Where will Michael Vick land? No one seems to know much, but Peter King, one of the most connected reporters in the NFL threw out some suggestions in his MMQB article today.
Michael Vick should be in more demand than he is. I keep saying this, and few believe me: Vick’s a very good locker room guy now, a leader, and he’d be a good team guy whether or not he wins the starting job. I think if Vick had been more accurate in his past two years in Philly (.581, .546), offensive coordinator Norv Turner could have been sold on him with the Vikings; I know Vick was very interested in Minnesota. The team that makes the most sense is the Jets, because they have no idea if Geno Smith is their quarterback of the future. Oakland makes sense because the Raiders have no idea what they have either. I’ll give you a dark horse here: San Francisco. Let’s say Vick gets only lukewarm interest to start, or to compete for a starting job. If so, and if the Niners want more than a third-string insurance policy for Colin Kaepernick, Vick might be willing to go to try to win a Super Bowl ring. He turns 34 in June.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
While the Niners offers him a spot among one of the NFL’s top five teams, the one thing it doesn’t offer is a chance to start. From everything we’ve heard Vick very much wants to continue on as a starter, which is why Minnesota was of real interest.
The Jets have been connected to Vick in many reports over the last few weeks, but everything so far from the likes of King, Adam Schefter and others has been conjecture. If the Jets are interested in Mike Vick, they are doing a very good job of keeping it quiet.
Manish Mehta’s mythical “Persons of Interest” list keeps getting longer and longer:
One report says there are up to a dozen teams interested in Ward so far. The 27-year-old safety was a leader and a bright spot on a poor Browns team over the past few seasons.
While it may seem like the Jets are being linked with every single available free agent (with the glaring omission so far being Jairus Byrd), Ward is actually the only one of PFF’s top ten free agents
that the Jets have been linked with so far. However, whether being a “Person of Interest” means the Jets have serious interest in signing a player or just view them as a fallback option (or are even just watching so they can establish the value for another target) remains to be seen.
With his ability to play in the box or cover downfield, I’m expecting Ward to receive a contract with an average annual value somewhere between $7 million and $9 million.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comAs the negotiating period of free agency begins Saturday March 8th at noon, here’s the quick list and links to articles about players which the Jets are already tied to in terms of some level of interest, or Jets players who have already been retained by the team.
We’ll keep this somewhere on the front page for the next few days, see the full list after the jump.
To see the full list, click here
EXTERNAL FREE AGENTS
WR Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) — Sanders was the first name to come to light almost a month ago along with the now re-signed Eagle Jeremy Maclin. Sanders would provide the Jets a deep threat to stretch the field but the team shouldn’t expect more than 40-50 receptions from a player like Sanders in the Jets offense. No word on whether talks have progressed since the start of free agency.
WR Andrew Hawkins (CIN) — The restricted free agent was low-tendered by the Bengals and according to our own Jake Steinberg, the Jets are reported to have interest in him.
WR Andre Roberts (ARI) — Draftinsider‘s Tony Pauline told us on the podcast this week that the Jets could demonstrate some level of interest in the 24 year old unrestricted free agent who had over 700 yards with the Cardinals in 2013.
TE Jermichael Finley (GB) — The Jets were reported to have been snooping around the Packers tight end who is recovering from a serious spine injury. No word on whether he’s been cleared medically, which was rumored to be happening on Saturday.
TE Brandon Pettigrew (DET) — Named among potential targets in a NY Daily News report alongside the news of the signing of Jeff Cumberland’s new deal.
TE Ed Dickson (BAL) – Named among potential targets in a NY Daily News report alongside the news of the signing of Jeff Cumberland’s new deal.
TE Scott Chandler (BUF) – Named among potential targets in a NY Daily News report alongside the news of the signing of Jeff Cumberland’s new deal.
OG Geoff Schwartz (KC) — Tony Pauline reported that the Jets might be looking to ground their offense in 2014 and Schwartz could be a part of that plan.
OG Zane Beadles (DEN) — Same as above, but Beadles is nowhere near the talent that Schwartz is.
OG Jon Asamoah (KC) — While Schwartz displaced Asamoah due to injury, Asamoah is a solid started and has been linked to the Jets Friday night in a report by the NY Daily News. Depending on what the Chiefs decide to do between Schwartz and Asamoah, the Jets might pursue the other.
QB Mike Vick (PHI) — No one seems to be willing to say that there’s definite interest between both sides yet, but there has been so much speculation that has gone unchecked that it can’t be ruled out, at least not yet. With free agency about to open up any official connection might soon be made … and then known about.
QB Josh McCown (CHI) — It is unclear as of yet, but the Jets are rumored to have some level of interest in the Bears backup.
QB Matt Schaub (HOU) — This is a little convoluted, but apparently if the Jets were to cut Mark Sanchez, Schaub might be in the mix for the Jets as a potential veteran backup to quote-unquote push Geno Smith.
QB Shaun Hill (DET) — Seth Walder from the New York Daily News reported that the Jets have “some interest” in the 34-year old.
