The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We’ll get things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions and that means the New York Jets are in the spotlight.

CB Morris Claiborne

For the disaster that was the team’s 5-11 showing in 2016, Todd Bowles’ defense was the big disappointment. One year earlier, the Green and White gave up the fourth-fewest yards per game in the league. Only the Seattle Seahawks gave up fewer yards on the ground, while New York ranked a very-respectable 13th in the NFL vs. the pass. The Jets gave up only 29 offensive touchdowns – 25 through the air.

This past season, the lasting image of this defense was watching cornerback Darrelle Revis and others get burned by the big play. Bowles’ club allowed 30 TD passes. And a season after totaling 18 interceptions, New York defenders picked off opposing hurlers only eight times. Revis was given his release by the team, hence the addition of cornerback Morris Claiborne. He was having a Pro Bowl-type season in ’16 but played in just seven games but did return for the playoffs. All told, that’s been the five-year pro’s biggest issue to date.

Still, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft was worth the gamble. He’s Pro Football Focus’ 12th-ranked cornerback and 11th in the league when it comes to his coverage skills. And you can look for the New York Jets to also address this position sometime within the first two days of April’s draft as well.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for and the founder of Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

About The Author

Russell S. Baxter
EndZoneScore (NFL) Lead Columnist

A freelance NFL writer, editor, researcher and analyst for more than 30 years with a background in both television (ESPN)--contributing to shows that won 5 Emmy Awards--as well as radio (both live and voice-over), Baxter is the founder of He also writes for NFL Spin Zone, FanSided, Pro Football Spot, Blasting News and The Sports Post. He has written for Bleacher Report, Cold Hard Football Facts, Pro Player Insiders, The Football Girl,, NFL Female and more. Baxter has been a steady guest on Yahoo! Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, FOX Sports Radio and also appear on a weekly basis during the NFL season on Patriots Playbook on Radio. Baxter can be heard on numerous other stations and podcasts across the country and all over the world. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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