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Stay or Go: 12 impending Jets free agents and what the team may do


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Ralph Vacchiano NFL Insider 1/06/2022 1:11pm

The Jets haven’t exactly been a top destination for NFL players in the last decade, but they hope that perception is starting to change. A big test will be who they can get to join their crusade when they try to spend their $60 million so in salary cap space this March.

Another big test is whether they’re able to lure any of their own free agents back.

Of course, they probably don’t want them all back. There are only a few desirables on their list of 21 players who are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in two months. But that does include a couple of important players.

Heading into the Jets’ season finale, here’s a look at some of the bigger and more familiar names heading towards free agency, and which ones might be wearing a Jets uniform for the final time:

S Marcus Maye

A few months ago there was no shot. He was going to be looking for a $15 million per season or more, the Jets weren’t going to go that high, and his agent was hinting about a trade. Then he tore his Achilles and … well, it’s still probably not going to happen. 

Maye isn’t going to get the mega-deal he was seeking, and he may have to settle for a short-term deal where he can re-establish his worth. The Jets might offer him that chance, but would he want it? 

He seemed to have soured on the franchise and all the losing and burned some bridges when he didn’t tell the Jets about his DUI arrest for six months (and until it came out in the press). He seems likely to look to prove his worth elsewhere.

WR Braxton Berrios

What he’s shown over the last month is that the Jets should’ve been using him more often. He’s had 20 catches for 180 yards and four total touchdowns in the last four games, which includes two rushing and a 102-yard kickoff return.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder could be a nice fourth receiver, kick returner and gimmick guy, which makes him valuable. The Jets will try to retain him, though it’s hard to tell how much he’d cost. It might depend on if the Patriots get involved and try to take back the player they took in the sixth round of the 2018 draft.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano covers a couple of questions in this edition of Inside Out. Ralph doesn't believe Braxton Berrios will be with the New York Jets in the 2022 NFL season if he's looking for a decent-sized contract. Ralph gives his Jets and Giants bold predictions and says the Jets will make Quinnen Williams the highest paid DT in the NFL and that John Mara and the Giants will look for a seasoned GM to replace Dave Gettleman.

 

WR Keelan Cole

The Jets had high hopes for Cole when they signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million deal after having been underused for four years in Jacksonville. But they didn’t get much in return – 25 catches, 395 yards, no touchdowns and too many drops. He’ll be 29 in April. There’s no need to give him another shot.

WR Jamison Crowder

The writing was on the wall for Crowder in June when he had to agree to cut his salary in half to avoid being cut. He did have 50 catches in 11 games this season, but those only went for 431 yards. He’s been passed by the younger, more dynamic Elijah Moore and now Berrios is emerging as a better player, too. He’ll be 29 in June and he’ll have to try to hang on somewhere else.

G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

I still think Jets GM Joe Douglas is going to take a swing at one of the top guards in free agency, but if he misses, LDT would be a nice consolation prize. He’s played well since coming over from the Chiefs at the trade deadline and finding his legs after opting out last season. Even if the Jets do sign a free-agent guard, they should bring him back for depth, if he’s interested.

T Morgan Moses

The 6-foot-6, 318-pounder didn’t win the right tackle job coming out of training camp, but he took over in Week 2 after Mekhi Becton got hurt and George Fant moved to the left side. He’s played well too. But they’ve got an interesting dilemma. Fant played well at left tackle and fits their wide-zone-blocking system well. 

So if Becton, last year’s first-round pick, returns healthy, does Fant go back to the right side? Does Becton? And then what happens with Moses? He might believe he’s got an easier path to a starting job someplace else.

DT Foley Fatukasi

The Jets gave John Franklin-Myers a four-year, $55 million extension back in October, which shows he’s their preferred young lineman, and they will soon have to spend big money on Quinnen Williams, too. So Fatukasi won’t get big money from the Jets, even though he’s become a tremendous run-stuffer. They should try to bring him back because an interior with him and Williams, and Sheldon Rankins behind him, would be strong. 

