Analysis of the Jordan situation

It's hard to understand where Lamont Jordan is coming from.<p> Does he want a long-term deal, or the opportunity to start in the NFL?<p>

He is asking for both. But if the Jets gave him a new contract, and he still had a limited role in the offense, how we he feel then? He wouldn't be happy. Just like if they gave him a much bigger role, but didn't give him a new contract, he wouldn't be happy either.

Jordan and his agent, Alvin Keels, had a two hour meeting with the Jets on Tuesday that basically accomplished nothing.

"We didn't come up with a solution," Keels said after the meeting. "The problem wasn't solved."

Jordan wants a new contract with starter money and a lot more carries. Neither one of these things is going to happen. The Jets have a bad salary cap situation, so it would be crazy for them to rip up the old contract of their backup tailback, and give him starter money. Jordan has a year left on his current deal and give him big money. As for a bigger role, the Jets are saying they will try to get him more involved this year, but unless Martin gets hurt, Jordan is still going to be a backup.

Jordan is asking the Jets for things they can't deliver.

Jordan and Keels are doing a poor job handling this situation. Since they know the Jets can't make him much happy on either the contract or the playing time front, they should just keep quiet, be a good soldiers, and then make his two dreams come true in free agency. Jordan should be a hot commodity next off-season for any team looking for a starting tailback.

It seems like Jordan is not getting good advice. Keels, somewhat inexperienced in the NFL, and lacking much of a client base, isn't handling Jordan's situation with aplomb. The Jets aren't happy with Keel for negotiating through the newspapers. Herman Edwards, who rarely says a bad word about anyone, slammed Keels for talking way to much through the press about his client.

A big reason Jordan slipped to the second round of the 2001 draft was because many teams thought he had an attitude problem. He bit his tongue for three years, and acted like a good soldier, but now causing this off-season controversy about his status with the team, can't help his shaky reputation.

"The bottom line is that I want to play," said Jordan. "I've been very understanding about my situation here as far as accepting my role of the backup. I think I've learned a lot from Curtis and my feeling is that I'm ready to play, whether it's here or somewhere else." The chances of Jordan going somewhere else at this point are slim. If another team was willing to give the Jets a second round pick for Jordan before, or during the draft, he might be elsewhere now. The Jets wanted to at least get back their original investment, but no team would give them more than a third.

So even if he demands a trade now, he is likely not going anywhere. The Jets didn't pick a running back until the seventh round of the draft (Derrick Ward), so they don't have another #2 back ready to take over if Jordan departs. He is such a good insurance policy for Martin, if would be foolish at this point for the Jets to ship Jordan somewhere now.

He and his agent are just going to have to bide their time and wait until next year. Just like Priest Holmes did in Baltimore. He was a backup for four years, kept his mouth shut, and cashed in as a free agent in Kansas City.

Being a malcontent will do Jordan no good, considering his past reputation.

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