Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

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First a few updates:

1. If you haven’t seen it yet, the press conference announcing the Jets being on Hard Knocks is up on www.newyorkjets.com and is pretty entertaining stuff. Plenty of zingers from Rex Ryan and Steve Sabol and definitely worth the twenty minutes to watch.

2. A few key quotes from Ryan on Leon Washington from today’s press conference pulled off the Jets official web site:

“We have the No. 1 facilities in the country, we have a great medical staff, a great medical team and we have the best strength coach in the country. Leon knows this and that’s what’s disappointing,” said Ryan when writers huddled around the head coach. “Wherever he’s at might be good, but it’s not the best. I want what’s best for him and the New York Jets and this is a time there’s team building. This guy is a great young man — I love Leon — but it’s still disappointing he’s not here.”

PhotobucketDo we expect him to come back from the surgery? Yeah. And you’re going to put him in there instead of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson? Maybe you would, but I’m not comfortable with that,” he said. “Let’s see where he’s at. I’m not just going to give him the ball 20 times a game coming off of that. He has to be ready to take that kind of role. If he’s ready to take an expanded role, then obviously we can see that. Third down is the most important down you have on offense and that would be an ideal situation for him. We have three great backs.”

I do believe that Leon will be on the Jets next year. There isn’t a team in the NFL who is giving up a second round pick for a guy coming off that type of leg injury. It is going to take him some time to adjust this year. He isn’t going to come flying out of the gates in week one as the Leon of 2006-2008, but hopefully by the middle of the season he can start approaching the role he had before he was hurt in 2009. It could be a stretch to hope for that but I am sure Washington is motivated to prove to the coaching staff he is more than a third down back and returner.

3. Speaking of third down running backs/kick returners…keep an eye out for Conte Cuttino out of Stony Brook to be added by the Jets after the draft as a UDFA.

4. Bart Scott expressed some skepticism about the Jets being featured on Hard Knocks in this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/sports/football/25jets.html?ref=sports)…he makes some fair points, but it is up to him and the other leaders in the locker room to make sure the team isn’t distracted.

Blogger vs. Blogger: Running Backs, Hard Knocks, Mark Sanchez, & More

Welcome to our first installment of the new TOJ series, Blogger vs. Blogger, where myself and a fellow Jets blogger will share opinions on four current issues surrounding the team. Today our featured blogger is Jeff Capellini who runs The Green Lantern over at (http://wcbstv.com/capellini) and is also a senior producer for WCBSTV.com…Jeff had no shortage of opinions, some of which I agreed with and some of which I had differing viewpoint on.

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Question #1 – Rex Ryan recently made headlines by saying LaDainain Tomlinson would receive 15 carries a game and Leon Washington would be relegated to a third down role, do you buy into what Ryan was saying or was he just pandering to the recently signed LT? Also, if you were Brian Schottenheimer how would you divide up the carries among Shonn Greene, LaDainain Tomlinson, and Leon Washington?

Jeff Capellini – I was a big fan of the decision to sign LaDainain Tomlinson. Thomas Jones struggled down the stretch last year as displayed by the rapid decline in his yards per carry. I think most in the organization were alarmed by how quickly his play went downhill and I think Kansas City is going to find out the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jamaal Charles end up being the lead back for the Chiefs. I don’t think Tomlinson is done. Yes, he has lost a step but he can still be a productive back who can handle 15-20 carries a game. San Diego was so focused on the passing game last year that they did a poor job of using both Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. They had the league’s 31st ranked rushing attack and Tomlinson has become the scapegoat for that, not the way the Chargers offense was ran or their offensive line who was built for pass protection.

Tomlinson can be more than a change of pace back for the Jets. He is capable of taking over for multiple series at a time. Leon should be a third down back until he can prove he is fully  healthy. He should be used in passing situations and for screen passes primarily, although Brian Schottenheimer can’t be predictable and have him just do that or be the only back who is catching passes.

I think the Jets will play the hot hand but in most weeks Greene will get slightly more carries than Tomlinson. Yet, when the Jets are inside the 5 yard line, it will be LT getting carries. I don’t think Ryan was lying and that Tomlinson will be around 15 carries each game. The Jets need Leon to step up as their primary kick and punt returner because he is better suited for that role than Brad Smith, Jerricho Cotchery, or Jim Leonhard.

