Jets Won’t Do Much to Keep Braylon Edwards

According to Jets Gab, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network is reporting that Braylon Edwards is looking at top money.

Jets free agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards said in early May that he’d take a hometown discount to remain with the Jets but Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports Edwards is looking for the kind of big money that goes to top starting receivers.

In what could be a very shallow market, chances are he will get it. The Jets won’t fight that hard to keep him. La Canfora calls him petulant and inconsistent and has made poor decisions off the field. He will wow you with one moment of splendor then fall back into a bone-headed funk. La Canfora expects his worst traits to be exacerbated once he has that big contract.

Happy trails.  I don’t mind losing Edwards if it means the Jets can re-sign Holmes and Cromartie without a problem.  I’ll take my chances with someone like Plaxico Burress or Randy Moss (who Woody Johnson has expressed interest in) for a season.  I love Braylon and what he brings to the team, but he deserves to be paid like the secondary option he is.  It’s going to be tough losing him, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to maintain a winning team.

With sources saying the new CBA (which could be very close to completion) will definitely include a salary cap, the Jets will likely have to pick and choose who they sign.  Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Brad Smith, and Antonio Cromartie would all be UFAs under the new CBA, so the Jets have some work ahead of them.  However, I trust in  this front office to put together a winning team for the fourth season in a row.

Woody Johnson on Randy Moss

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reported today on Woody Johnson’s opinion of Randy Moss.

The Randy Moss-Jets speculation remains alive, and there’s a reason for that: It’s because the Jets have interest in the star-turned-journeyman wide receiver, as I wrote last Sunday.

Owner Woody Johnson, for one, apparently believes Moss, coming off his worst season, still has the potential to play like a star.

“There’s no question that Randy Moss has the capability, has the God-given talent to be a superstar, and he has been a superstar, particularly with the Patriots,” Johnson told Albert Breer of the NFL Network at this week’s owners’ meetings in Indianapolis. “That’s about all I can say about him, other than I admire his skill and what he’s accomplished during those years.”

Interesting choice of words by Johnson, who gushed about Moss’ past and his future. It was almost like he was saying, “We can make him a star again.”

Know this about Johnson: He loves chasing players with marquee appeal. Some might argue that Moss is washed up, but he’s still a big name and we’ve seen over and over how the Jets like to add big names.

So if Braylon Edwards signs elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent, which I suspect he will, the Jets will be in the Moss hunt.

As I’ve said before, Moss on a cheap, one-year deal isn’t a bad move at all.  I’d much rather have Braylon and Santonio back, but Moss isn’t a bad consolation prize.  I have no doubts that Rex Ryan could get the best out of him.

Jets 2011 NFL Draft Talking Points

Muhammad Wilkerson was picked by the Jets in the first round. I love the pick. There were other options, but none fit into the 3-4 like Wilkerson. Muhammad is an inside pass rusher, something hard to find in a 3-4. He can be what Trevor Pryce was in his prime for Baltimore. I still by my grade of a B+ for him.

Kenrick Ellis, a nose tackle, was picked in the third round. We have documented Ellis’ off the field problems, but there is no doubt this guy is a monster. If all the charges against him are dropped, this is a great pick. I’ll give the pick a B for now.

Bilal Powell, Gang Green’s fourth round pick, was the cause of much debate earlier today. Where does he fit in? It’s simple. With LT and McKnight both question marks, this is simple insurance for now and the future. Between him, Greene, and maybe McKnight, consider the running back position locked up for the future. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. It’s a B- pick in my opinion.

Jeremy Kerley was an interesting fifth round pick. He is a kick and punt returner, something the Jets need desperately. If Brad Smith isn’t back, Kerley can play a similar role to what Smith did last season. This could end up being a very good late round pick for the Jets. I can’t complain about wide receiver depth, with three wide receiver free agents for the Jets. I give the pick a B-.

Greg McElroy came next in the seventh round. This is my favorite pick of the draft. McElroy is a National Champion quarterback from Alabama. He was projected to as high as round four in some mock drafts. There are some question marks about his arm strength, but the kid was pumped to be a Jet and looked thrilled to get a chance to play for this organization. Talk about a value pick! I give this pick an easy A.

Scotty McKnight was the Jets’ other seventh round pick. If you haven’t heard, the guy is good friends with Mark Sanchez. It’s a nice story, but there were much better prospects on the board. He could have been signed as an undrafted free agent. I’m not going to lose sleep over this pick, but I can’t give it higher than a C.

Overall Draft Grade: B+

I can’t complain about this draft. As a matter of fact, it’s my favorite in recent memory. The only comparable one would be the 2006 Draft, which I loved at the time. Obviously, that one ended up well. Who came out of it? D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, and Leon Washington. I can only hope this year’s Draft will have similar results.

Could this be the next great Jets running back?

Antonio Cromartie Won’t Return to the Jets

According to multiple sources, the Jets will let Cromartie walk and enter free agency.  This is a good move for the Jets if it helps them bring back Holmes, Smith, and Edwards.  Asomugha is also on the table, but he’ll be to expensive to sign.

Keep it here for all the latest breaking news, Jet fans.  It’s going to be a rough offseason, but I think things will turn out ok in the end.  Have faith in Woody, Tannenbaum, and Rex.

UPDATE: Manish Mehta, Jets Daily News Beat Writer, says no decision has been made on Cromartie.

2010 NFL Offseason in Review

With the NFL season about to start in less than two weeks, let’s look back on this year’s historic offseason.

After a 5-0 start, the Giants seemed to have had booked a ticket to the 2009 playoffs. Unfortunately, the Giants would collapse and finish 8-8 on the season. The Giants’ defense was awful down the stretch, allowing over forty points in three of their last four games. The Giants would close out their old stadium in week 16 with a demoralizing 41-9 loss against Matt Moore and the Panthers. The Giants would address one of their needs immediately by signing safety Antrel Rolle to a five-year, $37 million contract. The Giants would add even more depth at safety by signing former Seahawk Deon Grant to a one-year deal.

With the 15th pick in the draft, the Giants decided to pick the best player available on their board. That player was Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end out of South Florida. Pierre-Paul will be a work in progress, but he could eventually become a solid building piece. In the second round, the Giants selected defensive tackle Linval Joseph out of East Carolina. Picking another defensive lineman was a controversial move by the Giants. The Giants would draft safety Chad Jones out of LSU in round three to close out day two of the NFL Draft. The Giants finally addressed their middle linebacker situation in round four. Phillip Dillard, middle linebacker out of Nebraska, was selected by the Giants with the 115th overall pick. The problem with this pick is that most analysts don’t project him to be a starter. The Giants would take guard Mitch Petrus in the fifth round, before drafting outside linebacker Adrian Tracy in the sixth round. Giants finished off their draft by taking punter Matt Dodge, who could replace the retired Jeff Feagles.

The Giants’ off-season will ultimately be looked at as a success or failure, depending on their success this season. The front office didn’t address their starting middle linebacker situation as well as they could have, completely ignored their offense, and drafted for potential as opposed to definite talent. With an uncapped season, this certainly wasn’t the year to be cheap. Unfortunately, the Giants’ brass was rather passive when it came to the free agent market. The Giants should win anywhere from eight to twelve games this season. If their defense can hold up, expect a return to the playoffs.

Despite a 3-0 start, the Jets would end up falling to 7-7 by Week 15. Thanks to a great amount of luck, the Jets were able to leap over other teams in the standings and sneak their way into the playoffs. The Jets would dominate Cincinnati in the first round of the playoffs and advance to the AFC Divisional Round. The following week, the Jets pulled off an amazing upset against the Chargers to advance to the AFC Championship Game. The Jets would finally be eliminated by the Colts, despite having a lead at halftime.

Most people expected the Jets to have a quiet off-season. Because of the “final eight” rule, the Jets were severely limited on what they could do in the free agent market. The first move for the Jets was to bringing back fullback Tony Richardson on a one-year deal. Kicker Nick Folk and safety Brodney Pool were also signed early in the off-season. I would have personally kept kicker Jay Feely around for one more year, as Folk‘s kicking could become problematic. However, Pool is the perfect free safety for Rex Ryan’s defense. Before the Pool signing, the Jets traded safety Kerry Rhodes to the Cardinals for a fourth round pick in this year’s draft and a seventh round pick in next year’s draft.

The Jets made a huge trade in early March that brought in cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie is one of the best “big play” corners in the league. With Darelle Revis patrolling the other side of the field, Cromartie will be tested more than he ever has before. This should lead to the opportunity to intercept more passes.

Gang Green’s other big trade this off-season was the Santonio Holmes trade. The Jets acquired former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes for a fifth round draft pick. This trade was an absolute steal, as Holmes is widely considered a top-15 wide receiver. Unfortunately, Holmes will be suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Perhaps the biggest signing of the off-season for the Jets was the signing of running back Ladainian Tomlinson. Ladainian isn’t the player he once was, but he is still an above average back. Since the Jets had one of the best offensive lines in football last year, look for Tomlinson’s production to increase. The Tomlinson signing led to the departure of Thomas Jones. This was a controversial move, but I feel it was the right one to make. Jones has very little left in the tank and has been overused for many years. Last year in the playoffs, Jones was falling down after the slightest contact. He may have had more production last year than Tomlinson, but Jones didn’t have to deal with the poor run-blocking offensive line that Tomlinson did.

The Jets made the most controversial signing of their off-season by bringing in former Dolphin linebacker Jason Taylor. Despite his talent, many Jets fans still have bitter feelings towards him. Taylor was a long time villain in Jets history. He was often being seen taunting Jets fans during games and making obscene comments about the franchise itself. Jason once said, “The Jets fans take the ’cl’ out of class.” The controversial linebacker will be a pass rusher at the 3-4 outside linebacker position. This should add a new dimension to the Jets’ defense.

The Jets had a risky, yet productive draft. In the first round, the Jets selected New Jersey native Kyle Wilson with the 29th overall pick. Wilson is the perfect nickel backer for Rex Ryan’s defense. If Wilson can cover slot wide receivers, Rex Ryan would gain the ability to blitz more often without worrying about allowing a big play. Wilson is also an amazing punt returner.

The Jets selected tackle/guard Vladimir Ducasse in the second round. Ducasse is projected to be a right tackle, but this year he will play left guard. Ducasse has shown the ability to pull block successfully, even for a 330 pound monster. With this pick, Alan Faneca became expendable. Faneca, the nine-time Pro Bowl selection, was released by the Jets during day three of the draft. Despite being a solid run-blocker, Faneca was awful in pass protection last season.

The Jets didn’t have a third round pick, but in the fourth round the Jets traded up to select running back Joe McKnight. McKnight is considered to have a similar skill set to Leon Washington, who was traded with a seventh round pick to the Seahawks for a fifth round pick. The Jets didn’t get much back for Leon, who is recovering from a fractured fibula. McKnight, Greene, and Tomlinson should easily make up for the loss of Leon. The Jets used their last pick to draft fullback John Conner, the likely replacement for Tony Richardson after this season.

Overall, it was an amazing off-season for the Jets. Despite having numerous restrictions against them, the Jets got younger, cheaper, and better during this off-season. Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson once again proved that the Jets have one of the best front offices in all of sports. If the Jets can stay healthy and effective, I don’t see why they can’t make a run for a championship. I wouldn’t count on a Jets-Giants Super Bowl, but anything is possible.

Tim Cowlishaw Was Wrong

It is now 12:00 AM on Thursday, August 26.  Reports from ESPN, AOL, and other media outlets were all wrong.  Darrelle Revis has still not signed a new deal with the Jets.

Well maybe Cowlishaw wasn’t completely wrong.  He did say that Revis would either sign Wednesday or Saturday.  If Revis were to sign Saturday, it would be just in time to make the airing of Hard Knocks next week.

Maybe we at New York Sports Zone even jumped the gun a bit.  As much as Jets fans want this deal done, nothing is official until Revis is on the practice field wearing a Jets jersey.  It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth.

Revis is dead wrong for what he is doing, but his tactics sure as hell have been effective.  As a Jets fan myself, I can’t help to feel dejected over this whole situation.  It’s easy to blame Revis, but you have to wonder if the organization could be at fault too.

I don’t know the Jets’ full financial situation, but when you making millions of dollars off of PSLs, there is no reason to be cheap.  Woody Johnson is usually good about spending money on the team, but I want to know why $40 million over ten years is so much of a gap to fill.  Are you telling me that you can’t afford to increase your payroll by $4 million a year?  Not even all of that money will be guaranteed.

