TOJ Roundtable Week 3: Jets/Raiders Predictions

Joe Caporoso: Read the 12 pack

TJ RosenthalJets Win if: The makeshift line holds up long enough for Mark Sanchez to work the short passing game. Sanchez will throw for 250 plus yards on the day the Jets will offset the loss of Nick Mangold with the addition of the “Wildcat” some Joe McKnight, and more unpredictability in the Jets run game as far as the point of attack is concerned. The Jets secondary will continue their hot start with another handful of interceptions. FINAL: 23-17 JETS

Raiders Win if: The loss of Mangold becomes too much for the Jets to overcome. Backup C Colin Baxter gets beat in crucial moments. The lack of confidence and mutual trust by the makeshift O line up leads to too many false starts. QB Mark Sanchez tries to do too much, and is picked off three plus times. The ground game remains pedestrian. Darren McFadden gashes a tired Jets defense that is on the field too long too many times. FINAL: 31-20 RAIDERS

Chris Celletti: The Jets need to be careful here. West coast trip, no Nick Mangold, two BIG road games coming up after, and Oakland’s home opener? To quote the great (kidding) Mike Francesa, It will NOT be easy. I think the Jets will be able to handle the Raiders’ offense for the most part, but will struggle to run the ball without Nick Mangold at center. The Jets should be able to exploit some mismatches on the outside with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, as long as Brian Schottenheimer has his head on straight. I think the Jets will be able to make enough plays in the passing game to get by, and will win in a game that is decided late in the fourth quarter.

Justin Fritze: Colin Baxter is not the name you want to hear today. The Jets will be forced to test the run and play action their way to two touchdowns. I see this one going to the wire in a 21-17 penalty filled game that will finally legitimize the Jets as one of the top 5 teams in the league. Dustin Keller will have a few good catches, look for Santonio and Plaxico to get involved early with a few shots down the field.

Rob Celletti: The superstitious side of me says that it’s a bad idea to keep picking the Jets to win every week, but this is part of getting used to the Jets actually being a team that should expect to win almost every single week.  And so I’ll take the Jets in this one, 23-13.  The consensus this week seems to be that the Jets should be able to throw for a bunch of yards on the Oakland secondary, and while proclamations like this usually lead to unmet expectations, I think it’ll happen.  The matchups just seem right, though I am worried about the makeshift offensive line’s ability to protect Mark Sanchez.  I think the Jets will contain Darren McFadden for the most part and force Jason Campbell into some turnovers by not only pressuring, but also confusing the quarterback with different coverage looks.  Campbell does have a huge arm, so the Jets need to be mindful of the deep ball.  The Raiders will move the ball but mostly be forced into field goal attempts.  The Jets will kick more field goals than you’d like to see, but will do enough to secure their 3rd victory of the year.

Check out the week 3 NFL highlights and picks

TOJ Roundtable Week 3: Jets/Raiders Key Match-Up

What is the most crucial match-up in the Jets/Raiders game?

Joe Caporoso: I will go with the Jets defensive front seven versus Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. If the Jets can slow down Oakland’s running game, Jason Campbell doesn’t have the ability to beat them through the air, especially with their blitz in his face. Bart Scott is off to a terrific start and Muhammad Wilkerson had a big game last week, let’s hope them and the rest of the front seven can bring it again on Sunday.

Rob Celletti: Originally, I was going to say that the Jets’ offensive line versus the Raiders defensive line was the key matchup, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is Mark Sanchez versus Oakland’s secondary.  Of course, Sanchez’s success will be predicated on good pass protection, but this is a game where the Jets should be able to make a lot of things happen through the air.  It was interesting to watch Sanchez on Sunday; a lot of people are focusing on the interceptions, but he also completed 17 of 24 passes.  After harping on the guy’s completion percentage all off-season, it seems as though the third-year quarterback has begun to make some strides in terms of his accuracy and decision-making, interceptions notwithstanding.  What you’d like to see more of in this game is the pass offense picking up big chunks of yardage with completions down the field to wide receivers.  It is on Sanchez to make that happen against a suspect Oakland secondary.