PhotobucketJoe Caporoso I have to say I disagree with most of your thinking on this issue Jeff. While I do believe Tomlinson will be an improved player behind the Jets offensive line and still has something left to give, I would have rather kept Thomas Jones for another year. He was a leader in the locker room and I think a large part of his late season decline was a knee injury that was worse than the team let on. I think he could have gave the Jets at least one more productive season splitting carries with Shonn Greene.

I have always been a huge Leon Washington fan and spent the entire off-season last year writing articles imploring the team to give him the ball more, which they did up until his injury. I understand the reasoning of easing him back into the lineup and do think he will begin as primarily a third down back but I am hoping he can return to a 8-10 carry a game guy by the end of the year.

When the Jets signed him, I never pictured Tomlinson as a 15 carry a game guy or somebody who could ever get more carries than Shonn Greene. I was thinking Tomlinson could be a guy who takes a series or two per half, gets short yardage and goal-line carries, and is involved in the screen game. If I was Schottenheimer, I’d start out giving Greene 20-22 carries a game, Tomlinson 10-12, and Leon 4-6 and then gradually move Tomlinson and Washington’s carries closer together as the season goes on.

Question #2 -What do you think of the Jets taking part in Hard Knocks?

Jeff Capellini – (Note Jeff wrote a great article on this topic at The Green Lantern, which is worth checking out at the link at the top of this article)…I am normally not a proponent of any type of chaos around the team, which usually turns into a negative. However, I think the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions from the show. The Jets have been a second class citizen in this market for so long that they deserve the attention they have earned by putting together a quality team that should be good for the next few years. They are a compelling team and HBO knows it.

Joe Caporoso – It is hard not to be extremely excited as a Jets fan about our team being featured on this show. Hard Knocks is a terrific show that any true football fan should love and now with the Jets featured on it, I am that much more excited about it. I do agree that the Jets have a strong enough locker room to overcome any distractions and don’t see the extra attention at training camp having any negative impact on their on-field production. There are so many compelling story lines around this team that I think all NFL fans will truly enjoy watching the Jets.

Question #3 – How much progress do you think Mark Sanchez will make in year two?

Jeff Capellini – I like what I am hearing about Sanchez spending 8 hours a day at the complex. He is the type of guy who is completely dedicated to his job and hasn’t got too caught up in the New York scene. I think you will see a smarter Mark Sanchez in 2010 who does a much better overall job of protecting the football. Late in the season last year he did a better job of throwing the football away and I think that will carry over. Next year, I could see him being a 3000 yard guy with more touchdowns than interceptions, and hopefully a QB rating somewhere near 90. Sanchez has all the physical tools to be a very good quarterback in this league.

Joe Caporoso – I agree that one of the most encouraging things you hear about Sanchez is how dedicated he is to improving. He isn’t Matt Leinart, this is a guy who is a gym-rat and spends his days in Brian Schottenheimer’s office breaking down film. I think you will see a substantial improvement over the 20 INTs to 12 TDs and 53.3 completion percentage he had last year. Nobody is saying he is going to be a pro-bowl quarterback but I could see him with 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and 57-59 completion percentage.

Question #4 – If you were Mike Tannenbaum would you pursue a trade for Brandon Marshall?

Jeff Capellini – Marshall is obviously a game changing player. I know he has off the field problems but as we saw from Braylon Edwards just because a guy has problems in one city, doesn’t mean they can’t become a good soldier in another city. I do believe the Jets need another receiver but I don’t want to see them part ways with a first round draft pick for Marshall or even Braylon, who I think is developing good chemistry with Sanchez. If the Jets could find someway to acquire Marshall without giving up Braylon or their 1st round pick then I would be for it, but beyond that I wouldn’t make the deal. The Jets have holes to fill at pass rusher and in the secondary so they can’t be parting with a first round pick.

