Which New Jets Player Jersey Will You Own?
I put together a little synopsis of the seven new, New York Jets that will put on the green and white in 2009.
The Jets made it easy with only three picks on draft day, all three of those picks should be on the 2009 opening day roster.
The other four new Jets are veterans who came either via free agency or through a trade.
I did not include any undrafted Jet at this point. If someone should step up, I can always add to this list.
I also added a little feature about what jersey number the player will wear, and the odds of a Jet fan wearing one during the season.
He has yet to play a game, but the Jets' first round draft pick has already been photographed in more non-sports publications since Joe Namath.
The fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft comes to the Jets from USC, where he was the Big Man on Campus.
Sanchez only started in 16 games at USC. If he starts every game as a Jet, he will equal that mark.
I do not think there is much doubt that he will not start for the Jets in September. This will be his Jet team on offense, and the fate of the team will rest heavily on his shoulders.
Last season, when Brett Favre became a Jet, his jersey became the hottest August fashion apparel in New York City.
Most fans knew that this would probably be a one or two year fashion statement at the most, and that you could have the future Hall of Famer’s jersey in your closet for years to come.
It was only one year, and now you can find your green and white No. 4 jersey selling for 50 percent off or more at your sporting goods store.
I think this jersey will surpass Favre’s numbers by plenty.
For Sanchez and for the Jets’ sake, you hope that he will give the fans more than one season of being able to wear the No. 6.
Jet fans hope to have this one framed in their basement someday. It probably will not be the red practice jersey, though.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: (Um, you don’t have one yet?) one to six (Way better than even money)
#23—Shonn Greene—Running Back
Greene won the Doak Walker Trophy at The University of Iowa as the nation’s top running back in college.
The Jets traded up on draft day two to land this promising young runner. He only played one full season of college football, and, in that full season, he ran for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Most importantly, Greene averaged six yards per carry.
His name has an extra E, which will derail some Jet fans from matching his name with the team’s color.
But, then again, you really did not see too many Victor Green jerseys when he was a Jet about a decade ago.
Right now, with the Jets having two Pro Bowlers in the backfield in Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, those jerseys will be selling more than the new No. 23 Jet jersey.
But, give this one time.
Greene is a tough runner who may be able to punish defenses late in games.
Shonn Greene is a South Jersey native.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: For 2009, about eight to one. For the future, about four to one.
#68—Matt Slauson—Offensive Guard
Slauson was the third and final pick the Jets had during the NFL Draft. He was taken in the sixth round at pick 193.
Slauson will wear No. 68.
Slauson, barring a slew of injuries, will most likely not be starting in 2009.
In 2008, all five of the Jets’ offensive linemen played in all 16 games.
You are likely to see people with Slauson jerseys, if they are either related to Matt, or if their last name is the same.
Other than that, offensive linemen jerseys are usually not big sellers.
The demand for Damien Woody jerseys should be more than it is.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: 193 to one
Bart Scott is the biggest acquisition for the Jets on defense.
Scott comes to the Jets after seven seasons with the Ravens, and with Rex Ryan as his defensive coordinator.
Scott will be counted on heavily as a leader on the Jet defense.
It has been a while since the Jet fans could say that they had a hard-hitting middle linebacker who has the potential to be an All-Pro.
Scott is a tackler and not a big pass rusher, and only has 16 career sacks, but he has averaged six tackles per game over the last four seasons.
Guys like Mo Lewis and Marvin Jones were good, but never great.
Scott comes to the Jets with a great background.
The jersey number for Bart Scott is the same he wore in Baltimore, No. 57, same as Mo Lewis had with the Jets.
I think Jet fans will be excited to tackle on this green and white jersey.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: two to one
Leonhard is the other player who joined Ryan in taking the train from Baltimore to New York.
Jim Leonhard began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent in 2005 with the Buffalo Bills.
In 2007, Leonhard caught a break when Ko Simpson went down to injury and filled in to finish sixth on the team in tackles.
In 2008, Jim Leonhard went to Baltimore and met a man by the name of Rex Ryan. Leonhard caught another break when Dawan Landry would miss most of the 2008 season due to injury.
Game by game, Leonhard made more and more plays, whether it was a tackle, a sack, an interception, or a strong punt return, Leonhard was the Ravens jack-of-all-trades.
I think he has the chance to be the Wayne Chrebet on defense for the Jets.
He almost has that Rudy build to him. Five foot-nothing (actually 5’8”) and a hundred and nothing (well, 185), but he has real good athletic ability.
Chrebet played for the Jets from 1995 to 2005.
The No. 80 is not currently in use, and will most likely be reserved for when the Jets retire it for Wayne.
Jim Leonhard will wear No. 36.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: five (and nothing) to one
Sheppard is the wildcard of the Jets' offseason acquisitions.
There are two Lito Sheppards, one who was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 2004 and 2006, and another one who has had four seasons of injuries.
No one is sure what Lito has in the tank.
Sheppard had a reduced role in 2008 as the Eagles signed former Patriot Asante Samuel to be the starting right corner back.
Sheppard is 28 and should be in a battle with last year’s starter, rookie Dwight Lowery for the right CB spot.
This year, Sheppard should have a chance to play a lot more than he did in Philadelphia.
The 2009 season will be a pivotal one for Sheppard; he will either shine again as a starter, or he will be a marginal nickel back.
If he shines, there could be a few fans in their No. 26 jerseys doing the “Lito Shuffle” in the stands.
If he falters, then this will be a Sheppard that Jets fans shall not want.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: 16 to one
#53—Larry Izzo—Special Teams
Izzo is a three-time Pro Bowler who came to the Jets via free agency from the Patriots.
Izzo will be 35 in September and is in the autumn of his storied special teams career. He can play at linebacker as well, but that would only be in desperation.
Unless you really want to get back at a Patriots’ fan, I cannot see his No. 53 jersey flying off the shelves.
I would stick to the ole’ reliable No. 28 Curtis Martin jersey to get back at a Pat fan.
ODDS of BUYING HIS JERSEY: 18 to one