New York Jets – Smith Exit Hastened Tannenbaum’s Downfall

TJ Rosenthal on how the exit of Brad Smith helped lead to Mike Tannenbaum’s downfall

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Mike Tannenbaum told both WFAN and ESPN radio on Tuesday, that the idea of acquiring Tim Tebow was his and a move that was borne out of the need to replace Brad Smith. The chain of events that followed Smith’s exit, arguably the Jets most versatile playmaker during the early Rex Ryan years, then ushered in the start of Tannenbaum’s downfall as GM of the Jets.

Smith was lost during the post-lockout mayhem. A mad two week scramble for free agents that the Jets fumbled, due mainly to their over-pursuit of the highly coveted CB Nnamdi Asomugha. A chase that would have never materialized had the knowledge of Antonio Cromartie’s “lock-down” emergence, been available at the time. Nonetheless, the obsession with Asomugha distracted Gang Green from focusing in on key clutch players like Smith, who was poached by the Bills while the Jets went all or nothing with their cap space. In the hopes of landing Asomugha.

The 2011 regular season then began with the Jets asking Mark Sanchez to grow as a passer and field general. Few members of the Jets brass however, realized how low the third year QB’s ceiling would end up being over the next two years. Or rather, how much Smith had covered things up, by grabbing so many key third down conversions for the offense in 2009 and 2010.

With Sanchez’s limitation’s exposed, Tannenbaum then decided upon making the “football decision” of acquiring Tim Tebow. This to compensate for the loss of Smith. Instead the result added stress and drama to the club, mainly to Sanchez and playcaller Tony Sparano. The club’s first year offensive coordinator, who ironically oversaw the Dolphins “Wildcat” when it ruled the NFL back in 2008. The Jets 2.0 version of the run-heavy formation, was much less effective with Tebow than it ever was when Smith received the direct snap in New York.

Smith’s absence in green and white not only hurt Sanchez and forced Tannenbaum to consider adding the polarizing Tebow, it depleted the team in two other places as well. The special teams unit for one, fell apart for the Jets in 2012. Joe McKnight was an All-Pro return man in 2011 but Smith did it all for Mike Westhoff’s crew. He ran back kicks like McKnight did, but had a unique knack for doing so when the Jets needed it the most. Smith returned punts, made tackles on coverage, and was always healthy.

The lack of depth at WR was another area that Tannenbaum admitted yesterday, hurt the club tremendously during their disappointing 6-10 campaign. Perhaps more of the cracks could been filled in on the outside with Smith, who is still waiting for the chance to expand his role as more than a gadget-like weapon in Buffalo.

Big long term contracts of course dried up the Jets financial flexibility and potential heading into 2012, and threaten the club going forward, However, Smith’s exit eliminated a major security blanket for Sanchez and ushered in Tebow, while leaving two units lacking quality depth. All of which affected results on the field. Causing the sudden growth of the bullseye on Tannenbaum’s back.

The lesson that new GM John Idzik should learn from this, is that the core guys, the proven playmakers, have to be tended to. Guys who may not provide “star power” or giant stat lines, but perform consistently when it counts. Tannenbaum just found out the hard way, what can happen if this essential detail gets overlooked.

New York Jets – How To Fill Out The Depth Chart?

How can the New York Jets begin the process of filling in their bare depth chart?


In one regard, the New York Jets salary cap situation isn’t as awful as it is made out to be. It is true they will be roughly 20 million under the cap when they take care of expected moves like releasing Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Eric Smith, Jason Smith and probably Sione Po’uha, along with restructure a handful of deals. Yet, 20 million dollars under the cap isn’t that much money when you consider the following reality when looking at the Jets under contract (reminder Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller, Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson, LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Mike DeVito, and Braylon Edwards are all unrestricted free agents) –

– There is not a single guard on the roster who has started a NFL game.

– There is not a single safety on the roster who has started a NFL game.

– There is not a single running back on the roster who started a NFL game.

– The quarterbacks are still Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy which will inevitably be changed in some way.

– The top tight end on the roster is Jeff Cumberland.

– After the cutting of Pace, Scott and Bryan Thomas likely retires the Jets will only have two linebackers on the roster who have started NFL games (David Harris and Garret McIntyre).

– Their top three receivers are Santonio Holmes coming off serious foot surgery, Stephen Hill coming off leg surgery and Jeremy Kerley.

So when you look at a reasonable checklist for what the Jets need, it goes something like this

– Strong veteran quarterback competition for Mark Sanchez

– A starting caliber running back to compliment Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight.

– A starting tight end.

– Two starting guards (we will give the Jets the benefit of the doubt in bringing RFA Austin Howard back at tackle)

– A little more stability at wide receiver.

– An inside linebacker.

– Two outside linebackers.

– Two starting safeties.

Well then…how does one go about filling so many holes? Recognizing that this will be more than a one year process, let’s look at what options the Jets have –

Keep Your Own

The New York Jets have a few of their own unrestricted free agents who make sense to bring back. Dustin Keller will likely receive the franchise tag because he is a strong fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. Yeremiah Bell should be relatively easy to retain on a low-cost one year deal, same with Braylon Edwards. The team would be wise to make a strong push to bring both Mike DeVito and Brandon Moore back. DeVito is a key, versatile cog on the defensive line and Moore should be able to be brought back on 2-3 year deal. It will be too difficult to replace two starters at guard in one off-season and Matt Slauson is a goner. Shonn Greene is also going to walk because he can’t function in the team’s new offense and shouldn’t get paid like a starter anyway. LaRon Landry is also going to be extremely difficult to keep because of the price tag he will demand after a Pro-Bowl season.

NFL Browsing

Seattle was active in the trade market when John Idzik was there and it stands to reason the Jets will be making a few calls about dumping some of their unfavorable contracts. Yet, good luck to finding any takers for Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Tim Tebow, or David Harris. We have talked endlessly about the pros and cons of trading Darrelle Revis and that will be an option which is considered. If Revis is not moved, Antonio Cromartie likely will be. This is part of the process of rebuilding such a depleted roster.

Don’t look for the Jets to be overly active in free agency. They will likely focus on a few second tier players at positions they are thin,  like guard, running back and linebacker. There are a few intriguing 3-4 outside linebackers in particular, but with the financial situation getting a guy like Paul Kruger or Anthony Spencer could be out of reach. Regardless, the Jets could improve themselves with a few shrewd low-cost signings.


Obviously the most important element in rebuilding this team is drafting successfully. The Jets have seven picks heading into the 2013 Draft but look for that number to increase. The Jets need to leave with both quality and quantity, as their lack of depth over the past few years has been a result of only drafting 3-6 players in multiple years. There will be mid-round selections this season who will immediately be thrust into starting or major contributing roles. Early round picks need to be impact players, not Kyle Wilson or Vladimir Ducasse. This is a deep draft at many positions the Jets most desperately need help at, namely pass rusher, guard and running back. Don’t be surprised to see the Jets trade back in a few different situations to acquire more picks and hopefully gain some picks before April via trading their own players.

Turn On The Jets Off-Season Roundtable – Offensive Line

The TOJ staff discusses how the New York Jets should handle offensive line this off-season


Welcome to our off-season review of the New York Jets roster at Turn On The Jets. Each week we are going to attack a different position. We will have a roundtable discussion on it, Steve Bateman will submit a film breakdown examining it and our draft staff will look at potential prospects the Jets could add. So far we have covered quarterbackrunning back, and wide receiver. This week we move to offensive line – 

How should the New York Jets handle offensive line this off-season?

Joe Caporoso – The New York Jets have a few critical decisions to make on the offensive line. In 2012, Pro Football Focus had the unit ranked 3rd overall in the NFL and while I think that is a slight overrating of their performance, they were still one of the better units in the league.

We know D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold will be back next year and for the long term. It is also a near certainty that Austin Howard will return as the starting right tackle, despite being a Restricted Free Agent. He was a very good run blocker last season and despite his limitations in pass protection, will be a nice fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. The real question marks are at Guard, where both of last year’s starters, Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore are free agents. Both players have certain limitations (Slauson’s run blocking and Moore’s age) but both are more than capable starters and the Jets have no immediate answers behind them on their roster. Sorry, Vlad.

The old regime was down on Slauson and desperate to make Ducasse work as a draft pick. Despite the changing of GMs, it is hard to see Slauson getting a market value contract from the Jets. It would be prudent to find a way to bring Brandon Moore back on a short term deal. He has played his entire career in New York and is a needed leader in the locker room. Also the task of finding two new starting guards this off-season is daunting. Our draft team has been high on the prospect of taking Alabama’s Chance Warmack in the first round if he falls to the 9th pick. Warmack is arguably the safest pick in the top ten and would solidify at least one of the guard spots for the next decade. However, it remains to be seen if he falls that far or if there isn’t a better option at #9, namely a pass rusher. If the Jets don’t go Guard in the first round, look for them to strongly consider one in the 2nd or 3rd round.

There are a few mid-level options in free agency this year like Geoff Schwartz, Cooper Carlisle and Leroy Harris among others if the Jets are going to take a dual approach to replacing whoever leaves in free agency. Let’s just hope the team is smart enough not to hand a starting job to Ducasse.

Mike Donnelly – To me, the blueprint for how to handle the line going forward is pretty simple. We have Nick Mangold at center and D’Brickashaw Ferguson at left tackle, and they are the rocks of the line for 2013 and beyond. Right tackle Austin Howard stepped into a starting role after the Wayne Hunter/Jeff Otah fiasco last summer and did an admirable job. He was one of our best run blockers, but clearly struggled as a pass blocker at times. He is a restricted free agent heading into the offseason, but I fully expect the team to bring him back on a 1-year, cap-friendly deal as they try to develop him further.

