New York Jets Would Be Foolish To Sign Meriweather

The New York Jets would be making a major mistake if they signed safety Brandon Meriweather

Nobody is more aware or in support of the New York Jets upgrading their safety position than this website. However, signing free agent safety Brandon Meriweather is far from the right approach when it comes to fixing arguably the team’s weakest spot. If you are looking to sign a player who has seen their play has radically decline the past two years, is a penalty/fine drawing machine on the field and a major liability off it, then go ahead and sign Meriweather.

In 2009, Meriweather put together a strong year for the New England Patriots finishing with 83 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. In 2010, those numbers declined to 68 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 0 forced fumbles. He also picked up a $50,000 dollar fine for a hit on Todd Heap. The Patriots cut Merriweather right before the 2011 season and say what you want about them, they know a thing or two about making roster decisions. He was picked up by the Bears where he played in only 11 games, starting 4. He finished with 32 tackles, 0 interceptions, and 0 forced fumbles.

Last season in Chicago, Meriweather was fined $20,000 and $25,000 in consecutive weeks for illegal hits before being benched by the Bears coaching staff for routinely missing tackles and giving up big plays. Former Chicago Bears receiver, Tom Waddle, had this to say about Meriweather’s style of play

“What Brandon does is he leads with his helmet all the time. There’s no place in the game, brother, at this particular time for that. It’s vicious enough. And when your intent, in my humble opinion, is to hurt or maim, I’ve got no time for you, and I don’t think the game’s got any place for you. I did not realize how undisciplined a player Brandon Meriweather was. He comes with two Pro Bowls. And he came with a lot of interceptions. But … red flag goes up when a guy like Bill Belichick decides to let you go.”

Also, in case you forgot Meriweather was involved in a gun fight at the University of Miami in 2006 and accused of shooting two men in early 2011. And of course there was Meriweather swinging his helmet at other players during this infamous brawl

Signing Meriweather shows the Jets continuing to ignore character, which backfired on them last year but beyond that, they are signing an ineffective player. Look at Meriweather thriving as the line of defense prior to his benching last season –

The New York Jets would be better on and off the field by staying put with Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard than signing Meriweather and this is coming from somebody who thinks Smith and Leonhard were terrible last season. The team needs to focus on getting Reggie Nelson or even LaRon Landry and his injury history before signing Meriweather. If they come up empty in free agency on those two, look to the trade market or the draft…just don’t go with Meriweather.

New York Jets: What Moves Are On The Horizon?

After two days of free agency, TOJ looks at what the New York Jets likely have up their sleeve

It continues to be a quiet start for the New York Jets in free agency and with the action surrounding them, a few things have become clear. Overall, this is going to be a more restrained approach than in recent years but that doesn’t mean a big splash won’t be on the way in the coming month.

At wide receiver, it is clear the Jets never had any interest in spending big time money opposite Santonio Holmes. It makes sense when you look at the coordinator they hired and how much guaranteed money they are giving Holmes this year and next year. We suspected this would be case as the Jets are now bargain hunting to fill out their wide receiver depth chart. I anticipate them signing Chaz Schilens. He is comfortable with Sanjay Lal as his receiver coach and the Jets will give him a legitimate chance to start. Personally, I don’t think this is enough support at wide receiver for Mark Sanchez and the team should still consider checking out Braylon Edwards in May to make sure his knee is healthy. Jerricho Cotchery won’t come here unless the team is going to give him a legitimate chance to be the starter, which I’m not sure they will.

If the Jets are going to spend big money in free agency, it will be at the safety position. Look for them to make a strong push to get either Reggie Nelson or LaRon Landry in the coming few days. After hopefully signing one of them, I would expect them to bring back Jim Leonhard on a veteran’s minimum within a few months and then still add a safety in one of the early rounds of the draft.

We haven’t heard of the Jets looking to spend anywhere else in free agency outside of backup quarterback, where they will probably sign Drew Stanton. A move that will rightfully be questioned by many. David Garrard or Josh Johnson would provide a more legitimate threat to Sanchez in the number two spot than Stanton.

