We know the New York Jets still have plenty of money available to spend, so a pair of recent decisions made by the front office shouldn’t come as a surprise.
First, they smartly decided to re-sign safety Brodney Pool to a one year contract. Pool came on strong at the end of last year as a starting safety and has a greater upside than Eric Smith opposite Jim Leonhard. Rex Ryan has already declared Smith the starter but Pool will be involved in plenty of defensive packages, especially on passing downs and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taking the bulk of reps by the end of the year. He improves the depth and continuity of the Jets defense.
Second, the Jets are bringing in veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason for a visit today and it is believed there is a good chance he will leave with a contract. Mason would be a very good addition to the Jets offense, as he had 802 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns last year, which compares very well to the 904 yards and 7 touchdowns the Jets lost from Braylon Edwards. Also prior to last year, he had three straight 1,000 yard seasons. Mason could hold down the number two receiver spot as Plaxico Burress gets acclimated and then could move into the number three role later in the season.
Unfortunately, a Mason signing would likely mean the end of Jerricho Cotchery’s career with the Jets. If Mason signs for a veteran minimum’s contract, he would cost half as much as Cotchery, meaning Cotchery will either be traded or cut. This would be a tough move to swallow as I already documented Cotchery’s value to the team yesterday.
Does it make sense from both a football and financial standpoint to switch from Cotchery to Mason? The answer is yes, considering the questions about Cotchery’s health that have currently landed him on the PUP list. It is a sad reality because the guy deserves better. The NFL can be a cold business and I still don’t want to see him leave, but if they lock Mason down it is hard to see him staying on the team and getting after Mike Tannenbaum for making the move.