Jets Free Agency Updates (July 31, 2011)

– Plaxico Burress signed with the Jets this morning. The one-year deal will be worth approximately $3 million.

– Todd Heap signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals, ending speculation that he might end up a Jet. Kevin Boss is still on the market if the Jets are interested in another tight end.

– Multiple sources have reported that the Jets are close to re-signing Antonio Cromartie. As we learned this weekend, it’s important not to get too excited over potential free agent signings. I’ll get excited when it’s official.

– Reports say the Jets have spoken with Shaun Ellis.  No deal is in place yet.

– Phillip Buchanon will be revealing his decision via Twitter shortly.  It’s down to the Jets and Redskins.

Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for more on the Jets and free agency.

Yankees and Mets Involved in No Deadline Deals

I don’t blame the Mets for staying put, but I have no idea what Brian Cashman is doing.  Horrible job by him.  How could you make no moves to try to bolster your team, especially your pitching staff?

For a team that prides itself on being perennial World Series favorites, the Yankees sure have settled for mediocrity the past two seasons.  The Yankees haven’t made any big splashes since they acquired Curtis Granderson before last season.  After doing nothing in the offseason, you’d imagine the Yankees would try to acquire a big-name player now.

But I really can’t blame the team too much if there was nothing there.  I could understand why Cashman wouldn’t want to overpay for someone like Jimenez.  But not getting Cliff Lee clearly cost the Yankees a trip to the World Series last year.  Hopefully the lack of a big move doesn’t cripple the Bombers this season.

And to make matters worse, Erik Bedard is heading to the Red Sox.

Jets Sign Plax

Plaxico Burress is not leaving New York. He has signed a $3 million dollar contract with the New York Giants  Jets. 

This surely spells the end for Braylon Edwards’ tenure as a New York Jet.  Braylon was very good as a Jet; however, it is easy to see Burress being just as good on a cheaper contract. The Jets now still have cap space to re-sign Cromartie and to make any other additions Mike T. deems necessary.

The Jets have a new number 17.

Talking Points: NFL Free Agency Update

– With Nnamdi Asomugha taking his talents to Philly, the focus for the Jets now turns to Antonio Cromartie. With money to spend, there’s no reason the Jets can’t bring him back.

– Braylon Edwards has been rumored to not be wanted by the Jets. Sources have indicated Miami as a possibility. With the Jets allegedly going after Plaxico Burress, this could be accurate. I’d really like Braylon back, but I trust the Jets front office to make the right decisions for the team. The Steelers are also interested in Burress.

– The Jets have re-signed Eric Smith and are on the verge of bringing back James Ihedigbo. The team also signed corner Donald Strickland and may be in the process of acquiring Phillip Buchanon.

– Besides a re-signing or two, the Giants have done virtually nothing. Steve Weatherford signed with the G-Men yesterday, but is that something to really get excited about? With holes at LB, OL, and RB, I have no idea what Jerry Reese is doing.

– Speaking of the Giants, Osi Umienyiora hasn’t reported to camp. This could be an ugly holdout. I’m not sure if the Giants and Osi can reconcile their differences. It would not shock me at all to see him moved for a draft pick or two.

NCAA Football 12 Review

Gameplay

Pros: Tackling is better this year, the running game is fairly realistic, and it seems as if the defense tries to react to your playing habits.

Cons: Quarterbacks take too long to release the ball, defensive players still drop too many easy picks, and certain plays always work while others never work.

Game Modes

a) Dynasty Mode

Dynasty mode is decent.  There’s nothing spectacular about it, but there’s no major issues that will completely ruin your experience.  I’ve encountered a glitch or two and occasional freezing, but that’s about it.  The Top 25 ranking system works very well in the game, which is a huge positive.

One issue I had was that the in-game Supersim doesn’t work as well as you’d want it to.  I’ve had instances where simming defensive drives would always result in a touchdown for the other team.  However, it worked decently in Road to Glory, so perhaps it was just an issue with my specific team.

b) Road to Glory

Road to Glory has so much potential, but it falls short in a number of areas.  Let me tell you the story of two players.

My first Road to Glory player was a quarterback who went to USC.  In a matter of a few weeks, I upgraded him to a 99 overall.  How is that realistic at all?  And the funny thing is that I only played a handful of games a season.  I did it all through mediocre performances in practice.

My main issue with my quarterback was injuries.  My injury rating was in the 80s, but he was injured way too often and for too long.  I never had an injury lasting more than a quarter or two, but that’s a lot of time in a crucial game.  I once watched a 21-0 Pac-12 Championship Game lead against Oregon slip away because I was out for the fourth quarter.

Another problem was coaching and playcalling.  Since I simmed a lot of games, I didn’t get to use most of my player’s hot route and audible abilities until later on.  It’s pretty pathetic that I could be a 99 overall, yet I couldn’t audible out of a play.  What type of coach wouldn’t give that power to a star player?  It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it weren’t for the ridiculous plays my coach would call in various situations.  I don’t have time to list them all, but trust me when I tell you they were bad.

