Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Roster evaluation: Top 25 players, 16 to 20
By Rich Cimini
It's early February, post-Super Bowl, which means every team not named the Seattle Seahawks is doing the same thing -- planning for 2014. The Seahawks are busy celebrating, but you can bet they'll be returning to the grind real soon.
Part of planning is evaluating what you have. Toward that end, we've ranked the top 25 players on the New York Jets' roster -- based on performance, potential, positional value and salary-cap status. Here's 16 to 20:
16. Dawan Landry, safety, (cap charge: $1.8 million): If Landry were a pitcher in baseball, he'd be described as an innings eater. He played a lot of football last season (98 percent of the defensive snaps), but he didn't make many big plays. Still, he has value because of his intangibles, namely his ability to quarterback the secondary.
17. Calvin Pace, outside linebacker, (cap charge: Free agent): This will be an interesting negotiation. Pace is coming off a 10-sack season, a career high, but he's 33 years old. You can bet he'll be looking for a lot more than the $1 million he made last season on a one-year deal. The Jets are thin at the position, helping Pace's leverage.
18. Bilal Powell, running back, (cap charge: $1.5 million): He qualified for an esclator, increasing his cap number in the final year of his rookie contract. Powell doesn't have star potential, but he proved last season he can be a solid complementary back. He finished with 969 yards from scrimmage.
19. Jeff Cumberland, tight end, (cap charge: Free agent): He has made considerable improvement since breaking into the league as an undrafted wide receiver. The question is, what is Cumberland's ceiling? If another team sees him as a legitimate No. 1 tight end, the Jets probably will lose him.
20. Santonio Holmes, wide receiver, (cap charge: $10.75 million): You can't be the 20th-best player on the team and have a huge cap number, which is why his days with the Jets are numbered. After two disappointing, injury-plagued seasons, Holmes is a certain cap casualty. He was terrific in 2010, but it has been all downhill since then.
21. Mark Sanchez, quarterback
22. Antonio Allen, safety
23. Nick Folk, placekicker
24. Willie Colon, guard
25. Stephen Hill, wide receiver