The New York Jets have been the subject of many offseason discussions from AFC favorites to the team most in need of an extremely skilled accountant. The latter half of that equation is going to begin its exercise as the team has started the avalanche of contract extensions expected to come at a furious pace in an unexpected place. Most figured the team would focus on locking up their shutdown corner Darrelle Revis to a long-term, lucrative deal first and foremost, but instead the Jets showed the money to their left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson on Wednesday.
Ferguson was the number four overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Virginia and still had two years remaining on his deal with the Jets. His extension is massive keeping him with the team for eight more seasons and totaling $73.6 million. What is most impressive perhaps is the $34.8 million guaranteed which sets a new record for offensive linemen and will set the benchmark for free agents to come looking for big time contracts. This deal could be seen in many different lights for the other Jets looking to secure themselves financially in the near future, but here’s the optimistic point of view.
At least the organization has now shown that there is a willingness to negotiate with players outperforming their current deals and compensate those employees for their services. When one domino falls, usually the others are quick to follow and that is all that Revis, center Nick Mangold, and inside linebacker David Harris can hope for at this point. It’s also encouraging for those players that contracts appear to be on the team’s to-do list as they inked second round pick Vladimir Ducasse to a four-year, $3.25 million contract as well on Wednesday. Ducasse will presumably be expected to compete for a starting gig immediately after the team cut ties with veteran guard Alan Faneca in earlier in the offseason.
The team did throw what could be considered as an epic curveball by signing Ferguson first out of their list of disgruntled employees, but perhaps they just wanted to comfort the others waiting in line by letting them know that they will be up next. Both Revis and Mangold should be considered of a high importance than Ferguson considering they are each Pro Bowl caliber of players while Ferguson has only received that praise as an alternate selection. After left tackle on a team’s offensive line, center is inarguably the second most important position and it would be a huge surprise if Mangold weren’t the next to be shown the money by the Jets organization. This team appears primed for not only a short-term look at greatness, but potentially competing in the AFC for the next handful of seasons if they can lock up this core group of veteran players.
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