Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

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First a few updates:

1. LaDainain Tomlinson and Mike Tannenbaum had a conference call with reporters today. There was nothing too newsworthy to come out of it. Tannenbaum was evasive about the decision to part ways with Thomas Jones and didn’t go into any details about the contract situation of either him or Tomlinson, along with how that factored into the Jets decision making. Tomlinson said the deciding factors in his decision was the familiarity with the Jets offense and a desire to play in New York. The best things to hear from Tomlinson was his comfort level in backing up  Shonn Greene, his sense of humor about Greene mocking his touchdown celebration last year, and his understanding that the Jets were a successful team without him and his goal to help push them over the top to a title.

2. In the category of big news that will likely fly under the radar, the Jets announced today that they re-signed Tony Richardson. Make no mistake, this a very smart move by the Jets. Despite his age, Richardson has been a very productive player for the Jets the past two years and is a crucial part of their running game. You can’t run the ground and pound without a quality fullback and now the Jets have one for at least one more season.

3. In the category of minor news, the Jets also signed defensive end Rodrique Wright. He was a seventh round pick in 2006 of the Miami Dolphins and in 13 games with them recorded 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. However, after being waived he was out of football last season.

Jets Need Minor Moves To Supplement Major Ones

Unless you are a believer in the Brandon Marshall rumors, it would seem that the Jets won’t be making any more major acquisitions the rest of the off-season. They parted ways with three starters (Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Lito Sheppard) and filled their places with Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Brodney Pool. The Patriots haven’t released Adalius Thomas yet, but considering he missed the beginning of their workouts today because “he didn’t know about them,” I would say that move is eventually coming and hopefully he will end up in New York. The Jets off-season moves so far has left them with plenty of flexibility in the draft to take the best player available at each spot because they don’t have any glaring holes, that being said here a few loose ends the Jets should tie up:

  1. Re-Sign Tony Richardson– Check, the Jets must have read my mind because they took care of this today right after I saved the first draft of this article. As I said before, a very smart move to bring him back and not leave fullback in the hands of Jason Davis, just like it was smart not to leave the third running back spot in the hands of Chauncey Washington.
  2. Re-Sign Marques Douglas – The guy was very productive last year as a 3-4 defensive end, which is hard to come by. The Jets don’t have great depth along the defensive line so why wouldn’t they bring back one of their starters from last year? Douglas is a Rex Ryan guy, who likely prefers the Jets to any of the other teams currently showing interest in him. He won’t command a huge contract but the Jets should do what it takes to bring him back.
  3. Re-Sign Jay Feely – A pipe dream? Nobody has signed him yet, so I am holding out hope. I just can’t accept Nick Folk kicking field goals next season…not now, not never. You can’t underestimate the importance of a good field goal kicker.
  4. Sign Corey Ivy – Add a little depth to the cornerback position. Ivy is a Rex Ryan guy who could play the nickel role if Dwight Lowery reverts to Indianapolis mode or whoever the Jets draft isn’t ready to contribute yet.
  5. Keep Working On Long Term Extensions For Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold – The sooner the best center and cornerback in the league are wrapped for the long term, the better.

If the Jets took care of all those moves, they would have tremendous flexibility in the draft. They could add depth to their defensive line and wide receiver core in the first two rounds, add another corner and safety to the mix in the middle rounds, and finish up by adding some developmental offensive lineman to learn from Damien Woody and Alan Faneca. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty balanced, deep, and talented roster to me.

Yes, Somebody Actually Made A Jay Feely Slideshow On Youtube…95 Views and Counting

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

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First a few updates:

1. I have to recommend everybody finds a way to get down to Austin, Texas at some point in their life. The place is completely out of control. I thought I would have a more laid back spring break after going to Cancun the previous two years but I was absolutely, 100 percent wrong. Good times. Anyway, I have been a little late writing this article about the Jets officially signing LaDainian Tomlinson and Coin-Flip Gate but I have a valid excuse. Here has been my last few days:

  • Saturday Night – Out on 6th street, go to bed at 8 AM.
  • Sunday Morning – Up at 9 AM.
  • Go to airport in Austin…find out I lost my credit card.
  • During flight, guy next to me throws up in a bag three times.
  • Fly to airport in Minnesota…find out flight is delayed 3 hours.
  • Look around for Tomlinson Vikings jersey…don’t see any.
  • Land in Newark at 9 PM, received 10 texts about Tomlinson signing being official.
  • Arrive back in Ringwood at 10:30 PM
  • Write 8 page paper on the European Union, finish at 8 AM
  • Drive back to Pennsylvania
  • Go to class from 11-12:30
  • Sleep from 1 PM until 9 PM.

