Q&A with Bradway Pt. 2

With just days days to go before the 2002 Draft, Jets General Manager Terry Bradway took the time to talk about the team's needs and its approach to the draft. Here is Part II of that conversation.

Q. Do you think you can get a guy at 22 that can come in and start?

BRADWAY: You could get one of those players. It's hard for guys to come in their first year, just line up, and play. We drafted Santana last year. Even when I was in Kansas City, Tony Gonzalez, he didn't start his first year. There are going to be situations where because of a need, a guy is going to be put in and he's going to play, whether it's a first rounder or fourth rounder. We think we have a pretty good football team here.

For a rookie to come in as the No. 1 pick, make it, and start, will be very difficult. If they're good enough, they'll play. Herm has already said he'll play the best players, regardless of who they are. That's been the case. (There is) a lot to learn for rookies. Even the ones that do get an opportunity to start usually have to live through some growing pains, and you have to also as a coach and an organization.

Q. Will you draft the best available player in the first round? Do you expect them to contribute right away?

BRADWAY: There are some guys even in the first round you say may not totally fit but are good football players. I think the guys we've got on our board, if they were here, they'd have an opportunity to play. Whether they were perfect fits or not, it's hard to say because, again, all these players have some holes in them and inconsistencies, just like every position. You can talk about the third player in the draft — (there) might be something that he needs to work on. Most of these guys aren't finished products when they come out.

Q. Do you get a sense of whether there will be a lot of action at the end of the first round as far as trades go?

BRADWAY: It's hard to say. I think there's a chance there could be. Some teams will be locked in from a salary-cap standpoint in terms of making deals. There have been drafts where they have pretty clean first rounds, others where there has been a lot of trading. We were able to make a trade last year. I don't know what we'll be able to do this year.

We don't really have a lot of firepower in terms of moving up in the first round unless there was somebody there we absolutely had to have and really liked and made a decision to do that. With five picks, we feel like we can get five good football players in this draft.

Q. Do you think being a two-sport guy helps, like a Julius Peppers?

BRADWAY: I think it can only help him. In Peppers' case, the same thing. You know, those guys are great football players who just happen to be high-level Division I basketball players. Whenever you get a guy out there who is competing not only in one sport, but another one, who has an opportunity to go on the floor for 25 games or 30 games a year and put themselves on the line and compete, that can do nothing but help them.

Even some of the guys who aren't great basketball players, they have special ability. To play two sports in college, you have to be pretty special anyway.

Q. Does a guy's ability to be signed before training camp ever factor into the drafting of two equally rated players?

BRADWAY: No, it hasn't. Mike Tannenbaum has such a good relationship with agents, much better than anyplace I've ever been. It never really is a problem. … Basically if you get drafted in the 22nd spot, there's only a certain amount of money available to you. I don't think that's going to be a problem.

Q. With some teams being in a fix as far as the salary cap, do you feel fortunate about the situation you guys were in this off-season?

BRADWAY: No question. Because we got the relief in the expansion, we were able to go out and find what we thought were some pretty good players, and resign our own, which was important to do. We may be in position to try to do something with our players later on, depending on what happens here the next couple months. We're in a pretty good position right now. We feel like we can still go out and improve the football team.

Q. Do you plan to do anything with the contracts of guys that are here now?

BRADWAY: Yes, yes. Not only guys who were up next year, but maybe guys who have a year or two. We have a handful of guys we're looking at. Nothing definitive right now. We've talked. We've had discussions.

Q. Is Wayne one of those guys?

BRADWAY: I won't name any. You know the guys who are up. To name some and not others...

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