So what about tackle, linebacker, and running back? For whatever reason the Jets appear to be passing on many of the quality free agent right tackles. I don’t know if that is because they have a gentleman’s agreement with Vernon Carey to join the team in a few weeks or because they are really hard headed enough to think Wayne Hunter or Vladimir Ducasse could start next year. At linebacker, unless they make a push toward Jameel McClain, they appear to be standing pat and we haven’t heard anything about a Ronnie Brown signing being imminent yet at running back.

What you do need to remember is that the draft is a little over a month away and the Jets are going to have 10-12 picks. Don’t be surprised to see a very active few days from Mike Tannenbaum in terms of sliding up and down the board, along with looking to fill holes by trading picks for veteran players. This could very well be a situation where fans are in an uproar until draft weekend comes, and then it becomes much clearer what the Jets were looking to do this off-season. They have enough picks and assets to patch up linebacker, tackle, and running back in that weekend.

Don’t forget Mike Tannenbaum’s history when it comes to trades.

New York Knicks: D’Antoni Quits, Focus Shifts To ‘Melo

TOJ on Mike D’Antoni’s resignation, along with Justin’s thoughts on Carmelo Anthony moving forward

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article by Justin was written prior to Mike D’Antoni’s surprising resignation this afternoon. This is a player’s league so nobody should be surprised that the Knicks stuck with Carmelo Anthomy over D’Antoni as the two of them clashed. Beyond that, we know how James Dolan feels about Anthony. He isn’t going anywhere.

You can make a strong argument from both sides on this one. D’Antoni has been here for three seasons and hasn’t accomplished anything. Anthony hasn’t even been here a full 82 games. Then again, D’Antoni continually had his roster shuffled around and whenever he seemed to find a unit that was working, a drastic change was brought upon it. In the end, Anthony lost a scapegoat and now needs to carry this team amid talks that the rest of the locker room is fed up with his style of play. Winning cures everything and the Knicks need to start doing that…now.

Mike Woodson will be the coach for now but expect the Knicks to make a push in the off-season for a big name like Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan or John Calipari. – JC

I used to make a crack about the Knicks wearing the same colors as the Mets. The Mets, in case you aren’t an aficionado of America’s Game (which is really politics, but I’ll let Charlie Pierce toe the line on that one) are the most poorly run organization in baseball. Don’t bother checking the ESPN NY site or their own official website (where that creep Mr. Met is hiding somewhere, crying to himself), it’s only horror tales and sick demented smiles from the ownership group, who are still insisting they’re gonna “give them boys from Philly a good run for their money this season. How you ask? With sheer DETERMINATION.”

It was always good for a smile, and a brief moment of David Lynch-like terror for those who have spent any time watching Knicks classics from the 70’s or the 90’s. To be in ANY way associated with the Mets is essentially the death knell. We’ll look what wears orange ladies and gentlemen.

Carmelo Anthony, in the BRIGHT orange, who is looking like a guy attempting to back down a power forward and leaning like a dope addict, expecting to get the ball and somehow contort himself into a layup And 1.

I personally like that kind of crazy, that “forget reality, this is FUN” kind of insanity that lives on it’s own, somewhere far away from where it can affect other people. So what does this have to do with Carmelo Anthony? Well, he really does think he’s better than he is, that the best answer to scoring is for him to fake a post up, spin, and try and drop one from 8 feet, which is good and all, except they need to go in.

The Knicks have devolved into the sort of thing that belongs in some 12 year old’s 2K12 season and does not in any way resemble a NBA roster. 6 shooters, 2 defenders who can’t play because the shooters are out there for scoring, a power forward who should really be playing center, a center who is overpaid and on the wrong side of 30 despite his obvious 110% work effort, 27 guards and the 2/3/4 man that is Landry Fields.

