The Jets did have a few free agent signings at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center tonight. No one was named Nnamdi, but two others made cross-country flights today to put their names to contracts and thus remain with the Green & White for the coming season.
Tackle Wayne Hunter and kicker Nick Folk were the two to sign today. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who was reported to have agreed to his new deal to stay with the Jets, was en route to the team facility to do the same.
Hunter, despite calling Washington State his home, said he and his family have really fallen in love with the New Jersey/New York area as their second home.
“There were a few teams interested,” Hunter told me and Eric Allen a short while ago. “But I told my agent to just focus on the Jets. The Jets are where I grew up as a player and especially as a man. And my family has really gotten used to this area. We were having a barbecue back in Washington when my agent called and tell me we had a deal. It was going to be a great barbecue anyway, but that just made it better.”
Hunter of course took over for the injured Damien Woody late in the season and into the playoffs and played strongly. He was asked if the RT job is now his to lose.
“I hope so,” he replied in classic football terms. “Nothing’s been set in stone. It’ll be a competition between me and Vlad [Ducasse]. I’ve got an opportunity and he’s got an opportunity and we’ll see who the best man is.”
Folk likewise will be competing for his job after the team brought in the well-traveled Nick Novak in February. Folk had his ups and downs last year but his ups were outstanding — a Jets-record-long 56-yard field goal plus five kickoff touchbacks in the Denver air, the game-tying and -winning kicks at Detroit, and the essential game-winner as time expired to beat the Colts in Indianapolis in the AFC Wild Card Game.
“I’d have to say the Indy kick was my best, jus because it kept us going, got us on a roll in the playoffs,” he said. “Now I’m ready to get back at it. The Jets are just a great organization, from Woody Johnson down to Mike Tannenbaum, Rex, Mike Westhoff, Ben Kotwica, and the guys in the locker room.”
Probably Folk’s closest friend in last year’s locker room won’t be around now because punter/holder Steve Weatherford agreed to a deal to join the Giants. But right there in the friendship category is snapper Tanner Purdum.
“I was out in California working out with John Carney and Steve — in fact, I caught a flight at 5 this morning and just got here at 5 this evening and signed the deal,” Folk said. “I haven’t got a new place back here yet and I don’t know when I could fit that in during camp, but Tanner told me I could stay with him as long as I want. He’s been great about the whole thing.”
Just now the Jets have announced some more transactions. Five are signings, including three draft choices — fourth-round RB Bilal Powell, seventh-round QB Greg McElroy and seventh-round WR Scotty McKnight. Also signed were two undrafted free agents, Missouri State OL Curtis Duron and Mississippi CB Jeremy McGee.
The team also announced the waiving of QBs Kevin O’Connell and Erik Ainge.
And in one more transaction just reported, former Jets DE Vernon Gholston signed with the Chicago Bears.
Tags: Damien Woody, Nick Folk, Nick Novak, Steve Weatherford, Tanner Purdum, Vlad Ducasse, Wayne Hunter
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