Most of my articles are about this upcoming season. They should be. The upcoming NFL Season isn't that far away. In less than 4 weeks, the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio takes place. We don't have a ton of time, as season long and DFS NFL Fantasy Football players, to get our teams together.
Why am I paying attention to what might happen in 2018? Normally, I wouldn't. But, there are few teams in the NFL that has a fan base as passionate as the New York Jets. J-E-T-S fans live and die by their team. They're as passionate as any fan base in the NFL.
The difference is that due to years of losing, Jets' fans blame the NYJ Organization before ever blaming another team. They're fair weather fans in their minds. Fans forever in their hearts. No player ever gets a break as a New York Jet.
So, to me, it's a big deal that the Jets are going to have a ridiculous $80 million to spend on NFL free agents next season. I've come up with a list of potential free agent targets. The defense is on its way to being one of the best in the AFC. That's why most of the players on this list play offense.
Top 5 2018 NYJ Free Agent Targets
1. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford truly blossomed as a leader last season in Detroit. Now that Calvin Johnson definitely won't be back, Stafford has had to become the man that runs the show on offense. He always was. The difference is that with Megatron, Stafford always had that security blanket.
Detroit should do whatever it takes to resign Stafford. But, who knows? They may not. Not only that, but Stafford might want out of Detroit after this season. The Lions have a decent defense. They still haven't figured out the RB position. Matt could just be tired of the situation.
2. Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
It's tough to find young, capable, starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Minnesota appears intent on keeping Teddy Bridgewater. Once again, like he was in Philadelphia, Bradford could be the odd man out. This time, Bradford won't have to worry about where he lands. He could go for the money. I'm sure the Jets would love to have him if they can't get Stafford.
3. Jimmy Garrapolo, QB, New England Patriots
Garrapolo is an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 NFL Season. He played well enough last season during Tom Brady's suspension to get a lot of looks from interested teams. The Jets didn't get a chance to see Garrapolo this past season. I know Todd Bowles knows about him. If Bradford and Stafford balk, maybe, Garrapolo becomes the Jets' answer at QB.
4. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
I love how Devonta Freeman plays. The Falcons should be contenders for a while. They're going to have to make tough decisions very soon. Do they stick with Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman? It could be impossible for them to keep both.
If this year's Jets starter at QB, Christian Hackenburg, turns out to be the savior, Bowles and the Jets' front office might want to add an RB to help out Hackenburg. Freeman would be the optimum choice. He'd bring a winning attitude to NYJ.
5. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Bowles could be salivating at the thought of signing a shut down corner like Xavier Rhodes. I don't blame Bowles if this is what he's thinking. I mean, if you add a young, tough, corner like Rhodes to a team that just drafted Jamal Adams? Yeah, J-E-T-S would have one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
$80 million is a lot of coin in the NFL. The Jets may not do anything this season. They could only win 3 to 4 games. Don't worry, J-E-T-S fans, help should be on the way in 2018. Just keep smiling and rooting for your team.