No Huddle – New York Jets February Priorities Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets February priorities

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle – Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter on Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook.

Mo’s Deal

It’s nice to hear that Mo Wilkerson, who is in the final year of his contract, understandably wants a raise but doesn’t want to hold out in order to receive one. Mo said “Like I tell everybody, that’s what I got an agent for… At the end of the day, I want to be a Jet for life. I think I will be so I’m going to let everything take care of itself. Everything will fall into place; everything happens for a reason. I’m just sitting here waiting.”

If in the event a deal isn’t done by August it seems like Mo will show up to camp anyway. The way that Nick Mangold did back in 2010 as his deal was getting extended back in the Tannenbaum days. Of course, being loyal and letting things “fall into place” didn’t help Leon Washington who broke his leg before obtaining any long term security back in 2009.

It will be interesting to see how John Idzik handles a young budding star and team leader. Wilkerson is a no nonsense playmaker and a key to the future of this defense. Idzik isn’t the type to create drama. If I had to bet, I would put money down on both sides getting something done quietly and sensibly before Mo has suddenly has a change of heart and ditches the nice guy stance.

Goodell and Cromartie

It came as no surprise that the always outspoken Antonio Cromartie had to chime in on the commish Roger Goodell’s statement that’s despite the new weed laws in Colorado and Washington, the NFL wouldn’t budge. Cro responded to the league’s stance by saying “Players] just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, ‘Ya’ll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'”

Privately? the league won’t be searching for evidence regarding players the way Major League Baseball went after A-Rod in their most recent legal confrontation over performance enhancers. Publicly, Cromartie is high if he thinks the league will overtly encourage it.

Marijuana makes sense for certain people emotionally and is a pain killer to others. Cro is right too in that players who use it won’t stop smoking it either. Even if the laws in more states loosen regarding cannabis though, the picture of the stoned baller just isn’t a good sell for the league. Can you imagine the league have to air commercials of players rolling big fat joints that say “smoke sensibly?” It will take a lot more than it being legal in two states before we see that ad.

What Maclin and Sanders Tell Us

Last week we all heard some chatter about the Jets alleged interest in speedy free agent wideouts Jeremy Maclin (recovering from an ACL injury) and Emmanuel Sanders. If it’s true it tells us that we are on the same page: The front office and the fans. The pass catching corps has to get a lot better with some relatively proven playmakers. Immediately.

Santonio Holmes is as good as gone. Kellen Winslow too. Stephen Hill is for now, still Stephen Hill. David Nelson is not stretching the field any time soon. Clyde Gates? Greg Salas? Depth guys at best. Jeff Cumberland did a nice job but no team ever feels it must scheme to slow him down in order to beat the Jets.

Jeremy Kerley and a healthy Maclin/Sanders type would be a great compliment to perhaps a prime time first round stud and eventual greater threat at TE. As obvious as upgrading in this area seems, it was nice to hear that the Jets seem to realize this too. If you’ve been a diehard long enough, you know that overlooking the obvious isn’t ever out of the realm of possibilities.

Jack Bauer and the Jets

I finally started watching season one of 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, counter terrorism stud. I know. I’m a little late to the punch here. The show has been around since 2001, but hey that’s the beauty of Netflix. You can binge watch and make up for lost years in one sitting.

Anyway, the emotional roller coaster ride I went through felt like a Jet game:
Nothing in the show ever goes as planned. No character is ever who they seem to be.
A safe house is never safe. An assassin is always waiting right around the corner or hiding in the bushes. Storyline altering kidnappings can happen at any moment. Nobody that Bauer the show’s field general works with at CTU headquarters is to be completely trusted. Including Bauer himself.

I found myself in the same role on the couch too shouting Jets Sunday favorites like “run!” or “oh my god why did you do that!” and “look behind you!” and of course the defeatist phrase often used after a winnable game slips away “this is just unbelievable.” The unsettling nature of each episode that prevented me from being able to fully relax, from an historical standpoint as a Jet fan, felt so familiar.

Quick Hits

– The Beatles landed at JFK 50 yrs ago. In that same year of 1964 the Jets drafted the great Matt Snell too. The Jets always frame their Super Bowl III era history around the arrival of Joe Namath in 1965, which too often overshadows what Snell (and not soon after Emerson Boozer) meant to that offense.

