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NOT EXACTLY FREE...JETS MUST DECIDE IF THEY'LL BE BIG SPENDERS


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NOT EXACTLY FREE

JETS MUST DECIDE IF THEY'LL BE BIG SPENDERS

By MARK CANNIZZARO

Michael TurnerFebruary 18, 2007 -- With the NFL's free-agent signing period looming in two weeks, the Jets will find themselves salivating over potential upgrades at positions of need. Question is, how much will they be willing to spend?

They'll have plenty of salary-cap room once the signing period begins, believed to be between $20-25 million. But because the overriding philosophy of Eric Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum is to build the team through the draft and with youth, one must wonder if they'll make a big splash in free agency.

Other than signing CB Andre Dyson (five years, $11.5 million) and DE Kimo von Oelhoffen (three years, $9.2 million, Mangini and Tannenbaum were rather conservative in free agency.

With needs at running back, cornerback and the defensive line, will Mangini and Tannenbaum take the same tact when the gates open on March 2?

"Our core philosophy is to build the team through the draft and develop our own players, building the team as much as we can from inside," Tannenbaum said. "We want to retain as many players as possible before they become free agents. [LB] Bryan Thomas [who was re-signed during last season] is a good example of that."

That means locking up the likes of WR Jerricho Cotchery to a long-term deal.

"Eric and I feel the same way in that keeping your own players leads to a better opportunity to sustain success," Tannenbaum said, adding that getting something done with Cotchery "is a priority."

Tannenbaum, addressing the cautions of signing a high-priced free agents to guaranteed millions, said, "There are consequences," referring to the salary-cap implications and how the player fits into the locker room.

Tannenbaum said he and Mangini have "gone over some scenarios" in mapping out an offseason plan, but he said, "At this time of year everything we do is in pencil."

There are some tantalizing possibilities that'll sit before the Jets, most notably Chargers RB Michael Turner, a restricted free agent. The Chargers are certain to give a tender offer to Turner, who rushed for 502 yards on 80 carries as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup in 2006. That would require another suitor to give them a compensatory first-round pick if it wants to sign him away.

The Chargers, in a similar situation to the Jets with LaMont Jordan a couple of years ago, eventually will have to either sign Turner to a significant contract - difficult to do with Tomlinson still in his prime- trade him, or eventually him lose via unrestricted free agency.

So, perhaps the Jets, who are in serious need of a feature back, could work a trade for Turner around draft time.

The Jets, by rule, are not allowed to comment on Turner, who is San Diego property, but league sources have told The Post that the Jets believe he's the real thing.

Other high-profile free agents who could spark interest include CB Nate Clements from Buffalo, who will cost some $10 million or more in guaranteed-signing-bonus money. The Jets are unlikely to go into 2007 with either the inconsistent Justin Miller or David Barrett playing alongside Dyson at corner.

Though it's not considered one of the Jets' most-pressing needs, don't be shocked to see them make a run at Patriots TE Daniel Graham, whose best season was 2003 when he caught 38 passes and four TDs.

mark.cannizzaro@nypost.com

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If management really does stick to its word of building through the draft, then the Jets won't even think about being major players in free agency this year. 18 teams have more than $20 million in cap room, and this free agent market is going to turn into a bidding war and result in higher-priced contracts for lesser players, much like we saw in this baseball offseason. I think they'll sign a couple of unknown, maybe underrated free agents who fill their holes and fit their system.

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If management really does stick to its word of building through the draft, then the Jets won't even think about being major players in free agency this year. 18 teams have more than $20 million in cap room, and this free agent market is going to turn into a bidding war and result in higher-priced contracts for lesser players, much like we saw in this baseball offseason. I think they'll sign a couple of unknown, maybe underrated free agents who fill their holes and fit their system.

