TOJ Analysis Of Tim Tebow Trade

TOJ with thoughts on the unthinkable, Tim Tebow is now on the New York Jets

Well, it has happened. The New York Jets, masters of the media spectacle, have traded for Tim Tebow. They gave up a 4th and 6th round pick and received a 7th rounder back from Denver as part of the deal. I was about as clear as possible that I wasn’t in support of this move prior to it happening but it has happened. I root for the laundry folks, just like you should and would never root against an individual player just to make my thoughts on a trade look right. That being said, let’s review what this move means –

1. Whether you want to admit it or not, a huge reason for this deal was to grab headlines back from the New York Giants, who get their headlines…by you know, winning Super Bowls. It brings attention to the organization and demonstrates them working to improve their character in the locker room. I am all for improving the character of the team but this trade is going to lead to locker room issues. It is also somewhat embarrassing to constantly be making knee jerk reaction trades after every Giants Super Bowl victory. We all remember how Brett Favre worked out in 2008.

2. What locker room issues you ask? The constant quarterback debate hanging over the head of every player and coach in the organization. When you have two quarterbacks, you often have zero. Imagine if this team starts out 0-1 and Sanchez has an average performance? The first question to every coach and player will be, should the team start Tebow and play him full time? Very rarely do you see teams succeed in that type of environment.

3. We don’t know what Tebow’s exact role/spot on the depth chart is going to be. This might sound like a silly statement but think about it. Is the team going to cut Drew Stanton, who they just signed and make Tebow the number two? If you make Tebow the number three quarterback, there are rules about when you could use him in the game. Are they going to list him at a different position and use him specifically just for the Wildcat? Now you have one less running back or receiver active for a player who could play 5-6 snaps and doesn’t play special teams.

You might laugh at the above comment about Stanton but Tebow is going to run a completely different offense than Sanchez. You need a backup who can run the offense as it is normally installed, not the speed option. It is a completely different game when Tebow goes in, different plays, different blocking schemes…different everything. Tebow can’t be a traditional backup and just hop into a normal offense. We saw what happened when he did that against Detroit last season.

You are now splitting up your practice time to learn basically two offenses, which in a way is a nice weapon, but in reality takes away from both because you aren’t giving all your focus to one.

4. I am no way near as concerned about Sanchez’s psyche as many people are. He has been playing quarterback in New York for three years. I think he is mentally tougher than people give him credit for. From a practical on field standpoint, continually pulling him out of the game for the Wildcat is going to interrupt his rhythm but from a mental standpoint, if he can’t handle the Tebow trade he shouldn’t be here anyway. Ideally, this trade will push him to reach his potential but that could be wishful thinking with the type of circus Tebow brings to town.

5. Do you have any doubt about the Jets desire to run the football? Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano clearly have their mindset on being one of the most run heavy teams in the league, if not the most run heavy. I wouldn’t expect to see the Jets sign another receiver in free agency or draft one before the 5th round.

6. By the way, the Jets still need a right tackle…in case you forgot. Buffalo just signed Mark Anderson to pair with Mario Williams, Anderson had 10 sacks last season…4 more than any player on the Jets.

7. Can this work? Sure. I am not going to sit here and be naive enough to act like there aren’t positives to this trade just because I don’t like it overall. First off, Tebow is a leader and a winner. He is a good presence to have in the locker room. He shouldn’t just push Sanchez on the field, he should push Sanchez in the locker room, meeting room and everywhere else. Second, if designed properly the Jets should have a very strong rushing attack…particularly in short yardage. Third, Tebow can hurt teams over the top if they stack the box on the Jets Wildcat. He can throw the deep ball…nothing else…but can throw the deep ball. Fourth, just about every member of the mainstream media has written this off as an idiotic trade, which makes it more enjoyable to root for as a Jets fan.

New York Jets Exploring Running Back Market

The New York Jets are showing interest in free agent running backs, but they should be considering swinging a trade

With most of the focus on the New York Jets improving the secondary by adding LaRon Landry and potentially signing another safety, there have been some rumblings about the team looking to boost their depth chart at running back.

By the way, Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse are currently the Jets top two right tackles. I just needed to remind everybody of that…now back to the article.

Anyway, the Jets have expressed interest in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and there are rumors they could have interest in Michael Bush. Both are intriguing as they would signal an attempt to return to the “Thunder/Thunder” approach of Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene during the 2009 season. Both running backs were considered top tier free agents at their position but have seen lukewarm interest so far. Bush is a bruiser, who is a quality receiver out of the backfield who is coming off his best season and Green-Ellis, as we know plenty well, is a solid, not spectacular back who never fumbles the football…literally.

