With the NFL Draft now in the rear-view mirror, the New York Jets have joined the rest of the NFL in the uncertain lockout world filled with stays, appeals, and 8th circuits.They managed to address some of their needs but still have plenty of questions moving forward whenever free agency actually begins.
On offense, the wide receiver position remains in a flux despite the selections of Jeremy Kerley and Scotty McKnight. The question still remains, is it going to be Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes who is back with the team? Holmes latest comments about pursuing the best deal possible and lack of attedance so far at "Jets West" camp has made Edwards more popular amongst most fans, especially considering his latest interviews where he spoke about a strong desire to return to the team and his decision to take part in "Jets West." However, fans don't make the call and Holmes probably remains the more likely of the two to return.
Yes, he will cost more money but everything we have heard from the organization indicates that he is their top priority and they are prepared to work towards a long term deal with him. There is always a chance the Holmes negotiations fall apart, he stays stubborn about signing his restricted free agency tender and the Jets opt to go with Edwards, who will come cheaper but overall I'd still say there is a better chance of Holmes coming back than Edwards, or the Mike Tannenbaum hail mary of both making it back.
It is also hard to see the Jets paying big bucks for Brad Smith to return. When of their big receivers commits to coming back, you would think they will be confident with Holmes/Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller being the top targets, while hoping Jeremy Kerleycan develop into a productive slot receiver and help on special teams. I wouldn't be surprised if after locking down one of their receivers, the Jets turn their focus to spending money on defense.
In their secondary, Antonio Cromartie, Drew Coleman, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, and Brodney Pool are all free agents. In case you weren't aware that is two of their top three corners and three of their top four safeties. There is plenty of work to be done. They also still need to address the outside linebacker position which badly needs a boost of pass rushing ability.
For now many of the Jets are taking part in "Jets West" where Mark Sanchez has again shown that he gets "it." He has clearly asserted himself as a leader on this team by putting together organized workouts in Caiifornia, where he is leading on field workouts and classroom sessions on the offense. It is now up to the Jets front office to make sure their young quarterback gets some of his weapons back from last year and that is maintains a strong defense to help protect him.