Jets re-sign safety Eric Smith

Updated: August 1, 2011, 7:16 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Jets' secondary has absorbed a couple of hits in free agency, but they secured one of their own Friday night, re-signing safety Eric Smith to a three-year contract.

The Jets also reached a one-year deal with former San Diego Chargers cornerback Donald Strickland, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton. The Chargers cut Strickland on Thursday.

Smith and Brodney Pool, also a free agent, shared the job opposite Jim Leonhard last season, with Smith starting six games and three in the playoffs.

Smith is the odds-on favorite to win the job in training camp because it appears that Pool won't be back.

The Smith signing, first reported by The Star-Ledger of Newark, allowed the Jets to save some face after the stunning outcome to the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes.

The Jets appeared to be the favorite for the star cornerback, but he was swiped away Friday afternoon by the Philadelphia Eagles, who gave him a five-year, $60 million contract.

The Jets also lost their nickel back, Drew Coleman, who signed a three-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

On Saturday, the Jets will focus on cornerback. Antonio Cromartie remains a fallback option, but he's drawing interest from the San Francisco 49ers and others.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum also is exploring the trade market, according to sources. The team also is in the market for a No. 2 wide receiver to start opposite Santonio Holmes, whom they retained with a five-year, $50 million contract.

The Jets have an interest in re-signing Braylon Edwards, but that doesn't seem likely because of his asking price. They're showing interest in James Jones (Green Bay Packers) and, to a lesser degree, Randy Moss (Tennessee Titans).

Smith, entering his sixth season, also is a key contributor on special teams. He's never been a full-time starter, so it remains to be seen whether he can hold up for an entire season. He's had concussion issues in the past.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton was used in this report.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

EDITORS' PICKS