The New York Jets and new general manager John Idzik need to make some bold moves to become competitive. There’s no doubt about it.
Some of the glaring holes the Jets need to fill are at quarterback, running back, outside linebacker, defensive line and the secondary.
The Jets won’t be big players in free agency, but there should be a fairly big exodus of current Jets into the free-agent market. To make things worse, most of the Jets’ free agents are starters.
New York is not very predictable, and we can really only speculate as to how the front office will handle this offseason.
But here goes.
Trade talks have begun regarding the Jets' best corners
When I first read about the talks that the Jets might potentially trade Darrelle Revis, I was shocked. But when I began to think about it, it makes sense.
The contract Revis wants is absurd. However, if there’s any defensive player that deserves that amount of money, it’s him.
What has become clear since trade talks concerning Revis surfaced is that there isn't enough room for both Revis and Antonio Cromartie on the same team when it comes to salary.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reported on Sunday that some members of the Jets organization are more comfortable trading Cromartie, if they are able to sign Revis to a long-term deal.
As Cimini points out, Cromartie, who made the Pro Bowl this year, has a high trade value entering the 2013 season. His value might not ever be as high as it is now.
I disagree with the thought of trading Cromartie.
Cromartie showed the league what he could do as a No. 1 cornerback after Revis tore his ACL. With a long, athletic frame, Cromartie is a superb bump-and-run cornerback who presses opposing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. His speed and long stride allows him to catch up to a receiver who may get past him.
When he’s playing with Revis, Cromartie is taken out of his comfort zone. Revis is so good that he eliminates a receiver from the game, making it 10 on 10. This allows head coach Rex Ryan to give exotic looks to the opposing offense, having other defensive backs play in zone or man-zone coverages.
That’s not Cromartie’s game. He’s a shutdown cornerback, who thrives in man coverage.
It's apparent that Cromartie has a high trade value, but so does Revis. The Jets may get more in return if they decide to trade Revis instead of Cromartie.
Safety LaRon Landry breaks up a pass intended for Randy Moss
Although LaRon Landry has said that he won’t take less money to return the Jets, I still remain optimistic that the Jets can get a deal done.
The Jets are over the cap and need to free up space in order to keep Landry, but he’s got to be one of the top players the Jets want to re-sign.
Landry signed a one-year deal with the Jets before the 2012 season that would have protected the Jets if he was to reinjure his ACL.
Landry proved that he could play at a high level consistently throughout the season, making the Pro Bowl in 2012. It was evident he was playing for a contract, and he came through in a big way for the Jets.
He recorded 99 tackles, forced four fumbles, intercepted two passes—one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Landry solidified the defense, and when Revis went down with an ACL tear, Landry picked up his game tremendously. He’s been too valuable for the Jets to let him walk.
Dustin Keller pulls down one of his 28 receptions of the season
Keller’s absence was detrimental to Mark Sanchez’s performance this season. Keller, who is Sanchez’s security blanket on third downs, played in only eight games.
He missed half the season due to recurring ankle and hamstring injuries. When healthy, he proved to be a dependable target, catching 28 passes on 36 targets.
However, Keller’s numbers are not enough to re-sign him over other players like LaRon Landry or Yeremiah Bell, guys who produced consistently all season long.
Since the Jets drafted Keller in 2008, he’s been a dependable target. The injury concerns cannot be ignored, though.
The Jets are in no position to take a risk, and need to be conservative when signing free agents. This year, retaining Keller doesn't make sense for the Jets.
Running back Shonn Greene's return to the Jets is questionable
It’s difficult to knock consistency, and running back Shonn Greene has been just that for the Jets. Coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, Greene has been the most consistent offensive player for the New York.
That being said, he is a change-of-pace back at best—a north-south, between-the-tackles running back.
Greene has no shortage of toughness, but he lacks explosiveness. The longest run of his career is 36 yards, which isn't what you want to see from your feature back.
Because of the cap, the Jets would be selling themselves short by re-signing Greene. They could take the money they would save from his contract and use it for a more efficient player.
The Jets would be better off finding a quicker running back in the middle rounds of the 2013 NFL draft.
“With the ninth pick in the 2013 NFL draft the New York Jets…” select anything but a quarterback.
This is the worst year for a team to need a quarterback, as there are no real elite options who can contribute right away like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reported that the Jets are flirting with the option to select Mike Glennon of North Carolina State.
I really don’t see that happening. Mark Sanchez is not the future of this team, that’s for certain, but there are plenty of other opportunities to pick up a quarterback.
This upcoming draft is huge for the Jets, as there are many positions that need to be addressed.
The Jets have been notorious for missing on big-time players like Dan Marino and Warren Sapp. Their draft-day mishaps have become comical.
Instead of taking a quarterback who will need time to develop, the Jets could sign a veteran free agent to a minimum deal. The one thing Mark Sanchez has never had in his career with the Jets is competition.
If the Jets sign a veteran who could actually compete with Sanchez (Tarvaris Jackson or Matt Moore), it may push Sanchez to work out his kinks.
Signing a quarterback like JaMarcus Russell or drafting a rookie wouldn't give Sanchez any real competition. I know the talks about Russell are “exploratory,” but it shows that the Jets are considering any option available to give Sanchez some competition.