So there you go. Anyway, despite currently running on nothing but coffee I have get my opinions out there, before going to bed for another 12 hours.

2. There are still some rumors swirling around about the Jets being interested in Brandon Marshall. I don’t see it happening but honestly you never know with Mike Tannenbaum. At this point, I like the way the Jets offense is constructed and would rather not deal with the sideshow Marshall would bring to town. I don’t care how talented he is. He was the target of a gang hit, hit his girlfriend, and made a huge scene in Denver last year.

3. I am glad to hear Rex Ryan is doing well after his surgery and that his first question after waking up was “Did we sign LT yet?” How can you not love this guy as your football coach?

Was Signing Tomlinson The Right Move? & Coin Flip Madness

Ironically enough, I spent a good amount of article space before and after the Jets/Chargers divisional round playoff game ripping not just Antonio Cromartie but also LaDainain Tomlinson. Sure enough, both players are now members of the Jets. I have already said my piece on Cromartie’s arrival over the past couple of weeks but now what about Tomlinson? First off, I would have still rather have Thomas Jones for next season. There is a bunch of different information being thrown around about the contracts of Tomlinson and Jones but it appears that Tomlinson’s is overall worth more money but Jones will be making more this upcoming season, and the Jets will be able to cut ties with Tomlinson with minimal cap damage after this year if he flames out. Regardless, I still would have rather paid TJ more money next season. He was substantially more productive last year. He was a veteran leader in the locker room and clearly everybody around the organization thought highly of him, as shown by this ad taken out in a Kansas City paper by the team:

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However, when it became apparent that Jones wasn’t coming back next year, the Jets were faced with a hole in their backfield. Chauncey Washington couldn’t be counted on to take consistent carries. The free agent market was extremely thin and the Jets didn’t want to be forced to spend another mid-round pick on a running back, after doing so last year and in 2006. I would have never thought they would look towards Tomlinson but when you consider a few things, it begins to make more sense.

First off, he is familiar with the Jets offense and is comfortable with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Second, he provides a veteran presence at a position that desperately needs it. Third, he is a great receiving running back and is steady in pass protection. Shonn Greene sure as hell can run but he has worse hands than Troy Williamson. Obviously, Leon Washington can catch but he is coming off major surgery so it remains to be seen how effective he will be next year. Fourth, Tomlinson is still a very good short yardage back. Washington isn’t built for that type of role and Greene was never used in short yardage or goal-line situations last year. Finally, we all know Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum like to make a splash with big names.

PhotobucketTomlinson is done as a feature back in my mind. Yes, I think he would be more productive in that role with the Jets than he was with San Diego because of the Jets dominant offensive line but he won’t be asked to be option 1A. What do the Jets need from him next year? I would think Shonn Greene will be looking at 17-21 carries a game. Leon will get his touches on third downs, gimmick plays, and as a pass catching target. Tomlinson needs to be an effective short yardage and goal-line back, be able to spell Shonn Greene for a series or two per half, and be a pass catching threat out of the backfield on screens and other short routes. You have to admit, it will be tough to defend the Jets screen game when they line up both Washington and Tomlinson in the backfield.

Tomlinson is in the green and white now so I am trying to look at the positives. I couldn’t stand him watching from the side-lines in playoff games in previous years with his jacket on and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him be made to look like an old lady last year by the Jets defense. Yet, with the help of the best offensive line in football, Shonn Greene, and Leon Washington maybe Tomlinson can carve himself a nice role on the Jets offense. At worst, he provides depth and veteran leadership. At best, he will pile up short-yardage touchdowns and become a game-changer as a change of pace back/receiver out of the backfield. The most likely scenario is that he ends up somewhere in the middle of those two. I will be happy if he can give us 7-9 carries a game, a few receptions, and a high success rate on short-yardage downs. Welcome to New York, LaDainain…I am sure you won’t have trouble getting #21 from Dwight Lowery.

