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…

Back To Football: Upcoming Week’s Timeline

Here is what to look for…

Today – Free agency list will be distributed and the league will announce that teams can have 90 man rosters for training camp.

Tomorrow – Trades and free agency begin, including team’s having the ability to sign undrafted free agents, their draft picks, their own free agents, and other team’s free agents. Players can enter team facilities.

Wednesday – Some teams begin reporting to training camp.

Thursday – Players can be cut starting at 4 PM.

Friday – Transactions can be filed to the league office and become official starting at 6 PM.

Sunday – Jets expected to report to training camp in Florham Park, New Jersey.

August 15th – Jets open pre-season in Houston on Monday Night Football.

A few other nuggets from around the web

TOJ at Gunaxin with a quick look at what to remember about all 32 teams

Rex Ryan welcomes fans back to football with a short video

Apparently, Rex dropped a gem of a speech to team employees today, where he said “the Giants talk about the past, but the Jets talk about what we’re going to do in the future.”

ESPN Chicago is reporting the Bears are interested in Brad Smith

Let the bidding war for Santonio Holmes begin

Calm Before The Storm: Final Thoughts On Jets Free Agency

I won’t publish a “NFL is Back” post until it becomes official (probably around noon today) with a finalized timeline for the rest of the week. Yet, from everything we are hearing, things are about to start getting nuts…maybe even today. 

A few final thoughts –

1. Wide Receiver – Santonio Holmes remains the Jets top priority but if the Washington Redskins drive the price up to a ridiculous number, Mike Tannenbaum shouldn’t hesitate to move his focus to bringing back Braylon Edwards. The Jets have too many other areas to address to waste resources and time in a bidding war with Daniel Snyder’s endless pockets. If the Jets are going to sign a free agent, I think it ends up being Randy Moss.

2. Secondary – It is worth taking a run at Nnamdi Asomugha, even if it remains a long shot. Antonio Cromartie returning is also starting to seem like a long shot, which means the Jets could have to focus on getting Brodney Pool and Drew Coleman back, along with finding a veteran free agent corner.

3. Offensive Tackle – It sounds like they plan to work something out with Damien Woody but if not Wayne Hunter remains a viable fallback option. The key is making sure at least one of the two is brought back. It would be insane to just hand the job to Vladimir Ducasse without having a veteran to compete with him.

4. Defensive End – Unfortunately, I could see Shaun Ellis being too pricey considering the Jets other concerns. However, Trevor Pryce is a good fallback plan.

5. Other Considerations – Even though I would like to see them add another linebacker, we haven’t heard anything tangible about the Jets having interest in picking up a Matt Roth, Manny Lawson, or Antwan Barnes. Hopefully, they can find some support for the position, especially if Bryan Thomas is forced to be a cap casualty.

A Midsummer Guess At The New York Jets Depth Chart

Over at ESPN, Rich Cimini posted the New York Jets current depth chart, which we will be updating throughout free agency here at TOJ. However, it also inspired me to take a midsummer guess at what the final 53 for the Jets will be, even before free agency opens and training camp begins. Crazy, right? Well, we are in the last days of the lockout so might as well get these predictions out there now. Talk it up on the Twitter, Facebook, and yes even the Google+ page —

OFFENSE

  • QB – Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Greg McElroy
  • RB – Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell
  • FB – John Conner
  • WR – Santonio Holmes, Randy Moss, Jerricho Cotchery, Jeremy Kerley, Scotty McKnight
  • TE – Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan, Jeff Cumberland
  • LT – D’Brickashaw Ferguson
  • LG – Matt Slauson
  • C – Nick Mangold, Robert Turner
  • RG – Brandon Moore, Marlon Davis
  • RT – Damien Woody, Vladimir Ducasse

DEFENSE

  • DE – Mike DeVito, Trevor Pryce, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ropati Pitoitua, Matt Kroul
  • DT – Sione Pouha, Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu
  • OLB – Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Jason Taylor, Jamaal Westerman
  • ILB – David Harris, Bart Scott, Josh Mauga, Brashton Satele
  • CB – Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Marquice Cole
  • S – Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Dwight Lowery, James Ihedigbo, Emmanuel Cook

