Under the heading, "Never throw out good leftovers," here's a Q & A with questions we didn't get to answer in last week's chat session:
Rich, I just heard on WFAN that the Jets may be willing to let Nick Mangold play out the season and then slap the franchise tag on him, assuming there is a 2011 season. Doesn't seem like the best idea to me, considering franchised players rarely stick around after they have been tagged. What do you think? (Matt, Nanuet)
Matt, you heard right. I think there's a very good chance they will let him play out his contract. The Jets are claiming the current CBA rules are making it extremely difficult to sign players in Mangold's position, and they appear willing to wait until 2011. At that point, they will have a few options, depending on which free-agency rules are in place. If the current rules carryover, he'd be a restricted free agent. In that case, they'd give him a first- and third-round tender for about $4 million (20% greater than his current salary). If a year is dropped, meaning players with five years can be unrestricted, they can use the franchise tag or sign him to a long-term deal or let him walk. Obviously, they don't want to let him walk. You're right, franchise-tag situations can become acrimonious, but it's a tool the Jets will utilize, if necessary.
If Darrelle Revis is priority #1, then shouldn't David Harris be #1a? (Anthony, NYC)
You could make the argument that Harris and Mangold should be #1 and #1a, considering they're both entering the final year of their contracts and Revis has three years left. But the Harris and Mangold situations are being impacted by the 30% rule. For Revis, not so much.
Hey, Rich, Do you expect Revis to be signed by training camp? (Ryan, Conn.)
Hey, Ryan, no I do not. There is a huge gap in negotiations right now, with neither side seemingly willing to budge. It would take some major compromising to get this done by the start of camp, Aug. 1.
Rich, Considering the alcohol problem in the stadium over the years why would the Jets encourage safe drinking with this new wine they have now. You know there a certain % that can't handle it. (Ira, Staten Island)
It's about the almighty dollar, Ira. This is the same league that makes millions in advertising revenue from beer companies, yet it acts holier than thou when announcing partnerships with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press last week that teams are allowed to work with a wine manufacturer to produce a limited edition brand to commemorate a big event, like the opening of a stadium. He mentioned the San Francisco 49ers as a team that has done it in the past. To me, it stinks of hypocrisy.
Hey, Rich, I haven't heard much about him, probably because he's still recovering from shoulder surgery, but what are you expecting from Jason Taylor this year? I have been saying for months that losing Jay Feely will come back to haunt the Jets, but will Taylor be enough of an impact that it was worth losing Jay so we could pick up JT? (Alex, Long Island)
You haven't heard much about Taylor because he hasn't done anything on the field and because he has avoided the media, for the most part. He did speak with reporters after last week's practice at the new stadium, when he talked about his olive-branch moment with some of the fans. (Gag me!) If his shoulder is okay, and you have to wonder why the Miami Dolphins let him walk away without so much as an offer, I think Taylor can get seven or eight sacks, pretty much what he did last year. His days of dominating are over, but the Jets aren't looking for that. They just want someone who can give their pass rush a charge, especially in the fourth quarter. Feely was a solid kicker for the Jets, but let's not make him Adam Vinatieri in his prime. They should be able to replace Feely, if not with Nick Folk, then someone who shakes free in the preseason.
Hey, Rich, I was wondering about Mark Sanchez's INT rate this season. It seems Rex iRyan s very confident in him and that he has been working extremely hard all offseason, so hopefully those numbers will improve. Has anything you've seen make you think that he will able to keep the ball out of the defenders hands better this year? (Lino Bucci, New Jersey)
Lino, all we can go on is what we saw at the end of last season, when the light seemed to go for him in the playoffs. He made better decisions and didn't force balls into coverage, all of which occurred with scaled-down game plans. This offseason, we've heard countless compliments from Ryan & Co., raving about Sanchez' work in the classroom. Well, to paraphrase what Bill Parcells used to tell players, don't tell me about the labor, show me the baby. Sanchez has to show it on the field. He told me recently that his goal is to keep his interception total under 10, down from 20 in '09. If he meets that goal, the Jets will have a special year.
Who are our two DEs are gonna be, Shaun Ellis and who else? (George, Colorado)
George, it will be Ellis and Mike DeVito in the base front, Ellis and an OLB (like Bryan Thomas) when they use a four-man line in base situations. In nickel situations, it's hard to say at this point, but they have a lot of candidates, namely Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, Thomas and maybe Vernon Gholston. I could see Ellis sliding inside in the nickel package.