Brad Smith discusses free agency; other notes from "Jets West"

May, 3, 2011
5/03/11
11:06
PM ET
MISSION VIEJO, Calf. -- Brad Smith was the only one of the Jets' three free-agent wide receivers to show up for the first two days of Mark Sanchez's "Jets West" camp in Southern California. (Braylon Edwards is in the area, but skipped the first two workouts.) Smith said role will be an important factor when choosing a team.

"If a team is willing to give me that opportunity to do a little more ... you only get to play this game one time," he said Tuesday. "You don't want to be in a place where they don't give you that opportunity, and they understand that."

Smith has made a tremendous impact as a kickoff return and as the "Wildcat" quarterback, but he's never really had much of a role as a receiver. The Jets just drafted two receivers, Jeremy Kerley and Scotty McKnight. Kerley, chosen in the fifth round, is a Smith-like player -- versatile.

Smith suspects the team drafted Kersey to cover itself in the event he leaves as a free agent, and he said he has no problem with that. Smith's problem, if you could call it that, is that he won't be an unrestricted free agent if the 2010 rules are kept in place. He'd be restricted, severely limiting his market.

ARMS RACE: Sanchez, who injured his throwing shoulder late last season, warmed up by attaching a long elastic band to the goal post and extending his arm. That, he said, has been his routine for the last six months. He said he expects to do "a ton" of throwing this week, claiming his shoulder feels great.

JOLT TO JOE: One year after drafting Joe McKnight in the fourth round, the Jets did it again, selecting Bilal Powell of Louisville. Asked how he felt about that, McKnight didn't sugar coat anything.

"I was pissed and motivated at the same time," he said. "It really doesn’t make any difference; it's just more fuel to the fire."

McKnight said he got used to crowded backfield at USC, where they had 11 running backs on the roster. He had a forgettable rookie season, riding the bench until the meaningless regular-season finale. In that game, he opened some eyes with a 159-yard rushing performance.

Rex Ryan said McKnight has earned a bigger role, but the decision to draft Powell wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

ROLL CALL: For the record, the Day 2 turnout at "Jets West" consisted of:

Quarterbacks -- Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Kevin O'Connell, Greg McElroy

Running backs -- Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, John Conner

Receivers/tight ends -- Smith, Dustin Keller, Patrick Turner, Jeff Cumberland, Logan Payne, Kerley and Scotty McKnight.

FAMILY AFFAIR: It was Mark Sanchez's camp, but he received plenty of help from his family -- brothers Nick and Brandon and his dad, Nick Sr., all of whom attended Tuesday's workout. It's a closely-knit family; they always seem to be together. That's pretty cool.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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