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • K – Nick Folk
  • P – Steve Weatherford
  • LS – Tanner Purdum

Of course there could and likely will be some UDFAs or low budget free agent signings replacing bottom of the roster players, along with a few other spots being taken up by players we don’t even know are on the Jets radar yet. However, I do think the Jets primary focus will be maintaining their own players instead of shopping in free agency or looking for the trades. I am probably being a touch on the optimistic side by thinking Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, and Brodney Pool will all be back but why not have faith in Mike Tannenabum at this point?

Where Do New York Jets Fit In AFC East?

Despite two straight appearances in the AFC Championship Game, the New York Jets have fallen short of winning their own division under Rex Ryan. Their regular season divisional record (6-6) under him also leaves plenty to be desired. Even though in recent years wild-card teams have reached the Super Bowl, it would be nice to see them finally host a home playoff game and potentially get a bye week.

Some people will say the Jets are the favorite to win the AFC East this year, considering they knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs last year. Some people will say it is still the Patriots division to lose since they have won it the past two years. Miami remains a few levels behind both teams as they struggle to get over the hump of being a sub .500 team. Buffalo is currently in rebuilding mode but can be a dangerous match-up in any given week.

Free agency will shake up the rosters of all four teams but likely not enough to change perceptions about where they stand as contenders heading into the regular season. New England could look to add a wide receiver who can be a consistent deep threat for them on the outside, who isn’t named Randy Moss. They will also be looking to add pass rushers and thus could be battling with the Jets to sign players like Matt Roth or Manny Lawson. There is still an issue for the Patriots on how to deal with guard Logan Mankins, who isn’t going to accept the franchise tag again kindly.

The Dolphins have been rumored with a wide range of names at the skill positions. At quarterback, there has been talk about Carson Palmer, Vince Young, and Matt Moore all being brought in. At running back, Reggie Bush’s name has been floated around the past week and Ahmad Bradshaw has publicly stated his interest in the Dolphins. They could also make a run at DeAngelo Williams, as they are set on improving the production of their backfield.

Buffalo has formally handed off the starting quarterback job to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They will now hope he can grow with Steve Johnson at receiver, Fred Jackson at running back, and that CJ Spiller can contribute something this year. On defense they still have work to do to support first round pick Marcell Dareus on the defensive line and a young secondary with some talent. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is a free agent and rest of the position remains weak for the Bills.

The Jets have the talent and experience to win the division this year, even if they suffer losses in free agency. However, 11 wins wasn’t enough to get it done in 2010 so they are going to need to improve their divisional play and avoid any late season letdowns like they had last year.

New York Jets divisional match-ups in 2011

  • Week 5 at New England
  • Week 6 vs Miami (Monday night)
  • Week 9 at Buffalo
  • Week 10 vs New England (Sunday night)
  • Week 12 at Buffalo
  • Week 17 at Miami

New York Jets: What We Learned This Lockout

I am thoroughly exhausted of hearing about “close” the NFL Lockout is to being over…will it end in the coming weeks? Probably…or maybe we will just get 8 more Michael Silver articles about how close they are, followed by an article 12 hours later about how far apart they are. Regardless, let’s run down what we have learned so far this lockout from our New York Jets —

1. Mark Sanchez is a busy man…even when football isn’t going on

I don’t know how this guy manages to organize multiple off-season camps, participate in NASCAR events, hang with Larry David, attend Harry Potter premiers and Broadway shows and get caught in some weird love triangle with the girl from Heroes and Scotty McKnight…but the guy has a full schedule. Regardless of his off the field ventures, it appears that at this point Sanchez has truly solidified himself as a leader of this team.

2. Sione Pouha is handy with a camera

His “Life of Lockout” YouTube series was an entertaining look at himself and the team the past few months. Personally, I thought the episode that featured “Camp Lockout” was the best one as it gave tons of footage of the team working out together and then competing in paintball. It does genuinely feel like there is very good chemistry with this current roster, so let’s hope Mike Tannenbaum can keep as much of it together as possible.

