Being a 25-year old veteran in the NFL is good work if you can get it. New York Jets free safety Kerry Rhodes can now keep up the good work for the Jets for the next 5 years. Newly minted into the one-of-the-highest-paid-player’s club, Rhodes has finally been locked up to a long term deal for 5 years and $33 million of which $20 million has been guaranteed. The money – while huge – is somewhat reasonable when considering Rhodes development as a leader on defense at a young age and his versatility. He projects only to get better and is still a few years away from his prime.
If you want to read a gloomy account of this signing look here for the always glass is half empty Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News. The Jets can do no right in the eyes of this devil’s advocate. One bone of contention I have with Cimini here is the slam dunk notion that the Jets have to trade done now. Don’t believe it. If there is one thing Mike Tannenbaum does better than most GM’s in the league it is managing the salary cap. The Jets can still get their man with the 6th overall pick in the rapidly approaching NFL Draft. I do see the Jets trading down if one of these four players are gone: Darren McFadden, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, and Jake Long.
If you are feeling great about the Jets locking up Rhodes - like Jets fans everywhere – you can always check out The Newark Star Ledger where Dave Hutchinson usually gets it right on the money.
Now that most of the offseason business is taken care of – free agent signings, Coles appeasement, and the new Rhodes deal – the Jets can focus on the Draft. It is much more reassuring this year to see a plan put in place and for the pieces of that plan to fall into place. Kudos to the brass for aggressively executing these moves. Now just win us a Super Bowl.