Talking Points: Jets Free Agent Frenzy

I told everyone last week not to panic, and I was right.  Two days into free agency, the Jets have already made an impact.  And they’re not done either, as they have money to spend.  Despite what the media says, the Jets are in a very good position.

Santonio Holmes re-signed with the team today.  It was a five-year deal for a total of $50 million.  The contract is backloaded, so his cap hit this upcoming season will only be $2.45 million.

– The team-friendly cap hit this season allows the Jets to go after Nnamdi Asomugha.  The media will call this potential signing a long shot, but I wholeheartedly believe it could happen.  The Jets should offer $10-12 million, which combined with non-monetary factors could very well be enough to lure him in.

– Nnamdi and Revis would form the best cornerback tandem in the history of football.  These two players are clearly the best two at their position.  If they join forces, I suggest they should be called the “No-Fly Zone”.

– Nick Folk re-signed with the Jets for another year.  He’ll be challenged in camp by Nick Novak.

– Yesterday, the Jets inked Wayne Hunter to a four-year deal.   Damien Woody looks to be retired.  Hunter is one of the most underrated linemen in football.  Jets fans should not worry about their 0-line this season.  The Giants have someting to worry about, however.

– Braylon Edwards is not expected to re-sign with the Jets.  He sent out a controversial message on Twitter about Jets management, but he quickly deleted it.  There were rumors of the Jets being interested in Randy Moss, but who knows how likely that is.

– Mark Sanchez was named the captain of the Jets today.  He will wear a ‘C’ on his jersey.

– The Jets are once again major players in free agency, despite the media saying for months that they’d completely strike out.  This is why you can’t believe what the media tells you.  If you do your homework and research the facts yourself, you’ll realize that the media’s truth is rarely the whole truth.

Santonio Holmes is back, but the Jets aren't done.

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Potential 2011 New York Jets Draft Picks

Rex Ryan and the New York Jets are entering the 2011 draft with great anticipation following two consecutive trips to the AFC championship game. With lack of depth, due to injuries (Kris Jenkins) /aging players (Sione Pouha)  and disappointed performances (Vernon Gholston) along the Defensive line and not to mention pending RFA agents (Holmes, Harris and Cromartie). The New York Jets will focus more on the defensive side of the ball in the 2011 draft. On the offensive side, the Jets have one of the best  Offensive lines with Pro Bowlers Nick Mangold (center) and D’Brickashaw Ferguson (OT).  The only main question mark on the Jets offensive side of the ball is the WR positions. With Both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes hitting free agency, it is doubtful that the Jets will resign both; especially since Holmes has indicated a desire to explore the FA market. In a very competitive and physical AFC conference, the New York Jets will rebuild the defensive side of the ball to become more physical (if that’s possible) than last season. Here are my draft predictions for the Jets in the 2011 draft:

Round 1: Phil Taylor (DT) : Very physical interior defensive linemen who will fit in well in Rex Ryans defensive schemes.

2nd option: If Brooks Reed (DE/OLB) or Akeem Ayers (DE/OLB) are available, the Jets could go with either one and pick a DT in the 3rd round.

Round 2: None (traded to San Diego for Cromartie)

Round 3: Kendrick Ellis (DT)- Another powerful defensive linemen who would fit in well with Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes. Although he played at a small school, many scouts are very high on him.

2nd option: If the Jets select Phil Taylor in the 1st round, Ellis will not be selected in the 3rd round. Instead look for the Jets to target Jeremy Beal (OLB) or Allen Bailey (DE) in the 3rd round.

Round 4: Denarius Moore (WR)– With pending free agents Edwards and Holmes, the Jets will need to replace at least one of them. Moore has the size and speed to compliment either player who remains.

2nd option: Greg Salas (WR) or Niles Paul (WR) would be a great value in the 4th round.

Round 5: Shiloh Keo (S)– With the injury to Leonard and the up and down play of Smith, Shiloh Keo would add depth and give the secondary that added dimension.

