Lynch coming to town

Former Tampa Bay safety John Lynch will arrive today for the start of a two-day visit to New York.

After wrapping up his trip in New England on Thursday, Lynch will take a short flight to New York, and visit the leading candidate for his services - The New York Jets.

If Lynch passes his physical with Jets doctor Elliott Pellman, there is a very good chance he will sign with the team. While New England, Denver, Seattle, Detroit and Indianapolis are also in the running, the Jets are the odds-on favorites to land the five-time Pro Bowler.

Lynch and Jets coach Herman Edwards are like family. Not only is Lynch the godfather to Edwards' son Marcus, but when Marcus attended the University of South Florida (before transferring to San Diego State), Lynch kept an eye on him for his father. Lynch and Marcus are extremely close. Remember, USF is in Tampa. While attending the school, Marcus spent a lot of time hanging out at the Lynch house.

The Lynch and Edwards families sometimes spend holidays together and the wives are also extremely close.

All these visits Lynch is taking around the country seem to be "window dressing." He clearly wants to play for the Jets, but obviously by having other teams interested in him, it drives up his asking price.

Not helping New England's chances of landing Lynch is the fact that Bill Belichick wasn't even in town when the safety arrived in Foxboro on Wednesday. He was in Florida scouting. Also it would be a shock if Lynch played for Belichick, who Edwards isn't a big fan of.

The West Coast teams in the hunt, Denver and Seattle, have a better chance of landing Lynch than New England, if the safety decides he wants to play closer to his San Diego home.

But before the Jets attempt to sign Lynch, he must pass their physical, and this isn't a lock. While he did pass Seattle's physical, every team is different. For instance the Jets passed offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie on his physical prior to the 2001 draft, but other teams failed him.

Remember Lynch is coming off a neck injury, and Pellman is very sensitive about head and neck injuries. Just ask Wayne Chrebet.

But Lynch feels the surgery to remove bone chips performed in January, gives him a clean bill of health, and should allow him to go back to a Pro Bowl level of play.

Lynch and the Jets is an ideal match. The Jets need a big, physical strong safety who excels in run support to team with Jon McGraw, who is more of a coverage safety.

Also, the Jets defense is devoid of a leader, and Lynch is considered one of the best in football.

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