Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Thoughts on Willie Colon's return
By Rich Cimini
A few takeaways on right guard Willie Colon returning to the New York Jets:
1. Another elder statesman: Colon falls into the same category as linebacker Calvin Pace, 33, who re-signed Sunday: They're hold-the-fort guys. Ordinarily, you want to stay away from too many 30-and-older players, but it's OK to have a few on the roster. Colon, going on 31, is a strong leader and brings an element of toughness to the offensive line, and there's value in that. Plus, the money was right -- a one-year, $2 million contract.
2. Continuity: The Jets lost right tackle Austin Howard to the Oakland Raiders, so they wanted to avoid having to replace the entire right side of the offensive line. Colon doesn't know Howard's replacement, Breno Giacomini, but he'll have the entire offseason to get acquainted and start the process of building chemistry. The on-the-field rapport, though, will get a late start. Colon is recovering from biceps surgery and won't be ready for football activities until June, he said.
3. What about the kids?: General manager John Idzik used the bottom of the 53-man roster last season for player development -- specifically, guard/tackle Oday Aboushi, guard Will Campbell and tackle Ben Ijalana. In fact, all three players were inactive for 16 games -- basically, a red-shirt season. That they chose to sign Colon so quickly leads me to believe the kids (mainly, Campbell, who worked exclusively at guard) aren't ready to compete for starting jobs -- and that would be a disappointment. Campbell was a sixth-round pick, Aboushi a fifth.