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Jets Still Have Items Left On Their Offseason Checklist


The Jets may have made the AFC Championship Game this past season, but their regular season record was 9-7.

If they want to take the next step they have a number of holes to fill on the team.

They started off the off-season by trading for Antonio Cromartie, filling their need of a number two corner to play opposite Darrelle Revis.

However, there is still plenty of work to be done.

Primary Needs

Defensive End

Shaun Ellis is no spring chicken and will turn 33 before next season starts and Marques Douglas, also 33, is currently an unrestricted free agent, who is drawing some interest around the league.

Mike DeVito is a nice backup, but would be stretched as a starter.  Even if they do end up bringing Douglas back, the Jets need to get younger along the defensive front.  I expect them to give Jared Odrick a long look in the first round.

Outside Linebacker

Calvin Pace is locked into one of the starting jobs, but the Jets are in need of a pass rushed to play opposite of him.  They thought they had one in Vernon Gholston, who they drafted with the 6th pick in 2008, but he has shown nothing in his two years.

The Patriots are expected to release Adalius Thomas soon and many expect the Jets to sign him.  He and Rex Ryan go back to Baltimore, where Thomas posted his best numbers.

Safety

The trade of Kerry Rhodes left a hole at safety for the Jets.  Eric Smith is a good third safety and spot starter, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him starting 16 games.

The Jets could look at free agency to fill the hole with targets being O.J. Atogwe and Brodney Pool among others.  They could also address the need via the draft.  If they drafted a safety, I would prefer they use a middle round pick because spending a first or second round pick on a safety after trading away your starter for a fourth round pick seems counterproductive.
Secondary Needs

Wide Receiver

The Jets are set at their starting wide outs with Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery.   They could use a good slot receiver though.

Adding another receiver will only help the development of Mark Sanchez as the Jets start to open up the playbook more.

There are rumors of the Jets bringing back Laveranues Coles and also many mock drafts have had the Jets taking a receiver, most notably Golden Tate or Jordan Shipley, who I think would be a great fit as a slot receiver.

Cornerback

While the Jets did trade for Antonio Cromartie, you can never have too many good cornerbacks.  The Jets learned this first hand in the AFC Championship Game, when the Colts receivers repeatedly burned their backup corners.

Adding a cornerback to play in dime packages to keep Drew Coleman off the field and possibly challenge Dwight Lowery for nickel duties should be a priority for the Jets.

Running Back

While the release of Thomas Jones paves the way for Shonn Greene to take over as the feature back the Jets still could use another runningback.

Leon Washington is coming off a serious leg injury and Shonn Greene got nicked up a few times during his rookie season.

You need two backs in today’s NFL and if either Greene of Leon go down the Jets are in trouble.

Offensive Line

The Jets have one of the best offensive lines in the league, but a few of the starters are getting up there in age.

Alan Faneca and Damien Woody can’t be counted on to keep up their level of play for much longer and the Jets don’t have adequete replacements on their roster.

They drafted Matt Slauson in the sixth round last year and should look to add another lineman through the draft this year.

Quarterback

Kellen Clemens hasn’t shown much of anything in his four seasons in the league and Eric Ainge and Kevin O’Connell are both developmental projects.

Mark Sanchez could benefit from a veteran backup, who can mentor the young quarterback.

Jets Fly Kerry Rhodes To Arizona

New York Jets have apparently had it with safety Kerry Rhodes and his struggles from last year. The New York Jets had stressed that he wouldn’t be traded this off season unless “something changed.” Well that change came in the package of a 4th and 7th rounder from the Arizona Cardinals. The 4th round pick will be part of this year’s draft, and the 7th rounder will come from the 2011 draft.  There is no question that Rhodes is a great football player, but his desire and motivation have been questioned on the field. He however did play well down the stretch for the Jets, and Cardinals fans have to hope that he will come ready to play in 2010.

Kerry Rhodes is expected to move into the starting spot opposite all-pro Adrian Wilson with the Cardinals.

Kerry Rhodes is expected to move into the starting spot opposite all-pro Adrian Wilson with the Cardinals.

The New York Jets had no choice but to get rid of Rhodes after last season’s atrocious output. Expected to be a leader on the Jet’s potent defense, he didn’t draw a turnover in the first 11 games and looked anemic through the first half of the season. He now has a chance to turn that all around and try to help Arizona to another NFC West division title.  If the Cardinals get the Rhodes of old, there is no question that this guy will make a big impact on the Cardinals NFL odds for next season, and might end up making even more plays than Rolle.

Either way the Cardinals only gave up a fourth round pick for Rhodes, so if it doesn’t work out its not the end of the world. While Rhodes is a nice addition, I don’t think that the Cardinals will have enough to make it back to the postseason in 2010, especially without retired quarterback Kurt Warner.