Joe CaporosoPhotobucketI have to admit it would be hard to pass on Marshall’s talent if the Jets could get him for something besides their first round pick or Braylon Edwards but I doubt that is possible. Overall, I think it is best for the Jets to stay away from Marshall, whose off the field problems go deeper than most people. Yes, Braylon might have punched LeBron’s small friend or Antonio Cromartie never learned about contraceptives but Marshall is a guy who has been the target of a gang hit, beat his girlfriend, and has had some other very serious issues. I like our top three receiving targets right now. People underestimate Jerricho Cotchery and I think Dustin Keller has the potential to be a pro-bowl tight end.

I Know That Was A Lot Of Reading So Here Is Some Comedy To Reward You At The End

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

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.

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.

What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

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First a few updates:

1. Not much on the update front today, especially for the Wednesday before free agency. There has been some talk about the Jets interest in Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie, who is on the trading block. I think this is more of a result of everybody knowing the Jets need a corner and automatically linking them with anybody who could potentially be available. I haven’t read anything (and I spend way too much time reading every single thing on the Internet Jets related) that makes me believe the Jets will pursue Cromartie and even have an interest in a guy like Dunta Robinson. Beyond that, Cromartie’s play has declined in recent years, he is a soft player known for his lack of effort, and has off the field baggage in the form of five paternity suits.

2. Obviously we will have to wait and see who gets cut and what potential trades could be consummated but as of now, you haven’t really heard the Jets linked with alot of players this off-season. I think most people are expecting Adalius Thomas to be seriously considered when he gets cut. We know the Jets met with Travis LaBoy, who wasn’t even in the league last year. Yet, is there any other low end free agents the Jets could target/afford with the new rules in place? When I looked through the list of 2010 UFAs from the NFL Labor site, here a few that caught my attention:

  • Corey Ivy, Corner – A Rex Ryan guy who was almost signed last year and could fit into the nickel role.
  • Josh Reed, Receiver – A talented guy who has had to deal with crappy quarterbacks. He could be a productive slot receiver.
  • Michael Gaines, Tight End – Almost signed last year, could be an option if Hartsock walks.
  • Bobby Wade, Wide Receiver – Another potential cheap option for the slot.
  • Justin Griffith, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Jeremi Johnson, Fullback – If Tony Richardson doesn’t come back.
  • Roderick Hood, Corner – Could be a depth guy at corner and compete for reps in the nickel role.
  • Chris Brown, Running Back – Add more depth to the running back position to replace TJ.
  • Will Heller, Tight End – Another option if Hartsock walks.
  • Hank Poteat, Corner – Just kidding.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On LOST Season 6, Episode 6 “Sundown”– Good episode, with a great ending. The first third of the season is now over and I am glad it culminated with the Temple being destroyed and Locke scoring a big victory by rallying a growing group of followers, now including Sayid. I didn’t need to see anymore of Hurley and Miles playing tic-tac-toe while Dogen didn’t answer anybody’s questions at the Temple. It will be interesting to see how Jacob puts the other side together and the direction people like Miles, Illana, Jin, Kate, Jack etc. will go. The sideways story was pretty interesting with a nice cameo from Keamy and it was a surprise to see Jin locked away in that freezer, setting the stage for his eventual feature episode. By the way, what ever happened to Ben? The guy barely gets any screen time anymore, so let’s hope next week’s episode is a good one (since it looks to feature him) and gets him back in the mix as an important character.

What Can The Jets Expect From Leon Washington In 2010?

After I spent the entire summer arguing with my friend Dan about who was better, Leon Washington or Reggie Bush, with a primary point in my argument being that Leon was more durable, I had to watch him suffer a compound fracture to his fibula in a week 7 win against the Raiders. It was a gruesome, scary injury that left many wondering if Leon could ever be the same. Fortunately, the reports on his rehab have all been positive, with some indicating he is two months ahead of his recovery schedule. Mike Tannenbaum recently said he is expected to be ready to go by opening day.

PhotobucketThe question now becomes with the recent release of Thomas Jones, how much of a workload can Leon handle in support of new starting running back, Shonn Greene? There was already a concern about the amount of the touches he could handle because of his size and now these concerns are only amplified. The problem is, the Jets need Leon to be heavily involved on offense because of how often they run the ball and their current lack of depth at the position.

