A couple of bad personnel moves under radar

While so much was made of "The Washington Four" and a draft that didn't have much of an impact, there were a few other personnel moves that didn't work out that well.

The Jets personnel department's nightmarish stretch continues.

Last off-season, they decided to not re-sign backup safety Nick Ferguson. They instead decided to ink Tyrone Carter.

Well that wasn't a high profile personnel decision that garnered a lot of attention, it was a bad one.

Ferguson signed with the Denver Broncos and emerged as a starter. While his season ended prematurely due to an injury, Broncos coach Mike Shananhan was so happy with Ferguson's play prior to putting him on IR, that he recently rewarded him with a new four-year deal including $500,000 signing bonus.

"Ferguson earned rave reviews for his play in the Denver secondary," claimed one published report out of the Mile High City.

Ferguson is a hard-hitting, cerebral (Georgia Tech graduate) player who proved that with a chance, he's an NFL starting safety. Not only is he cleary a good safety, but also an excellent special teams players.

Carter, like Ferguson, is a hard-hitter, but isn't as instinctive in coverage. Ferguson also has a much better size at 6-0, 200 compared to Carter's 5-7, 185 pound frame.

Carter's shaky coverage instincts and size proved to be a problem for the Jets in coverage. The Minnesota product was implicated in several touchdown passes.

One Jets coach told us last off-season that he felt that Carter was an upgrade over Ferguson. That clearly wasn't the case, and the new contract Ferguson got from Denver is a testament to how the Jets miscalculated this situation. Another bad personnel decision that kind of went under the radar screen was the departure of practice squad wide receiver Cecil Moore. After developing him for eight months, he wasn't signed to the off-season roster. Why?

From what we hear, the Jets wanted to keep Moore, but he refused to sign the paperwork. He was so disappointed in how he was treated, he decided to try and hook on with another team. And shortly after leaving the Jets, the Baltimore Ravens signed him. According to an NFL source, the Ravens told Moore when he was there for a visit prior to signing, that they were shocked he was available.

Moore was angry at the Jets for signing two receivers to the regular roster (Kenyon Rambo and Lawrence Hamilton)for the last few weeks of the season, and leaving him on the practice squad. He considered this an insult and he felt what made matters worse was that neither Herman Edwards or any member of the front office explained things to him.

"They gave me no explanation, told me nothing," said Moore.

Remember former Jets receiver coach Mike Canales wasn't happy at the handling of this situation either.

"I was a little disappointed myself," Canales told JC.

Canales feels that Moore has Anquan Bolden-type ability. Bolden finished the 2003 season in Arizona with 101 catches and was named "Rookie of the Year."

Bolden, like Moore, didn't run a great forty before the draft, but plays faster than his time. They are also similar in that they both are big, physical receivers who play well in traffic. While Moore has a lot to prove before he can be put on Bolden's level, Canales feels they are similar players.

And the Ravens who are looking to upgrade their receiver corps are thrilled that Moore was handed to them after eight months of training in the West Coast offense.

"It's a better situation," said Moore about the Ravens.

Moore thinks that Jets cap guru Mike Tannenbaum isn't a fan of us.

"I think Mike Tannenbaum has something against me," said Moore.

And Moore had one last parting shot. "I think the Jets have a lot of problems," said Moore.

They certainly have a problem in developing young players. Two years in a row they spent an entire season developing a big, young receiver on their practice squad, only to not sign him to the regular roster after putting a lot of work into the player. Last year it was Ataveus Cash (who is on the Giants) and this year it's Moore.

Also, JC has learned that practice squad offensive tackle Will Ofenheusle has retired. The Jets clearly have to use the practice squad more than just a place for players to work on the scout team.

They need to get some contributing players from this unit.

The New England Patriots do a great job developing young players and that is a big reason they have won two of the last three Super Bowls.

The Jets need to do a better job in this department.

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