Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are producing big numbers for the New York Jets. After the season, the Jets will try to produce big numbers for them -- as in dollars.
The starting wide receivers will be free agents, and the Jets will have some tough decisions to make. Can they re-sign both? If not, which one do they keep? You have to figure that each player will be seeking a deal north of $6 million per year, and that might be a conservative projection.
"Obviously, they're both very important pieces to us, both priorities," GM Mike Tannenbaum told ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday. "We want to keep as many players as we can, but a lot of questions have to be answered. We need to know what the rules are."
The free agency rules, he meant. The uncertainty with the collective bargaining agreement has put teams in a holding pattern because they don't know if there will be a salary cap in 2011 -- if there's no lockout. As Tannenbaum said, "It's wait and see."
In the meantime, Tannenbaum has reached out to receiver's agents, letting them know they're interested in engaging in talks as soon as the rules are defined. He's done that with their other potential free agents as well.
That the Jets have several high-profile free agents could complicate matters, especially if there's a cap. LB David Harris, CB Antonio Cromartie and WR Brad Smith also could be free agents, and it will be difficult to retain them all. But, again, it depends on the rules.
If they're allowed to guarantee salaries in future years, as they did under the old system, it will create more flexibility. Because Holmes and Edwards have had off-the-field issues, the Jets will be interested to see if there are rules that protect the club's investment.
In terms of pure football ability, the Jets are happy with both players.
"They're doing everything we've asked them to do," Tannenbaum said. "They're complete players."
Edwards has said many times that he'd like to sign a long-term deal with the Jets. Asked Tuesday if he'd like to do the same, Holmes said, "Ask me in February."