We thought Mike Tannenbaum was handcuffed going into what has been an eventful off-season. Tannenbaum creatively landed even more talent by filling the top needs at cornerback and wide receiver and signing a future Hall of Fame running back.
The Jets got corner Antonio Cromartie for a conditional third round pick. Cromartie is expected to thrive in Rex Ryan's defense where he'll be playing more man coverage, like he did in 2007 (just his second season) when he was an All-Pro.
They traded a fifth round pick for Santonio Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP coming off a career best 79 receptions and 1,248 yard year.
The reason both Cromartie and Holmes fell into their lap is the same reason people are concerned about the team chemistry.
Cromartie has seven kids by six different women in five different states, and the Jets needed to front him money to make his paternity payments.
Holmes was suspended for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, making him unavailable for the first four games next year.
Cromartie and Holmes sound truly remorseful looking back, and grateful looking ahead. Holmes talked about a "fresh start," as did Cromartie, and they preached accountability and learning from mistakes which is encouraging.
The Jets haven't invested anything in Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes, or even Braylon Edwards. Add them to the list who need to be re-signed after this contract year, and it is very unlikely they can all sign long term.
Competing for contracts will bring out the best, and they'll need to be on their best behavior. Their new teammates are welcoming them and the positive impact expected on the field.
This clearly isn't a chemistry experiment the Jets fear will end up exploding, at least that isn't what it sounds like from them. They are focused on winning a title and they know Cromartie and Holmes can help them achieve the goal. Rex Ryan can handle it.
The Jets have pieced together an extremely talented team prior to the draft, making moves and making headlines. The names may not automatically translate to a title but there is no doubting the talent on the roster, and the potential that comes with it.
Mike Tannenbaum said the "price was right and the risk was reasonable" for both Cromartie and Holmes. A conditional third round draft pick next year and a fifth round pick for the talent, the needs filled and the possible rewards make the moves completely worth it.
Passing is key now and the Jets can better defend the pass and pass more for a balanced offense. Cromartie and Holmes are in their primes and become part of a young nucleus that will carry the Jets for a long time.