In this segment I will be taking a glass is half full and glass is half empty look at the topic at hand. I will be looking over recent and relevant Jets news and giving the best and worst case scenarios. I will finish by wrapping up a realistic view of the situation. As a Jets fan, we all love to look forward to the possibility of better things. We hope every season it will be our year, and we have the reasons why lined up. A large part of the fan base, while hopeful, is pessimistic. No matter what great move we will find as many reasons for why it will fail as we do why it will work. Here you can feed your need for both. You can get hopeful and rally behind your favorite team, and hedge your bets so you don't get burned when it all crashes down.
This go round we will be discussing Kellen Winslow. His name made recent headlines with charges of synthetic cannabis possession. This will not be a re-sign or let go post. This post will be examining the charges brought against him and how those affect our options as a team. Lets hop on in.
Half Full -
I feel these charges have all but shut the door on a Kellen Winslow return to New York. I'm placing this in the half full for a reason. Winslow was a viable target for a few stretches of the season, but overall was a disappointment. There was still a lingering feeling that the Jets might keep him around in an attempt to cover for a lack of productive TE's. He and Cumberland are staring at free agency. Cumberland has more upside at this point in his career. Winslow has shown all he has. Cumberland would demand a higher contract, though neither are looking at a big payday. The Jets need to stay young and with upside. That's what made out pedestrian 8-8 season so exciting to watch. I believe this will show the Jets brass its time for a fire sale on the TE position. We have lacked a premier TE since the trend of premier pass catching TE's began. Dustin Keller was as close as we ever came, and he left much to be desired when compared to a Gronkowski or Gates. We tried this season to allow Jeff Cumberland to be the guy. We picked up a savy veteran to shore up the position, hoping his intelligence would find him open when Cumberland's athletic ability caused coverage to roll his way. This never panned out. We finished the year sans a top TE. The best option has now become starting over. This draft has a few very talented and intriguing TE candidates. Its not too far of a stretch to see the Jets picking up North Carolina's Eric Ebron early and Colorado State's Crockett Gilmore late in the draft. The Jets need to pour resources into the TE position instead of continuing the trend of shore ups and stop gaps. Kellen Winslow coming off a 4 game suspension for banned substances this season, and strolling into the off season with charges of controlled substances has made it all the easier for the Jets brass to make the right decision.
The Jets gave Trader Mike the boot in favor of the buttoned down John Idzik. It's a move that, so far, I am in favor of. This was a move to get the organization out of the limelight for being a circus. Jets coach Rex Ryan has even toned down his bombastic attitude when dealing with the press. All seemed to be going well. Our locker room stayed together this season through the trying times when past years would have, and did, fracture. Thinking back I can hardly recall ESPN blowing a story about the Jets out of proportions. That is a feat, after tattoo-gate, Tebow-gate, and butt fumble-gate of recent past. Kellen Winslow getting busted for a designer drug does nothing but make it harder for the Jets to climb out of the circus. Thus far ESPN hasn't camped out on Winslow's lawn giving 247 coverage, which is a nice gesture on their part. There is another side to this as well. It's a strike against Idzik. He put together a good first draft class, but his free agent pick ups were more busts than bombs. Idzik put money down on Winslow and Goodson only to have them blow it on guns and drugs. He also believed David Garrard had enough in the tank to be a front runner in our starting QB competition only to see him retire before the preseason. (I'm not even going to touch on him coming back to collect a check and rub Geno's shoulders) Add his name to the likes of Antonio Garay and Stephen Peterman who were signed to be in the mix as starters only to contribute nothing at all. Is this just a fluke? There was little cap room and Idzik took chances on players who he could get on the cheap that might be able to contribute. There is also the chance this is a sign of what is to come. Trader Mike had some good moments as a GM. He brought us some good rosters and back to back AFC Championship games. He had his flaws, which ultimately lost him his job, and lost the Jets a number of games. Idzik was never known as a personnel man, and maybe this is where his flaws lie. Only time will tell, but as his first year's crop of FA acquisitions pan out, it isn't looking promising.
Winslow played his season with the Jets and contributed here and there. Compared to his talk in the off season, he was a bust. In a year few will even remembered he had a cup of coffee here. The fact that these charges came in the off season has dampened the blow. He is not far from being let go and his charges mean little to nothing to our team as we move forward. Idzik did well with the tiny wiggle room he had to work with, but the coaching job of Rex Ryan made the few moves he did make look better. He was tied into a real mess left by his predecessor, and short of his first draft, you can hardly begin judging his decision making until this off season when he has room to wheel and deal. Winslow made it easier for the Jets to move on, which has been a problem for this organization in the past with certain players. If it makes them more hesitant to take a flier on over the hill players who made a name for themselves in their long past glory days, then that is also a positive. As with most topics that come up in New York sports, this was blown a little out of proportion, and the reality is it has very little real impact on the current state of the team or that of its state moving forward.