CB Alterraun Verner (TEN) — Brian Costello from the New York Post reported that the Jets are interested in the emerging young corner.
S Donte Whitner (SF) — The former 49er is on the Jets’ Persons of Interest list, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) — The Jaguars running back is also on the Jets’ “Person of Interest” according to Mehta.
S Chris Clemons (MIA) — Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the former Dolphin is ”on the Jets’ radar“.
S TJ Ward (CLE) — Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Browns safety is ”also on the “Persons of Interest” list“.
K Nick Folk — Folk has been franchised by the Jets. The kicker tag is worth $2.9 million.
DB Ellis Lankster — The Jets re-signed Lankster to a two-year deal worth appromixately $1.6 million.
DB Darrin Walls — The Jets signed Darrin Walls to a two-year deal worth approximately $1.4 million.
TE Jeff Cumberland — Friday night the Jets agreed to terms with their tight end on a three year deal worth $3.7 million with $1 million guaranteed and over and above incentives.
PLEASE send us any news or notes we’re missing that you’ve seen (with links) at email@example.com!
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
While negotations have begun, the official opening of free agency doesn’t begin until 4PM on Tuesday. With that said, it is not as if nothing is happening. Here’s a quick crash course.
Cro cut — It seems unlikely that the Jets will be bringing back Cromartie and multiple media outlets have tied the Jets to another defensive back that the team seems set on bringing in. While we’ll miss Cro, the Jets always appreciated his play but have been prepared to pull the ripcord on him as soon as he started breaking down physically. From what we hear, there were those in the Jets front office who didn’t think he’d have lasted at his level of play even this long. Cimini wrote an interesting and very salient point on Cro, that he “relies on speed, not technique. If his speed is compromised, he’s not the same player.” We saw that last year and bringing him back would have only been a stopgap for a year at most.
Safety valve — Cutting $9.5 million off the salary cap in the form of Cromartie seems to have necessitated the Jets activity among defensive backs in free agency. No sooner did I write this monstrosity than all this started getting into the public view. Typical Bassett move. We still think that the Jets are locked in on signing Verner and while they might be expressing interest in free agent safeties, their first priority would still be a guy like Alterraun Verner. If they can sign a top safety to go with it? Then all the better. To read more of this story, click here
Last week, the Jets acquired cornerback Johnny Patrick on a waiver claim from the San Diego Chargers. Jets fans might not know much about Patrick, so I’ve been reviewing game footage to try and get a sense of what he brings to the table.
The 25-year old Patrick is 5’11″ and 190 pounds and was a third round pick in the 2011 draft. He spent two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before joining the Chargers last year. He was primarily a nickel back last season, although he did start four games due to injuries. He intercepted one pass, the first of his career, and recorded 1.5 sacks.
After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Patrick’s first two seasons in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.
To read more of this story, click here
With an awareness that there are smokescreens and agents generating leverage and interest for their clients, we present details of a few more players in whom the Jets may be reportedly interested.
Soon we’re going to reach the point where it would be quicker to pass along a list of players the Jets haven’t
been linked with.
With rumors circling that the Jets could be targeting Alterraun Verner in free agency, it might make sense for them to be giving some consideration to the secondary market for safeties. Whitner is more of a strong safety, but would appear to have the skill-set to operate well within a Rex Ryan defense that often calls for the safeties to be interchangeable. Clemons is more of a deep safety and the possibility of the Jets targeting him was recently discussed on PFF.
Jones-Drew will be 29 in two weeks and his salary will likely reflect the fact that he is thought to be past his best. In theory, he could prove to be a pickup in the mold of LaDainian Tomlinson’s signing back in 2010. Jones-Drew can arguably pass protect and catch passes better than anyone currently on the Jets roster, so perhaps could be set to transition into a third down back role as his career winds down, much like Tomlinson did in his two years with the Jets.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
In a little more than 24 hours, Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner has had interest
from the Jets, Giants, Redskins, Vikings as well as some cursory interest from the Steelers and Lions.
In light of the news about the Jets cutting Antonio Cromartie Sunday afternoon, the circumstantial evidence on the Jets interest in Alterraun Verner might be building.
First, the team has made bolstering their cornerback depth a priority. By getting Lankster and Walls to re-sign ahead of free agency, they locked down depth spots. In addition, from what we hear, the team is working on re-signing cornerback Aaron Berry.
Berry was the cornerback who looked like he was on a fast track to win the slot cornerback spot during minicamps last year before blowing out his knee on the first day of training camp. The team then placed Berry on the IR and made a glowing statement about his future with the Jets. Now they are trying to bring him back to further bolster their depth.
Consider those signings the team’s efforts at mitigating risk at a key position.
Second, up until Sunday afternoon the Jets have not been connected in the media to a single safety in free agency. Jairus Byrd? Nope. TJ Ward? Nu uh. Instead, the team contacted Verner (a guy who might earn the most lucrative deal in this year’s free agency) on Saturday before clearing cap room by cutting Antonio Cromartie in anticipation of what looks like might be a busy and cap intensive start of free agency on Tuesday.
Then there was this tweet from Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News regarding Alterraun Verner.
