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New York Jets - Pete Davidson

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Welcome back football geeks, and if you are reading this, you had better face the facts, because geeks are what you are. In fairness to us football compulsives, how could you not love this time of year? With speculation running wild from franchise tags to mock drafts to where Randy Moss will be playing next year, there's been plenty of action. Of course, we now know Moss is a Raider. In many ways, he's a born Raider, so good for Randy. Not so good for the Jets, who would've been a completely different team with a monster like Moss.

So where do they go now? For certain, 2005 is a long way from last year's mess. At this point in the 2004 timeline, we were talking about Terry Bradway's job security. This season, the ship is seemingly on course and though the year ended quite painfully in Pittsburgh, there is some light emanating from the end of the Jets' tunnel. An oncoming train you say? It's possible. The Jets do have a number of players up in the air, but they seem to be working a plan that started with the signings of QB Chad Pennington and DE Shaun Ellis a few months back and continued recently when they slapped defensive end John Abraham with their franchise tag.

It's hard to say exactly what the Jets' plans are. A lot will likely depend on how the Abraham tagging ultimately unfolds. Will the oft injured Abraham be signed long-term, be forced to play out his tag or could he be dealt? Each one of these possibilities would point Gang Green in a different direction for the free agent period. If he's retained as a franchise player, then he cuts into the cap at the rate of 6.7 million dollars this year. If he signs long-term, that number could get whittled down significantly. If he's traded for picks, it will open up a lot of cap space for free agent moves come March 2nd. There are rumors of the Jets coveting players that will go well ahead of the team's twenty sixth position in the first round of the draft. This could be an indication of potential deals that could send Abraham and/or Santana Moss elsewhere in a trade-up involving the 26th pick or a simple trade for additional picks. Abraham to Dallas is a persistent rumor, where he'd be reunited with Bill Parcells, who had a hand in drafting him back in 2000.

This leads us to the continuation of the Laveranues Coles saga. If Coles is traded to the Jets, a rumor with nine lives, it will likely be for Santana Moss. If the deal ultimately does not occur, the Jets could decide to move the somewhat disgruntled Moss in another deal. Moss will not see a new contract until 2006 if he remains a Jet and that is apparently a problem for the receiver and his representatives according various rumors. There is also the possibility that Coles ends up as an unrestricted free agent. That opens up even more scenarios. Coles' injured toe is at the center of all this, and it's unknown just how serious the injury is in the short-term and the long-term. Also unknown is whether or not the player would consider surgery and what that surgery would entail in terms of rehab time. Not to mention how much of Coles' speed might be lost. At season's end, the Redskins wanted Coles to get the surgery and he refused. That could have a lot to do with how this all came down and does little to change Laveranues' reputation as a hot head.

Barring a deal that opens up significant cap space, the Jets would seem to be a moderate player in the free agent game, they have money, but they have a lot of holes. The current rumors surround Coles, Derrick Mason, Fred Smoot and Ty Law, but others they could be looking at include T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Fred Miller, Jonas Jennings and Pat Williams. Of course, there are many other possibilities.

Much of this will depend on what players the Jets are able to retain. Their big ticket names are Jason Ferguson, LaMont Jordan and Kareem McKenzie, but also included are names like Anthony Becht, James Reed, Josh Evans, Chris Baker, Alan Harper, Jason Glenn, Kenyatta Wright and Toby Gowin.

Of the big names, Ferguson could be back, but is rumored to be talking with Dallas. The Jets want Jordan but cannot offer him the playing time that other teams can. He's at best a fifty-fifty proposition, though his agents say the Jets made a fair offer. As has always been the case with Lamont, Curtis Martin blocks his path to carries if he remains a Jet. Right offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie is represented by the Poston brothers and that always makes for a tough sign. He is a possibility, but he'll follow the money for sure and the market will determine that price. If it's reasonable, the Jets may get him back.

Then there are the players who, though under contract, could potentially be cut. Sam Cowart and Ray Mickens are both older guys with injury concerns who could be released to open up space as could Reggie Tongue. Wayne Chrebet, Donnie Abraham and Doug

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What's up, Meddle?

This was the biggest thing I took out of that:

No matter how well the Jets do with free agents and the draft, the biggest concern for the organization is the health of their franchise quarterback Chad Pennington, who underwent shoulder surgery less than a month ago. There are some mixed reports out there, but all signs point to Pennington being ready for camp. That's the good news, but with a new OC in the fold, it would be nice if Chad could participate in the full off-season program. That is not going to happen. Luckily, Chad is as likely to pick-up a new system quickly as any quarterback in the NFL. The important thing is that they have him ready by week one. If all goes well, the Jets should have the old Chad back, and if that plays out, the team gets a big bump. Pennington showed great toughness last year, but was not the same player as he was before the shoulder issues. The better secondaries were taking liberties, playing between routes and getting a good jump on his passes. Just look at both games versus Pittsburgh
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Good article Meddle. The Jets don't have to cut people to get under the cap, but they still have to improve the roster.

But like you said it all comes down to Chad.

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