Despite having a head coach that’s perceived as one that loves to blitz, the truth is a little bit different for the New York Jets, who have a flexible 3-4 defense, but without one solid edge pass rusher. That might change pretty soon, if they try and make a move for Victor Butler of the Dallas Cowboys.
Yes, the Jets can’t really afford a starting outside linebacker like Paul Kruger or any other player with impressive sack numbers hitting free agency. Even after releasing OLB Calvin Pace, ILB Bart Scott, S Eric Smith and OT Jason Smith, their cap situation is pretty limited, and with so many needs on both sides of the ball, bringing along the offense while continuing to build their defense seems like the logical step.
The Jets do have impressive players playing at corner, unless Darrelle Revis suddenly is traded, which probably won’t happen early on in the off-season, with the Jets looking at both the options on the market (draft picks, and plenty of them), Revis’ return from his injury and just how much they can get him to take off of his demands, looking to become the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.
Despite the reputation as a blitz kind of guy, Ryan has more of a smoke & mirrors approach to defensive schemes, especially because he doesn’t really have a quality pass rusher on his roster. Butler, who was the backup for DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer for the last four seasons in Dallas did show some signs of starting-role material in the second half of last season, recording 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles over the last nine games.
Butler will be coming cheaply, and is only 25, which fits nicely with the young defense the Jets are trying to build around, mirroring Quinton Coples who should be improved on his second season in the NFL, recording 5.5 sacks last season as a defensive end. The Jets don’t have an easy fix to the situation they’ve fallen to, but Butler seems like one in a number of smart, economic type of moves that should push their defense out of the league’s bottom third.