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New York Jets Free Agency 2013: Thoughts on the First Week

By Alan Schechter
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Very quietly, John Idzik did a terrific job with the Jets for this first week of the new league year.

The first week of the new league year, and thus, free agency, has come and gone. OK not entirely, the first week will be history on Tuesday afternoon at 4 PM. But, the bulk of the week has come and gone, so this is as good of a time as any to g back and look at how this week played out.

All in all, John Idzik and company did a terrific job.

With John Idzik making his debut as a general manager, we really had no idea what to expect. We heard what he had to say, about building through the draft, about “sustainable success”, and how there will be competition brought in at every position. But, this is basically all talk, until something is done. We all have heard a lot of words, as Jets fans, and are tired of them. We want to see actions from our Jets’ employees. Talk is cheap, we want to see action. So, let’s talk about this past week, what do we think?

(Note: We are only talking about Free Agency week, not about moves that occurred beforehand.)

This opening of free agency can really be broken down into two sections. The first was the early part of the week, where the Jets were basically lining all their ducks in a row. You can call it the “Cool Hand Luke” approach, or whatever else you like. People, OK media members like our friends at the NY Daily News were shredding the Jets. But there was no reason for it.

When you take the entire week into account, it becomes clear what John Idzik was doing, and it was EXACTLY the right way to go about things. Over the first few days, as big names were falling off the board, we heard nothing from the New York Jets. What were they doing? They were lining up their ducks. John Idzik knows he has salary problems (thanks Tanny), so he spent the first couple of days working on fixing them.

Securing contract re-structures from Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes were brilliant moves, and moves that had to be made. In a league where you have a hard salary cap, you constantly have to work to keep your contracts friendly to the salary cap, if you ever hope to make any moves. So, instead of trying to invent crazy contracts for new players just for the sake of doing so, the Jets worked to get their money in order. They didn’t spend to spend, they prepared to spend APPROPRIATELY.

A plan? In Florham Park? What a concept!

August 12, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Willie Colon (74) during the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Now we go to the second part of the week, where the moves were made. He made it a trifecta with 3 signings in one day. How did John Idzik do?

I give him a solid “A”, and the only reason it’s not higher is because we are in the off season, and obviously these players have not been on the field yet for the Jets. But on paper, great job.

Why?

The Jets are desperate to add speed to their offense, but don’t have a lot of money to work with. In walks Mike Goodson, a guy that has shown great burst with the ball in his hands. A career backup, that could get his chance in the sun with the New York Jets, and has all the makings of West Coast offense running back, that is what the Jets potentially have in Mike Goodson. And the best part, is the bargain of $6.9 million over 3 years. A base salary of $2.3 million for a running back that could potentially start, is brilliant.

Losing veteran players is tough, and when it is multiple veterans, it’s obviously that much tougher. So, the Jets are in a bit of a pickle with Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson, Mike DeVito, and Sione Po’uha either gone, or likely gone, what now? You bring in two veterans on one year contracts, Willie Colon and Antonio Garay. Colon will step in as a starting guard at either position. He has been an excellent lineman for many years in this league, and if healthy, will be a fine addition. Garay will be, if healthy, an excellent mentor on the defensive line, as he, like Mo Wilkerson, has been able to create pressure from the inside. The more the merrier on that.

The bottom line is that John Idzik’s plan is starting to take shape. He will move this roster forward, even with limited resources to do so. He did a good job this week, and he will continue to do so.

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