Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comHere’s a few quick hits with the free agent negotiating period now just two hours away.
New Yorleans? — The Saints are expected to release Darren Sproles. This on the heels of reports that the Saints were trying to trade him. Cutting Sproles would save the Saints $3.5 million in cap space, but if the Saints do drop him, it adds another veteran change of pace running back to an already crowded field of running backs. Would the Jets be interested? Sproles would be a different type of back than either Ivory or Powell, adding an element of much needed pass catching that was lacking out of the Jets 2013 backfield. Sproles isn’t the difference maker he once was and teams are figuring out ways to slow him down better than in the past, but given a narrowly defined role as a pass-catching back he might have use.
Care-less-on — John Carlson signed with the Cardinals today for a deal worth more than $4 million for two years. There were reports among the Jets beat that the Jets were said to be interested in Carlson, mostly because of Carlson’s and Idzik’s ties to Seattle — but any real interest by the Jets seemed weak from the outset. As a veteran with concussion problems, Carlson doesn’t offer the Jets much more than they already have on the roster … he neither excels as a blocker nor as a receiver. Better (though riskier) options like Jermichael Finley and Brandon Pettigrew are available and the Jets were wise to pass on Carlson.
In the wind — Cornerback Alterraun Verner and the Titans don’t seem to be hammering out a last-minute contract as free agency approaches. There’s been no chatter about the Jets apparent interest in the cornerback, but any dabbling with a player like him or Aqib Talib could tell us quite a bit about the trust the Jets are placing in last year’s ninth overall draft pick Dee Milliner.
Need a quick primer for free agency? NFL.com’s Around The League had a number of great articles
– Free Agency 101: Top 101 NFL free agents for 2014
– Ten best free-agent bargains
– Free agency overview: What positions are the deepest?