Fans always seem to be obsessed with cap numbers, so here you go: As of Feb. 28, the Jets had $120.9 million committed to the 2012 cap, according to Pro Football Talk.The NFL hasn't announced the amount of the '12 cap, but it's expected to be about $120 million.
The Jets had $8.39 million in unused cap space from last season, according to PFT, and they're allowed a carryover into 2012. With that extra money, they'd had enough room to draft and be moderately active in free agency.
1. BountyGate has conjured up memories of the "Bounty Bowl" from 1989, when Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson accused Eagles coach Buddy Ryan of putting a bounty on QB Troy Aikman and PK Luis Zendejas before a 27-0 Eagles win. Because that involved his father, Rex Ryan's name has come up in this latest scandal involving the Saints. "This is something that is being handled by the NFL office," Ryan said in a statement Saturday through the team. "Iíve never condoned it and Iíve never coached it."
2. BountyGate is worse than SpyGate, and the principles should be punished accordingly. Former Saints D.C. Gregg Williams, the ring leader, should be suspended for the season; the Saints should be docked a third-round draft pick in 2012 (they don't have a first-rounder) and their 2013 first-round pick; Saints coach Sean Payton, GM Mickey Loomis and the Saints should be fined $500,000 apiece. Just one man's opinion. By the way, Williams got his start in the NFL with Buddy Ryan, back with the Oilers in the 1990s.
3. The sinning Saints make Sal Alosi seem like just an unruly kid at recess.
4. There is, of course, a hypocritical aspect to the entire notion of paying players to injure opponents. Let's face it, the league glorifies violence. Commissioner Roger Goodell has done a lot to improve player safety, but the "kill shot" element remains. Don't think so? Check out any official game summary and stats. Under the defensive stats, there's a category for "QB hits."
5. Early draft prediction: If Alabama RB Trent Richardson slips to 16, the Jets will take him. Bet on it.
6. The Jets are hoping LB Bart Scott restructures his contract to facilitate a trade. Why would a player with a $4.2 million guarantee agree to re-work his deal? Well, it wouldn't be unprecedented. Randy Moss left money on the table when he was traded to the Patriots in 2007, restructuring the deal he had with the Raiders. The Jets want to resolve the matter before April 16, the start of the off-season program. That's because Scott has a $250,000 workout bonus.
7. In a radio interview the other day, GM Mike Tannenbaum mentioned in passing that assistant GM Scott Cohen "stood on the table" last season for pass rusher Aaron Maybin, lobbying the team to sign the former Bills bust. It turned out to be a terrific move. Guys like Cohen, who work behind the scenes and don't garner any headlines, deserve their share of the props. More often than not, they do the grunt work.
8. The Jets have discussed the possibility of pursuing free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Raiders). He led the Raiders to a 4-2 start last season before suffering a season-ending collarbone injury. One of Ryan's new coaches is very familiar with Campbell -- former Raiders WRs coach Sanjay Lal. New O.C. Tony Sparano is planning to incorporate some Raiders concepts into his playbook. One potential issue: The feeling is that Campbell needs practice reps to be effective, and there's concern he wouldn't do well in a No. 2 role because of the paucity of reps.
9. So now a You Tube video of Peyton Manning has surfaced, showing him throwing to receivers during a workout at Duke. Sorry, but four passes doesn't convince me his arm/neck is as good as new.
10. As you may have read Friday night, Mark Sanchez recently spent time in South Florida with ex-Jets QB Chad Pennington, trying to learn the Sparano offense before the start of the off-season program. It's too bad Pennington appears done with football because he'd be the ideal backup. The Jets should invite him to training camp to help out the QBs; he'd be a great -- assuming he's over any hard feelings from his unceremonious release in '08.
LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't see why BountyGate has become such a big scandal. He doesn't believe it's cheating and he's hoping the Saints aren't penalized too severely.
Uh, I don't think Roger Goodell is going to like these comments.
ďI donít think itís cheating at all. Absolutely not," Tomlinson told XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego, courtesy of sportsradiointerviews.com. "Because ... it is a form of motivation. If Iíve got a group of guys and they are going against the top offense in the league -- if I want to challenge my guys, I say, ĎGuys, if we pick off this guy twice, Iím giving somebody such and such. Whoever does it.' Hey, that is not cheating!í That is just motivating your players to play a little bit harder and play a little bit better.Ē
Tomlinson said he's "sure this is not the first time, trust me. This is not the first time this happened. Itís just now coming out that this type of stuff happened, but Iím not surprised at all. Weíll have to wait and see what the commissioner does as far as discipline, but in all honesty, I mean, I think itís kind of part of the game. I mean, to be honest with you, I donít think you can discipline them guys too much."
Tomlinson said he's certain there have been bounties put on him. He sees it as kind of a compliment as long as they don't try anything dirty."Iím sure it has happened before," he said. "Think about this: Do you mean to tell me that guys are not naturally saying ... 'I want LT out of the game. He is that focus of that offense. I want to put him out of the game.' They saying that anyway, so if a coach says it and they are going to put some money on it ... I mean, it's the same thing to me to be honest with you."
