BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.- Entering every off-season, free agency period, and draft, each National Football League Team is ready and willing to address its needs, with the end-game being a Super Bowl championship.
After releasing a slew of veterans (Brandon Marhsall, Nick Folk, Ryan Clady, Nick Mangold, Breno Giacomini, Erin Henderson, and Darrelle Revis), subsequently freeing up $46 million in cap space, the New York Jets seemed to have a plan…. or so everyone thought.
The Jets earned the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft: a glimmer of hope. Then, General Manager Mike Maccagnan told a group of reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Jets draft strategy is completely different than anyone was expecting. “Every draft I’ve been in I’ve always wanted to acquire more picks…. I think the one thing for ourselves, we’d like to move back and acquire more picks in this draft if possible” (NFL.com).
Food for thought: The Cleveland Browns had the most picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. Look what that earned them: a 1-15 record and the title of laughing stock of the NFL. The Jets’ brass should subscribe to the old adage: “quality over quantity” .
A former 6th overall pick joins the secondary.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 20, 2017
Chapter 1: Corner Back Edition
The charges on Darrelle Revis have been dropped, as I said they would almost immediately after they were filed. Revis’ lawyer, Robert Del Greco, told ESPN: “It was patently clear to me this was a misguided prosecution, and, as I’ve been saying all along, Darrelle Revis was guilty of absolutely nothing… In all probability, [he] was a victim. … When the record was done, it was clear that Darrelle Revis may have been a victim of harassment or an assault, but certainly was not culpable for any crimes.” His lawyer must be listening to me on 60 Minute Overtime, because I stated almost this exact, same thing on February 19th, 2017.
In any event, the Jets acquired, from the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Morris Claiborne four days after Revis’ acquittal. Like Revis, Claiborne also wears number 24, however, his talent and durability is far less superior. What nightmares are made of, this is what happened in the last game that Claiborne guarded Edelman:
— NFL (@NFL) October 11, 2015
Playing on a one-year, $5 million “prove it” deal in the AFC East, Claiborne will get to guard the New England Patriots wide receiver not once, but twice in the 2017-2018 season! Maybe that clip was an unfair snapshot of his five-year career. In his defense (no pun intended), Edelman is one of the quickest, shiftiest receivers in the game. Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football, even called him a “sneaky lil squirrel“.
Over Claiborne’s five year NFL career, due to injury, he has yet to play in a complete season (16 games). In fact, he averages 7.8 games played per season: less than half. Admittedly, it is difficult to read a player, then project his productivity with such a small sample size. However, throughout his five-year career in the NFL, Claiborne has intercepted only 4 passes (less than 1 per season) and has only defended 27 passes (slightly over 5 per season). As a frame of reference, Revis, in his first five years in the NFL (with the Jets), collected 18 interceptions and defended 95 passes. Remember: quarterback Tom Brady resides in the AFC East, not the NFC East. Drafted by the Cowboys with the 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Claiborne has to be one of the biggest busts in history.
Additionally, Maccagnan also said they might still search for a true number one cornerback in the NFL Draft. What?! The Jets roster is an aircraft littered with holes being flown, seemingly, without a pilot. It has lapses at arguably the most pressing positions, yet Maccagnan has opted to plug the hole at CB with an unproven NFL veteran in Claiborne and, possibly, use a precious draft pick on a player of the same position.
Jets fans, make sure you’re seated in an exit row: 2017-2018 will be a turbulent season.
I discussed this topic, in-depth, on my sports radio show, 60 Minute Overtime (#60MinOT), on Sunday March 19, 2017 (90.3FM-WRPR). Click below to listen. Tune in to my live video stream every Sunday at 11am on http://www.Facebook.com/CoachMcCartan.