Braylon Edwards Back In 2011?

Although it is hard to speculate what will happen this off-season, Incarcerated Bob had this to say last night on Twitter about the New York Jets and Braylon Edwards. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, he has a good enough track record that this merits mentioning.

Personally, I never thought the Jets would find a way to bring Edwards back with Santonio Holmes, who received a first and third round tender. However, you can never count out Mike Tannenbaum and obviously if he could swing this, it is great news for the future of the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez. Edwards is coming off a terrific year and provides excellent size on the outside. This also probably doesn’t bear well for Antonio Cromartie’s future with the team, it is true.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts: Edition #8

The 12 pack is back with a very special Thursday edition, for the the very special reason that I will be in New Orleans for the weekend and don’t plan on having the laptop out on Bourbon Street tomorrow afternoon. However, the site will still be updated throughout the weekend, make sure you are following the Facebook and Twitter page.

1. My thoughts on the report about Mark Sanchez leading the league in dropped interceptions this past season…Yes, we all saw defensive backs dropping balls that could have been intercepted and yes we all know Sanchez needs to improve his accuracy (his completion percentage shows that). However, it is foolish to try to argue that he didn’t take major strides forward in his second year. The bottom line is that he threw 5 more touchdowns and 7 less interceptions, won two more games, was substantially more consistent and routinely clutch in big games. I will take Sanchez and his dropped interceptions any day over Chad Henne, who threw the ball so accurately at the other team’s defensive backs that only one “dropped” one all season.

2. I have harped on this all off-season and will continue to do so until he is  in a Jets jersey for 2011. This team needs to find a way to bring Antonio Cromartie back next year. When you play the type of aggressive man to man coverage the Jets do, you need a big time corner opposite Darrelle Revis, especially when you have a weak pass rush. Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t coming here and the Jets aren’t spending a first round pick on a corner. If you think Kyle Wilson, Dwight Lowery, or Drew Coleman can handle being a full time starter in this system right now, you need a head examination.

3. You have to be encouraged by the reports of the work Vladimir Ducasse is doing this off-season. Hopefully, he will grab the starting right tackle job by the throat this summer because if he can’t beat out Wayne Hunter, his long term future with the team will start to become fairly cloudy. Let’s hope Joe McKnight follows Ducasse’s lead these next few months.

4. If I had to guess today who the Jets will end up with in April’s draft, I would go with either Baylor’s Phil Taylor or Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson. Both defensive lineman have a good shot of being available at #30. I am also intrigued by potentially taking safety UCLA safety Rahim Moore, just because I am anxious to see Rex Ryan finally get a play-making safety here in New York.

5. “I’d rather beat the Patriots, than maybe go to heaven” — That’s why we love you Mike Westhoff.

6. Speaking of our friends up north, Randy Moss recently said he’d be interested in returning to the Patriots. Somehow, I don’t think they will be interested. Personally, if Braylon Edwards ends up leaving I wouldn’t mind if the Jets could get Moss on a cheap, one year deal to provide a vertical threat and some size at split end.

7. It is going to take more than the draft to improve the Jets defensive line depth. Let’s hope either Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, or Matt Kroul can step up and become a quality rotation player this year, similar to how Mike DeVito did a couple of years back and eventually worked his way to being a starter.

8. Can we not forget the Jets need to address the backup quarterback position this off-season? Mark Brunell isn’t the answer and is better suited to being the #3. Clearly the coaching staff has no confidence in Kellen Clemens. It is either time to find somebody in free agency or draft a developmental backup to be a long term solution.

9. I am very anxious to see how Shonn Greene handles this season, which is really a make or break year for him as a lead back. It sounds like he will get the amount of carries necessary to show he can be a 1,200 yard type guy, let’s see if he can protect the football, stay healthy, and bring the consistency that is needed to put up those kind of numbers.

10. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am trying to be optimistic that an injunction will be ruled on April 6th and we will have football games this year.

11. As you know, we like to get off topic occasionally here — so here is wishing good luck to St. John’s in the NCAA tourney tonight and hoping the Knicks wake up sometime soon because they have looked like garbage the past week.

12. Weekend Video Clips – Assorted Highlight Tapes Edition

Turn On The Jets 2010/2011 Report Cards – Jerricho Cotchery

Today we continue our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up today, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery

Stat Line – 41 receptions, 433 yards, 2 touchdowns

Playoff Stat Line – 12 receptions, 146 yards, 1 touchdown

Best Moment – Cotchery had a huge, momentum swinging 58 yard reception on the first play of the fourth quarter in the Jets divisional round win over the New England Patriots. However, without question his most memorable play from the 2010 season is below —

Best Game – Cotchery’s 5 reception, 96 yard performance against New England in the playoffs was his best game of the year by a fairly wide margin.

