AFC East: Neil Rackers
- Olean Times Herald sports editor Chuck Pollock weighs in on running back Marshawn Lynch: "Nobody’s admitting it, but the Bills want him gone ... though his trade value has plummeted."
- Brian Galliford of BuffaloRumblings.com thinks the Bills should be extra careful if they're interested in pursuing a trade for quarterback Jason Campbell.
- Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero reports four Dolphins hit incentives that increase their base salaries for 2010.
- South Florida Sun-Sentinal reporter Omar Kelly provides a list of local players the Dolphins will work out this week.
- Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England has found new Patriots defensive lineman Damione Lewis brings tremendous leadership qualities to the locker room.
- New York Post reporter Mark Cannizzaro writes the Jets expected to sign free-agent kicker Neil Rackers, who agreed instead to a deal with the Houston Texans.
The Jets clearly aren't comfortable with turning over the job to Folk, not after departing kicker Jay Feely said Friday the club wanted him back and especially not after reading Adam Schefter's report the Jets were flying in Neil Rackers for a visit.
Rackers is available because Feely has supplanted him with the Arizona Cardinals. Feely agreed to a two-year deal.
Rackers spent the past seven seasons with Arizona. He made 16 of his 17 field-goal attempts last year, but suffered a serious groin injury late in the season and missed two games.
Arizona Republic reporter Kent Somers wrote the Cardinals wanted Rackers back, but they had trouble negotiating a new deal.
Folk is coming off a disastrous season. The Dallas Cowboys waived him two games before the playoffs. He missed a kick in each of his final six games.
|James Lang/US Presswire|
|Jay Feely relishes the opportunity to kick game-winning field goals.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- When discussing which New York Jets player will be most critical to winning or losing on a weekly basis, the candidates are obvious: Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, Thomas Jones, Bart Scott, Kris Jenkins.
Mostly overlooked is kicker Jay Feely.
The Jets seem like a team that will play a lot of tight games down to the final gun. They intend to rely on their defense and a relentless running attack. There's a good chance they'll have a rookie starting quarterback.
Games frequently could be decided by Feely's right foot.
New coach Rex Ryan knows the value of a trustworthy kicker. In Ryan's four seasons as Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, they led the AFC in field goals attempted and made.
"That's how they play," Feely said of Ryan's time with the Ravens. "They were going to play great defense. They weren't going to turn the ball over. They were going to win games through special teams.
"Matt Stover won a lot of games for them. The year they won the Super Bowl, they had six games where they didn't score a touchdown."
Ryan wasn't the defensive coordinator then, just the defensive line coach. But his experience in winning a Super Bowl ring cemented his philosophy.
Even more remarkable were Stover's numbers in the fourth quarter. He converted 96.6 percent of those kicks, missing once on 29 attempts. In the final two minutes, Stover was 8 of 9.
"Rex and I have talked about that," Feely said. "That was a priority for him, to have a kicker that he trusted. I liked that.
"I love playing for him. I love his mentality that he's not scared to say what he believes. I think the players rally around that."