Looking at the Mehta Top 15
Manish Mehta recently published an article for the Daily News in which he ranked the 15 most indispensable Jets of the 2010 season. As we get ready for the preseason opener the article has brought on some good debate about the rankings, so on a slow day I thought I'd take a look at Manish's list from a salary perspective. Here are his top 15 listed alongside the players 2010 cap value and rank on the team. Please note that the rankings of Jim Leonhard and Darrelle Revis may actually be one spot lower as I have been unable to confirm if LaDainian Tomlinson received a signing bonus per my estimations or a roster bonus this year.
|Rank||Name||2010 Cap Figure||2010 Cap Ranking|
So who missed the list? Lets examine.
WR Braylon Edwards carries the fifth highest cap hit in 2010 at $6.1 million. My own opinion is that this was an oversight on Mehta's part as Edwards was the real catalyst that turned the Jets running game in 2009 from very good to excellent. Even with the addition of Holmes, Edwards presents a unique package of size, speed, and overall ability, and will also be active the first four weeks of the seasons. I think losing him would be a major blow.
DE/LB Vernon Gholston ranks number seven with a $5.4M cap charge and was clearly a whiff by the team. It should be noted that Gholston's actual rank would have been 12th , but the Jets chose to increase his cap charges this season in hopes of getting something out of him or being able to release him next season. So while its bad its not as bad as it seems.
LB Bryan Thomas' $4.85M cap charge ranks 8th and there is no spinning this one. Thomas has been a disappointment since signing his extension in 2006 and, if other step up in camp, might not even remain on the team for the season. He was rumored to be cut back in April.
WR Jerricho Cotchery misses the mark despite his $3.7M cap charge. That's not to say it was a bad signing at the time as Cotchery has been a solid pro for the team. His lack of presence on this list says more about the improvements that were made since he signed the contract moreso than him not living up to the deal. J-Co would have made this list from 2007 thru 2009 and, had the Jets not traded for Holmes, been on this list in 2010.
DE Shaun Ellis is the 13th highest compensated player and probably should have made the list. He plays a position where the Jets are very thin and, even though he clearly is not the player he was three years ago, still is the teams top defensive end. That said, neither Ellis nor his contract were a product of the Tannenbaum regime and would not reflect on the front office performance.
All in all this is a pretty solid showing by the Jets front office. The Jets should be given a great deal of credit for exceptional planning from a cap perspective in 2010. If a cap was in place they would be right up against it and their highest paid players are almost all expected to be extremely important to the teams success. If there is one knock on Tannenbaum from this list it is that he might want to bring in some extra input on the signing of pass rushers as Thomas and Gholston look to be the two major failures of the 2010 Tannenbaum constructed Jets while Pace's ranking is far below his high cap value.
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Larry Taylor could make the team as our return man, looks like he has speed to burn. Woody looked slow on the Pierre-Paul sack but Pierre-Paul may just be that fast (good giant pick).
As you predicted LT looked strong in the red zone and out of the backfield. Westerman & Eric Smith seemed to be involved on a lot of tackles.
I thought with Turner and Slauson starting that there would be pressure up the middle, but I never saw anything.