Friday, March 12, 2010

Jets sign S Brodney Pool, trying to woo Tomlinson

The Jets took a step in replacing S Kerry Rhodes by signing former Cleveland Brown Brodney Pool to a one year deal.

Pool was a restricted free agent who was not tendered by Cleveland due to a number of concussion problems. However, Pool could be a nice complement to Eric Smith as he is a rangy safety with good ball skills. Smith is a better blitzer and run stopper. 

However, the big news out of Jets camp is that they're looking hard at former Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson.

After letting go of Thomas Jones, most assumed the Jets would bring in a third back. Tomlinson is an option, primarily because he was released from his former team, so the Jets are able to sign him without restrictions.

Some may wonder why the Jets didn't just keep Thomas Jones, and that is a valid question. After all, TJ ran for 1400+ yards and LT looked finished last season.

But Tomlinson contributes in ways that Jones can't. When Leon Washington went down, the offense was severely hindered because they lacked a pass-catching back. Tomlinson would absolutely fill that role, and with Washington still recovering from a broken leg, he'd be the ultimate Leon Washington insurance.

Washington and Shonn Greene is a good combination, but it isn't enough with both of them having some injury concerns. Not only does Tomlinson act as Washington insurance, but if Greene were to go down, Tomlinson would be very useful as well.

LT has always been known as a solid back in the redzone as well as a workhorse in his own right. While the Jets wouldn't be running him into the ground, if Greene went down, Tomlinson could be the feature back and take Greene's place.

The big question if they sign LT is what will his role be if Greene and Washington are healthy? It's hard to imagine Greene not being the feature back after his playoff performance, but it's also hard to imagine a backfield with Tomlinson NOT starting.

The other reason Tomlinson makes more sense than Jones is money. Jones was far more one-dimensional and would have cost $5.8 million for one year. He ended up getting $5 million for 2 years. I'd expect Tomlinson to receive something similar to Jones's new deal.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that he'd probably sell some jerseys heading into the new stadium. PSL's, anyone?

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