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.
Tracking the tracker — Bill Polian has forgotten more about football than I will ever remember, but his free agency tracker on ESPN is a tough sell for me. While I like knowing where players are slated to go his ranking seems wildly out of whack. In it he ranks players by their potential value in free agency. It looks like his estimations will be pretty far off with the Jets. As for other players, S Antoine Bethea lists among the top players on his board … bias much?
Guard play — The Jets have been tied to a few guards so far at the start of free agency. Last year the Jets had a chance to pull the trigger on a player who is widely considered to be one of the top guards in this year’s class and they didn’t do it. Now it’s a year later and while the Jets might have interest again in Geoff Schwartz, they aren’t going to be the only team. Apparently at the Combine there was quite a buzz about Schwartz. While Schwartz shone for the Chiefs down the stretch, the man he replaced is no slouch either. Jon Asamoah is coming into his own and is another player that the Jets might want to sign, but according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan one source told him it would be a “small upset” if Asamoah doesn’t land in Atlanta, even though the Jets are in the running.
Receiver radar — On the whole, the wide receiver market has been almost painfully quiet. While there’s been a lot of activity among defensive linemen, defensive backs, offensive linemen the chatter on skill position players has been very light. It is likely a sign of the talent at the spot, but expect the talk to pick up quickly on guys like Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders and others.
All quiet on Vick — Speaking of quiet … what about Mike Vick? While there’s been a lot of speculation on Vick, there’s been very little concrete information. Understandably, Vick is a polarizing figure and so we’re sure that many teams want as much radio silence on the veteran quarterback until his next destination starts to crystallize.