As the Jets take their show on the road to remote SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY for training camp there is a feeling that the contingent of players making the trip up north may soon be joined by some additional reinforcements. If the soon-to-be completed or voided Jeff Otah trade wasn’t enough of an indication it doesn’t appear as though “Trader Mike” Tannenbaum is satisfied with his team.
I mean, who would blame him, there are some pretty definitive question marks, the first and most obvious of which is the Right Tackle spot. This could be a moot point if Otah doesn’t pass his physical but it does not bode well for an incumbent when the team keeps bringing guys who play your position to compete with you.
I’ll hold my tongue on what I think of Wayne Hunter and his ability to be a starter in the NFL because that is well-documented. However, it is safe to say that his seat could not be hotter at this point and whether it is Jeff Otah or someone else, something tells me that Hunter will be just a well-paid backup come the start of the season.
Two other spots where I see the Jets potentially making some moves are at Tight End and Wide Receiver. It is well-know that the Jets have a fairly inexperienced receiving corps with rookie Stephen Hill slated to start opposite Santonio Holmes. You know it’s bad when second-year man, Jeremy Kerley is considered to be the second most veteran receiver that figures to see significant playing time.
I believe that the door is firmly closed on a Braylon Edwards return but WFAN’s Peter Schwartz suggested today that it still may be a possibility. It would make sense to bring in another veteran presence in case things don’t really pan out but none of the guys who are still out there are really enticing so standing pat may be the play here.
As for the Tight Ends, Dustin Keller is in his walk-year and is poised to have another good season as Mark Sanchez’s favorite target. That said, there is a muddle of sorts behind him that includes converted wide receiver Jeff Cumberland, H-Back Josh Baker, and the Aussie Hayden (Aaa-dan)* Smith. The need here is not for another pass-catcher but a blocking Tight End capable of avoiding stupid penalties.
If you ask me, that guy isn’t on the roster yet and although Smith has shown flashes of raw blocking ability, how can you expect him not to commit a slew of penalties never having played the game before. No, Smith is a long-term project destined for the practice squad but there are some pretty decent options still out there in free agency including Visanthe Shiancoe and Jeremy Shockey but they may not be available for much longer.
Although, I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of bringing in someone along the lines of a Cedric Benson, there are those who think the Jets would benefit from another veteran running back. Personally, I subscribe to the Mike Shannahan philosophy when it comes to running backs which is: build a good enough line and pretty much anyone can run behind it. This will boil down to how Terrance Ganaway and Bilal Powell look in camp but the line should be the primary concern here.
*Poor Attempt at an Australian Accent.