Jets Predicted to Sign Top NFL Free Agent to $6 Million-Plus Contract

Joe Douglas

Getty New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas during training camp.

Our New York Jets mailbag is back again with writers Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr. and Michael Obermuller tackling the hard-hitting NYJ questions and speculation.

On July 17, the focus will be on Quinnen Williams’ extension, the latest on Dalvin Cook, longshots that could make the Jets roster in 2023, DeAndre Hopkins’ decision to sign with the Tennessee Titans and “Hard Knocks” becoming official.

A reminder of our most recent mailbags:

Latest in Jets Land Features Quinnen Williams & Dalvin Cook

1. What’s your prediction for Dalvin Cook’s eventual decision?

Boy Green:

I have a weird feeling that Cook is going to end up being a member of the New York Jets. I think the thing Cook is waiting for right now is for the Jets to increase their offer and I’m not sure when that would come.

Maybe if Breece Hall struggles in camp, the Jets panic and say, okay let’s increase that offer and get Cook in here ASAP.

I predict he will sign a one-year deal with a $6 million base with upwards of $3 million in incentives. He would have a chance to play for a Super Bowl contender, get a bunch of reps early as Hall recovers, and reestablish his market ahead of 2024.


Paul and I have yet to agree on Cook, so why start now? I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum regarding these rumors.

Since the beginning, I’ve felt confident that Cook would like to return home and play for the Miami Dolphins — only Miami hasn’t offered an enticing number at this time. Boomer Esiason suggested that the Jets are being used as leverage to drive up that price, and I think he’s right.

My prediction is that Cook signs with the Dolphins during training camp at a base salary of $5 million plus incentives. Having said that, I could actually see a world where he heads back to the Minnesota Vikings for more money.

2. Were you happy with the financial details of the Quinnen Williams extension?


No, I wasn’t happy. I channeled my inner-Buffalo Bills mafia and dove through tables with how exhilarated I was.

The money was super reasonable for the player he’s been, and I know some were thrown off by the guarantees in the deal, but this was a win-win for all sides. Williams is the straw that stirs the drink for the Jets and now he is being paid like it. Hell, I would have been willing to go to upwards of $27 million per year across four years making it a $108 million extension.

My blunt assessment is the Jets got away with an absolute steal. We’re going to look back at this deal in a year or two and just thank the heavens above that Gang Green paid him when they did.


I love my partner’s enthusiasm and I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment. Initially, I expected Williams to sign at a number just above Titans’ Jeffery Simmons — which he did.

Then, after the long holdup I started to wonder if his camp was demanding more. In the end, they really weren’t. At an APY just under $25 million, I’ll take a rising game-wrecker like “Big Q” any day of the week.

3. Who’s one Jets bubble candidate that no one is talking about that you believe has a real shot to make the 53-man roster this summer?


I think the only way the player I say is going to make the roster is if an injury happens, but I’m rooting like hell for quarterback Chris Streveler. He can’t throw a football consistently but gosh darn it, he’s a gamer and I respect it.

I feel very strongly that the Jets are going to keep three quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster due to the new QB rule. Does Tim Boyle deserve to be here? He is a warm body that knows the system, but his career statistics are straight garbage.

I’m predicting some more Streveler magic during the preseason, and he will have the hype train behind him. Will that lead to a spot on the roster? I’m saying there’s a chance to play his way onto it.


Wide receiver Jason Brownlee is probably the UDFA that has the best chance to make the Week 1 roster — but considering the hype and guaranteed money he’s gotten, I’m not sure he qualifies.

No one is talking about undrafted tight end E.J. Jenkins, however — except maybe us and SNY. We reported on a column suggesting that Jenkins could steal Zack Kuntz’s roster spot this summer and I’m starting to convince myself that this is a real possibility.

Not that I’m rooting against Kuntz by any means. I just believe that the better of the two will make the roster, regardless of draft status. You can throw fellow UDFA Izaiah Gathings into that conversation too. All three are developmental pass-catching TEs, but Jenkins and Kuntz are practically clones.

Jets Writers React to Hard Knocks & DeAndre Hopkins’ Decision to Sign With the Titans

4. Give a one-word reaction for the Jets getting picked to host HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2023. Then explain.


Satisfying. Have any of you ever seen the movie Moneyball? That scene when Jonah Hill secures the deal and he does the slow fist motion like, “Yeah baby.” That is exactly how I reacted once I heard the Jets got Hard Knocks.

I also wanted to do one of those Ace Ventura pelvic thrusts in the direction of all of the fans who complained about not wanting it. Suck it baby and get over it! All of the people that were complaining are going to watch the show — so shut up, eat your popcorn, and enjoy the program.

I get it, some Jets coaches and players publicly said they’d rather not. Well, guess what? Sometimes in life, you have to do things you don’t want to. Just embrace the show and try to benefit from it.

Gang Green better get used to all of the national attention because it’ll be there all season long whether they succeed or fail. You might as well embrace it in training camp and make the most of this opportunity.


Expected. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want any part of Hard Knocks and I was pretty clear about that on social media. Per my partner’s comment — will I be watching? Of course.

One, it’s my job to watch. But I’d probably watch even it didn’t fit into my daily Heavy requirements. Two, it’s August. What else is there to do on a summer weeknight during training camp? Probably setting myself up for insults with that one.

In all seriousness, this was the NFL’s worst kept secret for months. I’m not sure what took so long, but the Jets were always the obvious choice — like it or not.

5. What’s your take on DeAndre Hopkins’ intention to sign in Tennessee?


Enjoy the bag of money pal. Obviously, Hopkins didn’t care about winning a title or great quarterback play, or heck, even playing for a halfway decent team.

The Titans are destined to be a .500 team in 2023 in a best-case scenario. Hey man, to each their own. I’ll never fault an athlete for getting the bag, however, he better not cry in the middle of the year about playing for a crap team. He made his bed and now he has to lay in it.

With that being said, this is great news for Jets fans. He could have gone to New England, Buffalo, or maybe even Kansas City. Hopkins’ impact will be neutralized by being on a terrible team. He is still a really talented player and that could have helped a division rival or even a conference rival on the right squad.


I’ll echo the last part of Boy Green’s thoughts. After it became plainly obvious Hopkins had no interest in New York and the Jets had no interest in him, this was maybe the best-case scenario.

Not necessarily the Titans, specifically, but a total random. Not the Chiefs, who will be standing squarely in the way of any AFC team hoping to sniff a Super Bowl. Not the Bills or the Patriots in the AFC East. Not even a postseason contender at the level of the Baltimore Ravens, that could be a problem.

The Titans and their aging, one-dimensional offense scare no one. Hopkins is a way for them to appease fans while rebuilding, and he’ll be lucky if he makes the playoffs during his two seasons in Tennessee.