With OTAs winding down, the New York Jets are one step closer to the 2013 season. With fresh new talent from both the draft and free agency now in Gang Green’s locker room, it’s make it or break it time for a few current Jets. The question is will they be able to pull the parachute on their falling careers, or will they plummet out of the Jets’ organization entirely. Here are 5 members of the 2013 Jets who need to either get it together, or start looking for new homes in 2014.
5) Kellen Winslow Jr.
Winslow may have only joined the Jets a few days ago, but he needs to have a strong 2013 campaign to not only stay with the Jets, but to keep his football career going. After a lackluster career with the Browns, Bucs, and Patriots, the former first round pick will once again try to show the NFL his talent. Unlike his hall of fame father, Kellen Winslow Sr, Winslow Jr. has been a first round bust that has never lived up to expectations. With the Jets starving for tight end talent, Winslow could provide the Jets with a suitable replacement for Dustin Keller. However, with his lackluster track record and a habit of getting into trouble off the grid iron, the Winslow experiment may only last this season.
4) Antonio Allen
Talk about pressure. All indications are that Allen will have to step into the starting role at safety this year. While I personally believe that he will be the most likely player on this list to return in 2014, I doubt it will be as a starter. Despite showing flashes in a part-time role on defense, Allen will be asked to help replace the departure of Pro Bowler Laron Landry. As if this wasn’t enough, the secondary is under more pressure then ever with a certain all pro corner being traded to Tampa Bay. I do believe that Allen has the skill set to be a solid safety in this league, but that he will be exposed in the starting role for being too raw. With a little more seasoning Allen could be a good starter, but being asked to do too much this soon will have the Jets looking to replace him in the starting role for 2014.
3) Vladimir Ducasse
This could be the year that the Jets finally move on from draft flop Vladimir Ducasse. After years of failing to earn a starting job, Ducasse has been able to stay on the Jets roster due to the lack of depth on the offensive line. Then the Jets drafted not 1, not 2, but 3 offensive linemen in the 2013 draft while adding Stephen Peterman and Willie Colon in free agency. Now with an abundance of buffet busters in Cortland if Ducasse can’t win the starting job or solidify himself as a backup, then his Jets career may be over. With three seasons under his belt Ducasse has the inside track for one of the two starting positions and this maybe his last chance to prove he can start for Gang Green.
2) Santonio Holmes
Well this one doesn’t need much of an introduction. After the Jets vastly overpaid for Holmes a few years ago Holmes has been nothing but trouble for the Jets. Whether it’s pouting in Miami, stirring the pot in the locker room, or just not being the dynamic receiver the Jets paid for, it hasn’t been pretty. Now after a 2012 season where he missed most of the season due to a knee injury, the Jets desperately need Holmes’ play making ability. However, Holmes’ welcome has been worn out with his “diva receiver” antics and unless he has a great performance in 2013, he’ll make it too easy for the Jets to get rid of him. If Holmes can return to form and be a leader on this team then he will without question be back in 2014. But if the Holmes soap opera continues and hinders the development of the Jets quarterback, then as porky pig would say “That’s all Holmes”. Speaking of developing quarterbacks…….
1) Mark Sanchez
Do I really need to explain this one?How do you describe the Jets season in 2013? “Butt Fumble” enough said. Unfortunately for Mark Sanchez the odds of him being the starter in 2014 aren’t looking too good. With the franchise beginning to slowly realize that Sanchez is not an NFL quarterback along with the addition of rookie Geno Smith, Sanchez will have to prove to the organization that he truly should be starting. One thing is for certain, it’s that the Jets fan base has already made up their mind. As fans Mark Sanchez is the image we have of this organizations floundering, it sure doesn’t help when ESPN keeps showing the fumble as the worst of the worst on not top ten for the past 28 weeks! To Jets fans Sanchez is dead to us. We know exactly what he is, and that he shouldn’t be the starting quarterback of this team. Of all the players on this list, Sanchez is the one player that I pray is not back for the 2014 season. If he is it’s going to be a llllloooooonnnnnnggggg season.