With only hours to spare, the Jets announced today that they have signed all of their draft choices and all rookies have reported to camp on schedule.
With Jets fans world wide biting their nails in anxiety, the Jets front office brought a sigh of relief to everyone by announcing that all members of their 2003 draft class have signed contracts and have reported to training camp on time. First round draft choice defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson
, second rounder linebacker Victor Hobson
, fullback B.J. Askew
, their third round selection, fifth round defensive lineman Matt Walters
and sixth round selection quarterback Brooks Bollinger
signed today, joining safety Derek Pagel
and guard Dave Yovanovits
who signed last week.
Todayís announced signings makes this the sixth year in a row that the Jets have not had a player holdout. The Jets front office had told the press earlier this week that they were confident that all draft picks would be signed on time. However, as the weekend came there were many rumblings that a deal with the Jets top pick Robertson would not get done. Obviously everyone at Hofstra is pleased that the deal was pulled off in time, especially Jets GM Terry Bradway who had these comments. "It's important for Dewayne and our 2003 draft class to be in camp because it gives them the opportunity to contribute from the start." "We moved up in the draft to reinforce our defense, especially in the areas of stopping the run and the pass rush. We're expecting Dewayne to contribute significantly in both of those areas."
Jets Coach Herman Edwards was equally happy. "When you can build your defense in the middle, which is how most good defenses are built, you enhance your defense," said Edwards. "The guy is a unique player, very unique. He is very active and disruptive guy. He stays on his feet and chases the quarterback. He does all the things you ask a guy at that position to do. When you can get a guy like this it helps everyone on your defense. He is a guy we expect to come in here and help us on defense."
Robertsonís contract details were not disclosed but the happy new millionaire had this to say: "It will be a great experience. I've never been to a big city like this. I think it will be a great opportunity for me to come in and be a part of this program.Ē
Contract details for Hobson, Askew, Bollinger and Walters were not disclosed either. All Jets players reported to camp today and the teamís first practice for the 2003 season will be Monday morning at 8:30 AM.
Jets Insider.com has also learned that G Lui Fuata (Hawaii), who had been signed on Friday, was waived today after he failed his physical. Fuata, a rookie FA has been rehabing an injured knee that he suffered during last season.