The real concern with the line is the play of the guards. Matt Slauson has done a fine job the past three seasons holding the fort at left guard, while doing so for minimal pay. You can’t have stars at every position, so guys like Slauson are necessary. This year his play took a bit of a tumble as he headed into his contract year, though, and the team thought so little of his prospects going forward that they started rotating series between him and VLAD DUCASSE. Let that sink in for a second. I’d say the chances of him returning next season as the starting left guard are somewhere between zero and zero. At the other guard spot, veteran Brandon Moore is also a free agent, and while he’s a valued leader in the locker room, his play has clearly tailed off. He is far more likely to return in 2013 on a one-year contract that Slauson is, however, and that’s what I expect to happen. Unfortunately, with the Jets cap situation, all positions can’t be fixed in one year.

The good news is that the 2013 draft is very rich on offensive line talent, so I’d expect the Jets to invest at least one high draft pick in this area. Many are clamoring for a stud like Chance Warmack in the 1st round, and while I wouldn’t be upset over a move like that, I think that pick should be used elsewhere (cough, PASS RUSHER, cough). With high picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, however, I think that’s where our new starting LG very likely can come from. It will give us a young, cheap option going forward, and that’s exactly what this team needs.

Chris Gross –   The 2012 New York Jets offensive line certainly had its hiccups, but ultimately put together a solid overall season. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a very good bounce back year from a 2011 season that was certainly anything but his best. Nick Mangold was back to his usual self after an injury trickled season, while Austin Howard quietly got better as the year went on. Matt Slauson was solid, but is certainly not in the top tier of offensive guards. Brandon Moore turned in another strong
year, despite some signs of aging. All in all, the Jets offensive line was certainly not the problem for an offense that was anything but spectacular in 2012.

The Jets now face an interesting situation moving forward. Slauson, Moore, and Howard are all entering free agency this offseason. Slauson and Moore will be unrestricted, Howard restricted. It will be compelling to see how it plays out moving forward, particularly considering the Jets current salary cap situation. They cannot afford new deals to both Slauson and Moore. Howard should be retained, but it will be interesting to see how his situation plays out due to the rules of restricted free agency and how they relate to his particular case.

To get a better understanding of how restricted free agency works, this is an excerpt from

The (The RFA) has received a “qualifying offer” (a salary tender predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his old club. He can negotiate with any club through April 20. If the restricted free agent signs an offer sheet with a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because it has a “right of first refusal.” If the old club does not match the offer, it may receive draft choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed on or before April 20, the player’s negotiating rights revert exclusively to his old club.

Basically what this all means is that the Jets will have a few options regarding Howard. Restricted free agents can receive one of four different tender amounts. Per Albert Breer of NFL Network, the RFA tender amounts for 2013 are as follows:

1st Round Compensation: $2.879 million

2nd Round: $2.023 million

Original Round: $1.323 million

Right of first refusal: $1.323 million

Since Howard was originally an undrafted free agent, placing an original round tender on him would give him the ability to sign an offer sheet with another team, while giving the Jets the right of first refusal to match that offer sheet. If the Jets were to match the offer sheet, Howard would become a Jet for the duration of the contract terms. If they chose not to match it, he would join the team that signed him to the offer sheet, and being an undrafted free agent, the Jets wouldn’t receive anything in return.

This could get tricky for a few reasons. First, if the Jets place a 2nd round tender on him, it is almost a virtual certainty that he will
not be signed to an offer sheet by any other team, for it is highly unlikely that a team would be willing to surrender a 2nd round pick for him in the event that the Jets wouldn’t match the offer, another near certainty considering a 2nd round pick probably holds higher value than Howard as of right now.

If New York decides to place an original round tender on him, there is a higher likelihood that a team would sign him to a minimum level deal. This would put the Jets in a tough spot. While Howard was decent last season, it would be smarter to see him with another year of experience under his belt before committing multiple years to him. However, would they be willing to part ways with him for nothing in return, considering his status as an undrafted free agent? Probably not.

The question then becomes, is Howard worth over $2 million next season? In short, yes. The top average base salary for an offensive tackle in the NFL is around $11.5 million (Jake Long, Joe Thomas). Considering this, a slight amount over $2 million is peanuts.

In terms of cap hits, the tender salary for a restricted free agent usually counts exactly that amount against the cap. Mike Wallace
received a 1st round tender from Pittsburgh last season for $2.742 million, all of which counted toward the cap, but not a penny more.

So, from a cap standpoint, is it worth committing that much cap space to an average right tackle? D’Brickashaw Ferguson will count for just over $10.7 million against the cap next year, so placing the 2nd round tender on Howard would commit about $13 million of cap space to both starting tackles. To put it into perspective, the Giants were one of the best statistical offensive lines in football last season, surrendering a league low 20 sacks while leading a seasonal rushing average of 4.6 YPC. The Giants two tackles, David Diehl and William Beatty counted for just under $5.5 million against the cap last season, combined.

5069b0737bbb4.imageFor a team with 4 positions secured along the offensive line, this decision would be a no brainer. If it were the Jets, they could place the original round tender on Howard and be perfectly fine by not signing any qualifying offer because they could draft a mid round rookie, pay him significantly less, and probably get a similar level of production out of him. Unfortunately for New York, however, it would be a major risk doing that with the amount of uncertainty facing both guard positions. If Slauson and Moore were both to walk in free agency, they’d be looking at three new starters to join with Mangold and Ferguson. Not an ideal situation for a team looking to build some offensive relevancy.

New York will probably part ways with Slauson. He has developed a decent enough reputation around the league for him to get a respectable sized contract on the open market. Considering how loaded the draft is with guards this year (more coming Thursday), the Jets could actually end up upgrading the position for less money than Slauson will likely receive.

Brandon Moore will probably be allowed to test the market. While he is the longest tenured offensive lineman on the Jets, New York would be wise to gauge his market value before committing 2-3 years to him, considering he will be 33 by the start of next season. If he can be brought back on a very low cost, 1-2 year deal, it makes perfect sense.

If Moore is retained, Howard will likely receive the minimum qualifying offer. This would still give the Jets a good chance to
retain him at the lowest possible cost, but would also allow them to survive if he is signed to an offer sheet with another team. With Moore retained, a rookie could be brought in to play alongside the savvy veteran, and would likely grow at a rate comparable to what Howard would next season.

If Moore is not retained, however, Howard would likely need to receive the 2nd round tender. As mentioned above, it would be ill advised for the Jets to enter the season with three brand new starters along the offensive line. Placing a 2nd round tender on Howard would virtually guarantee his return to the Jets, who would likely then add two guards via the draft. One would be drafted early to start, with another mid-late round selection brought in to compete with Vlad Ducasse, who saw his most time as a pro last season, but is not married to the new front office in any way.

Either way you look at it, it is going to be a bit tricky moving forward. In all likelihood, there will be at the least one new starter on the offensive line. There is also a good chance that there are two new starters, but at least three players should return, nothing less.

Steve Bateman – The offensive line doesn’t really concern me as much as it probably does some other people. That said, it’s clearly an area that needs to be considered, as expiring contracts mean that there will likely be some fresh faces in the front five. The appointment of Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator basically heralded the death knell for Matt Slauson, in my opinion. If, as is widely expected, Mornhinweg operates a zone-blocking run game, Slauson’s lack of speed would make him entirely inadequate in terms of coming off his primary block and moving upfield to occupy defenders at the second level. A player that I like as a cheap but effective replacement for Slauson is Oakland Raiders guard Cooper Carlisle – a lineman who is out of contract this year and who also has experience of zone-blocking systems under Greg Knapp.

In my book, bringing Brandon Moore back is by no means a certainty either. His contract demands will be towards the higher end of the market for a lineman, and the Jets brain trust may decide to trim their budget by cutting Moore loose and replacing him with a rookie next year. This is perhaps not as scary a proposition as it may first seem, as linemen suited to Mornhinweg-like schemes (namely guys who are quick, agile, but not neccesarily too powerful) can regularly be found towards the bottom of the draft board. This is one of the key reasons as to why I’m staunchly opposed to the idea of taking Alabama guard Chance Warmack in the first round.

In terms of what’s already there, I’m obviously very happy to see Nick Mangold handling the nose tackle and protection calls, while D’Brickashaw Ferguson came back from a disappointing 2011 to have a quietly outstanding campaign last year. I’m also happy to see Austin Howard in the starting lineup at right tackle, but there is one proviso here. It’s an odd anomaly in the modern NFL that the player who is traditionally the team’s worst pass-blocker is often left to deal with the opposition’s best rusher. This is generally not a problem, however, as offenses scheme for the mismatch by ensuring that their right tackle gets help with double-teams or chip-blocks from running backs and/or tight ends. Too often last year Howard was exposed because the help he received was hopeless, and so going forward I think it’s critical that he’s supported by players who won’t crumble in the way that Jeff Cumberland and Bilal Powell did far too often in 2012.

The exit of Tony Sparano should also help the offensive line, as it will no longer fall victim to a gameplan that was almost entirley devoid of draws and play-action passes. Count on Mornhinweg to add some versatility to his playing staff, and look for him to keep opposing defense on their toes by running out of pass-heavy personnel groupings and vice-versa. In many ways, Sparano’s abject failure to do this last year left his offensive line facing unwinnable battles through no real fault of their own.