And if Carl Lawson and Bryce Huff return healthy on the edges, it could be the kind of line Saleh’s been dreaming about. But if they let him hit free agency, he could get more than they’re willing to spend, and he’d likely be gone.

RB Tevin Coleman

He clearly wasn’t his old, explosive self and he couldn’t stay healthy – two things not likely to improve when he turns 29. The backfield belongs to Michael Carter now. Coleman would be a nice backup and complementary piece if he doesn’t want to be paid too much.

TE Tyler Kroft

He had only 15 catches for 168 yards and missed half the season, which probably is what the Jets should have expected. They absolutely have to upgrade the talent at the tight end position this offseason. It should be a priority in free agency. Kroft won’t be.

S Lamarcus Joyner

The Jets don’t have a lot of great options at safety, so bringing back the 31-year-old isn’t a bad idea. They had high hopes for what he could do as a disruptive force in their secondary before he tore a tendon in his elbow in August. He should be able to come back from that and cost less than the $3 million he was paid this year.

DT Nathan Shepherd

He’s proven to be a solid rotational player for the Jets, but not a lot more. Obviously paying Fatukasi would be a priority (and saving money for Williams). No reason they can’t bring him back as the fourth DT, but he may find more playing time elsewhere.

LB Jarrad Davis

The Jets rushed to give him a one-year, $5.5 million deal on Day 1 of free agency, convinced he was misused in Detroit and could be a rock in the middle of their defense. Then, he missed the first half of the season with an ankle injury and hasn’t looked good at all since his return. 

They certainly could give him another shot next year, but with promising young linebackers like Quincy Williams, Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood, and C.J. Mosley under contract for another three seasons, there’s really no reason to do that.

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1 hour ago, LIJetsFan said:

S Marcus Maye - GO

WR Braxton Berrios - STAY

WR Keelan Cole - STAY

WR Jamison Crowder - 50-50 (not sure) leaning GO

G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif - STAY

T Morgan Moses - 50-50 (not sure) leaning GO depending on draft and FA.

DT Foley Fatukasi - STAY

RB Tevin Coleman - GO Draft replacement in later rounds

TE Tyler Kroft - STAY

S Lamarcus Joyner - GO

DT Nathan Shepherd - GO

LB Jarrad Davis - GO

 

 

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3 hours ago, LIJetsFan said:

Ralph Vacchiano NFL Insider 1/06/2022 1:11pm

The Jets haven’t exactly been a top destination for NFL players in the last decade, but they hope that perception is starting to change. A big test will be who they can get to join their crusade when they try to spend their $60 million so in salary cap space this March.

Another big test is whether they’re able to lure any of their own free agents back.

Of course, they probably don’t want them all back. There are only a few desirables on their list of 21 players who are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in two months. But that does include a couple of important players.

Heading into the Jets’ season finale, here’s a look at some of the bigger and more familiar names heading towards free agency, and which ones might be wearing a Jets uniform for the final time:

S Marcus Maye

A few months ago there was no shot. He was going to be looking for a $15 million per season or more, the Jets weren’t going to go that high, and his agent was hinting about a trade. Then he tore his Achilles and … well, it’s still probably not going to happen. 

Maye isn’t going to get the mega-deal he was seeking, and he may have to settle for a short-term deal where he can re-establish his worth. The Jets might offer him that chance, but would he want it? 

He seemed to have soured on the franchise and all the losing and burned some bridges when he didn’t tell the Jets about his DUI arrest for six months (and until it came out in the press). He seems likely to look to prove his worth elsewhere.

