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  1. #221
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    The Jets parted ways with Antonio Cromartie just days before before his $5 million roster bonus came due, and they no doubt have a plan in place to replace him. But three days into free agency, some of the biggest names on the market for cornerbacks—Alterraun Verner, Vontae Davis, Aqib Talib, Captain Munnerlyn, some dude named Revis—have already been scooped up by other teams. So what's left?

    Plenty.

    This was a deep market for corners, so even though many of the items locked behind the glass have all been bought, there are still a number of quality options for sale behind the counter. Some seem to be much better than others, but none are going to force general manager John Idzik to bust his budget.

    Let's take a peek, shall we?

    10. Cortland Finnegan, Rams
    His two seasons in St. Louis have been widely panned as terrible. Stock has fallen dramatically since he was with the Titans.

    9. Chris Cook, Vikings
    The kind of big, physical corner the Jets like, but has a history of off-field problems.

    8. Carlos Rogers, 49ers
    His skills have been declining of late, so maybe not the best option for the Jets.

    7. Champ Bailey, Broncos
    Man, he didn't look so great in the Super Bowl, did he? Bailey's had a wonderful career, but he'll be 36 in June.

    6. Brandon Browner, Seahawks
    Must serve a four-game suspension to start season and is still slated to visit several teams not named the Jets.

    5. Tarell Brown, 49ers
    Injuries toward the end of the season cost him a starting job. Pro Football Focus called him a "capable number two."

    4. Charles Tillman, Bears
    Slowed by age (he just turned 33) and coming off a triceps injury, Tillman doesn't seem to be what the Jets are looking for.

    3. Walter Thurmond, Seahawks
    Has skills to play press coverage. Would Jets hold last season's four-game suspension for substance abuse against him?

    2. Antonio Cromartie, Jets
    Cro's still available! He visited the Cardinals on Thursday, but still no deal, so ... maybe?

    1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Broncos
    Cro's cousin rebounded in a big way after a disastrous two seasons with the Eagles.

    > http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201..._the_jets.html

  2. #222
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    Motivated Decker begins life after Peyton

    Eric Decker's perception of New Jersey wasn't good. Overcrowded and too much traffic, he thought. He probably watched too many episodes of "The Sopranos." Then he arrived for Super Bowl XLVIII and practiced in Florham Park at the New York Jets' facility. Now he sounds like he's ready to do chamber-of-commerce-type endorsements for Gov. Chris Christie.

    Eric Decker will have to adjust to a learning curve, as the offensive output was quite different in comparison between Denver and the Jets in 2013."I think New Jersey is under-rated," the former Denver Broncos wide receiver said Friday on a media conference call, his first group interview since signing a five-year, $36.25 million contract with the Jets. "I got to spend a week out there and it's a beautiful place."

    No doubt, Decker will score points among the locals for his "under-rated" comment; the hard part will be convincing them the state's newest millionaire isn't over-rated.

    Even though he's ninth in the NFL in receiving yards over the last two seasons (2,352), Decker arrives with a stigma. Fair or not, the perception of him is that he's a product of Peyton Manning's brilliance. Any receiver can put up gaudy numbers in a Manning-orchestrated system, right? Obviously, Decker doesn't feel that way.

    "Did he help? Of course he helped, he's a future Hall of Famer," Decker said. "But I also think I'm a good football player, and I think my skill set is an asset that can help the team win football games. That's why I'm here in New York."

    You can look at it the other way, too: Before Manning arrived in 2012, Decker managed 44 receptions and nine touchdowns with scatter-armed Tim Tebow at quarerback. So there's that.

    Decker said the Broncos didn't make an offer to keep him, claiming he took no offense because he understands the salary cap world of the league. He reportedly had two other visits lined up (he wouldn't name the teams), but he said the Jets "felt like home," mentioning he liked the "culture" around the organization. He agreed to terms Wednesday night and celebrated at dinner with Rex Ryan and other staff members. In New Jersey, of course.

    So he goes from the most prolific passing offense in history to the 31st-ranked passing offense, led by a still-developing quarterback, Geno Smith.

    "I think this team has a lot of potential," Decker said. "It's a young football team. I've always felt like I've played the underdog role throughout my life, throughout my football career -- now, high school, college. I'm motivated to help this team win football games. To me, that’s the most important thing, joining a culture that wants to do that. I enjoyed my time in Denver, but I'm excited about this opportunity."

    Being around Manning for two years is bound to be a positive. Manning is obsessed with preparation, and Decker hopes to bring that mentality to his new team.

    "My goal is to take the knowledge and preparation I've learned the last four years, with some great coaches and a great quarterback, and share that with my teammates," he said. "You win football games between Wednesday and Saturday. The preparation we did as an offense in Denver can be done in New York."

    Decker isn't the only celebrity is in his family. His wife is Jessica James, a country pop singer, and they star together in an E! reality series called, "Eric and Jessie: Game On." The second series begins March 30. The Jets go from "Hard Knocks" (in 2010) to "Eric and Jessie." Decker claimed the opportunity to play in the No. 1 media market had no bearing on his decision.

    "The priority was football," he said. "Obviously, being in the biggest, best city in the country offers other opportunities, but my mindset was, what’s good for me from a football standpoint?"

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...e-after-peyton

  3. #223
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    Right tackle Breno Giacomini's contract with the New York Jets is four years, $18 million, including $7 million in guarantees, according to ESPN data.

    GiacominiLooking at it purely from an apples-to-apples perspective, the Jets made out nicely in the Giacomini-for-Austin Howard swap. Gone: A 27-year-old tackle with 32 career starts. His replacement: A 28-year-old tackle with 33 career starts. The dollar-for-dollar comparison, at least for 2014, is significantly different. Howard's cap charge with the Oakland Raiders is $8 million; Giacomini's charge is $2.625 million -- a huge savings for the Jets.