Coin Flip – On to this whole coin-flip issue, which has now been settled by the NFL with a secret flip that resulted in a Giants victory (shocking). The news is that the Giants will open the stadium on Sunday afternoon of week 1 and then the following day, the Jets will host the Monday Night Football opener. Honestly, that is fine with me. Jets owner Woody Johnson is furious because there was no transparency in the coin toss (representatives of neither team were invited) and it is probably likely Roger Goodell just picked the Giants, because despite being 50/50 partners on the new stadium, there is still a view among some people that this new building will also be Giants Stadium. I could see Jets fans getting real worked up about this but in the end it isn’t a big deal. All I know is I am pumped that the Jets are hosting the week 1 Monday Night game. My early predicted opponent? I will either say Minnesota, New England, or Miami. Let the Giants play on Sunday, they probably can’t wait the extra day to start the season considering they lost their final two games by a combined score of 85-16. I can wait until Monday Night with the rest of the nation to watch the league’s #1 defense, #1 offensive line, most entertaining coach, up and coming franchise quarterback and running back, LaDainain Tomlinson, the return of Leon Washington, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and the rest of the #1 show in town next season.

Welcome to New York

They Could Have Settled The Home Opener, With A Bat Fight

Thoughts On LaDainian Tomlinson & Brodney Pool

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The big news of the day is that LaDainian Tomlinson is in the building visiting with the Jets today and is highly likely to either sign with them or the Minnesota Vikings. Considering the lack of talent available at running back, signing Tomlinson is one of the few ways the Jets could acquire the needed depth for the position. Personally, I have never been a huge Tomlinson fan. The guy looks like he has been done for a few years now and tends to spend most playoff games watching from the side-line with a jacket on or averaging 2 yards per carry. It would have been a smarter move to bring back Thomas Jones but at this point, the Jets don’t have many better options at running back. He still has value as a receiving threat out of the backfield and is a quality short yardage/goal-line back. The Jets could also use a veteran presence at the position. From everything I have read, it sounds like there is a very real chance of this deal getting done and it will basically come down to Tomlinson picking between the Jets and the “maybe have Favre, maybe not have Favre” Vikings.

In other news, the Jets signed former Browns safety Brodney Pool to a one year deal. This was a smart move by Mike Tannenbaum, considering the Jets needed another body at safety. Pool has been a fairly productive player throughout his career and actually had more interceptions (4) and sacks (1) than Kerry Rhodes did, despite only playing 10 games last year. He has sustained four concussions throughout his career and generally has had difficulty staying on the field. Overall, he improves the talent level at safety and the competition for the starting job opposite Jim Leonhard. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets still draft a safety in either round one or two, if there is somebody they like. The Jets will also still probably add a corner or two through the draft or free agency.

Raiders linebacker Jon Alston also visited the Jets. Alston is more of a special teams player and could fill the “void” left by Marques Murrell, who signed with the Patriots. The Jets need bodies at linebacker, especially since Vernon Gholston is occupying a roster spot.

Brodney Pool Career Stats

  • 2005 – 35 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
  • 2006 – 67 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
  • 2007 – 58 tackles, 2 INTs
  • 2008 – 65 tackles, 1 sack, 3 INTs
  • 2009 – 50 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INT

Looking Over The Jets Secondary

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First a few updates:

1. Austin…great city, I am getting my rest in now before another night out…I am looking forward to a little dinner cheering on Seton Hall over Notre Dame.

2. Just as it was announced the Jets had interest in former Colts corner Marlin Jackson, the Eagles moved first and signed him.

3. It doesn’t look like Darren Sharper will be going back to New Orleans and he has expressed his interest in playing in the New York market. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Jets sign Sharper to a one or two year deal, and then draft a safety in the middle rounds and have him learn the ropes behind him.

4. Quick Thoughts on LOST Season 6 Episode 7 “Dr. Linus” – It is pretty clear season 6 is starting to pick up some momentum. I thought this was a great all around episode. The flash sideways had interesting parallels to the on the island story and Ben’s past. It was good to see the good guys pick up a few people and gather together on the beach, setting up the inevitable clash with Locke’s group. The scenes with Richard and Jack were particularly strong. It looks like Jack is finally embracing his importance to the island. Another great ending this week, with Widmore heading back to the island which should add an interesting dynamic to the conflict.

Looking Over The Jets Secondary

No position on the Jets roster will have more of an overhaul than their secondary,  Mike Tannenbaum has made it clear the Jets will add a few more players to their group which has already parted ways with Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Donald Strickland and only been supplemented by the addition of Antonio Cromartie. Let’s take a look at what the Jets currently have and where they make some additions, along with who the targets could be:

Corners

Darrelle Revis – The best player in the NFL at his position. Tannenbaum is currently working on a long-term deal for Revis, which if it doesn’t get done this off-season will likely be priority number one next year.

Antonio Cromartie – The Jets biggest off-season acquisition so far. If Cromartie can get near his 2007 level of play, the Jets will have the best cornerback duo in the NFL.

