Have you ever been to the super market, taken a ticket, and waited in line for what seems to be in eternity?
In 2011, the Jets will have seven unrestricted free agents and 17 restricted free agents. Add to that All-Pro corner, Darrelle Revis wants to restructure his contract which expires in 2013, most likely wanting to become the highest-paid player at his position. Revis is only scheduled to only make $1 million this season.
You don't have to be Adam Schefter to figure out that (UFA) Nick Mangold and (RFA) David Harris are the two primary players that are imperative to re-sign. Both have stated that they would like new contracts before the season starts. Neither player has thrown a tantrum or acted in a unprofessional manner to get what they want (deserve). Both players saw what happened to Leon Washington, and how important it is to restructure your contract before the season starts.
Some other marquee players that will become free agents after the 2010 season are:
Shaun Ellis (UFA)
Brodney Pool (UFA)
Braylon Edwards (UFA)
Antonio Cromartie (RFA)
Santonio Holmes (RFA)
Kellen Clemens (RFA)
Okay now back to Mangold & Harris, being a Wolverine fan of course I want to get David Harris first.
Harris is a quiet voice on a team that features some large personalities, he usually lets his play do the talking. If you ask most Jet fans who is their defensive play caller on the field they would say Bart Scott, wrong, David Harris calls the plays orchestrating where everybody lines up. He is only 26 and will only get better, maturing in Rex Kwan-do's defense.
This offseason, fellow line backers Demeco Ryans (Texans) and Patrick Willis (49ers) signed lucrative extensions with their teams. Harris' base salary in 2010 will be a paltry, $550,000. For such a great player he is not getting paid like one, Harris is a versatile player who can play a 4-3 and 3-4, could become a very rich man elsewhere.
Since the departure of veteran guard Alan Faneca, All-Pro center Nick Mangold will be the leader of the Jets o-line this season. New York should regard Mangold, as the All-Pro he is. The team is no stranger to emphasizing and rewarding the offensive line, using first-round draft picks on tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold in the 2006 draft.
In '08 Alan Faneca signed a free-agent contract $21 million in guarantees. With their second round choice draft the Jets drafted UMass guard Vladimir Ducasse, who is likely Faneca's replacement. Mangold, who is entering the final year of his five-year rookie deal, could command something close to the seven-year, $56 million contract Saints guard Jahari Evans recently inked. St. Louis Rams center, Jason Brown also was given a new extension, $37.5 million deal that had $20 million guaranteed.
Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes contract situation seems simple right, whoever plays better gets rewarded.
What happens if both have stellar years?
What if both fail in meeting expectations and Dustin Keller has a monster year? Then who do you sign?
What if father of the year, Antonio Cromartie regains form and actually tackles this season? Does he take precedent over Shaun Ellis or even one of the wide receivers?
The Jets have done nothing wrong, and have fallen victim to having a very talented young team with many players deserving of a new contract. And oh yeah, left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson's contract is up in 2012, along with Rex Ryan's disciple, strong safety Jim Leonhard.
The casual fan might think, it's an uncapped year, let's lock them all up to long-term deals. Well it's not that easy, doesn't work that way either.
A possible work stoppage in 2011, and the collective bargaining agreement rules that could change are hampering the team on dispensing long-term extensions. The biggest problem is that 30 percent rule. In the uncapped year base salaries can only grow 30 percent from one year to the next in a renegotiation.
The way around this rule is to give a copious amount of guaranteed dollars in the signing bonus. Although the possibility of a work stoppage is keeping teams on the fence, in regards to rewarding players with guaranteed money in such an uncertain market.
All in all I think the Jets are poised for a serious Super Bowl run in 2010. With that said, I don't envy any individual in the Jets front office.
In the supermarket, if they don't have what I need or take forever, I go elsewhere. I wonder how many of the 24 free agents in the big apple do the same.
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