The New York Jets spent tons of money this offseason by signing Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley to lucrative deals. According to multiple reports, the Jets also wanted to lure Za’Darius Smith in free agency.
According to Peter Bukowski, Smith himself went on Ian Rapoport’s podcast and said that the Jets and the Green Bay Packers were the two teams that he was deciding on.
Of course, Smith ultimately decided to sign with the Packers. The deal was a four-year, $66 million contract and included $20 million in guaranteed money.
Everyone knew that Smith would be a coveted option in free agency after many of the big-name guys were franchise-tagged by their respective franchises.
Smith played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. In those four seasons, he has totaled 18.5 sacks, 119 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.
Although, in 2018, Smith had his best season with 8.5 sacks, 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. This is why he was a wanted commodity on the open market.
The Jets were also close to landing Anthony Barr this offseason. This was before Barr decided to pull out of his verbal agreement with the Jets to re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings.
Coming into this offseason, everyone knew that the Jets were going to spend loads of money to shape the roster how Adam Gase wants it. They also needed to surround Darnold with more weapons, which they did with Bell and Jamison Crowder.
Although they weren’t able to land Smith, the Jets were close to reuniting him with Mosley to create a Baltimore defensive core.