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Posted 7 Mar 2014
QuoteThe Jetsí pressing needs at the skill positions have been well-documented, but general manager John Idzik is fully aware that heíll also have to solidify his offensive line for the team to build off an unexpected but promising 2013 season.
To that end, the Daily News has learned that the Jets will make a play for Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah when the leagueís three-day negotiating window with impending free agents begins Saturday.
Veteran Willie Colon, who started 16 games at right guard last season before tearing a biceps tendon in Week 17, is considered a back-burner option, according to a team source.
The Jetsí interest in Asamoah, who will turn 26 in July, makes sense. He started 31 games in 2011 and 2012 before losing his starting spot to Geoff Schwartz last November. Asamoah, a third-round pick by Kansas City in 2010, started nine games last year before missing one due to a shoulder injury. Schwartz, who is also an unrestricted free agent, started the final six games, including the playoffs.
Asamoah, who is better in pass protection than run blocking, could be a free agent steal. However, the Jets will likely have to fend off a handful of other serious suitors to land him. The Falcons and Chargers reportedly may have interest. The Jets are negotiating with 6-4, 305-pound right tackle Austin Howard with the hope of re-signing him before free agency begins. The Jets have plenty of space under the salary cap, but itís unclear whether Idzik & Co. will be willing to spend enough to land Asamoah.
Read more: http://www.nydailyne...4#ixzz2vKyWaxo9
Posted 23 Feb 2014
Quote1. Backs to the wall: This comes as a bit of a surprise, but I hear the New York Jets are exploring free-agent running backs -- namely Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) and Ben Tate (Houston Texans). Obviously, their greatest needs are wide receiver and tight end, with running back thought to be a secure position with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. But general manager John Idzik is a big believer in competition and depth. It also could mean that the troubled Mike Goodson is on thin ice. The bad boy from last offseason has legal issues, a surgically repaired knee and an upcoming $650,000 roster bonus. Why would the Jets pay that for a player in Goodson's situation? Both Brown and Tate have above-average running skills and they can catch the ball, a much-needed skill in the Jets' backfield.
2. Money to burn: When free agency opens March 11, the Jets should have at least $22 million in salary-cap space (not counting the anticipated veteran purge), but that doesn't mean they'll be spending like Kim Kardashian in a designer clothing store. Idzik still believes in building through the draft. "The draft is your lifeline," he said. "Free agency is phone-a-friend." That said, the Jets are expected to use the phone a few times. The feeling in the organization is they will sign a No. 2 wide receiver, a tight end (if they lose Jeff Cumberland), a veteran backup quarterback, a running back and a kicker (if they lose Nick Folk). They're optimistic about their chances of re-signing tackle Austin Howard. Yes, they have a fairly lengthy shopping list, but I don't see them breaking the bank for anyone with an $8-million-a-year-type deal. They will use the draft to find a potential No. 1 receiver and a pass-catching tight end, along with plugging some holes on defense.
3. QB quest: The Jets met with at least two quarterbacks, LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo. The 6-5 Mettenberger, in the final stages of knee-surgery rehab, is an interesting prospect. Idzik, who scouted him in person during the season, is looking to add a developmental quarterback at some point in the draft. Mettenberger could be just that in the late rounds. I see the Jets going to training camp with Geno Smith, Matt Simms, a new veteran backup and a rookie.
4. Off the Mark: If the Jets decide they want to retain Mark Sanchez (unlikely), they will try to get him to swallow a massive pay cut. The amount of their proposal will tell Sanchez just how much they really want him. If they try to slash his base pay from $9 million to $1 million, it would be insulting, a strong indication he'd have no chance to unseat Smith. If they offer in the $3 million-to-$5 million range, with a chance to make more money with incentives, it would show they consider him a viable starting option.
5. Legal tampering: The combine is the place where agents and teams meet to discuss free-agent deals. Technically, it's not allowed, but no one says anything. Curiously, a number of agents told me that teams are reluctant this year to discuss specific dollar amounts. It's likely that teams, concerned about having their offers shopped around, are waiting for the March 8-11 exclusive negotiating period to get serious.
Posted 23 Feb 2014
QuoteNDIANAPOLIS – The Jets may be cautiously optimistic that Geno Smith will make strides in his second season with an upgrade of skill-position talent around him, but the organization is preparing to have a solid contingency plan in place if he falters.
The Daily News has learned that the Jets are eying Bears quarterback Josh McCown in free agency to provide a viable alternative in case Smith regresses. McCown, coming off an impressive season that included five starts in relief of an injured Jay Cutler, is expected to draw a fair amount of interest when free agency begins on March 11. The Jets, who are expected to release Mark Sanchez next month, believe McCown would be a quality backup.
The Jets’ brain trust never truly viewed David Garrard as a viable option when Smith struggled midway through last season. Matt Simms, the No. 2 signal-caller on the depth chart, was even less experienced than Smith.
Sanchez’s impending departure has fueled speculation about possible replacements. The News has learned that a reunion between Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who worked together for four seasons in Philadelphia, is unlikely.