Chris Celletti – A few seasons ago, the Jets’ offensive line was one of the best in the league, but the past few seasons have seen a slow, significant demise. The guard positions in 2012 were manned by the aging Brandon Moore and the never-quite-good-enough Matt Slauson, and with both of them being unrestricted free agents, it seems like now is a good time for the Jets to think about a little revamping that position. Obviously, Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson are among the best in the league at their respective positions, so you’re set there. After a bit of a shaky start to last season, Austin Howard was serviceable at right tackle, and the Jets should bring the restricted free agent back if they can do so for reasonable money – which I would expect to be possible. It’s the guard spots that the Jets should be looking to replace.

I would seriously look at adding one starting-level guard in the Draft – I would nab Chance Warmack if available at No. 9. Drafting a guard with a top-10 pick isn’t going to elicit too many cheers from the Jets fans in attendance, but it’s a prudent move. As with any high draft pick there is risk, but the Jets may have one of their guard spots locked up for a decade if the book on Warmack is right. If you have that opportunity, you go for it. As for the other guard position, my stance is this: Anybody but Vlad Ducasse. Get a cheap veteran, draft someone in the mid rounds, make an under-the-radar trade, re-sign Brandon Moore on a one-year deal or use Tim Tebow there if you have to…anything or anyone but Vlad Ducasse.

New York Jets: The Revis Debate


Outside of NFL Draft Prospects and potential free agent additions, the hottest debate topic circulating the New York Jets at the current time is undoubtedly the recent news that the Jets will look into trading Cornerback Darrelle Revis. When discussing a team’s best player, one who is arguably the best defensive player in the entire league, debates are destined to gain intensity. Unfortunately, there will not be much clarity on this situation until the new league year begins in March. However, there are certainly strong arguments that can be made both in favor of and against trading Revis. Here, the Turn On The Jets staff gives their take using three basic points –

1.) Position value vs. Contract Terms/Salary

2.) Possible Trade Compensation 

3.) Are Cornerbacks vital to success in today’s NFL?

Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments thread below or by giving us a shout on Twitter!

Chris Gross

1.) Position value vs. Contract Terms/Salary – It is surely difficult to argue against the value of a dominant cornerback in today’s NFL considering how offenses in the league have evolved over recent years. Darrelle Revis is surely more than just a cornerback, he is a player who consistently takes 1/11th of opposing offenses away on a weekly basis. When preparing for a Revis-led secondary, teams often need to adjust their game plans accordingly, taking away from time that would normally be spent on overall preparation against a team with two cornerbacks who are simply considered to be “good.”

Having said that, New York has two top tier cornerbacks on their roster. While Antonio Cromartie surely isn’t in the class that Revis consistently reminds us is occupied solely by number 24, he is a more than capable player who can be successful with money spent across the board to provide a better supporting cast.

The question here isn’t really whether or not the Jets should trade away their best player because, unfortunately, it runs much deeper than that. Speaking solely from a football standpoint, making Revis a Jet for life is a no brainer, something that 31 other teams would love to do, as well. However, this goes beyond what Revis can provide on the field. While it is easy to subscribe to the notion of “just pay the man,” the Jets would be foolish to commit $16 million per season to a cornerback, even if that cornerback has the potential to be among the greatest to ever play the position.

As noted above, offenses in the NFL are evolving into the most complex passing attacks that the sport has ever seen. The Jets, on the other hand, are well behind in this evolution. There is no denying how putrid New York’s offense was last season. In a nutshell, the Jets have been trying to invent the wheel while the rest of the league is nearing NASA like technology.

Yes, Tony Sparano proved to be a poor hire. The recent acquisition of Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator has given some ray of hope for the Jets to begin to catch up with the remainder of the league in terms of offensive relevancy. Unfortunately, however, the Jets still lack vital components in their offensive personnel that can give them an offense capable of having success in today’s game. Paying that type of money to a cornerback would even further prohibit the Jets from acquiring the necessary players to put a competitive offensive unit on the field. The salary cap space that a long term contract like that would eat up would be crippling to a team that all but needs an entire offensive overhaul, outside of about 3-4 players.

When looking at the position value vs. money spent, consider the fact that only two quarterbacks, a position that is unquestionably the most important in the NFL today, make over $16 million per season, on average. Outside of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, both of whom have won Super Bowls, Eli Manning (2 Super Bowls), Tom Brady (3 Super Bowls), Ben Roethlisberger (2 Super Bowls), and every other signal caller in the league make less money per year, on average, than what Revis is asking for. Tying up so much money at a position that, although important, could certainly be won with above average players at, would set this franchise back even further than the 6-10 mess that was on display this past season.

2.) Possible Trade Compensation – The notion that Revis’s value will be hindered by his ACL injury last season is a valid concern. However, the reality of the situation is that, with so many holes all over the roster, the Jets simply cannot afford to have two top tier cornerbacks eating up so much cap space.

The idea of trading Antonio Cromartie has been floated for a few reasons. First, it is easy to look at the numbers for next season and realize that Cromartie counts more toward the cap than Revis does. This is true. However, beyond 2013, Revis’s number will grow astronomically if given the salary he is reportedly seeking.

Look at some of the biggest contracts around the league and consider how much those annual salaries counted toward the cap last year. Peyton Manning had a 2012 base salary of $18 million, all of which counted against the cap. Drew Brees had a base salary of just $3 million, but counted for $10.4 million against the cap, a number likely to jump significantly next season. Eli Manning’s base was only $1.75 million, but counted for $9.6 million against the cap, a number that will likely increase as he enters the years of his contract with a larger base salary. Simply put, there is no way around the cap hit of a contract similar to the one Revis is looking to land. Terms can be altered and adjusted so some years are less than others, but the bottom line is that, at some point, that cap number is going to be a problem for whoever ends up paying Revis when they’re looking to spend money on the other 52 roster spots. If you’re a well balanced, strongly built team, this is not as significant of an issue. Unfortunately, the Jets are anything but.

Beyond the cap number, a growing desire to trade Cromartie seems to be out of the idea that, with Revis coming off of an ACL injury, the two players will have equal trade value. This could not be further from the truth. While Cromartie is certainly coming off one of the best, if not the best, years of his career, no team would be willing to part with more than a 2nd round pick for him. An injured Revis will likely garner not only a 1st rounder, but multiple other picks, and possibly players as well. As one General Manager has reportedly claimed, the interest in Revis could be “one of the biggest potential trade markets for a player ever.” Regardless of the season Cromartie had, it was in no way, shape, or form comparable to what a healthy Revis could provide. It is capable to win with a cornerback like Cromartie on a roster where money is spent to improve other positions, but alone, there is simply no way that his market is equivalent to that of Revis.

The amount of compensation that the Jets will get in return for Revis is surely a big factor in this decision, regardless of how anyone looks at it. Unfortunately, however, without a long term solution to keeping Revis, the trade needs to be done. The Jets can absolutely not allow Revis to enter a contract year, return to form, and then walk at the conclusion of the season, leaving them with nothing but a compensatory pick in return.

Revis is surely a once in a generation type player, but in terms of the current situation, that is a double-edged sword. Yes, it would be a tough decision to trade a player of his caliber. But at the same time, for a team looking to completely restructure their roster over the course of the next few years, there is no better trade piece to use outside of an elite quarterback or pass rusher.

Consider history for a moment. Prior to the 2009 season, then New England Patriot Richard Seymour found himself entering a contract year with the team that used the 6th overall pick to select him, only a few years prior. With no long term solution in place, and fear of losing him to free agency following the season with nothing in return, the Patriots traded the 3 time Super Bowl Champion, 5 time Pro Bowler, and 3 time 1st team All-Pro to the Oakland Raiders for a 1st round draft pick. Seymour was a player in his prime who had been a vital piece to the championships that New England had won earlier in the decade. How could the Patriots trade him away?

The answer is simple. New England had a long term vision for the overall well being of the franchise. The situation with Seymour was no part of that plan in anyway. For the Patriots, it was either let him play out his remaining year, let him hit the open market, and sign with another team, for absolutely nothing in return, or resign him to a long extension, and allow the one position to eat up a tremendous amount of salary cap space (Remember, Seymour was made the highest paid defensive player in the league in 2011 when the Raiders gave him a 2 year $30 million extension). To New England, there was really no positive solution to keeping Seymour, regardless of how vital he had been to the team’s past success. Instead, Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office jumped on such a significant offer from Oakland without blinking.

So, how did it work out? Since acquiring Seymour, Oakland has gone 25-39 over four seasons, while sacrificing a significant chunk of cap space and money to him, depriving other spots throughout the roster. Although Seymour was selected to 2 Pro Bowls as a Raider, the team never finished better than third in the AFC West since the trade was made.

The Patriots, on the other hand, used the 1st round pick sent from Oakland to select Nate Solder, a young offensive tackle who has been a key part to an offensive unit that has been among the best the league has seen in recent years. Since shipping Seymour to Oakland, New England has gone 49-15 with 4 divisional crowns and 1 Conference title. At the present time, the Patriots remain a few pieces away from a return to the Super Bowl, while Oakland will likely allow Seymour to walk as a free agent this year, with nothing to show for it outside of a third place divisional finish.

This is not to compare Seymour to Revis. Was Seymour the caliber of player that Revis was at the time of the trade? No, but he is certainly no slouch. Seymour had 3 championships, 5 Pro Bowl appearances, and was selected to 3 All-Pro teams. Unfortunately for him, however, his demands were not in the best interest of the franchise. New England sold high, and it paid off significantly. Coming off a serious injury, trading Revis now may not return the same compensation that trading him following the 2009 season would have, but with no long term solution in place, this is the highest his value will be while under contract with the Jets.

