Jets Lose Asomugha Sweepstakes. What Now?
The All-Pro cornerback proved to be just as tricky to sign as his name is to spell. Nnamdi, Nnamdi, not gonna work for the Jets anyway.
It seems Nnamdi Asomugha wasn’t as interested in forming what might have possibly been the best cornerback tandem the world has ever seen as he made it appear and the ploy worked fooling everyone, especially Jets fans. Jets fans have to be feeling like the kids of Whoville on Christmas morning with Andy Reid and the Eagles playing the role of the Grinch. Now we just have to wait to see how much this hurts the Jets ability to make up ground with other free agents.
For fans that are frantic the team will be behind the eight-ball, just remember a mere four days ago the thought of the Jets signing Asomugha was a pipe dream and Mike Tannenbaum always has a plan and at least seven or eight backup plans as well. The main obstacle Tannenbaum will face as he looks to get back on track is trying to smooth over some potentially hurt feelings, as some of their own free-agents weren’t exactly feeling the love from the team these last couple of days.
Luckily for the Jets, Asomugha and Antonio Cromartie share the same agent so Tannenbaum didn’t even have to hang up the phone to try to get working on that deal. Braylon Edwards has drawn surprisingly very little interest and it would seem logical the Jets would open those discussions back up as well. With the money the Jets were planning to give the Asomugha (reportedly $12 million) they could almost fully pay off a return for both Cromartie and Edwards.
On top of the savings the Jets keep from not paying Asomugha they also restructured the contracts of four players (L.T., Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Brandon Moore) and made a few cuts like backup QB Mark Brunell who is expected to be re-signed at a lower price tag.
Obviously Rex Ryan and the Jets didn’t get their man, all the dreaming that has taken place over the last few days was all for naught and it’s the Eagles fans that now get to reap the rewards. But now this lets the Jets try and address other, more important needs.
Priority number one needs to be get Cromartie re-signed, number two is Edwards, then it continues with re-signings of their own free-agents, such as Eric Smith and Brodney Pool. They will also have to find a new punter as the inexplicably let Steve Weatherford stroll over to the Giants.
Reportedly the Jets have already entered early negotiations with the safety Eric Smith per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The Jets will also continue to address depth and are likely to continue discussions with cornerback Chris Carr. Another name you might expect to hear mentioned is that of former Raven defensive tackle Kelly Gregg who was recently released from the Ravens as well and we all know how Ryan feels about his old Raven players. The Patriots even released Ty Warren today and who knows maybe Tannenbaum would like to kick the tires on that, if for no other reason than to tweak the Patriots.
This may feel like a crushing defeat for many Jets fans, but signing Asomugha would have left giant holes throughout the team. Especially at receiver, it was a necessity for the Jets to re-sign Holmes but they couldn’t have expected to get past the AFC Championship with Jerricho Cotchery as their number two.
The dream of the historic tandem is dead, which strictly as a football experiment is a shame, but this defense will have plenty of talent and Rex Ryan will do what Rex Ryan does and that’s get the best out of them. The defense will be fine with the return of Cromartie, Smith and Pool as well as the rookies and the no longer injured Jim Leonhard.
Now it’s time to spend some more of that money on helping the newly appointed captain, Mark Sanchez, and that starts by smoothing over some hurt feelings and re-signing Edwards.