The New York Jets have done a phenomenal job this offseason upgrading the talent level of this roster. With over 10 draft selections and doling out over $75 million in guarantees during the free agency period, the arrow is clearly pointing up heading into OTAs.
Although in a recent column for ESPN, a group of insiders evaluated the biggest roster holes remaining for each of the 32 NFL franchises including the green and white:
“Robert Saleh’s defenses in San Francisco didn’t jell until 2019 when he switched to a wide-9 alignment and added both Nick Bosa and Dee Ford to his pass rush. The Jets needed two or three bodies basically everywhere and opted to use their first four draft picks on the offensive side of the ball, passing up such talents as Jaelan Phillips and Kwity Paye. That puts a lot of pressure on John Franklin-Myers to step up, taking advantage of Saleh’s scheme and playcalling to bolster an anemic pass rush.”
EDGE Rusher Aisle One Please
With EDGE rushing being such a big need for the Jets, it makes sense that they’d be interested in adding more bodies to the rotation.
One name that came up in a recent Bleacher Report column as a potential fit with Gang Green is former first-round pick, Vic Beasley.
Now, this would be the verbatim definition of bargain shopping if you’re the Jets, but beggars can’t be choosers. At this point in the offseason, mid-May, Beasley is probably the best you’re going to get on the open market.
This past season Beasley played for both the Tennessee Titans and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Initially, he signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Titans, but failed to report to training camp in late July. Hearing this story last year probably gave Jets fans Dimitri Patterson AWOL vibes.
Back in 2014, the Jets signed the veteran cornerback to a one-year deal during free agency. Everything seemed hunky-dory until it wasn’t. Patterson never reported for the Jets and then abruptly retired out of nowhere shortly after the Jets released him.
Beasley’s strange disappearance was never explained, but he did eventually show up for Tennessee. After playing the first seven games of the year with minimal production, he was waived. He ended up on the Raiders roster for the rest of the 2020 season but never saw significant action finishing with zero sacks in 10 games.
Vic Beasley Still Has Some Gas Left in the Tank
When you look at his six-year NFL career thus far, it looks like Beasley is a one-year wonder.
During his second season in the league, Beasley exploded on the scene. He led the league in sacks (15.5) and earned his first and only Pro Bowl nod. Although during the rest of his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons he never was able to recapture that same magic.
While he never put up the video game statistics of his career 2016 season, Beasley was a serviceable rotational pass rusher (stats provided by Pro Football Reference):
- Four sacks, two forced fumbles, and five quarterback hits (2015).
- Five sacks, eight tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits (2017).
- Five sacks, eight quarterback hits, scoop-and-score for a touchdown (2018).
- Eight sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles (2019).
If the Jets added him to their EDGE rushing room, they wouldn’t need him to be THE guy, just A guy. Gang Green paid Carl Lawson $45 million to be THE guy in their 4-3 scheme. What they need is someone opposite of Lawson to take advantage of one-on-one matchups and creative blitz concepts.
Due to his recent dip in play, Beasley would come on the relative cheap. This is a perfect low risk vs high-reward kind of move.
If he stinks and doesn’t fit into the culture that general manager Joe Douglas is building, then dump Beasley on the side of the road. Although if he pops in this scheme, as so many others have, he could be the perfect Robin to Lawson’s Batman this season on defense.
For Robert Saleh’s defense to work, he needs to create pressure up front with his front four. The Jets already have several dogs in the trenches with Quinnen Williams and the aforementioned Lawson, but they need more.