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Miles Austin: The One Who Got Away

With the Cowboys in town to play the Giants, Hank Gola takes the opportunity to remember the Jets' pursuit of 2009 breakout star Miles Austin over the offseason.

Four years removed from Monmouth University, the Garfield, N.J., product has taken the NFL by storm after the receiver-needy Jets passed on him as a restricted free agent this past offseason. They had Austin in for a visit but never offered him a contract based on his three years with the Cowboys. It would have cost them a second-round pick and they'd previously been burned when they gave up a two to the Titans for the unproductive Justin McCareins.

So Austin remained a Cowboy, keeping the heart of Jersey in Texas.

And I will never question the Jets for trying to avoid another potential McCareins situation. You can always recover from not signing a guy. There will always be another talented player available down the line. Case in point being the way the Jets got Braylon Edwards at a bargain basement price after not signing Austin. It takes longer to recover from a miss in the NFL. It was too big of a risk to give Austin a deal Dallas wouldn't match. He had 18 catches in his first three years. Sure, he had good tools, but even the Cowboys would be lying to you if they said they expected this. We're all geniuses in hindsight, but the information we had at the time suggested the risk was greater than the expected return.

It would have cost the Jets a relatively healthy contract. It also would have cost that second round pick. Remember, that pick ended up being part of the deal for Mark Sanchez.