2nd option: Tyrod Taylor (QB)-A Brad Smith Clone and could be a replacement for Brad Smith if the Jets choose to go that route.  An exceptional athletic and an excellent pick in the 5th round

Round 6: Brian Rolle (OLB)-Another prototype player who will fit in well with Rex Ryans defense and also on the special teams.

2nd option: Lazarius Levingston (DE)- More depth to the Defensive line that will give Rex Ryan more options.

Round 7: Thomas Keiser (DE/OLB)-Ryans continues to add depth and athletics on the defensive side of the ball.

2nd option: Graig Marshall (DE)-Not much difference between Marshall or Keiser. Depends on who is still on the board when the Jets pick comes along.

Did I emphasize too much on the defensive side of the ball? Should the Jets look to add depth at the RB position? Tell me what you think and give me your predictions.

4/28/22 – Click here to listen to New York Sports Today’s last show, which included coverage of the first round of the NFL Draft.

Late Reflecton on the Jets 2010 Season

The 2010 season was one to remember for the Jets and their fans. It was a season of exhilarating ups and depressing downs. General Manager Mike Tennenbuam assembled a team of stars by adding Ladanien Tomlinson, Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, Jason Taylor, and many more players to an already talented group that had reached the AFC championship game the year before.

It all started with the Jets training camp. The Jets had been chosen this year to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Hard Knocks is an HBO program that follows a different individual team each year during training camp. Through Hard Knocks, the Jets announced their intentions of winning the Super Bowl to the entire world. Viewers got an inside look at how confident Rex Ryan and his players were about the upcoming season.  Although everything seemed positive early on, it wasn’t. Star cornerback Darrelle Revis was holding out of training camp until he got a new contract. Revis, who had been a crucial piece to the Jets’ run in 2009, wanted to be the highest paid cornerback in the National Football League. Negotiations would continue all summer and eventually Revis would sign a new contract with the Jets.

With all the hype building up around the Jets, players and fans could not wait until week one of the National Football League season. The Jets played the Baltimore Ravens in week one, and the results were not what the Jets and their fans had expected. Sophomore quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled mightily in a 10-9 loss to the Ravens. It was a rough way to start the season, but it would only serve as a minor road bump for Sanchez and the Jets. The Jets would go on to win seven of their next eight games, including some fourth quarter, in one case overtime, dramatic victories over the Broncos, Browns, Lions, and Texans. The Jets were on a roll and it looked like they could not be stopped; that was until week 13 against the hated New England Patriots.

The Jets and Patriots were two of the hottest teams in the NFL when week 13 rolled around. Many experts and fans agreed that this matchup would determine who would win the AFC East division crown. The Jets, who had beaten the Patriots back in week two, were confident they could reverse the misfortune that has plagued them against their heated rivals in the past; they were dead wrong. The Jets would go on to lose the game 45 to 3. The Jets and their fans quickly lost the confidence and swagger they had had since summer training camp. The Jets went on to only win two of their remaining four games, and things looked bleak going into the playoffs.
Perhaps most tolling on the Jets’ regular season was the numerous off the field issues. Braylon Edwards had been charged with a DUI during the season, but probably the strangest of the off-field issues was Rex Ryan’s alleged foot-fetish. Late in the season, videos surfaced allegedly of Rex Ryan and his wife. In these videos, a male has a fetish for the feet of his female counterpart. Although having to constantly answer questions regarding the off the field issues, the Jets handled it well throughout the course of the season.
The Jets faced the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs. The Colts had eliminated the Jets in the AFC Championship Game the previous season. Despite this, the Jets seemed pretty confident going into the game. The Jets would go on to win the game 17 to 16 on Nick Folk’s game winning field goal. With this win the Jets advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, where the New England Patriots were waiting for them.
Nobody, not even Jets fans, gave the Jets any chance of beating the Patriots after the 45-3 debacle of week 13; yet the Jets were strangely confident. Both Jets players and Patriots players used the media as a way of criticizing their opponent. Players like Antonito Cromartie and Bart Scott continually called out and criticized the Patriots in the week before the ensuing battle began. Finally, it was game time. After a great battle between these two phenomenal teams, the Jets shocked the world: the Jets defeated the Patriots 28 to 21.
The Jets and their fans expected the Jets to ride the momentum of this tremendous win over the Patriots all the way to the Super Bowl, but it simply was not to be. The Jets would lose to the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game in a game the Jets were never really in a position to win.