I wouldn’t expect to see anymore kick or punt returns from Washington, at least not this season. In the six full games he played last year, Washington averaged a little over 11 carries per game and 2.5 receptions per game. At that point, he was only splitting touches with one back (Thomas Jones) because Shonn Greene wasn’t receiving any substantial playing time until after Washington got hurt. Considering that, will the Jets be able to get 13-15 offensive touches a game out of him next season?

Hopefully, the answer will be yes especially if he isn’t getting another 3-6 touches a game on returns. I am not sure how often the Jets will be giving Washington interior handoffs, which is why they need another running back who could spell Shonn Greene and run the inside plays. I would expect Washington to receive an increase in touches on screen passes, either lined up as a running back or a wide receiver and start off primarily with outside handoffs/stretch plays.

A potential problem could arise if Shonn Green gets hurt and misses a few games. I doubt Leon will be ready to handle 15-20 carries in a single game this season, which is just another reason the Jets should be looking hard at some of the veteran free agent running backs available (Chris Brown, Vernon Haynes, Chicago’s Adrian Peterson). Overall, I see Washington starting out as primarily a third-down back and pass catching option, before gradually being integrated into getting more carries and spelling Shonn Greene for full series.

Leon Lays Out Channing Crowder

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

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First a few updates:

1. The fallout over the Thomas Jones release hasn’t been pretty. The fans are pissed off. The beat writers are ripping the move. Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca and a few other anonymous players are expressing their dissatisfaction with the decision. As one player said, it doesn’t make the locker room happy when somebody like Vernon Gholston gets his money and another chance next year but Thomas Jones can’t collect his bonus money and is sent packing. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a popular decision yet it might not the complete unmitigated disaster some people are making it out to be. I don’t agree withthe move. I think it is a big risk. The Jets now need another running back for depth purposes but overall this doesn’t change my mind about the Jets still being the favorite in the AFC East as of right now. This situation reminds me a little bit of Laveranues Coles from last off-season. It isn’t entire comparable because Jones was a much better player and much more of a team leader, but the decision to let Coles go wasn’t popular at the time and it ended up working out. Maybe Jones ends up having another big year in 2010 or maybe he runs for 800 yards in Cleveland, while Shonn Greene racks up 1300 yards for the Jets. We shall see.

2. Rich Cimini of the Daily News is reporting there still is a good chance the Jets will look to trade Kerry Rhodes. Apparently his sources are indicating the coaching staff still isn’t sold on him or his attitude. Unless Mike Tannenbaum has a replacement in mind via trade or free agency, I don’t see Rhodes going anywhere. The Jets aren’t getting anything but a 5th round pick for him and that doesn’t fill the spot he would leave on their defense.

3. Remember to follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…Also check out the 2010 Draft Section of the site (http://turnonthejets.com/2010-draft/). The depth chart has been updated to include all the recent players the Jets signed to future/reserve contracts, and to include the pending release of TJ and Lito Sheppard…(http://turnonthejets.com/2009-depth-chart/).

4. When the Jets release Lito Sheppard, he won’t be counted as UFA which means the Jets can’t sign another UFA to replace him. This puts a dent in their hopes of signing a guy like Dunta Robinson, as explained here (http://www.thejetsblog.com/2010/03/02/salary-cap-update-lito-is-not-a-ufa/).

5. The Jets remain far apart on locking down long term deals for Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.

6. Bart Scott was a guest on Mike and Mike this morning and discussed the desire of Adalius Thomas to be a Jet. If I had to make a prediction today, it would be that Thomas will be the Jets biggest UFA signing and maybe their biggest overall off-season acquisition unless Tannenbaum swings a big trade.

Is Shonn Greene Ready?

PhotobucketWith the release of Thomas Jones coming this Friday, the torch is being passed to Shonn Greene as the Jets #1 running back. Greene took the NFL by storm during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs last season. In the wild-card round against Cincinnati, he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry and had a 39 yard touchdown run. In the divisional round against San Diego, he rushed for 128 yards on 23 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and had a 53 yard touchdown run.

