Before Mike Tannenbaum celebrated his Valentine’s birthday on Sunday, we sat down with the Jets’ GM in his office to discuss a multitude of topics, including the upcoming free agency period that commences March 5, the potential challenges of an uncapped year, the club’s draft preparations and his recollections of a memorable playoff run. You’ll be able to view the multipart interview later this week on newyorkjets.com, but we wanted to give you a little news tease from our discussion.
After having announced in his season-ending news conference that he planned on placing tenders on Braylon Edwards, Leon Washington and Kellen Clemens, Mr. T. said he also intends on placing tenders on both the versatile Brad Smith and S Eric Smith. The Jets have 11 restricted free agents, and by placing a tender on an RFA, the Jets protect themselves from losing that player in a couple of ways.
Other teams can make contract offers to the Jets’ RFAs from March 5-April 15, but New York’s AFC representative would have one week to match anything that was signed, with the last possible matching date landing on April 21. If the Jets choose not to match an offer, they would receive compensation in the form of a draft pick or picks determined by the player’s tender and draft selection.
Brad Smith became a major force down the stretch, returning the second-half kickoff a franchise-record 106 yards in the Week 16 win over the Colts, rushing four times for a career-high 92 yards in the regular-season finale against the Bengals, which propelled the Green & White into the playoffs, and completing a 45-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery in the AFC Championship Game. The 26-year-old Smith, in his fourth season out of Missouri, rushed for a career-high 207 yards in ’09 and was a special teams standout for Mike Westhoff with 20 ST stops.
Eric Smith was on the receiving end of a 27-yard pass from Brad Smith on a perfectly executed fake punt at Tampa Bay. Providing depth in the defensive backfield, E. Smith was credited with four starts at S this year and was credited with 34 regular-season tackles (according to coaches’ video breakdown), six PDs and one interception. He’s also a core special teams player credited with 25 tackles.
Jets’ Draft Order
Late last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all NFL general managers, head coaches and personnel directors that contained the tentative order for the 2010 draft. The order does not include compensatory selections, which next month will be awarded to clubs at the bottoms of Rounds 3-7.
As we’ve written before on newyorkjets.com, the Jets currently own the 29th selections in the following rounds: 1, 2 (No. 61 overall), 6 and 7. The Green & White’s third- and fifth-round selections were sent to Cleveland in the package that brought Braylon Edwards to New York in October. And the Jets, courtesy of the Lito Sheppard deal last February, own the Eagles’ 24th selection in Round 5. To obtain Sheppard, the Jets shipped to Philadelphia a 2009 fifth-round pick and their four-round pick in ’10.
Tags: Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, Eric Smith, Kellen Clemens, Leon Washington, Mike Tannenbaum
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