Our friends over at NFL.com’s Around the League page have updated the AFC East in their “roster reset” series and while Dan Hanzus says the Patriots were the team who still stands at the top, he did offer some suggestions about how the Jets can continue to improve their roster this offseason.
» Calling all corners: Dee Milliner made strides late in his rookie season, but making him the No. 1 guy now is asking for trouble. Dimitri Patterson has some upside if he can stay on the field, but the Jets could be compelled to use a first-round pick on a cornerback for the third time in five years.
» CJNY: The Jets are in the mix for the services of Chris Johnson. They should do it. Johnson isn’t CJ2K anymore, but he’s a durable option who can slide into a three-down role if the injury-prone Chris Ivory were to miss time.
» More playmakers: If the Jets don’t take another cornerback in the first round, expect them to go wide receiver. This is a loaded draft class, and Idzik would be wise to pair a legit playmaker alongside Decker, who’s closer to a top-notch No. 2 than a true No. 1.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
As Hanzus points out, the Jets have a real need to make upgrades in both the secondary and at the offensive skill position. Adding Chris Johnson to this team makes sense because it lessens the needs of the team prior the the end of the fourth round. Signing Johnson to a short-term, short-money deal offers virtually no downside if the Jets end up investing in the draft and letting players compete in camp.
Adding a player early for the draft at wide receiver makes a lot of sense and I could envision them using a pick to find receiver that would be considered a complementary piece to Eric Decker. Decker is 6’3″ and while he can get behind a defense some time, he’s more suited to a more physical role. Because they have Decker in-house, the Jets might look hard at a player like Brandin Cooks.
I fully expect the Jets to draft a cornerback before the draft is over, but unless Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard fall to them at 18, they might wait until day three to take a cornerback.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Back in 2008, the Jets announced their desire to sell PSLs in their stadiums. Now seven years later and three years into the new stadium, the Jets held a focus group with fans to discuss the gameday experience and (surprise!) we’re told that PSLs are one of the worst aspects of being a season ticketholding Jets fan
according to Brian Costello of the New York Post
The Jets heard from some unhappy customers. Not surprisingly, personal seat licenses (PSLs) continue to be a sore point.
“One issue that came out loud and clear is that the PSL holders are very dissatisfied,” the attendee said. “They feel trapped. They are going for less than half of what they paid for them on the open market.”
Much of the session was spent on the team’s image. The group was asked whether they believe owner Woody Johnson truly wants to win or is more concerned about making money.
The gameday experience was also a big topic.
“Pretty much everyone said it’s going downhill,” the attendee said.
This is true suffering.
Here’s an example of the opposite of that.
Remember when Peter King was manipulated by Giants owner John Mara into writing a column about how we as fans should FEEL BAD for Giants owner John Mara because he was building a stadium he couldn’t afford?
We’ve written extensively about the perils of PSLs for years. Instead of working ourselves into a froth, here’s a simple explanation of why Jets fans informed team president Neil Glat and others why the gameday experience was less than stellar:
For the sake of getting fans to help the Jets and Giants subsidize a shiny new stadium (that the teams chose to overspend on) many promises were made about what lay ahead to which few have been delivered.
Parking and tailgating will remain the same! There will be killer apps for every mobile device!! You’ll get pre-sale access to the best ticket events … maybe even THE SUPERBOWL!!! Your PSL can be re-sold as at a net gain, just like a taxi medallion!!!
Because the teams have failed at delivering time and time again, there’s a growing backlash and threat of PSL defaults that no amount of taut nubile cheerleader flesh can solve.
The obvious effect of getting fans to invest thousands of dollars for the privilege to pay for tickets has dramatically increased the fans expectations. It has also driven out many loyal fans for the corporate golf-shirt set. It’s a lot easier for Acme Heating and Cooling to afford the seats than a typical diehard.
So the gameday experience becomes more anodyne and the true fans sufffer and do so at a significantly higher cost … increasing the misery when the team hovers at a milquetoast 8-8.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. If the Jets want a panacea to fans woes? Stuff the promises about pre-sale Justin Bieber tickets and put together a consistent winner … that is the best cure for a bad gameday experience
Read more about Bassett’s rantings on PSLs here:
TJB — Hey … Umm … How Much Would You Pay to Pay to Watch Jets Games?
TJB — PSL PR Not Going Well
TJB — 400K PSL Bidder Charged for Fraud
TJB — Phil Mushnick Rips PSL Sales
TJB– PSL Update
TJB — The Rundown: Parking & PSLs Stop Acting Polite, And Start Getting Real
TJB — Tail Wagging the Dog
TJB — Blue Horseshoe Hates PSL
Throughout April, I’ll be looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the regular season. Jets fans might not know too much about these players, so I’ll be looking at NFL game footage to try and assess what they might be able to bring to the table.
Today we’re going to look at offensive lineman Jacolby Ashworth, who the Jets signed to a futures deal on January 14th. The 23-year old Ashworth is listed at 6-3 and 300 pounds. He was undrafted last year out of Houston and spent time with Washington in preseason. His cousin is former NFL lineman Rex Hadnot who started 96 games in a nine year NFL career.
After the jump, a brief look at footage from his time with Washington to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.
