The Jets placed qualifying offers on their restricted free agents today.
CB Antonio Cromartie (first-, third-round), WR Santonio Holmes (first-, third-round), WR Brad Smith (second round), S Eric Smith (third round), QB Kellen Clemens (third round), CB Drew Coleman (sixth round), K Nick Folk (sixth round), S/ST James Ihedigbo (right of first refusal) and OL Rob Turner (ROFR).
To clarify, the right of first refusal means the Jets can match any offer made to that player but will receive no compensation in exchange for losing that player. It is difficult to imagine any team blowing them out of the water for Ihedigbo or (especially) Turner. I am inclined to want Turner back, but losing him would be no great loss.
Kellen Clemens is probably the most surprising player to receive a tender. The Jets can retract it later or trade him for a lesser value, but I am still not sure I understand the rationale for that move. Has the team not seen enough to conclude Clemens is not a worthwhile player to have around? Did they not trade up for Mark Sanchez and then sign Mark Brunell to knock him off the depth chart and eliminate almost any chance of him seeing significant action?
I am also a bit surprised to see them tender Nick Folk. I would not anticipate a team giving up even a low pick for such an underwhelming kicker. Does the team really want him back?
The others seem appropriate. They will either scare other teams off (Cromartie), allow excellent compensation if a guy departs (Holmes), or tempt teams just enough to land good picks in return (both Smith's and Coleman).
Of course, the vast majority of these guys could end up as unrestricted free agents, rendering this moot if a new CBA dictates.