The Jets’ 2010 season was one of great highs and devastating lows. It was marked by many off the field distractions and at times by phenomenal play on the field. Many key Jets are now free agents and the Jets will have to work to bring them back. Although 2010 did not end the way the Jets had wanted, the future is bright for this organization. If the NFL lockout ends and there is indeed a 2011 NFL season, I am confident that the Jets will once again be contenders for the Lombardi Trophy.

Rebuilding the Jets

Rebuilding the Jets

After a heartbreaking loss to the Steelers, we once again head back to the drawing board for another season.  Everything we do this offseason depends on the new CBA, but I don’t think it will be that bad of an offseason compared to what many people think it will be.

Step 1: Re-Sign RFA David Harris

– Harris is an All-Pro caliber middle linebacker.  He wants somewhere around $10 million per year, but I expect both sides to reach an agreement that pays him well and maintains flexibility for us.

Step 2: Re-Sign Braylon Edwards and/or Santonio Holmes

–  I’d like to re-sign both, but I really think the organization will only take one back.  This all depends on the salary cap situation in the new CBA, but I’d go with Holmes over Edwards.  Remember, Holmes is an RFA, meaning he’ll be easier to keep then Edwards.  However, the Jets could re-sign Edwards and put a tender on Holmes, meaning they could get draft picks back if another team signs him.  There are a lot of options here, but I think Santonio is the way to go if you have to choose one.  If we can bring both back, let’s do it.

Step 3: Address the Cornerback Situation

–  Antonio Cromartie is also an RFA.  I think if you let either Holmes or Edwards go, I think the team will have enough money to sign Cromartie.  If not, the Jets need to look for a corner on the free agent market.  I don’t want to draft another bust corner (see Kyle Wilson).  Asomugha would be ideal, but he would definitely be too pricey.  Drew Coleman should be easy to re-sign, and I’d like to see Cole back too.

Step 4: Address the Safeties

–  Smith and Ihedigbo and RFAs.  I don’t care about Ihedigbo and I’m not sure if I want Smith back.  He’s a decent back up, but you definitely have to re-sign UFA Brodney Pool.  Again, these are all low-cost moves.  I don’t think there will be a financial problem here.

Step 5: Special Teams

–  Bring back Brad Smith and find a new kicker.  As simple as that.  Try to find a new punter as well, although I can live with Weatherford if there is no other option.  But Folk has to go.

Step 6: Get Younger in the Front Seven

– Say goodbye to Jenkins, Ellis, Pryce, Taylor, Thomas, and Gholston.  It’s time to move on and find young, athletic pass rushers.  I want to draft two big, strong DE/DT type prospects that can fit into our defensive scheme.  We also need at least two pass rushers from the outside that can put pressure on the quarterback.  I’d prefer to draft an OLB who has played in the 3-4 scheme before instead of converting a defensive end (see Vernon Gholston).

Step 7: Address the Offensive Line

– I think Damien Woody is gone to be honest.  I think Matt Slauson can handle the left guard position if we can’t find anyone else, but I’d really like to see Vlad Ducasse step up and win the LG or RT starting spots.  I don’t know if it’s worth wasting a draft pick on a lineman, but we definitely need another guy on the line if we let Woody go.  In a somewhat related note, I think Tony Richardson’s time is done here.  It’s time for John Connor to show off his skill set at this level.

Step 8: FIRE BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER!!!

– Won’t happen, but one can dream, right?

