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Taking the Next Step: New York Jets Begin Negotiating

With a new CBA in place, the New York Jets are looking to gain control of the NFC East in 2011 and on to the Playoffs where they look to finally push pass the AFC championship game, and into the Super Bowl. Before that can be accomplished, Mike Tannenbaum has to find a way to keep one of his top receivers in Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, find a replacement for Antonio Cromartie who most people expect will sign elsewhere for big money.

One other serious issue that this team faces moving forward is, finding an outside linebacker that can hit the quarterback on a consistent basis; so some serious restructuring of contracts might have to get done before the Jets can find that guy. Also, although he might be the longest tenure Jet, you would have to expect Shawn Ellis to become a cap causality at some point during this process. Bryan Thomas is another guy at the OLB position that is just not getting the job done for Rex Ryan. Thomas over 9 years has 31 sacks, that’s an average of 3.4 sacks per year, THAT IS JUST NOT GOING TO CUT IT IN a Rex Ryan system. Calvin Pace at the other OLB spot has 20 sacks over 3 years with the Jets, but Rex Ryan needs an OLB that is more dynamic, and plays with a little more tenacity; one of these guys have to go.

I believe the Jets are set at the DL position. Look for 6’8 DE Pitoitue Ropati to play along the DL this year. If he can recover from the serious injury he suffered during camp in 2010, Ropati could have a break out year for the Jets. Rookie DE/DT Kenrick Ellis and rookie DL Muhammad Wilkerson should have an impact on the defensive line also. Rex Ryan will have a lot of beef upfront to work with; this should help the line backers working in space, getting to the QB.

Again, Holmes is a guy that the Jets have to find a way to keep. Holmes was a security blanket for Mark Sanchez in 2010, Holmes can break open a play at any given time during a game, and that is just what the Jets need as they try and rev up the engines once again for Rex Ryan, going into the 2011 season.



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