3.) Are Cornerbacks vital to success in today’s NFL? – Yes and no. With how the league is trending, having an elite, shutdown cornerback would presumably give any team a monstrous defensive advantage. This is certainly tough to argue, but in relevancy to other vital positions, cornerback ranks 4th behind quarterback, offensive line, and pass rushing defensive front 7 personnel.

Look to the final four team’s of this year’s playoff tournament. Not one of them sent a cornerback to the Pro Bowl, nor did anyone of them see a cornerback reach the All-Pro team. Conversely, when lumping quarterback, offensive line, and defensive front 7 personnel into one category, the Ravens, 49ers, Falcons, and Patriots collectively sent 13 players to the Pro Bowl, including 5 to the All-Pro 1st team, and 6 to the All-Pro 2nd team.

Is this to say team’s with quality cornerbacks are not successful? Of course not. Champ Bailey, a Pro Bowler and 2nd team All-Pro selection, was part of a Denver Broncos team that finished with a regular season record of 13-3, earning the AFC’s top seed. Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, who made the Pro Bowl and was a 1st Team All-Pro selection, was a vital piece to his team’s success that included a divisional crown and finished one poor defensive drive short of reaching the NFC Championship Game. Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings of the Chicago Bears were both voted to the Pro Bowl, and received 1st and 2nd team All-Pro accolades, respectively. Chicago was tremendous at taking the ball away this season, and finished a respectable 10-6 in a tough division, but fell just short of the playoffs before seeing Head Coach Lovie Smith receive his pink slip.

So, on the question of whether or not cornerbacks are vital to success in today’s NFL, the answer depends on how an organization defines success. Is success a top seed in the playoffs, a divisional title, or a winning record? Or is success conference championships and Super Bowls? The majority of those employed by NFL teams will surely choose the latter.

Looking at recent Super Bowl champion teams, even the most dedicated football fan will have trouble naming each team’s starting cornerbacks. Conversely, when asked to name the quarterbacks or pass rushers on those teams, that same fan will rattle off names like Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Ben Roethlisberger, along with Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan, Clay Matthews, Will Smith, James Harrison, and LaMarr Woodley, among others. In fact, a 1st team All-Pro cornerback has not won a Super Bowl since Ty Law did it with the New England Patriots in 2003.

The bottom line is that while Revis is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NFL, his price tag is simply going to be too much for the Jets. This isn’t a matter of being too cheap to pay him. Woody Johnson has been bashed by countless fans and analysts over the past year for caring only about ticket sales and revenue. Why then, would he trade away his biggest attraction, rather than paying him his price? It is because this is a cap space issue. Simply put, Revis is worthy of some type of big pay day, there is no doubt about it. Will some team give him his record breaking contract? Probably. But that team will likely have nowhere near the amount of holes on their roster that the Jets do.

New York has been criticized for not investing enough into the offensive side of the ball, something that has been widely viewed as being the sole factor that has held them back from being consistently competitive over the past decade or so. For the Jets to end their streak of offensive ineptitude, they need to trade Revis and receive the proper compensation and salary cap relief that is needed to build a strong 53 man roster. The Jets have been top heavy in terms of player salary over the past few seasons, leading to average at best and very poor players occupying the remainder of the roster. New York cannot fix this by giving out the largest contract for a defensive player in the history of the NFL. Even if that player is Darrelle Revis.

Mike Donnelly

First, let me start out by saying I am firmly in the #KeepRevis camp, and I think John Idzik and the Jets brain trust should do everything in their power to keep their best player wearing the green and white in 2013 and beyond…like, until the day he steps into Canton as a Hall of Famer-type beyond. Let me tell you why.

1.) Position value vs. Contract Terms/Salary – I don’t buy into the whole “You can’t pay a CB that much money” line of thinking because to me, Darrelle Revis is far more than “just a corner”. He is not only the best corner in the league, he may very well be the best player in the league, and as such, he has a tremendous impact in each and every game he plays. I think he’s completely justified asking for a contract in line with what the top defenders are getting paid. I’m not saying to write him a blank check and break the bank to keep him, but with all the terrible contracts on this team, I think the front office should look to make changes elsewhere and find a way to keep the GOOD players, like Darrelle.

Currently, Mario Williams is the highest paid defender in the NFL. It’s not unrealistic for Revis to get paid in the same ballpark, because he does more for a defense than a guy like Williams. Offenses have to completely game plan around Revis each week and know where he is on every play. It’s not easy going into a game knowing that throwing to your best wide receiver isn’t going to be an option that day, but that’s exactly what #24 brings to the table. Remember in the 2010-11 playoffs when the Jets played the Colts? Peyton Manning refused to even look in Reggie Wayne’s direction. That’s a Hall of Fame QB-to-WR connection, and it was completely erased from the game. Again, he’s not just a corner. He’s an elite player and does things for a team that nobody else in the league can match. He deserves to get paid, and with a ton of money able to come off the books in the next two years (Pace, Scott, Harris, Holmes, Po’uha, Sanchez), there’s no reason Revis can’t be kept while the team is rebuilt around him by drafting and developing players.

2.) Possible Trade Compensation – I think this is where a lot of Jets fans are getting jaded. Many seem to think that trading Revis is going to bring in this great haul of draft picks that will allow the team to rebuild right away and build a dynasty like the Cowboys did by trading Hershel Walker. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no Walker-type haul coming our way. The best we can hope for is a mid-to-late-1st round pick and a mid-round pick thrown in. Revis is coming off a torn ACL and is going to demand huge money from his new team, which will severely limit his trade value. I’m not an economist or anything, but I’m pretty sure the “sell while value is lowest” strategy isn’t going to get us very far. Oh, and for the people kicking around trade proposals involving established players (I’ve seen Elvis Dumervil mentioned), that’s not going to happen either. If you’re going to trade for a guy who is going to get paid handsomely, why not just keep Revis?

Here’s another newsflash: Trading away Revis isn’t going to magically get us a franchise QB who is going to lead the team to prominence. Having extra picks is good, but the draft is a major crapshoot, where more players fail than succeed. More than likely, that extra 3rd or 4th round pick we pull in will at best give us a useful role player, while the 1st round pick will give us a good player that will hopefully one day grow up to be HALF as good as the guy we are giving away.

3.) Are Cornerbacks vital to success in today’s NFL? – I’m not going to say that if you were building a team cornerback would be the most important position to fill, but what I will say is that you would probably want a superstar defender who terrifies even the best quarterbacks in the league, and that is exactly what Darrelle Revis brings to the table. He shouldn’t be viewed strictly as a corner, but rather as a superstar defensive player who makes everyone around him better. Look what happens when he’s on the field: the #2 CB never has to worry about facing the other team’s best receiver; there’s no need for safety help, which enables the safety to come up and defend against the run more (something we lacked this year), or help out against tight ends and slot receivers since Revis is on his Island; the D can send an extra blitzer if need be.

I keep hearing “There are no Pro Bowl Corners in the Super Bowl” as a reason to trade Revis, and I don’t understand that at all. There’s a major difference between “great corner” and “Revis corner”, so it’s basically a moot point. The last corner to play on Revis’s level was Deion Sanders, and last time I checked, he had a few rings on his hand and nobody was trying to trade him for pennies on the dollar. I don’t see any All-Pro receivers playing in this year’s Super Bowl either by the way, does that mean the Lions should trade Calvin Johnson too? Players who perform at that high of a level transcend their position, and should be viewed as more. In my mind, when you have a Hall of Fame-type player, you keep him and do whatever it takes to build around him, even if he’s “just a cornerback”. The Patriots win every year not because they don’t invest big money in cornerbacks; they win because they have Tom Brady. We don’t have Tom Brady, and like I said, trading Revis isn’t going to magically fix that. It’s just going to make the defense–and the team–worse.

Some may say that there being no star CB’s in this year’s Super Bowl proves that Revis is expendable. I look at it the other way and see two excellent defenses battling it out, and I don’t think there’s any reason the Jets defense can’t be just as good or better than them in the coming years, like it was in 2009 and 2010. And the number 1 reason for that being possible is Darrelle Revis. Pay the man. #KeepRevis.

TJ Rosenthal

1.) Position value vs. Contract Terms/Salary

A healthy Darrelle Revis will make the Jets entire team better. Except if he holds out for, and obtains the type of money that will hurt John Idzik’s chances to gain a plethora of affordable useful pieces as a result.

The Jets defense can hold teams to under 23 (23.4 avg in 2012) points or so often enough without him, that it makes the notion of dealing him at least understandable. This, if Idzik believes he can help boost the Jets 17.6 scoring average by sending him elsewhere. If the new GM can add offensive guys who can contribute to one more TD a game, to a 24.0 scoring average in 2013, imagine what the Jets win loss record could be then.

Those are the numbers that we care about the most when it comes to the notion of Revis: Points scored and points given up. Will his exit help the Jets score more?

2.) Possible Trade Compensation 

Revis on two strong knees, if the Jets also throw a few perimeter guys in along with him, is worth a few first rounders..or a first and second rounder, and some vets in return. As it stands now, he’s worth less.

Maybe a club gambles away a first on Revis before seeing hos he looks in July, but we are looking more likely at a second and fourth or so for him right now. Which we believe is not enough to pull the trigger.

The bigger question comes down to, what does the Revis team want? What are they willing to fight for? We hear the “100 million dollar long term deal” rumors, but what is the truth? Once that is made known to the front office, then a clearer view can be had as to what is the more prudent path for Gang Green to take.

3.) Are Cornerbacks vital to success in today’s NFL?

Considering the type of style that Revis employs on the field Yes. Revis is not a clutcher, or a grabber. He’s a WR shadow thanks to great instinct and footwork. A guy who shuts down top threats outside, and who doesn’t get flagged for headhunting, or PI’s at all.