    The question is, did they upgrade the position? They're comparable players, according to one AFC personnel executive. Howard had supporters within the Jets' organization, but general manager John Idzik made the call on this one. He spent three seasons with Giacomini in Seattle (2010-12), so he knows the player. If Giacomini flops, it's on Idzik.

    One interesting note: Howard has $7.9 million in fully guaranteed money (at the time of signing), not a whole lot more than Giacomini. Clearly, the Jets saw little or no different between the players. You want to keep players like Howard in your program -- relatively young and ascending -- but Idzik obviously has a comfort level with Giacomini.

    A breakdown of the contract:

    2014

    Cap charge: $2.625 million

    Signing bonus: $2.5 million

    Roster bonus: $1.0 million (fifth day of league year)

    Base salary: $1.0 million (full guaranteed)

    2015

    Cap charge: $5.125 million

    Base salary: $4.5 million ($2.5 million guaranteed)

    2016

    Cap charge: $5.125 million

    Base salary: $4.5 million

    2017

    Cap charge: $5.125 million

    Base salary: $4.5 million

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...reno-giacomini

  4. #224
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    The New York Jets could replace a Cromartie with a Cromartie. Sort of.

    Looking to replace cornerback Antonio Cromartie, whom they released Sunday, the Jets have scheduled a visit with his cousin, free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported. Rodgers-Cromartie was scheduled to arrive Friday night.

    The cornerback market is dwindling, so this might be the Jets' best option. Rodgers-Cromartie is coming off a good season -- his only season -- with the Denver Broncos, but some are concerned about his motivation. He talked about retirement only two months ago (he backed off), but the topic is sure to come up when he sits down with Jets officials. He reportedly turned down a six-year, $54 million contract from the Broncos, prompting them to turn their attention to Aqib Talib.

    Rodgers-Cromartie was a first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and had two mediocre seasons before landing with the Broncos.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...gers-cromartie

  5. #225
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    Teams wary on Emmanuel Sanders

    Emmanuel Sanders has been crisscrossing the country visiting teams this week, but the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver might not get the kind of contract he covets because of medical concerns, a source told ESPN.com.

    Sanders has a screw in each foot, stemming from injuries he sustained in the Super Bowl following the 2010 season, and teams might be leery of signing the four-year veteran to a long-term deal.

    Sanders is believed to be seeking a contract in the range of what former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate snagged from the Lions earlier this week. Detroit signed Tate to a five-year, $31.5 million deal with $13.25 million guaranteed.

    Sanders visited the Jaguars and Buccaneers earlier this week. He met with the Chiefs in Kansas City on Friday, and the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder will visit the 49ers on Saturday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

    The Steelers are open to the possibility of bringing back Sanders, but he might have to accept a shorter-term contract and less money than he is seeking to return to Pittsburgh or sign with another team.

    Sanders' agent, Steve Weinberg, did not return several phone calls from ESPN.com.

    Sanders has played every game each of the past two seasons after missing eight games in his first two NFL seasons.

    ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell said a player might be healthy enough to play but also have some potential medical issues that make teams wary of signing him to a long-term contract. Bell said every team is different in how it assesses medical risks when signing players.

    Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, as an example, signed with the Raiders on Wednesday, but Oakland nixed the deal because of a failed physical. The Rams quickly re-signed Saffold to a five-year, $31.7 million contract with $19.5 million guaranteed.

    Sanders is coming off a season in which he started for the first time on a regular basis and established career bests in receptions (67), receiving yards (740) and touchdown catches (six). He also averaged 26.8 yards as a situational kickoff returner.

    The Steelers nearly lost Sanders last year when the Patriots signed the restricted free agent to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. The Steelers matched the offer instead of letting Sanders walk and taking a third-round pick in this year's draft as compensation.

    Sanders, who turns 27 on Monday, became an unrestricted free agent March 11. He has received, as expected, his share of interest from teams with a need at wide receiver.

    Sanders has 161 career catches with 2,030 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

    Markus Wheaton, the Steelers' third-round pick last year, is expected to get the first crack at Sanders' starting job if he doesn't return to Pittsburgh.

    > http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10...dical-concerns

  6. #226
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    The Jets addressed one glaring need on offense with the signing of wide receiver Eric Decker to a 5 year, $36.25 million contract but I don’t think the addition of one weapon will be enough to make this team formidable offensively. They need to add another talented target for quarterback Geno Smith to throw to.

    There are five candidates in FanSided’s top 12 free agent Wide Receivers that have yet to sign on with a new team; let’s break down how each would fit in with the Jets:

    3) Hakeem Nicks: To me, Nicks is the perfect fit for this Jets team. He is coming off of a year in which he did not score a single touchdown, but did record 894 yards last season. He is a talented pass catcher with Super Bowl pedigree and has proven he can handle New York.

    4) Julian Edelman: Edelman had a huge season last year for the Patriots as Tom Brady‘s go-to-guy, but he has never had a season similar to it at any point in his career, which makes me wary of him. In my opinion he plays a similar style to Jeremy Kerley, and the Jets would not need two players of that type on the same squad.

    6) James Jones: Jones has been amazingly consistent in his career in Green Bay, recording more than 600 yards in 5 of his 7 years in the NFL and doing so in each of the past four seasons. He reminds me of Decker in that he has never been a true number one, partially because Aaron Rodger’s ability to spread the ball around, but he would be a valuable asset to the Jets if acquired.

    7) Emmanuel Sanders: Sanders is a servicable receiver, not spectacular. He had his best season last year after being promoted from the third receiver role to the second, due in large part to the departure of Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh. Sanders is a player I like, but don’t think he’s a great fit for the Jets becuase he seems to lack true big play ability, as evidenced by his 11 touchdown catches in his 4 seasons the NFL.

    12) Sidney Rice: His health issues concern me, but when is in on the field he is a game-changer. If he can be had for an incentive laden deal I think he would be a decent fit on for the team. I consider Rice a high risk, high reward gamble.

