Braxton Berrios, New York Jets, Morgan Moses
Braxton Berrios, Morgan Moses, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

How could the New York Jets’ offseason go downhill?

Before teams can attack the outside free agent market, they first have to make decisions on their own players with expiring contracts.

The New York Jets are no different. While they don’t have many players set to hit the open market, what they lack in quantity, they make up for in importance. Braxton Berrios and Morgan Moses are New York’s most prized internal free agents, and if either is not brought back, it could send a ripple effect through the rest of the offseason.

Berrios is by far the Jets’ biggest potential loss.

In 2021, Berrios proved his value on special teams by being named a first-team All-Pro kickoff returner. He also found natural chemistry with quarterback Zach Wilson, quickly becoming the rookie’s favorite target when he got a bigger opportunity near the end of the season.

If Berrios finds a new home in 2022, the Jets will need a new return man and a new security blanket for Wilson. There’s no guarantee another player in free agency can fill both roles as well as Berrios can, inflating his value. In order to avoid regression in their return game, and in their young quarterback, New York would be wise to bring Berrios back.

Like Berrios, Morgan Moses’s importance to the team can’t be understated.

Moses was brought in to compete with George Fant for the right tackle job and lost out, but ultimately ended up playing in all 17 games and starting 16 of them after Mekhi Becton‘s knee injury. Without Moses in the fold, the Jets would’ve been left with backups Connor McDermott or Chuma Edoga as their starter for practically the whole season.

Fant and Becton are currently battling for the left tackle position, with the loser likely starting on the right side. Regardless of who wins, the Jets need a quality backup tackle who can start in a pinch. If Moses leaves, the Jets have to fill his role with another veteran in free agency. Otherwise, they run the risk of being forced to draft a backup tackle with a high draft pick, instead of an impact starter.

The Oklahoma Drill Podcast is back to break down the worst-case scenarios for the Jets’ 2022 offseason, starting by losing Berrios and Moses in free agency.

Listen to the full episode to hear just how bad things could get for Gang Green, and if fans should be confident, cautiously optimistic, or completely terrified.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

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Andrew Golden is a film analyst for Jets X-Factor with a focus on the NFL Draft, prospect evaluations and breaking down scheme fits. He also co-hosts the Oklahoma Drill Podcast with Vitor Paiva and Matt Mauro. Email: agoldenjets[at]gmail.com
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rex
rex
9 months ago

Morgan Moses is not a priority. It is much more imperative Joe Douglas drafts either Ekwonu or Neal at 4. The OL requires a long-term starter, not a 1 year stop gap at the LT position. While Moses was serviceable in 2021, his subpar scheme-fit makes him expendable. In the case of Ekwonu, his ability to play either tackle position AND either guard position brings greater value and versatility to the OL. Re-signing Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff is of much greater import. Regardless of who wins the LT competition between Fant and Becton (although I’d argue if Ekwonu were drafted he should absolutely be in the mix), Ekwonu provides an upgrade anywhere on the OL (excluding C and LG). Should either starting tackle go down, Ekwonu can slide out to RT or LT and LDT can come in at RG. Moses only makes sense on a favorable 1 year deal. Otherwise, he can walk. And without a team friendly extension, Fant being on the final year of his 3 year deal makes it even more important Douglas invests in a long term, affordable solution in this this year’s draft and not 2023, when the Jets SHOULD figure to be drafting much later in the first round.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  rex

I think it is important to sign Moses. There is on doubt in my mind the line inproved because of the professionalism both he and Fant bring to the OL. I think he’s great to have even if it’s a backup. I’ve said this before with the Jets’ cap flexibility they can afford to overpay a bit this season for the OL as a whole to insure Zach has a quality line in the event of injury. They should still be drafting another OL. I like Zion Johnson.

rex
rex
9 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

Highly unwise to overpay for an OL who isn’t a great fit in the wide zone and will be 31 when the season starts to be a backup. If protecting Wilson is priority 1, you make a solid commitment and draft a premiere LT to develop now. Neither Hutchinson nor Thibodeaux are the slam dunk edge rushers that either of the Bosas were coming out. Especially given Ojabo has the physical talent to be better than Hutchinson and can be had at 10. Unless Hamilton is guaranteed to notch 4 INTs per game, he’s not likely to be the “generational” impact draft “pundits” claim him to be. As unsexy as most find it, OL is the smartest move at 4 if the idea is to keep Wilson upright. This is not the offseason to half-ass it with high risk, high reward picks. The Jets need to acquire foundational pieces that provide plug and play formidability.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  rex

My point was to draft an OL and sign Moses. The best case is he sits as a backup for a year as insurance. They need some pieces to carry over for continuity. I didn’t mean overpay Moses, I mean over pay the OL as a whole to ensure quality. Then you can get out of some contracts next year and recoup once the OL really takes shape. I agree with you on Hutchinson and Thibodeaux. I also don’t want Hamilton. I wish they would stop using the term “generational” as an adjective for players. It’s a joke. My point with the OL is to NOT half ass it and sign and draft. We have to move past the point where one OL injury ruins the season. I like Okwonu, I’m not sure how much better he is than Zion Johnson, and felt that way prior to the Sr. Bowl.

rex
rex
9 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

Fair enough. I do think Moses ONLY makes sense on a team friendly deal because he’s not the best scheme fit. I prioritize LDT because he’s adept as a wide zone RG and isn’t necessarily looking to break the bank on a contract. My issue with the Senior Bowl is that there are top tier talents who are coming out as underclassmen that players like Zion Johnson do not face during the practice week and game. Having seen roughly a quarter of the Senior Bowl and hardly any of the practices and not familiar with Johnson, I’m apt to go with the talent that’s been spoken highly of more often in draft circles. It’s less that I’m discounting Johnson and more that I’m crediting what is recognized as the favorable talent and versatility of Ekwonu and his ability to play in the wide zone. There’s still the combine and pro days to shake out where in the pecking order these players end up. But it seems it’s becoming more possible Ekwonu performs his way out of the Jets’ draft position and into the 1st overall pick. The kid simply plays like a version of Mehki Becton that can pass block.

hh11212
hh11212
9 months ago

Berrios was not Zach’s security blanket. He got most of his production once the top 3 WR’s were out. He is not the big loss we are making him out be. He is very much a replacement level WR and a solid KR. This was his first yr with TD (on punt or KR) despite this being his 3rd full season. Two months ago no one was talking like this about Berrios. Let’s get a grip because this is starting to sound a lot like Linsanity.

nuffsaid55
nuffsaid55
9 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Exactly. Calling Berrios the “security blanket” or favorite target is insane. He was the 5th man in fue to injuries. He is 4 years in and has always only been able to make a roster spot based on his return abilities. Yes he showed he could be fairly effective as a backup and can be used for reverses Or a few trick plays. The problem there is after seeing it this year teams will know why he is in the game for those plays. The top pure returners make about 3 mil a year. The new deal and his play as a backup should net h

nuffsaid55
nuffsaid55
9 months ago
Reply to  nuffsaid55

Should net him about 4 maybe 4.5 if the Jets view him as a higher level backup than he has been previously in his career. But the 9 his agent is asking is crazy.