A year ago, the New York Jets had a pair of first-round picks signed before training camp even started, including OLT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the fourth overall selection. So many league insiders are wondering why GM Mike Tannenbaum is being seemingly hard-headed in not giving CB Darrelle Revis a five-year deal in order to get this year's first-round pick into camp. In fact, Scout.com has learned Revis hasn't even been offered a six-year deal that can void to five if he would meet certain statistical or playing time incentives. 2006 14th pick overall, Philadelphia Eagles DT Brodrick Bunkley, also got a six-year deal with no voidables.
As another league insider told us the reasoning is simple. The Jets have a lack of necessity this year to rush a young cornerback into the lineup. With a gapping hole at left tackle and a need at center, it was imperative to get Ferguson and fellow first-round choice Nick Mangold signed as quickly as possible last year. And while the Jets would like Revis to earn a starting spot at corner this year, the situation is not a dire one with last year's starters Andre Dyson and David Barrett still on the team. Factor in Justin Miller, the All-Pro return specialist who has improved his game at cornerback in the early goings at camp, and Tannebaum feels time is on his side.
The Jets are likely to wait until after the second pre-season game before making a final decision on veteran G Pete Kendall. G Adrien Clarke, who is slated to replace Kendall at some point, has looked good in camp, but the team really wants to see him in live action to assess his abilities. If Clarke holds his own during the early pre-season games, the team is likely to try and trade or eventually cut Kendall. If Clarke fails, Kendall will be put into the line-up and must live with his unhappy marriage to the Jets for one more season.
Bradley Gets off to Impressive Start
The Philadelphia Eagles penciled in second-year pro Chris Gocong as their
starting strong-side linebacker earlier this year after releasing veteran LB
Dhani Jones. However, if the early going in training camp is any indication,
he's going to be pushed hard by rookie Stewart Bradley.
The former University of Nebraska standout has possibly been the most impressive defensive player in camp and has also seen time playing inside behind starting MLB Jeremiah Trotter. What has impressed practice observers so much is how well Bradley has picked up defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's scheme and how well he moves and has covered tight ends and backs running passing routes. Bradley also adds a badly needed physical presence from the linebacker position.
Tulloch Fighting off Newcomer For Starting Job
Tennessee Titans second-year MLB Stephen Tulloch only started three games as a rookie but the team felt good enough about him that they declined to re-sign starting MLB Peter Sirmon. Tulloch has competition though in former Dallas Cowboy MLB Ryan Fowler.
In the early going, Tulloch has out-performed Fowler and he has also been one of the most impressive defensive players according to practice observers.
On offense, third-year WRs Roydell Williams and Courtney Roby have been very impressive and both are making a push for serious playing time. Roby has made several outstanding catches and looks to have improved his route running and hands.