Jets Lose out on $10 Million Potential Target, Opens Door for Signing

Akiem Hicks, Bears

Getty Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks running off of the field after a huge defensive series.

The New York Jets have been doing a ton of homework on the defensive tackle market this offseason.

They have explored several available options in free agency and during the 2022 NFL draft. So far they haven’t been able to find a pairing that makes sense.

On Tuesday, May 31 they lost out on a potential free-agent target that chose different waters to swim in.

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Another One Bites the Dust

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to share that veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It ended up being a one-year deal that has a maximum value of $10 million.

Connor Hughes of The Athletic name-dropped Hicks as a possible addition for the Jets back on March 23.

He thought it could be a “cheap addition” for the Jets, but with the final numbers coming in it looks anything but for the talented defender in late May.

The longtime NFC starter will now stay in the same conference and join Vita Vea in the trenches to form a dynamic duo on the interior:

  • 40.5 sacks
  • 138 games played
  • 73 tackles for loss

Are You Saying There Is a Chance?

When one door closes, another opportunity opens.

That very well could be the case here with Hicks joining the Bucs. As Schefter noted on Twitter, Tampa Bay free agent Ndamukong Suh’s time with the organization “figures to be over.”

Could a signing with the Jets make sense?

The green and white have pursued the veteran defender multiple times in the past and once even offered him a contract, but he never took it.

The 35-year-old certainly has some tread on the tires at this stage of his career, but he would fill a void on the roster.

Throughout his career, the former Cornhusker has been an elite-run defender according to the PFF advanced metrics.

The Jets’ defensive line is crazy deep and talented, but if you were going to nitpick it you would probably question the run defense.

They haven’t truly replaced Foley Fatukasi this offseason and Suh would go a long way towards slapping a band-aid on this problem for 2022.

He wouldn’t be a long-term answer by any means but you can only solve so many problems in a single offseason.

This signing would allow the Jets to kick the can down the road and figure things out on a future basis next year whether through free agency or the NFL draft.

Also, something else that Suh brings to the table is a level of nastiness. Sometimes throughout his career that has been interpreted as dirty, but the Jets have been open and honest that they want their defense to have an attitude this season.

The fact of the matter is Suh is a proven veteran with an incredible resume:

  • Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • Super Bowl champion
  • Three-time first-team All-Pro
  • Five-time Pro Bowler

This is the last missing puzzle piece to complete the Jets’ defensive line heading into 2022 and at this stage of the offseason, he would come relatively cheap.

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