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Jet Fans Don’t Panic Yet; the Offseason Has Just Begun

By Maurisse Johnson

If you take a moment and think back at the recent SB champions: Giants, Green Bay & New Orleans and even further back to the Steelers and Colts, none of these teams have historically made big splashes in FA. Every year teams like the Eagles win the proverbial off-season SB only to miss the playoffs and fall flat on their faces.

Jet fans should have been prepared for the financial repercussions of managing a tight cap space during this off-season. It was reported earlier in the off-season that the Jets were about $7m under the cap with a number of free agents unrestricted.

The Jets were able to restructure Mark Sanchez’s contract to a point where the saved $6.4 million this year and guaranteed his 2013 contract at a reasonable rate. I bring this point up because should Sanchez have a break out year – and lead the Jets to the playoffs he would command a sizeable contract extension because his agents could affectively argue that he led the Jets to the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years, two of which were to the AFC Championship.

Oh, and by the way – no matter what’s he’s done in the seasons in terms of turnovers; he has lit up the playoffs in the two years he was there. With the Sanchez restructured contract they had enough sense to resign Pouha. Pouha is probably a top 5 NT in the league and while he may be 33 he took a couple of years off in college to complete a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They also resigned Kicker Nick Folk and veteran Bryan Thomas who is the Jets longest tenured player. Thomas suffered his first major injury last year when he tore he ACL.

Coming back from that injury at his age shouldn’t be that hard because he was never a speed rusher and offers the Jets stability and depth no matter whom they may pick up during the offseason. More importantly it shows a commitment to bringing back veterans especially one who has a long tenure and a great off field presence such as Thomas.

To address the 2nd most glaring need the Jets have targeted two Safeties during the 2nd week of free agency. Unfortunately for them they were unable to sign free agent Reggie Nelson who took 3 days at the Jet campus to decide (cough, leverage) the Bengals into offering more than the Jets. Word is that he never wanted to come to the Jets and just wanted the Bengals to pay him market worth.

Now the Jets are in a crunch to find 2 safeties either through free agency or the draft. They have one safety in Eric Smith who started last year because of the injuries to Jim Leonard, but any casual football fan will tell you he can’t cover a cow in the meadows; but he does offers solid depth and is a great special teams player. The other safety they covet is LaRon Landry who is considered a solid player with significant injuries over his last two years.

He has ACL issues along with bone spurs that he hasn’t received surgery on. He missed half the season last year for the Redskins and claims that his ACL is fully healed. Personally the Jets should target someone with a healthier background as Jet fans know all too well what missing a starting safety during the season could mean to your playoff hopes – ala Jim Leonard.

My sources also tell me that the Jets are targeting another former Redskin Oshiomogho Atogwe who himself is battling knee injuries that may prevent him from starting a full 16 games. Again, the free agent class for safeties is thin clearly with whom the Jets are targeting.

With the draft being 38 days away – Jet fans are anxious to see what Tannenbaum does with a limited cap space. According to Jason from the Jets are an estimated $12m under the cap including all moves made up until this morning. With another $5m estimated for rookie contracts the Jets have about $8m to sign 1,2 or even 3 players during the free agency period. Let’s hope that they spend wisely like the previous Super Bowl champions have.

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3 Responses to “Jet Fans Don’t Panic Yet; the Offseason Has Just Begun”

  1. LaRon Landry has an Achilles injury, not an ACL injury.

  2. RedskinMike says:

    Congrats, your JETS can corral the REDSKINS starting safety backfield from 2011. Of course, we didn’t see them half the time, but they played well enough even with injuries when on the field. Good luck JETS fans. The replacements we secured aren’t world beaters. Here’s hoping both teams luck out. There just aren’t good free agent prospects available this year, and the draft is thin at that slot.

    ATOGWE and LANDRY would be awesome if not for the injuries.

    LANDRY is no longer a REDSKIN because he refused to fix his wheel last season, and then once again refused to do so this winter.

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