A more intriguing option has presented itself with the Carolina Panthers signing running back Mike Tolbert. The Panthers were already well positioned at running back with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, so the Tolbert signing has led to speculation that either Williams or Stewart could be traded.

Carolina would love to move Williams and the asinine contract they signed him to last year. However, nobody will be taking it on unless he agrees to restructure. Stewart on the other hand has one year left on his rookie deal and it is hard to picture any scenario where they will have the money to re-sign him after how much they spent on Williams and now on Tolbert. So, why not move him now and get compensation for him?

Stewart is coming off a season where he racked up 761 rushing yards at 5.4 yards per carry and 47 receptions for 413 yards. He is an explosive playmaker who would make a terrific combination with Shonn Greene. If I am Mike Tannenbaum I am embracing my trading roots and offering Carolina a 3rd and 5th round pick for him. If that offer doesn’t satisfy them, I’d be willing to move up to a 2nd rounder this year and a conditional 5th rounder next year.

Bush and Green-Ellis are nice role players. Stewart has the ability to be a star in Tony Sparano’s run heavy system. Tannenbaum traded for a running back in 2007 in Thomas Jones who piled up 28 touchdowns and 3,833 rushing yards in three seasons. Stewart is capable of that type of production.

New York Jets Sign Wide Receiver Chaz Schilens

TOJ with thoughts on the New York Jets signing wide receiver Chaz Schilens

UPDATE: The deal is for one year, $765,000 with $500,000 guaranteed. It is impossible to criticize the deal at this cost. It is cheap enough where another player, like a Jerricho Cotchery for example, could still come in with a viable chance to compete for the starting job. This is the type of money you pay to a player who will compete with 1 to 2 other people to be a starter.

The New York Jets made their second signing of the day by bringing in wide receiver Chaz Schilens. This has been expected for the past couple of days as the Jets have shown interest in him since free agency opened. Schilens played for new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal in Oakland and while his signing likely won’t be popular with many fans, it has the potential to be a wise move.

The financials on his contract haven’t been released yet but you would hope the Jets signed him to a low cost, incentive laden deal. Schilens has had major durability issues his entire NFL career, missing 13 games between the 2009 and 2010 season. In four seasons for the Raiders, Schilens has 72 receptions, 902 yards and 7 touchdowns. Last year, as primarily a backup he finished with 23 receptions, 271 yards and 2 touchdowns.

What is good about Schilens is that he has the physical tools. He is 6-4, 225 pounds and ran under a 4.4 forty yard dash before he entered the league. The potential is there for him to be this season’s Laurent Robinson, a guy who breaks out because he finally stays healthy and is in the right circumstance, without having to hand out the ridiculous contract that Jacksonville just did to him. The risk is that he won’t be able to stay healthy and could end up being Matthew Hatchette 2.0 for the Jets.

The Jets have signed Schilens with the intention of giving him the opportunity to start opposite of Santonio Holmes. Yet, I would expect the Jets to still strongly consider drafting a receiver in one of the earlier rounds to throw into the mix and maybe sign another veteran.

New York Jets: Quick Defense Of Drew Stanton Signing

TOJ promises you will feel better about the Drew Stanton signing after reading this

I know you aren’t excited about the Drew Stanton signing New York Jets fans so let me play a quick Devil’s Advocate.

First off, he is a substantial upgrade over Mark Brunell. Second, he was signed to a one year with the expectation that Greg McElroy will be ready to take over the #2 spot in 2013. Third, Stanton’s career numbers aren’t impressive but that is thanks to an ugly 2009. He improved in 2010 and actually put together a quality year off the bench. In three starts and three relief appearances, he ended up with 780 passing yards, 58.0 completion percentage, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and a rushing touchdown.

In 2010, he came off the bench against the Giants and threw for 222 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception in the Meadowlands. He beat the eventual Super Bowl Champion Packers 7-3 in a late season start and then got the Lions their first road win in 3 years by beating a 10 win Tampa Bay team in their stadium. Here is his stat line for his 3 starts in 2010 –

  • Home vs. Chicago – 16/24, 178 yards, 1 TD – Loss 24-20
  • Home vs. Green Bay – 10/22, 177 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs – Win 7-3
  • At Tampa Bay – 23/37, 252 yards, 1 TD – Win 23-20

Beyond that…the guy can dance.

