Jets Learn Lesson: Run Misdirection To Burress

It certainly wasn’t the biggest kept secret. The one that had Nnamdi Asomugha going to the Jets. In fact, it was probably one of the least discreet free agent pursuits for a marquee player in Jets history. The lessons learned however, in watching the sly Andy Reid Eagles swoop in to steal the NFL’s top corner on the market by laying low in the shadows, were put in play this morning. The Jets landed Plaxico Burress, the big tall second wide receiver they desperately needed, in less obvious fashion. They didn’t break the bank to do it either.

Burress, who led the Giants to the Super Bowl shocker over the undefeated Pats in 2008, and owner of 55 NFL TDs, became a Jet this morning for one year and three million dollars. This DESPITE  word that the scheduled meeting between the two parties had been “called off.” Burress was in demand. He had completed two positive visits this week already with former employers the Giants and Steelers. The 49ers were said to be waiting for a scheduled meeting with Burress as well. No need for that meeting now.

Perhaps by dimming the spotlight on a situation quickly growing dire for Gang Green (unproven Packers WR James Jones, a player with upside starting potential, was being talked about as a serius contender for the role) the Jets were able to focus, take aim, and grab hold of a much needed piece of the puzzle.

To land Burress, it may have taken a misdirection. An end around. A playing of possum that allowed the Jets time and the chance to make a serious pitch to Burress away from the camera’s eye. Not the detectable three step drop and downfield staring with tunnel vision that came back to bite the Jets late Friday night when “Aso” became an Eagle. A disastrous ending to a high speed chase that caused the Jets, who the media outed as having been at work restructuring deals and cutting salaries to make room for Asomugha, to quickly regroup and form an option B. That being a “no huddle” contingency plan whose goal was to fill the remaining position holes before the free agency clock showed nothing but zeros.

Comparing Braylon Edwards (whose cost would’ve been alot higher even though many Jet fans wanted to see him back in Green and White) to Burress, and the most obvious issues are rust and age. Plax has been in jail the past two seasons and at 33, is five years older than Edwards. However, at the time that Burress left the game after the ‘09 season, few were arguably better at his position.

The Jets can now see the Asomugha drama simply as point taken, starter gained. Should Burress be in top shape, and choose to play the entire 2011 season with a chip on his shoulder, then we may soon be upgrading the viewpoint of today’s signing to one of a serious offensive weapon gained by Rex Ryan’s Jets. Regardless of how it turns out on the field, the addition of Burress was a nice adjustment by the Jets as far as courting players more quietly. During what has been a loud and wild free agency period.

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New York Jets Sign Plaxico Burress

The New York Jets have signed Plaxico Burress to a one year deal for a little over 3 million dollars. At a minimum, Burress will provide an excellent red-zone target for Mark Sanchez and bring some needed size opposite Santonio Holmes. He doesn’t need to immediately provide the Jets 60-70 snaps a game with Jerricho Cotchery still on the roster but hopefully can get somewhere near his production a few years ago with the Giants.

There is a little risk involved on a one year contract, which is good because nobody knows how Burress will produce after sitting in jail for two years. Regardless, this is a nice pull for the Jets who needed some good free agent news after losing out to Nnamdi Asomugha.

The team is reporting to camp today in Florham Park but won’t be on the field until tomorrow. They are still in pursuit of Antonio Cromartie who is deciding between the Jets and the Oakland Raiders. Also they are aggressively going after former Ravens tight end Todd Heap.

NFL Free Agency 2011: New York Jets Moving Forward

Post Nnamdi thoughts —

1. Cornerback – The Jets are pushing hard to get Antonio Cromartie back and it won’t easy as at least three other teams are in the bidding for him. They may be forced to overpay for him, as they are now scrambling to fill the spot opposite Darrelle Revis. They did sign Donald Strickland, who if healthy, can be a good nickel corner. The team has also brought back Eric Smith to compete with Dwight Lowery to start at safety opposite Jim Leonhard. Brodney Pool is a goner from everything we have heard. A backup plan for Cromartie at corner, could be trading for Asante Samuel but he isn’t a great fit for the Jets scheme. Chris Carr could be a cheaper alternative.

2. Wide Receiver – The Jets are apparently in pursuit of Plaxico Burress, who will decide between them and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are also considering James Jones, with the interest apparently waning in Randy Moss. Personally, I might like the Jones option the best as he offers the most upside and could be a long term answer opposite Santonio Holmes.

3. The Rest – You would think the Jets will have enough cap space to get Shaun Ellis back now. I would also like to see them resign James Ihedigbo.