We are now entering a finesse phase of defense in the NFL, as the league tries to adapt to the increase of size and speed in it’s players, while concussions are being treated with the utmost caution.

Revis fits seemlessly into this new modern world that is built for passing games to succeed. He is one of the few who owns the skill set to slow it down.

He should not be dealt solely to alleviate a future cap issue. He should be dealt first and foremost, to reverse that seven point scoring differential we previously mentioned. Any other benefits of dealing him should be secondary.

We hope Revis stays, and that other solutions as to how to attack the personnel issues on offense are taken. We fear that they will not be. We worry on top of that, that Woody Johnson remembers the last two holdouts and is not in the mood for another one from the same player. Even if it is the great Revis Island.

Steve Bateman

1.) Position value vs. Contract Terms/Salary – If you want the top players you have to pay top dollar – that may sound blindingly obvious but it really is the bottom line in this whole debate. But here’s where it gets tough, because what applies to cornerbacks applies equally – if not moreso – to running backs, wide receivers, guards, and the myriad other offensive positions where the Jets need to reinvest during this off-season. So for me it’s not so much a question of can we afford to keep Revis, it’s more a case of whether or not we can afford to keep shovelling so much of our salary cap into a position which has become fundamentally devalued in the modern NFL (more of which later).

2.) Possible Trade Compensation – This is a team in transition. Or at least I hope to goodness that it is. If the Jets are going to become competitive again they have to address so many position needs that it would take a miracle for it to be achieved in one season through free agency. Consequently draft picks are going to be valuable beyond all measure over the coming years, and although I wouldn’t expect much more than maybe a third-rounder in 2013 with a conditional first in 2014, it’s sensible to look at the situation logically and build for the future by saying farewell.

3.) Are Cornerbacks vital to success in today’s NFL? – Darrelle Revis is way beyond great. In fact, he’s better than most people realize, because not only is he one of the three genuinely elite modern-day cornerbacks who can lay claim to the title of “Shutdown Corner” (add Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders) but he’s also plying his trade in a league where the odds have been stacked against him. Quite honestly, I find it hard to convince myself that he’s not one of the greatest players to have ever set foot on a gridiron.

But ironically, what makes him great is what also makes him expendable. In the modern game there’s a growing trend towards sacrificing cornerbacks at the expense of developing an effective pass rush. Why? Because with recent changes to pass interference rules, any team that tries to defend the pass by relying on its secondary is fighting a losing battle from the outset.

Therefore my preference – and the path I think the team will in fact take – would be to ditch Revis in order to bring in a couple of pass-rushing OLBs who are able to capitalize on the awesome two-gapping work of Mo Wilkerson. If Quinton Coples also continues to develop as a 3-4 defensive end – and there’s no reason to think that he won’t – then this is by far the Jets best chance of building an effective pass defense going forward.

In cap terms the Jets are down to their bare bones, and like it or not, Revis is a luxury that they simply can’t afford.

No Huddle – Super Bowl Week Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on a number of issues facing the New York Jets heading into the off-season


TJ Rosenthal kicks off our week of coverage here at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter – 

Get A King’s Ransom For Revis Or Keep Him

When healthy, Darrelle Revis is the best on a team that is in dire need of three to four pieces on offense. Can Revis provide this compensation right now, only months after ACL surgery? We suggest that the Jets find out, by asking for a king’s ransom for him. Hoping there’s a taker, or potential sucker out there. If not, Gang Green should sit tight with him, and look to open up cap room in another way. There have to be other roads to take.

Revis is too good for the Jets to feel pressured in any way to get rid of him for say, a 2nd and 4th rounder. Second level value due to his knee injury. Not when his signing elsewhere before 2014 guarantees the Jets a third round pick as compensation anyway.

Woody,go for a ton of pieces for 24. That, or else try to negotiate with the Revis team and go for a long term deal that keeps him a Jet. No cheap giveaways involving the team’s best player please.

Play Like A Jet? No. Play Like Chrebet

Toughness, resiliency, and a team first attitude. Letting one’s play on the field speak for itself. That is what “Play Like a Jet” should mean from here on in. The way that Wayne Chrebet used to do it.

Chrebet’s no nonsense “gamer” style ought to be the template going forward for a franchise that is once again looking to rebrand itself both individually and collectively,

Sanchez Doesn’t Need Garcia, He Needs Dr. Phil

Mark Sanchez will be back. GM John Idzik has already intimated that. He will have veteran competition too this year. Probably a Matt Moore type, a cheap option with experience. Sanchez is meeting these days with former QB Jeff Garcia to learn the West Coast system that new OC Marty Mornhinweg will implement. Yet playbooks and preparation are never a problem for Sanchez, who will now be in his third system as a Jet. Self confidence and a short memory is.

Sanchez has to somehow return to Florham Park with an exterior that is harder than he has ever shown. The fans have him on a short rope now. Opposing teams love trying to rattle him. He will be challenged for his job all summer too. Which Sanchez will we see after those first mistakes, and boos at home? The guy who is ready to lead finally, or the one who hesitates, doubts himself, and compounds mistakes?

Sanchez needs to clean up the emotional part of his game. More than he has to up his understanding of the X’s and O’s.

If he can do that, he can succeed in the right system with the proper help. If he can’t, no system, personnel additions, or grasp of the playbook will matter.

Free Agency Heats Up In March

Who will join Sanchez at QB and what will happen to Tim Tebow? Will Revis remain a Jet? These questions and many more are now just weeks away from getting answered.

6-10 means “not good enough.” Expect the unexpected with regard to personnel moves. It’s all about to heat up. The rumors, the deceptions, the sneak attacks for off the radar players. The free agency period is a game within the game, and one the Jets must perform better at this year if they want to have a chance to compete in 2013.

12 Pack Of New York Jets Off-Season Thoughts – All Revis Edition

An all Darrelle Revis 12 Pack of off-season thoughts from Turn On The Jets


We briefly touched on the Darrelle Revis trade rumors earlier in the week but with this report about a “Revis Gold Rush” forming and the ensuing insanity on Twitter, it seemed appropriate to put together an All Revis 12 pack…

1. Let’s start here – Darrelle Revis is an unique talent. He is the best cornerback in football when healthy by a wide margin. He is on pace to be a Hall of Fame player and his 2009 was the best individual season any New York Jet has ever put together. Revis has represented the team well off the field and is a homegrown best player on the roster. There is nothing easy about a decision to trade him and there is a credible argument for keeping him, regardless of the financial constraints.

2. However, the prospect of giving him a 15-16 million per year contract heading into this season has potentially dangerous long term ramifications for a needed rebuilding process. It is an exorbitant amount of money to sink into a position that isn’t quarterback, particularly when you have so many other holes in your current roster.

3. Do not kid yourself into thinking the New York Jets are not full of holes and do not need a complete roster makeover. This cannot be stressed enough. This team needs a starting quarterback. The top running back under contract is Bilal Powell. The top tight end under contract is Jeff Cumberland. The only guard under contract is Vladimir Ducasse. The only linebacker returning with starting experience is David Harris. The only two safeties under contract are Antonio Allen and Josh Bush. This is a team that currently has a CFL caliber roster. Do you want Revis at 16 million per year or four capable starters at 4 million per year, so you can field an offense that can score more than 6 points per game?

4. Revis is also coming off ACL surgery. Yes, with modern medicine that is not as daunting as it once was. Look at Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. However, there is always an enormous risk in sinking that much money into a player coming off that type of injury.

5. If you don’t trade Revis now and he comes back healthy with a strong year in 2013, what if he walks away in free agency before the 2014 season? The Jets have a poor relationship with his agents (as evidenced by his previous two holdouts) and even with Mike Tannenbaum gone, they could still be difficult to deal with and bitter Revis wasn’t take care of before his walk year. It would be a crippling blow to lose a player of Revis’ caliber with zero compensation.

6. Cornerbacks are not that valuable. The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens do not have an All-Pro corner between them. The Ravens lost their top corner, Lardarius Webb, back in week 6 and have been fine. The Chicago Bears had two All-Pro corners, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, and didn’t make the playoffs this year. The Jets finished second in the NFL this past season in passing yards allowed per game and Darrelle Revis played in 7 quarters.

7. Potential Trade Partner #1 – The Denver Broncos – They have done business with the Jets recently. They have a small window to win a championship with Peyton Manning. Their secondary was torched by the Baltimore Ravens in their divisional round loss. They have a low first round pick they wouldn’t be hesitant to part with and extra mid-round picks to spare. They also have a competent cornerback to spare (Chris Harris) and a running back who’d be a nice fit in the West Coast Offense (Ronnie Hillman). How about Revis for a 2013 first rounder, 2013 third rounder and Chris Harris? The Jets will have five picks in the first three rounds, which allows them to address their many needs and have flexibility if they want to move up for somebody.

8. Potential Trade Partner #2 – The Seattle Seahawks – (Pushed by our good friend Jeff Capellini) – They have a very good corner to offer back in Brandon Browner, along with a quarterback the Jets could have interest in with Matt Flynn. Seattle also had 10 draft picks this year and oh by the way…new GM John Idzik worked there last year.

9. Potential Trade Partner #3 – The Washington Redskins – Always willing to make a splash and badly need to improve their defense. They need a cornerback to deal with Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz and Chip Kelly’s new offense in Philadelphia. They have a few intriguing running backs on their roster in Evan Royster and Roy Helu that could be thrown in to sweeten a package of draft picks.

9. Yes, you could trade Antonio Cromartie instead but you will get less value back and less long term financial help, along with still facing the reality of paying a defensive player who isn’t a pass rusher 16 million per year.