Texans signal-caller Matt Schaub, who is expected to be released, would be a quality option, but sources told The News that he isn’t interested in being Smith’s backup.
McCown, who will turn 35 this summer, boosted his stock with a 109.0 passer rating, 13 touchdown passes and only one interception in 2013. He went 3-2 while Cutler was out with a groin injury. The 6-4, 213-pound veteran has 38 career starts for five teams in 11 seasons.
McCown is expected to draw serious interest from a handful of teams.
McCown, in many ways, makes sense for a team bent on giving Smith every chance to be the Week 1 starter in 2014. With Ryan coaching for his job (given his de facto one-year contract extension last month), the Jets will not hesitate to pull the plug on Smith during the season if the team’s decision-makers believe he isn’t the guy to lead them into the future.
Smith’s improved ball security late in the season – he committed only three of his 25 turnovers in the final five games – has given the organization reason for optimism. The consensus among the team’s decision-makers is that Smith has the ability to take the next step with an improved cast around him on offense. To that end, the Jets will make a push to improve the skill positions in free agency and the draft.
However, they’re going to make sure they have a legitimate veteran quarterback that can be a short-term solution if Smith regresses.
On the surface, Sanchez may actually be the Jets’ best option, but people in the organization don’t believe that general manager John Idzik wants any part of Round 2 of Sanchez vs. Smith. By any objective measure, Sanchez beat out Smith in the preseason competition last summer before the fifth-year quarterback suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the second half of the third preseason game.
People in the organization believe that Idzik has little to gain and plenty to lose if Sanchez, who was drafted by Idzik’s predecessor, Mike Tannenbaum, outshines his own second-round pick in the preseason again.
“John can’t have Sanchez succeed (as a member of the Jets),” said a team insider.
Sanchez is expected to be released before his $2 million roster bonus is due in late March. The Sanchez camp met with the Jets on Friday at the NFL scouting combine, but the team hasn’t conveyed concrete plans for his future, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Sanchez, four months removed from shoulder surgery, is throwing with “good velocity” during his rehab in Southern California, according to a source. He is scheduled to return to the Jets facility this week to be examined by team trainers.
The organization would like to secure a veteran free agent quarterback before cutting ties with Sanchez, according to sources.
The Jets will have more than $35 million of salary cap space after Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes are released.
Idzik and Co. could draft a quarterback who needs to develop, but adding a proven veteran to protect them in case Smith isn’t the answer will be pivotal.
Read more: http://www.nydailyne...4#ixzz2u9SAPqAw
Posted 13 Feb 2014
QuoteOne month before the official start of free agency, the Jets are taking steps to lock up their most important in-house free agent. The Daily News has learned that Gang Green has started negotiations to sign impending free agent right tackle Austin Howard to a multi-year deal.
Howard, who will turn 27 this offseason, made significant strides in his second season as a full-time starter, helping solidify an offensive line that paved the way for the leagueís sixth-ranked rushing attack.
Howard allowed only two sacks in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. The Jets hope to sign Howard before he hits the open market on March 11, according to a team source.
Important re-sign ,hes a very solid RT.
Posted 8 Feb 2014
QuoteThe best player on the Jets wants to avoid a nasty offseason contract dispute like Darrelle Revisí contentious holdout in 2010. In fact, Muhammad Wilkerson said he wants to retire as a Jet.
The All-Pro defensive end told Metro New York on Saturday he hopes to sign a long-term deal with the Jets. Recent reports have said Wilkerson, who is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, wants a pay raise and could be a possible holdout candidate.
Wilkerson denied he is considering a preseason holdout or thoughts of any lengthy contract haggling. He even sounded optimistic a deal could be in place to keep him in green and white for the foreseeable future.
When asked if a deal will be done this offseason, he left little wiggle room for his intentions.
ďIt will be taken care of, definitely. But all that holdout and all that other talk that people were saying and everything Ė I never said anything like that. Iím not going to hold out,Ē Wilkerson told Metro New York. ďItís not something I want; itís not something Iím thinking about. Iím going to show up like everybody else and do what Iím told.Ē
Wilkerson spoke Saturday at Blink Fitness in Parsippany, N.J. where he served as personal trainer and fielded questions. During the question and answer session, he also sounded support for rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who struggled last season as the teamís starter.
As for his Jets future, sources tell Metro New York no significant contract talks have taken place between Wilkersonís representatives and the team. But it is certainly his desire to strike a deal with general manager John Idzik.
He had 64 tackles last season and led the Jets with 10 1/2 sacks. He was snubbed from the Pro Bowl despite his performance from the end position in the Jetsí 3-4 alignment.
ďLike I tell everybody, thatís what I got an agent for. I feel Iíve got a damn good one. Theyíre going to discuss with John and them and I think theyíre going to work something out,Ē Wilkerson said. ďI have faith in them. At the end of the day, I want to be a Jet for life. I think I will be so Iím going to let everything take care of itself. Everything will fall into place; everything happens for a reason. Iím just sitting here waiting.Ē
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