The deadly trio of Mike Tannenbaum, Woody Johnson, and Rex Ryan have done it again.
In an offseason which has seen the Jets let go of key players such as Thomas Jones and Kerry Rhodes, and has also seen the arrival of Antonio Cromartie, Brodney Poole, and Ladanian Tomlinson, the Jets have made another surprising move in acquiring Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Santonio Holmes. All the Jets had to do was give up a fifth round draft choice, and Holmes would be theirs.
What General Manager in Football would say no to that deal?
Tannenbaum sure didn't, as he took the deal for Holmes, giving young quarterback Mark Sanchez a ton of different targets to throw to. In my opinion, the best way to help a young quarterback develop is to give him as many weapons as possible, making his life that much easier when it comes to making a decision on the field.
As it stands right now, the Jets have Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and the vastly underrated Jerricho Cotchery at wide receiver, along with Tight End threat Dustin Keller.
But as the Jets have proven this entire off-season, anything can happen. The thought that one of those three top receivers that the Jets possess will not be in a Jets uniform when the Monday night opener at the Meadowlands rolls around in September, is certainly not an exception.
As of now, Braylon Edwards has signed his one-year tender with the Jets as a restricted free agent. It is defiitely a possibility that when Edwards does in fact sign a contract with the Jets, that they will look to shop him to maybe move up in the draft, or something to that effect.
But the Jets really like Braylon Edwards, as he has good size at 6'3, and can make spectacular plays down the field, with the main liability being his inability to make some simple catches. But I do expect Edwards to remain a Jet in 2010, as he gives Sanchez the big, physical deep threat.
With that being said, I think it's very possible that Jerricho Cotchery may be the odd man out, and will not be in green next season. Cotchery has proven that he can be a solid receiver in the NFL, and the Jets may be able to get something for him. He's still a relatively young receiver at the age of 28, and is a very valuable asset for any west-coast offense where Yards after Catch are valued.
Although Cotchery would more than likely fit in nicely as a slot receiver in the Jets offense, it would still be very hard to keep all of these receivers happy with passes being thrown in their direction, which is why I don't expect all three of these players to be in a Jets uniform next season. As it stands now, the Jets are known for their "ground-and-pound" offense, in which they ran the ball as much as they could to limit Mark Sanchez's mistakes in the air.
Unless the Jets plan on completely changing their offensive strategy, it's hard to imagine three very good receivers on a "ground and pound" team, if all three are not going to have the ball thrown their way consistently.
But many people believe that the Jets running game, although they retain one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, has taken a step backward with the loss of Thomas Jones and addition of Ladanian Tomlinson. The Jets rushing attack is made up of Shonn Greene, Ladanian Tomlinson, and Leon Washington, which is formidable, but will they lean on the running game as much as they did last season?
If Mark Sanchez develops the way he's supposed to with this receiving core, the Jets may go from the top of the league in rushing to the top of the league in passing.