State of the Jets roster: Offense

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

While the majority of the splashy signings of free agency are now done, let’s take a look at how the dust settled for the Jets.  Did the Jets upgrade their roster?  What might it mean for other acquisitions between now and camp?

Michael VickQuarterback
Moves:
Cut M. Sanchez, signed M. Vick

Assessment:
After clearing $8.3 million off the books by cutting Mark Sanchez, the Jets signed Michael Vick only moments later.  The Jets have been loosely linked to Vick for more than a year.  After Vick agreed to return in Chip Kelly’s first year as the team’s coach, Vick and the Jets were finally able to work out a deal.

Vick’s new Jets contract is telling; while the quarterback received a one-year $5 million deal, that’s not the whole story.  Vick’s contract consisted of a $2 million signing bonus, $2 million in guaranteed salary and then he can earn up to $1 million in playing time incentives.  What does this mean?  It means that the Jets are on the hook for $4 million which is only slightly more than many teams pay for a veteran backup quarterback.

The Jets badly needed to address quarterback depth and Mark Sanchez wasn’t going to be the right answer.  Both sides needed a fresh start and Vick was by far the best quarterback on the free agent and/or trade market.  Geno Smith showed promise late in the 2013 season and while we’re told he’s ahead of Vick on the depth chart and that Vick was brought in as a mentor to Smith, expect an open competition between the two quarterbacks.

Regardless, the Jets lessened the gap between whoever becomes the starter and backup substantially with this signing.  From a pure football standpoint, this was an excellent move for a team badly in need of stability at the game’s most important position and unlikely to be able to draft an impact quarterback come May 8th.

NFL: AFC Championship-New England Patriots at Denver BroncosWide Receiver
Moves: Cut S. Holmes, signed E. Decker
Assessment: Cutting Holmes was two years in the making and finally provided cap relief for which the team was waiting.  Holmes production slipped drastically after his free agent contract in 2011, regardless of his 2012 season-ending Lisfranc injury.  Adding Eric Decker over Santonio Holmes is a big upgrade for the Jets and they did so by giving Eric Decker a very Jets friendly deal that lets the team out of the contract with potential savings after just two years if necessary.

At 6’3″ 214 lbs Decker provides the Jets a versatile starting receiver who can contest passes in traffic, work well in the red zone and occasionally get behind a defense.  Decker will take some attention away from Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson and allow them to be more productive but look for the Jets to add another receiver who could be the second starter between now and day two of the NFL Draft.  The Jets were rumored to be interested in DeSean Jackson and the Jets front office and coaching staff have been diligently checking out many of the top receivers’ pro days.  With a receiver rich draft class, the Jets should feel confident in the level of player they could add before the fourth round of the draft.

Running Back
Moves: None
Assessment: The Jets have made no moves at the running back spot but have expressed interest in Maurice Jones-Drew, former Jaguar standout.  Jones-Drew would be the perfect short-term answer for this team, a versatile running back who would likely be asked to play a third-down role but could perform expanded duties if required, a necessity with the oft-injured Chris Ivory as the team’s lead runner.  Jones-Drew is one of the best pass-blockers in the league and has played behind a poor offensive line in Jacksonville for years.  Jones-Drew would be a dynamic addition for the Jets but Jones-Drew is looking for the team willing to pay him the most.  There’s been a number of teams interested in MJD, but the Jets aren’t in a rush to add the veteran it seems … they might look for a player with similar skillsets through the draft, or hope that either Mike Goodson or John Griffin can bounce back and be a durable and reliable player for this team.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York JetsTight End
Moves: Re-signed J. Cumberland
Assessment: Prior to the start of free agency, the Jets re-signed Cumby to a deal that seemed well below what might have turned out to be his market value.  While Jeff Cumberland might see a more featured role in the Jets offense in 2014, the team’s fleeting interest in Brandon Pettigrew and Jermichael Finley would suggest that the team would consider upgrading the position given the right circumstance.

Zach Sudfield might be a compelling project for the Jets, and he seemed to get more reps as the season wore on, but going into 2014 with just Cumby and Sudfield seems unlikely.  At present, the free agent prospects are pretty slim, so look for the Jets to either upgrade during the NFL draft or after any future cuts that might take place as fallout from the draft.

Breno GiacominiOffensive Line
Moves: Re-signed W. Colon, signed B. Giacomini
Assessment: Losing out on bringing back Austin Howard might sting a little, but the money that the Raiders paid him to become a guard was not plausible for the Jets to match.  Howard was a good two year holdover for the Jets, but his athletic upside was limited and he was breaking down by the last four games of the 2013 season.  Re-signing Colon and adding Giacomini are short-term solutions for the Jets.  Giacomini received a four year deal but the structure of his contract provides no barrier to cutting him in the second year of the deal if the Jets so choose.  The right side of the Jets line won’t be great in 2014, but it won’t be outright bad either.

