By Nick Craddock
Revis Island might become a part of a greater archipelago if the New York Jets are successful in their pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in this free agency bonanza.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who has spent the past eight seasons (seven of which were losing seasons, save for last year’s 8-8 mark) with the Oakland Raiders, is the prototypical shutdown corner and could be the last key to completing the Jets’ quest for a Super Bowl.
And the Jets’ hopes of landing Asomugha, a three-time Pro Bowler, were given a boost Thursday when the Houston Texans, one of Asomugha’s leading suitors and a team capable of offering the free agent about twice as much money as the Jets, opted to sign Johnathan Joseph instead.
The scary thing is, the Jets already have one shutdown corner on the roster in Darrelle Revis, dubbed “Revis Island” for his ability to lockdown opposing wide receivers one-on-one. Therefore, the addition of Asomugha to the third-ranked defense in 2010 makes it downright unfathomable to imagine how any offense could score in double figures when the entire aerial attack would be conceivably smothered by these linked “islands” (aka “The Jets’ Archipelago” for those of you still struggling to recognize the conceit — and for those of you struggling to remember the definition of “conceit,” substitute that word with the words “extended metaphor”).
However, if a person could choose only one NFL offense capable of picking apart the Revis-Asomugha tandem, a safe bet would be the New England Patriots’ passing game, headed by Tom Brady and his bushel of wide receivers, which for the first time since the trade of Randy Moss, has a deep threat thanks to the acquisition of Chad Ochocino, the perfect complement to now teammate and slot receiver Wes Welker.
Earlier this week, before the carousel of transactions commenced, the Jets’ pursuit of Asomugha didn’t seem all that costly. Given the subsequent roster shake-ups, the Jets have now lost prized kick returner and do-it-all receiver Brad Smith because the Jets’ front office couldn’t commit salary cap space to Smith while Asomugha continues to contemplate his options. To make matters worse, the Jets may fail to retain wide receiver Braylon Edwards and alienate out-of-contract starting Jet cornerback Antonio Cromartie in their pursuit of Asomugha.
If the Jets come out of the Asomugha saga without their prized target, in addition to having lost key free agents to other teams, the gap between New York and its AFC East rival New England will surely have widened and that was surely not one of the goals for this shortened offseason.
Of course, the only certainty during this signing period has been the expectation of uncertainty; but if the Jets manage to sway Asomugha with a promise of winning and cementing his half of arguably the greatest cornerback duo in NFL history (if only Deion Sanders and Charles Woodson could’ve played together…), all opposing 31 offensive coordinators will have nightmares that might only be cured by a week of rest and relaxation on a far away tropical island.
As long as said island isn’t a part of the Jets’ Archipelago.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.