It’s been rare (if ever) in my Mets-Jets fan career that I’ve had near-blind faith in “my” teams’ respective management. I’m pretty much there. I’ve said all year with the Metros, “in Sandy I trust.” He’s done nothing to dissuade me from that opinion. The same holds true with the combination of Rex and Tanny. There is little about their intelligence or football savvy that causes me any hesitation. Their aggressiveness is what has fans so excited. It’s what’s inspired their current players, rejuvenated fans and intrigued prospective Jets. However, one could argue it’s that same audacity that has put us in a bad place right now.
Like most Jets fans, I’m starting to get a little tense. OK, extremely nervous would probably me more accurate. We took a real serious run at Nnamdi and whiffed. Fine. Kudos for going for it. What’s done is done. Mikey T. is a pro. I can’t help but think (*hope?*) that this was no different than draft day in the sense that there had to be a Plan B up on that blackboard. Nnamdi signs, this is how dominoes A, B, C and D fall. He doesn’t sign, these are our next three moves. Silence in this case, though, is not-so-golden. It’s actually quite terrifying.
The “loss” of Nnamdi is less troublesome in terms of the player himself. Asomugha was never a Jet, so we didn’t get better or worse “without him.” He was never here. Yes, I get the disappointment. It was a painful tease, but you move on. However, his failure to come to the Big Apple has left considerable collateral damage. That is where the lack of a deal hurts the most. While the green-and-white brass schmoozed with all their might, likely convincing themselves that no one could turn them down, others were left to dangle in the wind, treated as second-class citizens and tier three priorities as the Jets wooed the “grand prize.”
Well, now the show horse has landed in Philly and those who were treated as consolations and parting gifts are being groveled to as if nothing had happened (I’m guessing). Chances are they’re not buying the schtick — and I can’t blame them. Left on the back burner their egos are bruised no matter how much they acknowledge the “business” of it all. They’re pissed, and even if they decide to come back it’s not going to be without a fight. These guys likely value their own sense of pride too much not to at least fain resistance.
But there’s a point to all of this that goes far beyond who’s signed and who hasn’t. It’s the bottom line. The Jets approach to free agency thus far has left them a weaker team at this moment. While the signing of Holmes, Eric Smith, Wilkerson, Digs (maybe) and other peripheral parts were necessary if not imperative, the goal is to get closer to a championship by getting better. Getting better in this league means adding pieces and/or upgrading what you’ve got. Sure, you hope Sanchez will progress and the rookies on the defensive front will have an impact and so on and so on. But what about the rest of the team?
Are the Jets done dealing? I would think that is absolutely not the case. But the clock is ticking. And, as a Jets fan, you have to stare reality in the face look. Minus Cro, Edwards, Smith, Jenkins, T-Rich and Damien Woody, this team is simply not as good. They may not be members of another team yet, but they’re not part of this team either.
Now, what happens in the coming days could change the story completely. A few re-signings and you start to be able to make a case that the same pieces, plus continuity and chemistry could equal similar if not better results. A combination of signings, trades and potential upgrades could mean that this Jets team has progressed forward and added weapons to an already well-stocked arsenal. I don’t put it past our front office. We shall see.
I know only one thing for certain. Right now, this Jets team needs to get better…and it needs to happen quickly. Should it not, Rex and Tanny may look back and have only their bravado to blame.
About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.