Those were two terrific performances that were somewhat foreshadowed at other points during the Jets regular season. Greene racked up 144 yards on only 19 carries during a week 7 win against the Raiders. He put up solid efforts against the Bills (11 carries, 59 yards), Bucs (6 carries, 41 yards), Colts (16 carries, 95 yards), and in the regular season finale against the Bengals (13 carries, 62 yards). These weren’t earth-shattering games but they showed Greene’s natural talent. He has a tremendous burst through the hole, is rarely tackled by the first guy who hits him, and has a second gear that allows him to rip off long runs.

There is no reason not to be excited about Greene’s potential to be franchise running back. By any account, he had a very good rookie year but let’s take off the green and white shades for a moment and look at some facts you can’t ignore:

  • Greene came off the bench last season and gashed defenses after Thomas Jones had softened them up. He rarely received carries in the 1st and 3rd quarter. His production was absolutely enhanced by having a bruising back in front of him.
  • Despite only having 108 carries in the regular season, Greene dealt with multiple injury issues in his rookie year. He missed nearly all of the pre-season and was inactive week 1 because of a rib injury. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a rib injury after only having 41 yards on 10 carries (a 4.1 average, which is down from the previous two playoff games). During training camp he also had an ankle injury and late in the regular season, he was on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
  • Greene lost three fumbles during the regular season. He lost a fourth one in week 17 but it was called back because of a penalty.
  • Greene had zero receptions during the regular season and only one during the playoffs.
  • Despite the previously mentioned impressive stat lines, he also had these not so impressive outings against Miami (8 carries, 18 yards), Jacksonville (7 carries, 26 yards), New England (3 carries, -1 yard), Carolina (10 carries, 36 yards), Atlanta (8 carries, 30 yards).\

I hate to take off those green and white shades and be so negative but the reality is Greene still has plenty to prove. There is big difference between coming off the bench and having a couple of great games and being a #1 back week in and week out for entire season. He needs to work on his consistency, ball protection, and receiving skills. You can’t have a #1 back who fumbles and who goes through the entire season without catching a single pass.

PhotobucketThe positives are that Greene got better as the season went on last year. He didn’t fumble the ball in the last six games, in which he received 91 total carries. Next season he will be playing behind the best offensive line in football and should be supported by an improved passing game, as Mark Sanchez continues to develop. He will also be more experienced, more comfortable in the offense, and better prepared to handle the rigors of an entire NFL season as a second year player instead of a rookie. The talent is clearly is there. It isn’t crazy to think Greene could realistically be a 1300-1400 yard back next year, especially when you consider how often the Jets run the ball.

The torch has been passed to Shonn Greene, let’s all hope he is ready to take it.

 

My Favorite Play Of The Past Season

Greene Touchdown Against Bengals

Greene’s First NFL Touchdown

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

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First a few updates:

1. Busy week coming up here at TOJ. The posts were a little sparse last week, due to my laptop dying after a historic 5 year run of being dropped, having food spilled on it, and generally accumulating dirt and dust, along with professors having the audacity to assign schoolwork to their graduate school students. I also took my first trip up to Boston during the weekend, good times. Anyway, free agency starts this Friday so it is all business this week, who needs a laptop anyway? Yet, feel free to buy me one for my birthday, which also happens to be this Friday.

2. As you can see on the home page, I posted up the Jets pick in the Fanball Mock Draft earlier today. Feel free to criticize.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook….because we are only 85 fans away from 300.

4. Nothing Rex Ryan said at the combine really caught my attention. It was nice of him to attempt taking some of the blame for Vernon Gholston but the reality is that the Jets just missed with the guy. He doesn’t deserve more reps. He didn’t even deserve to be active last season.

Photobucket5. There has been alot of buzz about the Jets pursuing Adalius Thomas. Despite being on the outs in New England and seeing some decline in his production, he is a guy who is obviously a good fit in Ryan’s scheme and would probably more than welcome going from the grim secret society culture of New England to the Rex Ryan, middle-finger waving Jets. If the Jets spend the money on Thomas, most people are assuming Bryan Thomas will be let go. However, I think there still couldbe a role for him. I think both Thomases…Adalius and Bryan, could be better served splitting time and only playing in certain packages. There isn’t going to be a trade market for BT, especially since Mangini isn’t calling the shots in Cleveland anymore, so why just release him? Do you really want Vernon Gholston stepping in, if one of the Jets outside linebackers get hurt?