TJ Rosenthal: The Jets C Colin Baxter, FB John Conner vs Raiders DT’s Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelley and MLB Rolando McClain:

Provided that Nick Mangold is out, backup center Colin Baxter will have his hands full with a sixty minute task ahead of him. Add to it, the pressure of having to keep the status quo for the injured three time All Pro center in Nick Mangold. A player who has raised the bar sky high for Jets linemen. FB John Conner will have to provide consistent protection in the passing game and start to finally plow holes for the struggling Shonn Greene in order to ease the heat off of Baxter, QB Mark Sanchez, and the entire passing game. Raiders MLB Rolando McLain was all over the field last week against Buffalo. He will often match up against emerging TE Dustin Keller on pass routes. A one on one battle that the Jets must win a few times downfield on Sunday. Seymour and Kelley have already combined for three sacks on the year. The duo could feast on any confusion Baxter and Connor undergo regarding assignments.

Chris Celletti: The most crucial matchup will be the Jets patchwork offensive line against the defensive front of the Raiders, especially in the running game. The Jets have yet to run the ball effectively, and the Raiders did not do a good job defensively against the Buffalo Bills last week. The Jets need to start getting some consistency out of their running game to open things up in the passing game and keep some sort of offensive rhythm. If the Jets can break off some big runs and have a high yards-per-carry, it will go a long way towards them going to 3-0.

Justin Fritze: There are a few things to watch for in the wasteland that is Oakland. The first being Denarius Moore, although I have a strong belief that both Cromartie and Revis will be switching up between him and the guy with three names. McFadden had fun running on the Bills, as did the jets with their 3rd string running back last year. If the Raiders think they are going to get into a ground war, this will get lopsided like it did last time. I think the raiders will get into play action, a few deep shots over the middle and ultimately dink and dunk their way to 17. Jets win by 4. And the Bills beat the Patriots by a field goal as riots begin in the Great North country.

TOJ Roundtable: Jets/Jaguars Picks

Joe Caporoso: See the 12 pack.

Justin Fritze: Looking at this with the scientist’s eye, I notice a few things. The Jets defensive line should have a field day. 4 down lineman, 5 man rush should be sufficient. They’re going up against a bunch of scrubs, a 3rd round rookie out of Lehigh (Editor’s Note: again not thrilled with the shot at Lehigh), and a former first round pick in Eugene Monroe. Kenrick Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson should see serious playing time, and the Jets can probably sit back and have some fun confusing Luke McCown, mixing up coverages, perhaps bringing the famed “cloud coverage” back and tee off from there.

What else do I like about this game? The Jaguars have nobody at linebacker. The Jets will have to run it to death, for one because they need to find out if Joe McKnight can be the change of pace they need, if Shonn Greene can tire a defense, and if Jeremy Kerley and the wild Hornfrog can create some confusion.  The Jets will also occasionally play action with Keller and take a few shots over the middle with Plaxico Burress as he outsizes all the Jaguars DB’s by 3 feet, give or take a few inches. I may be crazy, but I’m gonna go Jets over Jaguars by 6. Don’t ever count out the short man with a “bum knee”. Lot’s of Jets field goals.

Chris Celletti: I think the Jets get this done fairly easily…by Jets standards. I just simply can’t see them having too much trouble with the Jaguars’ offense and Luke McCown specifically. The Jets’ defensive strength is in their run stopping, and the Jaguars lean heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew. While MJD is one of the top runners in the league, the Jets should keep him in check. Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense won’t put up a ton off points, because I think Brian Schottenheimer and Co. will try to really pound the run and get Shonn Greene going. The Jets play an overall solid game, get a few turnovers on defense, and roll to a 24-7 victory.

Rob Celletti: I was originally going to pick the Jets to win in a close game, because as a Jet fan, I know not to get too confident in this team, especially when they’re favored by more than a touchdown.  But Jason Hill’s (who?!) comments today, calling the Jets’ defense “overhyped”, might light an early fire under the team and particularly their defense, so now I expect them to dominate.  Luke McCown is going to have a miserable game with less than 125 yards passing. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville’s only credible threat, will have a decent game, but not much of an impact.  The Jets will get back to a more balanced attack on offense and be able to dominate time of possession, holding the ball for around 35 minutes.  Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason and Shonn Greene will get in the endzone in a 27-7 Jets win.

