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After Long Offseason, Finally the Fun Begins

Posted by Eric Allen on July 25, 2011 – 6:14 pm

Back to football. Ah, those words just feel right.

Even though the NFL league year won’t officially commence until Friday, Aug. 2, the fun will really get under way tomorrow after owners and players approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement today. The NFL announced today that teams can go to 90-man rosters and official free agent lists are being distributed to the teams this afternoon.

The Jets will have the ability to sign their own free agents — rookies and undrafted free agents — beginning at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. Teams also can reach agreements with all free agents and signed players will be able to come to team facilities. Filing for transactions won’t start until Friday at 6 p.m. The Jets can begin cutting players at 4:01 p.m. on Thursday. 

The Jets’ 2011 training camp, which will take place here in Florham Park, N.J., for the first time, will welcome reporting players to the team’s Atlantic Health Training Center on Sunday, July 31.

The Jets have 16 unrestricted free agents — QB Kellen Clemens, FB Tony Richardson, WR Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, OL Wayne Hunter, D-linemen Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce, LB Lance Laury, DBs Drew Coleman, Antonio Cromartie, James Ihedigbo, Brodney Pool and Eric Smith, kickers Nick Folk and Steve Weatherford, and “Slash” Brad Smith — plus one restricted free agent, OL Rob Turner, and franchise player David Harris.

Not everyone will be back. The Jets will be able to keep a bunch and a few will find new addresses. Contracts could be adjusted to help the Green & White find more of a cap cushion.

Fans have wondered for months about the futures of playmakers Edwards, Holmes, Cromartie and Brad Smith. But many more questions abound. Is Hunter in their plans at RT and does Ellis, who is the longest-tenured Jet and whose 72.5 sacks rank third in team history, come back for another season? Who will kick for this team in 2011? Is there room at safety for both Eric Smith, an extremely valuable special teams player, and Brodney Pool, who excelled in the playoffs?

And you have to wonder who the Jets have eyes on externally. If Holmes and/or Edwards bolt, could Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss or even Terrell Owens be in play? Or if the above situation did occur, a lesser name such as Malcom Floyd, James Jones or Jacoby Jones could be an interesting alternative. The ultratalented Cromartie could get a bundle on the open market and the Jets may roll the dice with Kyle Wilson across from Darrelle Revis or replace Cro with a Johnathan Joseph- or Brent Grimes-type player.

The thought of pairing Nnamdi Asomugha with Revis might be dancing in some fans’ heads, but would a team be comfortable investing a ton at one position? Asomugha is a special talent, though, he and Revis are close, and he wasn’t exactly shy about the prospect of playing with the Jets back at the Pro Bowl in February 2010.

Lots of things are going to happen. Let’s get more of your thoughts on how you think the Jets should approach free agency. And when/if anything breaks, we’ll be here for all of your most complete Jets coverage throughout the 2011 campaign.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “After Long Offseason, Finally the Fun Begins”

  1. By Arte Olde School on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    For some reason I believe we’re going to see Randy Moss in Green & White. Something about him being team captain against his old team and our divisional arch nemisis, something about him being a handful to any defense worrying where he is and what he can do, and most importantly something about us winning the division over NE and having the home-team advantage throughout the playoffs. WRT Cromartie I don’t know. My dream of Mr. T’s magic and everyone wanting to play for Rex is that if Nnamdi Asomugha and Darelle restructure their deals to make the dream team a reality (see Miami Heat as an example) that we can kiss the Same Old Jets goodbye once and for all and kiss the Lombardi Trophy hello for the next few years!! See you in Indy :-)

  2. By kimosabe on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    …B’out time !!! It’s gonna be great talkin “REAL” football.. been waitin a long time for this. I think were in for an exciting season…Let the games begin….

  3. By Wayne Kennedy on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t care who we get or lose. I want a Superbowl this year! I have waited forever! We have waited forever. No more almosts Jets! Lets not be the same old Jets! Lets win one this year!

  4. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    Eric, thanks for the thoughtful listing and analysis of the free agents who are available and the Jets’ chances at keeping or getting them. After all these months of frustration, if you can’t fantasize about — or at least keep your mind open to — the possibility of landing some of the big names listed above, what was the point of waiting all that time? I would quibble a bit with the assessment of Floyd and Jones as lesser names, as I think those two guys in particular have good chances to join the ranks of the elite WRs in the league over the next few yrs. And thanks for reminding everybody about Asomugha’s enthusiasm about playing for the Jets when he was hanging with Rex and Revis at the 2010 Pro Bowl.

  5. By statennbrooklynn on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    randy moss will never come to the jets period we def need a new kicker i cant do another year with nicky folk.

    i think the beauty of our current situation is that the players on our current team who WANT to play for the jets, will do what is necessary to ensure that they play for the jets.

    if cro wants more money then he doesnt belong here so it doesnt really matter who we lose, were just going to gain someone eager to be jet ;)

  6. By Christopher on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Well, now we get to see who really wants to play for rex, It’s about winning a championship, are guys willing to take less to play here?

  7. By Gabriel on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    I think its possible for the jets to land Nnamdi Asomugha and don’t spend a ton of money because lets face the facts, Revis needs someone to be just as good as him starting opposite from him. I really wish that the jets could keep everyone from 2010, I want to see us win the superbowl this year!

  8. By frank on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Go Jets! I would like to see Holmes stay. He was such a clutch performer and he always seems to rise to the occasion in big spots.

  9. By Alex.G on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    all the names mentioned Plax, Moss, T.O were great players and T.O of the 3 can still Play at a high level, but he is coming off surgery, the other two I don’t want period Randy is played out, and plax is 2 years removed from the game. we need them to keep our original duo from last year Holmes Edwards both are familiar with the offense and Sanchez, and are the best option for us.

  10. By Matt on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    All I have to say is bring back Ellis Edwards Smith(Brad and Eric if possible) Cro I not sold on if too much money and that go for Holmes too and I would like 2 see what pool do with understanding the system better this year so def bring him back

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