Cutting CB Darryl Roberts ($6 million in cap space created)
I was a bigger fan of Roberts throughout his Jets tenure than most, but there is no denying that he had a rough 2019. Roberts committed seven penalties over 713 snaps while allowing four touchdowns and a 99.5 passer rating into his coverage. In Week 1, Roberts was perhaps the biggest reason for the Jets’ defeat, allowing 77 yards and a touchdown while committing three penalties.
Roberts is a solid third or fourth corner, but he is certainly not worth the deal that Mike Maccagnan signed him to a year ago. Taking the $6 million in savings to part ways with Roberts was an obvious decision. Grade: B+
Re-signing OLB Jordan Jenkins (one year, $5 million, unknown guarantees)
Jenkins is a below-average edge defender. In 2019, he ranked in the bottom-30 percent at his position in both pass-rush productivity (per-snap pressure rate with greater weight to sacks) and run stop percentage (percentage of run defense snaps recording a “stop,” which is a tackle constituting a negative value result for the offense).
I was wary that the Jets were going to quickly give Jenkins a lucrative multi-year deal that overpaid him for his lackluster production, but as we have learned, Joe Douglas is not that kind of GM. Days passed, and Jenkins was unable to get another team to bite. With the Jets failing to find any help at edge and Jenkins still on the market, Douglas circled back, and the sides came to an agreement on a one-year, $5 million deal that works for everyone. The Jets get a fair value and Jenkins gets another shot to improve his stock before hitting the open market.
Jenkins is certainly not a needle-mover, but on an affordable one-year pact, there is no harm in keeping him around. Grade: B
Re-signing QB David Fales (undisclosed terms)
Typically, it would be fair to suggest that the Jets should attempt to find a more reliable backup than Fales, who has yet to start a game over six NFL seasons and has thrown only 48 passes.
But this is a different world. We have no idea how the current predicaments will affect the length of OTAs and training camp, but it seems likely that offseason practice time will be sliced to at least some degree. Should that turn out to be the case, it makes sense to bring back a quarterback in Fales who was with the team last season and has an extended history with Adam Gase (Chicago in 2015 and Miami from 2017-18).
Fales is hardly a confidence-inspiring backup, and I would feel much more comfortable with someone who actually has starting experience like Matt Moore (who also has a connection with Gase) or Joe Flacco. However, given the circumstances, Fales makes a little more sense than he would if this were any other season. Grade: B-
Losing OLB Brandon Copeland to New England (one year, $1 million, $137K guaranteed)
Copeland is not a back-breaking loss, but he offers solid value as a role player.
Copeland is an underrated special teams piece, contributing at a high level on the punt coverage team and as a blocker for the kickoff return team. While he struggled on defense in 2019, it was mainly due to the fact that he was moved from his natural EDGE position to off-ball linebacker due to injuries. He was a rock-solid run defender at his natural position in 2018. With a return to full health at linebacker, Copeland could have moved back outside in 2020.
Once again, this is not a devastating loss by any means. We also have no idea how the process played out. But Copeland would have been nice to have back given his sizable role in the Jets’ special teams success and the competition he would have provided at a weak EDGE position. Grade: C–
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