I equated it what has become of baseball this off-season-guys who ain't worth it getting sick dinero...if a deal can be made for a Clements or a Michael Turner fine-if not go to the draft and RBBC again

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I'm not sure I agree with the "build entirely through the draft" mentality; I'm more of a "responsible cobination of FA signings and draft smart guys" person myself. For instance, I would pay A. Thomas of Balt. whatever the hell he is asking. Players like him only come along once in a while. Extremely versitile athelete who enjoys playing the team game. Even though LB is not our first priority, a guy like Thomas playing alongside Barton, Vilma, and Hobson would undoubtedly be the strongest LB corps in the NFL. Regardless, if the FO is planning to build on last year's success simply via the draft, they are not as bright as we all have been exhaulting; but I would not be surprised if they are just playing the game, filling everyone with BS while making runs a specific FAs on their radar. Just my thoughts...

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I equated it what has become of baseball this off-season-guys who ain't worth it getting sick dinero...if a deal can be made for a Clements or a Michael Turner fine-if not go to the draft and RBBC again

As far as I'm concerned those two are already overpriced. I don't want to put up $10M for a cb or drop a 1st and huge deal on an unproven RB. I'm sure there are some mid-lower level guys that can help. Particularly at TE/OL and there must be a DE that's an affordable upgrade.

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I don't see a way for the Jets to get a RB any better then Turner with the picks they have now.

A late round Back might not be great for 07, but look at Mike Bell, or Turner. Backs are a dime a dozen, there are plenty of good ones late. But then again it might take them some time to develop.

Running back has to be one of the easiest positions to fill...next to punter...

criteria for NFL RB

1.) can you run fast?

2.) are you big and powerful? or short and shifty?

3.) can you catch?

4.) do you weight over 215 pounds?

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Wow, Andre Dyson was a steal for us last year in free agency. I would rather pay him $2 mil per year than cough up $8-10 mil for Samuels.

I hope that we are very aggressive in free agency. Building through the draft is not a complete strategy when most draft picks can hit free agency in three or four years.

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Is there going to be a better RB then turner available at 25? i don't think so.

Did you read what I wrote? I don't give **** if there is a better RB available. There may be a better player available. I think the D is a bigger concern than the run O. I am also concerned about Turner's contract. Is it just a match the tender deal or do they have to sign Turner to a contract that makes him happy? Because if we have to make him happy we're going to pay through the nose the way the press and message boards are going down on him.

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Did you read what I wrote? I don't give **** if there is a better RB available. There may be a better player available. I think the D is a bigger concern than the run O. I am also concerned about Turner's contract. Is it just a match the tender deal or do they have to sign Turner to a contract that makes him happy? Because if we have to make him happy we're going to pay through the nose the way the press and message boards are going down on him.
I view RB as our no 1 need and he's the best way to fill that need. I'd give up the pick to get him.
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Did you read what I wrote? I don't give **** if there is a better RB available. There may be a better player available. I think the D is a bigger concern than the run O. I am also concerned about Turner's contract. Is it just a match the tender deal or do they have to sign Turner to a contract that makes him happy? Because if we have to make him happy we're going to pay through the nose the way the press and message boards are going down on him.

I agree with you, take the best player. We have plenty of holes, RB ranks about 8 on my list of caring.

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I agree with you, take the best player. We have plenty of holes, RB ranks about 8 on my list of caring.

Please explain and expound. I can see DE as a guarantee. After that? RT and #2 CB. Not sure about 8 though.

A Rams board has us trading them our #1 and 1st #2 and #4 for #13 and taking Lynch. We don't have a #4, do we? I guess they want Barlow.

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Wow, Andre Dyson was a steal for us last year in free agency. I would rather pay him $2 mil per year than cough up $8-10 mil for Samuels.

I hope that we are very aggressive in free agency. Building through the draft is not a complete strategy when most draft picks can hit free agency in three or four years.

Agree but part of what they said is they want to ensure there is CAP room to sign/extend their own players that pan out before they can leave for FA. The problem with Bradway drafts was that when we did land good players we sat back and let so many of them come up for FA at the same time making it impossible to keep them all.

The fact we went after Branch when BB told him to go find a trade makes me think we will dabble somewhat in FA but just not leave ourselves in a scenario where there's no CAP room to extend our better players when the time comes.