TJ Rosenthal: Jets Win: If the Jets start fast and begin to show they are putting all phases together together Sunday, we see them winning 31-10. This scenario has Shonn Greene with a 100 yard day and a deep ball to Holmes or Burress for a TD. Keller will shine in this type of game as well. Maurice Jones Drew will cut the Jets lead to a harmless 21-10 at some point with a short yardage TD.

Jags Win: The Jags win 17-10 if the Jets continue to struggle on offense and come out of the gates slowly. The snails pace by Sanchez and co. will allow the Jags to settle in until they can find a few spots to pull off a big run or long completion in order to pull of the upset.

TOJ Week 2 Roundtable: Jets/Jaguars Key Match-Up

What is the key match-up in the Jets/Jaguars game?

Joe Caporoso: I am going to say the New York Jets linebackers against Maurice Jones-Drew. With Mercedes Lewis likely out, Jones-Drew is the only person who you have to worry about gashing the Jets defense. It is key the Jets keep him contained and force Luke McCown to make some throws to keep the game competitive and considering the Jaguars wide receivers versus the Jets secondary, I doubt that will happen.

TJ RosenthalGround and Pound vs Jags run defense: The Jaguars come into the game second in the NFL against the run. We know. It has only been one week and a rusty Chris Johnson had a mere nine carries last week for the Titans. However, the Jets come into the game still searching for their rushing attack. The Cowboys took the run away from the Jets. The Jags have a slew of free agents that were added to Jack Del Rio’s unit. It is time for Shonn Greene to get it going early in a season.

Rob Celletti: The key match-up this week – and it is one I think the Jets will ace – is their front seven vs. the Jags rushing attack (Maurice Jones-Drew).  To me, MJD is the only person that can really hurt the Jets and make this game close if he has a huge day. The Jets got some great play from Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha and Bart Scott in week 1, so if those same guys contribute again and are joined by the rest of the bigs up front, the Jets will stuff the run and – absent some truly boneheaded plays on offense and special teams – be on their way to a win.

TOJ Week 1 Roundtable: Jets/Cowboys Picks

Joe Caporoso: See the 12 pack

Justin Fritze: This game will start slow as each offense will try and guess what the defense is going to do. We know one thing about the Dallas front 7. DeMarcus Ware is coming. John Conner will be put to the test. LT will not stop Ware in run blocking. The Jets got lucky that the secondary of Dallas is decimated, as Sanchez can air it out with less fear. You can’t run a Ryan defense without good corners, and Rob Ryan’s bluster will be put to the test. The Jets will try to run the ball, but we know Dallas is going to stop the run first. I see Holmes and Burress having big catches, and Dustin Keller finally getting some long deserved passes over the middle.  Romo will have a touchdown pass and Felix Jones will take it in from the goal line. I take Jets 21-17.

Rob Celletti: The Jets get off the ground, winning 24-16.  I think the defense will come up with a big performance highlighted by an interception or two of Tony Romo and the offense will do just enough, adjusting as the game progresses and scoring 17 of their 24 points in the second half. Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson (receiving) and Shonn Greene will score touchdowns for Gang Green.

TJ Rosenthal: Not a big fan of predicting games or seasons because we all know that one injury to a key player can change the complexion of how two teams play. That said, the matchup right now can go in two directions. If the Cowboys new offensive line struggles in their first game together, if the Dallas secondary, banged up and struggling has communication issues, the Jets have an edge in a 24/27 to-13/17 type of game. On the other hand if the Jets can’t stop Tony Romo from escaping the pocket to find TE Jason Witten, and Mark Sanchez and the new WR corps aren’t on the same page yet, the Cowboys have the edge in a 21/24-13 type of game.

Chris Celletti: I think it is a very close game that comes down to the last possession.The Jets will have some success throwing the ball, but I think Jason Witten and Miles Austin will have big games for the Cowboys as well. The Jets have a slight edge in the running game, with the inexperience of the Cowboys’ offensive line showing through. Plaxico Burress hauls in his first TD since being in the slammer, and Nick Folk makes a field goal in the 4th quarter to put the Jets up. The Jets get a stop on a 4th and long late in the game to seal a 23-20 win.

