Thursday, February 6, 2014
Roster evaluation: Player rankings, 11 to 15
By Rich Cimini
Our top 25 rankings continue. Remember, it's based on a total evaluation, not just 2013 performance. Weight is given to positional value (quarterbacks and cornerbacks rate higher than, say, guards and safeties), potential (young draft picks over-aging veterans) and contractual status (cost-effective contracts over huge cap numbers and free agents). Here are 11 to 15:
11. Antonio Cromartie, cornerback, (cap charge: $14.98 million): This is based, in large part, on the belief that Cromartie's disappointing year (Pro Bowl appearance notwithstanding) was an aberration due to his season-long hip problem. When healthy, Cromartie is a No. 1 corner -- and they're hard to find. His unweildy cap number clouds his future with the team.
12. Austin Howard, right tackle, (cap charge: Free agent): He's a player on the rise, a two-year starter with a chance to be good for many years. The Jets will try to lock him up before he hits the open market. It seems like he's been around for awhile, but he'll be only 27 next month.
13. Chris Ivory, running back, (cap charge: $1.75 million): There are some who wonder if Ivory will ever put it together for an entire season, but we can only go by what we see. Over the second half of the season, he rushed for 603 yards and averaged 5.6 per carry. He's still young and improving.
14. Demario Davis, linebacker, (cap charge: $764,000): Another player on the ascent. He's a run-and-hit linebacker with value because he can play in space, allowing him to stay on the field for passing downs. In time, he will be the leader of the defense.
15. Brian Winters, left guard, (cap charge: $690,000): This might seem like a head scratcher, considering Winters' rookie struggles, but he was playing a new position and should settle down in year 2. The former third-round pick was well-regarded in the draft, not just by the Jets.
16. Dawan Landry, safety
17. Calvin Pace, outside linebacker
18. Bilal Powell, running back
19. Jeff Cumberland, tight end
20. Santonio Holmes, wide receiver
21. Mark Sanchez, quarterback
22. Antonio Allen, safety
23. Nick Folk, placekicker
24. Willie Colon, right guard
25. Stephen Hill, wide receiver