To read more of this story, click here
Did Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin, potential first rounder, flake out on a private workout? According to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, Benjamin recently “blew off” a scheduled workout with an NFL coach, claiming that he was “too tired.”
Since Brandt tweeted this, Benjamin’s agent Eugene Parker has contested the report, but Brandt says he trusts his source and is sticking by the story. (NFL, April 10)
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Did the “special trip” come in conjunction with the FSU Pro Day? If that was the case then there were about five NFL coaches there
, with names like Chip Kelly (Eagles), Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Jim Caldwell (Lions) and even Jets head coach Rex Ryan among the attendees. (NFL, April 10
At this point, the smokescreens heading into the NFL Draft will get very thick. Was this real? Was this planted? Was the private workout expected on the same day as Benjamin’s Pro Day? If that was the case then it would seem a little more plausible that Benjamin would have been gassed and this is being overblown for a team with either a late first or early second round pick.
Regardless, if Benjamin in fact did blow off workouts, then there might be a chilling effect on his draft stock. Benjamin’s draft stock had him flirting with the middle of the first round, but with concerns about his technique and now this rumor, Benjamin could easily drop into the second round.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
A week ago when Chris Johnson was cut by the Titans, PFT reported that Johnson would pick his new team by the middle of this week. Well the middle of this week has come and gone and Johnson is still a free agent, looking for a new home.
Florio makes some suggestions as to why this might be.
… maybe the devaluation of the tailback position continues, with Johnson being the latest visit of the trend toward the passing game and away from workhorse running backs.
With the draft less than four weeks away, it possibly could stay that way until after teams with lingering needs at the position try to address those needs with incoming rookies.
Unless, of course, Johnson currently is negotiating with one or more teams who have insisted on secrecy…
From what we hear, the Jets have urged the folks they’ve negotiated with to keep quiet about the matters … could the Jets be one of the teams insisting in secrecy that Florio hints at?
Since the beginning, there’s been an “under the radar” team. NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Jets were the team that “came closest” to trading for Johnson.
The Jets are more than likely going to add some running backs through the NFL draft, so if the Jets and Johnson are interested in coming to terms there might be some concern about just what sort of running back (or two) the Jets can find in the draft … more than likely they would draft someone who would be in competition for Bilal Powell’s job and not so much Johnson’s … assuming he even went to New York.
Regardless, Adam Schein shares his thoughts on NFL.com why Johnson could still be an effective part of an NFL team and why he thinks the Jets are the best match for the former Titan, double secret negotiations or not.
Johnson is most certainly not an upper-echelon back these days, but he can give you 15 carries and catch the ball out of the backfield. He can help teams — IF he is willing to check his ego at the door.
Personally, I think the best fit is with the New York Jets. Chris Ivory currently tops the depth chart at running back for Gang Green. I like Ivory. He has some sizzle. But he can’t stay healthy for an entire campaign. A Johnson-Ivory tandem would be solid, and an upgrade for New York. It’s logical.
In addition to Schein, ESPN’s Jon Clayton thinks New York will be Johnson’s next home, as does CBS Sports Jason LaCanfora.
In the end, given his lack of productivity lately, I still don’t expect Johnson to sign a lucrative deal. If he can get $2 million guaranteed with the chance to earn more in incentives, that might be as good as it gets. And I’ve been saying for weeks I expect the Jets to be a likely landing spot for him and I’ve heard nothing to change my thinking lately. So I’ve still got him penciled in to a team so lacking in explosion on offense.
Simply adding Chris Johnson won’t make the Jets an explosive offense, but adding Johnson along with their signing of Eric Decker, Mike Vick and whomever they come up with in the draft at receiver, tight end and/or running back could be enough to effect some change on this group.
But for now, we’ll just have to wait, just like Chris Johnson and the Jets seem to be.
Pro days are a good chance for prospects to make their mark for NFL scouts, but it also provides a chance for former players to come back and support their former teammates. A number of Alabama players showed up for the Crimson Tide’s pro day and Jet Dee Milliner was among them.
Milliner was asked about his transition to the NFL during an interview with TideTV and was honest, but upbeat.
“It started out rough last year, but we ended on a good note,” Milliner said during the interview. “We didn’t make the playoffs, but hopefully we’ll get there this year.”
When asked about the bright lights, Milliner said his time at one of the nation’s most renowned programs prepared him well for his time in New York.
“It was sorta the same as when I was in school at Alabama,” Milliner said. “You just have to watch what you do and pay attention to things. But have fun at the same time, enjoy yourself. It’s New York City, so you know you’re going to be able to see a lot of people and do a lot of things.”
While there are some similarities, Milliner did joke about one big difference.
“The cold weather gets to me every now and then.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
The cold weather didn’t seem to make an impact on his play … quite the opposite. Over the last month of the season Milliner was scorchingly good. Milliner had three interceptions and 56 tackles as a rookie with the Jets and put up 10 passes defensed in a three week span.
The way Milliner ended the season is a good sign for a team moving on from both Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at the position in a two year span. While there is still uncertainty about the second corner back spot, the Jets should be able to back-fill the role either through the NFL Draft or through the competition they’ve set up for the spot on their roster.
In addition, Milliner was just the subject of a positive 2014 projection by draft guru Gil Brandt. (TJB, April 10)