WR Braxton Berrios

What he’s shown over the last month is that the Jets should’ve been using him more often. He’s had 20 catches for 180 yards and four total touchdowns in the last four games, which includes two rushing and a 102-yard kickoff return.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder could be a nice fourth receiver, kick returner and gimmick guy, which makes him valuable. The Jets will try to retain him, though it’s hard to tell how much he’d cost. It might depend on if the Patriots get involved and try to take back the player they took in the sixth round of the 2018 draft.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano covers a couple of questions in this edition of Inside Out. Ralph doesn't believe Braxton Berrios will be with the New York Jets in the 2022 NFL season if he's looking for a decent-sized contract. Ralph gives his Jets and Giants bold predictions and says the Jets will make Quinnen Williams the highest paid DT in the NFL and that John Mara and the Giants will look for a seasoned GM to replace Dave Gettleman.

 

WR Keelan Cole

The Jets had high hopes for Cole when they signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million deal after having been underused for four years in Jacksonville. But they didn’t get much in return – 25 catches, 395 yards, no touchdowns and too many drops. He’ll be 29 in April. There’s no need to give him another shot.

WR Jamison Crowder

The writing was on the wall for Crowder in June when he had to agree to cut his salary in half to avoid being cut. He did have 50 catches in 11 games this season, but those only went for 431 yards. He’s been passed by the younger, more dynamic Elijah Moore and now Berrios is emerging as a better player, too. He’ll be 29 in June and he’ll have to try to hang on somewhere else.

G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

I still think Jets GM Joe Douglas is going to take a swing at one of the top guards in free agency, but if he misses, LDT would be a nice consolation prize. He’s played well since coming over from the Chiefs at the trade deadline and finding his legs after opting out last season. Even if the Jets do sign a free-agent guard, they should bring him back for depth, if he’s interested.

T Morgan Moses

The 6-foot-6, 318-pounder didn’t win the right tackle job coming out of training camp, but he took over in Week 2 after Mekhi Becton got hurt and George Fant moved to the left side. He’s played well too. But they’ve got an interesting dilemma. Fant played well at left tackle and fits their wide-zone-blocking system well. 

So if Becton, last year’s first-round pick, returns healthy, does Fant go back to the right side? Does Becton? And then what happens with Moses? He might believe he’s got an easier path to a starting job someplace else.

DT Foley Fatukasi

The Jets gave John Franklin-Myers a four-year, $55 million extension back in October, which shows he’s their preferred young lineman, and they will soon have to spend big money on Quinnen Williams, too. So Fatukasi won’t get big money from the Jets, even though he’s become a tremendous run-stuffer. They should try to bring him back because an interior with him and Williams, and Sheldon Rankins behind him, would be strong. 

And if Carl Lawson and Bryce Huff return healthy on the edges, it could be the kind of line Saleh’s been dreaming about. But if they let him hit free agency, he could get more than they’re willing to spend, and he’d likely be gone.

RB Tevin Coleman

He clearly wasn’t his old, explosive self and he couldn’t stay healthy – two things not likely to improve when he turns 29. The backfield belongs to Michael Carter now. Coleman would be a nice backup and complementary piece if he doesn’t want to be paid too much.

TE Tyler Kroft

He had only 15 catches for 168 yards and missed half the season, which probably is what the Jets should have expected. They absolutely have to upgrade the talent at the tight end position this offseason. It should be a priority in free agency. Kroft won’t be.

S Lamarcus Joyner

The Jets don’t have a lot of great options at safety, so bringing back the 31-year-old isn’t a bad idea. They had high hopes for what he could do as a disruptive force in their secondary before he tore a tendon in his elbow in August. He should be able to come back from that and cost less than the $3 million he was paid this year.

DT Nathan Shepherd

He’s proven to be a solid rotational player for the Jets, but not a lot more. Obviously paying Fatukasi would be a priority (and saving money for Williams). No reason they can’t bring him back as the fourth DT, but he may find more playing time elsewhere.

LB Jarrad Davis

The Jets rushed to give him a one-year, $5.5 million deal on Day 1 of free agency, convinced he was misused in Detroit and could be a rock in the middle of their defense. Then, he missed the first half of the season with an ankle injury and hasn’t looked good at all since his return. 

