Obviously the relationship between former Jets running back coach Bishop Harris and head coach Herman Edwards never recovered from the sideline argument during the Jets-San Diego playoff game. Harris also joined the 49ers staff.
The Jets named Dick Curl to replace Harris. Yes, the same Curl who assisted Herman Edwards last year with clock management. According to a team source, Curl will handle both roles this year. That is a lot to throw at a 65-year-old coach.
Curl took a lot of criticism for some late season clock blunders, but according to one source close to the Jets, that is a little unfair. Curl was not making clock management decisions, according to the source, just making suggestions. Edwards deserves a lion's share of the blame for the clock issues. He was the one ultimately making the decisions . . .
For the fifth time since 2000, the Jets have raised their ticket prices. Now, according to the New York Post, they will have the second highest ticket prices in the NFL, behind the Oakland Raiders. The latest hike might be connected to the bidding war that is taking place over the rail yards on Manhattan's West Side. This is where the team wants to build a new stadium. It looked like the Jets bid of $100 million was going to secure the air rights (remember they will build over the rail yard), but Cablevision's Jim Dolan threw a monkey wrench into that plan by bidding $600 million. Now government officials want to open up the bidding, so that number likely will rise, significantly.
"The Jets probably raised the ticket prices because they need a few hundred million for the bid," said one source close to the Jets.
We asked one close observer of the Westside Stadium situation for an update on the Jets chances of getting the project done.
"My prediction is that [the Jets] get the MTA air rights on March 31," said the observer. "The New York Times and others are missing the boat. The 'open bidding' sets [the Jets] up perfectly to get that approval based on the Jets' upfront money. That would leave only the approval of the NY legislative leaders. In a nutshell. I think that could happen."
Another major factor in the stadium situation is New York City getting the 2012 Olympics. The IOC visited the city last week.
"Look for a Paris labor strike next month during the IOC visit to rock that bid pretty good," said the observer. "The whole thing is wide open at this point, aside from Moscow having no shot."
Just when it looked like the Lavarenues Coles- Santana Moss deal was a lock, it fell through the cracks. The deal-breaker was Coles demanding more money from the Jets, if he came to New York. The Jets wanted no part of that. That was a pretty irrational demand. Since the Jets thought that Coles contract in Washington was pricy when he signed it two years ago, do you think they would actually look to add to it now?
You get the feeling that Coles is one of those people who will never be happy.
"I think Laveranues is an angry young man," said one Jet long-time Jets observer. "Now he is pissed off at Washington, pissed off at the Jets. He is clearly an unhappy guy."
While with the Jets, Coles might have been the most unpleasant player for the New York media to deal with. Just ask Newsday's Ken Berger.
One-time Coles was leaving the Jets practice bubble, and Berger was in his way. So instead of saying, "excuse me," Coles said to the scribe, "Get out of the way little media man." . . .
There was been a lot of speculation over the last year that Lamont Jordan would end up in Oakland in free agency. After all, the Raiders need a feature back, and their offensive coordinator, Jimmy Raye, is a former Jets assistant, who has a good relationship with the player. But now it looks like Jordan to the Raiders is dead. The Raiders have serious cap issues. After signing wide receiver Jerry Porter, trading for wideout Randy Moss, and slapping the franchise tag on cornerback Charles Woodson, they are $15.7 over the cap. There is no money left for Jordan.
So this certainly takes away a viable option for Jordan. Another option that has to be considered a long shot at this point is the running back returning to the Jets.
"Lamont feels that he is ready to take his career to the next level," said Jordan's agent Alvin Keels. "He wants to be a feature back in the NFL."
The Jets can't offer him that opportunity with Curtis Martin, coming off an NFL rushing title, handling that job.
Two possible spots Jordan might land are Philadelphia or Tampa Bay. The Eagles are in dire need of a feature back. Bryant Westbrook is a terrific talent, but he is better suited for spot duty. He doesn't have great size.
The Eagles make a lot of sense for three other reasons. First off, they play the West Coast offense, the system Jordan played in during his four year stay in New York. Jordan loves playing in the West Coast system not just because of the running scheme, but because of how often it calls for throwing to running backs. Jordan loves catching passes out of the backfield. A second reason Jordan to the Eagles makes sense is that they have a lot of cap space, entering the off-season about $16 million under the cap. The third reason is Philadelphia's proximity to Jordan's home state of Maryland.
Another team that will likely go after Jordan is the Tampa Bay. They also play the West Coast offense, and now have two coaches on their staff who coached Jordan in New York. Paul Hackett is the quarterback coach, and Bill Muir handles the offensive line.
But if nothing happens with these two teams, there is a chance Jordan could come back to the Jets, even though this is a long-shot . . .
If both Jordan, and free agent right tackle Kareem McKenzie leave in free agency, as is expected, don't be shocked if the Jets use that money to go after a shut down cornerback. One guy at the top of their list is Washington's Fred Smoot. Three other considerations are Baltimore's Gary Baxter, Seattle's Ken Lucas and Tampa Bay's Dwight Smith. Smoot is the best cover guy in this group, and would give the Jets what they desperately need - a speedy cornerback who can match-up with the other team's best wideout . . .
Tennessee's free agent right tackle Fred Miller, who would make a terrific replacement for McKenzie, looks like he is going to sign with St. Louis. Miller started his career with the Rams . . .
Former Jets offensive guard/tackle, Brent Smith, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars . . .
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