Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWith so many bits of news in conjunction with the NFL Annual Meeting, here’s some reactions to the ongoing churn from Orlando.
Mending Fences — DeSean Jackson has been in regular touch with Eagles coach Chip Kelly over the last week and Jax posted this on Instagram in what seems a statement of solidarity standing by his coach and team. Is it just papering over the problems or will Jackson be back as is now expected? There have been many rumors about DeSean Jackson in the last week but the Eagles outright cutting him seems a long shot. Howie Roseman was open about most of his roster, but very tight-lipped yesterday. Unable to secure a draft pick, the tide might be turning for Jackson and Philly to remain together.
Double Move — The Jets were covered widely in their signing of Eric Decker a few weeks ago, but are there more moves in store at the receiver position? When asked about it, Rex Ryan was coy. ““I’m not going to say we’re done,” Rex told reporters in Orlando. “Might be a sixth-round pick and not the move you want, but we’re not done.” The group is much better off now with Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson than it was a month ago, but adding a WR2 would round out this group perfectly and for the Jets the best two remaining ways to do that would be through a trade (like say for DeSean Jackson) or via the NFL Draft in May.
Reed/Allen — While Ed Reed was a help to the Jets in the meeting and locker room last year, he struggled in the role the Jets thrust upon him on the field until the last few games. On the whole, while Reed graded out well, the notable gaffes are going to be hard for many to publicly sell bringing him back. Ryan was asked about Reed’s status with the team and didn’t rule anything out, but didn’t sound convincing that Reed would be back with the Jets in 2014 either. Our opinion? Dawan Landry is the “problem” here offering little more than Allen can from a skill standpoint. We think the best solution would be to move Landry to the sideline while letting Allen play to his strength as a run stuffer and put Reed in coverage where he is less a liability than Landry or Allen.
Fair Compensation –The Jets were among the NFL’s top teams (along with the Ravens) with four added draft picks via the compensatory pick process. While the highest pick is a fourth rounder and compensatory picks cannot be traded, having the extra draft picks might make the Jets more comfortable in dealing their original picks for a player through trade or to add flexibility to move around in the NFL Draft.
Sanchez’s second act — Chip Kelly has made many comments about the importance of having two quarterbacks and signing Sanchez would signal that the team doesn’t think Matt Barkley is up for the challenge. Surrounded by talented players in Philadelphia, Sanchez could land on his feet and get a chance to stabilize his plummeting career in which he posted 56 turnovers during his final two years as the Jets starter.
Austin Howard to guard – Austin Howard got paid very well by the Raiders, but it seems Oakland is not paying him as a tackle, but as a Guard making his deal that much more lucrative. Coach Dennis Allen said that he expects Austin Howard to play right guard with his team. It’s an interesting note because we noted Howard’s play as a tackle drop off at the end of the 2013 season. It might have been that Howard was struggling to stay healthy at the end of the 2013 season and moving to guard will suit Howard more over the long-run, something we thought would eventually happen sooner or later if he stayed with the Jets.
Backs to the wall — Sunday night Woody Johnson made it clear that he expects good things from his 2014 Jets team and that he won’t ask fans to be patient any more. Never one to back down from a challenge, Rex Ryan welcomed high expectations, something he always has. Ryan also sounded smugly confident about his team … is this actual news anymore?
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