New York Jets: 98.7 FM

Analysis: Folk tag makes sense ... for Jets

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
A couple of thoughts on the New York Jets' decision to place the franchise tag on kicker Nick Folk:

1. Sticker shock: The tag amount for a kicker is $3.556 million, which sounds like a lot of money, but this move makes sense from the Jets' perspective. There are 10 kickers in the NFL that average at least $3 million per year, according to (We're including the Carolina Panthers' Graham Gano, who signed a four-year deal Friday for a reported $12.4 million.) Folk, coming off his best season, probably is a top-10 kicker. When you have a guy like that, you do what you can to keep him. The Jets' style of play -- i.e. low-scoring, defensive games -- amplifies the importance of a clutch kicker.

2. Little-known rule: Technically, the Jets couldn't stop Folk from hitting the open market unless they exercised the tag. Here's why: Because they used the minimum-salary benefit last year with Folk, the Jets were allowed to offer only another minimum-salary deal before March 11, the start of free agency. Obviously, that would've been insulting, considering Folk's performance. The two sides could've circumvented the rule, agreeing to a long-term deal and signing it after free agency started, but they apparently didn't get close. The Jets didn't want to take a chance on losing him to another team, so, in essence, they shut down the loophole by tagging him.

3. Folk not pleased: Folk should be thrilled, right? After all, if he plays for the tag amount (the deadline for a long-term deal is July 15), he'll make more in 2014 than he did in his five previous seasons combined ($3.2 million). Ah, but there's another side to it: The premier kickers have at least $4 million in guarantees. The Chicago Bears' Robbie Gould, who signed a new deal at the end of the season, has a $4.9 million guarantee. That's where Folk gets shortchanged. It's safe to assume that Folk, who said after the season he deserved a long-term contract, isn't happy.

4. Austin's power: With Folk tagged, there's an increased sense of urgency to get right tackle Austin Howard locked up by March 11. They probably wouldn't have used it on Howard anyway (the projected amount for an offensive lineman is a steep $11 million), but now they can't use it as leverage in negotiations.

How would Osi look in green?

January, 31, 2013
Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, making the media rounds Thursday at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, said he'd be interested in the Jets if he doesn't re-sign with the Giants. He will be an unrestricted free agent and, unless he's willing to accept a cut-rate deal, the chances of re-upping with the Giants appear slim.

"Rex Ryan, when I was coming out of college he was with Baltimore at the time and he came down to work me out at Troy, he came to Atlanta, just me and him," Umenyiora told the New York Post. "We had a pretty good time out there so I've always enjoyed him as a coach and as a person. That might be a good fit. Hopefully it will be with the Giants.''

Obviously, the Jets desperately need an edge rusher like Umenyiora, but he's not a scheme fit for them. At 6-foot-3, 261 pounds, he's better suited as a 4-3 end, not a 3-4 end. The Jets could use him as a situational rusher, but he probably wouldn't be happy in that role. It also wouldn't be cost-effective to give a significant contract to a 31-year-old, part-time player.

Besides, the draft is filled with Osi-type players, and there's a chance the Jets could snag one with the ninth pick and make him an outside linebacker. Possibilities include Jarvis Jones (Georgia), Demontre Moore (Texas A&M), Barkevious Mingo (LSU) and Bjoern Werner (Florida State).

Would you like to see Osi in a Jets uniform?

Podcast: Cimini talks Revis on Mike & Mike

January, 25, 2013
Rich Cimini joined ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning on Friday with an update on Darrelle Revis' future with the Jets. Is the team really looking to trade its All-Pro CB?

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Podcast: Are the Jets tied to Sanchez?

December, 18, 2012
ESPN NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt discusses Mark Sanchez's contract and the potential options for the Jets during the upcoming offseason.


Greenberg: It's the end

November, 26, 2012
ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg, a lifelong Gang Green fan, explains why he thinks the current era of Jets football ended with the Thanksgiving debacle vs. the Patriots.

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Tannenbaum: 'Our record can be better'

November, 7, 2012
GM Mike Tannenbaum predicted a second-half turnaround for the Jets. Well, kind of.

"I'm highly confident our record can be better in the second half," Tannenbaum said Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Mike Lupica Show."

Tannenbaum said the Jets (3-5), coming off their bye week, "absolutely have the opportunity" to make a playoff run. Reflecting on the disappointing first half, he mentioned red-zone turnovers by QB Mark Sanchez and third-down penalties by the defense as key reasons for some of the losses.

