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The Defensive Tackle Blues
July 3rd, 2003
With the indefinite suspension of Josh Evans still fresh, the Jets are scrambling to fill the void. Here is the latest on what their options are and the progress in the contract negotiations with rookie DT Dewayne Robertson. As we begin July and are three weeks away from training camp, the news on the Jets' defensive tackle front is not good. With DT Josh Evansí indefinite suspension still fresh, there are many questions about who is going to step up and fill the void. The obvious choice is rookie Dewayne Robertson. However, new reports have come surfaced saying that contract negotiations are going extremely slow. ESPN.com is reporting that a deal may not even get done by the time training camp starts on July 21. If Robertson misses camp time it will further make his future as an immediate starter unlikely. Next, the burden comes down on two youngsters, James Reed and Alan Harper. Reed and Harper are talented but have yet to show any indication that they are ready to start. Both players really need to step up during camp to show they can be counted on to pick up slack.

Jets Insider.com has also learned that the team has been looking at a few unrestricted free agents that are available. The one name that has come up this week is nine year vet DT Bernard Whittington who actually considered signing with the Jets two seasons ago as a Colts FA but instead took a better deal from the Bengals (what was he thinking?). Whittington (6-5, 295), can play both tackle and end and is good against the run. Donít be surprised if you see him sign a contract with the Jets as early as next week.

Jets Insider.com wishes all of our readers an excellent and safe Fourth of July weekend!