Florham Park, N.J.– The lockout has silenced the usual free agent chatter that normally takes place in the offseason, but from the looks of it Jets fans are being tossed a small bone of sorts. The rumors are swirling that RT Damien Woody is likely to re-sign with the Jets whenever the NFL reopens their doors for business.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that sources told him the Jets are still very much hoping to bring Woody back, then Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News seconded the notion of conformation saying, “from what I’m hearing, Woody will likely be back at a reduced rate.”
All of this jives with everything JetsInsider has been hearing since the day of Woody’s release and for Woody’s part he immediately expressed his desire to return to the team that same day on Twitter. Woody is 33-years-old and just finished his 13th season so wherever he signs will likely be his last stop and from his time here it seems likely he would want to end his career in the Green and White.
This is great news for the Jets and their fans, if Woody doesn’t return the Jets would likely turn to either the second-year Vladimir Ducasse or Wayne Hunter, who Jets fans know as, “the best backup o-lineman in the NFL,” as Rex Ryan so often proclaims. Re-signing Woody would allow Hunter to remain just that, a perfect backup to fill in for any lineman who might fall victim to injury.
Keeping last year’s offensive line in tack will be crucial for Mark Sanchez and his quest for consistency and even more important to make sure the running game gets back to the dominating force it was two years ago. It’s not that the Jets coaching staff doesn’t have faith that they could survive Woody’s departure, but they would certainly like to not have to worry about rolling the dice with a change to the most solid core of their team.
Oddly enough in a weird way this lockout could possibly help the Jets going into next season because of the amount of their own players they are hoping to re-sign. With the shortened timeframe free agents will eventually have to choose where they want to play, but they won’t have the time to shop themselves like normal which could lead to a lot of players choosing to quickly sign short-term deals with the teams they already know to hurry up and get back on the field. Of course this is pure speculation, but it’s a reasonable assumption, especially for a team that players enjoy playing for as much as the Jets.
Woody would seem to be a perfect candidate to prove this hypothesis, for now however it will remain a rumor until the NFL decides there has been enough of this silliness that is the lockout and fans can get back to enjoy the sport that they love. Whenever that eventually happens, expect to see Woody back with the Jets.
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