Friday, July 29, 2011

Nnamdi Asomugha signs with Eagles

As Adam Schefter reported, the former Oakland Raider CB Nnamdi Asomugha has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Just months after LHP Free agent Cliff Lee duped the world, once again an impact player has chosen the city of brotherly love over the big apple. The comparison is eerily similar. In both cases Texas/Dallas and New York seemed to be the only two teams left in the hunt, and then Philadelphia, in this case the eagles, swoop in for the kill.

Jet fans are sure to be disappointed, Revis Island will not be extended into a green and white archipelago, yet the Jets may be better off in the long and short run.

Short term: the Jets will be able to invest the 12 million a year Asomugha would have received from the Jets and allocate it instead to obtaining second option Antonio Cromartie, as well as pursue other players. Cromartie will likely earn around 7 million, so they Jets can use the remaining 5 to obtain a pass rusher or put it towards resigning WR Braylon Edwards.

Long term: They may be happy they did not give five years to Asomugha as the 25 million dollars guaranteed could be seen as dead weight come 2015.

The Mets fan syndrome

 The Mets have won 7 of their last 10 games and have climbed to just 6.5 games out of the National League Wildcard.

As a fan of the team, I struggle with the same issue year by year, I get too emotionally involved. Maybe it's the Mets aura, they are treated with no respect. They are a second class team in a first class market. But they entice me to care, even when they are not relevant.

Now, they are on the outskirts of contention. They trail the Braves by 6.5 games in the Wild Card, a fairly large margin, as the Braves are playing well, and oh yeah, the D-backs, Pirates and Cards are in the mix too.

I try not to give my hopes up, knowing they will blow it, "same old Mets." I am involved though, the team that survived without David Wright, and filled with players who should be calling Buffalo home for the remainder of their career, is actually in the mix.

If they take most series and mix in some sweeps along the way, the Mets will be playing meaningful September baseball.That's not to say they will make the playoffs, that will be very tough to do. As Mark Simon of ESPN New York tweeted yesterday, "If the Mets go 40-18 the rest of the way, they'd need the Braves to go no better than 31-26 to beat them...and thats w/o factoring in others." That will be tough, but hopefully they will at least be competative and fun to watch.

Sandy Alderson traded Carlos Beltran for a product in Zack Wheeler, whom is a good two years away from being ready. The same goes for Matt Harvey the Mets other top pitching prospect. Alderson is working under a 3-4 year plan of relevancy. Until then, the Mets are just playing with house money. As they say in Vegas, "let it ride!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giants offseason prevew

After a disappointing season in which the Giants failed to reach the postseason, they have a lot of work to do in the upcoming weeks to give themselves a chance to make a run this year. The Giants salary is reportedly 11.3 million dollars over the cap for the upcoming season, so the Giants have tough decisions to make. Here are a couple of matters the Giants need to address.

Who is Eli Manning going to hand the ball to?
Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a career-high 1,235 yards last season, but is demanding a large sum of money to continue playing on the team this season.  With Brandon Jacobs signed for two more years, the Giants might be more willing to sign a cheaper option such as former Panther D’Angelo Williams.  Williams spent much of last year injured but was considered one of the top backs in the league going into the season.

Deal with Osi Umenyiora
The Giants solved their major offensive line problem by agreeing to sign former 49er center David Baas after cutting Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert.  Now they have to figure out their defensive line. Umenyiora, one of the league’s most dominant defensive ends, has two more years on his contract, but believes he deserves more money.  He demanded either a raise or a trade, but with the Giants already over the cap, a raise is unlikely, and a training camp holdout is a possibility.

Resign Steve Smith
Smith was the Giants’ second string receiver, but ended his season early when he got micro-fracture surgery in his knee. The Giants have one of the best receivers in the league in Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham had a good season, but a third receiver will make a big difference, and Smith is a big threat out of the slot. Due to his injury, other teams are unlikely to offer him a large contract, so the Giants will be able to sign him to a small contract. If he can stay healthy, Smith is on the verge of a breakout season, and Eli Manning may finally have two reliable targets to throw to.  The other option for a cheap receiver may be former Giant Plaxico Burress.

Jets offseason preview

After reaching two straight AFC championship games, the main goal for the Jets has to be keeping together their team.  They made their first step towards that goal by resigning wide receiver Santonio Holmes to a 50 million dollar deal.  With the new salary cap at 120.3 million dollars, this contract will make it very difficult for the Jets to re-sign other members of their receiving core including Braylon Edwards and Brad Smithm while still having room to fill other needs in the offseason.  Here are a few tasks the Jets need to accomplish in the upcoming weeks:

Decide who Mark Sanchez will throw passes to besides Holmes, Jericho Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller.
The Jets are not going to be able to re-sign Edwards, and numerous other teams are interested in Brad Smith which will drive his price up.  Smith is invaluable to the Jets, returning kicks, running the wildcat and catching passes, but resigning him could cost the Jes the chance to improve their team elsewhere. The Jets are looking into cheaper veterans such as Plaxico Burress and even Randy Moss. Moves like this have worked in the past with players such as Ladanian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor, so look for the Jets to try again this offseason.

Find a corner to play opposite Darrelle Revis.
The Jets signed Antonio Cromatie last year to fill this gap, and he played well, especially late in the season, but Cromartie is sure to demand a high price, last years first round draft pick Kyle Wilson did not look ready to start.  Many fans would love to see the Jets go for former Raiders shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha who would give the Jets the Jets the best corner tandem in recent history. Asomugha is considered the top player on the market this year and will most likely demand more money than what Revis is receiving. Either option would be good, but the salary cap could prevent the Jets from making the big move to get Asomugha.

Choose whether to sign a right tackle.
The Jets released former right tackle Damien Woody in February after he struggled with injuries at the end of last season. They resigned tackle Wayne Hunter who replaced Woody in the playoffs last year, and also have second year lineman Vlad Ducasse who narrowly lost the left guard job last preseason. Ducasse played tackle in college, and the Jets hope that a move back to his natural position will help him progress. The Jets seem ready to go with one of these two players, but will not hesitate to bring in a veteran if both players struggle.

Sign Shaun Ellis
Ellis, a defensive end and the longest tenured Jet is a free agent this season and is contemplating retirement. The jets drafted defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson in the first round of the draft, but most Jets fans will be much happier with at least one more year from the veteran Ellis. With thoughts of former first round bust Vernon Ghoulston still lingering, Wilkerson is better off easing into his new spot on the team.


Monday, July 25, 2011

It's time for football!

It's official. There will be a full 2011-2012 football season. Early Monday morning, the playes signed the agreement proposed by the owners and commenced the new season.

With much of the traditional off-season already gone, teams will have little time to resign players, sign draft picks and sign new players.  Here is what to expect in the upcoming weeks:

There will be a frenzy as teams have just two weeks to sign players before the first games of the preseason. Big names such as running backs D'Angelo Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw, receivers Santonio Holmes and Vincent Jackson, and defenders Nnamdi Asomugha and Antonio Cromartie are all free agents and have very little time to work out details of a new contract.

Come back soon for details on what to expect from the Jets and Giants during the abbreviated off-season and for insight into the upcoming season.