Free agency doesn't begin for NFL teams until next month. But it's never too early to start thinking about what players at which positions will be possible targets for the Jets once the doors to the free-agent market swing open.

The Jets figure to have plenty of salary-cap space to spend this offseason, and while only they know what they intend to do with all that money, it's worth taking a look at several positions of need by ranking which unrestricted free agents the Jets could pursue. We'll be rolling these out by various positions over the next several days.

First up: Quarterbacks

1. Josh Freeman (Vikings)
2. Michael Vick (Eagles)
3. Matt Cassel (Vikings)
4. Josh McCown (Bears)
5. Rex Grossman (Redskins)
6. Chad Henne (Jaguars)
7. Tarvaris Jackson (Seahawks)
Others: Curtis Painter (Giants), David Garrard (Jets), Matt Flynn (Packers)

About a month ago, I had done a more pared-down list (in no particular order) of quarterbacks who could be of interest to the Jets. It was more of a primer for the one you see above, which is better-researched and also has each player listed in order of strength.

Now, the Jets are in an unusual position when it comes to the QBs. On one hand, they have Geno Smith, who gained valuable experience by starting all 16 games as a rookie and took his lumps (not all his fault) before showing some improvement at the end of the season. On the other hand, the Jets aren't yet ready to declare Smith as their quarterback of the future. So they're likely going to want a backup plan.

Re-working Mark Sanchez's contract to hang onto him is another possibility, but by all indications, the Jets and Sanchez seem to be ready to part ways. That leaves us with the list of guys you see above, though the Jets could also get someone in the draft, even in one of the later rounds. Whoever they bring in will be insurance in case Smith falls flat on his face; it's not like the Jets are going to pick up someone this offseason in the the hope that someone will become a franchise quarterback. Heading into next season, they do have bigger needs.