Deciding whether to keep LaDainian Tomlinson or not is relatively low on the Jets’ list of offseason priorities.
First, they have to figure out how many of their key unrestricted free agents they are going to keep. Linebacker David Harris and cornerback Antonio Cromartie figure to take precedence over wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes.
The biggest reason why: Harris and Cromartie are more difficult to replace.
Bob Glauber of Newsday thinks Harris’ re-signing is a given. The Jets have already “committed” to re-signing him, which could cost upwards of $9 million-per-season.
The Jets gave up a second-round pick for Cromartie, and they liked how he worked opposite Darrelle Revis. While Cromartie has some flaws in his game, it’s rare that a cornerback with his experience becomes available at his age. He could make a killing.
It’s hard to imagine the Jets keeping both Edwards and Holmes at this point. We’re not sure they are truly complementary players anyway. Keeping one (Holmes) via the franchise tag might be the best route.
Other key free agents for New York includes cornerback Drew Coleman, defensive end Shaun Ellis, and special teams ace Brad Smith.
If G.M. Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan’s history together is any indication, the Jets will be very aggressive when free agency hits, whether it’s retaining their own players or looking for new big names to sell some tickets.