NFL Free Agency 2011: Revis Vs. Ocho, The “Rivalry” Continues

It must be have really bothered New England to have their season end in a shower of flight boy celebrations all over their field…

The Patriots made their second bold move of the day by trading for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocino, which provides them a much needed deep threat on the outside. I would be stressing over this move more substantially if Darrelle Revis hadn’t completely owned Ochocino in all of their meetings the past few years. Is the combination of Tom Brady and Ochocino potentially very scary? Of course. Yet, I can tell you it isn’t as scary as Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne, who Revis held to 1 catch for 1 yard in the playoffs last year.

Regardless, the Patriots are clearly loading up in anticipation of the Jets having another strong off-season and potentially luring Nnamdi Asomugha to join Revis. It is interesting how much criticism the Jets receive for taking risks on veteran players with baggage but when the Patriots do it, it is a “savvy” move.

In other news, the Jets have announced the signings of six new undrafted free agents, our depth chart has been updated accordingly:

  • ILB Matthias Berning (Central Michigan/Duisburg, Germany/6-0/236)
  • C Taylor Boggs (Humboldt State/Upland, CA/6-3/285)
  • S Byron Landor (Baylor/Lake Charles, LA/6-0/210)
  • S Davon Morgan (Virginia Tech/Richmond, VA/6-0/189)
  • C Zane Taylor (Utah/Moab, UT/6-2/309)
  • OL Jeff Wills (Minnesota/Laurelton, NY/6-7/350)

NFL Free Agency 2011: Brad Smith Leaves, Jets Play Waiting Game

In a move that most of us expected, wide receiver/quarterback/running back/kick returner Brad Smith has left the New York Jets. It was however somewhat surprising that he decided to join the division rival Buffalo Bills, who seemed to come out of nowhere today to snatch him up on a 4 year, 15 million dollar contract.

According to Smith, the Jets did reach out to him but couldn’t move on signing him until the situation with Nnamdi Asomugha shakes out. The Jets do still have plenty of room under the cap but apparently their top priority right now is filling the cornerback spot opposite Darrelle Revis, whether it is Asomugha, Antonio Cromartie, or a cheaper option like Chris Carr.

It will be interesting to see the contingency plan if Asomugha decides to sign with Houston or San Francisco. Cromartie would probably be the immediate fallback option but he might still not be around or the Jets could consider him too pricey and look to go with Carr and then hope to still have a shot at getting Braylon Edwards back.

Regardless, it seems like the Jets next two major moves will be signing a cornerback and a number two wide receiver, with Asomugha, Cromartie, Carr, Edwards, and Randy Moss all in play.

In other news…

LaDainian Tomlinson did agree to take a pay cut to help in the Jets pursuit of Asomugha.

The Jets aren’t going to make an attempt to resign punter Steve Weatherford. No more shakeweights at camp.

According to Manish Mehta of The Daily News expect a long term deal with David Harris to worked out some time next week.

TOJ Roundtable: More Worried About Haynesworth Or Bush?

TOJ Roundtable: where a collection of our writers offer a quick opinion on a pressing Jets question of the day.

Are you more concerned about Albert Haynesworth going to New England or Reggie Bush going to Miami?

Joe Caporoso: I think you have to be more worried about Haynesworth because if he plays anywhere near his potential, it gives the Patriots a lethal combination of him and Vince Wilfork up front. Fortunately, the Jets do have Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore but that is still a scary combination regardless. Haynesworth has been good enough to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Reggie Bush has never been anywhere near that kind of player, he is a nice speciality running back but I certainly hope Miami is foolish enough to think he can be a lead back and give him 15-20 carries a game.

Rob Celletti: Absolutely, 100% Haynesworth, and it’s not even close.  The Dolphins are really a non-factor for me right now, whereas anything the Patriots do has the potential to doom the Jets’ chances at making a run for the division.  Like the Jets, the Pats wouldn’t make a move without doing their due diligence and making sure that the situation, salary and compensation were the right fit.  Throw in Belichick’s coaching and the fact that Haynesworth is only 30, this could turn out to be an absolute steal for New England.