But hell, I’m a Thunder fan, so when I told some friends last night that the Knicks are the most hilariously entertaining team that doesn’t involve JaVale Magee or Kemba Walker, and boldly predicting them to go up 5, then be down 5, then lose by 10 (which was close), I didn’t say it with any emotion. I said it in a monotone of someone reading a sports almanac.

This is where it is with the Knicks. It’s so fractured and hopeless that people are starting to despise their Lin jerseys. Right Joe? They don’t even want to talk about him or comment as he charges the lane, flailing like a blindfolded, “sans equilibrium” “paper tiger” version of Derrick Rose, (who promptly proceeded to stomp all over everyone’s dreams that Lin could even be on the same court and not look like a complete joke).

Is it going to get better? Sure, just get rid of Amare and Melo, blow everyone’s minds simultaneously, and let Steve Novak, Jared Jeffries, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields and Tyson Chandler take the reigns as everyone attempts to figure out how to have James Dolan arrested for emotional genocide.

There’s no hell deep enough for a man like Dolan, who let Donnie Walsh go and spends a large amount writing songs like “Wish I Had A Life”, (not even gonna touch that one). He deserves an epic amount of public humiliation for what he has done concerning ticket prices, hopes at relevance, and keeping Knicks fans from watching their team for a good portion of the season, that is until they brought the “fantasy roster” back and couldn’t get a decent string of momentum for longer than 4 minutes.

Everything the Heat did, as bogus and Nixonian as it was, was done knowing full well that these 3 guys will work harder than everyone else in the league at making a system that can utilize their athleticism, length, and basketball IQ. The Knicks are built on old expectations (Carmelo being a 24 year old scoring machine), shaky knees/eye sockets (Amare), ugly point guards (Douglas/Bibby) and overlapping parts (Novak/Smith).

Will I watch? Of course. Everyone in New York is obligated to go down with the ship.

New York Jets Free Agent Activity Picking Up

The activity around the New York Jets in free agency is starting to pick up

The news around the New York Jets in free agency is starting to pick up a little bit. Let’s go over what we have learned so far today about the direction the team could be heading in –

1. Folk Back – The team has re-signed kicker Nick Folk, who has been inconsistent in his two years with the team. They are expected to bring in competition for him in training camp. There is also chatter they could draft a kicker in the later rounds, as special teams coach Mike Westhoff said this is the best class of kickers and punters he has seen in years.

2. Cotchery Back? Schilens Close? – The Jets have expressed interest in bringing wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery back. However, they will be competing with the Steelers for his services who also want him back after his one year stint with the team. Chaz Schilens is expected to visit the team tonight and apparently the team is high enough on him that they see him as a potential #2 receiver opposite Santonio Holmes.

Personally, I’d take Cotchery over Schilens as a number two receiver any day of the week. Look at Schilens’ career and try to argue otherwise. Obviously, at this stage of his career Cotchery is better fitted as a number three or a part time player but it appears the Jets are looking to go cheap at wide receiver in free agency and if they do, take Cotchery over Schilens.

3. Quiet At Linebacker/Offensive Line – The San Diego Chargers signed OLB Jarret Johnson, a player the Jets were rumored to be interested in. The Jets never made any formal inquiries about bringing Johnson in for a visit. It appears they will let Bryan Thomas mentor whatever outside linebacker they add early in the draft. They have to add one early in the draft, right?

We still haven’t heard a thing about the Jets inquiring about any offensive lineman. Are they confident about getting Vernon Carey to join his former coach, Tony Sparano? Or are they really considering going into the year with Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse competing at right tackle as Mario Williams takes a physical in Buffalo?

