7 49ers free agents who could be of interest to Robert Saleh’s Jets

A new head coach means the Jets are going to be targeting a new type of player in free agency and the NFL draft.

With Robert Saleh on board and Mike LaFleur likely to follow him to the Big Apple as his offensive coordinator, New York’s offensive and defensive schemes are in for a massive overhaul. Saleh prefers a base 4-3 defense and zone coverage, while LaFleur favors a west coast offense predicated on establishing the run and dialing up high-percentage passes. Both schemes differ dramatically from what Adam Gase and Gregg Williams had in place the last two seasons.

The Jets already have personnel in place to fit what Saleh and LaFleur want to accomplish, but additions still have to be made this offseason. What better place to turn for an influx of talent than Saleh and LaFleur’s former stomping ground? Here are seven 49ers of free agents that could be of interest to New York in the coming months.

RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ty Johnson and La'Mical Perine give the Jets a decent running back duo heading into next season, but New York still needs a back who can shoulder a heavy workload by himself. Jeff Wilson Jr. could be that guy. Wilson Jr. came on strong for the 49ers in 2020, rushing for 600 yards and seven touchdowns on 126 carries (4.8 yards per carry) to go along with 13 receptions for 133 yards and three touchdowns through the air. The 25-year-old mostly played second fiddle to Raheem Mostert when Mostert was healthy, but when Wilson Jr. was given the opportunity to work as San Francisco's feature back, he shined. There is one problem the Jets face in any potential pursuit of Wilson Jr. -- he is a restricted free agent. New York would have to offer a lump sum that John Lynch deems unworthy of matching to pry Wilson Jr. away from the 49ers and even that might not be enough to seal the deal. Actually landing Wilson Jr. is a tough proposition, but that should not stop the Jets from trying.

DL Ronald Blair III

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Saleh is out to change the culture at One Jets Drive, and Ronald Blair III could be an underrated piece in his quest to accomplish that. Blair III has not played since 2019 because of a torn ACL, but as Saleh once said, per The Athletic's David Lombardi, "if you like winning, you like Ronnie Blair." The 27-year-old situational pass rusher thrived under Saleh's watch in 2018, recording 36 tackles, 14 quarterback hits, 10 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. He registered three more sacks in 2019 before his season was cut short after just nine games. Blair III is the kind of grinder the Jets would benefit greatly from having in the locker room. It doesn't hurt that he has a knack for making plays in the backfield when healthy, either.

DL Solomon Thomas

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Solomon Thomas' 2020 season ended with a torn ACL against the Jets in Week 2. Is there a chance he begins the next chapter of his NFL career calling MetLife Stadium home? Thomas has not quite lived up to the hype that followed him into the NFL as the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NFL draft. He has registered only six career sacks and has not recorded more than five TFLs since his rookie year. However, with the Jets moving to a four-man defensive front, Saleh could opt to give Thomas a chance to jump-start his career in New York.

CB Richard Sherman

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that the Jets need help at cornerback this offseason. Richard Sherman is on the back-nine of his career at 32 years old, but his affinity for Saleh is well-known. Even if he is not the superstar he used to be, New York could benefit from adding him to the mix considering the personnel it ran out at the position throughout 2020. If Sherman is more interested in reuniting with Saleh than chasing another Super Bowl ring in 2021, One Jets Drive becomes a realistic destination for the five-time All-Pro. It would certainly be surreal to see him don the Gotham green after his years of beefing with Darrelle Revis.

CB K'Waun Williams

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets already have a solid nickel cornerback in Brian Poole, but with the 28-year-old set to hit free agency, Saleh could opt for a familiar face to fill his shoes. K'Waun Williams spent 2020 establishing himself as an ideal fit in Saleh's defense. He is also a New Jersey native, which could give him another reason to consider making the move from San Francisco to New York. Williams should be near the top of Gang Green's free agent wishlist if Saleh and Joe Douglas opt to let Poole walk. He has already proven he can get the job done for New York's new head man.

CB Jason Verrett

San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

It was not too long ago that it looked like Jason Verrett's career might be over because of injuries. A former first-round pick, Verrett has battled an assortment of serious injuries since entering the NFL in 2014. That all changed in 2020, though, as the TCU product played in his most games (13) since 2015, which coincidentally happens to be the year he made his lone Pro Bowl appearance to date. Considering the impact Verrett made when healthy for the 49ers last season, he could be worth the Jets' while on a short-term contract.

S Jaquiski Tartt

San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

Even if the Jets re-sign Marcus Maye this offseason, they still have work to do to address the safety position. That's where Jaqiski Tartt comes into play. The 28-year-old played in only seven games in 2020 but performed well for Saleh in 2019, recording 48 tackles, two pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and one TFL in 12 games. Ashtyn Davis is a legitimate option to start at strong safety for New York in 2021, but Tartt would, at the very least, give the Jets some much-needed experience and depth in the secondary.

Let's block ads! (Why?)



source https://sports.yahoo.com/7-49ers-free-agents-could-134318153.html?src=rss

0 comments: