After a couple of rather hectic weeks of free agency, the Jets find themselves in a bit of trouble at one position where they were among the strongest in the NFL last season - wide receiver. Only one member of last season's "Flight Boys" is still with the Jets, Santonio Holmes. The other two, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery, are gone and replaced with big question marks or not replaced at all.
Braylon Edwards, who supposedly wanted too much money, signed with the 49ers for $1M base salary and incentives that could go up to $3.5M if Edwards catches 90 passes and gets selected to the Pro Bowl. The chances of that are slim to none, so Edwards essentially signed for just $1M. The Jets, meanwhile, agreed on a $3M contract with Plaxico Burress, who hasn't played football since 2008 and his last productive season was in 2007. Although it now appears that Edwards will be suspended for at least a couple of regular season games, choosing Burress over him is a huge gamble. Edwards, 28, is pretty much in his prime, while rusty almost 34-year old Burress might have nothing left in his tank.
If the Edwards/Burress situation wasn't enough, it got even worse yesterday when the Gang Green released Jerricho Cotchery without having a replacement in place. At first it looked like free agent WR Derrick Mason was surely going to sign with the Jets to be their #3 receiver, but Mason then made a U-turn, telling the Jets that he had other offers to think over. By letting Cotchery go before securing his replacement, the Jets left themselves with no leverage to Mason's agents, who now know that the Gang Green are desperate to fill the void left by Cotchery.
Then, we can also add the departure of WR/KR Brad Smith to the mix. Smith signed with the Bills because the Jets were too busy trying to sign CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who eventually agreed on a contract with the Eagles.
So, last year's solid wide receiver core is pretty much gone and replaced with rusty question marks and unproven rookies. The team surely still has plenty of talent to make another Super Bowl run this season. But fans do have to wonder about Mike Tannenbaum's strategy in this year's free agency, which has been one of the worst, if not the worst, for the Jets in recent years.