Marques Douglas was not exactly a household name on the Jets top-ranked defense last season, but he was an underrated defensive end who doesn't light up the sack column but is a solid contributor to the running game.
Douglas, an 11-year veteran that the Jets seemed poised to let go like fellow ex-Jets contributors Thomas Jones, Alan Faneca, and Kerry Rhodes, was signed today by the Miami Dolphins to a two-year deal .
However, it's not out of the question that the Jets would have eventually brought him back.
As an unrestricted free agent, the Jets were restricted by the Final Eight Plan when it came to making free agent additions and may have been waiting until the day these rules expired before moving on to signing unrestricted free agents like Mark Brunell .
Well, the deadline was July 22, so if the Jets plan on signing someone like Brunell, they're free to do it now. Meanwhile, with the recent injury to Dolphins defensive end Philip Merling, Bill Parcells capitalized on the opportunity to sign the veteran Douglas away from the Jets.
The Jets will likely go into the season with some combination of Shaun Ellis, Kris Jenkins, Vernon Gholston, Sione Pouha, and Mike DeVito getting snaps on the defensive line. Obviously the Jets thought highly enough of their defensive line rotation to not address it in free agency or the draft.
But I can't help but think that it would've been wise to re-sign the veteran Douglas for a short-term deal just as insurance at the very least. Not only do they not have the insurance of a proven Rex Ryan player (he played under both Ryan and new Dolphins coordinator Mike Nolan in Baltimore) but now have to see the same guy twice a year in the division.
At any rate, the former undrafted journeyman who's suited up for the Ravens, Saints, Ravens again, 49ers, Buccaneers, Ravens for a third stint, and Jets will now find yet another home in 2010.
The Jets have proven this offseason that they're comfortable with replacing veteran starters with younger, more unproven players and expecting not to miss a beat. With Douglas now joining Rhodes, Jones, and Faneca as former Jets, the pressure to see whether the Jets were right is more magnified.
Unlike the other guys, Douglas is now with a division rival, although with Jason Taylor over here now, maybe it's a wash as far as old faces in new places. Whether the Jets defensive line is able to step up without him remains to be seen. Let's just hope for the Jets sake that Marques Douglas doesn't come back to haunt them.