It has been a long offseason for the New York Jets in a good and a bad way.
However training camp has finally arrived with rookies reporting to camp this week and the veterans the following week. Before you know it football will return and we’ll be hyping you up for the season.
But first, we have to dive into the mailbag so our two experts: Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden and Michael Obermuller can provide you some intel on what is going on.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Jets!
1. Is there any free agents available that we haven’t discussed yet that you’d be willing to give a multi-year deal to?
A multi-year deal huh. That’s a tough one because anyone that’s still currently available is out there on the open market for a reason.
Looking over the list of unsigned free agents, every player is either too old or too unproven to hand two or three years to. An intriguing 2023 dart throw might be Odell Beckham Jr., so long as you could land him on a lucrative deal. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely he’d sign a multi-year deal to a team that’s not considered a contender at this time.
One other player I’d contemplate is run-stuffer Danny Shelton, who’s only 28. The Jets still need help up the gut and Shelton is a much better option than Nathan Shepherd or Jonathan Marshall.
I thought about this question for a while and the answer might surprise you. I’d give a multi-year deal to Kurt Benkert, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback, and Aaron Rodgers disciple.
The 26-year-old passer got released earlier this offseason on June 17 and remains an unrestricted free agent. Unfortunately, the talented passer got the short end of the stick with all the weirdness in the Packers QB room with Rodgers and former first-rounder Jordan Love.
Now you could be saying to yourself, where the heck would this guy fit on the roster, Paul? Great question I’m glad you asked.
Joe Flacco is older than dirt, Mike White after his hall of fame pop last year has desires to eventually start, and of course, they have hopeful franchise savior in Zach Wilson.
In 2023 the Jets don’t currently have anyone under contract beyond Wilson, they need to find that long-term backup quarterback.
Flacco is eventually going to retire and I think if White truly wants a chance at starting in the NFL he will be forced to go elsewhere. Benkert knows what his role is and he is still incredibly young.
Last preseason against the Jets he showed some chutzpah and coming out of the 2018 NFL draft was heralded for his “lively arm.”
Give him a two-year deal and let the youngster marinate on the bench. Then he can be the ideal backup to Wilson hopefully for the next decade.
2. Do you have any major takeaways from Zach Wilson’s recent team trip to Idaho?
Honestly, this may sound like an overreaction but I was wondering why Denzel Mims and Corey Davis weren’t there. Tyler Conklin got engaged over the break, so he gets a pass and some of the undrafted rookies may not have been invited (who knows), but Mims and Davis are two wideouts that could have used some extra work with Wilson.
Both had high expectations for 2021 and both came up short. Seeing the photos of Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, and Jeff Smith, the missing pieces was my initial reaction. Where are Mims and Davis?
When Wilson spoke to the media at mandatory minicamp, he talked about the fun extracurricular activities they had planned on top of the football stuff. It had me thinking, what could that possibly entail?
Well, we got our answer thanks to Wilson’s Instagram story following the trip. I felt like I was back in high school doing a PowerPoint slide presentation, but I broke everything down on my YouTube channel.
I brought you through every piece of his Instagram story and paused it to do commentary on the different sports they were playing and had a lot of fun. You guys can check out the full episode by clicking the link here and feel free to subscribe for more Jets content.
3. If you had to predict a Jets player breaking out and becoming a star during the preseason, who would it be and why?
I love everything I’ve heard from rookie wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. both on and off the field. Theoretically, there might be a sixth wide receiver spot to be had and the undrafted prospect could be the player that wins it.
His ambition and motivation remind me of former UDFA Bryce Huff, and he’s become a pretty solid contributor for the Jets over the years.
I’ll give you a more established name too. It already started this spring but Conklin has the making of a diamond in the rough for Joe Douglas. The Jets may play two tight ends a decent amount but Conklin could surpass C.J. Uzomah as the starter before the season is out.
As we know just because someone becomes a preseason star, that doesn’t guarantee a roster spot on the Jets. We have seen plenty of players break out and think we found the next gem, then they get cut.
However, they’re extremely enjoyable storylines to follow throughout camp. I like the Jackson answer, very outside the box.
I’m going to go with Denzel Mims. With where he is on the depth chart, in theory, he should have ample opportunity during these preseason games to strut his stuff. Is he doing it to solidify his roster spot on the Jets or to increase his value on the trade market ahead of cuts? Only time will tell but I think he will have a major breakout over the next month plus.
4. Which positional group will feature the toughest roster cuts for the front office and coaching staff?
It’s hard not to say edge rusher. There are 10 promising pass rushers fighting for four or five roles in Robert Saleh’s rotation and that makes for some challenging cuts.
Maybe they end up trading a younger asset but let’s say they don’t, someone talented is getting waived. I mean, a recent third-round pick like Jabari Zuniga is an afterthought and an exciting UDFA like Hamilcar Rashed is a total longshot because of the depth around him.
I’m not sure how Saleh and Douglas are going to decide who stays and who goes from this unit.
This will be a weird answer, but tight end? I never thought I’d utter those words to this kind of question but here we’re.
This may be a losing battle from the outset because it is realistic that the Jets only keep three tight ends and if that’s the case, the battle is already over with Conklin, Uzomah, and Jeremy Ruckert all locks to make the roster.
However, there is also a chance they keep a fourth and I hope it is one of the dart throws between Lawrence Cager and Kenny Yeboah. My heart is leaning toward Cager because I think he has crazy potential with his background as a wide receiver. Heck, he was turning heads earlier in camp and that could be an amazing depth piece.
5. Who will have the funniest reaction when asked about the Zach Wilson alleged mom story at training camp?
I’ll go with Berrios. Wilson’s bestie is the most likely player to get asked about the quarterback’s love life and the charismatic wide receiver may actually hint at some of the details. Plus, if Wilson confided in anyone on this touchy topic, it would be “B.B.”
The 2021 All-Pro returner may not squeal on the truth, but I could see him making light of the situation. I’ll put my money on Berrios for the funniest mom-related reaction.
To me, you can take this story as seriously as you want to.
For me, I’m just having fun with it. The Jets have had a laundry list of embarrassing quarterback issues over the years from broken jaws, running into butts, and mononucleosis actually happened at one point.
Now this time the Jets’ young passer is getting cool points on social media from the football world? Let’s enjoy it.
With that being said I’m looking forward to head coach Robert Saleh whispering “all gas, no brake” when asked about the Wilson story at his first media availability. I think with his jovial personality he is going to have a really funny response to all the hoopla.
Follow @BoyGreen25 & @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes, and more!
READ NEXT: Trade Proposal Lands Jets $18 Million LB, Former Top-10 Pick