Dec 29, 2014; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets chairman and chief executive officerWood
y Johnson addresses the media regarding the dismissal of general manager John Idzik (not pictured) and head coach Rex Ryan (not pictured) at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Woody Johnson and his consulting team are in the midst of a search for a new general manager and head coach. That is the story consuming all the headlines concerning the New York Jets recently. The draft talk has been slowed because of the unknown of whom will be making the calls. Interim general manager Rod Graves hasn’t been sitting on his laurels, business continues at Jets headquarters. To date, he’s signed 10 “future/reserve” contracts. While these signings are mainly “procedural”, I thought we could step away from all the “craziness” surrounding the job search, and take a look.
Matt Simms was signed to a new contract by the team. He will be once again the third string QB for the Jets heading into camp this summer. Michael Vick is a free agent, and unlikely to return. Geno Smith will be back to compete this summer. The Jets will need to bring in another QB to compete through camp as well. The Simms signing is minor, but notable.
Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets running backDaryl Richardson
(35) jogs out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
In the first wave of signings, Rod Graves signed many of the players off the practice squad, while adding a few names as well. He signed LB Mario Harvey (6’0″/264), CB Dashaun Phillips (5’11″/182), T Brent Qvale (6’7/ 315), RB Daryl Richardson (5’10″/196), and LB Chris Young (6’0″/252) from the practice squad.
The first wave of signings also added PK Andrew Furney(5’10″/210), DB Keith Lewis(6’1″/190), and P Jacob Schum(5’11″/211). Lewis spent the season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad. Both Furney and Schum were free agents during the season, and both spent time with the Jets in camp last summer. On a side note, DE Tivita Finau signed a future/reserve deal with the Houston Texans, after spending the last two seasons on the Jets practice squad.
Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Two other players were signed by the Jets in the second wave of signings. Rod Graves signed C Jacoby Alshworth(6’3″/300) and DB Nick Taylor(5’9″/175). Alshworth was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Washington Redskins following last year’s draft. Nick Taylor was a former Florida International basketball player who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2012 after posting a 4.30/40 yd. time. He was not in the NFL last season after Minnesota cut him.
Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) throws against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Not much to talk about with these signings. The Jets secured some of their practice squad players from last season. They added some possible competition at the DB spot, and brought in a kicker and punter as potential backups for special teams. It’s very early, and more of these signings will be expected as next season approaches.
Many of these guys will never be household names in the Jets community. Some will never even get to play in a green and white jersey in a regular season game. My point here is that business continues at Jets headquarters, there is not a vacuum surrounding the Jets organization as has been widely reported in the media.
Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; General view of a Chicago Bears helmet on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Rod Graves was signed as the New York Jets Senior Director of Football Administrations last year. He spent 13 years with the Chicago Bears organization, serving in a multitude of positions, his promotions took him to the positions Director of Personnel. In 1997 he was hired by the Arizona Cardinals to head up their scouting department. He was promoted to the Cardinals general manager’s job and held that position until 2012.
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Graves has the scouting experience to handle the interim position that Woody Johnson promoted him after the Black Monday firings. Interestingly, Rod Graves was the in-house candidate interviewed by Johnson. Not much has been said about that interview, except that it meets the requirements set by the league. I found it interesting that Graves was given the interim job over former Jets general manager Terry Bradway as well. Could the next general manager already be here within the organization?
Time for the comment section. Any thoughts on the players they signed? Any thoughts on Graves? Let’s talk Jets Football.