Keidel: Jets Going Holmes

By Jason Keidel
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God bless Jets fans. Their dreams are as limited, to paraphrase Rod Serling, as their imaginations. They’ve developed this subconscious membrane that shields them from reality. It’s a defense mechanism, no doubt, to protect you from the decades of decay since Joe Namath.

But Jets fans – particularly those hybrid, Shea Stadium masochists who worship the Mets, as well – are to be respected. There’s no front running among you. All you’ve known is losing and yet you persist. From the Mud Bowl to Gastineau to 10-0 at halftime in Denver, your Gang Green knows how to snatch gaffe from glory.

Who’s going where? Check out’s Free Agency Tracker

But you’re on the quick curve to prominence. If only you could get…

Braylon Edwards, that shutdown corner from Oakland whose name we can’t pronounce, David Harris, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jared Allen, Jake Long, Adrian Peterson, and Chris Johnson…

Have I missed anyone?

I’d say Vince Lombardi, but you’ve convinced yourself that Rex Ryan is better. I can see you now, walking to work with the “Rocky” theme song blaring from your headphones. This is your year. Heck, Michael Irvin called it, telling Joe and Evan that if the Jets get Darrelle a roommate on Revis Island, book tickets to Indianapolis now (the location of the Super Bowl in 2012). Who knows better than The Playmaker?

Honestly, my Facebook text box is being lit-up by frothing Jets fans whose arms are plunged elbow-deep into the treasure chest of free agents on the market. My good friend Alex – bless him, too – is texting me from Norway (where he’s currently on vacation), offering algorithms that would make John Nash blush. “Yo, Jay, if we cut this guy and extend that guy and restructure the other guy, then we could sign…”

If this is what Jets fans are like after losing in the AFC title game two years in a row, imagine the insanity that would ensue after a Super Bowl.

There you are, crouching in your cubicle, playing salary-cap king for a week, imploring Mike Tannenbaum to keep everyone, when anyone with a pulse knows you can’t.

But you just signed your best player, Santontio Holmes, a buck in rut with a chip on his shoulder and a history of flexing in big games. You had to sign him, even if it means losing his partner at wide receiver, Braylon Edwards, who will want Holmes money but isn’t nearly as good. Combined, the two have more baggage than Newark Airport, but it says here that Holmes will behave. And if you must choose between two studs with unseemly pasts, take the better player, the one who doesn’t drop the football like it’s lathered in lava.

In keeping with his front-office brilliance (Vernon Gholston aside), Tannenbaum knew this, and if he can pay his franchise-tagged linebacker (David Harris) and still steal Nnamdi Asomugha, you’ve got nothing to gripe about, even if you lose Edwards. But Santonio had to be signed first. He’s indispensable.

You can’t just saunter into a Men’s Warehouse and pluck a Super Bowl MVP off the rack, where that dude with the deep voice promises you’ll like the way you look – he guarantees it!

No, you sign your stud receiver at (almost) any cost, avoiding the conga line of cash-carrying GMs who would more than welcome No. 10. Not to mention the symphonic symmetry he has with his ascending quarterback, Mark Sanchez, whom you’ve cleverly coined, “Sanchise.” By the way, you’ll have to pay that dude, too, and No. 6 won’t be cheap. Forget when his contract expires, Mark’s hand will be out next year.

Sure, I’m moved by the fact that Holmes led my cherished Steelers to a Super Bowl and the fact that you fleeced my beloved black & gold for him, giving up little more than a MetroCard and two tickets to Jersey Boys. It takes a Steelers fan to realize just how good the guy is, though he won the Jets three or four games on his own last year.

If this time of free agency tumult is portentous, it promises to be an entertaining NFL season. And, as always, the Jets will be the ringleaders of the league circus.

Feel free to email me:

Does Santonio hold the key to New York’s Super Bowl shot? Join the conversation with Keidel below…

  • Paul D

    No matter what anyone may tell you, playing in the AFC cahmpionship game not one year but two in a row is down right impressive. If anybody had a clue as to how hard that is to accomplish it would not be dissmissed so outright as though seen as a failure somehow. Rex Ryan may talk big, and let’s face it, talk too much. But he’s taken a team and a young quarterback to the brink of the promised land twice already. Sanchez has won six away palyoff games. What other Jet Quarterback has done that? I don’t think Jet fans have anything to complain about or hold their heads down about

  • DD

    I remember those days well, when Jets fans were crying bloody murder and Walt Michaels tended to look clueless whenever he coached against Shula (although I think they’re record against each other was fairly even). It often looked as though Michaels was looking down in the grass hunting for potato bugs or something…

    Michaels had a much faster team than,Shula did. But what Shula lacked in team speed and lack of talent, especially on the defensive side, he more than made up for with smarts, everywhere almost everywhere on his squad. The Fins were almost always the least penalized team in the NFL under square jawed Shula and he was often a daring playcaller or had QBs who were especially when Hall of Famer Bob Griese was still around and even just before Marino, he had the two headed QB system with the always wiley and cannon armed Don Strock and the nimble, David Woodley (who later died of alcoholism perhaps to ease the pain from all those concussions he sustained, as both a Fin and later as a Steeler in their brief lean years) which was worked out very, very well. They also had one of the best offensive lines of the 70’s & 80’s with the ageless Bob Kuechenberg (who needs to be in the Hall of Fame – to compliment teammate centers, Langer & Stephenson). Shula had some great players under him when he coached the Dolphins (Marino being probably the greatest), but very few equaled the raw talent that other squads like the Steelers, Raiders and Cowboys had, which is why in my opinion he was such an incredible coach. Like Bum Phillips used to say: “He could take yours’n and give you his’n and beat you with yours’n…”