New York Jets: What Moves Are On The Horizon?

After two days of free agency, TOJ looks at what the New York Jets likely have up their sleeve

It continues to be a quiet start for the New York Jets in free agency and with the action surrounding them, a few things have become clear. Overall, this is going to be a more restrained approach than in recent years but that doesn’t mean a big splash won’t be on the way in the coming month.

At wide receiver, it is clear the Jets never had any interest in spending big time money opposite Santonio Holmes. It makes sense when you look at the coordinator they hired and how much guaranteed money they are giving Holmes this year and next year. We suspected this would be case as the Jets are now bargain hunting to fill out their wide receiver depth chart. I anticipate them signing Chaz Schilens. He is comfortable with Sanjay Lal as his receiver coach and the Jets will give him a legitimate chance to start. Personally, I don’t think this is enough support at wide receiver for Mark Sanchez and the team should still consider checking out Braylon Edwards in May to make sure his knee is healthy. Jerricho Cotchery won’t come here unless the team is going to give him a legitimate chance to be the starter, which I’m not sure they will.

If the Jets are going to spend big money in free agency, it will be at the safety position. Look for them to make a strong push to get either Reggie Nelson or LaRon Landry in the coming few days. After hopefully signing one of them, I would expect them to bring back Jim Leonhard on a veteran’s minimum within a few months and then still add a safety in one of the early rounds of the draft.

We haven’t heard of the Jets looking to spend anywhere else in free agency outside of backup quarterback, where they will probably sign Drew Stanton. A move that will rightfully be questioned by many. David Garrard or Josh Johnson would provide a more legitimate threat to Sanchez in the number two spot than Stanton.

So what about tackle, linebacker, and running back? For whatever reason the Jets appear to be passing on many of the quality free agent right tackles. I don’t know if that is because they have a gentleman’s agreement with Vernon Carey to join the team in a few weeks or because they are really hard headed enough to think Wayne Hunter or Vladimir Ducasse could start next year. At linebacker, unless they make a push toward Jameel McClain, they appear to be standing pat and we haven’t heard anything about a Ronnie Brown signing being imminent yet at running back.

What you do need to remember is that the draft is a little over a month away and the Jets are going to have 10-12 picks. Don’t be surprised to see a very active few days from Mike Tannenbaum in terms of sliding up and down the board, along with looking to fill holes by trading picks for veteran players. This could very well be a situation where fans are in an uproar until draft weekend comes, and then it becomes much clearer what the Jets were looking to do this off-season. They have enough picks and assets to patch up linebacker, tackle, and running back in that weekend.

Don’t forget Mike Tannenbaum’s history when it comes to trades.

New York Jets Free Agent Activity Picking Up

The activity around the New York Jets in free agency is starting to pick up

The news around the New York Jets in free agency is starting to pick up a little bit. Let’s go over what we have learned so far today about the direction the team could be heading in –

1. Folk Back – The team has re-signed kicker Nick Folk, who has been inconsistent in his two years with the team. They are expected to bring in competition for him in training camp. There is also chatter they could draft a kicker in the later rounds, as special teams coach Mike Westhoff said this is the best class of kickers and punters he has seen in years.

2. Cotchery Back? Schilens Close? – The Jets have expressed interest in bringing wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery back. However, they will be competing with the Steelers for his services who also want him back after his one year stint with the team. Chaz Schilens is expected to visit the team tonight and apparently the team is high enough on him that they see him as a potential #2 receiver opposite Santonio Holmes.

Personally, I’d take Cotchery over Schilens as a number two receiver any day of the week. Look at Schilens’ career and try to argue otherwise. Obviously, at this stage of his career Cotchery is better fitted as a number three or a part time player but it appears the Jets are looking to go cheap at wide receiver in free agency and if they do, take Cotchery over Schilens.

3. Quiet At Linebacker/Offensive Line – The San Diego Chargers signed OLB Jarret Johnson, a player the Jets were rumored to be interested in. The Jets never made any formal inquiries about bringing Johnson in for a visit. It appears they will let Bryan Thomas mentor whatever outside linebacker they add early in the draft. They have to add one early in the draft, right?

We still haven’t heard a thing about the Jets inquiring about any offensive lineman. Are they confident about getting Vernon Carey to join his former coach, Tony Sparano? Or are they really considering going into the year with Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse competing at right tackle as Mario Williams takes a physical in Buffalo?

