Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hit the Red Button
By Ben Valentine

All I can say is wow, I don’t believe it.

Three weeks ago, the Jets were a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Now they just might have to start over. Completely.

With the talk of Chad Pennington being done, not just for this season, but for his career, and with Curtis Martin quite possibly on his last legs, there’s a chance the Jets may head into next season without their two premium offensive skill positions filled. When I say not filled, I mean a gaping black hole in which nothing escapes from.

It’s hard to tank a season that’s just three weeks old. And with their defense the Jets won’t be one of the worst teams in football. But man oh man, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart never looked so appealing.

But if we don’t want to tank the season yet, where to now? I don’t know. Can the season be saved? Probably not. But then again, the Ravens did win a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer at QB, so nothing’s impossible. Can Brooks Bollinger lead the Jets to the playoffs? Don’t know. But I think it has to be him or someone in a trade. I just don’t have faith the Quincy Carters or Vinny T’s of the world can get the Jets there. Jay Fielder would have sufficed. However, he’s gone for another six weeks. According to that ESPN story, the Jets are bringing in Doug Johnson, Jessie Palmer and Jonathan Quinn for tryouts. Ugh is all I can say. They’d be better off with Bollinger. However, here are three guys I think could be had in a trade who would stand to be an improvement:

Patrick Ramsey, Washington - He’s out of favor in Washington and wants out. I can’t see his value being all that high at this point, so it’s possible the Jets could get him away for a 4th round pick. Ramsey’s got the tools to succeed. The minuses have always been his head. Perhaps a change of scenery could help him. That and a decent O-line plus an offense that isn’t run Joe Gibbs. If the Jets do make a trade, my guess it would be for Ramsey. In fact I could really see this happening.

Mike McMahon, Philadelphia - I’ve always been high on the Rutgers man. He unfairly never got a chance in Detroit despite Joey Harrington’s failings and didn’t get much interest this off season as a free agent. However, as the Eagles third stringer, he might be able to be plucked for a 4th or 5th round pick. Bringing the local product home makes a lot of sense for the Jets since he’s a low risk/ relatively high reward player with his contract. The problem is the Eagles tend to overcharge for their QBs (2nd rounder for AJ Feeley anyone?) and they just signed him, making a trade less likely. Still the Jets should explore this avenue.

Marques Tuiasosopo, Oakland - Stuck behind Kerry Collins, the former University of Washington standout has looked more than serviceable in his few NFL appearances. The biggest knock on him has been health; he’s a scrambler who takes a lot of hits. The Jets don’t need to acquire a QB just to see him get hurt after one game. They already have Fielder for that. Still, I think given the opportunity, Tuiasosopo could get the Jets into the playoffs. The only question is he’s second on the depth chart. Would the Raiders deal their back up?

In a conversation earlier, Zach brought up Billy Volek’s name. He knows the Heimerdinger offense so it makes sense. However, I think he’d cost a second rounder to get. Plus the Titans have to figure he might end up being their starter as early as next season with Steve McNair near the end of the line and Volek just signed a new deal this off season. That makes it unlikely he could be had.

These are options if the Jets don’t want to abandon their season. If they feel they are done, then they might as well suck it up and let Bollinger play out the rest of the way. That was if he’s terrible, they get a high pick next year. If he’s not then, well they might just make a run at a postseason berth.

If I had my druthers, the Jets would get McMahon. He’s a personal favorite of mine and I think could be a Rich Gannon type player. But then again, when do Jet fans ever get their druthers? The last two times the team could think Super Bowl, the QB’s went down to season ending injuries early on.

Anyway, remember when I said not to panic? Well go ahead and hit the red button Jets fans. Not just for this year, but for next too. This is the worst news that has come down the pipeline in Jet land in quite some time.

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