– Thomas McGaughey is the new Special Teams coach, but I want to know who the return man is going to be. Would you all welcome back a healthy Josh Cribbs? I loved him in Cleveland and liked the way he was running here before his injury, He can also provide some gadget yardage In the offense too. Maybe bring Cribbs back and let a few other kids get a shot too.

– Forget about Namath’s Super Bowl fur coat and the coin toss saga. As far as ex Jets QB’s who were part of the New York Super Bowl, what about the Tim Tebow commercial? The guy went from a Denver miracle worker, to a packed press conference as the Jets backup hoping to unseat shaky Mark Sanchez, to self deprecating humor about being out of football. Almost as if to remind us that he is still alive. Will he ever get back in the league again?

  • KAsh

    Unless Cribbs becomes a better wideout all of a sudden, he is gone. If the Jets have a good draft, we can get 3-4 skill players that also have experience returning punts and kicks.

  • Harold

    Mo gets a deal if the after F/A and the draft we still have a very liquid cap situation and it makes sense.

    Remeber the Jets really have in under contract for two more years because he can play under the 5th year club option for 6 million.

    So any deal the Jets give would probably come with a concession in total value, in exchange for up front money and guarantees.

    If Idzik like the numbers Mo may get an eextension. If not Mo will wait.

  • Lidman


    I’m not sure it’s as cut and dry as that. Yes, the NYJ have all the leverage here, so in reality there isn’t much Mo can do. However, his 2011 draft class is the first one this rule affects. Two things come to mind, for me:

    -Mo was second team All-Pro, he’s a top tier player. How the NYJ treat him will have a ripple effect for everyone drafted after him. If the NYJ go hard line, using the 5yr option on him, and use their available cap room, to bring in FA, it will send a message to Wilkerson, Coples, Richardson and Milliner, about how they intend to operate.

    -This is why not overpaying/reaching to get guys to come here is so important. If Idzik were to overpay a guy, in order to get him here, and that forces a homegrown All-Pro to wait on his financial security, you could really have dissension among the ranks, IMO.
    In my mind, I’d rather pay the guys you want to remain here, than create a situation where you let these guys get to their 5th year and have them walk away to the highest bidder.

    This is the main reason I can’t fathom why TB would continue to pay Revis so much more than any other CB makes (over 30% more). Who cares if you have the room? If you set precendent on things like this, you wind up putting yourself in a box with your players. If you extend guys, at levels that work for both team and player, it builds a system where guys know they’ll be paid so long as they are producing. The cap will be rising, at a quick rate, than it has since 2011, beginning next year. I suspect players like Mo, get extended either in camp, or during the upcoming season, in order to push their bonuses out further, into years that will have more room.

    Mo, may be saying the ‘right things’ today. You can bet if the NYJ sign a guy like Wordlis, to a top level contract, and don’t extend him, the tune will change. It’s a new world and Idzik has a tightrope he needs to walk.

  • Harold

    I think you underestimate the leverage the Jets have. We also can Franchise him in 2016. So Mo has zero leverage.

    Now we are building a winner. So while the Jets Front office surely wants to send the right message they will not (nor should they) disrupt the process of building a winner for one player. We saw how prematurely paying Revis created a monster.

    Not that I think Mo is Revis but as far as rewarding performance they are in similar situations.

    I just think you do everything in due time. Idzik strikes me as the someone who will take his time as well.

  • KAsh


    Your initial timetable would not work because we have to decide to use the option by May 3rd. It would have been possible last year, but the NFL pushed the draft back to May 5-7(?). So you either conclude a contract before the draft or activate Wilkerson’s fifth year option.

    Also, you cannot use the franchise tag year after year and expect to keep all of your guys without exceeding the salary cap. Next year, you have Wilkerson, the year after that will be Coples, and then Richardson and Milliner. If you really cannot settle on a long-term contract, then you can activate the option, but it is much better in the long-term if you settle on a fair amount for multiple years after the fourth year, as long as you are certain what kind of player you have.

