It's only March. Football games will not be played for another five months, and we are six months away from the start of the 2015 regular season. It's a ways off. Yet, the New York Jets are making moves now that have taken them off the funny pages that they seemed chained to during the Rex Ryan era.
This week the Jets completed a total facelift of one of the worst secondary's in the NFL by re-signing Darrelle Revis to a five year contract. Then on Thursday night, the Jets reunited Revis with Antonino Cromartie, and signed former Chargers safety Marcus Ghilchrist as well. Suddenly the Jets secondary doesn't look so bad.
Cromartie signed a 4-year $32 million contract, after spending the past season with the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets under John Idzik let Cromartie walk last off-season, creating a gigantic hole in the secondary. With the Jets, Cromartie enjoyed some of his best seasons when he was teamed along with Revis. Now that they are together again the Jets will have two of the best corners in the game on the roster.
In addition, their presence will be a big help to some of the younger players, like Buster Skrine, whom the Jets signed last week, as well as Dee Milliner and Calvin Pryor, two Jets draft picks who haven't panned out yet.
Milliner has suffered through two injury plagued years and had the unfortunate distinction as being the guy to replace Revis in 2013. That didn't work. Now with Revis and Cromartie back in town, the Jets can let Milliner learn under two of the best, while he works on his craft as a back-up and nickle corner.
Pryor, a safety by trade, who is best known as a hitter will now get to live that role under Todd Bowles, especially with said veterans back in the fold. So now there is less pressure on him too.
The addition of Ghilchrist is an interesting one for Gang Green. Picked by the Chargers in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Clemson, Ghilchrist has proven to be a solid player, but maybe not the big time safety San Diego was hoping for.
The Jets signed him with a four year contract after the Cromartie deal was done. Ghilchrist is versatile, having played multiple positions from safety to cornerback. According to GangGreenNation, he played in 900 snaps last year for San Diego, most of them in the slot corner position, or strong safety, and recorded 76 tackles, an interception, a sack, and two forced fumbles. At 26-years old, he is still learning -- and the potential is there for a very solid addition to the Jets secondary.
Just like that, in the blink of an eye, the Jets secondary is totally transformed. They have both experience and depth, and can feature a multitude of sets that will fluster quarterbacks. It's been a heck of a week for GM Mike Maccagnan. Fortunately he's not done yet.