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.
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Collective Bargaining Agreement, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nnamdi Asomugha, Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes
Posted in Eric Allen | 10 Comments »