If there is an NFL season this fall, the New York Jets will certainly look like a different squad. On Monday the Jets cut loose center Damien Woody, nose tackle Kris Jenkins, linebacker/defensive end Jason Taylor and defensive end/gigantic bust Vernon Gholston. But the Jets also made some moves Monday to retain three key players.
Future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson will be back in 2011, the final year of his contract. The 31-year-old Tomlinson will serve as part of a backfield rotation that will involve Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight.
LT rushed for 914 yards and six touchdowns on 219 carries in 2010, and he also had 52 receptions for 268 yards. He was productive but not spectacular. The Jets would probably take another season like that again in 2011.
In addition to the news that Tomlinson would return, they also announced that they placed the highest tender on restricted free agents Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes. What does that mean? It means that any team that wants to take either of the players would surrender a first and third-round pick in the draft. Translation: No one will take either. That also means that the Jets will earn a mandated $3.5 million for 2011.
There is a huge “but” that comes with that announcement though. If the NFL and players come to a new collective bargaining agreement and if the new CBA’s rules go back to pre-2010 rules, both Cromartie and Holmes would be unrestricted free agents and the tenders would not be relevant.
So while the Jets have cast off several veterans, they’ve also decided to retain a few important parts.