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Should the Jets have kept left guard Matt Slauson a year ago?

Did the Jets make a mistake by letting Matt Slauson go in free agency last year, not expecting the development that he ended up making this season with Chicago?  

Michael Fensom brought the question for the Star-Ledger in the wake of the big news about the re-signing of Jay Cutler (and Slauson) by the Bears:

What we do know is that the Jets hired an offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, during the 2012 offseason who has a tendency to call more passes than runs. In that respect, Slauson — who signed a deal initially with Chicago worth slightly more than the veteran’s minimum — was automatically of more value to the Jets due to his specialty in that area.

Secondly, the Jets knew that the guard positions would be tenuous this season. They entered camp with four players competing for two open positions (2012’s right guard, Brandon Moore, was also not retained last offseason and eventually retired).

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Historically, Slauson played the pass better than the run when with the Jets. In Chicago this season, Marc Trestman installed an aggressive offense with lots of spread elements to take advantage of Matt Forte and Jay Cutler.

Slauson’s pass protection skills certainly flourished in Chicago, but part of his success was moving away from the plodding run-heavy attacks that the Jets used. Conversely, under Trestman, Cutler went from a player who was sacked 2.98 times a game during his first four years in Chicago (2009-2012), to one who was sacked just 1.72 times in 2013. That’s a massive improvement that comes from getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hand much more quickly.

Slauson benefited from being in the Trestman system, so it is hard to disassociate his success from the overall improvement that took place in Chicago. We don’t doubt that Slauson deserves whatever contract he just got from the Bears … in fact we’re very happy for him.

Maybe had the Jets retained Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets would have kept the lines of communication open better and the team would have been more invested in re-signing Slauson and pushed Ducasse or whomever came along in the draft/free agency into the former Brandon Moore spot.

Once John Idzik arrived, priorities changed. The Jets were serious about saving as much cap money as possible, even if they really wanted to re-sign Slauson, they might have been able to offer him enough to make him stay. It was clear that was not part of Idzik’s plan.

By piecing together the timeline of the Stephen Peterman signing the Jets made in the offseason, we can determine that the Jets were serious about drafting future interior pieces on the line. The timing of the announcement of Peterman’s signing was odd. It came from draft insider Tony Pauline during the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, right after the Jets drafted Geno Smith. Then the Jets went OL, OL, OL with their next three picks. Those aren’t coincidences. The Jets were serious about drafting interior players and once they didn’t have a sure-fire player who could start, they hedged their bet with Peterman.

Spinning things forward, Brian Winters had a very rough 2013, but he started to come around at the end of the year. Winters was put in a tough spot, starting was a tall task for the rookie while he was also transitioning to an interior spot from playing tackle in college. Teams keying on him for the better part of eight games and it wasn’t until near the end of the year that the Jets scheme started to protect Winters a little better. We fully expect Brian Winters to be better in 2014.

As far as a notion that Slauson might have returned after his one-year deal with the Bears? That ship has sailed, now more than ever with the news of his deal. The Jets drafted three interior offensive linemen in 2013 … I doubt those guys will sit on the bench forever.




157 comments
marcus81
marcus81

off course they should NOT have let him go, he replaced Faneca and the Line was still good with him there, he could have been signed long term for very reasonable money

deuce knickalow
deuce knickalow

Man he can walk we have lots of salary cap here comes our spree j.e.t.s 

James Plath
James Plath

He had to go - his beard wasn't up to Mangold standards.

McGeorge
McGeorge

I thought it was a mistake at the time to let Slauson go.

Tannenbaums wasting a 2nd round pick on a reach (Ducass) hurt a lot when that could have been used on a receiver.

Passing wins games, not ground and pound.  Pass blocking is important, and had the Jets had Slausson this year Geno wouldn't have been pressured as much.  Its not impossible the Jets would have won one more game and made the playoffs.  Not saying it's likely but it would have helped.

privatejet
privatejet

Whateves ... time to move on. I say bring in Incognito so he can mentor Ducasse and Winters.

djf1
djf1

He looks like he should be in a black metal band.

jaym
jaym

The same thing will happen with Ducasse

BILLY
BILLY

Can't blame the Jets for letting Slauson go. It seemed like Matt may have been breaking down physically. 