They certainly could give him another shot next year, but with promising young linebackers like Quincy Williams, Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood, and C.J. Mosley under contract for another three seasons, there’s really no reason to do that.

Marcus Maye - Gone

Braxton Berrios - Resign

Keelan Cole - Gone

Jamison Crowder - Gone

LDT - Resign

Morgan Moses - Gone

Foley Fatukasi - would offer fair deal but will be gone.

Tevin Coleman - Resign

Lamarcus Joyner - I'd like to Resign but not sure

Nathan Shepherd- Gone

Jarrad Davis - Gone

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1 hour ago, 68JET11 said:

 

Did RV really write the Jets will make Q Williams the highest paid DT in the league?  That might fit his definition of ‘bold’ but it is unlikely UNLESS there are major incentives built in and an out clause after 2 or 3 years.  The player certainly hasn’t earned it and JD has been very shrewd with his money and contract structuring (let’s also give JFM more time to earn his before we write him off).

And the same ‘insider’ doesn’t think Berrios will be back if he looks for a ‘decent’ sized contract.  Sounds like the narrative is contagious that somehow Braxton is not worth being paid and should take below market to stay.  Berrios is a smart person and very good player.  We don’t have many of those.  He’ll be back at a fair market rate and the Jets will use him in the slot the 60% of the time they line Moore up on the outside (which was 75% of the time this year).  Let’s not let the narrative Moore is a slot get in the way of real life data.  The tea leaves say he is a hybrid and that is 1 of the reasons he is so valuable.

Fatukasi??  At a glance, it would seem like he has underperformed and/or not been a good fit.  The run defense has been an unmitigated disaster from so many angles including upfront.  And he is supposed to be the anchor along with Mosley.  A top 3-5 graded interior run stopper the past couple of years, is there something more that meets the eye?  I haven’t watched closely enough and don’t know his PFF run grade.  If he is the same player he was 2 years ago and the Jets find a way to better use his talents in 2022, then I want him back.

 

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Moses, Maye, LDT and one of Berrios/Crowder

Really I don't see a need for any of the others.

I do wonder why everyone is in such a rush to get rid of Maye - we need good safeties and he's a good safety.  Pay him and keep him.   If we signed a guy from somewhere else with his background we would be ecstatic around here.

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22 minutes ago, Trotter said:

Are we keeping Berrios? Asking for a friend.

I actually think we should look to save $1M per year and then try to find a top 3 punt returner, top 3 kick returner, and more than capable slot elsewhere.  His chemistry with Wilson can easily be replaced and the fans can be energized by the likes of mims and wesco.

No way we pay market for a small gadget guy.  Easy to find these replacements in FA or the draft.  Let him walk if the contact gets anywhere near $6M.  We can save at least $.5-$1M by adding up the costs of his 3 replacements.

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34 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

Moses, Maye, LDT and one of Berrios/Crowder

Really I don't see a need for any of the others.

I do wonder why everyone is in such a rush to get rid of Maye - we need good safeties and he's a good safety.  Pay him and keep him.   If we signed a guy from somewhere else with his background we would be ecstatic around here.

I could be wrong and maybe this is just me but think folks would be happy to have Maye back. Given there was obviously a divide in the contract talks and the lack of communication about his DUI seems feels unlikely he’d want to sign with the Jets.

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21 minutes ago, Joe Willie White Shoes said:

I just have this sinking feeling that Berrios will sign with the Pats and become the next Edelman.  

He started out as a Pat - I sure hope he doesn't end up back there.  But can def. see it happening.

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36 minutes ago, OtherwiseHappyinLife said:

I actually think we should look to save $1M per year and then try to find a top 3 punt returner, top 3 kick returner, and more than capable slot elsewhere.  His chemistry with Wilson can easily be replaced and the fans can be energized by the likes of mims and wesco.

No way we pay market for a small gadget guy.  Easy to find these replacements in FA or the draft.  Let him walk if the contact gets anywhere near $6M.  We can save at least $.5-$1M by adding up the costs of his 3 replacements.

