Opinion: Jets, Idzik smart to make no signings

Mike Tannenbaum dug the Jets into a salary cap hole John Idzik is trying to repair. Credit: Getty Images
Mike Tannenbaum dug the Jets into a salary cap hole John Idzik is trying to repair.
Credit: Getty Images

The best move new Jets general manager John Idzik has made this offseason has been to make no move at all.

Welcome to the new reality for Jets fan, who are learning to deal with the consequences of the last regime’s “buy now” philosophy which left the team strapped for salary-cap space and devoid of both depth and talent.

Under Idzik, who came to the Jets with a reputation as a cap guru with the Seahawks, the team has had to make tough choices. They’ve cut ties with several prominent players, including Wednesday’s release of fan favorite Sione Pouha. The only signing of note so far has been quarterback David Garrard, who hasn’t played football in two years.

In other words, there won’t be a press conference this year to unveil a backup quarterback before roughly 200 members of the media. There is a vision and a plan for the Jets, something that is much needed after years of purchases which looked pretty on the shelf but rarely worked on the field. It is a culture change that was long overdue and much needed.

What this quiet start to free agency means is that big names and big contracts likely won’t be a part of the team’s near future. Smart, shrewd moves should be expected, even if the star power associated with these decisions might be lacking.

But Jets fans not only should learn to accept this new norm, they should learn to embrace it. The pattern of spending sprees and veteran rentals that produced the consecutive AFC Championship game appearances in 2009 and 2010 are not the premise for sustainable success. The team’s fans and the organization itself must get over those two runs in the playoffs and realize there was plenty of lucky involved both times.

Now, the Jets are better off making their own luck.

The decision to release Pouha, a 34-year-old veteran with a bad back whose release frees up $3.8 million under the cap, was as tough a choice as Idzik will likely have to make, especially given the player’s affability and work ethic. Also difficult was the choice to cut linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, both of whom have contributed to the team’s success over the past several seasons. But shrewdly, Idzik is clearing cap space for the Jets, restructuring deals with wide receiver Santonio Holmes and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Idzik has laid low during the early days of free agency, letting teams with greater cap space spend on big names and choosing to let some of his own free agents walk. The Jets will be without safety LaRon Landry and likely tight end Dustin Keller as well. Most fans wanted to see both return, but the moves had to be made for long-term sustainability. The Jets were a team built to win now the last four seasons and have missed the playoffs the last two years.

The cupboard isn’t bare; it just needs some more talent. Even with a possible trade of Darrelle Revis, a player the Jets missed for three-fourths of last season, this can and should be a team better than 6-10. Idzik doesn’t need to panic, he just needs to stick to his shrewd and calculated game plan.

In laying low, Idzik is doing the right thing for a franchise that seemed to be in a doomed cycle of relying too heavily on rented guns. The result, up until last year, was a team lacking young depth. The new look of the Jets now has them eying competition over names and substance over sizzle. It means no major moves right now.

That’s the best move the Jets could have hoped to make so far this offseason.

Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.