The New York Jets have been busy this offseason, but some of the moves made by general manager Mike Tannenbaum have left holes in their offense and raised questions going into the 2011 season.
It began with the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes in the first week of free agency, as the Jets were thought to be the favorite to sign the star cornerback. In the midst of negotiations, the Jets lost wide receiver Brad Smith and eventually failed to sign Asomugha after he signed a deal with Philadelphia.
The Jets were able to rebound from the loss, re-signing cornerback Antonio Cromartie and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, but the fact that the Jets went after Asomugha rather than sign Cromartie disgruntled the No. 2 corner. He may have a new contract, but he certainly isn't happy with the team.
The big splash of the offseason came earlier this week, when the Jets swooped in and signed former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress to a one-year deal. However, this came during negotiations with wide receiver Braylon Edwards, which caused the Jets to lose Edwards to the 49ers.
The drama continued this week when the Jets brought in former Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason for a workout and cut long-time Jet wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery, who is battling a back injury and suffered a hamstring injury last season, has been with the team since the Chad Pennington era and has been a consistent receiver for seven seasons.
But according to Rotoworld, the long-time receiver wanted out of New York following the 2010 season, saying that he grew frustrated with the Jets constantly acquiring wideouts to start in front of him and the final straw was the signing of Plaxico Burress.
Are the Jets making too many moves to succeed? Negotiations with Plaxico Burress and Nnamadi Asomugha cost the Jets Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery, and also frustrated their No. 2 cornerback behind Darrelle Revis.They lost three key components to their offense to only sign one wide receiver (Derrick Mason has yet to sign a deal) and lose out on a star cornerback, causing many fans to scratch their heads and ask questions going into the first preseason game.
Signing too many players ruins a team's chemistry. An example would be before last season when the Jets traded Leon Washington to Seattle for a seventh-round pick and released Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca. On the Faneca deal, an undisclosed Jets veteran was quoted saying "I'm beside myself right now, I guess they have it all figured out" and left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson tweeted "whhhhyyyyyyy" before deleting it from his page.
Granted, the Jets were able to return to the AFC Championship last season despite the controversy, but will this year's batch of bad news keep the Jets from getting over the hump? New York was able to bring in a big receiving threat, but they could have just signed Braylon Edwards, who is only two inches shorter and six years younger than Burress, to a similar contract with a little more money involved.
Will the Jets get over the AFC Championship hump?
The idea of signing Nnamdi Asomugha and playing him alongside Darrelle Revis scared everyone in the league, but was it really worth losing Brad Smith and making Antonio Cromartie angry? Smith was one of the most valuable assets to the team, and now they will have to scramble to find someone to return kicks and run the Pistol offense. Cromartie did sign a long-term deal, but all this drama could have been avoided if the Jets didn't try to make big moves.
Finally, was signing an aging Derrick Mason, who is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, worth losing a long-time Jet favorite in Jerricho Cotchery, who also has eight years on Mason? The Jets are looking to win right now, but signing aging veterans hasn't helped the Jets win a Super Bowl in the Rex Ryan era. Signing Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson got them to the AFC Championship but never to the big dance.
Maybe the Jets front office sees something different, but none of these deals seem to make sense going into the 2011 season. It's going to look a lot different when the Jets open up the preseason against Houston on the August 15, and hopefully the new look Jets will be able to succeed while the former Jets thrive elsewhere.