The New York Jets ensured that history would not repeat itself over the weekend.
After emerging as serious favorites to sign free-agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Jets backed out of their big-time offer that was believed to be the most expensive on the table for the veteran.
Instead of acquiring a big-name whose better days might be behind him — something the Jets have done for the better part of this millennium — New York is sticking to its plan of rebuilding with youth.
They’ve been aggressive in free agency with the signings of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, among others, all of whom are 28 or younger.
They will also be adding a talent that will likely be considered the centerpiece of their future with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft this April. General consensus right now is that New York will nab a quarterback with the pick, whether it’s UCLA’s Josh Rosen or Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
Suh is 31 and coming off a 4.5-sack 2017 season, his lowest output since his second year in the league in 2011 as a member of the Detroit Lions. He is still one of the better interior defensive linemen in the league, but sinking a considerable amount of expansive cap space into Suh would have gone against everything general manager Mike Maccagnan has done this offseason.
The Jets are still in need of some help on the defensive line after releasing Muhammad Wilkerson and if they wish to address the position in free agency, there are still plenty of targets that could be looked at:
New York Jets free-agent defensive tackle options
2017 team: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys somewhat surprisingly placed a second-round tender on Irving, which makes it possible for another team to come in with an offer sheet that Dallas might not want to match. At just 24 years old and preparing for his fourth NFL season, Irving is coming off a rocky 2017 campaign that saw him limited to just eight games due to injuries and a suspension. Still, he put up seven sacks in that span while forcing a fumble after making the move from end to tackle.
2017 team: Indianapolis Colts
Due to a change in Indianapolis’ defensive scheme, Hankins was suddenly made expendable and cut just one season after signing a three-year deal. The 26-year-old has proven to be an effective run stopper as his 6-foot-3, 320-pound frame can help clog up lanes for opposing running backs. He has also shown that he can succeed in a big market, compiling 140 total tackles, 10 sacks and three forced fumbles in four years with the New York Giants.
2017 team: Kansas City Chiefs
As a replacement for Dontarie Poe, Logan did well along the Chiefs defensive line under a one-year, $8 million deal. Per Pro Football Focus, he ranked 17th among all defensive tackles in run stop percentage at 9.8-percent. Among unrestricted free-agent defensive linemen, that figure ranked fourth-best last year. Logan is a 6-foot-2, 309-pound 26-year-old who is versatile enough to play anywhere on the defensive line from nose tackle to edge rusher.