The Draft: The Jets have five draft picks.  We lost our second round pick in the Cromartie trade, and we lost our seventh round pick in the Kevin O’Connell trade.  That leaves us with a first, a third, a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth round pick.  I want at least three of these picks used for our front seven.  Drafting a young, explosive wide receiver wouldn’t be a bad idea also.  We probably should draft a lineman, but you are going to have to use one of your two top picks to get a starting caliber one.  I’d like to add another running back as well, but we could probably find one outside the draft.

An Open Letter to the Football Gods

Dear Reader,

I have been a Jet fan for all my life. I could have been a Giant fan, Patriot fan, or even a lowly Dolphin fan. However, I am a fan of the New York Jets.  I’m sure all Jet fans would agree with me when I say we have been more than a futile franchise. After winning the Super Bowl in 1969, we have only averaged less than one playoff win every three seasons. We’ve had three conference championship appearances before this season, and we’ve lost every one of them in dramatic, heartbreaking fashion. There is only so much one fanbase can take.

After eleven years out of the playoffs, things started to go good for us in the 80s. Richard Todd and Ken O’Brein were decent enough quarterbacks. We passed on Dan Marino, but that’s ok. He didn’t win a title either. We made the playoffs four times that decade, but we only managed to put together three playoff wins. Two of those wins came en route to an AFC title game against the Dolphins. Yeah, we got shutout that game, 14-0.

Then came the 90s. From 1987-1997, we made the playoffs one time. Heck, in 1996 we went 1-15. We screwed up the draft just about every year too, even passing on Warren Sapp for Kyle Brady. But something weird happened in 1997. Under a man named Bill Parcells, this 1-15 team from 1996 won nine games the following seasons. For the first time since 1986 we finally had a respectable team.

The next year we won twelve games and our first division title in thirty years. After crushing the Jaguars in the divisional round after a bye, we took our talents to Denver for a showdown with John Elway. You already know the story. The best Jets team since the Namath Era blew a 10-0 lead and was sent home as Elway ended up wining the Super Bowl.

After an 8-8 season under Parcells, Al Groh took over in 2000. Besides the Monday Night Miracle, nothing of significance happened as the Dolphins won the division over our 9-7 team. Groh left the following offseason and was replaced by Herm Edwards. We won ten games in 2001, but lost to the Raiders in the first round. After a 1-4 start in 2002, Chad Pennington took over for Vinny Testaverde in the middle of the fifth game. They’d go on to lose the game, but we’d win eight of our last eleven to win the division. After beating Peyton Manning and the Colts 41-0, we lost to the Raiders again in the divisional round.

After a down season (6-10) in 2003, we bounced back in 2004 and made the playoffs at 10-6. After a win against the Chargers, Jet fans suffered an unimaginable defeat to the Steelers in the divisional round. The name Doug Brien still haunts Jet fans to this day. The next four years were crazy. Spygate, Eric Mangini, Kellen Clemens, Brett Favre, the Wildcat, Super Bowl 42, etc. It all cumulated in a former defensive coordinator from Baltimore being named the head coach of the Jets. Rex Ryan.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted Eric Mangini fired. I though the franchise was lost and no one could help at this point. I wanted a young, energetic coach that could get in your face and develop a unique style of football. I didn’t want an old man like Rex looked that would probably play a boring style of football. Well, that all changed with his first press conference. I was wrong. I had found the coach I’d been looking for all this time.

Rex changed the culture of the team immediately. He built a disciplined team that played “Jets football”. What is Jets football? Just watch one of our games and you will find out. Not only did Ryan change the culture, he was aggressive in bringing in star names such as Mark Sanchez. Unfortunately, the team got off to a slow start that put the 2009-2010 playoffs in serious doubt.

After declaring the Jets “out of the playoffs”, Rex and the gang won their last two to make the playoffs. After this, people started the claim the Jets got lucky and didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. The charge was led by WFAN’s Mike Francesca, who began to handwave so called “classless” Jet fans. Big Mike even forbid anyone even remotely related to the Jets from coming on his show.