    Other notable options (in order of my preference): Lance Moore, Austin Collie, Robert Meachem, Danario Alexander, Kenny Britt

    > http://empirewritesback.com/2014/03/...eiver-options/

  7. #227
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    The free agent market for wide receivers has been setting no one on fire and proof that is the fact that Carolina Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell is a hot commodity. Well, hot commodity in technical terms as he’s been brought up with the likes of the Patriots, Broncos and Jets connected but hasn’t yet found a team.

    According to Manish Mehta from the New York Daily News, the Jets have had conversations with Brandon LaFell but they’ve not been in person and he’s not scheduled to be be visiting them on Friday.

    New York is desperate for receiving help, even after signing Eric Decker to a big contract. They need someone else to be on the field so that Decker isn’t double-teamed and rendered useless.

    That may be LaFell, but the fact that Brandon LaFell is a top option on the receiver market seems to highlight how underwhelming said market has become.

    > http://fansided.com/2014/03/14/nfl-f...lafell/#!zKjoN

  8. #228
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    1. Jets Well-Positioned Under the Cap: According to overthecap.com, the Green & White are close to $33 million under the league’s salary cap of $133 million. The site reports new WR Eric Decker and RT Breno Giacomini will carry $4 million and $2.625 million cap figures in 2014.

    2. Cro to Cro? After releasing Antonio Cromartie to start the week, the Jets created a cornerback vacancy opposite Dee Milliner. Could Cro’s replacement be his cousin? It was reported late Friday that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a 27-year-old DB with career numbers of 19 INT and 98 PD, may make a visit.

    3. Skill-Position Players on the Market: After signing arguably the No. 1 free agent wideout in Eric Decker, will the Jets make an additional move to add another weapon? Receivers available include Emmanuel Sanders, Julian Edelman, James Jones, Brandon LaFell and Jerome Simpson. Media reports have linked Sanders and Jones to the Green & White. At tight end, Jeremichael Finley sounds to be closing in on a deal with the Seahawks while Brandon Pettigrew and Scott Chandler re-upped with the Lions and the Bills respectively.

    4. All Quiet on the Vick Front: Jets GM John Idzik said the club was “excited” about Geno Smith, but they would look at all quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez, who is reportedly due a $2 million roster bonus on the 15th day of the league year, remains under contract. If the Jets elected to release Sanchez, they would reportedly gain an additional $8.3 million in cap savings. As far as veteran signal callers available, Josh McCown was a hot name before inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Michael Vick, who played well for Jets OC Marty Mornhinweg in Philly, is still out there. The Jets were pleased with the jump Matt Simms took last year.

    5. 11 Jets UFAs Remain: The list includes RG Willie Colon, OLB Calvin Pace and S Ed Reed. All three made contributions last season and were respected veterans inside the locker room.

    > http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/arti...0-7cc877d9f48e

  9. #229
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    NFL Free Agency, Day 2: An Island Unto Himself

    After Tuesday’s year-opening spending spree indiscriminately heaped barrels of cash on large, athletic men, Day 2 of free agency saw the league’s franchises begin to target the best remaining players available and pick off the last star-caliber player at a number of positions. And while the day started with the much-anticipated signing of DeMarcus Ware by the Denver Broncos, it finished with a number of surprises, culminating in the Patriots’ move for star cornerback Darrelle Revis. New England might not be able to compete with the volume of weaponry its rival in Denver has acquired this offseason, but in Revis, it might have picked up the best free agent of them all.

    Revis Eyes New England

    Maybe we should have seen this coming. When the Buccaneers announced they were going to move on from Revis earlier this week, my initial thought was that he would end up with the Jets, who made sense for a number of reasons: They needed a no. 1 cornerback, had a ton of cap room, and employed a coach (Rex Ryan) who had molded Revis into the game’s best corner for a time before Revis’s torn ACL in 2012. Once the Revis trade trail seemed to go cold and the Broncos signed Aqib Talib, smoke started to form around the Patriots, a team that rarely invests heavily in free agency. It’s not unprecedented for Bill Belichick to go out and sign a defensive player at a top-dollar rate — he did so with Rosevelt Colvin in 2003 and again with Adalius Thomas in 2007 — but once the rumors started to circle around Revis heading to New England, his eventual arrival in Foxborough felt more and more inevitable.

    The Patriots struck with an interesting deal. Revis will get a one-year contract for $12 million, with no word yet on how the contract will be guaranteed or what sort of incentives or options are in play. Revis surely could have gotten more on a long-term deal, given the contracts handed out to Vontae Davis ($20 million guaranteed) and Talib ($26 million guaranteed), neither of whom have the track record of the former All-Pro corner. Instead, Revis is betting on himself after an uneven season in Tampa Bay, where he showed flashes of his typical brilliance, but struggled with consistency while recovering from a torn ACL and playing more zone coverage than he would have liked. He wasn’t the top cornerback in the league, but it’s certainly fair to say he was somewhere around the 10th-best corner in the NFL last year, and he should be better in 2014. Revis clearly expects to have a big season on a competitive team before hitting the market again next year; the Patriots could franchise him, as his contract does not contain language preventing them from doing so, but they would owe him $14.4 million, and Revis has a history of getting disgruntled when the money’s not right.

    It’s also a low-risk, high-reward move for the Patriots. For all Belichick’s schematic brilliance, the Patriots simply couldn’t afford to go into 2014 with Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan as their starting cornerbacks. Revis represented a rare chance to acquire a true superstar in the prime of his career without having to deal away an asset, an opportunity that only happens once every few years. Any team in the league would sign Revis on a one-year, $12 million deal if it could. I don’t know if the Patriots will necessarily keep Revis over the long haul, as Belichick has happily let the likes of Ty Law and Asante Samuel leave in the past when their salary demands were too high, but if the worst case is one year of an excellent cornerback, the Patriots will happily take it.

