downs of an NFL campaign. Although they were far from perfect this season.

The Jets allowed just under 260 passing yards (third-most in the NFL) with a 28 to 7 touchdown to interception ratio.

Assuredly the Jets will look to hit the upgrade button this offseason armed with draft ammo and a ton of future cap space.

One analyst strongly warned that they should avoid one tasty option this offseason.

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An Ex-Division Rival Is Now Available

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report wrote a column documenting the one free agent each NFL team should avoid this offseason.

Every year teams throw all kinds of funny money out to players on the open market, but a lot of the time it ends up being a major mistake.

The one the Jets should apparently avoid is Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

He “shouldn’t be given serious consideration” because he is an aging veteran that is considered past his prime.

Gilmore spent the first five years of his career with the Buffalo Bills and then when he reached free agency for the first time cashed in a major way thanks to the New England Patriots. The veteran corner signed a massive five-year $65 million contract.

He was with the Pats for the next four seasons and ended up getting traded to the Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round draft choice.

Carolina tried to go all-in and their plan failed miserably as the team collapsed down the stretch and finished 5-12.

Gilmore is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the second time in his career. He was on the last year of his deal in 2021 for $6.1 million but will be looking for one last big payday.

Jets Need to Avoid Repeating History

The Jets are infamous in free agency for paying players for what they did in the past, instead of projecting towards the future.

Gilmore would be a classic case of paying for past production and a player that appears over the hill.

At one point he was considered the best cover corner in all of football and put up video game numbers with 27 interceptions, over 427 tackles, and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019.

Although everything has started to fall apart with the talented corner missing 14 games over the last two years and is 31 years of age. He’ll turn 32 at the beginning of the 2022 NFL season.

While the Jets certainly need a true lockdown No. 1 corner, they’re best served to try to find that in the 2022 NFL draft or by going with a younger option on the open market.

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