10. The difficulty of this situation comes from so much guaranteed money being locked up for Mark Sanchez, David Harris and Santonio Holmes which cripples the Jets flexibility and makes embracing a rebuild a necessary evil. Thanks Mike Tannenbaum!

11. A reminder of the point differential in all the Jets losses last year in case you think they are a player or two away from being a contender – 17, 34, 6, 3, 21, 21, 30, 4, 10, 19. That is an average margin of defeat of 16.5 points. They won 6 games, 4 against teams drafting in the top 12 this April and 1 against a team with a winning record.

12. Usually where there this is smoke, there is fire with these things…Jets fans should prepare for the reality of Revis being traded.

New York Jets – Marty Mornhinweg’s Offense 101: An In-Depth Look

An inside look at Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and how the New York Jets personnel will translate to it


Turn On The Jets is happy to welcome guest contributor Michael Nolan for an inside look at Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. Nolan has spent time working at NFL Films, NBC Sports and coaching at the college level. He also happens to be a life long Philadelphia Eagles fan and thus somebody who has seen every game Morhinweg called for Philadelphia. Enjoy his in-depth look at the offense and how the Jets personnel will translate to it. Make sure to give him feedback and questions on Twitter, take it away Mike…

Let me start off by quickly saying that, as an Eagles fan, I completely understand what Jets fans are going through. There may not be two franchises in the NFL more similar than the Eagles and Jets. Both hate the Giants and Giants fans. Both have no idea who their QB will be in 2013. Both were victims of Spygate. Both have experienced brash and entertaining head coaches from the Ryan family. Both have had to suffer through Rich Kotite tenures that set our franchises back ten years. Both have extremely passionate, outspoken fan bases. Both have owners that seemingly don’t know anything about football (Yet have actually done a good job in hiring so far this offseason). Both have had combine monsters turn in to complete busts (Vernon Gholston = Mike Mamula).  Both have had years of extreme lows and too many “almost” years. Wherever it has happened on their respective timelines there are quite a few parallels between the two franchises. The BIG difference is we haven’t won a Superbowl. So stop your whining.

Another thing that the Jets and Eagles share is the arrival of new offenses in 2013.  The Jets recent hiring of former Eagles OC Marty Mornhinweg will certainly bring some much needed change. Mornhinweg is viewed as a West Coast Offense purist as he served as OC under both Steve Mariucci and Andy Reid. He even broke into the NFL with Holmgren’s Packers. If we were playing the NFL Coaching version of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” we could link him to Bill Walsh in only two degrees.

Perhaps he has gone under the radar, but when looking at the stats, Mornhinweg has been one of the best OC’s in the game over the past 15 years. His offenses ranked in the League’s top ten a whopping 8 times which is pretty good considering the terrible teams he had in Detroit. In San Francisco he made Terrell Owens and Jeff Garcia Pro Bowlers and saw Steve Young have some of his most productive years. In Philadelphia, Mornhinweg’s offenses were consistently at the top of the statistical heap with 5 different “franchise” quarterbacks.

While some form of the WCO is used in almost all offenses across the high school, college, and NFL ranks, to say a coach runs the West Coast Offense is to say that he has a certain philosophy on how to play offense. Mornhinweg’s offense at the core is your typical West Coach Offense. He wants to stretch the field horizontally instead of vertically to start. He wants to use three-step and five-step drops to time up with his slants, outs, ins, and crosses to hit receivers in stride and make the defense cover sideline to sideline. After he has established the short passing game and safeties start to jump certain routes, he wants to open it up with skinny posts and deep shots. If he is playing from behind they will still continue to air the ball out no matter how effective it has been.  f he is up, get ready for a heavy dose of an athletic RB running Inside, Mid, and Outside Zone as well as your inside power game to take advantage of a tired defense.

While the basic philosophy rings true for Mornhinweg, he has shown the ability to break away from the more monotonous versions of the WCO. He was actually a nice break from Andy Reid’s often times frustrating dink and dunk aerial assault when he took over the Eagles play calling duties in 2006. Reid’s offenses almost always led the league in Pass to Run ratio, a stat that most Eagles fans weren’t proud of with a stud playmaker in the backfield. When this came to a boiling point with Eagles fans after a 45-21 thumping by the Colts in Week 12, Reid relinquished play calling duties to Mornhinweg. The result: Jeff Garcia was able to save the season at QB as he efficiently led an offense that was made for him and Brian Westbrook’s carries went from 14.6 per game to 19.5 per game and the Eagles rattled off 5 straight wins to surprisingly get into the playoffs.

Mornhinweg and the Run Game

Mornhinweg’s version of the West Coast Offense is a little bit different than that of his contemporaries. While at the core of his offense is the timing aspects of the horizontal passing game, he has been much more willing to involve the running game. In Mornhinweg’s offense, the RB is like a closer in baseball. It was common in Philly for Westbrook or McCoy to go in to halftime with a handful of carries and between 20-40 yards only to explode in the second half and ice the game.

Mornhinweg will utilize several different types of running schemes. His favorite is the zone scheme. In the zone scheme, the offensive line is ultimately responsible for their play side gap and utilizes combo blocks to get to the second level. On inside zone with the entire line stepping play side, linebackers often time over flow so an athletic back like LeSean McCoy can make one cut backside and gain big yardage.  hey run it from under center and in the gun, with a lot more success coming from the gun for McCoy. Most of Brian Westbrook’s carries on inside zone came from under center, so he is flexible depending on personnel. They will also run a mid-zone or stretch play that has proven to be very successful for them. Here the line steps play side with the intention of creating even greater flow to the outside. The back can either take the outside if it is there or stretch the LOS horizontally and make a cut up field. To a lesser extent, they will utilize a gap running scheme. Here the play side linemen are responsible for whatever shows in their backside gap, while the backside guard pulls play side. The Eagles generally run their gap scheme out of a two back set. One of McCoy’s most successful running plays was the counter play. Mornhinweg does a nice job of setting up the counter play by hitting a defense with inside zone or mid-zone a few times.

He has also shown the ability to get creative in the run game, finding new ways to get his athletes in space. His favorite run play over the past few seasons was a sprint draw, especially with Michael Vick under center. After running sprint action a few times in the pass game, this play would have Vick sprint out to his left only to drop the ball into McCoy’s stomach.  his was a big play for the Eagles especially with Jason Peters at tackle. Peters would invite the pass rushing end up field after the quarterback and then get down field and block the next player to show outside. He would essentially block two players as McCoy would sprint downfield, often times untouched for the first ten or fifteen yards. Mornhinweg loves misdirection run plays out of a split set including quick pitches and fake toss belly where the QB fakes toss to McCoy to hand the ball to another back up the middle.

There are a few negatives about Mornhinweg’s ground game however.  Even though he runs the ball more than most WCO coordinators, he won’t run the ball nearly as much as Jets fans are used to. Might be a positive, but it could get frustrating if the run game is clicking. His goal line offense has also left a lot to be desired often times sticking to his more creative run plays instead of just plowing behind the big guys. These are some of the give and takes you get with a finesse running game.

What does this mean for the Jets? 

The Jets were actually most productive in their “Ground-and-Pound” offense when they were running a zone-scheme under Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan. Although Mornhinweg utilizes both Zone-Scheme and Gap-Scheme run plays, he leans heavily toward the Zone.  In his Zone running scheme RBs like Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, Charlie Garner, Garrison Hearst, and James Stewart were able to put together 1,000 seasons. With the possible exception of Stewart, his RBs have always been athletic, quick guys. This could be good for Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight who should be given a chance to eat in to or completely take over Shonn Greene’s carries in 2013. Powell and McKnight have the body types and skill sets that have been successful in Mornhinweg’s offense and if McKnight can learn to find the hole in the zone-scheme he could have a breakout season.

This scheme can also help the Jets offensive line get back to where they were in 2009. The Jets have one of the more athletic offensive lines in the NFL. The inside three of Slauson-Mangold-Moore are somewhat undersized and developed their run blocking pedigree, not because they are big bruisers, but because they have good feet that allow them to gain leverage and finish blocks. If that inside three is kept intact, they could develop into one of the premier zone run lines in the league.

The only concerning thing in the zone scheme is the length of the starting OTs. Generally, your more successful zone lineman is a little shorter than the 6’6” – 6’7” range because of the leverage and quick feet you need to have to perform a combo block.  Ferguson and Howard should be athletic enough to be successful in the scheme. Another thing you could see since they are athletic tackles is the appearance of the Sprint Draw. No matter the QB, I can guarantee a sprint/boot package will be developed for them. It has been a big part of the WCO in the past and the Sprint Draw is the perfect “keep the defense honest” play out of that package. Don’t forget that Howard actually played in this offense in 2010 with Philly.

Mornhinweg and the Pass Game

Before the Air Coryell and WCO offenses hit the NFL, teams would often times pass out of necessity as opposed to strategy. Teams who started running the WCO could substitute short pass plays for running plays on first down, thus creating a more unpredictable offense. Defenses could no longer stack the box on first down and offenses were able to find more creative ways to stay on schedule. While his offense has shown more of a running tendency than most WCOs, at the base of Mornhinweg’s offense is the quick timing short routes that can open up the entire playbook.

The Mornhinweg offense relies on high percentage throws and timing. His favorite types of pass plays can be put into two groups.  The first is horizontal routes run by athletic receivers who can make a play after catching the ball in space. These routes are often open because of route combinations whether it is with high-low concepts that put linebackers in a bind in zone coverage or through clearing routes that can take a safety out of the equation. These are the type of routes receivers like Terrell Owens and DeSean Jackson made a living on in Mornhinweg’s offense. The second is pure timing routes that excel against man to man.  Receivers are required to run perfectly timed slants, outs, and hitches. These are the routes that receivers like Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant have thrived at.