New York Jets: Day One Free Agency Review

TOJ reviews the first day of free agency for the New York Jets

The New York Jets were cautious in the opening hours of free agency, not diving in with the normal frenzy we have seen the past couple of years. This is leading to some anxiety among fans, especially with the activity of other AFC East teams. However, I would encourage everybody to take a breath and wait to see where the chips falls, we aren’t even 24 hours into free agency yet. Let’s review what we are hearing about at each of the position of need for the Jets –

Quarterback – It certainly sounds like Chad Henne isn’t going to end up with the Jets. He has already visited with Jacksonville and has another visit lined up with Seattle, both teams who can offer him more money and a better shot at playing time than the Jets could. The fallback plan appears to be Drew Stanton of the Detroit Lions, who has 4 career starts and 187 career passes. He is expected to visit in the coming days. While Stanton is an upgrade over Mark Brunell’s corpse, I’m not sure he puts any type of real pressure on Mark Sanchez.

Running Back – Nothing of note, I would expect in a few days we will hear about Ronnie Brown taking a visit.

Wide Receiver – The Jets have “kicked the tires” on Laurent Robinson, the top free agent receiver left on the market now that Robert Meachem is in San Diego, Vincent Jackson is in Tampa Bay, Reggie Wayne went back to the Colts, and Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan went to Washington. Jacksonville and Dallas are recruiting Robinson as well and he is expected to have a hefty price tag. Former Oakland Raiders WR Chaz Schilens is expected to come in for a visit. He played for new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal. While Schilens could be a low cost, high reward player, he isn’t a sufficient answer opposite Santonio Holmes. Mario Manningham does remain on the market by the way.

Tight End – Nothing reported yet.

Offensive Line – Outside of the Jets signing an undrafted center from USC, Kris O’Dowd, we haven’t heard anything which is a little scary with Buffalo potentially closing in on Mario Williams. Highly sought after right tackle Eric Winston has already visited Miami and has other visits lined up with Kansas City and St. Louis.

Defensive Line – Nothing reported yet.

Linebacker – Outside of resigning Bryan Thomas, the team hasn’t done anything here yet. It is expected they will recruit Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain but we haven’t heard about visits yet.

Safety – The Jets have reported interest in Reggie Nelson, LaRon Landry, and Brandon Merriweather. Nelson is the best option out of the three but he will cost the Jets. Signing Merriweather would be an exceptionally foolish move. He is a complete thug both on (check his fine history) and off the field (check his police history), who was awful in Chicago last year.

Around The League

  • I love how Tampa Bay is building around their young quarterback by giving him a big time receiver in Vincent Jackson and a big time lineman in Carl Nicks. What other team do we know that should give their young quarterback a receiver and offensive lineman? Hmmm
  • It is good to hear that Mario Williams is leaving Buffalo to meet other teams. The media was reporting this as a done deal last night but the longer it string along, the lower the odds he ends up in the AFC East. Buffalo already struck out on Robert Meachem.
  • As of now, I am guessing Peyton Manning ends up in Denver and Matt Flynn ends up in Miami.

New York Jets Resign Bryan Thomas, Other Updates

The New York Jets have resigned OLB Bryan Thomas and other free agency updates

The New York Jets have resigned outside linebacker Bryan Thomas to a one year deal. This is a smart, low risk move by the team and will help their solidify their depth at the linebacker position. Thomas is coming off a season ending torn Achilles and is expected to be ready when training camp starts. He is a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and is solid against the run.

The signing of Thomas could be the first in a series of moves that facilitates a trade of outside linebacker Calvin Pace. If the Jets can also bring in free agent Jarret Johnson and spend their first round pick on a player like Melvin Ingram, Andre Branch, or Courtney Upshaw the Jets could be looking to move Pace and his hefty contract.

In other news, the Jets are planning a visit with former Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton. We speculated here earlier that the Jets could have interest in Stanton as a low cost backup to Mark Sanchez. The Jets have also expressed their interest in free agent safeties Brandon Merriweather, LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson according to The Daily News. At wide receiver, outside of reaching out to Laurent Robinson the Jets are also interested in former Oakland receiver Chaz Schilens, who was coached by their new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

What is frustrating to hear is that the Miami Dolphins have a visit scheduled with Eric Winston tonight and the Jets haven’t had any movement towards expressing interest in him or any other tackles on the market, yet.