    The Revis contract also puts the problems with the Broncos’ Talib deal into further focus. As I wrote yesterday, that the Broncos are pushing all in to try to win a title over the next three years doesn’t in itself make the Talib contract a bright idea. By giving Talib an enormous deal, you run into the opportunity cost of making an alternative deal/set of deals that would give your team an even better chance of winning a title in the near future. The Broncos might not have had the opportunity to sign Revis to this same contract even had they passed on Talib, but if they had, they could have brought Revis in on a much friendlier deal than Talib’s and used the long-term money they saved to target another impact defender. Teams can’t always be sure a given player will become available, but it’s usually the case that somebody unexpected ends up hitting the market, and the team whose cap is best prepared to absorb such an opportunity ends up getting a good deal. That’s how the Ravens brought in Elvis Dumervil last season.

    In all, it’s a spectacular victory for the Patriots, a modest loss for the Buccaneers (who save $16 million on their salary cap but lose a great player after one year for nothing), a disastrous moment for the Jets, and a disappointing riposte for the Broncos, who had appeared to lap the AFC after they made their big move for a pass-rusher early Wednesday afternoon.

    Ware House

    I hope you don’t need me to tell you Ware is going to make the Broncos a better football team. What’s even better for Denver and general manager John Elway — whom I perhaps sold short by describing him as the ad copy of a Viagra commercial come to life on Wednesday’s podcast — is that, unlike the Talib deal, Ware’s contract isn’t particularly onerous. His deal with Denver is a three-year, $30 million agreement that guarantees the 31-year-old $20 million, somehow less than Michael Johnson and as much as Everson Griffen or Paul Kruger. Ware is coming off an injury-scarred season that marked his first time missing action and his first season since 2005 with fewer than 11 sacks. He should be better in 2014, and having spent his time in Dallas lining up across from the likes of Greg Ellis, Anthony Spencer, and George Selvie, a recovering Von Miller should make things far easier for Ware than they have been in recent seasons. In terms of value, Talib can only really live up to his deal, but not surpass it — even if he plays like the best cornerback in football next year, he’s also being paid accordingly. A great season from Ware would be more valuable than the amount he’s paid. That’s usually the sign of a good contract.

    What does Denver do next? They could clear out up to $5.5 million by releasing backup tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, but are likely done swinging for the fences and will address some needs in the draft. However, they’re still down a middle linebacker, a guard, and a cornerback to chip in across from Talib. This is where the Broncos might very well wait until next week and let the market reveal some veterans who might be willing to take a cheap contract. Would they bring back the likes of Champ Bailey and Shaun Phillips if their markets stay cold?

    The Broncos did lose their most valuable free agent for good late Wednesday night when wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Jets. Decker was a pre-free-agency flash point out of concerns that a team would get blown away by his numbers as a secondary weapon in the league’s greatest offense and pay him like he’s a truly elite no. 1 receiver. It might have been such an obvious case, in fact, that the entire league forgot to play along. Decker’s contract ends up actually looking rather reasonable, given New York’s clear desperation for a receiver of any merit and Decker’s status as the best wideout available by a comfortable margin; his five-year pact only guarantees him $15 million, with a maximum value of $36.25 million. That’s about halfway between the contracts of Brian Hartline and Greg Jennings, and Decker is a better option than either of those two. Decker’s numbers will be disappointing next year by the sheer difference of moving from Peyton Manning to Geno Smith, but the Jets got their man at a very reasonable price. It’s a good piece of business for general manager John Idzik, who also added right tackle Breno Giacomini from the Seahawks earlier in the day. He’ll need to move on a cornerback to replace the departed Antonio Cromartie next, but the best corner left on the market is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Antonio’s cousin. Awkward.

    Feel the Lovey

    Having cleared out $16 million in cap space with the Revis release, the Buccaneers put some of their savings to use by signing a new quarterback. Former Bears backup Josh McCown got a two-year deal worth $10 million, and Lovie Smith instantly put any talk of a quarterback competition with Mike Glennon to rest by saying McCown was his quarterback shortly thereafter. I can’t say I’m fond of the move. For whatever talk you’ll hear about how McCown is a leader and how he’s finally getting the opportunity he deserved, the league had seen 1,113 pass attempts from Josh McCown from 2002 through 2012 and decided he was a backup quarterback worth no more than the veteran’s minimum. The Buccaneers are only installing him as their starter and paying him like a top-level backup because of McCown’s great 224-pass stretch last year, during which he flukishly managed to throw just one interception. Maybe McCown is a totally different player than the guy everybody thought he was before he connected with Marc Trestman and Alshon Jeffery. More likely, he’s the more recent equivalent of Damon Huard, who had a similarly stunning 244-attempt campaign with one pick in 2006, won the starting job in Kansas City, and then completely went back to his former self the following year. McCown seems likely to follow the same path, and I wonder if the Buccaneers might have been better off considering the likes of Michael Vick or the soon-to-be-released Matt Schaub.

    Saffold Match

    I didn’t think it was possible for the Raiders to seem less inviting for free agents, but on Wednesday, they managed to surprise me. While their decision to sign offensive lineman Rodger Saffold to a five-year, $42.5 million contract on Tuesday was widely panned, nobody could have expected the Raiders to bail on the deal a day later. When a pre-signing physical showed that Saffold would require shoulder surgery that would keep him out until training camp, owner Mark Davis reportedly decided to rescind the offer to Saffold. Did Davis go above general manager Reggie McKenzie’s head and make the move after hearing his team was overpaying for a marginal talent? It’s impossible to say for sure, but the perception that Davis might have done just that could be enough on its own.

    While Saffold was probably going to be a bad signing, the Raiders aren’t really in much better shape after voiding his deal, either. Most of the marquee free agents that Oakland would have chosen to go after with their ample cap space are already off the market, which leaves the Raiders — and especially McKenzie — between a rock and a hard place. If McKenzie spends the $60 million or so available to him now, he’ll end up massively overpaying afterthoughts and players with warts just to get them to consider coming to Oakland. That’s no way to build a successful franchise, and McKenzie knows it. If he doesn’t spend the cap space available to him, though, the Raiders are going to be the worst team in football and get McKenzie fired. The only thing cap space can’t buy an NFL general manager is time.

