New York Jets Free Agency Week 1: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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22.1s074.Revis1-140x1001The Bad

1) Vontae Davis and other free agent misses in the cornerback market - The Jets, supposedly, had a deal in place with Vontae Davis to replace Antonio Cromartie in the secondary that Davis backed out of when the Colts upped their offer. This has left the Jets without a “number 1″ corner. They have missed out on a number of replacements because the cornerback market has rebounded in a big way this year salary-wise. They have missed out on Davis, Aqib Talib, Alterraun Verner, Darrelle Revis, Captain Munnerlyn, Walter Thurmond, and Brandon Browner for various reasons. Some were because of money (Talib, Davis), some about fit in the scheme (Verner), some were slot guys that might not have worked outside (Munnerlyn, Thurmond), one is one suspension from being out of the league for a year or more (Browner) and the other one is Revis. The two remaining free agent possibilities are cousins. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie visited the Jets Friday night and Saturday before departing to the Giants and Antonio Cromartie has negotiated with Arizona but a deal is not close. Rich Cimini reports that Antonio Cromartie wants to come back but John Idzik is hesitant to give a multi-year deal to a player 30 years old, coming off of a leg injury, and a bad year. If the Jets miss out on the two cousins then they will have to either find a trade partner for a veteran corner or go back to the draft to replace Cromartie. Neither option would be a disaster but finding a veteran free agent answer is preferable.

2) That safety and guard market went fast - Within the first day of free agency all of the top free agent safeties, sans Chris Clemons, with most garnering big contracts. Jairus Byrd got over $50 million dollars from the Saints with $28 million in guarantees, TJ Ward went to the Broncos, Donte Whitner signed with Cleveland for around $7 million/year, Antoine Bethea, Mike Mitchell and Malcolm Jenkins all got long-term deals on Day 1 of free agency. Chris Clemons is a good coverage safety that would upgrade a deficiency of the Jets secondary but there is always the draft as well. At guard it was assumed that the Jets would replace Willie Colon with Kansas City’s Jon Asamoah but Asamoah then signed with Atlanta instead for $4.5 million/year. The remaining guards would go quickly with Geoff Schwartz going to the Giants, Zane Beadles to Jacksonville and Chad Rinehart to San Diego. Thankfully the Jets have a fallback option that wants to be a Jet in Willie Colon and expect a one year deal to get done when he recovers from his torn biceps.

3) That media blackout also keeps fans in the dark - The fact that the Jets don’t have leaks anymore means that the fans don’t have any information either and have to rely on speculation or pure guess-work by the media. If the Jets lose out on the player there is no information out there to say well at least we still have interest in this guy. Hearing no news makes the impatient think that no one is working which leads to angst. The media feeds into the angst as they send tweets designed to troll Jets fans into more negative thinking. It is a bad cycle but unfortunately a necessary one to make sure that everyone inside the building is on the same page, and that the only people who know the Jets business are the Jets.

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Tags: John Idzik New York Jets Nfl Free Agency

  • Roast Beef

    I completely agree with your assessment of the fans. A lot of people are certainly overreacting and thinking in a “now” attitude. But I think us Jets fans are also shaken up because of all of the missed opportunities that we have had in the past that could have lead us to more success. I am pulling for Idzik’s plan and I hope it succeeds. If anything, I am glad that the circus is out of New York and nobody is calling us that anymore. Everything is kept in house because really its their business. I think we are on the right track, and if we do reach a great deal of success with Idzik’s plan, we could become very selective in the future and people will come to us for contracts, not the other way around. Go Jets!!

    • Paul Newbold

      The “Win Now At Any Price” philosophy went out with MR T, thank goodness! Fans need to chill, be patient and see what Idzik can accomplish!! With a half decent free agency class, and a top draft, the Jets should be a playoff contender. Maybe even two years away from making a serious run at the big game!

  • Amar S.

    Pats fan here. Keep making moves Jets. Make the AFC East strong! Better competition in the division can only help the four teams in a championship run.

    • Craig Hoffman

      I am usually pretty good at it but I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic. The Patriots had to eskew their normal philosophy because they see the window closing for championships. Tom Brady can’t play forever and Bill Belichick can’t coach forever. Having a good division both helps and hurts. It helps you prepare for the playoffs but hurts your chances of getting to the playoffs with fewer easy wins. There’s always a need for Buffalo to be bad and Miami to be mismanaged.

      • Amar S.

        I’m being serious lol. Born and raised and NY, all of my football coaches to the pizza delivery guy are Jet fans, and I get a long with them better thab Giant fans. I see it this way, all the moves the Patriots have been making so far would be pointless if the four teams in the division aren’t strong. Look at Denver get smacked by Seattle, both NYJ and NE wouldn’t stand a chance against Seattle or SF if both of our teams didn’t make moves.

  • Paul Newbold

    Good article as always Craig. Damn right the media has been shut out! NY sportswriters are circus clowns for the most part! Idzik has made it crystal clear how he intends to handle FA, he’ll sign for value to meet needs. He’s said, that his draft approach is the best player available regardless of need. Jet fans shouldn’t be in the dark. Social media has been ugly, fans are impatient and have been screaming about the FAs he’s passed up! Jet fans have even called for him to be fired because he didn’t sign MEvis!! Patience is the name of the game while building a team…Idzik has a patience, and so far I think he’s done a great job!

    • Craig Hoffman

      Thank you Paul I appreciate it. The team will get built through the draft and from free agents that overstate their market, then have to take deals for pennies on the dollar. It isn’t a sexy or popular strategy but it works over the long haul. As long as they continue to improve the offense this will be an improved team over last year.