The New York Jets have become a team known to be very active during free agency. For the past two years under the Rex Ryan regime, the NY Jets have bolstered their roster into a high-powered franchise waiting to finally take over the AFC East Division.
Jets general manager, Mike Tannenbaum, has been one of the primary reasons why the New York Jets are now one of the elite teams in the NFL. From the NFL draft to free agency, Tannenbaum along with owner Woody Johnson currently has a reputation for going after the top players. This year is no different.
This off-season, the New York Jets have re-signed Santonio Holmes at wide receiver. Surprisingly, the Jets have also acquired wideout Plaxico Burress, widely known for catching the game-winning Super Bowl touchdown against the New England Patriots. The signing of Burress, once again, alerted every NFL team that the Jets are back and will be making another run at the Super Bowl.
A couple of days later, the organization decided to re-sign cornerback Antonio Cromartie and have also been rumored to be interested in Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason.
During today’s Jets press conference, Rex Ryan stated:
“I’d obviously like to get Derrick right now, but he’s got other teams, other things like that, and I’m sure he’d have to leave money on the table to be able to come here.”
This statement was said after a reporter mentioned the release of wide receiver, Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery had always been a Jet and a leader to the team, but was released by the organization after rumors had spread that Cotchery wanted out of New York.
“I’m a man of my word and if I say something, then I’ll do it,” Ryan said. “If I tell you that we would… you know, give you permission to seek a trade or release you, then that’s what we’re going to do. If I give you my word, then that’s what it is.”
It’s evident that the NY Jets are now left vulnerable due to Cotchery’s release, especially because the team has not yet picked up veteran Derrick Mason. So where does this leave the Jets?The organization had already cut ties with kick returner/special teams player Brad Smith, who last year, was a very important piece in the Jets attack. In addition, defensive end Shaun Ellis, also a free agent, has been working out with the Patriots and many say Ellis will soon be joining New England.
Wait, there’s more. Jason Taylor, who played for the Jets last year, went back to Miami and wide receiver Braylon Edwards signed with the 49ers.
You think we’re done? Nope. Damien Woody has retired and will be working with ESPN. Jets punter Steve Weatherford went to the NY Giants, defensive back Drew Coleman to the Jaguars, and backup QB Kellen Clemens agreed to a deal with the Washington Redskins.
What’s the point of mentioning all the players that went to another team? At one point or another, all these players helped mold the New York Jets into a better unit and now all these players are gone. Of course, this is the nature of the business and we all understand as fans how cut-throat the NFL is when it comes to negotiations.
In review of it all, the Jets season is going to rely on three major factors. One. After two years of not playing organized football, is Plaxico Burress going to be better than Braylon Edwards? Two. Can LaDainian Tomlinson repeat the same season he had last year? Three. Is Mark Sanchez going to finally take the next step of being one of the elite quarterbacks in the game?
Sanchez will be throwing more passes this year than any other season. With Brad Smith and Braylon Edwards no longer with the team, how will the new Jet offense score points? Did the New York Jets have a good free agency? Honestly, I think the team made enough decent acquisitions to be contenders.
Someway… somehow… Rex Ryan will find way to get it done. For the past few years, the Jets have always found a way to make their mark.
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