Rebuilding is a word that makes NFL fans cringe. This term conjures up images of empty seats and heads covered with paper bags. Supporters of the New York Jets better get used to that for the foreseeable future. Two days have gone by in the free agency and it has been interesting, especially in the AFC East.
The Miami Dolphins made a huge splash, signing electric wide receiver Mike Wallace to a five year $60 million contract. This may be overpaying for a player who is faster than anything else. However, he is a good target for young quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Signing Danelle Ellerbe also pushes Miami closer to the New England Patriots. New England may have lost Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos, but they responded with a younger slot receiver in Danny Amendola.
Meanwhile, New York has (wait for it) resigned fullback Lex Hilliard. Overall receiving talent is disappearing. $15 million is available in cap room and St. Louis Rams receiver Brandon Gibson continued his free agent tour had he deemed the Jets’ offer too low to not view others. Gibson had a solid season, but he is a role player. Whether or not the Jets sign him, the fact that they are struggling to do so is a bad sign.
No disrespect to Hillard, who is a fine player at his position, but it hardly counts as a major transaction. Given the financial limitations that are hampering John Idzik and company, these impact players were seen as unrealistic.
There is a difference though, between being smart and doing nothing. Rex Ryan will not survive another poor record. Shonn Greene leaving for the Tennessee Titans is not dramatic, but something has to be done. If Dustin Keller joins the Miami Dolphins, then New York will be forced to act. Frugality and practical moves sound good in theory.
Unfortunately, fans in this area lack patience. This roster is currently devoid of offensive explosiveness. Parts of the defense now need to be addressed especially after the departure of Mike Devito. Failing to respond while the highest quality free agents leave the market is a fast track to irrelevance.