TOJ Week 1 Roundtable: Jets/Cowboys Key Match-Up

Joe Caporoso: I am going with Jason Witten versus the Jets safeties. The Jets were awful at defending the tight end last year and Witten has the ability to consistently hurt them if he is left in single coverage with the substantially smaller/inconsistent in pass coverage Jim Leonhard or Eric Smith. I wouldn’t be shocked if Darrelle Revis saw a few reps on Witten and the Jets also threw plenty of double teams at him.

Justin Fritze: Dez Bryant against Antonio Cromartie. This is the sort of battle of egos you pay big money to see. Cromartie has a lot to prove against the second year “star” 1st round draft choice. If Bryant takes it to the house against Cromartie, the third option of Kyle Wilson makes me shudder. Cromartie needs to do his best Revis impersonation and bump and run Bryant until the Jets can get a few sacks, at which point it will be check down time for Romo, seeing as how he wants to stay upright for longer than one week. I think Cromartie will keep him out of the end zone, but a few big plays could spell trouble for the island cornerback theory of Rex Ryan.

TJ Rosenthal: Terence Newman according to Rotoworld has been ruled out. The Cowboys secondary has struggled with him this preseason. The Jets new wide receiving corps has not yet gotten into gear either. Holmes however, is Mark Sanchez’s favorite target. What a great way it could be for the Jets to begin to open up the air attack by picking on backup Orlando Scandrick and a banged up starting CB in Mike Jenkins, and whoever else tries to help out Rob Ryan’s unit.

Rob Celletti: The Cowboys’ secondary looks ripe for the picking, but that depends on one thing: keeping Mark Sanchez’s jersey clean.  That’s why Sunday’s key matchup has to be D’Brickashaw Ferguson and the rest of the Jets’ line vs. DeMarcus Ware.  Not that it needs further explanation, but Ware is an elite pass-rusher, and if he’s allowed to get in Sanchez’s face consistently, it could be a long day for the offense.

Chris Celletti: I’m really interested to see Antonio Cromartie against Dez Bryant/Miles Austin. Whoever the Jets put Darelle Revis on will be taken out of the game, andd expect Tony Romo to look at Cromartie’s side of the field. Bryant and Austin are both explosive playmakers, and it will be imperative that Cromartie does a good job on whoever he is matched up against to keep the Cowboys’ offense at bay.

Most Impressive New York Jet So Far In Pre-Season?

I won’t call this a full roundtable because only myself and Justin are going ro chime in for this one. Yet, I want to hear from you on the Facebook or Twitter page, or right here, which player has impressed you the most so far this pre-season?

Joe Caporoso: Despite only playing in one game, I am still going with Plaxico Burress. I can’t get over how fluid and athletic he looked the other night despite his extended lay off. He showed the ability to find a window in the middle of the field for a big gain, still work his trademark back shoulder grab, and then run under a perfectly thrown fade ball to make an impressive diving, over the shoulder catch. If Burress can provide those type of big plays on a consistent basis, the Jets passing offense is going to be near impossible to stop.

Justin Fritze: Greg McElroy. We know he doesn’t have a big arm, and he probably won’t be throwing any 60 yard passes, but he also isn’t in a Mike Martz offense. He will be asked to read defenses, hand the ball off, and get quick 3 step drop passes over the middle. He nearly won his first preseason game if not for a dropped ball in the end zone. With every snap you  can see him getting more comfortable and making better reads. I think at some point during the preseason he might even get some snaps with the first team offensive line to see how he does with some time in the pocket. Oh yes, and he has the highest QB rating out of ALL rookie quarterbacks, better than Newton, Gabbert, Locker, etc. And he has been doing it with practice squad talent.

A few other considerations –

Jeff Cumberland – Looks like he can be a weapon as a number two tight end.

Josh Mauga – Very impressive filling in for Bart Scott and looks to be a lock for the top backup inside linebacker spot.

Mark Sanchez – Crisp, poised, and accurate so far.

Santonio Holmes – Looks like the number one receiver the Jets are paying him to be.