AJ Malvisi:I think I’m more concerned about Haynesworth.  He has to know Bellicheck will not take any of his nonsense and see his value is way down from when the Redskins signed him. This is a crucial year for him if he wants to get another pay day. I do think he is not the player he once was and I have faith the Jets line will be able to handle him when the time comes. New England is just another stop on the long, strange trip that has been Albert Haynesworth’s career.

TJ RosenthalHaynesworth: If motivated, he could be a force inside with Vince Wilfork. If so Patriots run defense will be as tough as anyone’s. The question is, can a guy who has been an enigma for the past two seasons find his way again? If Haynesworth can’t kickstart his career with the great Bill Belichick, his days in the NFL may be over.

Bush: Reggie adds a nice dynamic of outside speed and big play ability for the Dolphins however, Miami has not had running problems. They’ve had issues throwing the ball down the field. If they don’t acquire a Kyle Orton type QB here in the free agency period, then Chad Henne has to step up. If not, the addition of Bush will have alot less of an impact.

Chris Celletti: You have to be more worried about Haynesworth to the Patriots. Bill Belichick has proven he can deal with a headache personality (see Randy Moss). He’s always been able to field a good defense with lesser name players so if he could keep Haynesworth in check and get him to play to his potential, that’s a great weapon for the Pats defense. Bush and the Dolphins? Well, not much the Dolphins can do would worry me right now.

2011 Undrafted Free Agent Signings: New York Jets

 

The New York Jets have formally announced their undrafted free agent signings this year, and there are ten of them, who have also been added to TOJ’s updated depth chart.

TE Josh Baker, 6-foot-3, 244 pounds (N.W. Missouri)
LB Nick Bellore, 6-1, 250 (Central Michigan)
WR Michael Campbell, 6-2, 205 (Temple)
WR Dan DePalma, 5-11, 200 (West Chester)
TE Collin Franklin, 6-5, 252 (Iowa State)
LB Stafford Gatling, 6-4/249 (Ohio)
C Tom Ottaiano, 6-1/295 (Monmouth)
CB Julian Posey, 5-11, 187 (Ohio)
WR Courtney Smith, 6-5, 230 (South Alabama)
OL Chris Stewart, 6-5, 351 (Notre Dame)

Initial thoughts —

Half of these ten are either wide receivers or tight ends, which makes sense considering how those positions are in flux right now. You want as many people available as possible to run routes, especially with Jerricho Cotchery coming off an injury. Josh Baker is a guy to keep an eye on, with his athleticism he could flex into the H-Back role easily. Nick Bellore is another player who should have a good shot of making the roster considering how thin the Jets are at linebacker and that he was considered by many to be a 6th or 7th round prospect in the draft.

NFL Free Agency 2011: New York Jets Day Three Primer

And the madness continues…

– The most encouraging thing to start your day: How about this Tweet from Adam Schefter:

Jets are more than $10 million UNDER salary cap, according to two NFL capologists. Might make the Jets the favorite to land Nnamdi Asomugha.”

Mike Tannenbaum how do you do it? If the Jets don’t land Asomugha, you would think they still have a good shot to bring back Antonio Cromartie or at least another veteran to compete with Kyle Wilson like Chris Carr. It seems to sound like Asomugha will reach a decision in the next day or two between the Jets, 49ers, and Texans and after him the rest of the cornerback dominoes will fall.

– The Denver Broncos are reportedly interested in Eric Smith but the Jets are going to make a strong effort to retain him. Drew Coleman is also continuing to receive interest from a handful of other teams. I am surprised we haven’t heard more about Brodney Pool yet.

– Considering Sidney Rice has signed with Seattle and Steve Breaston signed with Kansas City, you have to think a move for Braylon Edwards is coming soon for some team. I wouldn’t completely write the Jets off because if they can’t secure Asomugha, maybe they will look back towards Edwards but it does seem highly unlikely at this point that he will be back.

