The New York Jets have again made a big trade. Last night, they gave up a fifth-round pick at this year's NFL Draft to sign Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers. With another big-name acquisition this off-season, the Jets aggressive offseason policy has put them in a strong position to become Superbowl Contenders.
Last year, the Jets made the AFC Conference Final.
They made it to the playoffs thanks to the Colts and Bengals fielding a weakened team in the their last two regular season matches. Then they demolished the Bengals in the first round of playoffs, before beating the second team in the AFC, San Diego Chargers, to reach the Conference Final—where a full strength Indianapolis ended their run.
This year, they hope to go one better, and their offseason moves demonstrate this.
LaDainian Tomlinson joined as a free-agent, believing New York is the best place for him to finally win a Superbowl ring.
Antonio Cromartie joined at the cost of a third-round pick in 2011's Draft. This could, and should, become a second-round pick based on performance, but the Jets were careful not to give up a pick in this year's draft with such a deep draft class.
Taylor is not popular with Jets' fans. He doesn't like the Jets either. But should he join them, it would give a strong indication that he wants a Superbowl ring, and he thinks that he has a great chance of winning it with New York in the next two years.
Finally, last night the Jets wrapped up a trade for former Superbowl MVP, Santonio Holmes. Traded for just a fifth round pick, Holmes' off-field antics led to Pittsburgh trading him for an incredibly low price. Regardless of the trade reasons, for a late round pick, Holmes is a steal.
Now he will line up opposite Braylon Edwards, giving Mark Sanchez two very dangerous weapons he can look for in the field to aid in his development as well. Add to that possibly the best cornerback duo in the league with Darrelle Revis and Cromartie, and the Jets might think that the Superbowl is a very realistic goal.
Last season, Rex Ryan was happy to give up a number of picks in exchange for drafting Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene. Those aggressive moves may pay dividends in the next few years, as both men look like they could enjoy distinguished careers.
Now, with the signings of Cromartie, LT, and Holmes, and the possible arrival of Jason Taylor, New York has put themselves in a great position to challenge for the Superbowl.
Their aggressive policy in the offseason may rile some fans. Trading up in the draft might also lead to some huge busts. But the Jets are putting together a very capable team, and they are happy to put off-field issues aside while doing this.
Will this come back to haunt them? Who knows, but by signing talented players who are unwanted at their former clubs due to character issues, the Jets have picked up some proven playmakers at an excellent price.
Now they have a team with the ability to challenge for a Superbowl, and will hope to do so this year. Don't not expect the Jets to stop there though. The aggressive offseason policy worked last year, and looks set to pay dividends again this year.
Jets' fans will now be wondering whether this year will be their year.