Coming off of a 2-14 season, there weren’t a lot of players the New York Jets were desperate to bring back into the fold.
The green and white had over 20 in-house unrestricted free agents and most of them found new homes across the NFL.
That theme continued on Sunday morning when veteran slot cornerback Brian Poole found a new destination ahead of the 2021 season.
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Going, Going, Gone
The veteran agreed to a one-year deal and will officially sign his contract on Monday with the New Orleans Saints, per NFL Insider Josina Anderson.
In his short time with the Jets over the last few years, Poole had developed into a fan favorite.
Not only was he an effective player on the field but he rose to unbelievable heights as one of the NFL’s top slot cornerbacks.
Despite his elite play, the Jets didn’t show much if any interest at all in bringing him back.
It was an odd move for a team that is littered with questions in the defensive backfield. Fans were begging for a reunion this season and now it’s official, it isn’t happening.
Although looking back at the two years of production, not too shabby of a run for the former Florida Gator:
- Three interceptions
- Over 103 combined tackles
- 12 pass deflections
- Only three penalties over the past two years (three in 2019 and none this past year)
To think Gang Green got all of that for a total of $8M ($3M contract in 2019 and followed that up with a $5M contract in 2020), pretty darn impressive.
Youth Movement Is Afoot
Jets head coach Robert Saleh has been adamant throughout the offseason that he’s going to give his guys in-house the opportunity to prove themselves before going outside the organization.
On one side of the coin, that philosophy is commendable. Giving all the youngsters on the roster the chance to prove themselves and potentially surprise is intriguing. Also, that thought process is dangerous.
If it doesn’t work and these young inexperienced corners aren’t able to step up to the plate, Saleh is going to catch a lot of heat for ignoring the position in free agency.
The players that are expected to fight for this opportunity include the incumbent Javelin Guidry. The second-year speedster played in 11 games and started two of them. He has the inside edge to start at the slot, but he’s going to see plenty of competition:
Echols’ size screams slot corner (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), but actually, he played on the boundary during his time at Kentucky. Although there has been a thought that he could transition inside.
While another rookie will also have a chance to take the starting gig and his name is Michael Carter, the defensive one.
The Jets coaches are going to use him in a lot of different ways to maximize his rare gifts. MC2 will likely get some safety and slot looks, but he’ll have an opportunity to lock down the starting gig.