Took long enough, didn’t it? The opening day of free agency was as arduous for fans as it was for the parties involved. Flashbacks of the Antoine Winfield fiasco had most fans waiting in fear.
After hours of web-page refreshing, sports radio surfing, and ESPN sitting, Bart Scott has become the newest member of our New York Jets. With a deal reported to be worth $48 million over the next six years, Scott joins a talented defense in desperate need of a leader.
People will wonder if Scott is as good as advertised. They’ll question his ability because of the immensely talented men who surrounded him. They’ll say it’s not difficult to be great in the Ravens’ defense.
Well, put those feelings to bed right now.
In any other scenario, it would be easy to agree. With any other head coach, being concerned would be the logical thing to do.
But don’t assume for a moment that the first big signing of the Rex Ryan regime will simply be out of an emotional attachment. If he thought Bart Scott was only as good as the men around him, then Bart Scott would not be with the New York Jets in 2009.
We should all have the utmost confidence in Ryan’s ability to evaluate the players that made his defense what it has been through the years.
It’s not as much of a question mark as Calvin Pace was last season. We’re not as worried about Scott as we were about Damien Woody.
This is a man who he helped develop—who he groomed for the NFL (and his defense)—and he is now going to make Ryan’s transition from coordinator to head coach run more smoothly.
Now it’s time to make be realistic with the expectations. A contract averaging $8 million per year does set a certain benchmark. But, please, curb any and all Ray Lewis comparisons.
Let him be his own man in New York, and reserve judgment on his leadership skills until the season starts.
The only thing everyone wants is to see this happen to Tom Brady, Chad Pennington, and Trent Edwards. Often.
Now to continue raiding the Ravens’ defensive personnel. Jim Leonhard and Corey Ivy will be welcome additions as soon as the transactions are made official.
Until then, we can all ease our index fingers off the “refresh” button.