We suspect that the Jets will try and give some of their second year players shots at winning the right guard spot during training camp.  Look for Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell to be in the mix come the preseason games.  These moves are likely lateral, but until we see it on the field the group feels weaker.  The Jets didn’t draft three offensive linemen in 2013 and stash another (Colts 2011 second rounder Ben Ijalana) all last season for no reason, the team wants to grow at least some of those players into eventual starters for this team.  The Jets had some brief discussions with Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz among others, but it would seem that while players of that caliber would have provided major upgrades to the group, John Idzik was unwilling to tie up the money and roster spots with such player … giving us a strong indication of how he perceives his project players.  Time will tell.




414 comments
lagoo
lagoo

Mike Evans can barely catch a football when he's wide open. Marqise lee pass. Brandin cooks or Odell beckam jr are the answer.

lucas
lucas

I'm hearing crickets on the Djax trade... are we settling for a wr @ 18?

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

What are we going to do about TE also?

bradysucks
bradysucks

Interesting tweet today from Mike Vick...


Vick says that  "Johnny Manziel will be a STAR in the NFL!!"


I agree.....Been saying this for weeks

marc55
marc55

In terms of position versatility depth, the only true burner or deep threat they have is Hill, and he is easily the biggest question mark they have at WR, so I don't see anyway this team does not add a speed element at some point down the road.  The way Seatle won the Superbowl, and the moves NE has made at corner only lament this need, because you absolutely need to have players who can make teams think twice about pressing you or playing up.  Furthering this point even more is the effective combination this would also serve with Marty's desire to take shots down field, and Rex's desire to run the football.  With the threat of running both Vick and Geno present to a defense, I keep thinking about how effective a 4 WR set with Hill and a speedster on the outside, Kerley and Decker in the slot, and a RB/FB/H-Back Hybrid would be to really put pressure on a defense.

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

Does anyone know what the plan at safety is?

Monty
Monty

Correct me If I'm wrong..The two teams that Idzik has been a part of that have achieved the most sucess. Both won the Superbowl a year after he left. 

ergo.. visa vie, concourdently   ..we should be trying to get him fired..:)

Pat d
Pat d

What? One of the top 3 WRs in this draft is a better option than DJax.

jdb4
jdb4

@bradysucks  

Vick isn't wrong.  Manziel will be a star.  ESPN will ensure that.

Whether he becomes a great quarterback remains to be seen.

Pat d
Pat d

NFL players are terrible at evaluating talent.

Pat d
Pat d

marc55

Sounds like you want Lee.

Bent
Bent moderator

@marc55  Did you know that Eric Decker actually led the NFL in deep catch percentage and was second in total number of receptions caught more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage?

Bent
Bent moderator

@Kyle Ely  Bring back Reed and we are fine at safety.  In fact, even if we don't Landry-Allen-Bush-Jarrett-Miles-Hardin is a versatile group with experience and upside, which is already better than the Leonhard-Smith-Pool group from 2010-11 IMO.

a57se
a57se

@Monty  

Hahaha!! Well done Monty!

I like the way you think!

__fense
__fense

@Monty  I think he needs to be hired somewhere else. Is GM/HC considered a promotion over regular GM for Stealing people away from their team purposes?

McGeorge
McGeorge

@Pat d  Maybe - if the price is wrong.


DJax isnt worth a 3rd round pick and 10+ MM per year.

Maybe Idzik is waiting for him to be cut, so he can negotiate a lower contract.

Zartan
Zartan

Nike doesn't just give out contracts.

bob
bob

@Bent @marc55


Wouldn't that be funny if Revis comes up lame pulling a hamstring early in the season.

marc55
marc55

@bent I did not, but while that is good to know, and i certainly will not discount it, the biggest knock on him i have heard is that he struggles with the press, and i would partially attribute the deep numbers to Peyton inflation.

I like the Decker signing, but I just do not see him as your classic example of a player who demands help over the top.

Monty
Monty

@Bent @marc55  Im sure having good players to play with probably helped those numbers..Playing with welker and d thomas..Thats why you cant rest on Decker..we need another impact guy,, Hopefully two more Impact guys. Decker Kerly and a rookie isnt going anywhere. 



a57se
a57se

@Bent @Kyle Ely 

B-B-But the media has been saying that our safety play was terrible last year!!

