With Nnamdi off to Philly the Jets must shift gears.
"No Fly Zone" was catching on, Revis and Asomugha billing as the best CB tandem in NFL history made it's media rounds and it was the Jets big move to counter the Patriots two big trade acquisitions. However, it didn't workout that way. The longer negotiations went on, the more my initial lust for the acquisition of the #1 free agent wore off.
As coverage of Nnamdi to the Jets became analyzed more and more, it never really seemed to fit aside from the hype. Some may think hindsight is 20/20, it is, but I'm glad it didn't work out. The hype didn't translate into the system and personnel the Jets are building on. It's better for the Jets to bring back a couple familiar faces to get to the next level than making splashes elsewhere. The Jets moved money around to make room for Nnamdi, so now what to do with those available funds...
First matter of business, re-sign Antonio Cromartie.
He may not be the most polished CB in the game, but he's a great compliment to Revis. The Island factor of Revis is his ability to play both sides of the field, focusing primarily on shutting down the oppositions #1 WR. It confuses offenses not knowing where Revis will line up play to play. Providing the Jets the luxury of assigning Cromartie to the faster, deep threat WR and Revis takes the better remaining WR. Cro seemed comfortable and capable playing both sides of the field while switching coverage with Revis. This luxury wouldn't be likely with Asomugha who has lined up on the same side of the field his entire career.
Cromartie turned 27 in April, while Nnamdi turned 30 earlier this month. With Brad Smith in Buffalo, LT seems the best option to run the WildJet package and Cromartie showed late in the season he came help replace Smith in the return game. Leonhard is a solid punt returner but he doesn't have the game changing speed and/or electricity Cro can provide. Last season was a great return to form year for Cromartie. He led the Jets in INTs and had the 2nd most pass deflections in his career. He seemed to enjoy playing for the Jets, being in New York and I don't remember many complaints about him. He's a step ahead of other CB options having learned and becoming familiar with Rex's system, Cro has a lot to offer and room to grow.
Second matter of business: re-sign Braylon Edwards
It's common knowledge Braylon and Sanchez become very comfortable with one another last season. Without Holmes the first four games Sanchez put up great numbers with Braylon as his go-to target. When Holmes returned it seemed to take Sanchez a while to become comfortable working the ball around. Another season with Holmes and Braylon would do wonders for Sanchez's development and growth.
As mentioned above with Cromartie being a great compliment for Revis, the same can be said of Braylon to Holmes. Braylon can stretch the field and provide Sanchez a deep threat and Holmes is the possession, route running WR. I may not be in the know, but it doesn't appear Braylon or Holmes for that matter, are the type of player to demand the ball. Of course they want the ball, but they won't impact the team negatively if they don't receive a certain amount of looks or passes from Sanchez, like some diva WRs.
Returning the same 1-3WRs, FlyBoys, and TE provides familiarity with each other, the system and makes wrinkles or adjustments easier. When the Patriots reacquired Deion Branch it was interesting how Brady explained they didn't need to get readjusted. Brady went on to mention they'd spent so much time working together after practice early in their career, they could hit the ground running. It seemed to work. Jet fans should want the same type of chemistry and rapport between Sanchez and the Jet WRs/TEs.
Braylon will turn 29 in February, a 3-4 year deal would capitalize on the prime of his career. Last season Braylon's average yards per catch, 17.1, was the highest of his career. He also recorded the most yds and TDs in a season since his career year in 2007. A big improvement in Braylon's game, dropped passes. Last season, Braylon dropped only 1 or 2 passes, a far cry from his double digit drop seasons. One of Braylon's strongest contributions to the Jets doesn't show up in the stat category, but doesn't go unnoticed, is his run blocking. He's a big guy who seems to take pride in his blocking ability. Something the Jets would sacrifice and miss greatly if they go with the cheaper WR option in Randy Moss. Revis voiced his disapproval with Moss taking plays off when he called him a slooch. Braylon isn't that type of player. Lastly, Braylon wants to be a Jet. It was obvious in his tweets Braylon was upset the Jets were pursuing Nnamdi because it meant he was an odd man out. He seems motivated passionate and wants to win, to me that's a Jet.
In closing, I hope you appreciate my long winded thoughts on the Jets next moves. Feel free to agree, disagree, add to or comment as you please. Be gentle though, it's my first legitimate post. Have a great weekend fellow Jet fans and lets hope we have some good news sooner than later. J-E-T-S!