NFL Free Agency 2011: Tough Night For New York Jets

Let’s keep it short and sweet. It was a tough night for the New York Jets. Nnamdi Asomugha shocked the world and went to the Philadelphia Eagles (really) and Drew Coleman has bolted for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It is now up to the Jets to kiss and make nice with Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards in an attempt to salvage an extended wait with Nnamdi Asomugha that turned up empty. It will be very interesting to see how the rest of the dominoes fall in free agency now for the Jets who have a cleared a ton of cap space by having Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, and LaDainian Tomlinso restructure their contracts and releasing Mark Brunell. There is plenty of money to spend, but who it will be on?

Antonio Cromartie seems to be option number one at cornerback, with Chris Carr as a fallback. Braylon Edwards would seem to be option number one at wide receiver, with either James Jones or Randy Moss as a fallback. Let’s see what Mike Tannenbaum still has up his sleeze.

Free Agency Showdown: Jets vs. Dallas For Nnamdi

And there were two…(how great is that picture, by the way?)

Similar to the Houston Texans, the San Francisco 49ers have dropped out of the race for Nnamdi Asomugha, leaving the Jets to battle with the Dallas Cowboys for the services of corner Nnamdi Asomugha. It is Rex Ryan vs. Rob Ryan…an early preview of their week one Sunday Night Showdown, and it should go down in the next few hours.

Can you imagine Rex Ryan’s pre-game speech before their week one game if Asomugha chooses Dallas over them? Fire up Kissing Suzy Kolber for one of their epic parodies of Rex.

In other news, the Jets have released quarterback Kevin O’Connell. They are expected to bring recently released quarterback Mark Brunell back after this Asomugha situation shakes out. They have also signed rookie seventh round pick Greg McElroy to a 4 year contract.

NFL Free Agency 2011: Out With The Old? Jets Release Brunell

UPDATE: Kevin O’Connell has also been released and it is now being widely reported Mark Brunell will return immediately after Asomugha situation is resolved.

In a surprising move, the New York Jets have released backup quarterback Mark Brunell, currently leaving Mark Sanchez’s top backups as Kevin O’Connell, rookie Greg McElroy, and Drew Willy.

I was never a fan of Brunell as the primary backup to Sanchez but he was a better option than O’Connell or McElroy. At this point the best assumption is that this is cap gymnastics to sign Nnamdi Asomugha. Keep in mind the Jets temporarily released Tony Richardson last year to lock down the Darrelle Revis contract. I would expect Brunell to be quickly resigned after this Asomugha situation shakes out.

Unless they are targeting Marc Bulger, there aren’t many options out there and Mark Sanchez seems too close to Brunell for the Jets to let him go. Remember Scotty McKnight? Sanchez gets to keep his friends around.

NFL Free Agency 2011: Waiting For Nnamdi

And so the wait continues…

The decision by the Houston Texans to invest big money in free agent cornerback Jonathan Joseph last night, seemingly opened a clear path for Nnamdi Asomugha to come to the New York Jets, sooner rather than later as many expected the deal to go down last night.

Yet, we wait…

There was still good word this morning, with Adam Schefter saying on Sportscenter that it is “80 percent” that Asomugha is ending up on the Jets and Rich Cimini of ESPN New York Tweeting that “Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum will be high-fiving each other soon #Nnamdi #Jets.”

So, yes it still appears the Jets are the clear front runner but there is holdup on hammering out the financial details while teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys lurk with more money. At this point, it would be a true disappointment if Asomugha doesn’t end up in New York with this much hype around him. Yet, I would hesitate to criticize the Jets because the only free agent they have lost out on so far is Brad Smith, who was good as gone anyway.

Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are still lingering on the market and the Randy Moss to the Jets talk does sound serious. Nobody else has signed Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, Drew Coleman, or Shaun Ellis yet.

Stay tuned…

NFL Free Agency 2011: Revis Vs. Ocho, The “Rivalry” Continues

It must be have really bothered New England to have their season end in a shower of flight boy celebrations all over their field…

The Patriots made their second bold move of the day by trading for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocino, which provides them a much needed deep threat on the outside. I would be stressing over this move more substantially if Darrelle Revis hadn’t completely owned Ochocino in all of their meetings the past few years. Is the combination of Tom Brady and Ochocino potentially very scary? Of course. Yet, I can tell you it isn’t as scary as Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne, who Revis held to 1 catch for 1 yard in the playoffs last year.

Regardless, the Patriots are clearly loading up in anticipation of the Jets having another strong off-season and potentially luring Nnamdi Asomugha to join Revis. It is interesting how much criticism the Jets receive for taking risks on veteran players with baggage but when the Patriots do it, it is a “savvy” move.

