Brett Favre + New York Jets = Trouble for the New England Patriots
Let's review the Jets' notable offseason moves to exploit their "win now" approach.
Jets sign G Alan Faneca
Faneca is 31-years old and is entering his 12th season in the league. This is old for any football player and very old for an offensive lineman. There is no question that Faneca is still one of the best guards in the league, however, he could very well retire three years down the road.
Jets sign OL Damien Woody
Woody is 30-years old and is entering his 11th season in the league. He is currently an above-average lineman, but it's very possible that Woody will be useless three or four years down the road.
Jets trade for DT Kris Jenkins
Although Jenkins is only 28-years old, his numbers have begun to slip in recent years. Jenkins, at 6'4" and 350 pounds, is a big body that is much better suited for the Jets' 3-4 scheme than predecessor D'Wayne Robertson.
If Jenkins is unable to revive his numbers with the Jets this season, he could be a non-factor three or four years from now.
Jets sign LB Calvin Pace
Pace had a breakout season last year with the Arizona Cardinals. He is just 27-years old and very possibly could be entering the prime of his career. Last year, Pace recorded 98 tackles, 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception. This is an enormous increase in production from two years ago (2006) when Pace had a mere 31-tackle season (just one of them a sack). Hopefully, Pace will continue his upward trend in New York and become a Pro Bowl linebacker for years to come.
Jets sign TE Bubba Franks
In a move straight out of the New York Yankees' playbook, the Jets signed an aging over-the-hill veteran whose best years have long since passed. Franks, now 32-years old, recorded 27 of his 32 touchdowns receptions from 2001-2004. Now that it is 2008, the only Franks I want is Franks Red Hot Sauce.
Jets traded LB Jonathan Vilma
Vilma was one of my favorite Jets; I was devastated to see him traded away. The 26-year old out of "DA U" was traded to the New Orleans Saints because he was not a good fit in the 3-4 scheme.
This trade freed up some cap space so that the Jets could sign the veterans Faneca and Woody. Best of luck to Vilma in New Orleans; we are going to regret giving him away so cheaply.
Right now, the Jets have a delicate balance of up-and-coming stars and battle-tested veterans. On the O-line, the newly-signed vets will play alongside youngsters Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson. This line has the potential to be one of the top offensive lines in the entire league.
Defensively, the Jets have been revamped by the additions of Jenkins, Pace, and rookie first-round draft pick Vernon Gholston.
At middle linebacker, second-year stud David Harris will team up with veteran Eric Barton. At defensive back, another second-year player (Darrelle Revis) will play opposite 10-year vet David Barrett.
The infusion of youth and experience is so important because the young guys learn a lot from the veterans and develop faster under the guidance of veteran leadership.
Offensively, returning playmakers Thomas Jones, Jerricho Cotchery, and Laveranues Coles are talented players in their primes. Jones will benefit from the additions of Woody and Faneca, but Cotchery and Coles need someone to deliver them the football. This team has all the pieces of a Super Bowl contender, except probably the most important: a quarterback.
Chad Pennington's suspect arm-strength is well documented and defenses "pack it in" against him because they know he cannot beat them deep. Third-year quarterback Kellen Clemens' arm strength is average at best. Add that to his inexperience and lack of discipline, and you get at least two to three years of growing pains.
That is unacceptable for New York.
So, here is the solution. Go after Chad Pennington's polar opposite in Brett Favre. Favre's greatest asset is his arm strength, Pennington's biggest weakness. Favre's Achilles heel (if he has one) is that he is careless with the ball. Pennington's greatest strength is his ball control.
As a Jet fan, I am tired of seeing 5-10-yard pass routes, and as a sports fan, I am tired of reading about Brett Favre. So, I propose a remedy to both of these seemingly never-ending nightmares: a second and a fourth-round pick to the Green Bay Packers for Brett Favre.
Packer fans, what do you think? Deal or no deal?
It may be a lot to give from the Jets' point of view, but who cares? We have two second-round picks this year (one of them from New Orleans for Vilma).
I am sick of conceding the division to the New England Patriots every season before my birthday (Aug. 11). With our improved defense and offensive line, I know that Brett will enable us to not only compete with the Patriots, but maybe, just maybe, to dethrone them as perennial champs of the AFC East.
Sure, Favre to Coles would not be as good as Brady to Moss. However, the upgrade from Pennington/Clemens to Brett Favre is more than enough to push a team poised for 8-8 into the division race.
And it certainly will turn up the heat in Foxboro this winter.
Scary thought huh, New England?
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