New York Jets Sign WR Ben Obomanu, Other OTA Notes

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The New York Jets made an intriguing signing today, bringing in former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ben Obomanu. Since coming into the league in 2007, Obomanu has racked up 87 receptions, 1,209 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2011, he started 7 games for the Seahawks, finishing with 37 receptions for 436 yards. He was gradually bumped down the depth chart in 2012 and made an impact in only one game last year for Seattle, pulling in 3 catches for 50 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. It is worth noting, Obomanu does have 15 career post-season catches for 174 yards in four career games, so he has experience in big spots.

Obomanu is 6-1, 204 pounds and has decent speed. He is also experienced as a special teams player. This signing should put to rest any talk of Braylon Edwards coming back. Jets GM John Idzik had both Obomanu and Edwards on his roster in Seattle last year and went with Obomanu.

He will provide needed depth as the team’s fourth receiver, providing a substantial upgrade over Clyde Gates who is currently there on the depth chart. Obomanu is also talented enough to push Stephen Hill and take reps at split end, if Hill continues to struggle. Regardless of what he does on offense, he should also be a core special teams player. This was a good, low-risk, low-cost signing by Idzik.

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I don’t put too much stock into OTA practice reports. However, reportedly Hayden Smith had a good day at tight end, showing impressive athleticism and more football awareness than last season. Jeff Cumberland missed practice due to the birth of his child. The Jets tight end spot is wide open with Cumberland, Smith, Konrad Reuland and UDFAs like Mike Shanahan and Chris Pantale all vying for playing time.

Aaron Berry also had a notably good practice. Do not be surprised if Berry is pushing Kyle Wilson for reps this season. Both him and Darrin Walls have potential in Rex Ryan’s defense, particularly if Wilson continues to underwhelm.

Matt Simms continues to work ahead of Greg McElroy, if you are interested in tracking the third quarterback battle. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Jets tried to float McElroy in some trades for a late, conditional round pick. I doubt they’d find any takers but the tape from the San Diego game last season may have convinced them he isn’t a viable, long term backup option.

  • KAsh

    We have to wait until contact is allowed to see if Hayden Smith can still catch a pass or run routes once he gets bumped or pressed at the line. And if he can now block. But so far so good.

  • Geronimo

    Hey the Obamanu kid is a great signing — a very solid back-up who can actually come in and produce. We could have really used him last year.

    Cumberland gets no love on this site. I couldn’t watch the games last year because I am out of the country, but I know he came in as a UDFA and filled in reasonably well when Keller went down. What exactly is wrong with him? Is his blocking THAT bad? He has 4.45 speed at 260 — is bigger and faster than Keller — and is still learning the position. I weep for the man. Should we all write him off?

  • John C

    I’m with you Geronimo. I love this site, but Cumberland get’s no love. Keller couldn’t block, so that shouldn’t be anyone’s problem. Keller would also disappear for games at a time (and I’m not talking about his injuries) I think Cumby
    would be just as productive as Keller as starter.

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