The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Jets Offseason Analysis
Now that the draft is over and most free agent moves have been made, following is a position-by-position review and analysis of the Jets offseason moves:
Quarterback: After successfully restructuring Chad Pennington's contract to an incentive-based cap friendlier one, the Jets looked for a potential starter. Their preference was to sign a free agent like Jon Kitna, but they ultimately sent their 6th round pick to Washington for Patrick Ramsey. Then, the Jets selected Kellen Clemens with their 2nd round pick.
Unless Pennington proves that he is healthy, there's a strong possibility that the Jets will carry four quarterbacks in 2006, meaning that Pennington, Ramsey, Clemens and Brooks Bollinger will be on the roster. Clearly, however, the drafting of Clemens and the trade for Ramsey indicates that the Jets don't see Bollinger as more than a third-string quarterback.
Kliff Kingsbury also remains on the roster, but is a longshot to make the team.
Almost certainly, either Pennington or Ramsey will begin 2006 as the starter. One of those two will probably be gone after '06, with the other competing with Clemens for the starting spot in 2007.
Overall, while the Jets have improved their quarterback situation, it remains to be seen whether their long-term answer has been acquired in Clemens.
Running back: For the most part, the Jets have stood pat at RB, with Curtis Martin, Derrick Blaylock and Cedric Houston returning, and 4th rounder Leon Washington competing for a role.
The Jets released Jerald Sowell, opening the way for B.J. Askew to step in as the Jets starting fullback.
The Jets probably still will have to find their future starting running back. LenDale White was available in the second round, but the Jets were apparently not interested.
Wide receiver: The Jets still need a number 1 wide receiver, and they passed on Chad Jackson in the draft. Laveranues Coles, Justin McCareins, and Jericho Cotchery are returning, while Wayne Chrebet retired. The Jets made a nice move signing ex-Patriot Tim Dwight to be their fourth receiver and punt returner. 4th round pick Brad Smith will have a chance to make the team as the fifth receiver if he can make the conversion from quarterback.
While the wide receivers are okay, it will be important for Cotchery to step up and exploit his speed to give the Jets a legitimate deep threat. Going forward, wide receiver is a position that the Jets will need to upgrade.
Tight end: The Jets were stymied in their attempts to sign a free agent tight end, and ended up bringing back their own free agent - Chris Baker. Doug Jolley also will return, but he could be challenged for a roster spot by Joel Dreeson and 5th round pick Jason Pociask.
Neither Baker nor Jolley is a particularly effective blocker. Hopefully, the improvement on offensive line will mitigate the effects of this weakness.
Offensive line: The Jets released center Kevin Mawae and tackle Jason Fabini, and allowed Jonathan Goodwin to leave as a free agent. They tried but failed to sign Eagles tackle Jon Runyan, ultimately settling for ex-Bills center Trey Teague and veteran tackle Anthony Clement. Pete Kendall will return at guard after agreeing to restructure his contract.
D'Brickishaw Ferguson should start immediately at left tackle, with Adrian Jones playing right tackle. Kendall will be joined at guard by Brandon Moore. Teague and late first round pick Nick Mangold will compete for the starting center position.
The release of Mawae was very surprising, but makes more sense now that Mangold has been drafted. Overall, the Jets have significantly improved at offensive line, and have much more depth than they previously did.
Defensive line: The departure of John Abraham will take away much of what was left of the Jets already meager pass rush. Nevertheless, Abraham had become a liability against the run, and his loss is therefore tolerable.
Unfortunately, the Jets did not seriously address this position in the draft, and their only noteworthy free agent signing was of ex-Steeler Kimo Von Oelhoffen, a pretty good player but clearly toward the end of his career. Monsanto Pope was also signed, and provides depth, but hopefully won't start for the Jets.
The Jets will desperately need Shaun Ellis and DeWayne Robertson to play to their talent, in contrast to their mediocre performances in 2005. It will also be time for 2005 3rd round pick Sione Pouha to step up and show that he was not one of many players the Jets fell in love with, reached for way ahead of their projected draft position, and then proved the Jets wrong.
Ultimately, defensive line is now the Jets biggest weakness, and will likely have to be the main priority in the 2007 draft. If any decent players are cut after June 1 (when the cap hit of released players can be split between '06 and '07), the Jets should attempt to sign them.
Secondary: Ty Law left as a free agent, and was replaced by Andre Dyson. David Barrett and Justin Miller will return and likely compete for the other corner spot. The Jets have a number of young safeties, including Erik Coleman, Kerry Rhodes and Andrew Maddox, and drafted another when they selected Eric Smith in the 3rd round. They also picked up corner Drew Coleman in the 6th round.
While the Jets can use a veteran safety, they are hoping that Coleman can rebound from a disappointing second season and that at least two of their four young players can do the job.
Linebacker: Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton lead the Jets linebacker corps. Victor Hobson remains on the roster, and the Jets added depth by signing free agents Brad Kassell and Matt Chatham at reasonable prices. 3rd round pick Anthony Schlegel will be expected to provide additional depth. Mark Brown, who saw a lot of playing time last season, will not be back. Overall, the Jets should be solid, if not spectacular, at linebacker.
Special teams: Mike Nugent and Ben Graham will return at kicker and punter, respectively. Nugent's field goal attempts were inconsistent in his rookie season, and his kickoffs were short. Punt returning was a disaster last season, and Tim Dwight should stabilize that role. Justin Miller is a threat as a kickoff returner, but the Jets cannot afford - and should not tolerate - additional fumbles by Miller. Leon Washington, Brad Smith and Derrick Blaylock are also potential candidates for kickoff return duties.