I love sarcasm :) Always have, always will.  Thank you Joe Douglas, thank you.  

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17 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

He started out as a Pat - I sure hope he doesn't end up back there.  But can def. see it happening.

It would be a huge mistake if we let that happen..  The guy wants to be here, believes in the Jets, and there is no indication he is looking to break the bank.

And why would he go back to the team that dumped him?

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Maye - I don't see a reunion happening. Beyond the DUI, the Jets didn't want to pay him when he was healthy, and that's not going to change if he puts together a good 2022 season returning from his injury. So what's the point of signing him as a one year stop gap.. especially if there are no guarantees he is ready for camp or the start of the season?

Berrios - It all depends on how much he wants to be here. The Jets snatched him up, gave him his opportunity, and he's developed under their watch. I think he's offered a fair deal, but not sure if he takes it

Cole - I like Cole. But he disappeared in Jax, and he was largely invisible here at times. At best a decent 4/5 type guy. Given the Mims situation, Crowder leaving, and the likely TE room revamp it makes some sense to keep him around as a familiar face for Zach,  but at a minimal cost.

Crowder - the pay cut last year indicates he's gone. MAYBE if Berrios takes off and they have no plans to draft a WR, they bring Crowder back if his market is weak - but that combination would be a dumb decision.

LDT - I hope they make a real effort to bring him back. He's a pro - gives you the flexibility in the draft with the OL, and would make great depth if we do go OL early.  

Moses - This is really all about Becton. I'd be shocked if the organization is ready to throw in the towel with him so soon, but it's apparent Becton needs to mature and focus on football. While I think we'd love to retain Moses, he's looking to cash in and start- something we probably won't be able to offer.

Fatukasi - I really like this  kid, and I'm sure the coaching staff does too, but it's a numbers game at this point. JFM has gotten paid, Rankins is making some money. Quentin's contract is looming. I think Fatukasi makes some decent money on the open market that we won't match.

Coleman - He's proven he can have success in this system and the staff likes him. I think he returns as a 2b/3 depending on where they draft a RB.

Joyner  -  The staff obviously likes him, and they need a veteran presence at S. He's probably their fall back option if they can't lure a higher profile FA in to pair up with A. Davis

Sheppard - He's a jag, but wouldn't discount him returning with a jag contract as part of the DL rotation.

J Davis -  He already got his one year prove it deal, and showed that he could not. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’d keep more than most as long as the money fits their role.

Berrios: stay as 4th WR

Cole: stay as 5th WR

J Smith: not on your list but stay as 6th WR

Add a starting WR in the draft or FA

LDT: stay as starting RG or high quality backup.

Moses: Stay as starting RT. Have Fant and Becton battle for LT spot

Foley: stay as starting DT

Kroft: stay as backup TE.

Coleman: stay as #2 or #3 RB

 

Let walk: Maye, Crowder, Joyner, Shep, Davis

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2 hours ago, FidelioJet said:

Moses, Maye, LDT and one of Berrios/Crowder

Really I don't see a need for any of the others.

I do wonder why everyone is in such a rush to get rid of Maye - we need good safeties and he's a good safety.  Pay him and keep him.   If we signed a guy from somewhere else with his background we would be ecstatic around here.

I don't think people were in a rush to get rid of Maye, I personally didn't think he was a 15 million a year safety.

Now, you have to see how he comes back from the injury.   I take Berrios over Crowder because Berrios has excellent value on special teams, and Zach seems to really like him.

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Crowder, Coleman and Cole turning 29, too old to pay!  Braxton Berrios turning 27, ascending player!

I keep harping on this, but I think they expect a bunch of these guys to go elsewhere and they will look at it as an opportunity to get some comp picks.  Of those, LDT, Moses, Fatukasi and Maye are the only ones that we should want for real money.  Maybe Berrios.  The rest are all bargain guys that we will probably offer bargain contracts, short term at that.  I assume they will want Kroft back. The offense seemed to work better when he was playing, but he is not somebody to pay big money.

