Thursday, March 6, 2008

Early NFL FA Reviews: Jets

The Jets have brought in Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Calvin Pace, Kris Jenkins, and Tony Richardson. It's an interesting reaction to their miserable 4-12 season in which they finished 25th in total offense and 19th in total defense, but at the same time were only one year removed from a playoff appearance. The huge salaries have drawn the ire of some of the lesser-paid New York veterans.

Woody and Faneca will join Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Moore on the revamped line. It's an open question, though, whether this will be enough to make the Jets an elite offensive unit. Woody's missed significant time the past few years, and there are still huge question marks at the skill positions. It looks like Pennington and Clemens will compete for the QB position again, with a $6m coming Chad's way but the fans calling for Clemens as happened all of last season (the loudest applause of their opening day home thrashing at the hands of the Patriots came when Clemens briefly replaced the injured Pennington). The receiving crew is subpar as well. This is an odd situation for a team that just spent big for two thirty-something O-linemen.

On defense, the Calvin Pace move is based on the idea that his breakout season for the Cardinals in 2007 is due entirely to Arizona's switch to a 3-4 (and not, presumably, to the fact that it was a contract year); the idea is that he'll be a better for New York's 3-4 than departed linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was considered more of a 4-3 LB. In any case, signing Pace kept him out of the Dolphins' 3-4 system. That's the way it goes when you're playing in a division full of coaches from the Parcells school.

The blog NY Landing Strip has some good reading on this as well, and here's a scouting report on Tony Richardson.