John Idzik will have to prioritize in order to keep this roster moving forward in a tough cap year.
We have been over this and over this, the Jets salary cap issues. They aren’t good, that is the most simple way to put it. By the time they make their cuts, and get under the salary cap, the Jets won’t have many starters under contract. To go along with that they have a whole bunch of unrestricted free agents, take a look:
Yeremiah BellMike DeVitoBraylon EdwardsNick FolkShonn GreeneLex HilliardDustin KellerLaron LandryBrandon MooreChaz SchilensMatt SlausonBryan Thomas
That’s a big list, and one that has a lot of big names on it. Losing people on this list will certainly give the Jets a different look in 2013, that’s for sure. What is John Idzik to do? He has to prioritize, who he has to do what he can to keep, and who he has to put on the backburner, in order to stay within the confines of the salary cap. Today, we give you two guys that the Jets must pull out all the stops for in order to sign. Here’s the first:
Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball while being defended by New York Jets free safety LaRon Landry (30) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28 to 9.Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets must bring this guy back, and not just because of his knockout abilities as the “Dirty Thirty”. First of all, he is not the risk that he was in 2012. Why? Because he played all 16 games in 2012. Prior to last year, LaRon hadn’t nearly played a full year since 2009 when he played 15 games for the Redskins. Coming into this year, the thought was, “If he’s healthy he will play well.” Now we know he’s healthy.
Secondly, he is as active as anybody on the football team, as he recorded 99 tackles last year. He made plays all over the field, with 8 passes defended, 2 INTs, and 4 forced fumbles.
Finally, there is an attitude that LaRon Landry brings to the defense that you cannot get from just anybody. We teasingly give the “Dirty Thirty” name, but it has weight. Ask Victor Cruz if going across the middle was any different against the Jets in 2012. Same thing with Reggie Bush, running over the middle. Jets’ opponents knew that there was a new sheriff in town, and his name is LaRon Landry.
That cannot be taught, and it will make a difference to the team if he is not there.
Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards (17) runs the ball after a catch during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28 to 9. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets made the mistake of letting this guy go a couple of years ago, and the Jets offense has not been the same since. They need to do everything possible to not make that same mistake again. I understand that Dustin Keller was with Mark Sanchez longer, but Braylon is more important. For one, Dustin has proven himself to be soft, while Braylon clearly is not. Upon reacquiring Braylon, there was concern that he couldn’t even play, yet he played the final three games of the year, and caught 10 passes. He is close to Mark, and has chemistry with him on and off the field as friends.
Braylon also wants to be a member of the New York Jets, and there is a lot to be said about that. No, he didn’t play much for the 49ers and Seahawks after he left the first time. But, he talked about wanting to come back, and played well when he did. Braylon has made it abundantly clear that he wants to here. John Idzik and the Jets need to do everything possible to make that happen, and the expense of other UFA’s.
I hope John Idzik is listening.