Ropati Pitoitua – Finally appears ready to be a major contributor on the defensive line.

TOJ Roundtable: Strongest and Weakest Position?

Welcome to the TOJ Roundtable, where a collection of our writers debate a pressing Jets question of the day –

What is the strongest position on the Jets current roster? The weakest?

Joe Caporoso: The strongest position on the Jets roster is cornerback. I would go with offensive line but I am little concerned about Brandon Moore missing so much time this pre-season, while they are breaking in a new full time right tackle in Wayne Hunter. The offensive line is still strong and if Hunter is anywhere near what Damien Woody was the past few years and Matt Slauson continues to improve, this will be their strongest unit. Yet, their corners led by Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, the league’s top starting duo in my mind, takes my vote at the moment. Let’s not forget nickel back Kyle Wilson was a first round pick last year for a reason and veteran Donald Strickland provides excellent depth if Wilson struggles. Marquice Cole has also shown flashes on defense and is more than capable of stepping into the nickel role for a few weeks if necessary.

Backup quarterback is the weakest spot on the Jets roster. If Mark Sanchez misses an extended period of time, you are kidding yourself if you think Mark Brunell is capable of taking over. He hasn’t played a meaningful snap since NFL Quarterback Club was the video game of choice. Greg McElroy is only a rookie and would be in over his head if pressed into immediate action.

TJ Rosenthal: Strongest Position: The offensive line. It contains two All-Pros in D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. The entire unit is intact from the 2010 playoff run. Few teams can boast of that continuity. No unit is as essential to the success of what the Jets want to do offensively as the guys in the trenches are.

Weakest Position: The backup quarterback position. If Mark Sanchez goes down for any extended time, we can’t say that we are comfortable with Mark Brunell, in his 19th season, running the show for any EXTENDED period of time. The backup quarterback should be a capable functional player with some NFL experience, especially given how physical the AFC East may be up front this year with the addition of Marcell Dareus to Buffalo and the new parts of the Patriots defensive line. The Jets are skating on thin ice at the ultimate security position.

Rob Celletti: The strongest position on the Jets’ roster in my opinion is cornerback.  Anchored by one of the best players in the entire league in Darelle Revis, it is an all-around solid unit.  With Antonio Cromartie out to prove something this year, and the ever-improving, aspiring Revis-clone Kyle Wilson at third on the depth chart, it is safe to say the Jets are going to be very difficult to throw on this season, at least to wide receivers.

The weakest position, and really the key to the season, is the defensive line.  The Jets will have a serviceable line under Rex Ryan’s tutelage, no question, but it is a point every fan and journalist has been harping on since the start of training camp: are the Jets relying too heavily on unproven commodities (Mo Wilkerson and Kendrick Ellis) alongside solid role players (DeVito and Pouha) without any real dominant force?  It is hard to call the position “weak”, but it definitely raises the most questions.

TOJ Roundtable: Best and Worst Off-Season Move?

Welcome to the TOJ Roundtable, where our writers debate a pressing New York Jets question

What was the smartest move the Jets made this off-season? Which one will they regret the most?

Joe Caporoso: In retrospect I think locking down Santonio Holmes will prove to be the smartest move. He provides Mark Sanchez with a legitimate number one receiver to grow with for the next five years and he should continue to flourish in this offense, while consistently providing the Jets with clutch plays. I think they will regret their handling of the Shaun Ellis situation the most. He could have provided a valuable and necessary mentor to rookies Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, easing their transition into the NFL. Wilkerson now faces the pressure of being an immediate starter, which could backfire and hurt the Jets depth up front in 2011. Beyond that, they have to watch him go against their offensive line twice this year for the hated New England Patriots. You never want to see a decorated 11 year veteran of your franchise play for your rival.

Chris Celletti: I think the smartest move the Jets made was bringing back Santonio Holmes. If it was between keeping Holmes or Braylon Edwards, it was the right move for the Jets to pony up the cash for Holmes. He is a better all-around player than Edwards, and having him around long-term will only help further the development of Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense.

