Morning Cup of Coffee: Black Monday Edition

Connor Rogers breaks down this weeks New York Jets story lines on Black Monday

The New York Jets finished off a surprising season with a win at Miami, eliminating the Dolphins from playing post season football. With that win, the Jets finish with an 8-8 record and second place in the AFC East. The Jets were supposed to win a maximum of four games and Rex Ryan was supposed to be canned, but that’s why they play the games, right? It can be tough to be happy with a season that ends without a playoff appearance, but the Jets surprised a ton of people this year. Most importantly, they have built positive momentum for next year. Lets take a look at this week’s story lines.

 The Young Guns

The Jets have taken heat all year for starting five rookies, with the only one looking game ready on a consistent basis being Sheldon Richardson. The five guys (Geno Smith, Dee Milliner, Brian Winters, Tommy Bohanon, and Richardson) had an impressive final stretch of the season.

Milliner had three interceptions in the final two games and looked like a capable man coverage corner. Winters held up much better, giving Geno time to set his feet on throws and adding in a few vicious blocks on run plays. Geno Smith played clean football and posted a stat line of (68-116, 790 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 3 TD runs) in the final quarter of the season. Tommy Bohanon was not a game changer, but had a few decent runs and has shown respectable hands in the passing game.

Sheldon Richardson is the star of this group and deserves all the praise he has gotten. He shuts down the run and has become a force at the line of scrimmage. His pass rushing moves will only get better with a full offseason. You also cannnot downplay his two rushing touchdowns (tying William Perry for most by a defensive lineman). The guy is a workhorse all over the football field and was a steal with the 13th overall pick.

It will be interesting to see how these guys progress with a full offseason ahead of them, especially Milliner who was limited last training camp due to injuries. At a minimum, Geno will come into camp with a grip on the starting quarterback job. I expect the Jets to bring in a veteran and a middle round draft pick to compete with him, but his progress bodes well for the future.

It Was Nice Knowing Ya’

Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes will certainly be cap casualties this upcoming offseason. Antonio Cromartie will most likely join them, but I expect the Jets to attempt to bring him back on a reasonable deal. Cromartie played the entire season hurt and brings excellent leadership to a young secondary.

Where it gets interesting (and less obvious) is players such as D’Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris. Ferguson had a down year and is due to make a ton of money the next couple of seasons. David Harris was solid but is being paid like a top five linebacker. I fully expect John Idzik to attempt to re-work these deals to squeeze out as much free cap space as possible.

Show Me The Money!

Hold the phone Jets fans, that rumored $50 million in potential cap space is not what it seems. While John Idzik will have plenty of money to use for external free agents, there are a few guys who need to be brought back.

Right tackle Austin Howard came into his own this season and will demand a multi year deal. Mo Wilkerson is a star and most likely won’t play on the final year of his rookie deal (it is about $1 million in salary). Nick Folk is also a free agent, which is something that should not be overlooked.

An interesting under the radar guy I would like to see back is Leger Douzable. He does not garner a lot of hype, but was an excellent depth defensive lineman this season. He is also a huge Rex Ryan fan and fits in well with this group of youngsters on the front seven.

Also just to clarify, wide receiver David Nelson has one more year left on his deal. As of now, him and Jeremy Kerley seem like locks as the number four and number three wide receivers next season. Stephen Hill will be battling it out in camp for a job, as I fully expect the Jets to bring in two more wideouts via free agency and the draft.

Follow Connor Rogers: @Real_CR3

  • Steve

    Exciting Times!!!! I don;t faulth the fans that were chomping at the bit to fire Rex and pounce on Geno or any other rookie who’s Sunday night and week drastically changed from all out whine fest, finger pointing back to wait-and-see…

    We’re all fans with different perspectives and I’ve been in THAT boat more often than not, against the grain and pissed off….

    I think those ppl never excepted REBUILD though and what that means… It means year 1 is clear cap, shake it up, see what you got.. Year two, massive turnover – Shop with your new Money and fill holes – MAYBE stay healthy and make noise – YEAR 3 ROCK!!!!

    In my 30+ years as a fan, I’m as excited THIS offseason as ANY!!!!

    GREAT YEAR TOJ – Thanks for being there in a time of Media Crap.

  • Steve

    Can I get an editor on that last post…lol

  • twoshady18

    yeah Steve… that was brutal to read.

  • Sean

    As far as the salary cap number, I did some quick estimates on Over the Cap:

    After some expected moves, I came out with $34M in space:

    Cut Sanchez and Holmes.
    Pace 1 year @ vet min.
    Folk, $2M/year for 3 years
    Cromartie, resigned to $4.2M/yr for 2 (maybe not realistic)

    Wilkerson – 6 years, $60M, with $20M in signing bonus

    Howard – total of $21M over 4 years.

  • Lidman

    CB will be a very interesting situation. Milliner has improved, Walls showed some flashes..Kyle Wilson will be in his last year of his deal. Funny how Cro, who was looked at as a ‘prototypical idiot athlete’ has turned it around and is now looked at as a leader. That said, he’s not going to give NY that big a discount, so he’s at least going to command 3-5mm, for 3yrs. Sam Shields and Corey Graham will also be FA..and I’m still very interested to see what happens with Revis.

    On D Harris: He’s in the last year of his deal, and will only count 7mm against the cap, which he is worth. I think the only way he gets extended is if they decide he’ll be here past next year.

    They really have no recourse with ‘Brick. Next year he has a 11+mm cap number and if they were to cut him (which he’s in no danger of) it would cost them 13+mm in cap space, and they would need a LT. He was much better the last 1/4 of season, when Winters started to play better. I’m willing to bet that next year, he plays closer to the level NYJ fans have become accustomed to, than the first 3/4 of this year, same with Mangold (this assumes they both have relative health).

    If they can have another productive draft, the team is going to be solid for a while. Whether they win a a SB, all depends on Geno developing into, at worst, Joe Flacco/Eli Manning.

  • Dave2220

    The schedule next year is brutal… We will need to be an elite team to get to 9 or 10 wins

  • Lidman

    It certainly looks it now, but every year is a new year. But, Denver, Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh, at home and KC, SD, and GB on the road, with 2 v NE certainly doesn’t look all that fun today.

  • Harold


    Good Post, but David Harris is not worth 7 million per year not even close he would be lucky to get 2.5 million per year on the open market. Cut him and sign Dansby for 3-4 million per year. You get a vet to still mold Davis and you get much better range and coverage ability. While still getting a solid tackler. If he is too pricey Daryl Smith for the same money as Harris and still get better range and a solid tackler.

    At CB get Verner or Talib. I prefer Verner he is only 25 years old!! And had the best year at CB that no one is talking about.

  • Cole Patterson

    Great post Connor, really. I love this series.

  • Lidman

    Harold…one of the criticisms of Tanny/Rex was letting go of ‘good clubhouse leaders’. Harris is still a good player and he knows Ryan’s scheme, which is big. My point was that w/just 1 yr left, and their solid cap situation. They don’t have to extend him in order to keep him.