So even during the last few minutes of our first real -- well, kinda -- vacation since July, as we're getting prepared to rev things up for what should be a busy week ahead, we get the latest bombshell dropped by GM Mike Tannenbaum.
Just before midnight, word of the Jets' deal with the Steelers for Super Bowl XVIII MVP Santonio Holmes broke, giving the Jets another talented piece they hope gets them closer to a Super Bowl berth in their own right. It's another low risk, high reward deal for Tannenbaum, who got the WR for merely a fifth-round pick in next week's draft.
It's kind of like the deal for CB Antonio Cromartie, shipped here by the Chargers March 4 in exchange for a conditional 2011 third-round pick. Holmes, like Cromartie, has some off-the-field baggage that likely decreased his value. He's facing a lawsuit from a woman in Florida who claims Holmes threw a glass at her in an Orlando night club, cutting her above the eye.
Holmes also is reportedly facing a potential four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, which could mean he'll need a game or two to get back to full speed since he won't be able to be around the facility for more than a month -- once the preseason is over -- if he is indeed suspended.
Still, by adding a breakaway threat like Holmes, who reeled in a career-best 79 catches for 1,248 yards last season and had five TDs, the Jets have once again upped the ante as they try to close the gap on the hated rival Patriots. Woody Johnson's team is undoubtedly the kings of the 2010 offseason, this despite most of the so called experts (myself not withstanding of course) saying from the get go that we didn't expect the Jets to be extremely active because they were hampered by the rules associated with the "Final Eight/Final Four" rules.
They had to get creative since they weren't going to be able to make a huge splash in the unrestricted free agency market. They've found other avenues to improve their roster, and Tannenbaum has executed his plan masterfully, bringing in Cromartie as well as:
-- Trading disgruntled S Kerry Rhodes to the Cardinals for a fourth-round pick in next week's draft and a seventh-round pick in 2011.
-- Signing future Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson after deciding not to retain veteran RB Thomas Jones, who was coming off a career season and due a $3 million roster bonus on top of a $2.8 million base salary.
-- Signing K Nick Folk
-- Signing S Brodney Pool
Then, of course, there's the current flirtation and wooing going on with free agent LB Jason Taylor, which apparently has the longtime Dolphin ready to jump ship and join the arch enemy.
But for all the things they've done (and could possiby do in the case of adding Public Enema No. ) one thing needs to be considered in all this: how will these personalities mesh on a team that got within a few Peyton Manning arm lengths of advancing to the franchise's first Super Bowl in 40 years?
That's the bigger question at hand, one that I'm sure the Jets are banking their boisterous head coach can handle given his infectious personality. It's one that must be asked seriously, though, when you consider the Jets are bringing in a few guys with some questionable character issues. It's also something that you have to ask if you were privy to the harmonious Jets' locker room in 2009 and understood how the players genuinely cared about each other.
At least five players who were well-respected in the locker room -- the jettisoned Jones, Feely, DE Marques Douglas, special teams ace Wallace Wright and LS James Dearth -- are all gone.
Sure, movement is inevitable in this day and age in the NFL. But will they now have that same type of camaraderie again in 2010? Can all these personalities come together for the greater good and sacrifice personal statistics, which could hamper their chances to score that lucrative long term deal or reach certain incentives in their contract?
It all remains to be seen for a team that's remained in the headlines since Manning & Co. denied its Super Bowl bid by crowning them in the AFC Championship game.
We don't diasgree the Jets have shored things up certain areas -- like CB opposite Darrelle Revis with Cromartie and quality depth at WR with Holmes now here -- but they've also taken a step back at other positions (like K with Jay Feely's departure and Folk's addition). Even though you have to give them credit for their continued "due diligence," you have to wonder if any of these low risk moves could haunt them at some point in the future.
If they don't, however, Tannenbaum will look like a genius. If nothing else, we'll have plenty of things to write about with this crew, believe me.
By the way, don't expect things to quiet down with these guys any time soon. This week should bring a flurry of activity given:
-- The Jason Taylor Watch
-- The Thursday deadline for the likes of RB/KR Leon Washington to sign his one-year tender.
-- The possibility the Jets could land 40-year-old Mark Brunell as a veteran backup QB to Mark Sanchez.
-- And another round of availability Thursday morning, followed by a draft preview press conference with Tannenbaum that afternoon.
It's been an interesting offseason so far for the Jets, and they'll be a fascinating team to cover without a doubt because of all the intriguing juicy storylines. So hitch on up to The Boone Docks over these next few weeks, won't ya?
Something tells me this is only just the beginning of a long, wild ride.