Various sources say the Jets are interested in this man to bolster their TE corps.
The Jets have been as active as any team this season in Free Agency. After going 4-12 a year after making the playoffs, the Jets brass has made a statement this offseason reaffirming the team’s desire to get back on the winning track.
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum started the free agency period with a bang. He traded for NT Kris Jenkins (who signed a five-year extension), signed OG Alan Faneca (who will be getting over $20 million in guaranteed money), RT Damien Woody, LB Calvin Pace and traded fan favorite LB Jonathan Vilma to the New Orleans Saints.
Although the Jets seem to have had a high-quality aggressive start, they are by no means done in free agency. The team still has areas where they need to improve and acquire depth. Biggest needs are in the secondary and at linebacker, tight end and wide receiver.
The Jets took care of one issue Wednesday night when they signed FB Tony Richardson to one-year deal. Richardson will try to be the fullback the Jets need to run in front of Thomas Jones. The Jets really haven’t had an impact fullback since the Jerald Sowell days.
The Jets signed veteran CB Andre Woolfolk, but he is a question mark as he missed the entire 2007 season with recurring hamstring problems. The New York Daily News reported that Patriots free-agent defensive back Eugene Wilson visited the Jets this week. Mangini knows Wilson very well from their days in New England. Also, Newsday’s Tom Rock reported earlier in week since DL Dewayne Robertson isn’t going to Cincinnati, he could be end up being traded to Denver for rights to restricted free agent CB Domonique Foxworth.
As for the linebacker position, Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reported that Chicago Bears linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo came to New York and visited with the Jets on Monday. Ayanbadejo has gotten high marks from the Jets new special teams Coordinator Kevin O’Dea who came to the Jets from Chicago.
Unfortunately the Jets lost Ayanbadejo to the Ravens. He agreed to a four-year $4.9 million dollar contract on Thursday.
According various sources, Colts TE Ben Utecht visited the Jets on Friday after he visits the Bengals on Thursday. The Jets need another tight end after losing Sean Ryan to Bill Parcells and the Miami Dolphins.
A Crowded Backfield
Even with the possibility of Arkansas RB Darren McFadden being available when the Jets pick sixth in this April’s draft, Gang Green is still looking at other free agent running backs. Newsday’s Tom Rock reported last week the Jesse Chatman visited the Jets facilities and the New York Post reported that Gang Green is showing interest in RB Musa Smith. If Chatman or Smith sign with the Jets, they will be third on the depth chart behind Thomas Jones and Leon Washington and will probably rule any chance of the Jets selecting McFadden if he still available when the Jets pick.
An Unhappy Jet
One Jets player took a shot at management’s approach towards free agency this year. The Jets have shoved money in the faces of many free agents this offseason, but with core players like Laveranues Coles, Chris Baker and Kerry Rhodes wanting long term extensions, some of the Jets veterans are not happy about what management is doing.
"You pay guys you don't even know, and the guys in the locker room - the guys that have your back - you don't give a damn about them. It shows where the loyalty is," said one player speaking to the Daily News on the condition of anonymity.
With the amount of money the team has spent during the offseason, some Jets could be worried that Gang Green won’t have enough money where they can sign long-term contracts.