I’m currently in another Road to Glory with a linebacker from Notre Dame.  It’s a lot harder to upgrade my player, and everything seems pretty fair and balanced so far.  I’m starting to think the main issues with Road to Glory all revolve around the quarterback position, as I’ve seen others complain about their quarterbacks as well.  I wish the mode included off-the-field aspects of a player’s life, but the mode is decent enough that you probably won’t mind.  An interview mode or something similar would have capped off this mode very nicely.

Sound

Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler are a very solid duo.  They don’t make any outrageously stupid comments, but they also don’t say anything really too insightful.  They’re just there, minding their own business and doing their thing.  Personally, I like to see that.  I hate Cris Collinsworth’s ridiculous lines in Madden.

As far as crowd sounds, they could be better.  What’s more important is each team’s fight song, which NCAA nails pretty well.

Visuals

The stadiums are decent.  Everything seems very realistic except for the crowd.  The crowd is probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in any sports game.  The grass is also an issue, as it is extremely blurry at times.  However, games in the snow look really cool, so I guess that makes up for it.

Extras

The menus are ok, the Team Builder feature is good as always, and the game’s presentation is solid.  I do wish there were some mini-games to play, however.  I have no idea why EA took the ones from NCAA Football 10 out.

The Verdict: 7.75/10

If you’re a die-hard college football fan, this game is for you.  If not, wait until Madden next month.

Giants Sign Several UFAs

  • Herzlich was perhaps the biggest name on the UDFA list. Having been a productive linebacker from the outset of his freshman year, a winner of a litany of awards and ranked as a top 50 pick before heading back to Boston College for his senior year, Herzlich was diagnosed a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma. The Giants grabbed him quickly when the period for signings opened, reportedly under a “suggestion” from ownership. We noticed a little cynicism on our comments board when he was signed, but please, people, remember: signings like these are no risk, high reward.
  • FB Henry Hynoski, Pittsburgh. Hynoski is billed as an athletic fullback who can maul a potential tackler if he gets him lined up right. Scouting reports also not solid hands and enough athletic ability to catch a few passes. He was used more as a receiver than a rusher at Pitt last year. Expected to be a 6th or 7th round pick, he hurt a hamstring at the combine that prevented him from working at his pro day.
  • OL Jarriel King, South Carolina. King brings the size of a tackle to the field, at 6–5, 317, but did not start a game at LT until midway through his senior year at South Carolina. Had some concussion issues last year year that kept him out of two games, but was named the most improved offensive lineman on the Gamecocks prior to the 2010 season, so perhaps he’s really coming into his own. At the combine, he lifted a respectable 23 reps on the bench
  • DE Justin Trattou, Flordia. At 6–3, 225 lbs, Trattou’s scouting reports contain the dreaded term “tweener.” While the Giants love fast defensive ends, Trattou sounds like a better fit to play OLB in a 3-4 system. Can you say “Clint Sintim“?
  • DE Craig Marshall, South Florida. Marshall started all but one of the games he played in last year but missed four games with a foot injury. He notched nine tackles for a loss of yards and four sacks.
  • DT Martin Parker, Richmond. Now that the Giants have cut Rocky Bernard, there may be a space open for a guy like Parker, who comes in at 300 lbs and had 13.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks last year. CBS scouting report says he has impressed at every level including the East-West Shrine Game and although may not get a lot of attention in a deep class at DT, is the “type of mid round pick to surprise early in his career.”
  • DT Ibrahim Abdulai, Arkansas–Pine Bluff. We could not find a lot of info on Abdulai. He’s 6–1, 301 lbs and benched 21 reps at his pro day.
  • LB Spencer Paysinger, Oregon. Paysinger’s another guy on whom there’s not a lot of scouting reports out there. He did notch eight tackles —seven unassisted — in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn. He was also named a Pac–10 All–Conference player by a vote of the conference coaches. Played the WIL as a Duck.
  • S David Sims, Iowa State. The 5–9, 200 lbs safety clocked a 4.50 in the 40 at the combine and broke up three passes last year while making 96 tackles. Changing schools a few times and facing charges that he used a woman’s debit card didn’t help him in the draft, but Reese has found players with big talent and minor trouble before.
  • TE/LS Harry Flaherty, Princeton. Watch your back, Zak DeOssie.

Mauling the Media: Nnamdi Asomugha

Some people in the media clearly are just making things up now.  Last night and this morning, there were multiple reports of the Jets and Texans being the final two contenders for Nnamdi Asomugha.  That sounded reasonable and all, and I think it was somewhat believable.

A little while ago, it was announced that the Texans signed cornerback Jonathan Joseph.  You’d think that would leave the Jets as the main contenders for Nnamdi.  Nope.

Now apparently the 49ers, Bucs, Cowboys, and others are all still in it.  All I ask for in the media is for the truth.  I honestly think some reporters are just making this up as they go.

Again, it’s more important for media personalities to be first, not right.  That’s how they think, and that will never chance.  It sounds crazy, but Incarcerated Bob has been the more accurate over the past few days than everyone else.