Other than Tim Tebow, it has been a quiet off season for the New York Jets. They have signed players for positions of need, but there are still many holes to fill. One of the biggest that they have is a ball hawking Safety. Every Jets fan saw the great Eric Smith get eaten alive all last season. TEs were licking their chops every time they saw the New York Jets on their schedule. A guy that could be had on the cheap, and may just fit the bill, is unrestricted free agent, former Oakland Raiders’ free safety Matt Giordano.
A little background on this guy would be in order first. Giordano is going into his 8th NFL season, after graduating from the University of California Berkeley. Prior to that. he went to Fresno City college where he earned All-State honors as a freshman, and was a two time All-Conference pick. As a senior at Berkeley with the Golden Bears, Giordano earned first team All Pac-10 honors, and earned All-America honorable mention.
Matt Giordano was drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Our first notice of the young safety was in Super Bowl XLI, when Giordano delivered a big hit to seal the victory for his Colts. When he has had opportunities to play, he has made the most of them, starting 4 games for the Colts in 2007, and intercepting two passes. After moving between teams he found a home in 2011 with the Oakland Raiders, starting 9 games, and amassing 5 INTs and 70 tackles.
So, why would he make a good New York Jet? First of all, he is strong and fast. He runs a 4.54 40 yard dash, which is quick. Robert Griffin III ran a 4.41 dash, just for comparison. Matt currently weighs in at 210 pounds, and bench presses 345 pounds. At his combine workout in 2005, he put in 19 repetitions at 225 pounds. In order to make some headway against the Rob Gronkowskis of the world, the Jets need a safety that can jam these guys, and stay with them off the line. Giordano’s speed and strength will allow him to do just that.
Matt Giordano is just entering the prime of his career at 29 years old. He can be had on the cheap. Although I was unable to locate his current salary, I found salaries for Giordano as current as 2009, and he didn’t make over $1 million in his career up to that point. Even if his contract went up a little with Oakland, the odds that it went to a cost prohibitive price are very low.
Bottom line, when this guys has gotten a chance to play, he has been around the football, and that is what the Jets need. Let’s look a little closer, shall we? As I mentioned before, he started 4 games in 2007, and had 2 interceptions. He started 9 games in Oakland this past season, and had 5 interceptions, including 2 against Phillip Rivers. Our incumbent safety, the “great” Eric Smith? 5 interceptions in 6 seasons! Total! It’s not even close. Eric Smith had 89 tackles in 14 games started, Giordano had 70, almost the same amount, and again, only started 9 games. Matt Giordano is clearly around the football a lot.
Let’s see how is 5 INTs stack up. Take a look at the Jets last year, including Revis Island. Revis Island only had 4 INTs to his credit in 2011. He was tied for the team lead, so nobody had more than 4. Matt Giordano would have led the Jets with 5 INTs. Now take a look at the guy who sets the standard for ball hawking safeties, Ed Reed. Reed only had 3 INTs in 2011. Giordano beat him as well.
The Jets need a safety that can cover. Matt Giordano can cover. The stats bear it out. He would be a severe upgrade on what the Jets have now. He definitely can be had on the cheap. Go get him.