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I think this strategy makes sense and I don't see the Jets going after a guy like Michael Turner at all. Some team who thinks they are just a RB away will give up a pick and big bucks to aquire him. But big money plus a high draft pick for a RB is thee single dumbest thing a team could possibly do. I expect to see the Jets sign some low profile free agents along with guys to compete for jobs at every position and that is the smart thing to do imo.

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Please explain and expound. I can see DE as a guarantee. After that? RT and #2 CB. Not sure about 8 though.

A Rams board has us trading them our #1 and 1st #2 and #4 for #13 and taking Lynch. We don't have a #4, do we? I guess they want Barlow.

It's not number 8, but I would grab:

1. 3-4 DE (keeping Robertson as NT) or NT, shifting Robertson to DE

2. Pass-rushing OLB

3. & 4. RG and RT, and maybe even a LG, because without an O-line it doesn't matter what RB you bring in.

5. CB

and then #6 on my list would be a running back.

And BTW, no way we do that trade. With all the off-the-field problems Lynch has been associated with recently, he might slip to our pick anyway and probably to the second round...

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Please explain and expound. I can see DE as a guarantee. After that? RT and #2 CB. Not sure about 8 though.

A Rams board has us trading them our #1 and 1st #2 and #4 for #13 and taking Lynch. We don't have a #4, do we? I guess they want Barlow.

Why would they want Barlow? That's strange.

I wouldn't really put RB at 8, but i do think what we have is plenty servicable for 07.

1 RT

2 DE/DT

3 CB

4 Another DE/DT

5 Pass rushing Linebacker

6. RB

7 WR (slot receiver probably)

honeslty i think that is where i place our importance

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It's not number 8, but I would grab:

1. 3-4 DE (keeping Robertson as NT) or NT, shifting Robertson to DE

2. Pass-rushing OLB

3. & 4. RG and RT, and maybe even a LG, because without an O-line it doesn't matter what RB you bring in.

5. CB

and then #6 on my list would be a running back.

And BTW, no way we do that trade. With all the off-the-field problems Lynch has been associated with recently, he might slip to our pick anyway and probably to the second round...

that's funny, i think we posted simultaniously the same post (basically)

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Why would they want Barlow? That's strange.

I wouldn't really put RB at 8, but i do think what we have is plenty servicable for 07.

1 RT

2 DE/DT

3 CB

4 Another DE/DT

5 Pass rushing Linebacker

6. RB

7 WR (slot receiver probably)

honeslty i think that is where i place our importance

They don't want Barlow. They just didn't even know that we didn't have our 4th when they were making their proposal. If we stand pat at RB then Barlow had better have some value. I'll go for the DE, RT, and maybe CB over RB. I don't have a problem with DRob, though I wouldn't mind a big body for the middle if one were there. I wouldn't mind another LB, but a pass rusher? Isn't that what Thomas is supposed to be? I think Jet fans tend to overrate Thomas who fits the system, plays decent, but doesn't really excel at anything.

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They don't want Barlow. They just didn't even know that we didn't have our 4th when they were making their proposal. If we stand pat at RB then Barlow had better have some value. I'll go for the DE, RT, and maybe CB over RB. I don't have a problem with DRob, though I wouldn't mind a big body for the middle if one were there. I wouldn't mind another LB, but a pass rusher? Isn't that what Thomas is supposed to be? I think Jet fans tend to overrate Thomas who fits the system, plays decent, but doesn't really excel at anything.

Thomas isn't going to take over a game by any means. i think being able to slide Hobson inside, or just spell him sometimes with a pass rusher from his side might create some good matchups.

overall we just need some athletes, like you said 'big body' for the middle would be great, i think d-rob would do really well at an end slot. i would love to see it.

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It's not number 8, but I would grab:

1. 3-4 DE (keeping Robertson as NT) or NT, shifting Robertson to DE

2. Pass-rushing OLB

3. & 4. RG and RT, and maybe even a LG, because without an O-line it doesn't matter what RB you bring in.