6. The Jets will be releasing Lito Sheppard on Friday…I don’t think anybody is going to shed a tear over that one.

Final Word On Thomas Jones & Free Agency Week Begins

We all know the news now, the Jets will be releasing Thomas Jones on Friday. Everybody saw this coming and no matter how many articles I wrote on it over the past 2 weeks, it was going to happen. I still don’t agree with the move. Obviously, Jones wasn’t going to agree to restructure coming off a 1400 yard, 14 touchdown season. I know on the surface it doesn’t make perfect financial sense to pay TJ his full 3 million dollar bonus, but I do believe this could come back to haunt the Jets next season…and please spare me with the Mike Tannenbaum quote saying he is confident about Chauncey Washington as the team’s third running back. The Jets now have another need on offense. For a team that runs the football more than any other team in the NFL, it is a big risk to go into the season with their current depth at running back.

We all saw Shonn Greene in the playoffs last year. We all love his potential, yet he still has plenty to prove as I will detail in an article at some point this week. Nobody likes Leon Washington more than I do, but he also has plenty to prove coming off major surgery. The Jets need a third guy who can handle a few carries a game and more importantly be ready to step in and take 10-15 touches a game if somebody in front of him gets hurt or fumbles once or twice and needs to be taken out. Danny Woodhead isn’t that guy. Chauncey Washington hasn’t really gotten a chance but I have to think there is a reason that Jacksonville cut him so quickly after spending a draft pick on him.

Yet, let me just take a moment to thank Thomas Jones for time with the Jets. He struggled a little bit in 2007 behind a crappy offensive line and with no help at quarterback but still ran for 1119 yards. In 2008, he ran for 1312 yards with 13 touchdowns and then bumped his numbers up even higher last year to 1402 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Also, over the past three years he has 74 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns. Jones has been a leader in the locker room and an example around the team complex about how players should carry themselves. I have no doubt that Shonn Greene and Leon Washington will both be much better off because of their time spent with Jones. So good luck TJ, I hope you get a good deal in free agency on a team that isn’t playing the Jets over the next couple of years.

PhotobucketOn to other issues with free agency…There has been some talk about the Jets pursuing Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle. Yet, there will likely be a decent market out there for him and I am not sure how much the Jets would spend on a guy who could end up being very similar to Kerry Rhodes in their defense. If Rex Ryan wants a more physical player at the safety position, is he going to give money to a smaller guy who used to be a corner? I still think Rhodes will be back next year and hopefully improved. Overall, it is hard to tell who the Jets will target because of the restrictions placed on them. As of right now, I am hoping they could bring Marques Douglas, Tony Richardson, and yes even Jay Feely (I know it isn’t happening but I am terrified of Nick Folk) back. James Dearth, Larry Izzo, and Ben Hartsock will all likely walk. I can’t see anybody matching the Jets RFA tenders, unless somebody wants to take a big risk on Leon Washington. Unlike the past two seasons, the first week of free agency isn’t going to be a chaotic signing of big name players for the Jets. Their primary needs are a corner, a pass rusher, defensive line depth, and offensive line depth. Their secondary needs are a slot receiver, a running back, a veteran quarterback, and a backup tight end. I am not sure how many of those needs can actually be filled through free agency, so keep an eye for out potential trades and an active draft weekend where the Jets look to accumulate more picks.

No More Funny Jets Commercials For Thomas Jones

Early Off-Season Concerns For Jets & Draft Updates

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First a few updates:

1. I am sick of snow and I am sick of schoolwork. I am caught in the middle of a hellacious week, which saw my laptop break, an all-nighter to finish a paper that died with my laptop, a 50 dollar parking ticket at Lehigh because I parked in a spot 6 minutes earlier than I was supposed to, and an amusement park like ride back into New Jersey this morning because of the snow. I was basically playing Mario Kart the entire drive home down 78 and 287, getting hit by green turtle shells and driving over the banana peels…great stuff. Regardless, it was worth it because I couldn’t take another weekend in Pennsylvania….and yes, my friends and I will continue playing Mario Kart in person tomorrow when we attempt to drive to Boston for the weekend to see our long lost friend who moved up there 7 months ago.