    The Dolphins would be idiots to let Jake Long go especially to the Jets. All good teams need an anchor on the O-Line and if Sparano can sign the rookie Pouncey, twin brother of the Steelers All Pro center and he’s any good, that would be part of the puzzle right there. The jury is still out for me on how good a coach Sparano is, Rex Ryan certainly is a psychological master manipulator, but if the Fins get bold on offense and they solidify their defense, watch out the AFC East could be the toughest division again. But if Belicheat can reign in Haynesworth and Ochocinco, we might all be under the yoke of the Great Hoodie again…

  • Kurt Spitzner

    Jets fans like Mets fans do what we have to do for better or worse no matter what!Lemons tend to be sour yet lemonade quite tasty with a few positive additions.

    • JK

      Are you a Jets fan, Kurt? We know of your love for the Mets. Are you one of the aforementioned Shea Stadium devotees? I salute your fortitude if you are, for you’re looking at one world title since Woodstock, my man. (For the haters – yes, I realize the ’69 Mets technically won after Woodstock, but you get my point. And stop hating!) Bless you, Mr. Spitzner!

      • Kurt Spitzner

        Yes sir I am!I also favor the Islanders and to a lesser point what I call the Jersey Nets as well but thats part on my curse for being a life long Long Islander,as well as my Dad being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan!I live for baseball and just use the other 3 to mostly fill my time when theres no other “ball” to pay attention to!As far as Shea Stadium goes it is still around they have just rebuilt it and mitsakenly called it citifield!

  • Robert Richardson

    Once again you capture the “essence”. The essence of the J-E-T-S nation, where hope springs eternal and dreams catapult like shooting stars!

    • JK

      I appreciate that, sir. I admit there’s a charm to the Jets as the paradoxical, lovable losers. If they were simply and eternally awful then you’d dismiss them as a dreadful franchise. But it’s the fact that they get so close and lose on some quirky call (like Gastineau) or mud-lathered lawn in 1983. Jets fans still call for Don Shula’s head – particularly Walt Michaels – for taking the tarp off the field, negating the Jets’ edge in team speed. Ah, the game within the game. Football is just fabulous. It really is.

  • Alex Jorge

    See Mr. T is not like our Government. He know how to budget his finances. He will cut out some of the pork spending and bring in some lean meat. That 250k will be added to the saving from the Harris long term deal, Sanchez, LT restructuring and the Thomas release. Mind you there will be other who are asked to take a pay cut….We’re good the Drive to bring Braylon back continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO JETS!!!

    • JK

      So you’re saying the Jets will sign Harris and Edwards, and somehow keep cap space for Nnamdi? I confess I would be most impressed. And then keep Sanchise with the franchise? My guess is he’ll ask for $100 million, particularly if your J-E-T-S make it back to the AFC title game. If you reach the Super Bowl – and somehow win it – $100 million is minimum.

      Give us the Web site, Alejandro.

  • Alex Jorge

    Brunnell just released….another 250k in the bring Braylon back fund! Every drop counts….lol Mr. T is a numbers genius just like me and John Nash…

    • JK

      And I hear you’ve started a Braylon Edwards Fund. Where do we contribute? Have you started a Web site?

  • Alex Jorge

    No we cant get along…..It’s what rap music has made us….Damn that Rap music! LOL Back to business sir, Why should we not expect everything the wizard (MIKE T) will get us with his maic? Brunnell was just released…another 250k in the resign Edwards fund….will keep you posted…

    • JK

      If you think 205K will get Braylon on the dotted line, I want some of that Norwegian Ale you’re drinking!

  • JK

    Thank you, sir. I’m not saying free agency ends with Nnamdi. I’m just saying Santa can’t give you every item on your wish list. I’m just asking Jets Nation to be a little reasonable. Can’t we all just get along? ;)

  • Alex Jorge

    Hello My Brother from another mother!! It’s Alex the resident capologist coming from Oslo, Norway. Thank you for the props sir. Now to business. Like I said to you the other day, I still believe Mr. T will try and find a way to to get Edwards signed even if we get Nnamdi. Remember a few months ago you told me I was crazy when I told you the Jets would get Nnmadi, Holmes and Edwards signed. Well about to get 2 down, and hopefully Edwards as well. Remember, I told you the Jets can get about 16 to 17 mil under the cap…Harris will get reworked and signed long term next week. His cap hit is like 10 mil right now, but after signing him they get back about 3 to 4 mil. Sanchez is willing to restructure. LT is gonna get redone….get rid of dead weight like Bryan Thomas and save another 3 and change and Walla we can do something. It wont end with Nnamdi’s signing…you know that right?

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