PhotobucketDwight Lowery – Everybody is way down on Lowery after the abuse he took in the AFC Championship game, yet to think of Lowery as a complete lost cause would be a mistake. Over his first two years in the NFL, Lowery has been a productive player for the Jets but it is clear he lacks the skill set to be a full time starter. He still has value as a #3 or #4 corner, spot starter, and special teams player.

Drew Coleman – A guy with good speed and value on special teams. However, I think the Jets are pushing it when they rely on him to be their nickel corner. I would rather see him as a #4 or #5 corner. He could have a difficult time making the roster this season.

Marquice Cole – He had a strong pre-season last year and was active in a few games. Rex Ryan seems to have taken a liking to him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a chance to gain an expanded role this season.

Safeties

Jim Leonhard – A Rex Ryan guy, who makes the calls in the secondary and had a strong first season with the Jets. He is a blue-collar player, who isn’t afraid to step up in the box and be a physical player.

Eric Smith – Smith started the year off strong  as a role player on the defense and did a pretty good job when he was promoted over Kerry Rhodes. He is better served as a #3 safety/role player/special teams guy than a starter, regardless of what Mike Tannenbaum says.

James Ihedigbo – A very good special teams player and a guy who became more involved on the defense as a blitzer on third down late in the year, which is the perfect role for him regardless of what Mike Tannenbaum says.

I would expect the Jets to add a corner who could compete with Lowery, Coleman, and Cole for the nickel role. At this point, I am not sure who they would target outside of Corey Ivy in the free agent market. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they spent a late round pick on a corner to add depth to the position. Regardless of what Tannenbaum says, the Jets are going to add another safety whether it is Brodney Pool, Darren Sharper, or a high draft pick.

Quick Tuesday Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes, Brodney Pool, Leon Washington, And More

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I am currently on my spring break in Austin with a bunch of my college friends but I still want to get up a short post everyday on what is going on with the Jets off-season….

Kerry Rhodes – Rhodes took a bunch of shots at the Jets in an interview with Michael Kay at 1050 ESPN Radio. You can read the comments transcribed here: (http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2010/03/rhodes-takes-parting-shots-at.html)…Needless to say, he sounds extremely petulant and jealous of the success of other players on the defense. His comments actually make no sense since Darrelle Revis and David Harris were the two best players on the Jets defense last year and neither of them were former Ravens. Rhodes can take his cry baby ways to Arizona, where I hope he can handle being the third best player  in their secondary behind Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

– Brodney Pool – The Jets are showing interest in former Browns safety Brodney Pool as a potential replacement for Kerry Rhodes. Pool had 4 interceptions and a sack in only 10 games last year. He missed the rest of the season due to injury…sounds like better numbers than Rhodes put up in a full season of work. Pool could be a cheap option that will improve the depth and competition at the safety position.

– Thomas Jones – So much for the thought of Thomas Jones coming back. He signed with the Chiefs today. Jones didn’t really get much of a big money deal. He is taking a pay cut from last year and will make 3 million dollars this year. Unfortunately, instead of playing on a contender in a big market, he is now stuck on a likely 5-11 team in Kansas City.

– Leon Washington – Apparently the 49ers are interested in Leon, which makes sense because of their need for a third down back and their employment of former Jets running back coach Jimmy Raye. The Jets would be crazy not to match an offer for Leon and attempt to run the ground and pound with Chauncey Washington backing up Shonn Greene.

– How about Derek Anderson as a veteran backup?…Benny Sapp re-signed with the Vikings…The Jets are rumored to be receiving no compensatory picks this year, which is no good…Don’t underestimate the loss of Wallace Wright. It is hard to replace quality special teams players.

Free Agent Anxiety: Where Do The Jets Go From Here?

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I was clearly spoiled by the past two off-seasons from the Jets. Since Thursday, they have pulled off two pretty major trades and I am still sitting here getting anxious because there isn’t much talk out there about any substantive transactions on the horizon for them. Only one new player has been added so far: Antonio Cromartie, while Kerry Rhodes, Donald Strickland, Lito Sheppard, and likely Thomas Jones have all been let go. The future in green and white of Marques Douglas, Wallace Wright, Howard Green, and to some extent Leon Washington remain up in the air. I am confident Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets scouting department will do a good job in the draft with their current six selections, but beyond that what is left for this Jets off-season? Let’s take a quick position by position run through –

Quarterback – It doesn’t look like the Jets will be bringing in a veteran backup for Mark Sanchez. I can’t see any team showing any interest in Kellen Clemens as a RFA or even in a trade, meaning he will likely be back. The Jets organization seems to be pretty high on the potential of both Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the three of them battle for the #2 spot behind Sanchez in 2010. The idea of Chad Pennington coming back ended when he re-signed with the Dolphins and there has been other movement with backup quarterbacks, David Carr to San Francisco, AJ Feely to the Rams and rumors of other movement, Jim Sorgi to the Giants and Jeff Garcia to multiple teams but there hasn’t been anything reported on the Jets showing interest in any quarterbacks.

