Now let’s consider the prospect from Rex Ryan, and new defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman’s perspective.
First of all, Osi Umenyiora has made a career out of rushing the passer with his hand in the dirt, playing in a 4-3 scheme. Unless a radical change is made, the Jets aren’t moving to a 4-3 scheme, at least not full time. If Osi were to come over to the Jets, he would likely be expected to rush the passer, at least some of the time, in a 3-4 scheme, possibly even standing up. Osi Umenyiora has been doing this for a long time, it would be hard to expect him to learn a new system at this point in his career.
It is more likely that Osi, if he leaves the Giants, would go to a team that is more deeply routed in a 4-3 scheme. And that is if he leaves, in his statement he also said he would like to retire a Giant.
Finally, don’t forget about our cap situation, which is going to make signing a high profile free agent unlikely. We have talked about it many times before, it’s a lot worse than it looks. Yes, we are going to get under the salary cap after cutting the likes of Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, …etc., but that is not the end of the problem. The trouble is that after all those moves, we will only have 10-11 starters under contract. Thanks to Mike Tannenbaum, who if he is a cap-genius he earned that distinction from the Isaiah Thomas School of Finance, the Jets are in a world of hurt with the cap.
It’s nice to dream about signing big free agents. Who knows? Maybe John Idzik is a cap genius, and can get guys to sign contracts that don’t count much against the cap, we don’t know. But the more likely scenario is that we are going to have to move forward in 2013 with mid-level free agents and young players.
So what did we learn by listening to these players? That they are keeping their options open, and that one of those options is the Jets. Just don’t get too excited guys. As great as having these guys would be, we have to stay realistic. Could it happen? Sure. I just don’t want you to get your hopes up. Nobody does well with getting let down, especially by this team.