NFL > From The Jets To The Steelers, Jerricho Cotchery Says It Was Time To Move On

~ Jerricho Cotchery didn’t see himself fitting into the long-term plans of the New York Jets anymore. He didn’t even see himself fitting into their short-term plans. That’s when Cotchery decided it was time to move on. The Jets former wide receiver signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to find success away from Gang Green.

 “It was time for a change, time for a change of scenery for myself and the organization as well,” Cotchery told the Pittsburgh media. “It was time to move on. Future-wise, I didn’t really see myself fitting in …

 “People on the outside looking in might say, ‘Well, you been there that long, you’re part of the future,’ but I didn’t really see it that way. I think it would have been beneficial for both sides to move on.”

 Cotchery was expected to be apart of the wide receiver group that the Jets would put on the field in 2011. However he now becomes the 3rd Jets receiver to move on to another team. Free Agent Brad Smith signed with Buffalo and the Jets basically let Free Agent Braylon Edwards end up in San Francisco without so much of a thank you card for his tenure.

 The Jets went out and signed Plaxico Burress, then they signed Derrick Mason and all of a sudden Cotchery was in a familiar position that he was hoping to break away from, the number 3 or number 4 receiver on the team.

 Cotchery has not really had the chance to prove he is a top receiver or even a really good number 2 over a long peroid of time. He’s also coming off back surgery. He’s had breakout years in 2006 and 2007, however his numbers since were on a decline and that reflects the changes the Jets have made on offense during that time.

 The back surgery took away any leaverage Cotchery may have had as a free agent and he ends up in Pittsburgh as the 3rd receiver behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Right now it’s hard to envision anything more from him than being a good possession receiver who can move the chains.

 Cotchery is going to have to come up big if he wants to get a piece of the spotlight he feels had no room for him in New York.

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NFL > Former NY Jet Shaun Ellis Signs w/ New England

~ The border wars over the years between the Patriots and Jets have produced some pretty good headlines The border wars may not have the steam they had in previous years, however the rivalry between the two teams is as strong as ever. Long-time New York Jet Shaun Ellis knows about the border wars and that’s what makes him signing with New England all the more interesting.

According to reports, Ellis and the Patriots agreed to a one-year deal that left Jets head coach Rex Ryan to respond in typical Rex Ryan fashion …

“The fact that he chose them … there’s no way I’m going to wish him well. There’s no chance of that.” … Rex Ryan

Ryan wasn’t completely serious about that, he did wish Ellis to have a healthy season. However, the Jets-Patriots has no love-lost to it at all. Once you crossover to the other side, you’re offically the enemy.

 The Jets are going to miss what Ellis brought to the table on defense. He was well respected on the team. Ellis is 34 years old and the Jets recently drafted Muhammad Wilkerson as his potential replacement. Wilkerson is reportedly having a pretty good camp and is expected to be the starter at defensive end.

 The Patriots were thin at the defensive end position and Ellis could be a great short-term fit for them.

NFL > Randy Moss Decides To Retire From The NFL

~ Plaxico Burress is now a New York Jet. Chad Ochocinco is now a New England Patriot. Randy Moss is now … retired. Randy Moss has apparently decided that he’s ready to move on. Moss is a 7-time pro bowler and is known for his controversy as much as he is for being one of the great receivers to play the game. Moss is now ready to call it quits and retire after reportedly receiving an array of underwheling offers from teams. If the 34-year old actually goes through with it remains to be seen. Read more of this post

The Jets Big-Time Investing While Looking For The Ultimate Return

~ The wild NFL free agency bonanza of 2011 has produced plenty of winners and losers so far. It’s been unpredictable at times trying to figure out which teams are coming out ahead with their new investments or not showing enough at the table to put their bids in. The Jets as expected have been active investors and it’s been in their usual controversial way. Read more of this post

NFL > Nnamdi Asomugha Ends Speculation & Signs w/ Eagles

~ The Philadelphia Eagles were already an early favorite to win their division and now they have pulled off the stunner of the free- agency signing season. In a move that no one appeared to really see coming, the Eagles have signed cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a reported 5-year deal for $60 million with $25 million guranteed. Asomugha was the top free agent on the market and it’s the Eagles who land him.

 The Asomugha situation has been compelling to watch play out on ESPN and throughout other sports outlets. No one could seem to figure out where the former Oakland Raiders cornerback was headed. Slowly yet surely, the dominoes began to fall.

 Houston dropped out of the race, and then the New York Jets became the favorites with Dallas getting into the mix. The thought of pairing a lockdown cornerback like Ashomugha with fellow all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was a scary image for everyone in the league and could have been the missing piece for the Jets. The Jets went as far as to restructure the contracts of some of their biggest names on the roster in order to help grab Asomugha. The Eagles apparently knew better and were doing their homework.

 Philadelphia now adds on to an already impressive team. They went into the off-season knowing they had to make some moves with their defense. They recently traded quarterback Kevin Kolb away to Arizona and were able to get back great value in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback.

