Lynch might have done Jets favor

Tampa Bay has a pretty good defensive coaching staff led by coordinator Monte Kiffen.<p> They were prepared to make Jermaine Phillips the starting strong safety over John Lynch.<p> So maybe by Lynch doing what was "best for his family" and joining Denver, he was doing what was best for the Jets as well. A Tampa source gives us the lowdown on Lynch:

"He has lost a step and he's not the big-hitter he used to be, which was what made him so good,' said a source close to the Buccaneers. "He suffered a pinched nerve ("stinger") in October of last season. That injury plagued him throughout the entire year and caused him to miss some games.

"When Lynch was out, Jermaine Phillips got playing time. The Bucs love Phillips and they feel like they need to get him on the field in order for him to develop. He's got tremendous upside. Lynch, on the other hand, is near the end of a great career.

"The main thing was the Bucs did not know whether or not Lynch would be recovered from offseason shoulder/neck surgery by training camp, which troubled them deeply. And the fact that they are cap-strapped and can save $4.1 million by dumping Lynch (Phillips makes $380,000) ultimately led to his release."

Tampa's concerns about Lynch's neck were well-founded. He failed the New England Patriots physical last week.

So while Lynch would have made a nice addition to the Jets, it might not be such a major blow that he chose the Broncos as his new team.

While he's still a solid player, he might have lost a step he couldn't afford to lose. Remember he's never been a speed merchant. (Reggie Tongue has much better range). Also Lynch is clearly a medical risk.

True the Jets defense could have used his defensive leadership, but the re-signing of Josh Evans yesterday will help fill this void. Evans emerged as the leader of the Jets defense in 2002 with his fiery, high-octane playing style. He was missed greatly last year during his eight-game suspension. The Jets were devoid of defensive leadership while he was out.

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