The move they will regret the most is letting Shaun Ellis walk to the Patriots. Firstly, losing Ellis to anyone is bad for the young Jets’ defensive line. Who is the leader of this group? Sione Pouha? Rex Ryan seems to really believe in first round pick Mo Wilkerson and fellow draft choice Kendrick Ellis, but keeping Shaun Ellis would have made the transition for those guys a lot easier. Ellis had his best game as a Jet in the playoffs against the Patriots last year, so you know he can still play. Lastly, Ellis going to New England strengthens the Jets’ chief rival.

TJ Rosenthal: Smartest Move: Going after big play WR Santonio Holmes immediately. The Jets haven’t stretched the field the way they have been with Holmes since Wesley Walker was racing down the sidelines. Keeping that connection intact before anyone else were to jump in, and there were teams rumored to be willing to break the bank over Holmes, is being overlooked right now due to the headlines garnered over players the Jets DIDN’T keep. It shouldn’t be. Holmes is a home run hitter who will keep the Jets in games for a long time to come.

Move They’ll Regret: Backup signal caller. Not upgrading the QB2 position frightens us. We like Mark Brunell as a third string QB/ coach type who, for the price of what Kellen Clemens played for last year, would give the Jets deep security and a wealth of knowledge. Should Sanchez be out of action for a length of time however, we seriously question whether Brunell could physically handle the various throws and play designs well enough to carry the offense over a lengthy stretch. We hoped that the Jets would have, through free agency, or via trade, taken the doomsday scenario regarding Sanchez more seriously.

Rob Celletti: I would say the smartest move was the re-signing of Santonio Holmes. His impact on the team after serving his 4-game suspension was undeniable, as ‘Tone basically won the Jets 3 games singlehandedly.  I think he wanted to be an unquestioned number one, and now he has that chance.  I think he’ll thrive in that role.

I think the Jets will regret the moves they didn’t make: mainly not significantly improving their pass rush.  The Jets were the worst defense in the league on third down last year, and the lack of a pass rush is the primary reason for that abysmal statistic.  I don’t want to make too big a deal out of them letting Shaun Ellis go, but clearly this team lacks defensive ends and outside linebackers that can pressure the quarterback consistently.  A lot of people are looking at Calvin Pace to finally reach his potential and become that elite, go-to pass-rusher, but I have my doubts about that and was hopeful that the Jets would look to improve this area of their team via free agency.  We’ll see

TOJ Roundtable – A Tribute To Jerricho Cotchery

The NFL is a cold business sometimes and that was on display today as the Jets decided to release veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, in favor of signing Derrick Mason. Our writers discuss the move and their memories of Cotchery with the Jets, who gave them his entire seven year career.

(The photo above is Cotchery’s last reception as a New York Jet, a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game)

TJ Rosenthal

All heart. all soul. What a sad day. Many are asking us why is the release WR Jerricho Cotchery imminent. J-Co is a staple of consistency, toughness and symbolic of the notion of the phrase “Play Like A Jet.” The answer is simple. It’s business. A cruel business. Football is the greatest sport but the business aspect of it is the worst.

Cotchery had back surgery in February. We’ll assume that his health is playing a primary part in this decision. Derrick Mason is now a Jet, replacing one vet for for another.

To remember Cotch here in New York, you only have to look back to one play. One day. One moment that embodied the quiet class and leadership from a guy who has done nothing but what he’s been asked to do here.

It happened at the Dog Pound last season, when Cotchery pulled his groin BEFORE making a key drive saving third and nine catch in OT at Cleveland. The first down never amounted to the game winning drive. That took place later for the Jets, but it was the “team first” effort, the willingness to sacrifice the body in order to help the team, that stuck with players and fans after the game. It was a play repeatedly shown on ESPN and all of the sports news sites.

Damien Woody called it one of the best plays he’d ever seen. We call it the symbol of what Jerricho Cotchery was here. A player who provided the Jets heart, soul, and selfless spirit.

You will be sorely missed J-Co. Get healthy and get back onto the field. You will be a great addition to any club that hires you.

Derrick Mason has been a productive player for years. His presence has dropped since he landed in Baltimore but what WR ever thrives there? He’s 37. The Jets would be taking a chance if they felt he could provide extensive production at this point in his career, one that includes 900 plus receptions.

