New York Jets: 5 Ways the Lockout Is Hurting the Jets

Chris LeydenCorrespondent IIJune 6, 2011

New York Jets: 5 Ways the Lockout Is Hurting the Jets

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Braylon Edwards #17 and Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets celebrate on their way to defeating the New England Patriots 28 to 21 victory over the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillet
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    With news that the NFL is preparing for a season as short as eight games, it would seem as though the lockout is not going away any day soon.

    The New York Jets, just like every other team in the league, have to deal with the side effects of a lockout, such as the lack of ability to talk with their players.

    In some ways the Jets are at an advantage, because they already have a strong nucleus that has taken them to back-to-back AFC Championship games.

    In other ways they are hurt by the amount of free agents they have this offseason, and the lack of ability to discuss a new contract with them.

    The following slideshow points out five ways in which the lockout is hurting the Jets.

    As always, feel free to comment below.

Free Agents

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Mart
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Some of the most important pieces of the New York Jets are set to become free agents once the lockout is over, and right now their future is in jeopardy.

    On the offensive side of the ball the Jets' two biggest free agents are wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards.

    With the lockout in place, the Jets have been unable to contact these guys and work on a contract, and with what is already a shortened offseason these guys may spring for the first offer they receive.

    On the defensive side of the ball the Jets have two key defensive backs who are set to become free agents, Antonio Cromartie and Brodney Pool.

    While the lockout has given the Jets more time to think about what decision they want to make with these players, it has also kept Cromartie and Pool in the dark.

    The lockout has affected the Jets' plans with players who were not even on their roster last season. Someone like Plaxico Burress could come to the Jets, but it won't be until free agency starts up that they can get into talks with him.

First- and Second-Year Players

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    FLORHAM PARK, NJ - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Vladimir Ducasse of the New York Jets poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    Around the league the people who are being hurt most by the lockout right now are the rookies and the second year players.

    These players are still very raw and need to learn not only how to adjust to the NFL game but also to live as a professional football player.

    A prime example on the New York Jets is Vladimir Ducasse, whom the Jets selected last season as a potential replacement of Alan Faneca.

    Reports are now saying that the Jets are going to need to re-sign Damien Woody, whom they had cut earlier in the offseason.

    The main reason behind this re-signing is that they don't think in this shortened time frame that the coaches can teach Ducasse enough.

    While some of the Jets rookies should be able to come right in and play, others could be in similar situations to Ducasse and their development could really be hurt by the lockout.

Fan Enthusiasm

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  New York Jets fans Peter Merante Sr. and his son Peter Jr. hold up a sign which reads 'Let them play!' on the street outside the venue prior to the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Pho
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The New York Jets have been a single game short of the Super Bowl the past two seasons, and to say fans were flocking on the Jets bandwagon would be an understatement.

    Nothing kills the momentum earned by this like the lack of an NFL season.

    The Jets are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and would absolutely be a contender if the NFL season were to start on time and things were to go off like normal.

    Once things are changed up, and the season is shortened, picking a champion becomes much more of a crap-shoot.

    With young players, the Jets need time to learn throughout the season, and with a shortened season that is going to be much more difficult to accomplish. There will be no room for losses against bad teams.


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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets celebrates after he scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Ja
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The average NFL career is pretty short, and even the best players rarely play into their 40s.

    With this in mind each season is so crucial to the career of a player, because a missed season could be 10 percent of their career.

    For veterans on the Jets like LaDainian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor (who was cut but could be brought back), the absence of a season could be career enders.

    While Taylor may be ready to move on, Tomlinson showed last season that he absolutely still has gas in the tank.

    I think the Jets would love to bring back LT this season, but a year away from football may make them weary of how he will perform at his age.

Lack of Excitement

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 03:  An empty parking lot is seen at New Meadowlands Stadium, home of the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants, March 3, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Last minute negotiations between the NFL owners and its players un
    Mario Tama/Getty Images

    As someone who writes about the Jets on this site multiple times a week, I can tell you that the lockout has sucked up every single interesting storyline.

    Instead of writing a post like "10 Reasons the Signing of Plaxico Burress makes the Jets Super Bowl Contenders," I am instead stuck looking at the effects of the lockout.

    I, and every other football fan, am suffering from withdrawal when it comes to the offseason. Right about now training camps should be up and running, and Jets fans should be flocking to Florham Park to see how Gang Green looks before they head up to Cortland.

    Instead the Jets won't be having any open practices to the public any day soon, and their team bonding trip to Cortland is in question.

    While it is easy to have sympathy for the players, it is in large part the fans who are being hurt by the lack of progress.