ESPN New York notes the Jets still have a number of key foundational players to wrap up long term in the wake of San Francisco's major pay day for Patrick Willis.
The Jets appear headed for choppy financial waters with regard to some of their young stars, namely Nick Mangold, David Harris, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Darrelle Revis.
You can bet that Patrick Willis’ five-year, $50 million contract extension, announced Tuesday by the 49ers, caught the attention of several Jets players and their agents. Willis, a first-round pick in 2007, had two years remaining on a five-year deal, but his club rewarded him for being one of the top linebackers in the game.
The aforementioned Jets have to be wondering, "What about me?" And rightly so.
The Jets have sent a dangerous message to their locker room this offseason, dumping well-respected, productive veterans such as Alan Faneca and Thomas Jones. Rex Ryan always talks about how he wants his guys to "play like Jets." Well, Faneca and Jones played like Jets and what happened? They received pink slips even though Faneca made his ninth straight Pro Bowl and Jones rushed for 1,400 yards. There's also the case of Leon Washington, who basically gave a leg for the organization and was sent packing in a trade.
The organization needs to show a willingness to take care of its own. The Jets have done it in the past, giving rich extensions to players like Jerricho Cotchery and Kerry Rhodes (gone), but the latest perception is that they’d rather take on one-year, hired guns than develop and pay homegrown talent.
God bless Cimini. He cites a fact the Jets paid Rhodes and Cotchery and then just makes up a "perception" based on nothing. Whose perception is this, Rich? Is it yours? Why does it matter? If the Jets pony up the cash to the guys you mentioned, the "perception" will disappear.
At any rate, Tannenbaum has shown he should be trusted until he cannot be trusted. A year ago, many of us were up in arms Washington was not extended. I was one of them. Mike held his ground, though. He knew that running backs aren't that hard to replace. He got a similar one in the fourth round of the Draft.
The best teams in the NFL don't get attached to players on sentiment. It's a ruthless business. Guys get replaced all of the time. Tannenbaum asserts a value to each player, and goes from there. When there's a guy he deems valuable like Cotchery, he gets an extension. When the team thinks it can replace a guy like Jones, he gets released. Mike has also shown he can work financial numbers as well as anybody in the league. That's why the Jets were a half from the Super Bowl four years after being 4-12 with the worst cap situation in the league. Something tells me Tannenbaum will place more value on premium young talent than aging players.
It's impossible to keep every single player in the NFL. Some guys may end up going elsewhere. The Jets are fortunate to not have many holes, which means they can aggressively address any that arrive.
Most teams would consider having that much young talent to lock up a great "problem" to have.