3. Wide receivers create contentious debate

Whether it is disagreeing about whether the Jets should bring Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards back, or who the top choices for replacements should be if one of them leaves, it is hard to find any consensus among fans. The Jets have been linked to names like Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, Chad Ochocinco, and Terrell Owens in the past months. If I was a gambling man, I’d say Holmes ends up coming back and the Jets sign either Moss or Burress to a short term deal to replace Edwards. Hopefully, I will be wrong and the team can find a way to get both Holmes and Edwards back.

4. Rex Ryan won’t stop guaranteeing a Super Bowl

Rex Ryan is going to guarantee the Jets are going to win a Super Bowl before every season, so just get used to it. He also published an interesting book this off-season, which provides plenty of trash talk for the upcoming year, especially to the New York Giants. Who doesn’t miss Rex these days?

Thoughts On New York Jets Flight Boys Celebration?

I think we have all been waiting for the New York Jets to come up with some type of organized “cool” celebration. We had Keyshawn spiking his helmet after his first touchdown…Chad Pennington’s awkward jump spikes…Curtis Martin praising the heavens, but never something quite like the Flight Boys celebration from last year, which to my knowledge was started by Santonio Holmes.

Prior to Holmes return from suspension, Braylon Edwards had taught the entire AFC East how to Dougie, which was entertaining enough.

Yet, when Holmes began scoring touchdowns he broke out the trademark wings, which we gleefully watched all over the field in New England this past January.

(Isn’t it great listening to the disgust in the voice of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in this clip, by the way?)

Personally, I love it. Why wouldn’t the Jets, imitate airplanes when they score touchdowns or make big plays? It is only logical. I can tell you that I ran through the streets of Hoboken after the Jets knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs with the my arms spread, much my to girlfriend and her friend’s disgust. Earlier in the year, I also happened to see the Jets beat the Steelers in a sports bar and broke out the wings inside, leading to me accidentally knocking somebody’s drink over…still well worth it.

What do you think of the celebration? Should the Jets bring it back next year or work on something new?

Another Look At New York Jets 2011 Schedule

The New York Jets are supposed to be opening their season on Sunday, September 11th at 8:20 PM in their own building against the Dallas Cowboys…let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it actually happens. Week one should provide a good test for the Jets against the talented but inconsistent Cowboys, who will be welcoming Tony Romo back under center as he returns from a season ending injury in 2010. Regardless, you would hope the Jets can set the tone for a better season at home by beating a team who was 6-10 last year.

Dallas kicks off a difficult first half of the season for the Jets, who have their bye after week 7, nearly splitting their season perfectly in half. Despite only two of their first seven opponents making the playoffs in 2010, it contains a killer three game road trip after their week two home game against Jacksonville (probably their easiest match-up in weeks 1-7): at Oakland, at Baltimore, and at New England, followed by home games against Miami and San Diego. The Dolphins have beat the Jets the past two years in the Meadowlands and San Diego’s offense will be a handful.

After the bye, things lighten up for the Jets who enter what I think is a very managable six game stretch

  • at Buffalo
  • vs New England
  • at Denver
  • vs Buffalo
  • at Washington
  • vs Kansas City

I am aware Denver is on a short week (it is a Thursday night) but the Jets should be able to get rolling here, by taking advantage of getting Buffalo twice in four weeks and improving their 2-0 record against New England at home under Rex Ryan. Denver, Washington, and Kansas City all have shaky quarterback situations. Okay, maybe Kansas City technically doesn’t but did you see Matt Cassel in the playoffs last year against Baltimore’s defense? The Chiefs are feeling like a major let down team this year.

The Jets last three games are on the road in Philadelphia, at home against the Giants, and then the season finale on the road against the Dolphins. All three are tough games, no matter how far out of the contention the Giants and Dolphins will be at that point.