Once both of these types of routes have proven successful, it is time to take some shots. This is something Mornhinweg has proven to be very adept at in his Eagles tenure as he will usually take about 4 or 5 deep shots a game. Most times he sets up his deep shots. When both the horizontal routes and the timing routes start hitting, safeties start jumping underneath routes and corners start playing tighter on the outside. This is when Mornhinweg takes some chances. Other times, he just does it with no set up at all. Remember the first play on Monday Night Football  where Vick hit DeSean Jackson on a deep post for 88 yards against current Jet LaRon Landry after Landry said he was going to put Jackson to sleep: One of the best “FU moments” in recent memory. An offensive coordinator who is willing to change up the game plan right before taking the field to go after a player who won’t stop chirping is right up Rex Ryan’s alley.

Another important part of Mornhinweg’s pass scheme is the option route. Most of his passing plays, especially on 1st and 3rd downs, will have option routes. This means that the receiver has to decide what route to run based on whether it is man or zone and based on where the defense’s leverage is in coverage. Receivers also need to be smart enough to recognize blitzes and make sight adjustments for the QB to throw “hot”.  This is something the Eagles always struggled with in both the McNabb and Vick eras.

The other part of the pass game that is often overlooked is the screen game. Mornhinweg’s Eagles were perennially considered one of the best screen teams in the NFL. He has always used the screen as another way to keep the defense off balance and will literally run a screen on any down on any part of the field. I have seen him use screens both on the goal line and backed up into his own end zone.

What this means for the Jets

This all sounds well and good looking at his past teams, but Mornhinweg’s been most successful when he has had a veteran Quarterback who had run the WCO prior to playing for him (Favre as QB Coach, Young, McNabb, Garcia). His other successes were short lived:  Vick for about a season and a half, Kevin Kolb for about 2 games and Nick Foles for a few games. With the exception of Vick’s best passing seasons in 2010 and 2011, Mornhinweg has never taken a non-WCO QB and developed them into an NFL success (See Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington).

This is where the greatest challenge lies for Marty Mornhinweg. If the Jets don’t address the QB situation via the draft (not a whole lot of talent out there) or Free Agency, they are looking at Mark Sanchez or Greg McElroy. If they don’t make a play at Matt Flynn or Matt Moore who both played in the Green Bay version of the WCO or Tavaris Jackson who played in Reid disciple Brad Childress’s version, then Sanchez is probably they’re best option for the short term. He did use the WCO to an extent at USC.

The WCO requires a quarterback to have extremely good relationships with their WRs. WRs need to be getting out of their break as the QB is releasing the football. The QB has to have great feet and an ability to make a quick decision and get rid of the football.  Two things Sanchez has struggled at recently. From watching an early morning episode of NFL Matchup you can see that Sanchez’s footwork and inability to read and react has been his downfall over the past year. Maybe Mornhinweg will be able to change this.

Perhaps Mornhinweg’s greatest accomplishment was turning Michael Vick from a career 53% passer in to a 61% passer with the Eagles. It will be interesting to see if Mornhinweg will be able to develop Sanchez or another QB from Free Agency in the same way. Where both Vick and Sanchez get into trouble is their propensity to turn the ball over. When Vick got stuck behind one of the worst offensive lines in football in 2012, he was either getting hurt or turning the ball over. Sanchez will be behind a much better OLine in New York. If he can limit turnovers and play smart by making quick reads and then hitting his check down he could develop into an efficient QB in this offense. Mornhinweg will need to dial it down for Sanchez just as he did with Vick in his first two years. Give Sanchez two reads and a check down. Don’t allow him to have the whole field to scan because that is when he hesitates. This is where he will also need to get Sanchez back into the Sprint or Rollout game. Cut the field in half for Sanchez and make his reads easier.

The Michael Vick Eagles had skilled players like Jackson, Maclin, Celek, and McCoy. Although I don’t think the Jets have this level of skill players right now, they might have the personnel on the edge to make this offense work if everyone is healthy. If Holmes can regain his focus, this can be the perfect offense for him at the flanker position. Mornhinweg will put him all over the field in the DeSean Jackson role where he can stretch the field both horizontally and vertically. I can see Kerley filling this role as well and playing an important role in 3 and 4 wide sets. Braylon Edwards has the experience to fit the role of the split end who is more of a possession receiver running the slants, outs, hitches and fitting into windows on third down a la Jason Avant. Stephen Hill could also fill this role, but needs to greatly develop his route running ability and getting off press coverage. If Dustin Keller is back, he can flourish in this offense because he is the exact same player as Brent Celek.  (If a big goof like Chad Lewis can be a pro bowler in this offense, then Keller could have one of his best years.)

RBs will also play an important role in the pass game.  What Mornhinweg will bring to the Jets that they have never had is a great screen game. The screen game will utilize an athletic offensive line and allow backs like Powell and McKnight to get into open space. They will also have to be check down backs. Mornhinweg’s backs have always been excellent chip blockers (especially Westbrook) before they get out into their check downs. Fullbacks also play a key role in the check down game and off play action. Corey Schlesinger was the Lions second leading receiver under Mornhinweg.


Warning: If things are clicking in the Mornhinweg offense, it can be one of the most explosive and exciting offenses in the NFL.  If things are not clicking and everyone hasn’t bought in like the Eagles of 2012, it can be one of the more frustrating offenses to watch. I blame most of this on the offensive line being one of the NFL’s worst. (We drafted a 26 year old fireman from Canada who played football for a total of two years in the 1st round). I don’t think this will happen for the Jets because they have a solid line. In the past, his offense could get stagnant at times as he could break away from what made them successful. However, it was tough to tell whether it was Mornhinweg or Reid’s influence that led to this. In New York, we will find out because he will have full control of the offense.

There will definitely be some growing pains as Mornhinweg revamps the Jets’ offense.  He will need to develop some of the younger receivers to fit his system of short precise route running with options routes and sight adjustments. He will need to get Holmes and Edwards to buy in. He will need to determine whether he can find his next breakout do-it-all Running Back on the current roster or through the draft or free agency. And he will have to develop Sanchez beyond the efficient QB he was in the beginning of his career or find someone in free agency to run the offense. It’s a tall order, but if Mornhinweg either develops Sanchez or is given a better situation at QB, this offense will be one that Jets fans will come to enjoy. It is a welcome change to the “three yards and a cloud of dust” offense that Sparano wanted to run, but it isn’t too drastic a change since Mornhinweg is one of the more run heavy WCOers. If the Jets can address the player personnel the same way they addressed their front office and coaching staff this offseason, they can develop into an explosive offense more like the 2010 Eagles.  If Mornhinweg doesn’t get the things he needs then they could end up looking like the 2001 Detroit Lions.

Since he will probably be an Assistant Head Coach, just don’t let him handle the coin toss in overtime and the Jets should be fine.

Revis Is Worth More Than A First Round Pick

TJ Rosenthal on the value of Darrelle Revis


SI’s Peter King reports today that the Jets asking price for Darrelle Revis will be a first round pick, but it’s not enough to warrant getting rid of the game’s best cover corner. As long as the Revis legal team can somehow avoid a third contractual confrontation with Woody Johnson, we see no reason why new GM John Idzik should send Revis packing for the potential of some unknown commodity. No matter how highly touted the pick is.

Revis makes top flight wideouts invisible. Antonio Cromartie, coming off of an outstanding year, is as good of a second tier top CB as one could ask for, but he’s no Revis. Together, the two form the best tandem in football at a time when quality passing teams have become harder to slow down. The Jets held together defensively without Revis, but it would be hard to argue that they won’t be a better secondary with him once again.

An expiring contract in 2013 and his recent ACL tear make the chances of obtaining a treasure chest full of players and picks in return for Revis lower than they would have been, had he finished 2012 healthy. If the rebuilding Jets are truly shopping Revis, then it’s time to ask for a king’s ransom regardless. Gang Green has to make others figure out a reworked long term deal for the rehabbing star before 2014 and risk doing so at a high cost, as opposed to watching Revis thrive elsewhere for less than top level compensation. In other words, keep him, or find a way to obtain enough talent for him, that the trade helps to rebuild the roster all by itself. One or the other.

Perhaps the unconfirmed reports that Woody and Co. are dangling Revis to prospective buyers isn’t quite true. That the chatter was instead a purposeful and indirect warning shot from the Johnson bunker. One whose intended message is meant for Revis implying that “there will be no contract drama this time around. Any extraneous noise will lead to a new address Darrelle, so forget playing hardball. Come ready to make a deal this time.”

If the reports are in fact true, then Idzik and the Jets can talk and listen when it comes to Revis all they want. As long as they set an asking price for Revis that resembles the level of Revis himself. One that goes way beyond one unproven first rounder in April. No matter how much immediate help the 6-10 club needs.

What do you think would be an appropriate return on a trade for Darrelle Revis? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter…@TheJetReport or @TurnOnTheJets

NFL Draft 2013: Frank Giasone’s Big Board

Turn On The Jets NFL Draft writer Frank Giasone with his first big board for the 2013 Draft


Draft writer Frank Giasone with his initial NFL Draft Big Board. Be sure to look for fellow draft writer, Zev Sibony‘s Big Board later today, while giving Lead NFL Draft Editor Chris Gross‘s Big Board from last week, and Mock Draft 1.0 from last night a read, as well. Let the debates begin!