New York Jets: Day One Free Agency Review

TOJ reviews the first day of free agency for the New York Jets

The New York Jets were cautious in the opening hours of free agency, not diving in with the normal frenzy we have seen the past couple of years. This is leading to some anxiety among fans, especially with the activity of other AFC East teams. However, I would encourage everybody to take a breath and wait to see where the chips falls, we aren’t even 24 hours into free agency yet. Let’s review what we are hearing about at each of the position of need for the Jets –

Quarterback – It certainly sounds like Chad Henne isn’t going to end up with the Jets. He has already visited with Jacksonville and has another visit lined up with Seattle, both teams who can offer him more money and a better shot at playing time than the Jets could. The fallback plan appears to be Drew Stanton of the Detroit Lions, who has 4 career starts and 187 career passes. He is expected to visit in the coming days. While Stanton is an upgrade over Mark Brunell’s corpse, I’m not sure he puts any type of real pressure on Mark Sanchez.

Running Back – Nothing of note, I would expect in a few days we will hear about Ronnie Brown taking a visit.

Wide Receiver – The Jets have “kicked the tires” on Laurent Robinson, the top free agent receiver left on the market now that Robert Meachem is in San Diego, Vincent Jackson is in Tampa Bay, Reggie Wayne went back to the Colts, and Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan went to Washington. Jacksonville and Dallas are recruiting Robinson as well and he is expected to have a hefty price tag. Former Oakland Raiders WR Chaz Schilens is expected to come in for a visit. He played for new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal. While Schilens could be a low cost, high reward player, he isn’t a sufficient answer opposite Santonio Holmes. Mario Manningham does remain on the market by the way.

Tight End – Nothing reported yet.

Offensive Line – Outside of the Jets signing an undrafted center from USC, Kris O’Dowd, we haven’t heard anything which is a little scary with Buffalo potentially closing in on Mario Williams. Highly sought after right tackle Eric Winston has already visited Miami and has other visits lined up with Kansas City and St. Louis.

Defensive Line – Nothing reported yet.

Linebacker – Outside of resigning Bryan Thomas, the team hasn’t done anything here yet. It is expected they will recruit Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain but we haven’t heard about visits yet.

Safety – The Jets have reported interest in Reggie Nelson, LaRon Landry, and Brandon Merriweather. Nelson is the best option out of the three but he will cost the Jets. Signing Merriweather would be an exceptionally foolish move. He is a complete thug both on (check his fine history) and off the field (check his police history), who was awful in Chicago last year.

Around The League

  • I love how Tampa Bay is building around their young quarterback by giving him a big time receiver in Vincent Jackson and a big time lineman in Carl Nicks. What other team do we know that should give their young quarterback a receiver and offensive lineman? Hmmm
  • It is good to hear that Mario Williams is leaving Buffalo to meet other teams. The media was reporting this as a done deal last night but the longer it string along, the lower the odds he ends up in the AFC East. Buffalo already struck out on Robert Meachem.
  • As of now, I am guessing Peyton Manning ends up in Denver and Matt Flynn ends up in Miami.

New York Jets Resign Bryan Thomas, Other Updates

The New York Jets have resigned OLB Bryan Thomas and other free agency updates

The New York Jets have resigned outside linebacker Bryan Thomas to a one year deal. This is a smart, low risk move by the team and will help their solidify their depth at the linebacker position. Thomas is coming off a season ending torn Achilles and is expected to be ready when training camp starts. He is a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and is solid against the run.

The signing of Thomas could be the first in a series of moves that facilitates a trade of outside linebacker Calvin Pace. If the Jets can also bring in free agent Jarret Johnson and spend their first round pick on a player like Melvin Ingram, Andre Branch, or Courtney Upshaw the Jets could be looking to move Pace and his hefty contract.

In other news, the Jets are planning a visit with former Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton. We speculated here earlier that the Jets could have interest in Stanton as a low cost backup to Mark Sanchez. The Jets have also expressed their interest in free agent safeties Brandon Merriweather, LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson according to The Daily News. At wide receiver, outside of reaching out to Laurent Robinson the Jets are also interested in former Oakland receiver Chaz Schilens, who was coached by their new wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

What is frustrating to hear is that the Miami Dolphins have a visit scheduled with Eric Winston tonight and the Jets haven’t had any movement towards expressing interest in him or any other tackles on the market, yet.