Other news around the league – Josh Morgan signing with the Washington Redskins, joining Pierre Garcon. CB Brandon Carr visiting with the Cowboys. TE Martellus Bennett visiting with the Giants and Chad Henne planning to visit Seattle after meeting with Jacksonville.

NFL Free Agency Madness: Early Updates

NFL free agency has started fast and furious, particularly in the AFC East

As expected, NFL free agency is roaring out the gate, particularly in the AFC East where the New York Jets primary competitors are either making major moves or are on the cusp of making them. Mike Tannenbaum has been quiet so far. Let’s round up the early chatter. Make sure you are following Turn On The Jets on Twitter and Facebook.

– Miami and Chicago made the biggest splash right out of the gate with the Dolphins trading Brandon Marshall for two third round picks to the Bears, reuniting Marshall with Jay Cutler. Jets fans should be concerned that this move was a prerequisite to signing Peyton Manning who reportedly wanted no part of playing with Marshall. However, there is also the chance the Dolphins new coaching staff wanted a more reliable number one receiver, regardless of their QB. The move cleared over 5 million in cap space for the Dolphins.

– The Buffalo Bills are hosting visits with Mario Williams and Robert Meachem tonight. They are expected to make a monster offer to Williams, if he accepts, it should be a large kick in the rear end to the Jets to add a tackle immediately. Meachem is a speedy receiver who would provide a needed downfield threat for the Buffalo offense, while limiting the Jets options in free agency.

– New England is expected to pursue and eventually land Brandon Lloyd.

– The Jets have already inquired about Chad Henne but he is currently visiting Jacksonville, where he is expected to receive more money than the Jets are willing to offer. Early reports are making it sound like the Jets want Henne but the feeling isn’t mutual.

– In other free agency battles with Jacksonville, the Jets have expressed interest in Laurent Robinson but he is also meeting with the Jaguars. You would hope the Jets and Mark Sanchez’s reputation hasn’t fallen far enough that a receiver would pick Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars over them.

– Two linebacker options off the market: Tavares Gooden to San Francisco and Curtis Lofton to Tampa Bay. Gooden was a former Raven who could have fit in the Jets defense well.

– Pierre Garcon has signed with the Redskins.

– Jason Campbell is expected to sign with the Chicago Bears.

– The Jets will be competing with the Indianapolis Colts for outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

Stay with us people…@TurnOnTheJets

TOJ New York Knicks Rant

A needed release of anger about the New York Knicks, the world’s softest professional sports team

As I wait for news of free agent meetings and hopefully signings to trickle in about the New York Jets. I need to get a quick rant off about the New York Knicks, who are truly nauseating to watch these days.

How soft can you be? You can’t put into the words the disgust around New York City right now when it comes to this team. Amare…you are making 100 million dollars, stop being outworked by Taj Gibson on every single play. Jump. Get rebounds. Play defense. Have pride in yourself as an athlete and as a man as you watch opposing basketball players continually slam the basketball down your throat and jump over you repeatedly for rebounds.

Carmelo…nobody wants to hear your whining about Mike D’Antoni, not until you dive on the floor for loose balls and stop letting the person you are covering continually out hustle you. You aren’t doing enough on offense to merit the lackadaisical effort on the other side of the court…really, nothing should merit lackadaisical effort on defense but it would be easier to stomach if you shot a higher percentage and took over on offense down the stretch. Don’t come to New York and sulk. Be a leader and take this city over.

Mike D’Antoni…you are good as gone but the least you could do is pick a rotation, stay with it and call your superstars out when they aren’t performing. Why not? You think you are coming back next year as your team scraps with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 8th seed?

Jeremy Lin may not be playing as well as he was last month but he is a rookie (based on playing time) point guard dropped into this toxic situation. He has been good enough for the Knicks to win and at least he is hustling around. At least Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields for all their shortcomings, play defense and run every second they are on the court. Tyson Chandler is currently the only player on this roster worth his big contract, as he battles through injury and still manages to rebound and defend.