With that having been said, in retrospect, yeah, it would have been great to keep him. But who would have known? 


Now, I do blame Idzik (or Rex) for stubbornly keeping Winters in the starting lineup. 

Brian Miros
Brian Miros

Keeping VLAD "King Ugly" Duccase over Slauson was a mistake

johnnyl65
johnnyl65

@McGeorge "

"Passing wins games, not ground and pound"  And yet we got to two AFC championships with ground and pound and defense.  Go figure.

here2win
here2win

If you look at the players drafted in between K.Wilson and V. Ducasse, you'd have to say the Jets scouting staff might have been asleep at the wheel. Lets hope Idzik's guys make us forget about guys like Slauson and Ducasse in short order the OLine depth isn't a thing of beauty.

The Draft offers some good guys and Zane Beadles is the top free agent. While I like W. Colon his recent injury might leave him off the 2014 roster.

Brendan
Brendan

@jaym I'm genuinely concerned this will happen. 



McGeorge
McGeorge

@BILLY I don't agree.  I do blame the Jets for letting him go.  He is ok and teams need average players to fill out the roster.

Brendan
Brendan

@johnnyl65 @McGeorge And the two teams playing in the Super Bowl last year were both teams that ran it very well and didn't have exceptional passing attacks. 

djf1
djf1

@Brendan @privatejet I miss my beer mug.  And a readable username.  Still don't feel like going the fake twitter route though.

djf1
djf1

@Brendan @jaym If they let him go as I assume they will, that likely leaves us without a decent experienced backup G.   

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@Brian Miros


Enough about Vlad, Gates, Hill and the rest of team SCRUB



Time to cut them loose on a row boat out to sea captained by Admiral Buttfumble

Wolf
Wolf

Slauson was injured, though.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Bent@bradysucks


In Denver there were 9 men in the box and Tebow's ultra accurate arm throwing Decker beautiful spirals..... :) .......Funny how having Tebow in NY is a nightmare for the WR's but in Denver playing with Tebow only helped Decker be a productive WR ....really?


C'mon now.....Decker is a big upgrade over Stephen Hill. I'm here for you Bent. It's okay to like offense and scoring......really it is. The more points the Jets score the happier those guys you love on defense will be,

bradysucks
bradysucks

@a57se@bradysucks


Idzik already said in one his interviews on the Jets team website that he plans to bring in some new faces on offense....


I can't imagine Idzik not signing at least one free agent WR and drafting a WR in either round 1 or round 2. Idzik isn't stupid. He knows the Jets have a good defense and had difficulty scoring points.


Everybody knows this......

a57se
a57se

@bradysucks 

If we don't draft any WR's in the first three rounds, Idzik should be fired.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


I think Hill should get a tryout. I don't believe in throwing away lottery tickets.


I wouldn't just give him the 5th receiver spot though. If Idzik goes through the 2014 draft and free agency and determines that of all of the WR's on planet earth that Stephen Hill is the best available WR option for the Jets  - then fine

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


Well if I was the GM we would have never drafted Sanchez or Stephen Hill.....


Hey I get why people like Stephen Hill......but I haven't seen anything from him in 2 years except when the Jets play the Bills......


People make fun of me for liking Jordan White (who was chronically injured) and the same people defend Hill (and use chronic injuries as an excuse).


The Jets have had an unwatchable passing offense since 2011.....It is time for change...BIG CHANGE.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@djf1@bradysucks


Right now we have 2 WR's on our roster who deserve to be on the team next year


1) Kerley

2) Nelson


Every other guy should be replaced

djf1
djf1

@bradysucks Forget Gates.  I'm still hopeful for Hill, but he has to be the #4 or #5, and work his way up if he can.  We need two good receivers to complement Kerley - one FA and one high draft pick would be nice.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


I don't get married to players....Decker would be nice...but I understand it has to make financial sense.....I hope the Jets take advantage of free agency....


I am not a believer in Gates and Hill.......They are both sports cars that break down all the time and give the Jets bad gas mileage.....


The Jets need to find some reliable WR's......There are plenty of them out there who have much better ball skills, and route running ability than Gates/Hill.......There are guys out there who catch the football.....