    The jilted Saffold didn’t stay unemployed for long, as the Rams re-signed him to a five-year deal with undisclosed terms, but one which will unquestionably pale in comparison to the deal he signed with Oakland. The left tackle market is now, again, down to just Anthony Collins, who is reportedly mulling offers from the Bengals, Buccaneers, and Panthers. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Raiders try to top those offers in a desperate attempt to find a left tackle.

    What to Watch for on Day 3

    1. Will Steve Smith’s time with the Panthers come to an end? As Carolina shops for a left tackle to replace the retired Jordan Gross, it might very well need to find a no. 1 receiver at the same time. It appears the Panthers are cutting ties with their longtime star wideout, with Smith’s agent publicly suggesting yesterday that Smith would never play for the Panthers again. Carolina is theoretically looking for a trade partner right now, but nobody is going to be interested in paying a 34-year-old wideout $7 million. The Panthers will eventually cut Smith and almost surely designate him as a post–June 1 release, but even if they do, they’ll only save $1 million on this year’s cap while incurring an additional $4 million on dead money on their cap in 2015. (They would actually lose $2 million in cap space by cutting Smith without such a designation.) That move is expected to happen Thursday.

    Three AFC teams stand out as likely landing points for Smith; the Broncos and Patriots can’t sign every veteran who hits the market, but they’re both in the market for a secondary wide receiver. There seems to be more smoke linking Smith to the Ravens, who have a famously high tolerance for crazy and are in desperate need of a playmaker across from Torrey Smith. Carolina, meanwhile, continues to lose key contributors for whom it cannot afford replacements. I still think it ends up going after Hakeem Nicks on a short-term deal, but its long-term replacement for Smith might very well be coming in May’s draft.

    2. How does the pass-rushing market shake out now that Ware’s signed? There are still three notable veterans left on the market in Julius Peppers, Justin Tuck, and Jared Allen, who is rumored to be considering retirement if nobody matches his contractual demands. Let’s hope Allen still owns the trademark to the “Wine ’Em, Dine ’Em, 69 ’Em” slogan from the bar he once owned in Kansas City. As it turns out, opening a bar in one town and then demanding a trade out of that town two months later does not bode well for the lifespan of your bar. It might behoove Peppers and Tuck to send Allen tile swatches and recipes for jalapeño poppers, since their market will be brighter if Allen’s not interested in playing in 2014.

    3. Does anybody want Michael Vick? You already know Vick’s relative strengths and weaknesses, but he’s both the best quarterback left on the market and the only one with the upside to play at a Pro Bowl–caliber level if everything goes right. At the very least, given that they have no quarterback of note, the Raiders should consider signing Vick to sell jerseys. It might distract Davis long enough for everyone to hold on to their job for another year.

    4. Are the Colts and Bengals going to put their cap space to work? Cincinnati and Indy both have more than $30 million in cap space available, but they’ve each had relatively quiet beginnings to the new year. The Bengals let Johnson leave in free agency and cut starting center Kyle Cook, while their highest-profile signing this offseason has been the re-signing of utility lineman Mike Pollak. They might still re-sign Collins, but their shopping list could include one of the centers remaining in free agency; would they consider making a big offer to Browns center Alex Mack, tagged as a transition player? [Editor’s note: Collins was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly after this article was published.]

    The Colts did re-up Vontae Davis and sign Arthur Jones away from the Ravens, but they’re also in the market for a center (possibly Mack) and a replacement for Antoine Bethea at safety. General manager Ryan Grigson usually likes to target younger players with midlevel deals, but there are not many options like that left on the market. Somebody like 26-year-old Nate Allen or 28-year-old Thomas DeCoud, the latter of whom made the Pro Bowl for the Falcons in 2012, could make some sense.

    5. Will Ben Tate settle for less? While the longtime Houston backup was expecting to follow the Michael Turner path and turn his solid performance as a part-time back into a hefty deal in free agency, most of the league seems to have finally realized you don’t need to spend very much on free-agent running backs. Tate is in line for a three-year deal in the $13 million range, but that might not be enough; Tate might very well prefer to go somewhere he can start, like Cleveland, and play at a high level just long enough to earn a bigger deal in free agency next year.

    > http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nf...-unto-himself/

  10. #230
    Kelly you seem to post ESPN articles a lot, I hope you don't actually read that stuff yourself. I hope you're aware of and are reading many of the great NFL and Jets nonprofit blogs available that actually educate and entertain. Perhaps you can start posting content from them.

    ~~~

  11. #231
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    1. Is Ro-Cro on the way ? : Finally remembering that it takes two cornerbacks to play defense, the Jets scheduled a visit with free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a cousin of the man he could replace, Antonio Cromartie. The Jets like to keep it in the family when finding replacements in the secondary. A year ago, they signed Dawan Landry to take the spot of his younger brother, LaRon. DRC was slated to arrive Friday. He reportedly also will visit with the New York Giants. If the Jets keep missing out on corners, they might have to bring Aaron Glenn out of retirement. He's already on the payroll as a scout.

    2. Patriots getting bigger, better: The New England Patriots did it again, signing their second physical, press-corner in a span of 24 hours. This time, it was Brandon Browner, who is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. On Thursday, it was Darrelle Revis. Maybe you've heard of him. The Jets' top divisional rival is copying the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, acquiring nice-sized, man-to-man corners that can disrupt wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. The Jets added a big receiver, Eric Decker (6-3), but the knock on him is that he struggles against physical corners. Clearly, the Jets have to keep up with the Joneses -- or, in this case, the Belichicks. They need a dynamic weapon on offense to offset the Patriots' improving pass defense.

