8 New York Jets Who Deserve Long-Term Extensions
The 2011 season had its share of disappointments, but there were still a lot of players who deserve to be rewarded for their play on the field.
The 2012 Jets will certainly have a new look, but the team was 8-8 last year, not 1-15. For as many problems as they had, the Jets were doing something right in order to win eight games.
Here are some of the players that were responsible for everything the Jets did right in 2011 who will need new contracts sooner rather than later.
As ESPN's Rich Cimini pointed out, the contractual Band-Aid that Revis got prior to the 2010 season needs to be addressed before we see another holdout.
Revis deserves nothing less than to be the highest-paid defender in football, which will cost quite a lot of money after looking at what Mario Williams got from the Bills. Williams will get an average of $16 million per season, and you can bet Revis thinks he is worth at least that much.
Revis averaged $16 million in salary over the past two years, but his compensation drops to $7.5 million in 2012 and just $6 million in 2013. I have a hard time believing he's willing to play in 2013 for that kind of cash.
On top of that, there is a clause in Revis' contract that prevents the Jets from using the franchise tag on him.
The sooner the Jets can lock up Revis for the rest of his career, the better. Next year, some other stud defender is only going to drive up the price. I don't expect the Jets to do anything with Revis' deal until after this season, but be prepared for yet another standoff between Revis' camp and GM Mike Tannenbaum next summer.
DeVito is perhaps the most underrated player on the team. Next to Sione Pouha, he is the team's best run-defender.
If you need some convincing, just watch what he does to Logan Mankins in the first meeting with the Patriots this past season.
He's not much of a pass-rusher, which of course limits his value, but you can't do much better than DeVito in terms of a two-down, five-technique run-defender that wreaks havoc in the backfield.
It is also hard to ignore the kind of leader he is, evidenced by how he took Muhammad Wilkerson under his wings.
DeVito becomes a free agent in 2013, so the Jets have plenty of time to lock him up.
The Jets have gotten tremendous value out of the former sixth-round pick. Since winning the training camp battle against Vladimir Ducasse for the right to be Alan Faneca's successor, Slauson has quietly become one of the more reliable offensive lineman on the roster.
He has improved in pass protection and can be a mauler in the run game. The arrow is still going up on Slauson's career, and there is little reason to believe he cannot be the long-term answer at left guard.
Slauson's contract is set to expire in 2013, so the Jets still have ample time to lock him up.
After not giving up a single sack all season, Moore may be the best pass-protecting guard in football.
However, due to injury, his run blocking was less than spectacular, and it clearly had an effect on Shonn Greene's numbers.
Nonetheless, with more time to recover from the injury he suffered at the end of 2010, he should revert to his old form as one of the best all-around guard in football.
His contract expires in 2013, and the Jets should have little difficulty retaining him. The only issue is that he is now on the wrong side of 30, and giving him a big money extension would be a mistake.
Apparently, the Jets are one step ahead of me in terms of identifying whom they want to keep on the roster for the long term.
The Jets and Keller are starting to talk about an extension, which hardly comes as a surprise. Keller was Mark Sanchez's favorite target in 2011 as he led the team in receptions. He has regressed a bit as a blocker, but perhaps that could change under new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
Dustin is a matchup problem for just about any defense, and having him around is vital to Sanchez's development. As tight ends are becoming more valuable in the NFL offense, Keller's value on the open market will be quite high. I would not surprised to see Keller extended as early as the start of the season.
Want to know why the Jets run defense (outside of the Oakland game) lost a step after several injuries to Mike DeVito? Look no further than the play of Marcus Dixon.
The Jets were very high on Dixon before the season even began, and he probably would have started if Muhammad Wilkerson were never picked. He also has a bit more pass-rush ability than he is given credit for.
Set to become a restricted free agent in 2013, Dixon is a young player that still has upside, and the Jets can probably keep him around on the cheap.
You probably don't even know what position he plays without resorting to Google, but he is, perhaps, the most consistent player on the entire team.
That would be because Purdum is a long snapper.
Purdum was brought in to end the James Dearth era, and in two seasons he has been as close to flawless as you can ask. No reason to think he shouldn't continue the trend.
Just because of his size (and perhaps his color), Leonhard is viewed as a "try-hard guy" with athletic limitations.
Well, half of that is true. Jimbo does try very hard.
However, Leonhard is a very skilled player that has the speed and quickness to cover a lot of ground. He's not ideal in coverage, but he's better than Eric Smith. He is also a great presence in the locker room and plays a huge part in calling signals in the secondary.
There is the obvious issue of his terrible leg injury he suffered against the Chiefs, but I would not bet against Leonhard. This is a guy who was cut several times before starting for the best defense in football. As we saw this year, he can recover from injuries without losing a step.
As the Jets start to get desperate for a free safety, they will be forced to take a chance on Leonhard.