By Brian Clark
With training camp just around the corner, it’s time to examine the roster changes that occurred during the 2009 offseason for the New York Jets. I’ll breakdown the changes by position, then take a look at what we gained, lost and an outlook to the future.
- Gained: Mark Sanchez
- Lost: Brett Favre and Brett Ratliff
- Outlook: Although I was a Brett Ratliff fan, you cannot argue with getting a potential franchise quarterback for relatively little to move up and get him in the draft. His arm strength will be of no concern, and he should have little problem adjusting to the New York Media. If he can win the starting job in training camp, with the team and gameplan, he could just be a “game manager” and the team will be fine with him at the helm. Although you cannot expect amazing results from the start, you have to give credit to Sanchez to understanding his role, as he is the only 1st rounder besides Stafford to be coming to camp on time and with a contract.
Running Back/Full Back C+
- Gained: Shonne Greene
- Lost: Noah Herron
- Outlook: Adding Shonne Greene to the roster adds depth to the position (look for Greene to be the power and goal line type guy for now) and provides a great player for the future as well. With Tony Richardson serving as a blocking full back, the Jet’s running game of Jones, Washington and Greene will be one of the best in the league. The biggest question mark is the inability to take care of the potential running back contract situation with both Jones and Washington. Many fan believe that Jones should not receive anything additional and suck it up, especially considering his contract was paid out up front. In regards to Leon, no fan wants him to sit out, and have issues. Although I know that the Jets hold all the cards in regards to his contract, with him making little money this year and having an uncapped year next year, the Jets front office has rewarded players in the past for their positive performance before their contract ran out (Cotchery and Rhodes for example). This might be one of those situations where a bump in money with a lot of it guaranteed would secure him, and keep fans happy.
Wide Receiver/Tight End D
- Gained: n/a
- Lost: Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker
- Outlook: Going into the draft the Jets knew they needed to beef up their WR corps. Well, they didn’t. Although you can say that they have plenty of potential with Stuckey (who I am huge on), Clowney (who can be a decent threat, but not as dangerous as many fans perceive), Brad Smith (JAG), and Wallace Wright (would like to see him in that 4 spot over Smith), they really have little threat at the position. Cotchery is at best a strong number two, so the inability to address this need really hurts. good news is that Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller are both starters. The bad news is that the Jets are a little empty when it comes to a starting receiving corp. As of right now, one of the reserves, either Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney and Brad Smith, will need to step it up as a starting wide receiver. The Jets need to sign a better wide receiver soon, or they could regret it in the season.
Offensive Line B
- Gained: Matt Slauson and Mike Kracalik
- Lost: n/a
- Outlook: Getting Slauson will create competition for a backup role, as Bill Callahan had a strong influence in this pick. With the Jets having one of the best o-lines in football there was little needed to be added.
Defensive Line B
- Gained: Marques Douglas and Howard Green
- Lost: Kenyon Coleman and CJ Mosley
- Outlook: Coleman will not be missed. Mosley was a great “quiet” player for the Jets, but was needed to get Sanchez, so its worth it. Adding Douglas will add another guy familiar with the system, and create some unity between the current players and the new regime.
- Gained: Bart Scott and Larry Izzo
- Lost: Eric Barton, David Bowens, Brad Kassel and Cody Spencer
- Outlook: Scott will be a great voice in the middle of this defense and makes him one of the best additions of the offseason. Izzo will add special teams help and LB depth and experience. Getting rid of Barton who was getting up in age will not affect the Jets in the long run.
- Gained: Lito Sheppard, Jim Leonhard and Donald Strickland
- Lost: David Barrett, Abram Elam and Hank Poteat
- Outlook: Gaining a former pro-bowler with something in Sheppard, and another former Raven in Leonhard were both great pickups. Strickland will quietly compete with Lowery for the nickel cornerback spot and could win it out by the end of the year. By Getting rid of Barrett that made me happy on a personal level. We will miss the big play ability of Elam, but once again, you needed to give up a JAG safety to get a potential franchise QM
I love the attitude and the “swagger” of the Rex Ryan era. He is fun, challenges the Patriots and Dolphins, and will bring an attack first defense to this team. I think that Mangini got a raw deal with getting fired, especially considering the play of Favre over the past 5 games, but I can’t complain with the new coaching staff.
Front Office/Organization F
PSL’s will ruin the Jets. They are already through the waiting list and cannot even sell all the PSL’s. Right now they are alienating their true fan base, and they refuse to budge. A “fan appreciation” game at the end of the year will not be enough to make it better for the fans. Winning will help, but some major changes need to be made to address the PSL’s and the ticket prices for 2010 and the future. Imagine what it will be like when this team goes 4-12 in a year…there will be 20,000 people in the stadium. Just a scary thought for the future.