CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Brad Smith #16 of the New York Jets misplays the ball on a kick-off against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I think there are certain players who might take a discount to be Jets. I think of guys in the LaDainian Tomlinson mold. LT has accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish. I would say he is a surefire Hall of Famer, but nobody is after the job those voters did on Curtis Martin. Even so, he has made his fortune and really only has a ring missing from his resume.
I even think a guy like Braylon Edwards could possibly come back for less. He got a second chance here, loves being a part of a good team, and appreciates how much what he has beats playing for a lousy team.
Brad Smith is not a likely candidate to take a hometown discount. Careers are short in the NFL. Brad will never have a better chance to cash in than he will as a 27 year old free agent. He earned $1.76 million in 2010. Before that, he never earned a salary above $535,000. That is a lot of money, but it does not set him for life. Brad has to think about his future. If some team out there is willing to overpay and set him up for life, his love of the Jets probably will not keep him from going elsewhere. Frankly, he would be crazy if it did. A career can end at any moment in football.