Obviously it is nearly impossible to project how difficult a schedule truly is, especially since free agency hasn’t taken place yet but despite coming off a 11-5 season, the Jets schedule does seem manageable and is full of intriguing games. Don’t forget they have five prime-time games:

  • Week 1 vs Dallas (Sunday Night)
  • Week 4 at Baltimore (Sunday Night)
  • Week 6 vs Miami (Monday Night)
  • Week 10 vs New England (Sunday Night)
  • Week 11 at Denver (Thursday Night)

What game are you most looking forward to? Leave a comment below and drop one off on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page or Twitter Account. Personally, I don’t think you can top either of the Jets/Patriots match-ups or the Jets/Giants Christmas Eve game.

TOJ Weekend Poll & Other Jets Notes

Click here to vote if you are happy with the Jets moving training camp from Cortland to Florham Park

Personally, I am…only because it is a substantially easier commute, which I am guessing is the case for the majority of Jets fans. However as Rex Ryan always says, there is a benefit to getting the entire team away for a few weeks where they can only focus on football. We will have to see if it impacts how the Jets start the season.

Mark Sanchez is being politically correct by saying he wants all the Jets free agents back but you have to think the young quarterback is prioritizing Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards well above anyone else. Perhaps he could restructure his contract to help make that happen.

In case you were wondering, I still rank the Jets top FA priorities in the following order: Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards. You can’t sign two receivers before a corner on a defensive minded team and Holmes should be the priority over Edwards. After those three, I would focus on getting Brodney Pool back to solidify the secondary, Damien Woody to secure right tackle, and Shaun Ellis to mentor Muhammad Wilkerson. I have already resigned myself to Brad Smith leaving.

AFC Championship Game Has Been Painful For Jets

Since winning their lone Super Bowl in 1969, the New York Jets have been on the cusp of a Super Bowl with four appearances in the AFC Championship Game. Yet, all four trips ended in painful disappointment. Let’s take a closer look at just how bad each one hurt and hope this is the year they finally get over the hump.

1982: Miami Dolphins – 14 New York Jets – 0– The “Mud Bowl”…Miami notoriously didn’t put a tarp on the field the night before the game, leading the playing surface to resemble a swamp. Jets quarterback Richard Todd threw five interceptions, including one that was returned for a score. This followed a strike shortened 9 game season, so I don’t know if that dulled the pain at all for Jets fans at the time (considering I wasn’t born until 5 years after this) yet judging from hearing my Uncle talk about this game, it didn’t.

1998: Denver Broncos – 23 New York Jets – 10 – Early in the second half, a blocked punt by Blake Spence set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Curtis Martin, giving the underdog Jets a surprising 10-0 lead. Yet, what followed was a complete meltdown that still stings to think about today. Denver ripped of 23 straight points and they moved up and down the field on the Jets defense at will. Their comeback was supported by a botched kick return that the Broncos recovered (thank you very much Dave Meggett). In the end, the Jets couldn’t overcome a mind-boggling six turnovers, including four fumbles.

2009: Indianapolis Colts – 30 New York Jets – 17 – The Jets came from 7-7 and being proclaimed out of the playoffs by their own coach to Indianapolis for the AFC Championship Game. Similar to 1998, the underdog Jets would build a double digit lead, this time at 17-6 late in the first half, and then watch their opponent storm back for the victory. The Colts scored 24 unanswered points as the Jets defense was helpless to stop Peyton Manning.

2010: Pittsburgh Steelers – 24 New York Jets – 19 – Coming off arguably the second biggest win in franchise history when they upset the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Jets sleepwalked out of the gate and fell behind 24-0. A furious second half comeback attempt fell just short as they couldn’t stop Pittsburgh on a key third down to give their offense one last shot for the win. Considering the way last season went, I still fully believe if the Jets stopped Pittsburgh on that third down and got the ball back, they would have scored the winning touchdown.

Which loss do you think was the most painful? I would say it was between last year and 1998. In ’98, the Jets had been rolling all year since Vinny Testaverde took over at quarterback and they had control of the game in the second half and to see it crumble so quickly was brutal to watch. Last season, you really felt after knocking New England off, it was the Jets year to fulfill all their pre-season hype and guarantees but it just didn’t happen for them.