 Logically no one would expect the Eagles to be in the hunt for Asomugha and the Jets appeared to be a lock to get him until it became obvious there was a holdup in the deal. It’s easy to speculate on what was behind Asomugha’s reasoning for picking the Eagles. What is clear right now is that with Rodgers-Cromartie on one side of the field and Asomugha on the other, the Eagles will be a headache for NFC east teams like Eli Manning and the Giants to gameplan for.

 ESPN’s Adam Schefter has done a great job of covering every move throughout the Asomugha chase and did say that he had a feeling a mystery team perhaps could be making a power move to land Asomugha. It turns out that the Eagles were that mystery team flying under the radar.

NFL News & Notes: Free Agent Moves, Trades & Head Scratchers

~ The NFL is not only in full swing now that the lockout has come to an end it is on full tilt and it’s the fast and furious. Moves, moves, and more moves have dominated the headlines as teams are scrambling to fit all of their needs into the new salary cap that is one of the results of the lockout.

 It’s an exciting time right now to be a free agent in the league and it’s an even more exciting time for the fans to see what moves their respective teams are willing to make to get the best possible chance to win.  It’s impossible to breakdown every move that has been made recently and there are still more moves to be made. However here are some notable moves that have been the talk of the town so far with the league where they pay to play … Read more of this post

The Potential Impact Of The New NFL Salary Cap

~ As the NFL gets closer and closer to the end of the lockout, teams are getting closer to the madness that will come once free agency starts. How the teams pick and choose through their list of free agents will be largely impacted by how much flexibility they’ll have with the 2011 salary cap of $120 million. There are quite a few teams who are presently over the cap or not too far under it. This means only one thing, there is going to be quite a few big name cap casualties.

According to John Clayton of ESPN, quite a few high profile names are going to be up for discussion when it’s time for teams to decide who stays and who leaves.

The New Orleans Saints are actually $11.7 million under the cap. They also have a high profile running back on their team named Reggie Bush who is scheduled to make $11.8 million this year. Bush might be saying all the right things lately to help assure himself of staying in New Orleans however he could very well be on his way out the door.

A change of scenery might actually do Bush some good. The Saints drafted him with high expectations after his electrifying college career at USC. That was six years ago though and the old saying goes that the real definition of the NFL is NOT FOR LONG.

 Bush has shown flashes of what he can do and he’s also been injury prone. The Saints went out and drafted running back Mark Ingram and that was an early sign that they maybe ready to withdraw from their investment in Bush.

 Bush is only 26 years old and quite a few teams could be in a position to add him and for the money that he may no longer be able to get in New Orleans.

 Bush should strongly consider moving on to another team. In this league with the way the salary cap is now going to be structured, players like Bush are going to have to maximize the best out of their long term contracts. He may only have one more left to get and it’s looking like it wont be in New Orleans.

 Where quarterback Vince Young ends up could depend on if he has matured any during his time away from the field. He couldn’t get on the same page with his former coach Jeff Fisher and that led to the  his placement on the potential cap casulaty list.

 If Young’s tenure with the Tennessee Titans is over (and all signs point to that being the case), it could clear up close to $12.8 million in cap room for the team. The Titans are currently $10.3 million under the cap.

 Young is in the same boat as Bush, he’s still young and came into the league with a lot of hype based off a succesful college career. He just has not been able to turn that hype into professional success yet. Young has shown flashes, now it’s time for him to show consistency.

 Just like in the case of Bush, there might not be room for another long term contract with the only pro team he’s played for. He’ll most likely have to do this with another team.

 

 There are some other interesting storylines to watch for that will result from teams who are already over the cap.

 The New York Jets have made the AFC championship game two seasons in a row. They’ve done well to surround their young quarterback Mark Sanchez with the right amount of pieces on offense. Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Brad Smith played large roles in their passing attack and on special teams and all three of them are up for new contracts. That’s a problem for a team that is $1.2 million over the cap and also have other roster signings to make.

 Most likely one of those three are going to be making big plays for another team. Edwards and Holmes are going to want to test the market to see if they can land a big money offer from another team. Smith’s stock is rising because of his versatile skills set.

 With the season just around the corner from starting, the Jets will have to move quickly and move smart. Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress are looming as potential free agent targets who could replace either Edwards or Holmes at an affordable price.

 The team that shares the same stadium with the Jets are also going to be in a race to get under the cap. The New York Giants are $11.3 million over the cap and still have to decide what to do with their running back free agent to be Ahmad Bradshaw.

 Bradshaw is reportedly getting interest from the Miami Dolphins which also happens to be where his agent is based and where he’s been training. How quickly the Giants can execute their plans to get under the cap could impact what happens with Bradshaw.

 I couldn’t help notice the Tampa Bay Bucs when looking at the list of teams that are under the salary cap. Being under the cap by a good amount could lead to an exciting time for a team’s fanbase. The Bucs are $59.2 million UNDER the cap. The Bucs should be big time players in free agency once the lockout concludes.

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