CB Winfield decides to play-the-field

Now you know why the Jets usually don't like to announce a player deal until the contract is signed. An ESPN report claiming free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield was going to be a Jet turned out to be untrue.

ESPN.com reported early Thursday evening, that Winfield, the Jets top target in free agency, had agreed in principle to six-year, $30 million contract with Gang Green. The deal included a $10 million signing bonus.

However late last night, Winfield decided to continue to play-the-field, and will likely visit Minnesota and Houston. Somebody, in a rush to make news, told ESPN.com a deal was done when it clearly wasn't.

According to the New York Daily News, Winfield's wife wasn't comfortable with living in New York. Selling the New York market is a common problem, the Jets, and other Big Apple-area teams, face trying to lure free agents. New York's frenetic pace and cost-of-living is a major turnoff to a lot players and their families.

There is still a chance that Winfield could sign with the Jets, but it's unlikely. So now the Jets turn to other free agent cornerbacks. One possibility is San Francisco's Ahmed Plummer, who is not coming off a good season. There have been several reports linking the Jets with Philadelphia's Troy Vincent. If the Jets signed Vincent, this would contradict their mission statement at the end of the season to get younger and faster on defense. Vincent is a terrific player, but he just finished his 12th season. If the Jets signed Vincent, they would be getting a player who is two years older, and clearly not much faster, than the man he would be replacing Aaron Beasley.

One other player to consider in Miami's Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Madison, who could become a cap casualty with the Dolphins.

It was also reported by several media outlets that the Jets made an attempt to sign former Washington linebacker Jessie Armstead, but he opted instead to ink a deal with Carolina. Once again, the question has to be posed - How does signing a 33-year-old linebacker improve your youth and speed? If this deal had reached fruition, the Jets would have been replacing Mo Lewis with a player one year younger.

So it's now unclear what the Jets are attempting to do this off-season.


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