If I am GM, I make most of them cheap offers with the promise that I will take them back after FA if they don't find more.  Then they don't cost against the comp pick formula, but they know we are interested.  They did that a few times with Powell, Ijalana and some others.   

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S Marcus Maye- YES

Yes. Why not? I agree that he will not command nearly the same salary that he once did. When healthy he is still a good player. The Jets need safety help desperately. If the price is right, bring him back and add a talented SS because I have no faith in what he have right now. 

WR Braxton Berrios- YES

Yes. I think he earned it. 

WR Keelan Cole- NO

No. The experiment didn't work. Time to draft a WR or sign new blood. 

WR Jamison Crowder- NO

I would actually not mind bringing him back if the price was right. He fits the system and is reliable. Depending on what they do in FA and the draft the Jets will need depth. Having said that, Moore and Berrios may just push him out of the depth at slot. So I am 50/50 on re-signing Crowder. If the Jets DO resign Berrios, I just don't see how bringing back Crowder makes sense.     

G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif- YES

I think you have to bring him back. But he's not the future at G. He is the perfect candidate to serve as depth and to compete for the RG spot with a talented rookie (relative high draft pick). 

T Morgan Moses- NO

In a perfect world you bring Moses back. But he will cost a lot. And at his age, I think you let him walk. The Jets have too much invested in Becton and definitely need to extend Fant. Just not in the cards.  

DT Foley Fatukasi- NO

Again, similar to Moses. In a perfect world you bring back Foley. But he will cost too much considering what we already have invested in the D-line and the money QW will command. Not in the cards. 

RB Tevin Coleman- YES?

Meh. He won't cost much. If the coaching staff likes him, bring him back. Why not? 

TE Tyler Kroft- YES?

Same as Coleman. I agree that an upgrade is a priority. The Jets should look to draft a TE in the 2nd round, getting their hands on one of the top TEs in the draft class. But if they like Kroft for depth. Why not? 

S Lamarcus Joyner- NO

I really have no idea. Does anybody? Has anyone seen him play for the Jets in this system the way they were intending on utilizing him? No. Has anyone seen how he will come back from injury? No. Has he ever been a Jet? No. I mean, honestly, just based off those questions I would not bring him back. Why? Makes way more sense to bring back Maye. 

DT Nathan Shepherd- YES

Same as Fat. EXCEPT he would be a much cheaper depth signing. So I would bring him back. 

LB Jarrad Davis- NO

This is a big NO for me. He was a disappointment. Time to re-shuffle the LB group and bring in replacements via FA and the draft

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Maye-we can keep 4 safeties.  He is not worth the trouble unless super cheap, and we assume he is S5 and replaces someone who gets hurt while he is suspended.

Berrios-extend and overpay if necessary.   We need two starting slot WR.  How many games was Moore out this year?

Cole-been there, done that, try a draft pick or cheaper signing.  Did not really see the fit either.

Crowder-I think WR/Slot-3 should be a draft pick. No.

LDT-people have said that JD was going to look to find an impact FA RG.  Why?  Slightly overpay for LDT to compete at RG/depth (worst case replaces GVR and is OL7 (OL6 is the backup T).

Moses-I would rather draft the best OT available to be successor/swing in the first round than resign Moses for what he wants.  If he would sign for his 2021 deal I would take him back.   

Foley-keep him and let Rankins go.

Coleman-I would give him a similar deal, let Perine go and find more RBs in draft/FA.

Kroft-there is no question the Jets are taking a TE in round 2/3.  Keep Kroft as TE2/3 for the same or slightly better deal.

Joyner-I would rather invest in a FA AND draft pick who are larger and more athletic.  

Shepherd-do we need the depth to not have to spend a draft pick if he signs cheap?  Maybe.  

Jarrad-this was actually poor scouting/waste of FA money.  Try again with someone else.  

 

 

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