With the uncertain labor landscape in the NFL, it is hard to project what will happen in terms of personnel moves with any team in the league. However, the rumblings coming out of the league meetings this week from Rex Ryan and some of the local media are concerning.
First off, Ryan has confirmed the Jets won't be adding a quarterback this off-season, which means the offense will again rely on Mark Brunell as the primary backup, with Kellen Clemens likely being the third stringer. Unless you have faith in a 41 year old who hasn't thrown a meaningful pass since 2006 (back when Eric Mangini was the Mangenius and appearing on Sopranos episodes, just so you know how long ago that was), or the very definition of a mediocre NFL quarterback in Clemens, it is clear the Jets would have a major issue if Mark Sanchez was hurt for any period of time.
Sanchez and hurt in the same sentence, shouldn't jump off the page to you. The guy is heading into his third year and has already hurt both knees and his throwing shoulder. Kind of sounds like the type of guy you'd like quality insurance for, no? The Jets need to do the right thing, which is go sign a better veteran option like Bruce Gradkowski or Billy Volek and then draft a development quarterback to be a long term backup for Sanchez.
Second, it is sounding more and more like Antonio Cromartie has been placed as the Jets third priority after both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. Listen, I know at first glance many people would agree with this line of thinking. We all know Holmes is coming back and many people think Edwards should be brought back also before worrying about Cromartie. Yes, Edwards did have a great year for the team in 2010 and yes he provides a rare blend of size and speed. However, bringing him back before Cromartie is simply the wrong move.
It comes down to this, the Jets can't afford to have Kyle Wilson, Drew Coleman, or Dwight Lowery starting at corner in their defense. They don't have the pass rush to protect being thrown at constantly as teams try to avoid Darrelle Revis. You need physical corners who can handle man to man coverage and consistently being put on an island, and say what you want about Cromartie, he can.
The Jets can afford to run their offense without Braylon Edwards. Dustin Keller is more than capable of taking on a bigger role and flexing out at wide receiver to provide size at the position. Also, Jerricho Cotchery has proven throughout his career to be a good starting receiver and he'd be just fine opposite Holmes.
The Jets are a run first offense and a defense that is built around their corners playing to man to man coverage. Why would you ever bring two receivers back before bringing a quality starting corner back?