NFL Free Agency 2011: AFC East Waking Up

The rest of the AFC East has woken up in the past few hours, with the New England Patriots trading a fifth round draft pick in 2013 for Albert Haynesworth. It is hard to criticize New England for taking a risk like this considering the success the Jets have had with players like say for example, Santonio Holmes…and look at him now.

Regardless, Haynesworth was absolutely toxic last year in Washington. I would also be more concerned if the Jets didn’t have the best center in football in Nick Mangold and one of the best guards in the NFL in Brandon Moore. The move does whiff a little bit of desperation from the Patriots doesn’t it? However, if Bill Belichick can get anything out of Haynesworth, a line-up with him and Vince Wilfork on it could be a little scary.

The Miami Dolphins have also made some waves by trading for running back Reggie Bush. He is a nice gadget player, who can provide big plays if put in the right spot but still doesn’t give the Dolphins the type of every down running game they need to support Chad Henne, or even Kyle Orton if they trade for him. I do think Orton would be a nice upgrade for them at quarterabck if they could work out the details of the trade.

Buffalo has been relatively quiet. They acquired Tyler Thigpen to backup Ryan Fitzpatrick and brought back cornerback Drayton Florence, who the Jets had expressed some interest in, yet also lost linebacker Paul Posluszny to Jacksonville.

NFL Free Agency 2011: What Dominoes Will Fall Next For Jets?

After a chaotic morning where the New York Jets signed Santonio Holmes to a five year deal and the discussion about Nnamdi Asomugha coming to town reached a fever pitch, things have quieted down…a little bit.

– The discussions about Asomugha have continued on, with ESPN’s John Clayton commenting it will take a few days for him to work a deal out with any team. However, keep in mind Clayton had said earlier in the off-season the Jets would be in salary cap hell and would have no chance to sign any free agents, so take his words with a grain of salt.

– A testament to Mike Tannenbaum’s creativity. Santonio Holmes contract will only count $2.45 million against the 2011 cap…wow.

– Manish Mehta of The Daily News has reported the Jets will ask LaDainian Tomlinson to rework his contract to free up more cap space (likely to pursue Asomugha).

– The Jets have resigned kicker Nick Folk to a 1 year deal. CBS Sports is also reporting that punter Steve Weatherford is unlikely to return.

– In a press conference today, Rex Ryan said Mark Sanchez will be the team captain this year and will literally wear a “C” on his jersey.

– Darrelle Revis was very diplomatic about Asomugha joining the team while still paying respect to Antonio Cromartie. Revis did call Asomugha “the best corner in football” even though I find it hard to believe Revis doesn’t he think he holds that title.

– This isn’t surprising but it sounds like Braylon Edwards days with the Jets are numbered. He is clearly frustrated by the lack of attention/effort the Jets have made thus far to keep him, which is understandable but they simply have higher priorities right now. Edwards will get a good contract somewhere and that team will get a tough receiver who improved vastly the past year.

– The speculation on Randy Moss coming to the Jets as a cheap alternative to Braylon Edwards has picked up. However, the latest word from Bob Glauber of Newsday is that his chances of joining the team remain “very small.” How the Jets handle the wide receiver position, will likely depend how the cornerback position shakes out for them.

– Kellen Clemens was signed by the Washington Redskins to a one year deal. We will miss his happy feet in the pocket and interceptions.

– Ben Hartsock signed a two year deal with the Carolina Panthers. We will miss his false starts and holding penalties.

NFL Free Agency 2011: Departure Of Brad Smith Seems Inevitable

The loss of Brad Smith may be impossible to stop. His mid major level market value, combined with the signing of Santonio Holmes and the chasing down of Nnamdi Asomugha, aside from looking to fill the second WR position, may make the bid to keep Smith a helpless one. This harsh reality will be tough to stomach when simply kickstarting an engine that hasn’t clicked on some Sunday afternoon, becomes the difference between winning and losing. 

The Patriots, Dolphins, Bears and Giants have all been named as teams who have interest Smith. He brings so many intangibles to the table. Teams will pay for that versatility, perhaps with the mindset of expanding Smith’s role on their club. A chameleon type presence that includes big kickoff returns, long clutch runs from the line of scrimmage out of the Wildcat, the ability to line up at QB, and a penchant for late game changing plays.

