Another day, another blockbuster move for the Jets. Jason Taylor, an outside linebacker most recently with the Dolphins, became the newest player to join the Jets on Tuesday, according to his agent and a league source.
Although Taylor has spent years aggravating Jets fans with his comments, current Jets are looking beyond that to the impact he can make on the Jets' pass rush. The Jets had the second-lowest rating defending play-action passes last season. Only the Rams were worse.
Jets players reached for this story said they are glad to have Taylor, and that he can help their team, which is coming off an AFC Championship Game appearance.
"We already had a ton of confidence in being the No. 1 defense last year," Jets defensive tackle Mike Devito said. "So getting him adds another outside rusher, another captain-type player, it adds a lot to our defense."
As word got out, several players reacted via social networking sites. Damien Woody and Darrelle Revis praised the addition in their own briefly worded ways. Chad Ochocinco again complained to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that the Jets were stacking their roster like the Yankees: "Is [George] Steinbrenner the owner now?"
Another one of the Jets' high-profile recent additions gave his approval as well. "Another gr8 move by the organization by acquiring Jason Taylor," tweeted cornerback Antonio Cromartie. "Man oh Man"
Some Jets fans are surely having a very different reaction. Several immediately lamented the trade on sports talk radio and Twitter. Taylor once said Jets fans take the "cl" out of "class," and that's hard for a lot of them to forget.
But the Jets players contacted today aren't holding his words against him.
"I think our fans understand that in the day and age of free agency, player moves like this happen," Jets fullback Tony Richardson said.
Shaun Ellis didn't even wait for the trade to be announced before he said unequivocally that the fans would be cheering for Taylor before he even registered his first sack. "I think when he runs out of the tunnel on day one they'll be cheering," Ellis said.
It took Taylor nearly two weeks after his New York visit to decide to join the Jets, but it seems his new teammates aren't going to hold that against him either.
"I've always had a lot of respect for him as a player, watching him play down there and what he could do," Devito said. "It's always exciting to see us add a player like that."