Friday, March 14, 2014
What we learned on Day 3 of free agency
By Rich Cimini
A few takeaways on a quiet day for the New York Jets:
1. Is there a plan at cornerback?: The most alarming development so far is the gaping hole at cornerback. The Jets have yet to replace Antonio Cromartie, who is on an overnight visit with the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets have watched as five top corners, including that guy Revis, signed with other teams. On Thursday, Captain Munnerlyn, who was on the Jets' radar, signed a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Rex Ryan, whose defensive scheme is predicated on man-to-man coverage on the perimeter, has to be feeling a bit nervous. If the Jets had to play today, the starters would be Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson. What about a Cromartie reunion? The Jets didn't try to renegotiate before cutting him -- telling. Their best bet might be Cromartie's talented, but enigmatic cousin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
2. Shrinking market: Things have settled down after two days of crazy spending around the league. Now it's a buyer's market, and there are bargains to be had. Of course, the true difference makers are all gone. The Jets continue to talk with Brandon Pettigrew, whom one AFC scout described as "an average to better-than-average starting Y tight end" -- meaning a conventional, in-line tight end. They also remain interested in wide receiver James Jones, another complementary player. The've also been linked to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Let's see if John the Deliberate (Idzik, that is) can find some good values in the second wave.
3. All hands on Decker: It's official: Eric Decker signed his five-year, $36.25 million contract, which includes a guaranteed $15 million in the first two years.
4. Scout's take on Breno: Former Seattle Seahawks right tackle Breno Giacomini, whom the Jets signed to replace Austin Howard, is a bit of a mystery man. An AFC personnel executive assessed him this way: "He's a serviceable starter. He can function, but he's not a world beater. He just does his job." Asked to compare Giacomini to Howard, the executive said, "(Giacomini) is a little different. He has a different body build and more movement skills. He's not as strong or heavy bodied. He's a better foot athlete, with less power. He's a little stiff, but competes."
5. No movement on the QB front: It's quiet, almost too quiet. One noteworthy development: Former St. Louis Rams backup Kellen Clemens, an ex-Jet, signed with the San Diego Chargers. St. Louis could be a potential landing spot for Mark Sanchez, whose first coordinator with the Jets, Brian Schottenheimer, runs the Rams' offense. The Jets have until March 25 to make a decision on Sanchez.
6. Quote of the day: Leger Douzable, a relatively anoymous backup defensive lineman, spoke to reporters to comment on re-signing with the Jets. "I feel like we are going to be the best D-line in the league this year," he said. Sounds like he's excited to be sticking around.