PhotobucketRunning Back – Thomas Jones has most recently been linked to the Chiefs and it sounds like a long shot he will end up back with the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has said the Jets will add a veteran running back but I think he could wait until the summer to see what some of the training camp cuts are. He discussed Tony Richardson in a conference call with reporters today, saying it was a “priority” to re-sign him which is good news. I am sure at his age, Richardson would like to come back for another year with the Jets instead of moving out to another team. There is no reason to go cheap at fullback, especially with a lack of veteran leadership now at the running back position. I still doubt any team signs Leon Washington to a contract as a RFA, but that could just be a hopeful thought.

Wide Receiver – Another key point of Tannenbaum’s conference call today was confirming the Jets interest in Laveranues Coles. It has been reported over the past week that LC has an interest in returning to New York and I think he could be a good fit in the Jets offense. He has the skill set to be a very good slot receiver, as long as at this stage of his career he can accept a more limited role.

Tight End – The Jets re-signed backup tight end Ben Hartsock to a 2 year deal today. I believed the Jets could upgrade over him to a slightly more versatile guy. Hartsock is basically another tackle out there, but I suppose his value as a blocker is crucial in the type of offense the Jets run.

Offensive Line – Haven’t heard much of anything at this position but I still expect the Jets to spend a mid or late round pick on an offensive lineman.

Defensive Line – Marques Douglas is rightly attracting alot of interest in the free agent market but as I have written many times here before, the Jets would be foolish not to bring him back. Pay the guy his money. Quality 3-4 defensive ends are hard to come by and the Jets had one last year in Douglas. Even if the Jets bring Douglas back, I could still see them taking a defensive lineman in the first or second round…Dan Williams and Jared Odrick are some first round names that have been linked to the Jets in a few mock drafts.

Linebackers – Adalius Thomas hasn’t been released by the Patriots yet but when he is, I would expect the Jets to act quickly. They could also look for a pass rushing prospect at outside linebacker in the first or second round of the draft.

Secondary – Mike Tannenbaum has made it sound like he will be adding two or three more members to the Jets secondary before the off-season is done. Whether it is through the draft or free agency, I would expect to see a new safety, a nickel back, and a depth player at either corner or safety brought in.

Special Teams – Wallace Wright was just signed by Carolina, which is a shame. He has been the Jets top special teams player for a few years now.  Jay Feely hasn’t been signed by anybody yet, so I could hold on to the thought that Nick Folk won’t be kicking for us next year.

Dusting Off LC Footage

Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes Trade & Weekend Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Great times yesterday at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hoboken…I am happy to report everybody I was with  avoided the $2,000 fines that were being handed out like candy on Halloween. I got a decent amount of love for my “Revis Island” shirt. Sure, there were plenty of bitter Giants fans celebrating the Antrel Rolle signing like they just picked up Ronnie Lott in his prime, but I mean hey any time you can make a guy who might not even be a top ten player in the league at his position the highest paid safety in NFL history…hey, go for it.

2. I am heading out to Austin, Texas from Tuesday to Sunday with some college friends, so posts might be a little more sparse than I would normally like but if anything major happens, I’ll obviously be on it and of course follow the facebook page and twitter account for updates.

3. The 2010 Draft section has been updated.

Thoughts On Kerry Rhodes Trade & Weekend Wrap-Up

When I woke up this morning and saw all the information on the Kerry Rhodes trade, I wasn’t surprised to see he was moved. The momentum had been building on this for awhile and even though Mike Tannenbaum made it sound like he would be back during the Antonio Cromartie conference call, you still had a feeling he wouldn’t be playing for the Jets in 2010. Initially, I wasn’t thrilled with the value they got back from Arizona. The original reports from last week had Arizona potentially sending over a 3rd round pick, but as we know it ended up being a 4th rounder and a 7th rounder next year. I suppose that it is decent value for a guy who has never been a pro-bowler but the Jets still now have a hole at safety.

