One of our favorite ways to keep tabs on what’s happening in New England has to be the Boston Herald’s Rap Sheet. And in a post this morning on the free agency moves the Patriots have made so far, Ian Rapoport discusses players the Patriots won’t bring back in 2012. Included one the list?
Former Jet DL Shaun Ellis.
Ellis was a disappointment and won’t be back.
So while it was painful for fans to see The Dean and the Jets to part ways in 2011 (and not only part ways, but go to the Patriots) it looks as if the Jets had the right of it. In the past few seasons, the Jets have tried to adhere to a “year too early, versus a year too late” policy when it comes to their veterans. Alan Faneca comes to mind as well as a few other players before Ellis. According to Rap, it’s been proven out again with the longtime Jets defensive lineman.
While the Jets missed Ellis’s leadership and some production at the start of the season, Wilkerson stepped right in and played solidly as a rookie alongside DeVito and Pouha. Affording Wilkerson the freedom to start right from the beginning of his career was huge, and will pay great dividends for the Jets in the next few years now that he’ll get to have the benefit of a full offseason program to work on his strength training and his technique, coupled with his still very young athleticism.
Of course the next question is … would the Jets bring Ellis back now? I don’t think the Jets would have need to to at this point. The Jets have a growing depth at the position with players like Dixon, Kenrick Ellis and Ropati, so adding a veteran salary might not be the wisest move for the team … unless they had some injuries and did so once the season was underway. Then any money Ellis would get wouldn’t have to be guaranteed for the year, but rather on a game by game basis.