Here are the moves the New York Jets should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday:
Priority No. 1: Re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick. In a perfect world, the Jets would like to have a deal in place before the start of free agency. If not, they have to keep hammering away because he's their starting quarterback and there are no attractive fallback options in free agency or on the roster. Do you want Geno Smith as your opening-day starter? Neither do the Jets. Fitzpatrick, 33, isn't a long-term solution, but he makes them competitive and can be a bridge quarterback until Bryce Petty (or someone else) is ready.
Priority No. 2: Enjoy "Snacks" time. We're talking about nose tackle Damon "Big Snacks" Harrison, of course. Much like Fitzpatrick, the Jets need to lock him up before he goes to market. If not, there's a good chance they could lose him. That would be a blow to the run defense, which relies on his ability to tie up two blockers and control the point of attack. Harrison is only a two-down player, but he's very good on those two downs. If they can keep Harrison, Fitzpatrick and Muhammad Wilkerson (franchise tag), it'll be a productive offseason.
Priority No. 3: Find some "hold-the-fort" guys at linebacker. The Jets don't have enough cap space to bid for Bruce Irvin or any of the top linebackers, but they need to add two potential starters (one inside, one outside) so they don't have to reach in the draft. Erin Henderson could fit the bill as the inside 'backer; he did a decent job last year behind Demario Davis, who will be allowed to test free agency. The ideal outside 'backer would be Tamba Hali, 32, on a one-year deal. He's still durable and productive. Another possibility is Nick Perry, an underachieving former first-round pick who flashed pass-rushing ability in the postseason.
Priority No. 4: Line up potential replacements for Chris Ivory. It'll be difficult to retain their leading rusher, so they need a solid Plan B -- Alfred Morris. Coach Todd Bowles likes tough, physical backs, and Morris is just that. He's a notch below Ivory, especially as a receiver, but he could be a price fit. James Starks is another possibility. No matter how it unfolds, the Jets figure to draft a running back. The position screams for an infusion of youth and speed.
Priority No. 5: Sign a tight end who can catch. The coaches camouflaged it last season by using a lot of four-receiver packages, but the lack of tight-end productivity (eight receptions) limited the passing efficiency in the middle of the field. Dwayne Allen, underused by the Indianapolis Colts, would be a nice add. He can block and catch. Such a radical concept! Ladarius Green and Jared Cook are solid options, too, if the price is right.