Despite the hate, the Jets won two straight playoff games on the road before being eliminated again in the AFC title game against the Colts after once more holding a lead at halftime. Despite the loss, the Jets had changed their culture. The momentum continued into the offseason, as the Jets landed big names and starred in HBO’s reality show Hard Knocks. The 2010 season was our best since 1998, as the we won eleven games for only the fourth time in franchise history. After two more shocking upsets on the road in Indianapolis and New England, the Jets once again find themselves in the AFC Championship game. This time it’s in Pittsburgh.

All Jet fans ask for is one year. We haven’t been to the Super Bowl in over forty years. We’ve been waiting a lifetime for one break to go our way. We have the team this year, but we’ve had the same quality team in other years as well.  How many more times are we going to watch other franchises have their moment on the biggest stage in sports?  Some fans believe that we’ll never win the Super Bowl, but for me there is hope. We’re two wins away from reaching our ultimate goal, but I’ll take a win on Sunday for now.

A cautiously optimistic lifelong Jet fan,

– Nick

Week 4 NFL Postgame

How about that for a Jets win?  The Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills today by a score of 38-14.  While the Jets shouldn’t get too excited over this win, they did dominate both sides of the ball  Mark Sanchez played well, and the running game almost netted 300 yards.  LT scored two touchdowns and both of the Jets’ feature backs gained over 100 yards.

Today was great, but next Monday night is the big game.  The Jets have to try to end Brett Favre’s career next week.  If the Jets can beat the Vikings, you begin to wonder just how good the Jets really are.  How many other teams can you consider better than the Jets if they win next week?  It should be a fun night at New Meadowlands Stadium.

Interesting fact: Mark Sanchez’s projected stats for this year are 2844 yards, 32 TDs, and 0 INTs.

Sanchez: 14/24, 161 yards, 2 TDs
Tomlinson: 19 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs
Greene: 22 carries, 117 yards
Edwards: 4 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
Keller: 4 catches, 28 yards, 2 TDs

The Giants had a great game as well, winning 17-3.  The pass rush was on all day, accumulating 10 sacks.  It was a good day for the Giants, but there is nothing to get excited about yet.  All they did was beat the Bears’ backup quarterbacks by two scores after Jay Cutler got hurt.  Still, tonight was a positive.  The Giants will take their momentum into Houston for a showdown with the Texans next week.

Manning: 18/30, 195 yards
Bradshaw: 23 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD
Nicks: 8 catches, 110 yards

And since the Bears lost, the Jets now lead the league in wins.

Week 4 NFL Preview

It’s that time of week again.  Are you ready for some football?  The Jets and Giants both have very important games this week.  A win or a loss could set either team on the  right or wrong path to the playoffs.  Let’s get started.

The Jets enter their game against the Bills at 2-1.   The key for the Jets in this game is to protect the football.  If Mark Sanchez limits his mistakes, the Jets should have this game wrapped up by halftime.

Even with both Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis out, the Jets defense should have no problem handling Buffalo.  If the Bills score more than two touchdowns, it will be a huge accomplishment for them.  I can’t see this game not becoming a one-sided affair.

Final Score Prediction: 34-7 Jets

The Giants are a little more desperate than the Jets.  Sitting at 1-2, this game is a must win.  The Giants will have to establish the run early against Chicago.  If they can’t, it will be a long day.  The Bears don’t have a great secondary, but Julius Peppers will get the quarterback in the pass rush.  If Eli gets banged up early, this game could take a turn for the worse for the G-Men.

The Giants defense may be the biggest question mark in the NFL right now.  For a defense that was so overhyped coming into the season, you’d expect much more out of them.  If they play well, the Giants will win.  If they don’t, the Giants will lose.  It’s that simple.

I see this game being close early, but I don’t think the Giants have the discipline right now to close out games.  A few late scores should help the Bears win this game.  Look for Jay Cutler to light up the Giants secondary.

Final Score Prediction: 31-10 Bears