    Finally, this is the time to sign Wilkerson to a multi-year deal. He is a team leader, had 10.5 sacks last year, and can still improve. Sign him before JJ Watt (who is almost certain to have his option year activated) defines the market next year and Wilkerson starts looking for a payout just shy of Watt’s.

  • Anthony


    You’re getting bizarrly hypersensitive about this sending a message nonsense.

    Harold is correct when he says the 5th year option is in play. That will definitely have an impact on the years and the money involed in Wilkersons payout an will affect the terms of the deal.

    The smart play for the Jets will be to extend early but Harold is correct when he says the Jets COULD activate the option, franchise wlkerson and franchise him again. Wilkerson is like 24 now and wouldn’t even sniff free agency until nearly 29. That’s not ideal, but that’s the kind of leverage the Jets have. In case you are wondering the cap number for a DE on the franchise tag is around 12.5, but wilkshake plays 3-4, so it’ll be closer to 11. That’s not breaking anybodies cap.

  • KAsh



    Seriously, precedents are important. You do not want to nickel-and-dime your best player or always feud with his agents. If you are fair and easy to negotiate with, that has a positive effect on FAs and agents. If you pinch pennies with your best player, rookies are going to go into negotiations thinking they need to set a really high asking price to barter down to something reasonable.

  • twoshady18

    it sounds like everyone still has a bad taste in their mouth from the Mike T-Bomb era. Idzik seems to be a very intelligent and concise decision maker. I have confidence he will handle Mo’s situation with a deal that will be fair and reasonable for both sides. Mo is a leader and a phenomenal player they can/have built around. The Jets need to lock him up for a long time and bring in players of his skill and character so this club can move forward. As a Jet fan this is by far the most excited i’ve been in the off season.


    Seriously, such a silly conversation…it makes smart business sense to wait on extending him, enough with the precedents…they’ll probably extend him during the 5th year option before having to franchise tag him…and mentioning Coples and Milliner is worthless at the moment because they are nowhere near the level of player that Wilkerson is….Richardson makes sense to mention but they have what? 3 more years plus a fifth year option before they even have to worry about that? Their good…Jets have all the leverage and they should keep it that way, give him a 5 year $50 million extension during the fifth year option year or during next offseason and it will be fine…plus wouldn’t you feel stupid if you extending him now and he had some horrific career altering injury that leaves you screwed financially?

  • David

    I am one of those believers that you take care of your own first. Who is to say a few years down the road that we won’t have this kind of cap space to give Mo Wilk a new deal? You could have over 40 million in cap space this offseason (with Sanchez, Cromartie, and Holmes releases); why not take care of it now and be done with it?

  • Lidman


    Did you read my first paragraph? I acknowledget the NYJ have all the leverage. I can’t tell you how this will play out because this is the first go a round for the NFL.

    My opinion remains you want to pay your best players the most. In your scenario, the NYJ could get 5yrs, out of Mo, before they do anything. Then they have 2 years where they can ‘Franchise’. However, by the time he reaches year 7, if the team has drafted well, they’ll be other guys to deal with.

    My own belief is every organization should be designed on the premise: ‘pay for performance’. This year, the team will have a lot of cap space, and they have needs to fill. So, maybe the front office can tell it’s better players: “hey, this year we need to do this to improve the team”. I think you get away with that once. If they go out and overspend on a couple of WR, who play well, but aren’t elite, how does that reflect on the team?

    I think smart GMs/front offices will use this new CBA to create more a of meritocracy. You won’t have the Detroit Lions situation, where Suh, CJ and Stafford take up over 40% of their cap space. I think it allows you to pay young players more, at a time when their performance is at it’s peak. If you’re not paying the young guys, that money is going elsewhere. I’d rather see it go to Mo, than overpay to get Dennis Pitta to come here.

  • Lidman


    Also, I don’t see how the Revis situation applies.Different CBA, so the rules favored Revis. His management knew how to work with the rules. On top of that, his original contract was very unique.

    Back in ’07, most standard rookie deals were for 6yrs. Revis did sign a six year deal, but had playing time clauses that permitted him to void those years. He actually gave back money to buy those years out. The guy has been ‘betting on himself’ for a long time. When you take the risk, you put yourself in position to receive the greatest reward.