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks If Eric Decker wants a premier NFL WR contract (5 years, $55m+), you would give it to him? 

djf1
djf1

@Brendan @bradysucks @Bent I was going to make a joke by using a different Decker, but Eric is the only Decker in the NFL history, apparently.  So I'll just do the other option:


Hill > Decker.


Drew Hill, that is.

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks This is the BS people disliked, bud. Just ignore relevant comments and continue repeating yourself. 


You had such a good run going, come on back to the light side.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks@Bent


Hollywood just cast Stephen Hill in the next Invisible Man movie. Rumour has it he didn't even have to audition. They knew he was "perfect" for the role.


Okay....enough about Hill


We all know the Jets need some new receivers.....


I am sure Idzik will keep Tannenbaum's lottery ticket (aka Hill) next year

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks @Bent Oh, good, the old BS has returned. 


No one, repeat: NO ONE, is saying Hill > Decker. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Bent@bradysucks


Decker > Hill


Where does Decker rank in production compared to his NFL WR peers......Where does Hill Rank?


Sadly Hill is awake only one game each season....and that is when the Jets play the Bills.....The rest of the time he is in a coma

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks Only because of the volume of throws he saw. Decker's 96 targets that year is only 9 less than Hill has had in his entire career. 

Bent
Bent

@bradysucks What a fallacy that is.  His numbers with Tebow were good because there were nine men in the box so he had single coverage whenever Tebow actually decided to throw it.


Daniel Fells had 256 yards and 3TDs with Tebow but then went to NE and caught four passes and now he's out of the league.

johnnyl65
johnnyl65

@bradysucks I knew you were a robot with those automated responses.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan@bradysucks 

Look at all the TD's he has scored!!! Plus he drinks Brawny!


This is the same guy who wanted Jordan White to start because he caught over 100 balls in college....production, no matter the reason is all BS sees.

There is some merit to that view, FWIW!

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


Decker's numbers and production playing on a team with Tebow, an awesome QB, were still better than Stephen Hill's


Bazinga

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks @Brendan How much Decker have you watched? He is not known for route running, he is a tall, vertical threat. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


I'll take a 6 foot 4 inch Decker who can catch and run routes over a 6 foot 4 inch Hill who does neither well.


You can take your road trip in a fancy spots car that breaks down all the time and has crappy gas mileage. I'll take a new Honda Accord on a long distance road trip with a smile on my face

here2win
here2win

@bradysucks

Bassett will be writing one of these same "shoulda Kept" Hill post next year. I think the team should keep Hill around and let him develop in Marty's system and see what he looks like a year from now. He looked very good after training camp and made some strides but I think that Pittsburgh game early in the year really hurt his confidence.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@a57se@bradysucks


Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery etc....


While I get your point the fact is that the Jets passed on guys who were big time producers in high school and college in favor of a WR who wasn't recruited highly out of high school and had next to zero production in college. Hill was overdrafted. You don't waste a second round pick on a guy who takes 4 to 5 years to develop if he develops at all  (see Vlad Ducasse)

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


Sign me up for Eric Decker, a new WR in the 1st or 2nd round, Nelson, Kerley, and possibly another free agent WR......all of whom are better options than Stephen Hill


Give Hill a tryout with the team....nothing more

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks Hill has been hurt for two seasons. You don't write him off. 


You've never liked him, and I'm sure you'll throw a little party if/when he's cut, but that time is not in the offseason before his 3rd season. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Brendan@bradysucks


He sucks.....


Can't catch, can't stay healthy, can't run routes......


He's a lottery ticket.....Submitting a business plan where you plan to pay your rent by buying a lottery ticket is a crappy idea......


Hill has had no production......

a57se
a57se

@Brendan@bradysucks 

Yeah and if you don't cut a 23 year old WR, you certainly don't cut hill who is only 22!

Brendan
Brendan

@bradysucks You don't cut a 23 year old WR who was a 3-4 year project out of the draft before his 3rd year. 

Wolf
Wolf

I wish I could respond to you both but I think we reached max lifefyre discussion capacity.

Brendan
Brendan

@Wolf When a guy is hurt every year, that's not a legitimate negative? 

Bent
Bent

@Wolf For the third straight season...which probably factored into their decision not to overpay for him.