Sunday, March 8, 2009

NY Jets: Free Agency Review

Key Additions: Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Lito Sheppard

Key Subtractions: Brett Favre, Laveranues Coles, Mike Nugent

Key Retentions: Tony Richardson

Rex Ryan is making his impact already on the defense side of the ball. Bringing in two former Ravens, Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard, Ryan is sending a message to the team and to the league that the Jets defense has designs on being as good and as physical as the Ravens.

The good news is that Ryan may have the personnel to do it. Yes, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are not here, but the Jets defense is loaded with talent.

Revis and Rhodes have alsways been studs and now they have replaced two marginal performers with potential All-Pros in Leonhard and Sheppard. On paper this secondary is as good as any in football. That should take pressure off the front seven, but I'm not sure they need pressure taken off them.

On the inside Bart Scott partners up with David Harris. These two big, physical linebackers should be able to control the middle of the field, opening up the pass rush for Calvin Pace, Vernon Gholston, and Bryan Thomas. The key to the defense is Kris Jenkins. If he can stay healthy and stay fresh for the whole season, expect big things from this Jets team. The Jets would be wise to sign or draft someone to take some snaps off his hands because he clearly wore down as the season went on.

The problem for the Jets is on the offensive side of the ball. Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff? I'm not exactly confident. Add to the mix that these QBs have lost a reliable target in Coles and you have to wonder how the Jets are going to score points.

Looking forward, I still think the Jets need a veteran QB to help in case these youngsters implode. Second, the Jets need a reciever. The draft is deep in WR, but it's hard to rely on rookies.

NY Giants: Free Agency Review

Key Additions: Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard, Michael Boley

Key Subtractions: Derrick Ward

Key Retentions: Brandon Jacobs, David Carr

The Giants have made an obvious effort to add to the front 7 on defense. Last season the Giants lost Michael Strahan and immediately thereafter Osi Umenyiora was lost for the season due to injury. Players like Justin Tuck stepped up, but fatigued by the end of the year. In order to have a dominant defense, you have to have depth and the Giants have added that.

We knew the Giants couldn't keep both Jacobs and Ward so they stuck with their number 1 back this off-season. Bradshaw has a much better chance of replacing Ward than he does Jacobs. The Giants should be wary of giving Jacobs a long-term contract because running backs don't fare well when they get to be his age.

Overall, I like what the Giants did. You can never have too many athletes on defense. I'm not sure how Canty will fit in, considering the Giants already have Tuck, Osi, and Kiwanuka. That being said, expect the Giants defense to give opposing team a lot of different looks. The Giants won the Super Bowl due to the strength of their front 7, so they are rightfully reinforcing it.

The Giants still need to figure out their WR situation. It's a deep WR-Draft, but rookie WR often struggle. We'll see where the go from here, but I suspect Plaxico will be back.