Monty
Monty

@Bent @Kyle Ely  the only one out of that group who has done anything is Allen. Jim leonard sealed a playoff game woth a gorgeous read of rivers and E smith hit welker so hard he took paint off of his helmet. Welker then dissapeared for the rest of the game. Those guys were part of  a secondary that was near the top in pass defense.. They were underated...And smith slowed down badly later in his career.but that comparison is absurd. Last year except for some allen bright spots the safties were awful




Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@Bent @Kyle Ely Im sorry I just don't like Landry I feel like getting a FS so Allen can move to SS would be so good going forward for us 

Pat d
Pat d

All of you concerned about defense, you do realize that the Jets offense sucked last year.

Monty
Monty

@jake100  the plan is wait for someone to accept lower than market value.+ collect underpants+? = wins

Monty
Monty

@Kyle Ely @Monty  of course I was kidding..But that being said ..a GMs only job is to upgrade the talent and manage the players.  

so

To all of the Idziks supporters .. at what point will you admit hes doing a less than stellar job. We all want the same players. Its too easy to just rewrite history after they are gone and say good riddance. 

I want MJD I know a lot of you do. It seems as if the Jets do as well..So if they dont get him because Idziks offer is too cheap ..Can we say that is a failure ..Are we allowed to be perturbed that he failed to upgrade the roster.

Will wmssing the playoffs, finishing 3rd to the fish  this year be enough for you to be dissatisfied? 

What is it .. what is the point where I can say .. you know Idzik is doing a bad job.. and you will just agree. I wont say I told you so,,I would just like to know the point of agreement.


Bent
Bent moderator

@1969JAN12th @jake100 @Brendan  Even if the passing stats were identical, Vick is the leading rusher of all time for QBs which would tip the balance heavily in his favor.

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

@jake100 @Brendan  


MV-21,489 yds  128 TDs 85 INT.  80.9 rating

MS-12,092 yds   68  TDs 69 INT.  71.7 rating


for the same price ...'nough said. 


(by the way "Oy", with one exclamation point generally is enough...8 is overkill)

Brendan
Brendan

@jake100 Yawwwwwwwn. 


Vick's lowest QB rating in Philly (78.1) was nearly identical to Mark's highest QB rating ever (78.2). The rest of Vick's seasons starting games in Philly, he was way above anything Mark ever did. 


They both are mistake-prone, the difference is VIck has the skill and balls to make up for his mistakes with huge plays. 


Just another day in your never-ending pot stirring life, I suppose. 

williamg1
williamg1

@McGeorge @Pat d  If he's cut, he's going to want guaranteed money. If he's traded for, he gets no guaranteed money. 

Pat d
Pat d

If DJax is cut he isn't going for cheap. In my opinion Watkins, Evans or Lee at 18 is better than DJax

a57se
a57se

@Zartan  

Yeah, they gave a contract to Michele Wie and look how her career skyrocketed!!

Monty
Monty

@Pat d  I agree with you .. the options at receiver look good. But I dont want Lee and i dont want to reach for odb or cooks. I want to take the Best player available .. but we cant do that with major holes at wideout and corner..

Pat d
Pat d

Disagree with you Monty about this class of Rookie WRs. The top 3 WRs in this draft are a better option than free agency.

Monty
Monty

@Bent @marc55  So Bent you're the Boss here. :) when will you agree hes doing a bad job. 

how many years without playoffs.. records.. what will it take, Staring walls and Milner this year? Will that do it 

All in good fun im just curious


Monty
Monty

@Bent @marc55  Decker was an amazing start! He got on first base. Idzik got lucky with Decker. even a Blind squirrel finds a reciever with a wife inshowbiz and a reality show sometimes..isnt that thesaying 


I already saw the ad Jesse and eric new team new city....


Monty
Monty

@a57se @Monty  sorry I was being a little sarcastic..when anyone says what are we doing about X.. someone says were going to use our first round pick on that position..everyone always says the draft is so deep thats why Idzik let major upgrades at reciever running back corner safety guard and passrushing de go so easily...

were you being sarcastic about the safty play...it was very bad..we dont even have reed back yet..and during the last couple of games he was decent. 

a57se
a57se

@Monty  

Why is it obvious Idzik wants to draft a safety? We have plenty of Safeties on our roster who can play already.....

Monty
Monty

@jake100  no its obvious he wants to draft a safety .after corner  2 guards tight end and wide receiver.. I mean we have 12 picks..This is the deepest draft in years.. ever...there are all pros in every round and only Idzik knows where they are. I say 2 guards because Winters should view inconsistent as a compliment and colon is old and coming off of major injury..itll be fine. ....he's a ninja..I hope that doesn't mean hes invisible, inflexible and entirely out of place in todays society, 

Idzik the ninja quietly , deftly assassinated my hope for the Jets season ;) 

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@Monty Its embarrassing I mean what are we doing? Decker is a good start but to act like signing him and a back who will be more of a headache then he is worth is proof of a good offseason is just being delusional 

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples I'm not arguing either of those things, Hanker.