There were the big runs against the Bengals to insure a playoff spot on the final night of Giants Stadium. The kickoff return for TD a week prior in Indianapolis that left the Colts and the benched Peyton Manning on the way to a controversial first loss. The opening kickoff return in Pittsburgh in 2010, off of the heels of an embarrassing thrashing in New England and a putrid loss at home to Miami during the stretch run. As well as countless other plays that would breathe life into a lifeless offense, often times while keeping the chains moving.

It would be interesting to hear how other teams who are currently in the market for Smith, envision his role. By making Smith a solid piece, not one that simply enters the fray when push comes to shove, part of the element of surprise and change of pace that Smith brought when he entered situations could disappear. An increase in touches however, could create an increase in the amount of big plays Smith could provide.

Those who shrug off Smith’s imminent exit are only making themselves feel better when they say that Smith’s departure will be “no big loss.” It will be a tremendous loss. Smith changes momentum, makes enormous game changing and even season changing playsHis one of a kind skill set is not replaceable though one player.

His abilities are not the type that can be judged solely off one game either. Only by watching Smith every week, can one begin to understand this player’s impeccable sense of timing, and clutch production for his team.

Smith’s contributions during his time in New York have been remarkable for a player who has yet to own a solidified position on offense or special teams. His departure, especially after crunching the numbers however, seems sadly inevitable.

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NFL Free Agency 2011: Asomugha To Jets Momentum Picking Up

Where there is smoke, there is usually fire, especially when it comes to Mike Tannenbaum making moves. Along those lines, the chatter about Nnamdi Asomugha coming to the New York Jets has picked up gradually throughout the past few days and is now to the point where it sounds like the Jets are the favorite to land him.

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network has reported throughout the morning the Jets discussions with him are “very serious” and Albert Breer, also of the NFL Network, has corroborated the report. The Jets beat writers and other media members have reported the team is discussing restructuring contracts with current players to make a run at Asomugha and that he is their top priority right now.

The most recent news is that the San Francisco 49ers have become the Jets main competition to signing Asmougha, which is somewhat surprising considering many thought Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia would be heavily involved in pursuing him.

Yes, the 49ers can offer more money but the Jets can offer a better location, team, and a proven coaching staff and system. Nevermind the chance of forming the greatest starting duo of corners in NFL history.

Obviously, if the Jets do work something out with Asomugha, other areas of the team will feel the impact but honestly the impact may not be as bad as some make it out to be. Braylon Edwards is probably gone either way, considering how much money was spent on Holmes, same goes with Brad Smith. You don’t need Antonio Cromartie back if you sign Asomugha. Beyond that, the Jets should still be able to get Eric Smith and Trevor Pryce back to improve their defensive depth, and maybe sign somebody like Randy Moss to a short term, incentive-laden deal to replace Edwards.

New York Jets Sign Santonio Holmes To Five Year Deal

The flight boys are still in the building.

The New York Jets have resigned wide receiver Santonio Holmes to a five year deal. According to Adam Schein, Holmes took less money to stay in New York because “he loves the Jets and Mark Sanchez.” It is being reported the contract is 24 million dollars guaranteed. The total value of the contract hasn’t been released yet but it is expected to be around 50 million dollars.

This move is incredibly important to the continued growth of the New York Jets offense. Holmes is a gamebreaker who insures that defenses can’t continually stack the box to stop the Jets running game. He is the type of weapon that can bail Mark Sanchez out of a tough spot and turn a five yard slant route into a 65 yard touchdown.  

We have heard Holmes was the Jets number one priority in free agency and they proved it by signing him so quickly. According to various sources, the Jets will now shift their focus to the cornerback position, which will start with assessing whether they could afford Nnamdi Asomugha. After settling corner either with Asomugha, Antonio Cromartie, or a cheaper veteran option, they will see if they can work something out with Braylon Edwards if he is still available. However, considering how much they just invested in Holmes, it now seems very unlikely that Edwards will be back.

Stay tuned…