The New York Jets: Team Or Movie Set?
The Jets continued their off season shopping spree this week, reportedly signing defensive end Jason Taylor to a two-year contract.
The financial details of the contract have not yet been released.
The Jets have not been shy about passing out the dough for big name free agents and high profile trades this off-season.
But are they making the right moves?
New York made headlines earlier this winter by signing the single season rushing touchdown record holder LaDainian Tomlinson.
The next move was giving up a 2011 third round draft pick for San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie will be paired up with Darrelle Revis in 2010 to form one of the best cornerback duos of recent memory.
Last week, the big splash was a trade made with the Pittsburgh Steelers for Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes. The wide receiver currently has charges pressed against him by a woman who claims Holmes threw a glass at her at an Orlando night club, cutting her above the eye. Following the incident, Holmes was said to have posted a threatening message toward the woman via Twitter.
Now it appears that the Jets have signed a deal with the devil. Bringing Jason Taylor on board means taking on a player who has been very public about his displeasure with the Jets organization and its fans.
But after the Miami Dolphins, the team that Taylor has spent 12 of his 13 seasons as a professional with, were reluctant to sign him Taylor decided to go for the biggest paycheck out there.
However, the concern for Jets fans should not be about comments made by Jason Taylor several seasons ago. A couple of sacks should quickly cover that wound. Rather, it should be with the fact that the guy isn't getting any younger and his production is declining.
Last season Taylor ended the year with 7.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. The guy is going to be 36 years old by season's start. And while 2009 was not a terrible statistical year for the defensive end, you have to wonder when he is going to severely drop off. It should be noted that his 2009 numbers pale in comparison to those prior to 2007.
Yet, it has just seemed to be the trend for Gang Green this offseason. And it is this writer's opinion that the New York Jets have been more concerned with looking good on "Hard Knocks" in 2010 then they are with winning football games.
Names like Ladainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes, and Jason Taylor sound much more sexy than the likes of running back Thomas Jones, who rushed for over 1,400 yards and racked up 14 rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry in 2009.
Compare that to the declining production of L.T. in 2009 (730 yards and 3.3 yards per carry). Now couple that with the fact that the Jets have no idea what Leon Washington will look like after coming off of season-ending surgery last year plus the fact that no one has any idea as to whether or not Shonn Greene's late season heroics of 2009 were a fluke.
And I am sure that Rex Ryan will love answering questions about a Santonio Holmes suspension, if and when the time comes. Mike Tomlin certainly wouldn't have. His surly quarterback has kept his hands full enough for the time being.
The point is, the Jets are playing with fire this season. Maybe they will get lucky.
However, I believe that it is more likely the Jets will discover that last season's miracle run to the AFC Championship Game had more to do with the Colts' resting of Peyton Manning in Week 16 and Nate Kaeding's jittery right leg than it had to do with the actual skill of the Jet players.
Perhaps the Jets have become so obsessed with being the toast of New York that they forgot that winning football teams are made up of strategic moves and good chemistry, not star power.
Only time will tell, I suppose. But I wouldn't bank on a bunch of washed up has-beens, selfish players, and wannabe movie stars improving a team anytime soon.
I don't care how well they can dance.
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