    3. A tight (end) budget: Brandon Pettigrew, on the Jets' radar, ended up re-signing with the Detroit Lions -- four years, $16 million, including $8 million guaranteed. That's crazy money for a 45-catch, 450-yard tight end. The Jets were right to bail out of that situation. Coincidentally, GM John Idzik was in Lubbock, Texas, attending the Texas Tech pro day. He was there to scout pass-catching tight end Jace Amaro, who reportedly ran a 4.68 in the 40. Amaro is projected as a late first-, early-second round pick.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...of-free-agency

  12. #232
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    I don't see any of last years losses to be major. Idzik came in and jettisoned a lot of aging slow dead weight. He got initial flak but quickly proved that his method was the way to go. Look at all the new players he brought in that worked out. They won 8 games and could have won 10 if they pulled out games like the one in New England. This with a rookie QB and according to the experts the worse team in football lol. I think Idzik is already proving to be the best GM the Jets ever had. His is shrewd and intelligent and his focus is on one thing...making the Jets better. He also could care less about the media and knee jerk haters. He is what you call a professional football mind.vvv.jpg




    Quote Originally Posted by kelly View Post
    The Jets, who suffered major losses last year in free agency, should have an easier time in 2014. In fact, only four starters and one specialist are due to become unrestricted free agents. We ranked them in order of priority:

    1. Austin Howard, right tackle -- $2.02 million in 2013 salary

    2. Nick Folk, kicker -- $780,000

    3. Jeff Cumberland, tight end -- $1.32 million

    4. Calvin Pace, outside linebacker -- $1.0 million

    5. Willie Colon, right guard -- $1.16 million

    6. Leger Douzable, defensive tackle -- $715,000

    7. Ed Reed, safety -- $940,000

    8. Ellis Lankster, cornerback -- $585,000

    9. Vladimir Ducasse, guard -- $630,000

    10. Kellen Winslow, tight end -- $840,000

    Analysis: In reality, it should be a two-man list -- Howard and Folk. Cumberland still hasn't reached his ceiling, so he'd be worth bringing back if the price is right. Pace has value if he agrees to another one-year deal. There will be no tears shed if any of the others leave; they're interchangeable parts. Colon's situation is complicated by biceps surgery.

    Other UFAs: David Garrard, quarterback ($1 million); Isaiah Trufant, cornerback ($555,000); Josh Mauga, linebacker ($730,000); Josh Cribbs, kick returner ($840,000); Aaron Berry, cornerback ($700,000); Lex Hilliard, fullback ($715,000); Darius Reynaud, kick returner ($715,000); Jermaine Cunningham, linebacker ($630,000).

    Restricted free agents: Garrett McIntyre, linebacker ($555,000); Nick Bellore, linebacker ($555,000); Darrin Walls, cornerback ($555,000); Konrad Reuland, tight end ($480,000).

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...ts-free-agents

  13. #233
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    There's a lot going on around the New York Jets, so let's talk about it.

    @RichCimini if the Jets drafted Brandin Cook could he be used like Deshaun Jackson in Philly. #Jetsmail
    Mar. 15, 2014
    @RichCimini: You raise a very good point, and the answer is yes. As you probably know, the Jets' coordinator is Marty Mornhinweg, who used to coach Jackson. Mornhinweg knows how to integrate a 5-foot-10-ish, 190-pound receiver into his West Coast offense. The Jets have plenty of size at wide receiver, especially after adding Eric Decker (6-foot-3), but they need speed -- and Brandin Cooks could be that guy. He's a slightly bigger version of Tavon Austin, and we all know how much the Jets liked Austin in last year's draft. Cooks is explosive, and the Jets are missing that element on offense. Their scouts have been showing a lot of interest in Cooks during the pre-draft process. I think he's definitely in play with the 18th pick.

    Mike Linn
    @bigmikelinn
    #Jetsmail Sproles goes to PHI for a 5th rounder, why wouldn't the Jets give up one of their TWO 4th rounders for him? Check down for Geno???
    Mar. 15, 2014
    @RichCimini: If the Jets were in a different stage of their development -- like, you know, a legit Super Bowl contender -- I think they would've considered Darren Sproles. But they're more than a year away, and Sproles turns 31 in June. I've always liked Sproles (and I know Rex Ryan likes him, too), but you could see signs of slippage last season in terms of his overall production. When you're only 5-foot-6, it's all about speed. When you lose a step at that size, it's like losing two steps -- and I think he lost a bit. The Jets absolutely need a dynamic player in the backfield, but they're holding out hope that Mike Goodson can be that guy. John Idzik is being stubborn because Goodson was one of his first free-agent signings, and he doesn't want to walk away even though Goodson has given him every reasons to do so. Plus, how many years in a row can you give up a fourth-round pick for a New Orleans Saints running back? Joking.

    @RichCimini Jets points allowed under Rex has gone up each year. Is D overrated or they are what they are? #JetsMail
    Mar. 15, 2014
    @RichCimini: Facts are facts, and you're absolutely correct. It started with 236 points in 2009 and it ballooned to 387 points last season. Some of last season's mess was due to Geno Smith, whose turnovers put the defense in bad situations. Of course, the same could be said about Mark Sanchez during his time as the starter. I don't think there's any question it was an elite defense in 2009, but they've been overrated since then -- in part because Ryan does so much yapping about how good they are. Since 2009, they haven't been able to put it all together. Some years, they have a great pass defense but struggle against the run. Other years, it's the opposite. That said, we're not talking about garbage here. Over the past five years, the Jets are eighth in points allowed and second in yards per game. Like I said, facts are facts.