1.) Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama63 320 lbs: He’s the best guard in the draft, and some may argue that he’s the best offensive lineman in it as well. Warmack has the footwork, speed and lateral movement scouts want to see in an NFL guard, and will surely have success at the next level.

2.) Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State – 6’4 255 lbs: Arguably the best DE in the draft, Werner still has tons of room for growth considering he only started playing football at age 15. His speed, strength and high motor will certainly translate as a 4-3 DE, but questions remain regarding his ability to fit as a 3-4 OLB.

3.) Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M – 6’6 310 lbs:It’s a deep crop of offensive lineman in the 2013 NFL Draft, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better offensive tackle than Joeckel. After starting all four years at left tackle for Texas A&M, Joeckel is as NFL-ready as any offensive lineman in the draft and should have no problems stepping in for whichever team selects him.

4.) Star Lotuleli, Defensive Tackle, Utah6’4 325 lbs: Lotuleli is a big, strong, NFL-ready defender that boasts surprising speed and explosiveness despite his massive physique. Asked to play both the 3-technique and as a nose tackle in 3-4 fronts at Utah, Lotulei showed impressive lateral movement as well as the ability to drive offensive lineman backward. Rarely blocked 1-on-1 at Utah, Lotuleli’s skill set looks like it will transition very well in the NFL.

5.) Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia –6’3 241 lbs: This draft is loaded with OLB’s, and Jones is certainly one of the most desired of the group. The Georgia stud defender boasts good size, versatility and a relentless motor, and projects best as a 3-4 OLB. His versatile skill set should not only make him a terrific pass rusher, but also keep him on the field in all situations.

6.) Damontre Moore, Defensive End/OLB, Texas A&M – 6’4 248 lbs: Moore is one of the most talented defenders in this draft. With the ability to play standing up as a 3-4 OLB, or with his hand on the ground as a 4-3 DE, Moore shows the potential to wreak havoc in offensive backfields at the next level.

7.) Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama –6’1 197 lbs: The best cornerback in the draft, Milliner leads a fairly weak CB crop in 2013. The Alabama junior has great size and instincts, and isn’t shy to impose his physicality. While he sometimes gets caught out of position, his overall awareness and playmaking ability make him a great prospect at cornerback.  

8.) Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan- 6’7”, 305: Fisher has seen his stock rise recently with an impressive first few days at the Senior Bowl, most likely a result of a lack of talent faced in the regular season. Strong both as a run blocker and in pass protection, Fisher has impressive arm length and movement.  

9.) Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Cal – 6’3 210 lbs: The highest rated wide receiver in the draft, Allen has good speed and big play ability, as well as precise route running and versatility which allows him to line up all over the field. He’s currently dealing with a knee injury, which may hurt his stock as we get closer to the draft.

10.) Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, North Carolina – 6’3 320 lbs: Cooper is a very intriguing prospect at guard who boasts impressive speed, lateral movement, and footwork—all which are good traits for a pulling guard. Cooper’s size and strength are hard to ignore as well, making him another interesting offensive line prospect.

11.) Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame – 6’6 250 lbs: Eifert boasts the natural ability and size that will translate immediately as an NFL tight end. He’s versatile enough to contribute both in the passing game and as a run blocker, but as a receiver Eifert really shines. He should be a highly sought after offensive weapon come April.

12.) Manti Te’o, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame –6’1 248 lbs: He’s become a bit of a punch line lately, which certainly can’t help his stock. His performance in the BCS Title Game against Alabama won’t help much either. But he still possesses the most impressive skill set of any inside linebacker in the draft and will likely find himself as a Day 1 selection.

13.) Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon – 6’7 243 lbs: Jordan possesses ideal speed, size and athleticism to succeed as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He’s a sure tackler and able to play in coverage, but he’s still raw and needs to develop his game. Injuries will also remain a concern in the coming months.

14.) Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas –6’1 218 lbs: Vaccaro has the body-type and athleticism to succeed in the NFL at both FS and SS. Despite his limitations in coverage, Vaccaro’s consistency in the secondary and his impact on special teams make him one of the drafts most interesting defensive backs.

15.) Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End, LSU –6’5 240 lbs: It’s my opinion that Mingo has the biggest boom or bust potential at the position this year. He’s still very raw- he only started playing football as a junior in high school- and certainly lacks experience. But his frame, speed, and athleticism are so impressive that a team will likely take a chance and hope he develops.

16.) Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee –6’3 205 lbs: He’s advertised as the total package, able to excel as a receiver, kick returner and, at times, taking direct snaps. While he still needs to perfect his route running, it’s his natural size, strength and ability that make the Tennessee star receiver a highly touted prospect.

17.) Alec Ogletree, Inside Linebacker, Georgia – 6’3″ 237 lbs: Ogletree is a very fast and athletic linebacker, capable of making plays all over the field. A converted safety, the UGA ‘backer possesses a leaner than ideal frame and will need to improve his ability to shed blocks as well as becoming more consistent against the run. Ogletree had some issues off the field that could hurt his stock.

18.) Ezekial Ansah, Defensive End, BYU-6’5” 270 lbs: Ansah will likely garner comparisons to the Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul because of his freakish natural athletic ability and lack of experience. Still very raw, Ansah needs to work on technique to truly excel at the next level.

19.) Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri –6’4 295 lbs: While he doesn’t have a ton of experience (only 13 starts), Richardson made the most of his time on the field, putting together a very impressive junior season. Although he’s athletic enough to rush the passer and to chase down ball carriers from behind, Richardson has some off field issues could hurt his stock.

20.) Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma – 6’6 302 lbs: A converted quarterback and tight end (seriously), Johnson only has two years of offensive line experience and is still very raw. His long arms and elite athleticism, as well as his ability to play both left and right tackle, make him an interesting prospect.

21.) Johnathan Jenkins, Defensive Tackle, Georgia –6’4 359 lbs: He’s built like a tank, and just as difficult to move. Jenkins has good lateral quickness, as well as the overall power to run over blockers. He is very strong and will likely continue seeing double teams at the next level. While he may lack some versatility inside, his enormous frame will certainly be a factor on the interior of the defensive line from Day 1.

22.) Giovani Bernard, Running Back, UNC– 5’10” 205 lbs: Bernard is a smaller RB with big play ability both as a runner and a receiver. He runs hard and falls forward when tackled, consistently gaining yards after first contact. The UNC ‘back also shows patience at the line of scrimmage, a quick burst through the hole, and devastating moves in open space.

23.) Alex Okafor, Defensive End, Texas – 6’5 261 lbs: Okafor is a highly athletic 4-3 defensive end with good size and strength. He uses his hands very well and excels at both setting the edge against the run, and chasing down the QB. His 4.5 sacks in Texas’ Bowl Game against Oregon State will likely peak the interest of those who haven’t been paying attention.

24.) Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia – 6’3″ 208 lbs: He’s a highly athletic quarterback who has also had success standing in the pocket—which makes for the perfect fit in today’s NFL. But the truth is Smith was disappointing in 2012 and he followed that up by declining to go to the Senior Bowl – a confusing decision to say the least. But it’s a QB driven league and someone will surely take a chance on him in Round 1.

25.) Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU –6’5 260 lbs: Montgomery boasts a long frame and has the potential to add even more size and muscle working with an NFL strength trainer. He shows some burst off the snap, but at times struggles to get off blocks to get to the ball carrier.

New York Jets – A Preliminary Checklist For John Idzik

A preliminary checklist for New York Jets GM John Idzik


We had a less serious, but equally important previous take on John Idzik’s introductory press conference as the New York Jets General Manager last week. Today, we focus on his preliminary checklist on rebuilding the Jets into a serious contender.

1 – The Quarterback – The Jets aren’t accomplishing anything until the quarterback position stabilized. A decision has to be reached on Mark Sanchez. If he is going to be cut or traded, how do the Jets deal with the cap ramifications? If he is going to stay, who is going to be brought in to compete with him? The Jets need a veteran with starting experience and a mid-round pick in the mix next season regardless of what happens with Sanchez.

2 – Revis – We touched on this earlier today but are you signing him long term or are you trading him? You can’t let him play out his contract and then walk after this season. If you do trade, you must receive a substantial haul of draft picks. If you do sign him long term, you must get Antonio Cromartie on the trade block to get his 8 million off the books and get draft picks back for him.

3 – Current Free Agents – Shonn Greene is a goner. LaRon Landry likely is also. But what will Idzik do about starting tight end Dustin Keller, starting guards Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore, key defensive lineman Mike DeVito and starting safety Yeremiah Bell? You can’t keep everybody but how are going to replace the players who are leaving, particularly the two starting guards?

4 – Trade Bait – It won’t just be Revis and Cromartie on the trading block. The Jets will be making calls about Santonio Holmes, David Harris and maybe a few others. The more awful contracts they can get off the books, the better.

5 – Cut The Crap – Bart Scott. Calvin Pace. Jason Smith. Eric Smith. Good-Bye.

6 – Stockpile Draft Picks – The Jets currently have 7 picks. Hopefully, they end up with 10-12 picks. This team needs quantity and quality in April.

In case you forgot just how much work Idzik has ahead of him, here is a look at the Jets current depth chart of players under contract and factoring in players who will absolutely be cut for cap purposes (Pace, Scott etc)

QB – Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow

HB – Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight

FB – None

TE – Jeff Cumberland, Hayden Smith

WR – Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill

OT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Austin Howard

C – Nick Mangold

OG – Vladimir Ducasse, Caleb Schlauderaff

DE – Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples

DT – Sione Pouha, Kenrick Ellis

OLB – Garret McIntyre, Ricky Sapp

ILB – David Harris, Demario Davis

CB – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie

S – Antonio Allen, Josh Bush