He believes the coaching staff has identified "very specific" things that caused the problems. If they can clean up those issues, Tannenbaum said, "our record would look dramatically different."

Tannenbaum gave a ringing endorsement of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.

"Being around Coach Sparano every day, I can't tell you how impressed I've been with him," Tannenbaum said. "He's a grinder. He doesn't flinch when there are bumps in the road."

Tannenbaum kept pointing to critical mistakes for the team's record. He said they could easily be 5-3 or 4-4 without those mistakes.

"This isn't blind faith or crazy talk," he said. "This is based on an eight-game sample set."

Tanny sees 'really good' potential

September, 2, 2012

GM Mike Tannenbaum isn't as candid as Rex Ryan -- who is? -- but he, too, believes the Jets have a chance to do some big things this season.

"I think the potential is definitely there," Tannenbaum said Sunday on the Ian O'Connor Show on ESPN New York 98.7. "Rex is the one in charge of the prediction department, but ... we attack things relentlessly here every day and we think we have a chance to have a really good team this year."

On Friday, Ryan said this has a chance to be the best team he's had with the Jets. Tannenbaum didn't go that far, but you get the drift.

Tannenbaum also touched on some of the recent roster moves, including the decision to cut four draft picks. (S Antonio Allen and WR Jordan White were re-signed to the practice squad.) It was shocking for him to cut so many picks, but Tannenbaum said the draft grade is incomplete.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that DT Damon Harrison, an undrafted free agent from NAIA William Penn (Iowa), made the 53-man roster. (Side note: The only other William Penn player in the NFL was DE Wilbur Young, who played with three teams from 1971 to 1982.)

"Damon Harrison played really, really, well," Tannenbaum said. "And he earned his spot on our active roster because that's something else from a scouting standpoint we celebrate. We put an emphasis on the undrafted free agent process."

Tannenbaum defended the offense, which produced only one touchdown in the preseason.

"I wish we had scored, but I have the benefit of going to practice every day and I'm really encouraged by the things we're seeing," he said. "The completion percentage is up and, obviously, we have to get certain guys healthy, but I think they'll be ready to go versus Buffalo. Stephen Hill is obviously still a work in progress, but we're excited about him. If you go back to the Carolina game, he didn't have a drop in the second half, and I see him getting better every day at practice."

Tannenbaum said Tim Tebow's role "could vary somewhat significantly based on the game," and he tried to explain the Wayne Hunter mistake by saying, "You can't attack every need, every second that you'd like to."

Podcasts: Jets vs. Panthers postgame

August, 27, 2012
Listen here to Rex Ryan's press conference, 98.7 FM's game highlights with Don La Greca and locker room interviews with RB Shonn Greene and LB Bryan Thomas.

Bart predicts career year

August, 20, 2012
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Bart Scott, thought to be a goner at the start of the offseason, is back with the Jets. And back to being himself, which is to say vocal.

In addition to being loud at practice, trash talking teammates on offense, the veteran linebacker has been outspoken about his personal goals for the season.

"I'm expecting career numbers," Scott said Monday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

Scott wasn't asked to give specifics, but in case you're wondering, here are his career numbers in the key categories: Sacks (9.5), interceptions (2) and forced fumbles (2).

Scott's production dropped last season because his playing time was cut back; he was removed on passing downs. He dropped weight in the offseason, and anybody can see that he's playing faster. He was terrific in Saturday night's loss to the Giants, recording a team-high five tackles and one QB hit -- all in only one half.

TRAITOR: Second-year LB Nick Bellore has been moonlighting as a fullback, and Monday he spent the entire practice with the running backs. He also wore the white (offense) jersey. The reason for that is because there was some confusion last week when CB Antonio Cromartie played receiver and kept on his green (defense) jersey.

Bellore doesn't see the switch as permanent, and he doesn't mind. Of course, he gets an earful from Scott, who has accused him of being a traitor.

"Bart teases me. He calls me Fredo," said Bellore, referring to the "Godfather" character who undermined his own brother.

ODDS AND ENDS: Punter T.J. Conley, who had two shanks against the Giants, said the mistakes are "easily correctable." He said he dropped the ball too far to the outside. ... S LaRon Landry said he doesn't think he'll get fined for his hit on Giants WR Victor Cruz. He noted that Cruz himself said after the game that it was a clean hit. ... The Jets hold their annual Family Night practice at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at MetLife Stadium.