PhotobucketIt sounds like the Jets are content to let Eric Smith take over but I can’t really see Tannenbaum standing pat here. I don’t know if he will try to make a move up in the draft to grab Eric Berry or Earl Thomas, look at the second round tender on Baltimore’s Dawan Landry or has something else in mind but I’d be shocked if the Jets didn’t bring in somebody else to pair with Jim Leonhard. Eric Smith is a decent player but he has some limitations in pass coverage and isn’t much of a playmaker. The Jets defense isn’t better with Smith and James Ihedigbo taking the major reps at safety over Rhodes.

In retrospect, I now have another jersey of a former Jets player. I could slide my #25 jersey next to my Chad Pennington, Jonathan Vilma, Laveranues Coles, Santana Moss, and Curtis Conway (yikes) ones. Like most Jets fans, I was huge Rhodes fan when he instantly became a productive player as a fourth round pick in 2005. He took his game to the next level in 2006 with a monster season, in which he probably should have received All-Pro recognition. Unfortunately, his play has declined in every season since, culminating with him being benched in week 10 this past year. Rhodes never seemed to click with the new coaching staff and was apparently wearing thin on the locker room with his “Hollywood” attitude. Regardless, TOJ wishes Rhodes luck in Arizona and will have always fond memories of the big plays he made from 2005-2009.

It is nice the Jets added a fourth round pick and now currently only have one round in which they don’t pick (third). I also expect they will pick up another selection when compensatory picks are announced. The Jets need depth on both sides of the ball and have been short on draft picks in recent years, so the more overall selections the better.

In terms of where they go from here, there hasn’t been much written on Adalius Thomas in the past 48 hours but I still expect when everything is said and done, that he will end up on the Jets. Mike Tannenbaum has been giving the impression the Jets will definitely add another one or maybe even two, corners. Corey Ivy remains a potential target. Ralph Brown, Frank Walker, Benny Sapp, and Roderick Hood are other available players the Jets could consider.

PhotobucketMarques Douglas is attracting interest from the Patriots, Panthers, and Titans. I really hope the Jets use some of the money they freed up from Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Donald Strickland, and Lito Sheppard to get Douglas back. He was a valuable part of their defense and is a quality 3-4 end, which are hard to come by. Mike DeVito was pretty good last year but is better served as a rotational player, providing depth very similar to Eric Smith. The Jets have the money to sign him and their defense will be better overall with him. There is no reason to have too much turnover on the league’s #1 defense.

Pro Football Talk is reporting the market could soon heat up for Leon Washington. Yet, they don’t name any specific teams. Even if another team signs Washington to an offer sheet, I can’t see the Jets letting Thomas Jones and Leon Washington walk in one off-season. Jones is going to get more money offered somewhere else and likely not return. Tannenbaum has said the Jets will target a veteran running back, although the options are fairly slim. Mike Bell’s name has been thrown around but beyond him I haven’t heard another running back specifically mentioned.

A Longer Look At Antonio Cromartie Deal & The Impact It Has On Jets Off-Season

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A Longer Look At Antonio Cromartie Deal & The Impact It Has On Jets Off-Season

Here I am, ready to type up a nice short article with some final thoughts before free agency kicked off at midnight. Before I started writing, I decided to check Rich Cimini’s The Jets Stream and see he has two really short posts, right in a row which usually only means one thing, the Jets have done something big. Sure enough, Mike Tannenbaum did what he does best and he couldn’t even wait until tomorrow to pull the trigger. The Jets have acquired former Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie for a 2011 third round pick, which could turn into a 2nd rounder based on his performance and playing time. (Jay Glazer is being credited with breaking the story, by the way).

PhotobucketObviously, there is always some initial excitement when your team makes a big move, which was conveyed in my initial post on this trade. However, you can’t just look at the glass half full with this deal. Yes, Cromartie is an extremely physically gifted player. Yes, he was a beast in 2007 when he had ten interceptions and was an All-Pro. Yes, he is a playmaker, with four career touchdowns, including one on a 109 yard return of a missed field goal. His physical attributes are summed up nicely by this scouting report from ESPN Insider, linked by The Jets Blog here, (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/04/antonio-cromartie-scouting-report/).

Now turning to the glass being half empty: since 2007, Cromartie has had as many paternity suits (5) as he has had interceptions (5). In 2008, he only had two interceptions, both of which ironically came against the Jets on Monday Night Football, including one he ran back for a touchdown. At the end of the year, he blamed his poor play on a hip injury, which he sustained in week one. In 2009, he finished with three interceptions, thirty-three tackles, and ten passes defensed. All Jets fan also got a first-hand look at his laziness in the divisional round of the playoffs, when he made a poor effort on Shonn Greene’s 53 yard touchdown run and then topped it off with a cheap shot on Greene in the end-zone, which I ripped him for in my “Cheap-Shot Chargers” article way back in January. San Diego made it known they were fed up with Cromartie’s occasional lazy play and inconsistency, which is never something you want to hear about a player.

