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Friday, July 29, 2011
Day 3 recap: Lose 1, wait for Nnamdi

By Rich Cimini

If Bart (Can't Wait) Scott were the Jets' GM, he would've gone stir crazy Thursday because ... well, there was a lot of waiting.

The day in review:

• As of midnight, the Jets still were waiting for a decision from free-agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who is taking his sweet time. The Jets are in an excellent position to land Asomugha. One of their competitors, the Texans, dropped out after agreeing to a five-year deal with former Bengals CB Johnathan Joseph.

That leaves the Bucs and 49ers as his other primary suitors. The Bucs have the most cap room, but they just gave OL Davin Joseph a seven-year, $53 million deal and many wonder if the frugal Bucs will cough up big bucks for Asomugha. The Niners' advantage is location; Asomugha has spent his adult life in the Bay Area (Cal, Raiders).

Prediction: The Jets will wrap up an Asomugha deal Friday. If they lose him, they'll try to re-sign Antonio Cromartie, who could become the most expensive consolation prize in free-agent history.

• The Jets suffered their first significant free-agent defection, losing WR/KR Brad Smith to the Bills. A strange choice, indeed, by Smith. Sources say he informed the Jets of his desire to return, but he was told they couldn't make an offer because they were in the Nnamdi holding pattern. Smith will sign a five-year, $14 million contract.

• We're only three days into free agency, but the Jets are a weaker team than a few days ago. They've retained WR Santonio Holmes, RT Wayne Hunter and PK Nick Folk, but lost Smith.

• Meanwhile, up in New England, the rival Patriots added two intriguing names -- DT Albert Haynesworth and WR Chad Ochocinco. For a change, the Patriots -- not the Jets -- made the off-season headlines. That's usually a Jets specialty, but that will change if they secure Asomugha.

• The Jets have reached out to the agents of their draft picks, and the deals will start to trickle in. Don't expect first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson to get done until over the weekend. Players report to training camp on Sunday.