The Zionist Conspiracy
Friday, March 10, 2006
Jets and Free Agency
With the increase in the NFL's salary cap to $102 million, the Jets will have a little bit of room to dabble in the free agent market. They are now approximately $15 million under the cap, which will increase by $8.3 million after they trade disgruntled malcontent John Abraham.
Here's a position-by-position analysis of the Jets' approach to free agency, which starts tonight at midnight:
Quarterback - Rumor is that the Jets are about to acquire Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey in exchange for a 5th round pick in next month's draft, and a conditional pick - potentially as high as a third rounder - in next year's draft.
If these reports are accurate, the Jets will be overpaying for Ramsey. I'd prefer Jon Kitna or Kerry Collins. Kitna is a free agent, while Collins will likely be cut by the Raiders, especially if they acquire Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper, as is also rumored.
Ramsey has not been impressive with Washington and I just don't see him as more than a stopgap for the Jets. If Chad Pennington is healthy, Ramsey should not pose a challenge (though head coach Eric Mangini appears intent to depose Pennington under any circumstances). If Pennington is not able to play, Ramsey is a below-average starting quarterback, who might be the difference between going 4-12 with Brooks Bollinger and 6-10.
As for the draft, the Jets might have a chance to draft Vince Young or Jay Cutler. My view, however, is that a franchise left tackle would be a better bet than either of those two.
Running back - While the Jets need help at running back, it's not a high priority in free agency. The Jets will likely go with Curtis Martin, Derrick Blaylock and Cedric Houston. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jets sign a fullback, though B.J. Askew should also get a chance to step into that role.
Wide receiver - The Jets could use a number 1 receiver with speed, but there are few such players on the market, and the Jets' other needs make spending a lot on a WR unrealistic.
Tight end - With Chris Baker an unrestricted free agent, the Jets will have to either pay enough to bring Baker back, or find someone else. Relying solely on Doug Jolley is not the answer. Jeb Putzier, recently released by Denver, would be my choice at TE, if the price is right.
Offensive line - With the release of Kevin Mawae and Jason Fabini, the Jets are in dire need of help at offensive line. LeCharles Bentley and Kevin Shaffer are the best center and tackle on the market, but their price will probably be too high for the Jets. I'd like to see the Jets sign a free agent, and if he's available at the 4 spot, draft D'Brickashaw Ferguson, along with at least two other offensive linemen in the first four rounds of the draft.
Defensive line - The Jets will probably look to replace John Abraham, and can use a nose tackle too. The free agent market has a decent number of defensive linemen, and this is an area that the Jets should make a priority. In the draft, Mario Williams is a possibility, though he may be a stretch at the fourth pick.
Secondary - With the departure of Ty Law, the Jets will likely have a bunch of young players at cornerback and safety. They should look to add a veteran who is available at the right price, but it doesn't make sense to spend big money at this position.
Linebacker - Willie McGinest, released by the Patriots, might be of interest to Mangini, but the Jets have a pretty good group of young linebackers. I doubt LB will be a high priority.
Conclusion: The Jets free agency priorities should be at offensive line, defensive line, quarterback and tight end - in that order. At the other positions, they should wait until the top tier of free agents are signed, or rely on the draft.