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Thread: Godd article on the Jets free agency approach.

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    Post Good article on the Jets free agency approach.


    HEAD-TURNER: The Jets are interested in Chargers RB Michael Turner, LaDainian Tomlinson's backup, who is a restricted free agent.March 2, 2007 -- Don't expect the Jets will have signed a free agent by the time you woke up today.

    Sure, the free-agent signing period began at 12:01 a.m., but the Jets are expected to move methodically, if not glacially, through free agency, not in a hurry to shell out huge signing bonuses. Their biggest need is at running back, and there are some intriguing possibilities.

    The most attractive is San Diego backup Michael Turner, a restricted free agent who has a first- and third-round draft pick tender offer attached to him, meaning if the Jets sign him, they'd owe that heavy compensation.

    A more likely way to wrest Turner away from the Chargers, who'll lose him as an unrestricted free agent after the 2007 season unless he's signed to a long-term deal, is to trade for him.

    Turner gained 502 rushing yards and had a 6.3-yard average as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup last season.

    "[The Chargers] can't come up with a deal to pay [Turner] and LaDainian, in my mind," Turner's agent James "Bus" Cook said. "It'll be difficult to do a contract that pays Michael starter money with LaDainian there."

    Another interesting possibility for the Jets is Corey Dillon, who was expecting to be released by the Patriots by the end of last night but wants to play another year or two.

    Eric Mangini knows Dillon, having coached him in New England. Dillon, who gained 812 yards, had a 4.1-yard average and 13 rushing touchdowns last season in a split-time role with Laurence Maroney, surely still has a year or two left on his legs.

    And, he'd certainly have the chance to carry the ball more than the seven to 10 times a game the Patriots told him was in the '07 plan. He and Leon Washington would seem like a perfect fit.

    On defense, the most attractive, tempting player is Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas, who had 11 sacks in 2006 and is a very good fit in the 3-4 defense. But his asking price might scare off the Jets, who aren't big fans of giving out big signing bonuses.

    New England linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, who had 51/2 sacks and 40 tackles as a part-time starter last season, is also a good 3-4 fit and could have good potential at a lower asking price.

    The Jets, who could release David Barrett, are in need of a play-making cornerback, and Colts cornerback Nick Harper could be a good fit. He has 13 interceptions in the last four seasons and is a good run-force corner.

    "Every team needs a good amount of difference-makers," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said yesterday after the Jets signed him to a contract extension. "We have a few and I think we need a few more ... on both sides of the ball."

    Also, keep an eye on New England tight end Daniel Graham, a starter who ceded some of his playing time to Ben Watson. Graham would be a strong complement to Chris Baker in a two-tight-end tandem, and Mangini knows him well.

    The Jets, too, have depth needs on the offensive line, where starting right tackle Anthony Clement is testing the free-agent market. Among some sleeper possibilities here include Miami tackle Damion McIntosh and Tampa Bay guard Sean Mahan.

    With Patrick Ramsey certain to be released before tomorrow, when he's due a $1.4 million roster bonus, the Jets will be in the market for a veteran backup quarterback. Brad Johnson, just released by Minnesota, is a possibility, as is Kerry Collins.

    Wide receiver Justin McCareins, a veteran whom most expect to be released, will remain with the team for the moment. Agent Cliff Brady said yesterday that McCareins is scheduled to meet with Mangini within the next week or two to discuss his role and what kind of pay cut the team has in store for him. McCareins, who's scheduled to earn nearly $3 million in 2007, is in the Chicago area visiting his family.
    Last edited by ARodFLKeysJetsFan; 03-02-2007 at 07:50 AM.


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