When the Jets agreed in principal to terms with veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason, rookie Jeremy Kerley took the initiative. Kerley and Mason both wear No. 85, but Kerley recognized that Mason has been wearing it a lot longer and switched to No. 11 — which he didn’t pick but is an old baseball number — before Mason even arrived at Jets training camp.
For a rookie who has already been named the likely punt returner by special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, it’s another move that should get Kerley noticed. He didn’t wait for an offer of cash or prizes, but said he wanted let Mason have No. 85 out of respect.
“Derrick Mason is obviously a great football player so he deserves it,” Kerley said.
Wides out: Neither Mason nor Plaxico Burress will be out practicing with the Jets this afternoon. Mason will be tied up with administrative chores and a physical, which Burress is being held out of his third practice after rolling his ankle last Wednesday.
Burress has been off to the side during practice doing agility drills or catching with the machine.
Cash strapped: Shaun Ellis and the Jets weren’t haggling over a great deal of money, and when Rex Ryan was asked about whether he wished the two sides could have come to an agreement, Ryan suggested that the Jets didn’t have much more money to spend on players.
“I think sometimes you look at it you only have so much,” Ryan said. “You have a piece of that pie and then once it gets down to it — we’re pretty much down to it. Bringing in Derrick, it’s hard for me to see that we’ll be bringing in too many more players, if any.”
Not third wide, three wides: Ryan also suggested that Mason wasn’t going to be the third option on the team, but that he would be part of a three wide receiver set with liberal substitutions. Praised Mason’s ability in the slot.
Where’s Bart? On a day when Shaun Ellis signed with the Patriots, one of the de facto spokespeople for the Jets defense was not available for interviews. Bart Scott is pretty good at getting to the heart of a situation like that, but declined requests.