The blame goes to the big three, the two “superstars” and the coach. The city is embarrassed of you and you should be embarrassed of yourself.

New York Jets: Last Second Free Agency Considerations

TOJ with some last second considerations for the New York Jets on the first day of free agency

The NFL free agency floodgates open at 4 PM today. Here are a few last minute thoughts related to the New York Jets before anything can become official later this afternoon –

1. Jamaal Westerman, Matthew Mulligan, and Marquice Cole weren’t tendered, leaving them unrestricted free agents. Mulligan is a goner, which is a good thing unless you are in favor of penalty yardage. Rex Ryan is a big Cole fan and he is a very good special teams player, so I would expect the Jets to make a strong push to resign him. Westerman could probably go either way, I am sure Greg Schiano will want to bring his former college player in for a visit to Tampa Bay. How hard the Jets work to bring him back, will likely depend on their luck bringing in other linebackers in free agency.

2. Bryan Thomas gave an interview yesterday to Jenny Vrentas of The Star Ledger about his desire to return to the team. It makes sense for the Jets to monitor his progress rehabbing from his injury last year and then consider bringing back on a veteran’s minimum deal. Thomas is a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and is stout against the run. If Thomas comes back healthy, they could sign Jarret Johnson and spend a first round pick on a player like Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram or Andre Branch, it gives them leverage to move Calvin Pace in a trade.

3. If the Jets are looking improve wide receiver through free agency, they’d be wise to make a strong push to sign former San Francisco 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, who likely won’t be brought back now that the team has signed Randy Moss. Morgan will likely come much cheaper than Laurent Robinson or Robert Meachem, but could have way more upside.

4. I still remain hopeful the Jets will seek out Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson, particularly if they can’t sign Jameel McClain. It is hard to feel comfortable cutting Bart Scott until you sign a viable replacement. It certainly didin’t look like Josh Mauga was ready to be a full time starter last year.

5. It will be interesting to see who the Jets get after first later today. I can’t see any fathomable reason for them not to redirect any previous plans and shift their primary focus to Eric Winston but you easily them focusing on players with a history with their coaching staff out of the gate like Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, Vernon Carey, Jarret Johnson, and Jameel McClain.

New York Jets: Free Agent Market Opening Up

The free agent market is opening up for the New York Jets, particularly at offensive tackle

Monday was an active day for NFL teams releasing players to improve their salary cap situation, more than a few should catch the eyes of the New York Jets.

Most notably, the Houston Texans surprisingly released Erin Winston. He has been one of the most consistent right tackles in the league the past few years. In case you haven’t noticed, the Jets badly need a right tackle because of that whole Wayne Hunter thing. If there is one player for the Jets to take a big money run at, it is Winston.

Beyond that, Levi Brown was also released by the Arizona Cardinals. Brown is the former number five overall pick in the draft, who has been good not great so far in his NFL career. Regardless, he would be a major upgrade over Hunter and is a player the Jets should strongly pursue if they are outbid for Winston.

A couple of other low cost options at the tackle position, as documented by Pro Football Focus are Anthony Collins and Geoff Schwartz. When you look at the free agent situation at tackle, there is no excuse for the Jets not to upgrade over Hunter, particularly with the amount of cap space they have.

On the defensive side of the football, the Raiders are expected to release Kamerion Wimbley who is a solid pass rushing option at outside linebacker. They will still look at Jarret Johnson but the Ravens will fight hard to keep him and the Colts will be after him as well.  The Redskins released OJ Atogwe, which brings another name to the safety market. The Jets are expected to pursue LaRon Landry but would be foolish to offer him any type of long term deal that doesn’t protect them from his injury history.

At wide receiver, the Jets should still be giving Laurent Robinson a long look along with Robert Meachem who remain on the market. Former Dolphins Chad Henne and Ronnie Brown will also probably be brought in for a visit to improve depth at quarterback and running back respectively.

Overall, there is more than enough of an opportunity for the Jets to improve their roster with the crop of players available.