The acquisition of running back Frank Gore should fit like a glove.
It was another good pickup for rising Jets GM Joe Thomas, but there still is some room in the cupboard for more. It is still about adding some more veteran pieces. If the Jets can tack on some appropriate vets, the salivating playoff prediction has a good chance to be a solid reality.
If he continues to perform like he can at 37, Gore is a tight fit and should be a motivator. Gore is the consummate pro and great locker room presence the Jets could use. He still had a career-low 599 yards last year when he was a semi-regular role. More importantly, Gore can push Le’Veon Bell and be a mentor. He also can be a good role model for rookie La’Mical Perine, who the Jets expect to contribute. The running back picture may get a little clearer.
The Jets should also resign the versatile Ty Montgomery, who had trouble finding a spot at either wide receiver or running back and getting enough playing time at either spot.
Gore’s signing and Perine’s drafting also could likely signal the end of Montgomery’s or running back Bilal Powell’s tenure. Powell certainly would be a welcomed addition also for his versatility, but his constant injuries have finally derailed off the Jets track and into free agency. Return specialist Trent Cannon may get some more carries this season and either Jeff Smith, Kenneth Dixon and/or Josh Adams will need to win jobs via special teams.
The unit of Bell, Gore, Perine, Montgomery, and Cannon appear to be solid on paper. But Gore’s addition didn’t save the week. Instead, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa’s days as a Jet or a player could be over. Enunwa, who was the unknown factor this season due to his recurring neck injury, was grounded again when the Jets placed him on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. They also lost fellow receiver Josh Bellamy as a PUP entrant.
Like the running game, the Jets thought they had some depth with Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, and Breshad Perriman as an effective trifecta. Do you add with the likes of current roster inhabitants Braxton Berrios, Josh Doctson, Josh Malone, Jeff Smith, Lawrence Cager, George Campbell, or Jehu Chesson, and have them all duel it out for a couple roster spots in August? Or do you resign free agent Demaryius Thomas, and/or scour the free-agent market?
New England quickly scooped up free agent WR Marqise Lee before he really had the chance to hit the market. If the Jets want to add a veteran to their receiver corps, Tavon Austin should be a good addition. The ex-Rams and later Cowboys burner is still out there, and Dallas and Tampa Bay appear to be in pursuit. Austin also can be a good fit or the Jets could bring back Montgomery and make him a permanent receiver.
Thomas has received some glowing grades for his early work, and they are justified. Yet, he still has to piece all the chips together.