- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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Sunday notes on the Jets and from around the NFL:
• PLAYING MUSICAL RECEIVERS. Few, if any, positions in the NFL have created more buzz this offseason than the Jets' wide-receiver situation. With Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith set to be free agents, and with big names like Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens on the market (and maybe Chad Ochocinco and Steve Smith), the rumor mill is churning.
This much I can tell you: If the Jets lose Edwards and/or Holmes, they will take a look at the aforementioned players. There have been many conflicting media reports about Moss, but I don't think the Jets have ruled him out. Frankly, I think it would be a mistake to add Moss, but there is backburner interest. Ditto, Burress.
• THE RETURN OF BIG D? Former Jets RT Damien Woody, released in late February, remains on the Jets' radar screen. The feeling close to the team is that Woody, 33, is likely to re-sign at some point, according to a source -- assuming there's a season to come back to. Naturally, he'd return at a salary less than the $3.35 million he was supposed to make. Of course, it would depend on his surgically-repaired Achilles' tendon; he's said to be progressing nicely.
Woody is benefitting from the lockout because the player tabbed to replace him, the inexperienced Vladimir Ducasse, is missing valuable minicamps and OTA practices. If Ducasse doesn't light it up in training camp, the Jets can re-sign Woody as a quick fix and/or insurance policy. And that would be a smart move.
• FOOTNOTE: Patriots WR Wes Welker, who tweaked Rex Ryan with about a dozen foot references in a news conference during the run-up to the AFC divisional playoff game, discussed his meeting at the Pro Bowl with the Jets' coach.
"I apologized and he was a good sport about it, and everything like that," Welker said, per Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. " ... I bought him a beer. He's a good man. Great coach, obviously."
• ROLL TIDE. Former Jets DL Marty Lyons is heading to Alabama Sunday for his alma mater's annual charity golf tournament, and this promises to be a homecoming like he's never experienced before. Lyons, who played for the Crimson Tide's national-championship team in 1978, has seen pictures and video of the tornado devastation in Tuscaloosa, but now he'll see it first hand. He's planning to walk the campus Sunday night.
Lyons said Alberta City, where he used to stay with the team the night before home games, is "completely gone. The tornado wiped out Alberta City. That's hard to believe." From talking to friends in the area, Lyons said the entire state has bonded together to rebuild the region. Yes, Alabama and Auburn fans -- usually bitter rivals -- have joined forces.
"It doesn't even matter if you're from Alabama or Auburn, everybody is trying to come to grips with the same tragedy," said Lyons, who was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame this past week. "It's kind of like New York after 9/11. Everyone has gathered together."
• RETURN ENGAGEMENT. Reporters never got a chance to talk to DE Shaun Ellis on "baggie" day because he cleaned out his locker and bolted, but the longest-tenured Jet has told friends that he'd like to return. Like Woody, Ellis' veteran experience will be key because of the lockout.
• TOUGH ENCORE. The Jets apparently are a tough act to follow on HBO's "Hard Knocks." The Bucs, Broncos and Lions reportedly have turned down invitations to appear this summer on the reality series. That's understandable, considering the lockout. If there is training camp, or an abbreviated version, teams will have to be ultra-focused to make up for lost time. "Hard Knocks" would be a distraction. The Jets handled it because of Ryan's dominating personality and because it was a veteran team that knew how to deal with the distraction. But the guess here is that they might have turned it down, too, if it had been a post-lockout camp.
• MANN UP, ELI. Intrepid Giants beat writers show up every day to Hoboken (N.J.) High to watch the Eli Manning passing academy, hoping to get a few quotes from the QB. No such luck. He's usually cooperative during the season, but Manning has been dodging reporters. He has mastered the art of saying nothing even when he speaks, so would it hurt anyone to give a few vanilla quotes on the workouts and the labor situation? Maybe, because brother Peyton is one of the plaintiffs in the so-called Brady suit against the NFL, Eli wants to avoid comment. But he also has a responsibility as the face of the franchise to be a spokesman in times like these.
Sunday notes on the Jets and from around the NFL:• PLAYING MUSICAL RECEIVERS. Few, if any, positions in the NFL have created more buzz this offseason than the Jets' wide-receiver situation.