Here is a breakdown of the initial wave of free agency for the New York Jets:
Overall grade: B-minus. The splash wasn't as big as some anticipated, considering the Jets began free agency with a league-high $90 million in cap room. The Jets made one splurge: cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who significantly improves the secondary. Otherwise, they spent rather conservatively, emphasizing youth and minimizing long-term risk. They refused to mortgage the future by doling out bloated contracts (except for Johnson). The big question is: Did they improve the team? They made modest gains at center, running back, wide receiver (maybe) and quarterback (maybe), but it was nothing dramatic (except for the secondary).
Most significant signing: Johnson. He received $34 million guaranteed at signing, the third-largest guarantee in team history. The Jets hope he works out better than the top two, Darrelle Revis ($39 million) and Muhammad Wilkerson ($37 million), neither of whom came close to reaching expectations. Johnson is a No. 1 corner who should thrive in coach Todd Bowles' man-to-man scheme. We should also mention the Josh McCown-Teddy Bridgewater moves. The Jets were criticized for devoting $16 million in cap space to two quarterbacks on one-year deals, but it's actually a smart strategy. They're hedging their bets as they prepare to add their quarterback of the future via the draft.
Most significant loss: Demario Davis. Surprisingly, the Jets didn't make an offer to Davis, who played every defensive snap in 2017 and quarterbacked the defense from his middle-linebacker position. He enjoyed his best season, but his age (29) was a sticking point for the Jets. Once he hit the market, he was a goner. He wound up with a three-year, $24 million deal, including $16 million guaranteed, from the New Orleans Saints. The Jets replaced him with Avery Williamson, who received virtually the same deal -- three years, $22.5 million, $16 million guaranteed. The main difference: Williamson is three years younger than Davis. But there's another difference that works against the Jets: Williamson isn't a proven three-down linebacker; Davis is.
Player they should have signed: You're probably thinking it's Kirk Cousins or Ndamukong Suh, right? Actually, the Jets can survive those misses. The one they shouldn't have let get away is center Weston Richburg. Instead, they settled for a less expensive alternative, Spencer Long. There was a big difference in the price, but Richburg would've been worth it. He wound up with the San Francisco 49ers. Long adds size and strength to the middle of the line, which the Jets had been missing, but he's a notch below Richburg.
Additions: QB Teddy Bridgewater, LB Brandon Copeland, RB Isaiah Crowell, CB Trumaine Johnson, C Spencer Long, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, WR Terrelle Pryor, WR/KR Andre Roberts, PK Cairo Santos, LB Avery Williamson.
Losses: PK Chandler Catanzaro (Bucs), LB Demario Davis (Saints), RB Matt Forte (retired), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jaguars), C Wesley Johnson (Lions), LB Julian Stanford (Bills), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Packers).
What’s next: The biggest need is defensive end, but there isn't much left on the market. Benson Mayowa, who visited at the start of free agency, is a possibility as a rotational player. They can always re-sign Kony Ealy, but you get the sense he's not their cup of tea. Chances are, the Jets will rely on the draft, but that won't be a sure thing. They traded their two second-round picks to move up, presumably for a quarterback. They don't pick again until the third round.