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.

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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.

BREAKING NEWS…. For Real This Time : Beltran Traded to San Fran

Buster Olney has recently reported on Twitter that the Mets have agreed to trade Carlos Beltran  to the San Francisco Giants for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler and cash. As a Mets fan I’m thrilled with this return, Wheeler has great stuff and potential to flourish in the spacious Citi Field. The only thing left to this deal is Beltran signing off we will keep you posted to the latest news regarding the trade.

Are the Knicks Interested in Kwame Brown?

We’re a long way from the end of the lockout, but the rumors keep flooding in.

There’s no question the Knicks need help in the middle … but is unrestricted free agent Kwame Brown the answer? Last week, a New York Post report surfaced that the team was interested in offering a one-year deal to a FA center, including the ex-Bobcat.

Although Brown finished this past season above average, averaging 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last 12 games, his overall 2010-11 campaign and most of his 10-year career have been average; not to mention, inconsistent. In 2003-04, he averaged 10.9 points per game, but the following season he dropped to 7.0 ppg and then his minutes sunk below 20 minutes per game — until only last season. Averaging 26 minutes per game, he put up 7.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 0.6 bpg, while shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 58.9 percent from the line.

If Brown arrives in the Big Apple, don’t expect a big upgrade over last season’s usual starting center Ronny Turiaf, according to Basketball Prospectus’ SCHOENE projection system. If Brown plays Turiaf’s identical minutes from last season (17.8 mpg), he will average 4.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in 2011-12 with the Knicks. Compared to Turiaf, who averaged 4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 1.1 bpg in 2010-11, Brown’s numbers would be a downgrade in terms of shot blocking, but not in terms of rebounding. The scoring averages are a wash, but Turiaf shot 64. percent last year and the projection only shows Brown shooting 52.5 percent from the field next season.

I highly doubt Brown is the answer to the Knicks’ hole at center, but a one-year deal wouldn’t hurt anyone.  He would be a good guy for depth, but he’s really nothing but another Ronny Turiaf.  There’s nothing wrong with players like Turiaf, but the Knicks need a little more out of the starting center spot.

Is Kwame Brown the answer?

Analyst: Brett Favre Could Return

Once we all think it’s finally over, it just starts again.

According to analyst Gil Brandt, QB Brett Favre might be considering a(nother) comeback for a 21st NFL season.

“I do think Favre would be interested in talking to a team about returning,” Brandt wrote in an chat Tuesday. “But I don’t see a team out there right now that would bring him back as a starter.”

“Brett is still a good quarterback, but I’d consider him a descending quarterback,” Brandt wrote. “It’s awfully hard for him to go to a team and be a backup. The Vikings must start Christian Ponder this season to get him some experience. And they’re not going to get Favre in there to babysit Ponder.”

Unbelievable.  It just doesn’t end.  However, I really do think Brett is retired for good.  I think those final few hits really did him in.  He could get in decent physical shape by the middle of the season, but I really doubt any team would take a chance on him.  Signing him just isn’t worth the circus that follows.

I still will never rule out a possible return.  You just can’t predict what this guy will do.  If a contending team’s quarterback has a serious injury late into the season, Brett just may get up off the couch and give it another run.

Here we go again.

Dwight Howard Won’t Play for L.A.?

We have a long time until we see any basketball again, but the Dwight Howard watch is still on.  The speculation for months has been that Dwight either wants to go to the Lakers or Nets.  While I wouldn’t get to excited yet, maybe we can begin to speculate that Howard doesn’t want to be a Laker.  After digging through his Twitter account, we have found a rather odd tweet.

Very interesting.

In other news, ESPN claims the Nets are going to make a hard push for Dwight.

The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

It’s not time to get excited yet Nets fans, but there’s a good chance Superman will be a Net within the next two seasons.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more on Dwight Howard, the lockout, and possible landing spots for other players rumored to be on the move.

Deadline Pitching Targets: Yankees

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is roughly a month away, and we all know the Yankees would love to add another arm to their rotation for the stretch run. The Yankees currently sit atop the AL East with a record of 46 wins and 31 losses. They are 1.5 games above the second place Red Sox and 3.0 games above the third place Tampa Bay Rays. Surly the Yanks would love to widen their lead over their division rivals.

Here is a list of some pitchers the Yankees may target in order to have them slot behind CC Sabathia in the starting rotation:

Hiroki Kuroda
Pros: Kuroda has had a stellar career since coming over from Japan for the 2008 season, and this year has been no different. Kuroda has a 3.10 ERA in over 100 innings for the struggling Dodgers; moreover, he has only walked 2.17 batters per nine innings. Kuroda would fit perfectly behind Sabathia as the team’s number 2 starter.
Cons: Kuroda has a full no-trade clause, and he seems to be quite comfortable with the Dodgers despite their struggles.

Mark Buehrle
Pros: Buehrle has been a consistent pitcher throughout his career. Buehrle has a 3.87 ERA in roughly 100 innings in 2011, which is a solid line. Like Kuroda, Buerhle does not walk batters. He has walked just 2.09 per nine innings this year.
Cons:  Buerhle has a limited no-trade clause; furthermore, Buerhle’s 2012 option, which is worth 15 million, automatically vests if he is traded. It is also possible that the Yankees may be able to find a cheaper option, who can pitch just as effectivly.

Francisco Liriano
Pros: Liriano has shown ace like stuff throughout his career. For his career, he has struck out 9.10 batters per nine innings. His stuff is just plain filthy.
Cons: Despite throwing a no-hitter earlier this year, Liriano has struggled this year. He has a 4.98 ERA this year 72.1 innings pitched; however, his 4.22 FIP may suggest he has been better than his ERA indicates.

Carlos Zambrano
Pros: Zambrano has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career. He is a guy who can dominate opposing lineups. So far this year he has a 4.38 ERA and a 3.83 FIP in 111 innings pitched. I believe that a change of scenery could do Zambrano well. I think that if Zambrano is traded to the Yankees, he will react well to being thrown in the midst of a pennant race.
Cons: Zmbrano is a head case. He has the potential to destroy the chemistry in any clubhouse. He has fought with managers and battery mates alike. He is also due 18 million dollars in 2012. Although the Yanks can afford that price tag, it could prove costly if it doesn’t work out for the Big Z in New York.

Wandy Rodriguez
Pros: Rodriguez has been very good the last few seasons. So far this year he has a 3.21 ERA in 84 innings pitched. He could slot nicely in the Yankees rotation. He is also signed through 2013 which gives the Yankees a possible long-term solution in the rotation.
Cons: Rodriguez has been a victim of the long ball this year. He has given up 11 homers in 13 starts. Those numbers would surely increase if he pitched half of his games at Yankee Stadium.