2. Speaking of Boston, I saw Shutter Island last night…wow, great movie. 4 Stars. 2 Thumbs Up. Awesome stuff.

Photobucket3. Thoughts On Lost Season 6 Episode 5 “The Lighthouse” – I am a little biased with this review because I am a big Jack fan. The guy gets nothing but crap from writers (by making him a complete wreck the past 2 seasons) and the fans, except everybody forgets he saved everybody’s life about 8 times in Season 1, 2, and 3. Beyond that, nobody yells more for unnecessary reasons and looks weirder doing it than Matthew Fox (see the video below). It is always entertaining television, whether Jack is chasing down Thai women, popping Oxycontin, driving around his crappy brown jeep, or deciding to blow up the island because he can’t close the damn deal with Kate. Regardless, I liked Tuesday’s episode. We bounced between deadbeat Dad off-island Jack, and angry smashing mirrors on-island Jack. The off-island story caught me off-guard. It is clear some things are now radically different in these people’s lives because of what they did in 1977 (like Jack now having a son). It was nice to see Jack finally break his family tradition of overbearing, terrible parenting by the end of the episode. On the island, the whole crazy Claire plot seemed a little off to me but we’ll see where it goes. The lighthouse was an interesting concept, as a way for Jacob to monitor all his candidates. When Jacob going to show up to somebody besides Hurley, by the way?

4. A big thank you to www.thejetsblog.com for recently linking a bunch of my articles. It has provided a big spike in hits. They are the best in the business.

A Final Plea to Keep Thomas Jones and Other Thoughts

I normally don’t like writing these all over the place, update type articles like my post on Tuesday and today’s but there has been alot going on with the Jets this week, and I want to keep up and get my thoughts out there on all the issues. Beyond that, I haven’t had the time to sit down and come up with a good topic for a full length article like my recent Pulitzer level writing on why the Jets should keep Thomas Jones, why they don’t need a receiver, and why they should bring Kerry Rhodes back.

– The talk about Thomas Jones being potentially released has heated up recently, especially after LaDanian Tomlinson was let go. We know that Drew Rosenhaus and the Jets are sitting down this week in an attempt to work something out.  Most people still seem to be assuming nothing will get done and the Jets will let him go. I have been broken a record about this, but the Jets should just pay Jones his money. We saw last year how important depth is at the running back position, especially with how often the Jets run the football. If the Jets can convince Jones that he won’t get a big deal on the market because of his age and how he faded down the stretch last year (which is probably the case) and get him to come back for less, than good for them but I doubt that happens. Most people aren’t in the business of taking pay cuts after rushing for 1400 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. Jones is valuable in the locker room, in goal-line/short yardage, and yes is still good enough to be a key part of the Jets offense next season.

– The story on the Jets kicking situation is that they basically low-balled Jay Feely, and despite wanting to be back with the team next year, he will see if he could get a bigger deal on the free agent market. Hopefully, in the end nobody is willing to pay him Sea-Bass money and he works something out with the team, if not Nick Folk is going to be the death of the Jets in close games next season.

– The Jets added offensive tackle Michael Turkovich, who was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame picked up by the Cowboys last year. He hurt his knee and never saw any time in 2009, but he could be an interesting project for Bill Callahan at 6’5, 300 pounds. The Jets also recently tried out two journeyman fullbacks, Anthony Cotrone and Jonathan Evans. I hope Tony Richardson finds his way back on to the team next year. The Jets can’t sleep on the value of guys like Feely, Richardson, and Marques Douglas (who they are planning to let test the FA marker). All three of them were key contributors last season and I don’t count Nick Folk, Anthony Cortrone, or Travis LaBoy as potential adequate replacements.

