New York Jets Begin Eventful Offseason: What Next?
Antonio Cromartie in. Kerry Rhodes out.
Nick Folk in. Lito Sheppard out.
A few draft picks in, and Thomas Jones out.
But have the Jets opened up more holes than they filled?
If you asked me right after the season where the Jets need help, I would've told you (in order of importance): cornerback, linebacker who can pass-rush, safety, and wide receiver.
I don't consider there to be a hole at running back that necessarily needs to be filled. Leon Washington and Shonn Greene are capable of taking all the carries each game, but the Jets might want to consider adding some depth in case of an injury to either back.
That hole at cornerback was filled when the Jets swapper a 3rd/2nd round conditional pick in 2011 for San Diego All Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie. They now have a cornerback that is very capable of covering top receivers only being asked to cover the opposition's second best pass-catcher.
But there are still holes at the other three positions listed, and with Kerry Rhodes gone to Atlanta for a few draft scraps, the only current option at safety is Eric Smith.
The Jets currently have two wide receivers that can get the job done in Braylon Edwards and Jericho Cotchery, but there is a huge dropoff after that in Brad Smith and David Clowney.
Calvin Pace is a viable pass-rushing linebacker, but the Jets could use someone to play opposite him, and Vernon Gholston isn't that guy.
As far as I can tell.
So who will fill those three positions? Or will they even be filled?
I can almost guarantee that the Jets will have a new face at both wide receiver and safety going into the 2010 season.
Antonio Bryant is one possibility, but I doubt the Jets will sign him because it would cost them a good amount.
A cheap alternative that the Jets are reportedly open to signing is Laveranues Coles. He would be playing for the Jets for his third time.
Coles posted below-average numbers for the Bengals this past season, but the Jets won't ask much of him as a #3 wide receiver. Edwards and Cotchery will do the majority of the work and Coles could turn into more of a possession receiver.
But then there's that gaping hole at safety. And there's also a first-round draft pick that could very quickly fix that problem. I have two words for you: Taylor Mays. The two time First-Team All-Pac-10 safety out of USC has immensely impressed scouts. He is supposed to be the next Adrian Wilson, and those are some big shoes to fill.
Mays could very well be a "pro-ready" safety, and I'm sure Rex Ryan has his eye on him. I wouldn't be surprised in any way if the Jets used that 29th overall selection to draft Mays.
That leaves the Jets needing a pass-rusher. And with all of the speculation that Adalius Thomas could be released and his comments that he wants to play for Ryan once again, it is hard not to consider him as an option.
Joey Porter was just released and he is coming off a nine sack season. He finished the 2008 season with 17.5 sacks and made the second-team All Pro.
Just to help you realize what the addition of Porter/Thomas as well as Taylor Mays would mean for the Jets, let me list what that defense would look like on paper: Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Taylor Mays, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, David Harris, Joey Porter/Adalius Thomas, Marques Douglas, Kris Jenkins/Sione Pouha, and Shaun Ellis.
That, ladies and gentelman, is what we refer to as complete domination. An unstoppable defensive force that will make your offense look like the Detroit Lions of 2008 no matter what team you are. An absolutely frightening collection of players that could rival the 1985 Chicago Bears.
So... let's get it done.
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