You may or may not have noticed that I don't spend a whole lot of time writing about the NFL off-season. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) It happens to fall during the time that I really get excited about baseball season, and
2) I don't understand it as much.
I like football...a lot. But I don't pretend to understand schemes, and gameplans, and how this player fits into this or who would work best in what. I understand that Jonathan Vilma had gotten into Eric Mangini's doghouse in some way, and wasn't the perfect fit with the Jets anymore, and had to be moved, but that's about it. So there's nothing I can comment on that is worth commenting on.
That said, my cousin lives and breathes football year 'round, and he's been reading the blog, and is upset that I haven't touched on the Jets since, oh, about October. And after yesterday's post about the NBA, he's threatened my life. So I think I'll touch on the Jets' moves today.
I'm confused, thrilled, and upset about the three big moves the Jets have made so far this off-season. Not in that order - I'll go over them in the order they happened.
On Friday, the Jets traded Jonathan Vilma to the Saints for a fourth-round draft pick. OK, fine...but then they acquired Kris Jenkins from Carolina for third and fifth-round draft picks. What gives there? I agree with my cousin - it seems like the Jets should have been able to get more for Vilma, especially considering what they gave up for Jenkins.
And here's what bothers me about Jenkins. By all accounts, he hasn't been effective in a few years. And he's been injured recently. The following is not speculation - this is fact...and it's kind of been brushed under the rug for some reason. But almost everyone associated with the Carolina Panthers' Super Bowl team was involved in some way with a huge steroids ring, weren't they? Please correct me if I'm wrong about this - but even if fans aren't sure about that situation, I'm sure teams in the NFL are. So why would the Jets acquire a guy who is so closely connected to a scandal like that....not to mention a guy whose numbers are mysteriously up and down in relation to that incident.
So there's the bad news - it seems like the Jets didn't get equal value for Vilma, and I don't know that it was a smart move getting Jenkins. But their most recent move should be well worth the money invested.
The Jets signed free agent guard Alan Faneca to a record-setting 5-year, $40 million deal. This should improve their offensive line immensely - the young guys will benefit from a veteran presence - and not just any veteran presence, but possibly the best in the league at what he does. The running game should also benefit, and the quarterbacks will actually have some time to make something happen. This one signing could be the difference between two years' ago's playoff appearance and last year's disaster.
BENCH FOR CHURCH ON SUNDAY: Not the pew kind. Ryan Church was sidelined for a few days after a collision with Marlon Anderson on Saturday left Church with a concussion. All of the written accounts of the injury say it was a nasty collision - but I haven't found any video of it. I'm not sure there is any. We'll see if anything turns up by Friday, when the Mets are on ESPN. If it ever turns up, that might be the time. Hopefully this doesn't linger for very long. Promising news - in his first at-bat against a lefty, on Friday (or at least the first one I saw, when I was watching the tape-delay of the Friday game), Church singled to right. So that was encouraging. We'll see what happens the rest of the spring, but he needs to play.