In an article projecting where each of the top-50 free agents will land this offseason, Arjun Menon of PFF predicts that the Jets will sign Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis.
Menon has Davis and New York agreeing to a one-year deal worth $17.29 million (fully guaranteed).
According to PFF's free-agent rankings, Davis is the 16th-best player available this offseason and the third-best cornerback on the open market (after J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore).
Here's Menon's analysis on the potential move, adding a veteran DB to New York's young secondary:
Davis missed some time in 2021, but he turned in another above-average season as the Bucs' outside cornerback. He has finished 28th, 46th and 31st in PFF grade over the last three seasons and would be a welcome addition to Robert Saleh’s defense, which desperately needs cornerbacks. Saleh plays mostly Cover 3 or 4, and Davis has graded better in zone coverage despite his reputation as a physical outside corner.
Davis is a former second-round pick—out of Auburn—with 50 NFL starts under his belt as he prepares for his fifth pro season. Only playing in 10 games this past season, Davis produced 39 tackles and 11 passes defended.
Back in 2020, however, Davis had the best season of his career. The cornerback set a career-high with 68 tackles, 18 passes defended and four interceptions. Davis then started all four postseason games during Tampa Bay's Super Bowl run.
By signing a one-year deal with New York, in this hypothetical scenario, Davis can put together a quality campaign, possibly earning him a raise next offseason. For New York, the Jets would secure a top corner for their secondary, a unit filled with inexperienced assets that will endeavor to take a step forward in their development this year.
Remember, the Jets had the worst defense in football last year. They gave up 397.6 yards and 29.6 points per game on defense in 2021. Davis might not factor into this team's long-term plans—as Robert Saleh will likely prioritize Bryce Hall, Brandin Echols, Michael Carter II and more—but he can certainly improve this team's production and help mentor younger defensive backs in green and white.
While PFF has Jackson returning to the Patriots (on a four-year deal worth $72 million), former Jets scout Daniel Kelly argued that New York should sign the top corner in free agency.
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