On Sunday the New York Jets released veteran fullback Tony Richardson in what has to be considered a shocking move. Richardson is a very respected voice in the Jets locker room and brings a ton of leadership to a team trying to break in a franchise quarterback. In addition Richardson remains a very effective blocker, which is crucial for the Jets “ground and pound” offense. Rookie John Conner will be penciled in as the starting fullback, which could make the backfield very inexperienced along with Sanchez and Greene.
I cannot begin to express how much I hate this move on many different levels. To me the releasing of Richardson raises the following questions:
1) Why so much change for a team one win away from the Super Bowl? The Jets had one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL and they get rid of their leading rusher, their starting fullback, and one of their offensive lineman. Team chemistry is so important in the NFL and the Jets are completely disrupting the locker room.
2) Where is the leadership going to come from? With the release of Richardson the Jets have now gotten rid of three respected leaders on the offensive side of the ball (Faneca and Jones). Who exactly is going to pick up the slack? Mark Sanchez has enough on his plate as it is and the added burden could potentially hinder his development.
3) Are the Jets trying to win games or save money? There are reports that Richardson could return to the Jets after week 1 when his salary will not be guaranteed. I thought this was an uncapped year, why the penny pinching? Is it because Gang Green could not sell all of their overpriced PSLs in the new stadium? Don’t even give me the Revis excuse, as there is no way the money being saved helps get a deal done with the All-Pro.
4) Does Rex Ryan have any say in personnel decisions? Last week Rex Ryan was seen on Hard Knocks expressing his desire to keep Tony Richardson on the roster. So what exactly changed?
5) Is Joe McKnight more valuable to the Jets than Richardson? You mean to tell me that a player like Joe McKnight, who was a complete disappointment in training camp, is more valuable to the Jets than Richardson? You have got to be kidding me. Or how about one of the Jets four tight ends?
I am really starting to wonder about the direction the New York Jets are heading. Initially I thought this was going to be a special year for Gang Green, but now not so sure. I am starting to question the motives of the front office and have a ton of concerns with the Jets offense. Never a dull moment in Jets nation that is for sure.