The Jets explored the possibility of adding Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, which would fill a huge need for them.
“We’re going to do our due diligence on everybody that’s out there, especially at the edge rusher position,” general manager Joe Douglas said Wednesday. “I’m not going to get into the specifics of the details of the conversations that we’ve had.”
Clowney remains unsigned, but his asking price likely would need to come down markedly for the Jets to engage in any conversations again.
Douglas said he took “a strategic and disciplined approach” to free agency. He kept the spending low. Offensive linemen George Fant (three years, $27.3 million) and Connor McGovern (three years, $27 million) received the biggest contracts. Clowney reportedly at one point was looking for $20 million a year.
The Jets ended up bringing back outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins on a one-year, $5 million contract. He was the team’s sack leader with eight last season, but he’s not considered an elite pass rusher.
“I can tell you we’re excited to bring Jordan Jenkins back, even though it was on a one-year deal,” Douglas said. “Love the production that he’s had his first few years in the league. One of the best locker-room guys that we have. I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Jordan.”
Assistant general manager Rex Hogan was instrumental in the Jets' signing of former Colts cornerback Pierre Desir. Hogan spent the previous two seasons in the Colts' front office and knew Desir well.
The Jets, who released Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, needed a starting-caliber cornerback and quickly pursued Desir after he was cut by the Colts. He received a one-year deal.
“Pierre, that was a unique opportunity,” Douglas said. “Obviously, when he was cut, having Rex over here and the time he spent with Pierre in Indianapolis, he could really touch on this player’s character. When you watch the tape, the thing that jumps out is how instinctive Pierre is, especially in zone, and how good his ball skills are. When he has a chance to make a play on the ball, he’s going to get the interception or the PBU [pass break-up].”
The Jets have given out 11 one-year deals in free agency, but it wasn’t entirely by design.
“There are instances where we would rather have a multiyear deal,” Douglas said. “The market dictated a lot of those one-year deals. It does give us great flexibility. The market wasn’t ideal for a lot of players and agents early. We were able to come to an agreement on a lot of one-year deals, but we have the flexibility to try and extend those guys through the season.”
Those deals could help the Jets in many ways. The players could have big years to get their next contract. Also, the Jets will have more money to spend next offseason.
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has said he hopes to return to football after suffering a season-ending neck injury in Week 1, but Douglas didn’t sound very optimistic about that happening.
“Still going through the process with Quincy,” he said. “We should have some more information on that, hopefully soon. That’s a big question mark for us moving forward.”
It was the second time in three years that Enunwa suffered a serious neck injury.
Douglas said there is nothing new regarding contract extension discussions with Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams. Both sides have said they want to get something done, and Adams expressed confidence that something eventually will. But Douglas said the focus has been on “free agency, finishing up free agency and the draft.” . . . Douglas said C.J. Mosley is “progressing well” after playing in only two games last season because of groin and core muscle injuries … Douglas credited the Jets' IT and Video Departments for their work during this unprecedented time in which teams are working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.