These teams could end up releasing DT targets for the New York Jets
The New York Jets‘ run defense struggled tremendously a year ago. This offseason, arguably their best run-stopper, Folorunso Fatukasi, left in free agency. There were options to replace him on the free-agent market and in the draft, but the Jets did not add a true nose tackle to improve the run defense.
It would be wise of the Jets to look at adding a run-stopping defensive tackle if the opportunity presented itself. After recently looking across the league at each roster, I found there are a few teams with quality depth at the position who may have a solid player come available.
Let’s take a look at four teams with strong defensive tackle groups and the specific players who they could make available at some point in the offseason.
The Jets’ Week 1 opponent has a good chunk of interior defensive linemen.
Baltimore’s defensive tackle unit has five presumed roster locks based on contract structure and draft status: Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Madubuike, Derek Wolfe, and Travis Jones.
From there, they still have two good depth players, one of which could come available. One of them is Brent Urban, a veteran player who recently turned 31. Broderick Washington is the other. He is only going to be a third-year player this season.
The team Fatukasi joined has a few players projected to be in more of a reserve role who could contribute against the run. Along with Fatukasi, the defensive tackles who are likely to make Jacksonville’s final roster are Roy Robertson-Harris and DaVon Hamilton.
Possibly, one of the three players who round out this group could shake loose. Those three are Malcom Brown, Jay Tufele, and Adam Gotsis. Tufele was drafted a year ago in the fourth round. Brown and Gotsis are experienced veterans.
This offseason, the Denver Broncos ended up with a big splash in free agency when they signed former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones. Their other two starting tackles are Dre’Mont Jones and Mike Purcell.
In the draft, the Broncos added two players in Eyioma Uwazurike and Matt Henningsen. It leads to a possibility for either McTelvin Agim or DeShawn Williams to be available. Agim was a third-round selection in 2020. Williams is 29 and has spent time with the Broncos on a variety of stints dating back to 2018.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders have an exceptionally deep defensive tackle group. In free agency, they acquired five new players in Bilal Nichols, Vernon Butler, Kyle Peko, Andrew Billings, and Tyler Lancaster. They also re-signed Jonathan Hankins. Then, in the draft, the Raiders added Neil Farrell and Matthew Butler.
At least one and likely even a second player from this group will eventually be on the market.
A few other possible players
The most notable defensive tackle who could be had through trade is Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders. Payne just turned 25 and has had a productive four-year start to his career. The Commanders recently extended Jonathan Allen and drafted Phidarian Mathis in the second round at the defensive tackle position.
Two other noteworthy players could be Dean Lowry (Green Bay) and Sheldon Day (Cleveland). Both of these players are a part of defensive tackle groups in projected backup roles. Day, in particular, has four years of experience with Robert Saleh from both the Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers.