New York Jets: 5 Players Who Should Stay and 5 Players Who Should Go

John Nizinski@@jniz73Analyst IIIJanuary 16, 2012

New York Jets: 5 Players Who Should Stay and 5 Players Who Should Go

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    The New York Jets are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Changes are coming and rightfully so.

    The Jets struggled offensively and needed a change at offensive coordinator.  Goodbye Brian Schottenheimer hello Tony Sparano.

    Time will tell if Tony Sparano was the right signing.

    Now the Jets have to figure out which players are going to be on the team next season and which ones they are going to let go. 

Go: Wayne Hunter

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    This one is probably the most obvious to anybody that watched a Jet game this season.

    Offensive tackle Wayne Hunter got bullied by defenders all season. He failed to open holes for the running backs and protect Mark Sanchez

    The New York Jets expected Wayne Hunter to anchor one of the best offensive lines in football, but that did not happen. Hunter never came close to those expectations as pass rushers blew by or through him with ease.

    Wayne Hunter's poor protection this season was a big reason for Mark Sanchez' inability to feel comfortable in the pocket. 

    He has to go.

Stay: Plaxico Burress

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    It took some time for Plaxico Burress to shake off the dust from being out of the game for a couple of years. It also took some time for Mark Sanchez and him to get in sync with each other. 

    When Burress and Sanchez finally connected they were a threat in the red zone.

    The Jets should keep Burress because another season with Sanchez means that they will have more experience playing together.

    Although Burress is getting older, his numbers could improve next year now that he has been back in the league for another season.

    In addition to being a solid veteran receiver, Burress is a great blocker and a red zone threat.

    He stays.

    2011-12 Season Stats:

    45 rec, 612 yards, 8 TD's

    Predictions for next season:

    55 rec, 750 yards, 9 TD's

Go: T.J Conley

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    T.J. Conley ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per punt.  Although he was good at pinning the opponent inside the 20 yard line, the Jets need a punter with a stronger leg.

    The Jets were supposed to have one of the best special teams in football, but Conley did not help. 

    They need a punter who can punt the ball far down the field and pin their opponents inside their own 20 yard line.

Stay: Bart Scott

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    Bart Scott is not an elite linebacker in the NFL by any means. 

    What he does bring is attitude to a New York Jets defense that lacks a real identity. Bart Scott is a leader on the team and the Jets should keep him around because they need some veterans.

    The Jets should look to improve at the middle linebacker position with a younger player who is more of a playmaker. They should also keep Scott as a leader and mentor for the younger players.

Go: Nick Folk

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    Nick Folk has been an inconsistent kicker his whole career. The Jets need a kicker who will be a reliable option to make field goals when their offense is not able to score.

    Folk was ranked 29th in the league in field goal percentage (76%) and missed one field goal from 20-29 yards, two from 40-49 yards and three from 50-59 yards.

    The Jets need to improve at kicker next season.

Stay: Jim Leonhard

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    Jim Leonhard has missed the last two playoffs with injuries. His contract is over with the Jets, but they should bring him back.

    Although Leonhard is not the fastest guy on the field, he is a leader and play caller.  The Jets need to bring in a safety with speed to play alongside him.

Go: Matthew Mulligan

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    Many people may not even know who Matthew Mulligan is, but if you watched the Jets this season, you would have seen how he was just plain awful.

    Mulligan was the reason for so many offensive holding and false start penalties. It was baffling how he still managed to get playing time.

    In a league where the tight end position is becoming basically another wide receiver position, teams are stacking up with two good receiving tight ends.

    The Jets need to get another receiving tight end like Dustin Keller.  Spread the field and open up the entire offense.

Stay: Santonio Holmes

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    One of the biggest things that the Jets need to do this off-season is clear the air with Santonio Holmes.

    He is a huge playmaker but his contract hurts the team financially. 

    A key to Mark Sanchez improving is having consistent receivers like Holmes that he can have good chemistry with. Holmes has to restore the love with his team and their fans.

Go: Ladainian Tomlinson

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    This is not a knock on LaDainian Tomlinson as he has been one of the best running backs of all time. But his time has passed, and as he is no longer a top running back.

    Although his receiving numbers have been where they usually are in two seasons with the Jets, his rushing ability has disappeared.

    The Jets need to acquire a solid running back to be a two headed horse with Shonn Greene. They need a younger running back who has sure hands and can run the ball.

    Possible options: Darren Sproles, Peyton Hillis, Ray Rice or someone out of this year's draft.

Stay: Mark Sanchez

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    Many people are ready to jump ship on Mark Sanchez. His highly discussed struggles overshadowed the fact that he did improve this season.

    Sanchez is a young quarterback who already has been to the AFC Championship game twice. People need to realize that he is a young quarterback and he is going to make mistakes.

    Unfortunately for Sanchez he has given everyone a taste of playoff success. Performance short of a Super Bowl win is considered a failure.

    Sanchez increased his passing touchdowns by nine this season. His quarterback rating and completion percentage also increased. 

    With a new offensive coordinator and an improved offensive line, Mark Sanchez should continue to improve his game and get the Jets back to the playoffs next season.