Jets Let Go of Holmes, Cromartie
The Jets have released veterans Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie, both former Pro Bowlers, and have saved over $17 million with these two transactions. It's clear the Jets are in rebuilding mode, and are doing their best to get younger, but after an 8-8 season last year, that success may not be so far away.
The biggest need for the Jets in unquestionably at Wide Receiver and Tight End. This team lacked play-making all across the board, and finished 31st in YPG through the air. Geno Smith struggled mightily in his rookie year, but didn't have many weapons or targets. Jeremy Kerley has been inconsistent, and Stephen Hill hasn't lived up to his first round expectations. The Jets will be clearly targeting receivers in the offseason, and to create cap room for that reasons as they released Santonio Holmes. Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, went through four injury-plagued seasons in the Big Apple, but his numbers were nowhere near what they were in his days in Pittsburgh.
The Jets also re-signed speedy Tight End Jeff Cumberland, but they also may be targeting another Tight End in the draft, just to give Geno Smith more options.
At the #18 pick in the draft, the Jets have the possibility to draft the second-tier Wide Receivers, or one of the Top-Tier Tight Ends. WR's like Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU) or Marquise Lee (USC) should be guys available for an upgrade on the perimeter. For the middle of the field, look out for Eric Ebron (UNC) who's drawn comparisons to San Francisco's Vernon Davis, and Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) would allow for more weapons over the middle of the field.
While on the defensive side of the ball, the front seven is one of the best in the NFL. However, the secondary has some question marks, and former Pro-Bowler Antonio Cromarite has been released, leaving a spot open at CB. While Dee Millner improved during the latter half of last season, neither he nor Kyle Wilson is a starting caliber player in the NFL. The back half of the defense needs to be upgraded, and another CB and safety could complete this defense and make it one of the most intimidating in the NFL.
In the future, the Jets will definitely be a defensive oriented team, especially if Rex Ryan is still the Head Coach. But with a solid integrity on both lines, and a lot of cap space, and a team that gives it 100% every game (As they did to persuade management to keep Rex Ryan) the potential of this team is high, and the arrow is pointing up.