J E T S Jets Jets Jets Jets!
Together again for the first time. We Jets fans have been forged in the fiercest of flames so like Jack Shepard from the isle of Lost says, “We can live together or we’ll all die alone.” If that doesn’t make Jets fans empathize with each other I don’t know what will. So, on this, my maiden voyage into bloggy waters, I hope those of you who bleed green are with me. Now onto the senses shattering first blog of The J-E-T Press!
Dewayne Robertson. A name not unfamiliar to Jets fans if maybe somewhat more conspicuous to fans of the other 31 NFL teams. He was much ballyhooed when drafted back at the 2004 NFL Draft with the fourth overall selection. At the time, former General Manger Terry Bradway acting out of desperation traded two first round draft picks to move up to the fourth spot to select what analysts thought to be the top interior defensive lineman in the draft. Well those analysts kept their day jobs while Bradway would eventually lose his. But not before he would compound his draft blunder with giving Robertson a huge contract extension thus resulting in the artery clogging $11 million salary cap figure that has been giving the Jets chest pains all offseason. By the way, did we mention Mr. Robertson has a bone on bone condition in his knee that was known about all along but did not disaude the Jets from taking him? No he hasn’t miss any game time because of this but you can imagine why this would give a potential suitor pause with the serious coin D-Rob is making.
He was thisclose to being a Bengal and for a nice return of a fourth and fifth round draft choices. Not bad while getting cap relief back to the tune of $8 million clams. But alas, the Bengals bungled the deal whither by failed physical or failed contract talks.
So what we have here is an underachieving defensive tackle — a much coveted position in the NFL — who is still all of 26 years old. He can be a solid player in the 4-3 defensive scheme but everyone knows the Patriots run the 3-4 and so must the Jets! Robertson hasn’t missed a game due to his knee condition but he hasn’t exactly ever resembled the draft day Warren Sapp comparisons either. Consider these names the Jets passed on in 2004 when they traded two first rounders for D-Rob: Terrell Suggs, Marcus Trufant, Ty Warren, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, Larry Johnson, and Nnamdi Asomugha.
Yet…there is reason to hope. Reason for D-Rob to hope he can revive a once promising career and still see some of that outrageous money Terry Bradway promised him. Reason for his next team to feel like they got a bargain and can turn D-Rob around. Reason for the Jets to hope that they can finally move on from a bad relationship. Everyone knows there are teams out there that want D-Rob. The Bengals, Lions, Panthers, and last but not least the Denver Broncos. The teams may be jockeying for pole position in the race to sign him if the Jets cut him after June 1 thus sparing them a $3 million roster bonus. Will there be a bidding war? Maybe. 26 year old DT’s don’t grow on trees or come along every day and regardless of skill set or history are never ever cheap. It just seems to reason that if you want this guy as your reclamation project you may just want to pony up with a mid round pick or two and secure him now before he becomes a free agent.
USA Today noted that even Eric Mangini sounded like something was cooking when The New York Daily News cornered him at the NFL Owners Meetings.
The Denver Post is saying talks are ongoing. This is fantastic news if you are a Jets fan and enough of a morsel to float you to the draft when trade talks should be red hot for D-Rob if he hasn’t been dealt already.
Any deal cannot come soon enough. For far too long due to his salary the storyline has been more like Jets D Robbed by D-Rob. Unfortunately any cap relief the Jets get will come too late to sign a top flight cornerback or another linebacker to help continue to defensive upgrade that Mike Tannenbaum began by trading for mammoth Kris Jenkins and signing another 2004 first round alumnist Calvin Pace. That money would have come in handy to put back into a defense that features emerging stars Kerry Rhodes, Darrelle Revis and David Harris. Any relief also won’t be in time to add that big playmaking wide receiver or tight end to be a third receiving option behind Lavernues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. Ben Utecht might have been the guy at TE after Jets wined and dined him but he left town and signed a three year $9 million deal with the Bengals. Maybe a little rich for a first time starter but the thinking here is we’ll be watching Utecht make the Pro Bowl as a tiger and not part of Gang Green. If only…
If is the biggest word in the English language but if a team will take a chance on trading for Dewayne Robertson it might make everbody happier in the long run. And when I say the long run I mean training camp 2008. That is just three months away. The end of the saga may be near indeed.