Ok, I’m getting mad now. Free agency is supposed to be a big week for Jets fans; it certainly has been in the past. We haven’t done anything yet though other than sign one free agent, our own punter Nick “Folk it” Folk. What’s going on here? Aside from Brandon Marshall leaving Miami, there hasn’t even been any good news. I wasn’t a huge supporter of ancient Peyton Manning, but not even taking a stab at it didn’t please this fan, nor does the fact that Mario Williams has been in Buffalo all week and looks like he’s going to stay there. Christ, we can’t even sign Chad Henne who the front office said they wanted to sign to pressure Sanchez. Why aren’t we signing anyone?
Salary Cap, Lawsuits, and Money
The Jets only had about $9-11 million to spend in free agency. Some salary capologists say we have as high as $18 million to spend, but that requires a huge amount of restructuring contracts. Most of the big name players you and I would have wanted were out of our price range. There is room to work with so we will sign someone soon, but it’s not going to be the flashy signing Jets fans are used to. Remember though, some no name players could be great and just need the chance aka Matt Flynn.
Johnson & Johnson, who the Jets owner also owns, is in financial trouble. There are multiple lawsuits headed towards them. They just settled a multibillion dollar suit over an antibiotic that caused irreparable damage to nerves. And in the near future they will tackle more. One case that a federal court allowed to go forward involves a group of consumers alleging that the famous J&J baby shampoo has proven cancer causing ingredients. Yet another case coming has to do with Ortho Evra, a birth control patch who litigants say causes “heart attacks, stroke deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or sudden death.” These lawsuits have undoubtedly caused some financial distress to our embattled owner and I think this year’s lack of involvement in free agency is one of the outcomes.
Fractured Locker Room
One reason has to be the locker room. I mean, if a player has other options who wants to play in a locker room with well-known issues. I always held Bart “Can’t Wait” Scott as a good guy; a leader and a positive influence. Even he is bolting our team. There are no leaders, just egos. I blame this on Santonio “Waaaaa Crybaby” Holmes and his ability to not lead by example, be an utter a$$hole, inflame his coworkers, and collect money to quit. I can’t believe we have to deal with this guy for years to come. Is anyone going to fulfill the role of leader this year? Perhaps this area should be addressed more so than talent on the field. I want to sign a veteran or two that can lead by example and fix our locker room because that’s where it all starts.
The Giants, The Brady Bunch, and Super Bowl XLVI
The Jets are now officially the weaker New York football team despite Rex’s bravado. While all the talking makes for great entertainment, signing onto a team that talks shit and doesn’t follow through with it will never be a first-choice place to play. If a player wants to take advantage of a big media team in New York, the Giants are the team they will want to sign with and that Super Bowl ring proves it. The other thing about the Super Bowl is who the giants beat; the Brady Bunch. The Jets are one of only three teams that have to play them twice a year. The fact that they are a perennial playoff contender and just made it to the Super Bowl also has to be in the back of potential candidates.
What are we going to do?
Fear not, there is still time in free agency to address short comings on the field. We will sign a receiver or a safety. At wide receiver, I would love to see Jericho Cotchery back! But I’d take this guy Chaz Schilens from the Raiders to save some money. For safety, there’s not much available, but taking Brandon Meriweather from the Bears or LaRon Landry from the Redskins could suffice. If we don’t get any of these guys, then we will address the positions at draft time. Although leaders are built and not drafted, we can look for positive attitudes in the draft. Remember too that we are most likely going to get some value from an imminent Bart Scott trade. I have a decent amount of faith in Tannenbaum, I just hope he gets going soon otherwise we are looking at a rough season especially if Mario Williams ends up a Bill.