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Jets offseason Crystal Ball 2.0

The Jets have a lot of work to do this spring.
Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. (Photo: Getty Images)

Talk about a busy few days for the New York Jets, and it is just halfway through the week. There are reports that they are going to throw the kitchen sink at free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins and are attempting to re-sign tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins.

All of which are things that are feasible and could well happen. Then again, the NFL Combine isn’t even here yet and the Jets have plenty of work between now and the start of free agency in a couple of weeks.

With the Senior Bowl over and free agency speeding towards us, here is a look at Metro’s ‘Jets Offseason Crystal Ball 2.0’:

Cousins goes elsewhere

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Even with a good young core and the potential to spend oodles (yes, oodles) of cash in free agency, the crystal ball doesn’t see much potential for the Jets and Cousins.

Now it is a good fit as the Jets need a quarterback and Cousins is the best one out there. But the crystal ball points to the west and shows Cousins in an orange jersey. It seems to think that he will be enticed by a Denver Broncos team that has finished above .500 five of the last six years and been to the playoffs four times during that stretch. For a quarterback who has never tasted the postseason, this is a major selling point.

And given that the Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, that might work against him.

 

The Jets starting QB will be…

Let’s make it clear, the Jets have to show actual, tangible progress this year. It doesn’t have to be the playoffs but they need to be a winning team and play meaningful games while the rest of us shop for Christmas. That means that a rookie quarterback can’t be the Week 1 starter.

The crystal ball clearly shows that Cousins will be with the Broncos for 2018 and beyond. That leaves the Jets going after some other quarterbacks in free agency.

A month ago, the crystal ball had Nick Foles in a trade scenario and that is enticing. But behind Foles, the crystal ball has a figure clouded in fog, wearing horns. Can’t make out his face but he’s getting closer and closer…

We think the crystal ball has the Jets going after either Teddy Bridgewater or Case Keenum and then re-sign Josh McCown as insurance. A healthy McCown was solid for the Jets and should Bridgewater stay healthy, he is a top young quarterback in this league. Keenum was solidly effective for the Minnesota Vikings in leading the team to the NFC Championship Game.

Perhaps the crystal ball thinks that pursuing Bridgewater or Keenum while bringing back McCown is more cost-effective than signing Cousins.

 

That sixth pick 

The crystal ball has a fascinating name for the Jets at No. 6, a player who could really transform the team. The pick isn’t a quarterback. In fact, it isn’t on offense.

The Jets, the crystal ball says, go after Minkah Fitzpatrick with their first-round pick.

The Alabama defensive back can play cornerback or safety, giving him some position versatility. With Morris Claiborne likely to return and Buster Skrine balling out a couple times this past season along with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, that is a tough secondary for any offensive coordinator to scheme against. Fitzpatrick has a high ceiling and is one of the best athletes in this draft.