Other news around the league – Josh Morgan signing with the Washington Redskins, joining Pierre Garcon. CB Brandon Carr visiting with the Cowboys. TE Martellus Bennett visiting with the Giants and Chad Henne planning to visit Seattle after meeting with Jacksonville.

NFL Free Agency Madness: Early Updates

NFL free agency has started fast and furious, particularly in the AFC East

As expected, NFL free agency is roaring out the gate, particularly in the AFC East where the New York Jets primary competitors are either making major moves or are on the cusp of making them. Mike Tannenbaum has been quiet so far. Let’s round up the early chatter. Make sure you are following Turn On The Jets on Twitter and Facebook.

– Miami and Chicago made the biggest splash right out of the gate with the Dolphins trading Brandon Marshall for two third round picks to the Bears, reuniting Marshall with Jay Cutler. Jets fans should be concerned that this move was a prerequisite to signing Peyton Manning who reportedly wanted no part of playing with Marshall. However, there is also the chance the Dolphins new coaching staff wanted a more reliable number one receiver, regardless of their QB. The move cleared over 5 million in cap space for the Dolphins.

– The Buffalo Bills are hosting visits with Mario Williams and Robert Meachem tonight. They are expected to make a monster offer to Williams, if he accepts, it should be a large kick in the rear end to the Jets to add a tackle immediately. Meachem is a speedy receiver who would provide a needed downfield threat for the Buffalo offense, while limiting the Jets options in free agency.

– New England is expected to pursue and eventually land Brandon Lloyd.

– The Jets have already inquired about Chad Henne but he is currently visiting Jacksonville, where he is expected to receive more money than the Jets are willing to offer. Early reports are making it sound like the Jets want Henne but the feeling isn’t mutual.

– In other free agency battles with Jacksonville, the Jets have expressed interest in Laurent Robinson but he is also meeting with the Jaguars. You would hope the Jets and Mark Sanchez’s reputation hasn’t fallen far enough that a receiver would pick Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars over them.

– Two linebacker options off the market: Tavares Gooden to San Francisco and Curtis Lofton to Tampa Bay. Gooden was a former Raven who could have fit in the Jets defense well.

– Pierre Garcon has signed with the Redskins.

– Jason Campbell is expected to sign with the Chicago Bears.

– The Jets will be competing with the Indianapolis Colts for outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

Stay with us people…@TurnOnTheJets

New York Jets: Last Second Free Agency Considerations

TOJ with some last second considerations for the New York Jets on the first day of free agency

The NFL free agency floodgates open at 4 PM today. Here are a few last minute thoughts related to the New York Jets before anything can become official later this afternoon –

1. Jamaal Westerman, Matthew Mulligan, and Marquice Cole weren’t tendered, leaving them unrestricted free agents. Mulligan is a goner, which is a good thing unless you are in favor of penalty yardage. Rex Ryan is a big Cole fan and he is a very good special teams player, so I would expect the Jets to make a strong push to resign him. Westerman could probably go either way, I am sure Greg Schiano will want to bring his former college player in for a visit to Tampa Bay. How hard the Jets work to bring him back, will likely depend on their luck bringing in other linebackers in free agency.

2. Bryan Thomas gave an interview yesterday to Jenny Vrentas of The Star Ledger about his desire to return to the team. It makes sense for the Jets to monitor his progress rehabbing from his injury last year and then consider bringing back on a veteran’s minimum deal. Thomas is a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and is stout against the run. If Thomas comes back healthy, they could sign Jarret Johnson and spend a first round pick on a player like Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram or Andre Branch, it gives them leverage to move Calvin Pace in a trade.

3. If the Jets are looking improve wide receiver through free agency, they’d be wise to make a strong push to sign former San Francisco 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, who likely won’t be brought back now that the team has signed Randy Moss. Morgan will likely come much cheaper than Laurent Robinson or Robert Meachem, but could have way more upside.

4. I still remain hopeful the Jets will seek out Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson, particularly if they can’t sign Jameel McClain. It is hard to feel comfortable cutting Bart Scott until you sign a viable replacement. It certainly didin’t look like Josh Mauga was ready to be a full time starter last year.

5. It will be interesting to see who the Jets get after first later today. I can’t see any fathomable reason for them not to redirect any previous plans and shift their primary focus to Eric Winston but you easily them focusing on players with a history with their coaching staff out of the gate like Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, Vernon Carey, Jarret Johnson, and Jameel McClain.