3 PM on March 12th is rapidly approaching. That is when the John Idzik era really begins, as his first free agency period begins with the New York Jets. It is going to be an interesting time for Idzik and company, because of the situation with the salary cap, against the fact that the Jets have a lot of starting positions that need to be filled. It will be a fine like that Idzik is going to walk, between filling out the roster and managing the budget.
While the Jets are preparing for the future, we are going to take a look at the past. The Jets, as we all know, have had a curious history to say the least when it comes to making personnel moves. For every great move the Jets have made, we can all find an “interesting” move that the Jets have made to counterbalance that move. So, let’s take a look back, and do a countdown of 10 of the best Jets free agent signings of all time. Starting with number 10:
To refresh everyone’s memory, the Jets signed Alan Faneca to a 5 year, $40 million contract heading into the 2008 season. The Jets were looking to beef up the offensive line, and Faneca, along with RT Damien Woody, were just the guys that fit the bill.
The long time Pittsburgh Steelers guard was an anchor for the Jets, starting every game at left guard for the next two seasons. Over those two seasons, Thomas Jones rushed for 1300+ yards(2008), and over 1400 yards (2009). While Alan Faneca was in town, the Jets had a dominant running game.
But, how do we quantify the value of an offensive linemen? I mean, when you sign a wide receiver, you see receptions, touchdowns, yards..etc. You see figures that are easy to read, and that easily quantify the value of that particular player. But it’s not the same story when you look at a lineman. Their performance is not quantifiable in the box score. So, how do we say he is in the top 10 signings of all time?
2009 is the first reason. Over the two seasons that Alan was in town, the running game improved, peaking in 2009, when the team led the sport in rushing. After he left the team, the running game fell off the pace. Even with Woody still here(2010), the running game was not as good as it was when Faneca was here.
And that is why he is number 10.