Photobucket– A word on all the Nnamdi Asomugha talk…I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see him taking a sizable pay cut to join the Jets and I don’t see the Jets giving up multiple draft picks to get him. It is a scary good thought to have the two best corners in the NFL on our team, but similar to both LeBron and Bosh joining the Knicksnext year, I won’t believe it until I see it. Dunta Robinson could be a more realistic option.

– Draft Talk – Tim Graham of ESPN collected a group of pre-combine mock drafts, including ones from Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, Don Banks, Bucky Brooks, Chris Burke, Richard Lines, Rob Rang, Chad Reuter, Allen Wilson:

  • Kiper – Dan Williams
  • McShay – Arrelious Benn
  • Banks – Damian Williams
  • Brooks – Kyle Wilson
  • Burke – Kyle Wilson
  • Lines – Kyle Wilson
  • Rang – Damian Williams
  • Reuter – Kyle Wilson
  • Wilson – Carlos Dunlap

Alot of love for Kyle Wilson, who I also like alot for the Jets at number 29. Damian Williams would be an exciting addition but if you are a regular reader of this site, you know how I feel about the Jets adding a receiver in the first round.

– The Fanball Mock Draft is rolling along and we are quickly approaching the Turn on The Jets pick, here is where we are at right now:

THE BIG BOARD

1) St. Louis Rams – Will Horton (RamsHerd.com) – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

2) Detroit Lions– Josh Pung (RoarOfTheLions.com) – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

3) Tampa Bay Bucs – Eric Schmidt (WhatTheBucs.com) – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

4) Washington Redskins– Ryan Estroninos (PaintItRedskins.com) – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

5) Kansas City Chiefs – (ChiefsChatter.com) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida

6) Seattle Seahawks– Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan

7) Cleveland Browns – Ward Peterson (GridironBrownies.com) – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

8) Oakland Raiders – Stu Rosenberg (RaidersRadar.com) – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

9) Buffalo Bills – Jon Munoz (BillsHerd.com) – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

10a) Chicago Bears(Chicago’s pick goes to Denver) – Ismael Seguban (BearsHibernation.com, WHAT CHICAGO WOULD HAVE DONE) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

10b) Denver Broncos – Bryan Douglass (BroncosStable.com, DENVER’S PICK) – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

11) Jacksonville Jaguars – Nate Bruce (TealPower.com) – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

12) Miami Dolphins– Josh Baumgard (BlogWithAPorpoise.com) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

13) San Francisco 49ers – Josh Russell (NinersNuggets.com) – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson

14) Denver Broncos– TO SEATTLE – Jay Flannelly (FlockOfSeahawks.com) – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

15) New York Giants – Mike Farley (GmenDen.com) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

16a) Carolina Panthers(Carolina’s pick goes to San Francisco) – James Dator (RealBitsOfPanthers.com, WHAT THE PANTHERS WOULD HAVE DONE) – Arrelious Benn, WR/TE, Illinois

16b) San Francisco 49ers– Dana Whipple (NinersNuggets.com) – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

17) Tennessee Titans– Brian Munson (HonkyTonkTitans.com) – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Dan Stack (SteelersMill.com) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

19) Atlanta Falcons– Mike Luchessi (DirtyBirdBlog.com) – Taylor Mays, S, USC

20) Houston Texans– Mike Kerns (DontMessWithTexans.com) – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

21) Cincinnati Bengals– Mike Norrod (BengalsJaw.com) – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

22) New England Patriots– Tim Magoon (PatsChowder.com) – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas

23) Green Bay Packers – Adam Burnett (PackingCheese.com)

24) Philadelphia Eagles – Joe Burt (EaglesHaveLanded.com)

25) Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Hanson (FootBaltimore.com)

26) Arizona Cardinals – Hunter Ansley (DesertFlock.com)

27) Dallas Cowboys – Don Potts (RespectTheStar.com)

28) San Diego Chargers – Anthony Blake (ChargingBolts.com)

29) New York Jets– Joe Caporoso (TurnOnTheJets.com)

30) Minnesota Vikings – Eric Thompson – (VikingsThrone.com)

31) Indianapolis Colts – Brooks Busch (ColtsChatter.com)

32) New Orleans Saints – Mark Hooper (WhoDatBlog.com)

Any thoughts or suggestions?