Free Agency Watch: The Reality of What We Already Knew
Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com
While players were expected to sign elsewhere, the Jets have been quiet in terms of signing new players. Today WR Brandon Gibson left without a contract, so see if Gibson finds a better fit elsewhere, but don’t rule him out either. In the meantime, I’d expect the Jets to look at Massaquoi.
From a Jets perspective, it’s hard to see known productive players go elsewhere, but remember this is nothing we didn’t already know … the Jets made their plans to move on from Greene and Keller long ago … it’s nothing we didn’t already know.
Shonn Greene to the Titans — Greene signed a $10 million contract over three years to backup Chris Johnson in Tennessee, and it’s a fit for Greene in getting away from a West Coast System where he wouldn’t be as successful and frankly wasn’t as successful as he could have been in New York in mostly Coryell based approach. Greene was a 1,000 yard rusher for the Jets the last two seasons, but it was rarely dominant and last year Greene was only at 3.9 YPC in getting to over 1,000 yards. While a hard-nosed runner, Greene was a product of the line but not much more. The Jets were getting decent production from backup Bilal Powell towards the end of last year. They should have played him more sooner, but by the end of 2012 the ascension of Powell showed that Greene’s time with the team was limited.
Keller Going Through Medical Exams in Miami — It stings that Dustin Keller is meeting with the Dolphins in Miami, but the Jets drafted Keller, the first overall pass catcher in the 2008 Draft and he would now be the last link to that draft class leaving the team. Keller had some excellent moments, but it was hard for him to live up to the expectations placed on him and with all the issues in 2012, the Jets saw that the value he offered the team was not irreplaceable. Keller was a key part of creating matchup issues in Schotty’s offense, but in a throw-and-go West Coast, more value is placed on Tight Ends who can run and pass block and have the toughness to catch passes across the middle take a big hit and maybe have a little wiggle to get upfield. With the limited resources the Jets had in retaining players this season, the $4 million – $6 million per year it might cost to keep Dustin around would be too much to take on. Keller was a key target for Mark Sanchez – and the two are good friends – but Sanchez could likely be gone as soon as next season, so it’s hard to expect the Jets to keep the players that work well with him in an effort to build around him.
Note: The Jets have just re-signed Lex Hilliard, a player who I thought was awful in 2012. He’s a player that I never expected the Jets to make any concerted effort at re-signing right now in the midst of a tight cap and I’ll expect him to compete for a roster spot, but am not going to hold my breath that he’ll be in the 53 man roster come September.