Adam Schefter is reporting the Jets will not be giving Cromartie a new deal, which means he will be playing in his contract year. Overall, similar to Lito Sheppard and Braylon Edwards, the Jets are rolling the dice on a guy with physical talent who has some question marks surrounding him. It didn’t work out with Sheppard and it remains to be seen how everything shakes out with Edwards but clearly the Jets aren’t afraid to take risks on players.

Cromartie will have a chance to play on the league’s best defense for a coach players love and live in a cornerback’s dream: having a ton of balls thrown is way, giving him a chance to make plays and never having to worry about the opposing team’s best receiver. For a third round pick next year? I think the risk outweighs the reward. If the Jets hit on this trade, they could have two legit pro-bowl corners next year and see Cromartie rack up 6-7 interceptions, along with a few touchdowns. If they miss, they lose a third round pick next year and have to deal with more Dwight Lowery down the stretch. I think there is a good chance it lands somewhere in the middle of those two, Cromartie isn’t going to bounce back to 2007 form but I think he will be motivated by Ryan, the challenge of playing opposite Revis, and of course a contract year. Richard Marshall would have been safer, but Cromartie has more upside.

It is honestly hard not to be excited about the thought of Revis and Cromartie next year, period, There are valid concerns but at least we have a GM who goes after it.

So, where does this leave the Jets the rest of the off-season?

  • Forget about spending that first round pick on a corner. I still wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets pursue Corey Ivy for the nickel role however, Donald Strickland will likely be released and they need somebody to fill his spot.
  • Adalius Thomas still remains a likely target at outside linebacker.
  • Rich Cimini is reporting the chances are “very remote” Thomas Jones returns next year. The Jets could  focus on guys like Mike Bell or Chris Brown if TJ doesn’t come back.
  • Unless the Kerry Rhodes for Anquan Boldin deal is swung, receiver could become a first round target now or the Jets could look defensive line/outside linebacker.
  • I am expecting Rhodes to be moved for a third round pick tomorrow…just a gut feeling, which also means the Jets could look to draft a safety in round 1 or 2.
  • How about Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker both being cut? I guess Mike T was smart not to pay them the money they were demanding. I wouldn’t mind seeing Baker as a #2 tight end or even Coles back a slot receiver.
  • It looks Chad Pennington is heading back to Miami…oh well.

Antonio Cromartie: The Good

The Scary Good

The Ugly

Jets Trade For Antonio Cromartie

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It isn’t even midnight yet and Mike Tannenbaum has struck…it is being reported the Jets have traded a 2011 third round pick for Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, which could escalate to a second round pick.

Initial thoughts? I have been down on Cromartie on this blog, but considering the Jets only gave up a third rounder next year, which elevates to a second if he hits certain benchmarks, it is hard to argue with. Cromartie is obviously one of the most talented corners in the league. The guy had ten interceptions in 2007 and made some ridiculous plays. I am sure Rex Ryan is confident, he can get Cromartie back to pro-bowl form and won’t have any effort/off the field issues because of the tight knit Jets locker room.

Much more to come…

Boldin? Cromartie? Marshall? Jones Coming Back? The Rumors Are Swirling

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Shame on me for talking about how slow the Jets off-season news was yesterday, because last night it began to pick up. Let’s sort through some of the talk that is flying around on the day before free agency starts.

Anquan Boldin/Kerry Rhodes – Last night Adam Schein reported the Cardinals were interested in Kerry Rhodes because of the impending departure of Antrel Rolle. Apparently, they are offering either Anquan Boldin or a third round pick in exchange for Rhodes. First off, I never thought the Jets could get a third round pick for Rhodes, thinking that they would have to settle for a 4th our 5th round pick. Even at a third roundpick, I am not crazy about the deal but it is somewhat more acceptable because the Jets may have a little more flexibility to make a move to fill the spot left by him. I think the Jets would probably do this deal because Rex Ryan likely believes Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo could get the job done if the Jets can’t acquire anybody else.

