Jets Sign Safety Emanule Cook
Florham Park, N.J.- Laveranues Coles return to the Jets was so short he was never able to rejoin the team as the Jets had to release him to add some depth to their secondary with Jim Leonhard out for the season and James Ihedigbo being hurt in Monday night’s game.
With the Jets down a safety for the rest of the year, a starter and one of the most valuable defenders on the team because of his intangibles with Leonhard, and possibly down another (Ihedigbo) for most likely a game or two the Jets needed to get another safety on their roster, especially with the way Tom Brady shredded the Jets pass defense less than 48 hours ago.
At yesterday’s press conference Rex Ryan said, “Well, we lost a Jet and I wanted to bring a Jet in. I would have liked to have had LC here, but now we’re going to have to let him go because of the safety situation. With the uncertainty of Dig (Ihedigbo) being out, we’ll probably have to bring a safety in.”
Ryan also went on to say that they had someone specific in mind, “There’s a guy I think we’ll target. We’ll see what happens. It’s tough now because if you have to play them, they better be familiar with what you’re doing. That list of safeties might be this long (hand gesture), but it really might be that long (shortens hands).”
According to reports from ESPN’s Rich Cimini safety Keith FitzHugh was the player the Jets had in mind, but he turned down the offer to keep make sure he keeps his steady paycheck as a train conductor to take care of his ailing parents.
“Well that’s one of the reasons why we wanted that kid.” Ryan said today when asked what he thought about FitzHugh’s decision to take care of his parents first. “I mean he’s a tough guy, he’s a guy with a lot of character and he’s just a really outstanding young man. The decision he made, was a tough one for him, but I admire his decision.”
So the Jets were forced to go to their backup, backup plan and signed Cook to join the team and today he was with the team at practice. Cook is listed at 5′ 10″, 224-pounds and in his second year in the league after playing at South Carolina in college.
Cook has been signed to both the Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but has now found himself back with the Jets and this time will be likely to see some playing time.
With Leonhard, and for now Ihedigbo (today Ryan said there was no structural damage, but he had a high-ankle sprain and while Ryan wouldn’t quite rule him out he did say it was unlikely he would play this week), out the Jets will most likely stick with Eric Smith and Brodney Pool as the starting two safeties, but Dwight Lowery, Kyle Wilson and Cook will have to step up to fill the void left by Leonhard.