Jets ‘Need to’ Acquire a Reliable Playmaker This Offseason, Says Analyst

CJ Uzomah Bengals

Getty Cincinnati Bengals tight end CJ Uzomah shaking free of a New York Jets oncoming tackler.

The New York Jets made a clear decision to go with a fullcourt offensive approach last offseason.

They invested free agency money (Corey Davis) and the first four picks of the 2021 NFL draft on offense. That was the first time Gang Green had done that in the draft since 1983.

While the key Jets decision-makers after the draft said it was simply circumstance and they just took the best player available on the board, the message remains.

After the Sam Darnold experiment, the green and white couldn’t allow the same thing to happen to their next young quarterback in Zach Wilson. The former USC product didn’t have enough protection and playmakers around him, so they decided to do it right this time around.

It was a really good start this past offseason, but the work isn’t done yet.

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Time to Make Some Serious Upgrades

Bleacher Report analyst Chris Roling created a list of things that every NFL team needs to do this offseason to help out their quarterback.

For the Jets, it was an open-ended request, “get a playmaker at tight end.”

There are a lot of different ways to skin a cat and the same goes for acquiring that kind of weapon on offense: free agency, trade, or the draft.

“The Jets shouldn’t spend either of their first-round picks on a tight end, but they could pursue one in later rounds or in a free-agent class featuring Zach Ertz, O.J. Howard and others.”

In Todd McShay’s updated 2022 big board where he ranked the top 32 players in this class, only one tight end appeared on the list and that was at No. 29 with Trey McBride of Colorado State.

According to the latest update from Tankathon, if the draft started today Gang Green would hold the No. 4 and No. 8 overall picks respectively. The earliest the Jets would consider a tight end is in the second round.

Best Playmaking Options

The analyst suggested the Jets need a ‘playmaker’ at the tight end position. A playmaker is someone you just have to get the ball in their hands and let them get to work.

Two of the names specifically listed in Howard from Tampa Bay and Ertz from Arizona would both certainly fit the bill in different ways.

The current Buccaneers star is only 27 years of age but has yet to realize the full potential of his top-20 pick status. While Ertz has more than proven his ability, but he is on the wrong side of 30 (31).

Here are some other inturiging options that are set to be unrestricted free agents this offseason:

CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals

The talented tight end has spent his entire seven-year career to date with the Bengals. He has mostly been used in a reserve role but he has had pops of playmaking ability, especially this year.

Uzomah is on pace or has already set career highs in several major categories, which is pretty good timing ahead of free agency. Spotrac market value projects him to land a $10.7 million per year contract which would rank sixth-best in the NFL.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

This is a similar story to Howard with the Buccaneers. A super talented and athletic player that passes the eye test and has incredible traits.

These are the kind of gambles general manager Joe Douglas has proven he likes. Interesting players coming off of their rookie contracts where things didn’t work out (Jarrad Davis comes to mind).

Spotrac market value says the young tight end could command $6.9 million on the open market. That would rank 15th among tight ends in the NFL.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

The Jets should be intimately familiar with Gesicki since they have seen him twice a year every year inside the division.

He would be one of the most expensive options, but they say you get what you pay for.

The Spotrac market value predicts he could land an $11 million per year contract on a multi-year deal. That average would be the sixth-highest of any tight end in football.

Gesicki certainly fits the bill as a playmaker with his affinity for the highlight-reel catches throughout his career. Some of his blocking prowess has been questioned, but he would be a perfect fit with the Jets.

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