April 25, 2013

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New York Jets Face a Make-or-Break Draft

By: Matt Bowen

The 2013 NFL Draft is set for April 25 in New York City and the New York Jets face the most pressure. There are certain teams in sports who are constantly surrounded with drama. Right now, the Jets are the “It” team in this category.

Yes, it’s easy to argue against that point because they play on the world’s largest stage, but the Jets are really good at being a three-ring circus right now. Things undoubtedly started to escalate last offseason when the team signed quarterback Mark Sanchez to a hefty contract extension. That was it–Sanchez was the “Sanchize” quarterback. His contract is worth $58.25 million over five years and a guaranteed $20 million in 2012-13. He was now the guy.

The New York Jets and Mark Sanchez face a make-or-break season in 2013.

Wait.

Then the team traded for Tim Tebow just a few short weeks later.

Hundreds of hours of media speculation later and Tebow attempted a whopping eight throws last season.

The Jets finished a dismal 6-10 in 2012 and were outscored by 94 points.

What now? How does the franchise reinstall faith in their faithful? How do they repair stability from top to bottom? How do they turn their situation into something positive?

Well, the team made a bold move last and traded cornerstone cornerback Darrelle Revis last week to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although sidelined in 2012 with an ACL injury, the Bucs rolled the dice and gave the Jets the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Yes, Revis is as good as they get, but it’s a bit less drama for the Jets. It’s a start.

Now holding the No. 9 and No. 13 pick in the first round, it’s time for the Jets to start gaining some traction. It’s time for some positive attention.

Face it, they’re vested to both head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Sanchez for 2013, they’ve made their bed and they will sleep in it.

Now, they must make the right moves in the draft to deflect all the negativity.

So, who do they take?

New GM John Idzik needs to make a good first impression to the fans, who want nothing more than a return to relevance. Believe it or not, Revis was a good move.

Depending on which style of players are left on the board when their time come the Jets may be best off trading down.

Think of the St. Louis Rams in 2012 when they traded the No. 2 overall pick to the Washington Redskins for who turned out to be Robert Griffin III. While the Redskins got the best of the deal in year one, the Rams got four picks, including three first-round choices in return.

True, the Jets don’t have a No. 2 overall pick, rather Nos. 9 and 13. Also, there is not a RG3 caliber player in this year’s draft. But, if the team were to trade down for both picks they could get potentially four to six picks for the future.

If nothing is sticking out like a sore thumb, be conservative and trade down. If someone can’t be passed on, consider him a steal.

It’s time to think big picture for the Jets. There is no quick fix. Whichever path they choose to travel, little-by-little they can rebuild.

Radio City Music Hall will be filled with crazed Jets fans screaming J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the team’s decisions. Only after his announcement s will the hometown fans announce their verdict.

The future of the franchise lies in the balance of the first round. Jets fans, keep your fingers crossed.

August 28, 2012

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Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in the NFL in 2012

By: Matt Bowen

The 2012 NFL season is set to kick off in just a few short weeks and this season promises to be nothing less than fantastic.

While every team has their own storylines to follow, a few stick out and will shape the NFL landscape in 2012.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the upcoming headlines of the 2012 NFL season.

The New York Jets' QB situation will continue to be a storyline all season long.

No. 5: Randy Moss Returns to the NFL

Love him or hate him, Randy Moss is one of the most polarizing wide receivers in NFL history.  Now a member of the San Francisco 49ers after taking a season off, Moss is just another reason to believe that the Niners will be serious Super Bowl contenders this season. Their defense became the most feared in the NFL in 2011 as it was their offense that fans were skeptical of. Niners fans should have nothing but smiles on their faces because the organization boosted their offense with the likes of Moss this offseason. Everyone knows that he can be downright awesome when he wants to be and all signs indicate that he wants to be. Keep an eye on Moss.

No. 4: The New York Jets Quarterback Carousel

The New York Jets had a more than interesting offseason. After signing quarterback Mark Sanchez to a healthy extension, the team traded for Tim Tebow. Everybody expected a circus and they won’t be disappointed. The debate on who should start for the J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets! won’t end until one of the contenders is unable to answer the bell. One thing is for certain, Tebow will score at least 12 touchdowns on the ground this year.

No. 3: The Carolina Panthers are a Super Bowl Sleeper

Believe it or not, the Carolina Panthers are a deep Super Bowl sleeper this season. Behind quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Steve Smith, the Panthers are explosive on offense. Don’t forget that they have a 1-2 punch in running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, too. Combined with an improved defense and the belief that offensive lineman Ryan Kalil has instilled in the team, the Panthers will be for real. Kalil recently took out a full-page ad in the local newspaper stating that the Panthers would win the Super Bowl this season. Gotta love it.

No. 2: Peyton Manning’s Return from Injury

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is now a member of the Denver Broncos, but fans shouldn’t expect anything but the usual from him this season. Yes, he’s had multiple neck surgeries, but even at 85 percent, Manning is better than 90 percent of NFL quarterbacks. Manning is a true competitor that wants to do nothing less than to prove his doubters wrong.

No. 1: The Highly Anticipated Debuts of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III

Whose better, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III? Who cares, these kids are pure excitement on a field. Drafted No. 1 and 2 overall in the 2012 NFL draft, these guys are the two most anticipated quarterbacks to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf in 1998. Not only are fans of the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins in for a treat, but the entire league is in for something special. These guys will simply dominate the headlines this season, get used to it.