The New York jets will soon be out in the ether, trying to piece together a team that can compete for a playoff spot. New management is in control and in the NFL that means change. Jets fans can expect a roster overhaul as the new guy cleans house. That means some familiar names may not be around. Mark Sanchez is one. The struggling QB hasn’t done anything to redeem himself as of late and with a new broom, well, you know. Santonio Holmes may go as well as Cromartie and a few other lesser names as New York manuevers for room under the cap. They should get plenty of it.
The biggest question is what the New York Jets plan to do at quarterback. As we said earlier, Sanchez has become a focal point of fan contempt, perhaps justifiably, perhaps not. His tendency to throw the big pick in crucial situations infuriates fans and frustrates coaches. Geno Smith on the other hand, didn’t fare much better last season but at least he can be defended with the experience factor. Could the Jets make a play here? Michael Vick is a possible stopgap measure. But the Jets also needs help at wide receiver so the quarterback situation must be improved in order to lure some free agent talent.
While the fans in New York would like to see the Jets make big moves and become a playoff team overnight (what fans don’t?), the odds are that any type of real contender is a season or so away from 2014. New York needs solid players in free agency and solid picks in this draft and the next to compete in any real way. Patience is in short supply for the Jets fans but they’ll have to find some before this franchise turns around.
In the NFL, we’re seeing a major shift to haves and have nots, highly paid players and then the rest of the team. Of course all NFL players can be viewed as highly paid to the average Joe but we’re speaking in relatibe terms here. There comes a time when tough decisions have to be made and it often boils down to money. In fact, most of the time it boils down to money.
Nowhere has this become more obvious than in the case of the New Orleans Saints. In the last few weeks this NFL team has been gutted as much as any. The team that won a Super Bowl in 2009 won’t even resemble the team that takes the field in 2014. Will Smith? Gone. Too much pay for too little production. Darren Sproles? The guy who set an NFL record for all purpose yards a few seasons ago? After 800 last season he’s on the way out. Pierre Thomas? Sorry, a couple of younger running backs have pushed him out.
A big reason for this is the contract negotiations with Tight End Jimmy Graham. By the time the smoke is cleared Graham will be the highest paid Tight End in the NFL. haves and have nots. It’s insanity. I give you the Drew Brees contract and the Jimmy Graham contract as major reasons the New Orleans Saints aren’t likely to see another Super Bowl next season. They’ll field an excellent quarterback and an excellent Tight End and probably not much else. A team that needs help on defense at cornerback and linebacker won’t have the financial stuff to get it done. A team that’s looking for an overhaul on the offensive line won’t be able to pay a free agent to come in and boost them. And it’s that way all over the NFL.
Concentrating 30-40% of your salary cap in two guys? Nope, it doesn’t make sense to me. But prove me wrong NFL. Show me a Super Bowl winner with that salary setup and I’ll eat my words.