Whatever happens with Verner, the one thing that seems most probable is that Verner seems set to go where the money leads him. He’s not worried about the team culture or how spotless the facilities are and inspecting it with his white glove, he is looking to get paid and go to a team he thinks suits him.
It’s hard to know exactly what to think about all this, but Florio hinted on PFT in this post that he thinks the Jets and Verner is already a done deal. In addition, Florio believes that the notion of bringing back Cromartie is the team’s extremely loose backup plan.
So what do we know? We do know that Rex Ryan has never placed a high value on the safety position from a money standpoint.
Since arriving in New York, Rex Ryan has (1) ran Kerry Rhodes out of town, (2) started Eric Smith extensively at the position and (3) went into the 2013 season with no real coverage safety. While LaRon Landry was a godsend the year Revis was injured, the only real emphasis Ryan ever placed on the spot was when the team signed Jim Leonhard to an overinflated deal in an effort to import his system from Baltimore in 2009.
It has always been about cornerbacks for Rex Ryan and his GMs and as best we can tell, might be again in 2014.
What remains to be seen is, are the Jets the kind of team that are willing to spend top dollar for a free agent cornerback? If the Jets were about to plunge into the safety pool, then I might be concerned about overspending at the cornerback spot and safety. But with no revelations of any substantial interest between the Jets and players like Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward … it seems more likely that the Jets could save the big-spending team for a guy like Verner, especially now that they have cleared with one chop what could amount to more than ninety percent Verner’s first year salary.
The ramifications of the release and apparent moving on from Cromartie haven’t really been processed yet. But one thing that we fully expect that many in the media will pick up in the coming days and weeks ahead if the Jets were to sign a youngster like Verner or a competent if not marginally rudderless veteran like Aqib Talib … what about the leadership in the secondary? It’s a trope that is picked up each and every year by the media and one which would have serious claim this time around.
That’s where Ed Reed enters the picture.
Bringing Ed Reed back for another season solves many problems. The Jets will likely be able to lure back a future Hall of Famer with strong ties to Rex Ryan. Reed was a player that many of the younger guys in the Jets organization were enraptured with during the second half of the 2013 season and sought to learn from as much as possible. Reed would represent a small investment financially for the Jets, likely on either a veteran minimum deal or for scarcely more.
For almost nothing financially, the Jets would retain a commanding veteran leader in the defensive backfield meeting room while increasing their depth and getting much younger and preferred secondary position.
The Jets might be playing it cool publicly, but I would not be the least bit surprised to see Idzik and Ryan swing for the fences with Verner.
Antonio Cromartie has been a big part of the Jets defense for the past four seasons, but with a large unwieldy $5 million bonus (that to our knowledge couldn’t be restructured) looming on the third day of the league year this Thursday, it is no secret that the Jets and Antonio Cromartie were heading towards a split. The question since December has been whether that split would be permanent or temporary.
Since the season ended, Cromartie has been frank that he expected the Jets to release him, but he has also expressed his desire to stay with the Jets and finish his career with the team. “This is where I want to be, that’s where I want to retire,” Cromartie told NBC Sports back in January.
Sunday afternoon the Jets released Cromartie, and the all-star took to Twitter to say his thanks to the organization and the fans in what seemed like a final goodbye to New York.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Cutting Cromartie represents an $9.5 million cap savings for the Jets, which is made more interesting by the interest the team expressed
Saturday in pending free agent CB Alterraun Verner. Cromartie was going to be cut one way or another between now and Thursday, but the timeline based on the team’s actions yesterday around the Titans cornerback make any interest in Verner seem a lot more compelling.
Cromartie came a long way in his four years in New York. When he arrived, there were many questions surrounding his character and play on the field. His four years in New York have put much of that to rest. In that time, he has demonstrated the progress that he has made not only as a player but as a man.
It is our wish that Cromartie could return, but the finality in the tone of those tweets seems to indicate that both sides are moving on. We thank Antonio Cromartie for his play on the field and his mentoring of younger Jets players over the past few years.
We wish Cro and his family the best in all their future endeavors.
Free agency’s open negotiation period began Saturday and Jets right tackle Austin Howard is still unsigned. From what we gather on Twitter, fans are starting to get nervous and apocryphal tales are being told.
Brian Costello wrote for the NY Post yesterday that both sides are in talks, though nothing is done.
The Jets are also deep into negotiations with right tackle Austin Howard, an impending free agent, to bring him back, according to a source.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
The Jets are quite serious about bringing Howard back, but from what we know, talks have been going on for a few weeks now.
That the deal is not yet done is worth noting, but we still feel pretty confident that the Jets will be able to get a deal done. That said, Cumberland, Lankster and Walls have signed their deals … so what’s the difference in those cases?
The difference in our minds is that Howard stands to earn a lot more than either of those three. Because of that Howard and his representatives are taking their time, and now with the negotiating window open, can do some checking against what other teams might be willing to offer.
We expect that the Jets and Howard can get a deal done before the Tuesday opening of free agency, but if it is going to go this far, at least Howard and his people should be able to know what fair market for his services are.