5. CB

and then #6 on my list would be a running back.

And BTW, no way we do that trade. With all the off-the-field problems Lynch has been associated with recently, he might slip to our pick anyway and probably to the second round...

Wow i coudln't disagree with you more. The jets had ZERO running game last year and without a running game you just put your whole team in a bad spot. From letting teams tee off on your QB to being unable to chew time on the clock you can't be an effective team without a running game and the jets don't have that right now. #1 and 2 needs should be a RB and a RT.
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We shouldn't be very uptight about spending money this year. I'm not talking about having a Dan Snyder-like offseason, but with the cap room we have, I'd like to bring in a few quality guys like Kris Dielman and Roderick Hood.

I know others will agree with me when I say Dielman is the one guy that I'm willing to overpay for. He has the potential to be a dominant OG and was a huge part of Tomlinson's record breaking season. We need some guys on the interior line to open up holes in the running game and Dielman fits the bill.

Our main focus should be to build through the draft but we should also plug a few holes through FA.

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Wow i coudln't disagree with you more. The jets had ZERO running game last year and without a running game you just put your whole team in a bad spot. From letting teams tee off on your QB to being unable to chew time on the clock you can't be an effective team without a running game and the jets don't have that right now. #1 and 2 needs should be a RB and a RT.

I think its an argument of wanting A.) stop the run, or B.) run the ball

teams need to do both, and i think he was addressing the D first, which is ok in my eyes. I really don't think a RB will help us as much as you might think. Our line is still mediocure, and the safeties will still be up cause pennington's deep ball is pretty bad...

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The Pats have won something? I must not have been paying too close attention

I love that people are still all after this 'franchise back' when its proven that running by committee works just as well, if not better.

see last 4 superbowl champs.

Take note of KC next year, after running LJ into the ground, see how well their "franchise back" preforms. what a joke

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I love that people are still all after this 'franchise back' when its proven that running by committee works just as well, if not better.

see last 4 superbowl champs.

Take note of KC next year, after running LJ into the ground, see how well their "franchise back" preforms. what a joke

The last 4 champions had backs A LOT better then the jets have right now.

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We shouldn't be very uptight about spending money this year. I'm not talking about having a Dan Snyder-like offseason, but with the cap room we have, I'd like to bring in a few quality guys like Kris Dielman and Roderick Hood.

I know others will agree with me when I say Dielman is the one guy that I'm willing to overpay for. He has the potential to be a dominant OG and was a huge part of Tomlinson's record breaking season. We need some guys on the interior line to open up holes in the running game and Dielman fits the bill.

Our main focus should be to build through the draft but we should also plug a few holes through FA.

We should spend up the cap, but there will be bidding wars galore this year. Everybody has cap room. The key will be not to get gummed up in the future after everybody else is capped up. This year Clements is going for $10M, whereas we can get an older stop gap and then somebody coming up in a year or two after everybody is back in cap hell. Assuming the new regime is smart enough to work it.

The last 4 champions had backs A LOT better then the jets have right now.

So did at least 75% of the teams in the history of the NFL.

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The last 4 champions had backs A LOT better then the jets have right now.

Pittman-Alstott

k Faulk-a smith-patrick pass

a lot better huh? seems pretty comparable to me. the other two champs did have better parker/bettis and dillon/faulk. either way they are still very comparable.

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I'm pretty happy with Leon and actually have some hope that Houston and /or Barlow could still be enough IF,IF we continue to upgrade the OL

again,for me it comes down to this;Mangini has a lot of capitol built up for this Jets fan and right now...I trust this regime to do what THEY think is best for this team

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I'm pretty happy with Leon and actually have some hope that Houston and /or Barlow could still be enough IF,IF we continue to upgrade the OL

again,for me it comes down to this;Mangini has a lot of capitol built up for this Jets fan and right now...I trust this regime to do what THEY think is best for this team

I highly doubt they go into next season with the same RB situation as last year.

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