On the first day that teams can officially sign free agents, the Jets announced that they’re bringing back one of their backup running backs.
The Jets re-signed Josh Adams on Wednesday just before he was set to become a restricted free agent. Adams appeared in eight games last year, and carried the ball 29 times for 157 yards and rushed for a team-high tying two touchdowns. That speaks to how bad the Jets offense was last year.
Running back is one of the many areas of need for the Jets. As of now, La’Mical Perine, Adams and Ty Johnson are the backs on the roster.
The Jets are expected to address that position in free agency. Among the players available are Kenyan Drake, Chris Carson, Tevin Coleman, James Connor, Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon. The market for running backs has been slow moving.
Coleman, McKinnon and Breida have been injury plagued. But new Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is familiar with them having coached all three in San Francisco.
The Jets also need to upgrade the interior of the offensive line and cornerback positions. They also could use another pass rusher and some depth at linebacker and receiver. The Jets have the assets to fill all of those needs this offseason whether it’s in free agency or the draft. The Jets have nine picks, including five in the top 86.
General manager Joe Douglas has reached deals with four free agents thus far: defensive end Carl Lawson, wide receiver Corey Davis, linebacker Jarrad Davis and special teams ace Justin Hardee. Those deals are not yet official.
When they do, the Jets will still be between $35 million and $40 million under the salary cap. The Jets could also try to re-sign some of their own free agents. Some candidates are linebackers Neville Hewitt, Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham and slot cornerback Brian Poole.
The Jets also are bringing back wide receiver Jeff Smith. He was going to become an exclusive rights free agent, but the Jets tendered him a contract. Smith had 17 catches for 167 yards in 12 games last year.