Overall Evaluation – It was a disappointing season for Cotchery, who struggled with injuries and drops throughout the year. Normally possessing the team’s most reliable hands, he actually led the team in drops this season highlighted by three drops in the fourth quarter of the team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. He did have to deal with being demoted from the starting role after Santonio Holmes returned from suspension but handled it with class. Cotchery had an encouraging end to the season by putting together a strong run in the playoffs. (C)

Future – Cotchery is under contract and will be back with the team next year. There is also a good chance he will be back in the starting lineup, since the the Jets will likely be unable to retain both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. I would count on Cotchery to have a nice bounce-back season after his least productive year since 2005.

Concern About The Jets Front Seven

And now back to football…

Appropriately there is a general consensus that the New York Jets need to improve their defensive front seven this off-season, which has been spearheaded by most mock drafts pairing them with a defensive lineman or outside linebacker.

At defensive line and linebacker, the Jets are a little bit old and a little bit slow. Outside of David Harris, all three starting linebackers are over 30 and none (including Harris) have great speed. On the defensive line, Sione Pouhaand Shaun Ellis (if he returns) are both into their 30’s and if you saw Mike DeVito trying to cover Danny Woodhead last year, you know he didn’t run track in high school or college.

The depth isn’t great at either position, Jamaal Westerman and Josh Mauga don’t project as future starters at linebacker. On the line, Marcus Dixon, Ropati Pitoitua, and Matt Kroul have potential but still a long way to go to prove they deserve regular spots in the rotation.

Where will the help come from? At a minimum, the Jets need a long term replacement for Bryan Thomas at outside linebacker, a defensive end to replace Shaun Ellis (even if he ends up coming back), and another interior lineman to boost the rotation and maybe eventually take over for Pouha.

The draft could only solve so much, especially with the Jets missing a second round pick. Hopefully, Mike Tannenbaum’s first round pick can contribute immediately and he finds another later round prospect or two that contribute at defensive line or linebacker. The Jets will likely be handcuffed in signing new players in free agency, as they will be limited by the same “Final Eight” rules they were last year, if an injunction is granted as expected on April 6th.

In reality, it is going to take multiple off-seasons to get the defensive front seven where it needs to be. The Jets can take a big step in the right direction this year by having a strong draft, hoping a few of their developmental players (Dixon, Pitoitua) contribute, and maybe swinging a deal or two via free agency or trade.

A Brief TOJ Rant On The Lockout

Everybody out there who is a fan of the NFL has obviously been dismayed by the events of the previous few days. A decertification. A lockout. An April 6th court hearing. A hopeful injunction on that date. A request for players to boycott the draft. Plenty of uncertainty on how the 2011 NFL season is going to shape up, in terms of free agency, off-season workouts, and scariest of all, missed games.

I can’t sit here and claim to know the ins and outs of this legal situation, especially as it keeps evolving. Similar to most of you, I have followed the case the best I could from the various mainstream media sources and similar to all of you, I am disgusted and disappointed.

How can a league which is thoroughly dominating every sport in this county in every way possible and that has never been more popular, go and mess it up?

My sympathy lies more with the players than it does with the owners but that doesn’t mean both sides haven’t made mistakes. The petty back and forth through the media hasn’t helped the situation, and the foolish suggestion by the NFLPA for incoming rookies to boycott the draft is a shame.

All I know is that I want a NFL off-season back as soon as possible, which from my understanding means rooting for injunction on April 6th.

I am going to keep covering the New York Jets and the NFL under the assumption that at some point in 2011 there will be football games. There is going to be plenty of hypotheticals considering we don’t know yet how free agency and trades will be handled. I will keep commenting on the labor negotiations when applicable and always link the most updated information on our Facebook and Twitter account, but for the most part I will keep writing about the actual game of football, not injunctions, decertifications, or other legal topics.

Turn On The Jets 2010/2011 Report Cards – Braylon Edwards

Today we continue our series of evaluating how each player on the Jets performed this past season, along with looking forward to what their role on the team will be next year…up today, wide receiver Braylon Edwards

Stat Line – 53 receptions, 904 yards, 7 touchdowns

Playoff Stat Line – 9 receptions, 164 yards, 1 touchdown

Best Moment – His most important play of the season was a 18 yard leaping reception on the Jets game winning drive against the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round. However, something about him dragging half of the New England secondary into the end-zone the following week was too good to pass up (at 3:45).

Best Game –In the Jets regular season victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Edwards hauled in 8 receptions for 100 yards, including multiple tough grabs over the middle. This game really exemplified how far Edwards had progressed away from his problem with dropped passes.

Overall Evaluation – Simply put, Edwards was terrific for the Jets this season. He led the team in receiving yards, made a ton of big plays, and had the least amount of drops. Even though his stat line wasn’t gaudy, anybody who watched every snap of the Jets offense in 2010 knows how productive Edwards was when given the chance. (A)

Future – Cloudy to say the least. It is impossible to guess what will happen with the situation the NFL is currently in, but it will likely be very difficult for the Jets to find a way to bring Edwards back along with Santonio Holmes. The team has stated they want him to return and Edwards has agreed with that sentiment but it could be awhile before we see how free agency breaks. I would say it is more likely he isn’t on the team next year but I hope to be proven wrong by the always creative Mike Tannenbaum.