Jets Price Refusal Is Holding up Contracts With Free Agents: Insider

New York Jets fan

Getty An unhappy New York Jets fan reacting to what she saw on the football field.

The New York Jets have been willy-nilly with their free-agent spending in the past and that has gotten them into some trouble.

Since general manager Joe Douglas has taken over, however, those days of overspending have ended. That apparently is the holdup in multiple contract negotiations according to one insider this offseason.

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Several Offers Pending

Connor Hughes of The Athletic dropped a big-time nugget in his latest mailbag column.

Ahead of training camp the Jets have kicked the tires on multiple free agents with visits and have handed out multiple contract offers.

Hughes says the Jets “flirted and remain interested” in veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander. The only thing holding things up right now is the team isn’t willing to go “above their price.”

That means the ball is in Alexander’s court and the same goes for veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff.

“Douglas isn’t willing to pay more than he believes a player is worth — even at this point in the offseason. The issue with this tactic is that if the money is equal, it’s unlikely any player picks the Jets — a team still very much rebuilding — over one with playoff potential.”

That strategy cost the Jets defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi who also received a contract from the team, but it wasn’t good enough and he decided to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason instead.

Something to Watch

After all of the years of overspending, it is about time the Jets have a key decision-maker who is willing to draw a line in the sand.

Douglas has refused to pay the iron price of being the Jets. Historically speaking the green and white have been forced to pay an additional fee for free agents to choose them over others due to their history of losing.

While that has saved a ton of money since he has been in charge, in the same vein they have lost several key free agents in the process.

This strategy could look fantastic if Reiff and Alexander come crawling back to him after scouring the free-agent market to sign the minimal deals they were offered. However, if other NFL teams offer greener pastures the Jets could be caught with their pants down at the wedding reception.

Both linebacker and offensive tackle are two problem areas for the Jets with concerning levels of depth at each position.

The most important of the two is clearly offensive tackle because that directly relates to the protection of their young quarterback Zach Wilson.

Although Alexander is also critically important in his own way on the defensive side of the ball in case of injury.

Douglas has made offers to both players and is taking a leap of faith that those will come to fruition ahead of training camp. If they do the Jets will be looking fantastic at those two spots. If they are unable to come to terms, those will be two big areas to watch on the waiver wire during roster cuts over the coming weeks.

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