The Jets, despite their Thursday late-night trade agreement with San Diego for CB Antonio Cromartie, have been quiet as predicted in the opening day of the free agency signing period that began at midnight today.
The only transactions the Jets have had were two released veterans. Thomas Jones’ expected release was announced by the team on Monday and has occurred today. GM Mike Tannenbaum, on a conference call that just began this afternoon, said, "I just want to start off by thanking Thomas for everything he’s done on and off the field."
Tannenbaum also said the Jets have released cornerback Donald Strickland, who arrived last year. And he confirmed that the trade with San Diego for CB Antonio Cromartie became official today.
We’ll have more on newyorkjets.com on Tannenbaum’s remarks and the first reaction from Cromartie on a conference call with Jets reporters that is still ahead. But for now, we’ll just wrap up the TJ situation with Mike T’s summary of Jones’ three seasons in green and white.
"In terms of respect and admiration, I’d put Thomas up on the very short list of guys who’ve ever been through our program," Tannenbaum said, "not only because of what he’s done on the field but the leadership he brought as well and the passion he played with."
Why then let Jones go? the GM was asked.
"When you factor in all the things that go into it — skill, budget, all the things you have to factor in even with no salary cap this year — you still have to make judgment calls for your roster," he said. "At the end of the day, we felt it was in the best interests of our roster, but it was still a very difficult decision."
And how about a decision to re-sign Jones, if both sides were to agree to that down the road?
"Yes, there certainly is a scenario where we would evaluate that," Tannenbaum said. "Right now, he’s looking at other opportunities, which we anticipated, and we’re doing the same. In our business, I would never rule out anything, but I know right now he’s looking at other opportunities."
The last major area of questioning on the Jones release was where it left the Jets’ "Ground and Pound" attack, with Jones’ 376 regular- and postseason carries removed from the equation in which remain second-year back Shonn Greene, rehabbing Leon Washington and untested Chauncey Washington.
"Looking at the continuum of opportunities, do I see us adding another player at the running back position? Within reason, at some point. It could be in the next 24 hours or it could be over Labor Day. It just depends on when we feel is the best opportunity," Tannenbaum said.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Chauncey Washington, Donald Strickland, Leon Washington, Mike Tannenbaum, Shonn Greene, Thomas Jones
Posted in Randy Lange | 63 Comments »