The New York Jets have a little under $25 million in cap room, according to OverTheCap.com and there are still quite a few free agents still out there. This is the first in a series of potential free agents the Jets could and should still target.
Name: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
Profile: Kirkpatrick is near 30 years old and is coming off his worst season with the Cincinnati Bengals where he played in only six games due to a knee injury. But as long as he is healthy, he could be a veteran presence to complement the Jets corners.
After four years at Alabama, Kirkpatrick was a first-round draft pick selected No. 17 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2017, he signed a five-year contract to stay with the Bengals. After ending two straight seasons on injured reserve, he was released by the Bengals on this past March 31..
2019 Stats: He started the six games he played, and recorded 41 tackles, nine passes defensed and no interceptions. The year prior he played in 13 games before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He started all the games he played both years.
2019 Salary and Contract: Three seasons ago, Kirkpatrick signed a five-year contract with the Bengals worth $52.5 million. The deal included $12 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $7 million.
The Fit: Kirkpatrick needs to prove he’s healthy. It seems that his inability to work with teams this off-season due to the restrictions of COVID-19 has hindered his ability to showcase his health. When he was on the field, he was a solid player.
The Jets know that their draft pick Bryce Hall is recovering from an ankle injury and may need a stopgap starter for a part if not all of 2020. Prior to his own ankle injury last year, Kirkpatrick has shown he could be a consistent performer. As training facilities are starting to reopen and Kirkpatrick is still out there on the open market, Douglas could grab Kirkpatrick on a one -year contract with an option for a second year. Like newly acquired Pierre Desir, Kirkpatrick could have something to prove. The Jets have something to prove on defense as well and a long, proven corner on a “Prove It” contract could be good value.