At the same time, I definitely see the Jets’ argument.  If there is a salary cap next season, the Jets are definitely screwed.  All these huge contracts will eventually catch up to the Jets if there will be a cap going forward.  For the sake of the NFL, I hope there is no cap in the new CBA, but it is certainly a possibility.  If a hard cap is put in place, the Jets will be at a huge disadvantage going forward.]

Of course there is the main argument that favors the Jets in this situation.  Revis still has three years and $21 million left on his deal.  The Jets don’t have to do anything until 2013.  As soon as the front office offered $120 million over 10 years, Revis should have jumped all over it.  Is $16 million versus $12 million a year really that much of a difference?  Is it a big enough difference to hurt your franchise, teammates, and personal image?

I don’t want to hear about Leon Washington either.  The Jets offered Leon a very reasonable extension that would have been enough to support his family for life.  Leon rejected that offer and then got hurt.  If Revis was smart, he should have seen what happened to Leon and taken the $120 million contract (with guaranteed money) as fast as he could have.  Washington didn’t get hurt because the Jets refused to negotiate, he got hurt because he was greedy and wouldn’t take his extension.

No matter what side you take, you have to agree that this has become a ridiculous drama.  For the sake of both sides, I hope a deal gets done as fast as possible.  Revis should be a Jet for life, and I still believe the 14th overall pick out of Pittsburgh will be.

New York Nine: The Owners

9)  Charles Wang

Terrible owner. Wang bought the team in 2000 and has absolutely destroyed the franchise. When Rangers fans become upset about Jim Dolan, they should look at Wang.

8)  James Dolan

Speaking of Dolan, what a disgrace of a person this guy is. Jim Dolan managed to ruin two professional sports franchises in a matter of a few years. A few years after taking over Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and Rangers fell into mediocrity.

There is no end to Dolan’s madness. He continues to spend stupid money and hire stupid people. He still goes to Isiah Thomas for basketball advice. How mentally challenged can you be?

Then there is the whole Glen Sather thing. Why he won’t fire Sather is beyond anyone’s imagination. His checkbook says he cares, but is Dolan’s heart really into these teams?

7)  The Wilpons

I was thinking about ranking the Wilpons eighth, but at least they have won something. Fred Wilpon became part-owner of the New York Mets in 1986, before buying the rest of the team in 2002. His son Jeff is the COO of the Mets.

Not only have the Mets been a mediocre franchise for the past two decades, but most of their downfall comes right from the ownership. The Wilpons contiuously get into embarrassing situations that end up trickling down to the team. How is the Bernie Madoff situation effecting the Mets right now? Does anyone now? Why won’t this ownership comunicate with the fanbase?

The Wilpons’ baseball decisions rank among the worst of any owners. They continue to hire bad GM after bad GM. With the largest payroll in the National League, the Mets still can’t make the playoffs.

6)  Mikhail Prokhorov

We don’t know much about Prokhorov, but we know a few things. He likes to win, he has a lot of money, and he likes women. That sounds like a good enough owner to me. He hasn’t screwed anything up yet, so he is a good owner in my book. When the Nets move to Brooklyn in 2012, hopefully Prokhorov changes their name.

5)  Woody Johnson

In 2000, Woody Johnson purchased the New York Jets. Since then, the Jets have had moderate success, making the playoffs five times. His biggest accomplishment was going to the AFC Championship Game last season.

4)  Jeff Vanderbeek

Vanderbeek became a minority owner of the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and became the majority owner in 2004.  Despite running a small market team, Jeff has put a playoff contender on the ice every season.  While his tendency to spend in recent years may come back to haunt the Devils, it is certainly working right now. 

3)  The Tisches

Bob Tisch bought a minority share in the New York Giants in 1991. His son Steve is now the Chairman and Excecutive Vice President of the Giants. Two years after Bob died in 2005, the Giants won their third Super Bowl.

2)  The Maras

What can I say about the Maras.  The Maras have won four NFL Championships, three Super Bowls, and built two new stadiums.  Without Tim, Jack, Wellington, and Steve, the Giants would be in a much worse place right now.

1)  The Steinbrenners

 George Steinbrenner is a person every person in this world should try to emulate.  He was a passionate person, had a kind heart, and was a great business man. 

For more on George, Hank, and Hal, click here.