    #Jetsmail why did the jets sit on their hands when it came to finding secondary help? Sec was atrocious last year, esp the safeties
    Mar. 15, 2014
    @RichCimini: Let's be honest, the corners weren't much better than the safeties. I feel your frustration, but I know what Idzik is doing in free agency: He's shopping for value, refusing to throw "A" money at "B" and "C" players. You might be thinking, "Why not? We have plenty of cap room." Yes, you do now, but you'll be in cap hell in a couple of years if those expensive signings go bust. Idzik is operating from a long-term plan, and I don't think he will deviate for the sake of making a quick splash. He wants to build through the draft, and he will have as many as 12 draft picks in May. That said, he needs to fill that hole at corner. I think there's a good chance they will sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He fits the scheme, he's coming off a Pro Bowl-caliber season and I think they can get him for less than $7 million a year. If they miss on DRC, it might be time to get a little nervous.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...desean-jackson

  14. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsfreak View Post
    I don't see any of last years losses to be major. Idzik came in and jettisoned a lot of aging slow dead weight. He got initial flak but quickly proved that his method was the way to go. Look at all the new players he brought in that worked out. They won 8 games and could have won 10 if they pulled out games like the one in New England. This with a rookie QB and according to the experts the worse team in football lol. I think Idzik is already proving to be the best GM the Jets ever had. His is shrewd and intelligent and his focus is on one thing...making the Jets better. He also could care less about the media and knee jerk haters. He is what you call a professional football mind.vvv.jpg
    so far...SO FAR,..i like the i-man










    cheers ~ ~

  15. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astoria View Post
    Kelly you seem to post ESPN articles a lot, I hope you don't actually read that stuff yourself. I hope you're aware of and are reading many of the great NFL and Jets nonprofit blogs available that actually educate and entertain. Perhaps you can start posting content from them.

    ~~~
    read...READ ,..what makes u think i can read ? ?

  16. #236
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    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie : Buyer Beware

    Do the Jets need to be careful with offering a substantial contract to someone coming off a good year, which was the exception rather than the rule.

    First of all I want to make a disclaimer. We can't go into the season with this crop of corners and safeties, we just can't. So I am very much in favour of taking a chance on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. As the best corner left on the market, he represents a significant upgrade over what we currently have. We shouldn't throw a blank cheque his way, but if we can nab him for around $8 million a season with reasonable guaranteed money, then I'll be happy. So I just wanted to get that clear first.However, I think this represents a case of buyer beware. He talked about retirement but was apparently misquoted and backed off those claims quickly. It's not about that, I'm sure it will be mentioned when he sits down with Rex and John this evening, but that doesn't bother me too much. We all say things that are taken our of context or that we wish we had kept to ourselves.

    My problem comes with 2013 being his first really good year in the NFL. I watched him last season several times for Denver and thought he was fantastic. He blanketed his man and he played some physical man-to-man pressure defense and with Rex utilising that system here in New York, watching him in 2013 gets me excited about the possible capture. He allowed 4 touchdowns, the same as Revis and half as many as Vontae Davis. He had 10 pass defences and allowed just a 44.1% completion percentage into his coverage. That's a #1 corner if I've ever seen one. Add 3 interceptions in there and now we are cooking.However before that, he laboured through two very uneventful years in Arizona. In 2012 he was penalised a whopping 11 times, and allowed 645 yards, 5 touchdowns and 56.8% completion percentage into his coverage. I saw him a lot and he got beat a lot, on deep patterns on short patterns and the big red flag for me, his effort seemed to be very low. You can also add 11 missed tackles to the list and you can see why outlets like PFF had him ranked as the 98th best cornerback in the league.

    In 2011 he played mostly as a nickel back, although he kept his yards down and isn't credited with giving up a touchdown, he still had 7 missed tackles in just over 400 snaps. In comparison as a top CB, you are expected to play over 1000 of your teams snaps.It's no surprise he was sent to Philadelphia when you look at his 2010 numbers, trust me, they are not pretty. Rated 100 out of the top 100 cornerbacks in the league. DRC allowed 814 yards, 270 after the catch, 62.2% completion percentage, 4 touchdowns, was penalised 8 times and missed 12 tackles. Truly it was a horror show.

    In 2009 he was a ball-hawk, bringing in 6 interceptions and he was named as a reserve to the Pro Bowl. However that can't mask some of the problems he had. He gave up 6 touchdowns, allowed 781 yards, 310 yards after the catch, However in 2009 he was still young, he was a risk/reward type guy. He'd get his hands in on a lot of passes, creating a lot of pass defenses and turnovers but also allowing a lot of players to get in behind and score.I'm not saying that DRC is a bad player, but I am saying he is a Jekyll & Hyde character. I've seen it with my own eyes. At points he will look like the best player on the field, he's fast and athletic and he makes plays on the football that you don't think are possible. However there is the other side to him, the 2012 and 2010 side, where he will allow a lot of completions and a lot of yards, get called for a lot of penalties and miss a lot of tackle.

    We need to be comfortable knowing what we will get. If you are going to trust anyone to get the best out of a player, then you are going to trust Rex to do it. Sometimes corners take time to adapt to the league, maybe 2013 will be the norm from now. However just as easily, it could be a mirage. 2013 could be the odd man out, and he could revert to the form that saw Arizona give up on their first round selection after just three seasons.

    It really is a case of buyer beware, but call me crazy.....I still want him !

    > http://www.ganggreennation.com/2014/...e-buyer-beware

  17. #237
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    Worst free-agent signings so far

    We went over the best signings in free agency. Now let's take a look at the worst.This is a list where it's easier to be right. The majority of free-agent deals don't wind up working because too many average starters get paid like superstars. We think the contracts below were the biggest mistakes.


    Jets a poor fit for Eric Decker

    Poor Eric Decker. Yes, he got paid. He's on this list not because of the contract, which is actually somewhat reasonable, but rather because of the fit for the receiver. Decker is closer to a No. 2 receiver than a No. 1. In New York, he's currently 1A, 1B and 7F. He goes from being the third option, to having the likes of Darrelle Revis and Brent Grimes shadowing him on Sundays. Decker traded in his Bentley, Peyton Manning, for an Oldsmobile Toronado, Geno Smith. As we discussed on Friday's "Around The League Podcast" wide receiver went from a pass-happy offense to one that wants to grind the ball. Surely, his reality show will get better ratings in New York now, but his football life just got a whole lot tougher.

