Jets' free-agent targets: Guard

With the signing period set to begin March 10, we'll preview the New York Jets' biggest needs and likely free-agent targets:

Position: Guard

Overview: The Jets want to get younger, so veteran RG Willie Colon (free agent) isn't expected back. That returning personnel is suspect and the draft is thin, so the Jets hope to sign a new starter in free agency.

Players under contract for 2015: Brian Winters, Oday Aboushi, Wesley Johnson, Dakota Dozier.

Free-agent targets: Orlando Franklin, Mike Iupati.

Why Franklin is a fit: He's only 27 and already has seen just about everything. In 2011, he played right tackle on a Tim Tebow-led offense which led the league in rushing. In 2013, he was part of a Peyton-Manning-led offense that set all-time passing marks. Franklin moved to left guard last season and finished well after a slow start. He's proficient both as a run and pass blocker; he allowed only one sack, according to Pro Football Focus. He lacked discipline at times, as he committed 10 penalties. Franklin will be in demand, so the price will get high. Two years ago, Jahri Evans and Andy Levitre signed deals that averaged $8.1 million and $7.8 million-a-year, respectively. It's hard to imagine the Jets going that high.

Why Iupati is a fit: Iupati, 27, was a mainstay at left guard for the San Francisco 49ers, making the Pro Bowl three times and All-Pro once. He's a mauler and will dominate in the running game but his pass blocking is suspect -- a whopping seven sacks allowed in 2014, per PFF. He was exposed a bit as the 49ers got away from their power-running game. He missed a game with a concussion and skipped the Pro Bowl because of an elbow injury. In the right scheme, Iupati still is young enough and talented enough to be a premier player for a few more years.

Prediction: New general manager Mike Maccagnan has more than $50 million in cap space at his disposal, but he wants to be smart and not overpay for players. The feeling here is that the bidding for Franklin and Iupati will get out of hand, prompting the Jets to shift their focus. Keep an eye on the Cincinnati Bengals' Clint Boling, who played well last season after missing 2013 with an ACL tear.