As for his own status as a free agent, Tomlinson, who will be 33 next season, said he will take "the best opportunity," whether it's signing with a team or moving into his post-football life. He won't be back with the Jets.
I still look at a team that went to an AFC title game two years in a row. This is not a team that is bankrupt. It always bothers me when I hear fans say, ĎWe have to make a bunch of changes, we have to make a bunch of changes.í Well, you always retool, you always fine-tune, you always do self-evaluations of what you need to get better. And you go forward and you play out the next season. It ainít broke, so itís just a matter of what do you have to do to get it back? Sometimes you just have to win two more games to get into the tournament and I mean thatís what it is. If you get into the tournament, you have a chance. The Jets proved that, the Giants just proved it again and the Packers proved it the year before. You want to see if Tony Sparano will bring what his head coach, Rex Ryan, wants him to bring, which is a toughness to that team. Tony, people might think of him as a former offensive line coach, which he is, but he brings in explosive plays downfield. So youíd like to see that element of it and they have to get consistent at running the ball. Not ground and pound, just consistent running the ball.
The story of Chad Pennington tutoring Mark Sanchez on Tony Sparano's offense has fueled questions about the possibility of Pennington re-signing with the Jets to serve as Sanchez's backup.
Sounds intriguing, right ?
Well, Pennington threw some cold water on the prospect of returning to New York."You can say you want to go back someone up, but you gotta understand, starters go down and starters have to be relieved," Pennington said Monday on "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN New York. "So if youíre a backup, you have to believe you can go in there and believe you can make something happen. Thatís so important for me, to have that confidence that I can look Coach Sparano and Coach (Rex) Ryan in the eye and say, 'Yeah, you can trust my sholder.í Right now, I donít know if thatís the case or not."
Pennington, 35, he of the multiple shoulder surgeries and major knee surgery, didn't play last season and said he's "leaning toward retirement." He spoke glowingly of Sanchez, with whom he met recently to discuss Sparano's system. He said they had "really good sessions," noting they also talked about quarterback play in general and Pennington's meticulous preparation habits."Just talking to him, I think his demeanor is really good," Pennington said. "I think he has a hunger and desire to get better and take some of the criticisms he has received and turn them into something that can make him better, and learn from those."
Pennington was the ideal person to tutor Sanchez because he also knows the Brian Schottenheimer system, and he was able to help Sanchez with the differences in terminology between the Schottenheimer and Sparano offenses.
As I was working today (my actual job) my mind started wondering to the NFL and it's direction and how we are keeping up with this as an organization. Strangely enough, I sit next to a Dolphins fan at work and often have some discussions about the NFL and the leading topics (I know, what are the chances of getting two NFL rival fans sitting next to each other in a company in the east of England).
I started thinking about how the League had developed into a passing league where the value is associated to your quarterback, your tight ends and that deep threat receiver. On the other side, I thought about how teams are now having to create packages to stop these high flying offences with athletic safeties and pace in the linebacking core. How more teams are franchising their kickers (I think there were five this year) and more teams are looking for reliable punters.
Can anyone see where I am going with this ?
after thinking about the league as a whole and the advancement of trends towards the areas highlighted above. I thought about the Jets. At the moment we have a highly inconsistent QB, only one real pass catching tight end who demands any real coverage and we said goodbye to the legitimate deep threat on our team for a player coming off a stretch who hadn't played in years.Our safeties have been lacking athleticism ever since we traded Kerry Rhodes and we haven't done anything since then to replace this. Our linebacking unit by league standard is quite slow and we are ageing without any real replacements coming through. We have had both a kicking carousel and a punting merry go round for some time and at the moment we don't look to have either position focused.
I don't want this to be a doom and gloom, oh here comes the moan at the Jets. However I can't help noticing that as the league moves in a certain direction, we don't seem to be moving with it. We are trying to carve an identity as a rough and tough running team but is that the direction that will lead us to a championship. The Giants were the 5th best passing team in the league last year and one of the worst rushing teams. Year before we have the Packers, and the year before that the Saints.I know some will say that we have been to two AFC Championship games in the last three years and I am as delighted about that as anyone is, but last time I checked it's about Superbowl wins and not getting to the Championship game. I know we need to develop this team, we need to tinker chop and change. However we had a deep threat wide receiver we let him go, we had an athletic safety and we let him go and probably rightly so, but we never really committed to finding a replacements. We gave up on Mike Nugent way too fast and same with Weatherford.
It's not that we can't move with the league, but I just get the feeling that we either don't want to or can't seem to identify the talent to enable us to. Right now we are in a little cap hell with some questionable moves in the past, the safety market is thinning as John pointed out today but there is a real chance we can improve the quickness on the defensive side of the ball and if you want that deep threat wide receiver. Now is the time to grab them. We need to start moving with the league as it's tendencies.