The Jets can take what they can get out of his experience, especially on third down. All the while hoping that a speedier option like a Jeremy Kerley turns into a slot weapon a some point in 2011.

Rob Celletti

To no one’s surprise, the Jets continue to roll the dice, looking to catch lightning in a bottle on offense, but this move will certainly be met with some negative reaction.  A lot of people looked at Cotchery as a comparable receiver to Mason, although Mason has quietly put up eight 1,000 yard seasons in his career.  Still, something about this move just doesn’t seem right.  Cotchery is 8 years younger than Mason, and you’d think that the Jets would want to keep as many pieces around Sanchez in tact as possible as they shift to a more pass-oriented offense.  It’s a shame the Jets couldn’t find another way to save $900k, instead of losing a heart-and-soul guy like Cotchery.

It’s tough to pick one favorite Cotchery play, but one comes to mind immediately: In 2006 vs. the Patriots, the Jets were mounting a furious comeback after falling behind 17-0 at halftime, and Cotchery made one of the most hard-nosed, heads-up plays I’d ever seen.  He caught a pass from Chad Pennington and was knocked off of his feet by Chad Scott, but somehow fell directly on top of Eugene Wilson and never hit the ground.  What looked like a tackle and the end of the play to the other 21 players on the field plus the 80,000 in attendance was turned into a touchdown by Cotchery, who athletically got to his feet and coasted home for six.  The comeback fell short of course, but this play typified #89.  As Herm Edwards used to say about Cotchery and his penchant for timely heroics, “there goes 89 again, makin’ a play.”  J-Co will be missed.

Chris Celletti

This is just a head scratching move as far as I’m concerned. Santonio Holmes is a given, but who knows what you’re going to get from Plaxico Burress? He’ll be 34 in a few days and has already picked up an injury in training camp. Not to mention he’s spent the past 24 months in the slammer. Derrick Mason has been productive the past few years but his reception and yardage totals have gone down each of the past three seasons. At 37 years old, how are we to expect that trend will reverse? I know they won’t be expecting a ton out of Mason, but what if Burress is not healthy, or not close to his old self? Cotchery would have been a perfectly reliable number two if Burress goes down. You’d much rather have Cotchery in that situation than Mason.

Cotchery’s catch against the Browns last season when he came up lame in mid-route and still made a diving catch summed him up as a player. It was a gritty, selfless, and clutch play. Cotchery embodied those three traits, and he’ll be seriously missed.

Joe Caporoso

Jerricho Cotchery was never truly appreciated during his time with the New York Jets. Whenever he was given the chance, he found ways to make plays, specifically at the most important of times. I will always remember Cotchery consistently moving the chains on third downs, running impeccable routes, and carrying himself with a degree of humbleness and class only matched by Curtis Martin since I have watched this team.

Favorite play? Too many to pick. I will remember him as a Patriot killer. In 2006, staying on his feet when everybody thought he was down and turning it into a 70 something yard touchdown at the Meadowlands. Later in the season, when the Jets upset New England in their building, he pulled in a ridiculous over the shoulder touchdown to ice the game and then in their playoff meeting scoring a 77 yard touchdown to give the Jets a first half lead. What about in 2008, when he acrobatically pulled in a bomb from Brett Favre with the ball pinned against his shoulder and helmet? In 2009, he turned the momentum in the Jets week two upset of New England with a huge catch to start the second half and of course last year, he scored a TD against them in week two and swung the momentum in their playoff game with a 58 yard 4th quarter reception.

Derrick Mason is 900K cheaper and has had a much more productive career than Cotchery, and I do think he can be a valuable addition. However, let’s not turn a blind eye to him being 8 years older than Cotchery and the Jets continually switching up the wide receivers around quarterback Mark Sanchez. Do you think Plaxico Burress or Derrick Mason will be here in a year or two? I am not so sure. Sanchez has continually been asked to work with a receiving group filled with moving parts.

In the end, I have faith in Mike Tannenabum and like his desire to constantly improve. However, that doesn’t mean I have to approve of he handles veterans of this organization who are leaders in the locker room and examples of how you want your players to act. This was a cold move, but let’s hope it proves to be a smart one.