Despite writing about how the Jets don’t need a receiver, it is hard not to get excited about Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards split out wide, with Jerricho Cotchery in the slot. Are the Jets trying to turn into the greatest show on turf? It doesn’t really fit into the Jets identity to release Thoams Jones, give Leon a tender that could be matched and then swing a trade for a big time receiver for the second time in 6 months, but who knows? Anquan Boldin is a better player than Kerry Rhodes, and we know the coaching staff isn’t crazy about Rhodes, so I could absolutely see Tannenbaum pulling the trigger on this offer.

PhotobucketAntonio Cromartie – Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post reported last night that the Jets are “very interested” in Antonio Cromartie and are currently his most likely suitor. I am not crazy about Cromartie because of his occasional lack of effort and struggles the past two years but the guy obviously has serious amounts of talent. The Jets number two corner is going to see alot of balls thrown his way because of that Revis guy on the other side, and you are talking about a guy who had 10 interceptions in a single season back in 2007. I am sure Rex Ryan is enamored with his talent level and believes he can get the most out of him, but there would still be some risk associated withit. If San Diego is so anxious to get rid of Cromartie  that they will part ways with him for a late round pick, like say a 5th rounder this year and a 6th rounder next year, than go for it but let’s not do anything crazy and give up a pick in the first two or three rounds for this guy.

Restricted Free Agents – The Jets placed a tender on 8 of their 11 restricted free agents:

  • Braylon Edwards – 1st and3rd Round Picks
  • Leon Washington – 2nd Round Pick
  • Brad Smith – 2nd Round Pick
  • Kellen Clemens – Original Round(3rd) because the Jets already used their second round tenders on Washington and Smith
  • Eric Smith – Original Round (3rd)
  • Wayne Hunter – Original Round (3rd)
  • Drew Coleman – Original Round (6th)
  • James Ihedigbo- Original Round (FA)

Wallace Wright, Marques Murrell, and Howard Green were not given a tender and will become unrestricted free agents at midnight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wright and Green were eventually brought back, if they don’t receive that much interest on the free agent market. I don’t see anybody offering Leon a contract, regardless of what his agent says.

PhotobucketMarshall and Marshall – There has been some talk about the Jets having a potential interest in Panthers corner Richard Marshall, who was only given a second round tender. I know DMB on the Jets ESPN message board was all over this last night and then Rich Cimini of the Daily Newsalso pointed it out today. Honestly, it makes alot of the sense for the Jets to investigate Marshall who is only 25 years old, started every single game for the Panthers last year, and put together a very productive season (88 tackles, 4 INTs, 9 PDs). The Jets could get a proven starter opposite Revis, without Cromartie’s baggage, for a second round pick and then focus on a different area of need in the first round. It almost makes too much sense for Mike Tannenbaum to ignore.

An ESPN Insider report and Rich Cimini both discussed the possibility of the Jets pursuing Brandon Marshall, who was given a first round tender by the Broncos. I would still be surprised to see the Jets go after him, unless they found a way to move Braylon Edwards for some value. They aren’t going to give up a 1st rounder or even a 2nd rounder, if they could talk Denver into a trade, unless they are going to get a quality draft pick for Braylon.

Thomas Jones – PFT is reporting the Jets are planning an attempt to bring back Thomas Jones. They cut him to avoid paying him his 3 million dollar bonus but depending on the interest he receives in the open market, may be able to bring him back under a new deal. The same thing happened with Brandon Moore last season so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Anybody who regularly reads this site knows how I feel about Jones. I think it would be a great move if they could get him back on the roster for 2010.

Other Guys – The beat writers were all over the Jets pursuing Saints running back Mike Bell, who received the lowest tender (no draft pick compensation). Bell is a hard, inside runner who had five touchdowns and 654 yards last season for the champs. Corey Ivy has also been mentioned as a nickel back. Adalius Thomas seems destined to endup with the Jets after he is cut by the Patriots. There is still some talk about Nnamdi Asomugha, but I just can’t see that happening.

Stay tuned, the next few days should be interesting…

If I had to make some predictions as of right now, here is what I would say:

  • The Jets trade Rhodes for a third round pick because they don’t want to give Boldin a big contract.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Richard Marshall, if this doesn’t work out, they look to trade the third round pick acquired from the Rhodes deal for Cromartie.
  • The Jets sign Adalius Thomas.
  • The Jets sign Corey Ivy.
  • Donald Strickland is released.
  • Jay Feely signs with another team.
  • Marques Douglas comes back.
  • Tony Richardson comes back.
  • The Jets match the offer sheet for Mike Bell.
  • Leon is back next year.
  • Thomas Jones signs with another team for more money than the Jets are willing to pay him.