    -- Kevin Patra


    Dallas' handling of DeMarcus Ware

    It's not a signing, but it is a debacle. I first brought this up on the podcast: It has to pain Dallas fans to see DeMarcus Ware bolt for the Broncos as the direct result of a Dallas front office that can't get out of its own way. While successful NFL teams find ways to create salary cap money and sign talent, the Cowboys have lost a future Hall of Famer because the team's cap situation is eternally in disaster mode. In an offseason when Jerry Jones was hard-pressed to improve one of the league's worst defenses, he's parted ways with a rare difference-maker in Ware -- who is now set up well for a monster season in Denver.

    -- Marc Sessler

    Karlos Dansby to Cleveland

    Inside linebackers, like running back, is a position you shouldn't have to overpay for, especially when you are signing a 32-year-old. Dansby was cut by Miami after the 2012 season and had to accept a $2.25 million deal in 2013. Now the Browns are going to pay Dansby $10 million in 2014 and $14 million over two seasons. You get worse in free agency by getting older and paying sub-Pro Bowl players like superstars. The talent around Dansby in Arizona was a big factor in his huge campaign.

    Paying Donte Whitner huge money to replace safety T.J. Ward was also curious. He's made strides in pass coverage, but there's a reason the 49ers didn't try that hard to keep him.

    -- Gregg Rosenthal

    Any Raiders signing

    To quote Buffalo Springfield: "Something's happening here. What it is, ain't exactly clear." Fighting to save his job, general manager Reggie McKenzie drastically overpaid for a pair of average tackles only to have his owner put the kibosh on Rodger Saffold's $42.5 million contract just as the player's parents were arriving in town to witness the signing. McKenzie then began reconstructing his decrepit defense by signing an aging, injury-prone Justin Tuck to a contract the Giants had no interest in matching. McKenzie's free agency approach is a desperate, flailing heave -- not a model for sustained success.

    -- Chris Wesseling

    Chris Williams to Buffalo

    Williams started 16 games for the Rams last season, but nobody was confusing him with Logan Mankins. Williams was average -- at best -- grading out at 74th among 81 qualifying guards last season, according to Pro Football Focus. That didn't stop the Bills from handing Williams a four-year, $13.5 million deal that included $5.5 million guaranteed. Huh? The picture says a thousand words.

    -- Dan Hanzus

    The "Around The League Podcast" breaks down all the free-agency moves and hands out a fleet of high-octane sandwiches.

    > http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap200...ignings-so-far

  18. #238
    Non profit Jet blogs? I think most bloggers who get readers make money, would like to know
    of any true non profit blogs. Thanks.

  19. #239
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    Curtis Martin on Revis: Fans will be 'hostile'

    Sixteen years before Darrelle Revis, there was Curtis Martin.

    The Hall of Fame running back was the first high-profile player to switch sides in the New York Jets-New England Patriots rivalry, so he knows all about the passion and vitriol of The Border War. Martin remembers hearing more cheers than boos when he returned to Foxborough for the first time, but he doesn’t expect New Yorkers to be as gracious when Revis returns to MetLife Stadium.

    His advice to Revis: Buckle up.

    New Patriots CB Darrelle Revis won't be receiving a warm welcome when he faces the Jets in New York.
    “The game has changed, the fanfare has changed,” Martin told ESPNNewYork.com. “I expect it to be a little more hostile, not as welcoming. [He laughed.] I think he should wear his helmet when he comes out of the tunnel.”

    Revis didn't go from the Jets to Patriots – there was a quick stop with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers –- but the fans won’t remember his one year in Pewter purgatory when they see him in Patriots colors. Martin can empathize with the anguish of Jets fans.

    “I totally understand the feeling,” Martin said. “It just makes it that much tougher to beat those guys.”

    Martin said his initial reaction to Revis signing with the Patriots was, “Wow.” He still considers Revis the best cornerback in the league, and he called it a brilliant move by the Patriots. Martin, an avid chess player, used a chess analogy to describe the impact Revis will have with the AFC East champions.

    “The Patriots already have that strong piece in Tom Brady. He’s like the queen, that very powerful person,” Martin said. “Putting Darrelle Revis up there is like having an extra queen in the game. That’s a powerful move for the Patriots.”

    The Jets were criticized for not showing interest in Revis, especially since they released Antonio Cromartie. They have a gaping hole at cornerback, yet they didn't respond to an inquiry by Revis’ agent.

    Martin said he didn't expect the Jets to pursue a Revis reunion, seeing as how they already jettisoned him once. Asked if he wanted them to make a play for Revis, he gave a yes-and-no answer.

    “You put Darrelle on any team, and you've definitely made your team more powerful,” he said. “I would always like to see the Jets with the best players, so, yeah, of course. That being said, there was a reason why he was let go, so I wouldn't necessarily expect them to do that.”

    Some considered Martin a traitor in 1998, when he signed a six-year, $36 million offer sheet with the Jets. The Patriots had an opportunity to match, but they declined because the contract was structured in such a way that it could've blown up their salary cap. After three terrific years in New England, he bolted for the Jets.

    “Initially, when I first came out of the tunnel, I heard some people say, ‘Traitor,’ but for the most part, people were cheering for me,” said Martin, recalling his first trip back to New England. “I thought that was pretty incredible. It showed their appreciation for what I was there. It actually made me feel good.”

    It would be an upset if Revis gets the same treatment.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...ill-be-hostile

  20. #240
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    Jets let Ro-Cro leave without deal

    The cornerback-needy New York Jets visited Saturday with Denver Broncos free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but he left without a deal and headed to meet with the New York Giants, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter. Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to huddle Sunday with the Giants.

    The Jets want Rodgers-Cromartie, thought to be the best man-to-man corner left on the open market, but they couldn't come to an agreement. It would be tough losing him, and doubly tough if they lose him to the Giants.

    After a few big contracts early in free agency, the corner market has slowed down. Rodgers-Cromartie reportedly turned down a six-year, $54 million contract from the Broncos ($24 million in the first three years), so that should give you an idea of his asking price.

    The Jets have to replace Antonio Cromartie, whom they released last Sunday for cap considerations. He has said he'd like to return to the Jets.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...e-without-deal

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