It now seems to be a foregone conclusion that a new CBA deal will be announced this Thursday at the owner’s meetings, followed by a 72 hour window where teams can negotiate with their own free agents, followed by the free agency floodgates opening to the entire league in what should be a massive spending spree. In about two to three weeks, we could have the New York Jets, however they are constructed at that point, on the field in Florham Park getting ready for the 2011 season.
It is about damn time.
It is pretty amazing how far ahead Nick Mangold ranks ahead of every other center in the NFL by these and just about any metrics. Tim Graham also recently ranked him as the 5th best player in the AFC East, which seems a touch low to me at first glance. I know Tom Brady and Darrelle Revis will be higher, but I am curious to see who else will be. Then again it could be hard to put too much stock in a list that ranked Cameron Wake higher than Santonio Holmes and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
It is comforting to know the Jets do have the best center in the league anchoring their offensive line for the long haul. Getting him with the 29th overall pick in the draft was an absolute steal and is right up there with trading up for Darrelle Revis as the best draft day move Mike Tannenbaum has made.
TOJ’s good friend Jeff Capellini recently published this article at WFAN.com on how the Jets should approach free agency. He has remained optimistic about the Nnamdi Asomugha being swayed by the potential to win over the money and seems to think there is a better chance of Braylon Edwards returning over Santonio Holmes, two opinions I do not agree with. However, with the amount of interest the Washington Redskins apparently have in Holmes, bringing Edwards back could become a financial necessity to save money to help improve the rest of the team. At corner, I just can’t picture any scenario where the Jets pay anywhere near the amount of money it will take to bring Asomugha here and would rather see them focus on getting Antonio Cromartie back.
An intriguing free agent option mentioned for the Jets in this article is San Diego linebacker Antwan Barnes. He has played under Rex Ryan before and finished with 4.5 sacks last season as a pass rushing specialist for the Chargers. The Jets aren’t going to be able to spend big money at linebacker but need to improve their depth and pass rush options so either bringing Jason Taylor back or signing somebody like Barnes or Manny Lawson are possibilities.
A look at a potential worst case scenario for the Jets in free agency. There will obviously be tough decisions that have to be made in the coming weeks but hopefully Mike Tannenbaum can manuever the numbers to maintain as much of the current roster as possible, while a few other supporting pieces.