As reported earlier by columnist Matt Vereb, the New York Jets received word today that free agent defensive end Jason Taylor agreed in principle to a contract. The contract will be for two years, and reportedly very incentive-based. Check out our article to see how we think he will fit in with his new team, and what this means for Thursday’s NFL Draft.
There are many question marks with Jason Taylor signing with the Jets. The most obvious one is how much he has left in the tank. He hasn’t been a Pro Bowler since 2007. In the past two years, he’s combined for 10.5 sacks. A very respectable number, indeed, but in the eight previous years, he eclipsed that number all but two times.
His position will be another question, but one that probably has an easier answer. At 6’6, 250 pounds, he seems build for the rush end spot in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, similar to a DeMarcus Ware in Dallas or a Terrell Suggs in Baltimore. Right now, this puts the Jets’ starting linebackers as Jason Taylor, Bart Scott, David Harris, and probably Calvin Pace. That is the most dynamic linebacking core in the league by far. Also, this leaves the major odd-man-out as Vernon Gholston, who has yet to record his first career sack.
Another question is if he fully committed to football now and over dancing. He skipped offseason workouts in 2008 to practice his silly dancing routines. Obviously, that shouldn’t be a problem again, but overall, you have to question his commitment to the game. Now, he is 35, and has been a 6-time Pro Bowler, an AP Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the All-Decade team for the 2000’s. If his goal is winning a Super Bowl, he’s come to the right place, as the Jets have made moves signaling that this is their year. Hopefully, for the Jets’ sake, he can thrive in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
Finally, with the addition of Jason Taylor, where will the Jets look to improve in Thursday’s draft? This signing leaves open, in my eyes, only three options. One, which I feel that they should do, is draft a defensive lineman, whether it is a backup to Kris Jenkins or a defensive end as a candidate to replace Mike Devito or Shaun Ellis. Another is to potentially trade up to grab one of the elite three safeties, whether it is Eric Berry, Taylor Mays, or Earl Thomas, to play alongside defensive captain Jim Leonard. The safest bet right now? I think the Jets should trade down and try to accumulate picks for next year’s draft. There are no glaring weaknesses after the multitude of offseason acquisitions, and there’s no telling where the Jets will be at this time next year.
How do you think he fill fit in with the Jets? Considering this, what position will the Jets look to upgrade at in this week’s draft?