In other news, the Jets have announced the signings of six new undrafted free agents, our depth chart has been updated accordingly:

  • ILB Matthias Berning (Central Michigan/Duisburg, Germany/6-0/236)
  • C Taylor Boggs (Humboldt State/Upland, CA/6-3/285)
  • S Byron Landor (Baylor/Lake Charles, LA/6-0/210)
  • S Davon Morgan (Virginia Tech/Richmond, VA/6-0/189)
  • C Zane Taylor (Utah/Moab, UT/6-2/309)
  • OL Jeff Wills (Minnesota/Laurelton, NY/6-7/350)

NFL Free Agency 2011: Brad Smith Leaves, Jets Play Waiting Game

In a move that most of us expected, wide receiver/quarterback/running back/kick returner Brad Smith has left the New York Jets. It was however somewhat surprising that he decided to join the division rival Buffalo Bills, who seemed to come out of nowhere today to snatch him up on a 4 year, 15 million dollar contract.

According to Smith, the Jets did reach out to him but couldn’t move on signing him until the situation with Nnamdi Asomugha shakes out. The Jets do still have plenty of room under the cap but apparently their top priority right now is filling the cornerback spot opposite Darrelle Revis, whether it is Asomugha, Antonio Cromartie, or a cheaper option like Chris Carr.

It will be interesting to see the contingency plan if Asomugha decides to sign with Houston or San Francisco. Cromartie would probably be the immediate fallback option but he might still not be around or the Jets could consider him too pricey and look to go with Carr and then hope to still have a shot at getting Braylon Edwards back.

Regardless, it seems like the Jets next two major moves will be signing a cornerback and a number two wide receiver, with Asomugha, Cromartie, Carr, Edwards, and Randy Moss all in play.

In other news…

LaDainian Tomlinson did agree to take a pay cut to help in the Jets pursuit of Asomugha.

The Jets aren’t going to make an attempt to resign punter Steve Weatherford. No more shakeweights at camp.

According to Manish Mehta of The Daily News expect a long term deal with David Harris to worked out some time next week.

TOJ Roundtable: More Worried About Haynesworth Or Bush?

TOJ Roundtable: where a collection of our writers offer a quick opinion on a pressing Jets question of the day.

Are you more concerned about Albert Haynesworth going to New England or Reggie Bush going to Miami?

Joe Caporoso: I think you have to be more worried about Haynesworth because if he plays anywhere near his potential, it gives the Patriots a lethal combination of him and Vince Wilfork up front. Fortunately, the Jets do have Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore but that is still a scary combination regardless. Haynesworth has been good enough to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Reggie Bush has never been anywhere near that kind of player, he is a nice speciality running back but I certainly hope Miami is foolish enough to think he can be a lead back and give him 15-20 carries a game.

Rob Celletti: Absolutely, 100% Haynesworth, and it’s not even close.  The Dolphins are really a non-factor for me right now, whereas anything the Patriots do has the potential to doom the Jets’ chances at making a run for the division.  Like the Jets, the Pats wouldn’t make a move without doing their due diligence and making sure that the situation, salary and compensation were the right fit.  Throw in Belichick’s coaching and the fact that Haynesworth is only 30, this could turn out to be an absolute steal for New England.

AJ Malvisi:I think I’m more concerned about Haynesworth.  He has to know Bellicheck will not take any of his nonsense and see his value is way down from when the Redskins signed him. This is a crucial year for him if he wants to get another pay day. I do think he is not the player he once was and I have faith the Jets line will be able to handle him when the time comes. New England is just another stop on the long, strange trip that has been Albert Haynesworth’s career.

TJ RosenthalHaynesworth: If motivated, he could be a force inside with Vince Wilfork. If so Patriots run defense will be as tough as anyone’s. The question is, can a guy who has been an enigma for the past two seasons find his way again? If Haynesworth can’t kickstart his career with the great Bill Belichick, his days in the NFL may be over.

Bush: Reggie adds a nice dynamic of outside speed and big play ability for the Dolphins however, Miami has not had running problems. They’ve had issues throwing the ball down the field. If they don’t acquire a Kyle Orton type QB here in the free agency period, then Chad Henne has to step up. If not, the addition of Bush will have alot less of an impact.

Chris Celletti: You have to be more worried about Haynesworth to the Patriots. Bill Belichick has proven he can deal with a headache personality (see Randy Moss). He’s always been able to field a good defense with lesser name players so if he could keep Haynesworth in check and get him to play to his potential, that’s a great weapon for the Pats defense. Bush and the Dolphins? Well, not much the Dolphins can do would worry me right now.