Loss of Yeremiah Bell Leaves New York Jets Without Backup Plan
This off-season has not been a great time so far for the New York Jets. The roster keeps getting thinner, and watching strong safety Yeremiah Bell join the Arizona Cardinals does not make things any better. Bell signed a one year deal his new team.
LaRon Landry combined with Bell to form a solid safety core. New York’s tandem was one of their only strong points during an otherwise bad year. Despite failure and injury, the Jets ranked second in pass yards surrendered last season. Bell was one of the major signings in the 2010 off-season. Despite being 35 years old, Bell was a good addition an Arizona defense that is already solid. Given cap problems it was expected that one of the two would be gone. Seeing both walk out the door is painful very painful . Bell had 89 total tackles for the Jets last season showing that he can still play at a high level .
Landry of course is also gone, having signed a five year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Without both of them the Jets will experience a letdown in their secondary. A lack of pass rush last season gave opposing quarterbacks too much time to stand back in the pocket and beat coverage. New York has a pair of promising young defensive ends in Quinton Coples and Mohamed Wilkerson.
The current replacements for Landry and Bell have little experience which could mean trouble. Josh Bush was a sixth round draft pick by the Jets in 2012 out of Wake Forest. Bush recorded 11 career tackles, and has no interceptions last seasons, which shows the uncertainty of his game. He converted from cornerback to safety during his senior year.
Antonio Allen was a hard hitting defensive back at South Carolina. He was projected as a second to third round pick. Allen also spent part of his rookie year on the practice squad. The Jets now must pursue other options to replace.
Signing free agents like Quintin Mikell from the St. Louis Rams, or Charles Woodson from the Green Bay Packers makes sense. A draft pick would have to be spent early which, would also take away from the ability to address other needs. Although leaving these two inexperienced players as starters would result in a shaky secondary.