Every off-season brings plenty of debates with it for fans of NFL teams and the New York Jets are no exception. With a rebuilding process about to begin under newly hired GM John Idzik, the team is likely to make a good amount of polarizing decisions in the coming months as they try to dig out of the salary cap quagmire created by Mike Tannenbaum. This week’s 12 Pack is going to sort through the most prominent debates of the off-season. Sit back. Crack a beer. And enjoy another 12 Pack from TOJ.
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1. Trade Darrelle Revis or Keep Darrelle Revis - We’ve been through this and think it is most likely in the team’s best interest to trade Revis. That sounds crazy as a standalone statement but if the team can’t lock him down long term in the coming months, it is better to get something for him now then seeing walk for nothing after 2013. 16 million per year is too much to pay for a cornerback when you have nothing else around him. We hope something is worked out that keeps Revis here under reasonable financial terms but aren’t optimistic about it.
2. Re-Sign LaRon Landry or Let Him Walk - At 6 million per year, it is a no-brainer to let him walk. Will the market dictate that he lowers his price demands? If so, then maybe the Jets can work something out to bring him back in the 3-4 million per year range, with protection from injury built into the contract.
3. Chance Warmack or Pass Rusher at #9 - If Warmack is available at #9, he is going to be hard to ignore considering he is nearly the consensus best player in the upcoming draft and the team’s glaring need at Guard. However, this writer is starting to be swayed that you could find a competent Guard later in the draft and should instead focus on adding a pass rusher at #9, particularly if it is Dion Jordan. The Jets desperately need speed off the edge to maximize the ability of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples and if Jordan is on the board for the Jets, I am taking him, even if Warmack is available.
4. Re-Sign Mike DeVito or Let Him Walk - DeVito is exactly the type of player the Jets have let leave too frequently in the past: Workmanlike, locker room leaders who provide needed depth and versatility. Yet at what price do you keep the team’s fourth defensive lineman? Jets fans probably shouldn’t get their hopes up for DeVito’s return. Hopefully, Damon Harrison is ready to step into a larger role upfront.
5. What Quarterback To Draft? - Most seem to believe the Jets should take a quarterback in the middle rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. How high and what player? EJ Manuel, Mike Glennon, and Ryan Nassib have all been mentioned with the Jets. Manuel is my favorite out of this year’s quarterback class and would be good value in the third round. Let Buffalo overdraft Nassib and throw him into their crap platter quarterback battle featuring Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tavaris Jackson.
6. What Veteran Should Compete With Mark Sanchez? - Speaking of crap platter quarterback battles…Tavaris Jackson is no longer an option for the Jets so look for focus to shift to Matt Moore, Matt Flynn or Nick Foles. There is no reason to overpay for Flynn if Moore is going to come cheaper. He is more experienced and can handle the stop-gap role fine. Foles is intriguing. Despite Philadelphia saying they won’t trade him, it is hard to see him sticking around for a quarterback battle with Dennis Dixon and Michael Vick. Considering his experience with Marty Mornhinweg, he could be worth a late round pick.
7. Re-Sign Brandon Moore or Let Him Walk - Most seem to want Moore back and that makes sense. He was very good in the second half of the season and should come relatively cheap on a short term deal. It is a daunting task to replace two starting guards in one off-season and Matt Slauson is a goner. Moore can hold the fort for a few more seasons and help keep continuity on the line with D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Austin Howard.
8. What To Do With Dustin Keller - Does he merit a new contract? Should the Jets let him walk? What about the franchise tag? This projects to be an ugly situation as Keller is going to want more than the Jets are willing to give him after a mediocre, injury plagued year. However, he is a natural fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and the Jets are shaky at best right now at wide receiver. Somehow, we think he ends up back in New York next season.
9. Running Back? - The team could use an addition in both the Draft and in free agency. The most exciting names are Eddie Lacy and Chris Ivory in those respective groups but both could be pipe dreams for the Jets. Keep an eye on Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor in April and for the Jets to explore free agent options like Justin Forsett, Larod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones. Shonn Greene is good as gone and will make a nice backup somewhere next season.
10. Young Player Value - There is a wide range of opinion on the young players on the Jets. Is Demario Davis ready to start? He better be. Is Antonio Allen ready for a major role in the secondary? Probably but he can’t be a full time starter quite yet. How good will Bilal Powell be with a larger role offense? Somewhere around average. Could Jordan White make any noise on offense? The system fits him well but he is buried on the depth chart. It will be interesting to see who distinguishes himself this Summer.
11. Sanchez - At this point, you either hate the guy and think he is hopeless as a NFL quarterback or you are holding out some kind of distant hope that he can be serviceable for a season. My money is on him being the opening day starter but this being his last season in New York.
12. How Bad Is It? - Pretty bad. Yet, let’s see where the team stands after the Draft and Free Agency before banishing them to 2-14 in 2013.