Tag:New York Jets
Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:55 pm
 

Report: Bills, Stevie Johnson exchanging numbers

Johnson and Buffalo are reportedly talking contract. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

One of the guys we listed as a possible franchise-tag target last week was Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, who's coming off his second-straight season of 1,000-plus receiving yards. It just seems crazy that Buffalo would let their top passing weapon leave town for nothing.

And it sounds like they're not planning on it -- Rodney McKissic of The Buffalo News reports Thursday that the Bills and Johnson's agent, C.J. LaBoy, have begun preliminary discussions on contract negotiations.

McKissic writes that the two sides "have exchanged proposals and are expected to meet at next week's NFL Combine." LaBoy reportedly countered an offer from the Bills last week on Monday, which means there's probably a high- and low-end of a deal for Johnson established. (Presumably neither side is planning on negotiating against itself from the get-go.)

Johnson's contract negotiations should be interesting. He'd stand to make $9.4 million, all guaranteed, if he gets the franchise tag. And he could conceivably get real paid if he hits the open market and is one of the top wideouts available to teams.

Taking a look at wideout numbers over the past two years, via Pro-Football-Reference.com, Johnson's in pretty good company. He's one of just a few wideouts who caught more than 75 passes for more than 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns in each of the past two years, along with Marques Colston (also a potential free agent), Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Roddy White.

Football Outsiders isn't quite as generous with their similarity score for Johnson (although, granted, it doesn't include 2011 yet). Put more layman-ly: Johnson's not regarded as an elite wide receiver quite yet.

Perhaps part of that is his penalty-inducing touchdown celebrations. (Although he told us that he was "done" doing those.) Then there's Johnson starting one game and catching 12 balls his first two years; Colston's a guy who was missed in the draft, but he emerged immediately.

Johnson won't get Santonio Holmes ($10 million per) money. And Buffalo probably won't pay him $8 million a year. But Johnson's production over the past two years warrants a deal that'll pay him something near that range that other wide receivers -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Sidney Rice anyone? -- have gotten recently.

Plus, as our own Pete Prisco noted on Thursday, there are a couple teams where Johnson would fit nicely if the Bills decided not to work out a deal.

That, plus the large number attached to the franchise tag, give Johnson some pretty nice leverage over the Bills in the coming weeks.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:15 pm
 

Ryan plans on getting a Super Bowl ring quickly

Rex Ryan called the Super Bowl matchup a 'cruel joke.' (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

More than anyone, maybe even Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, Jets head coach Rex Ryan is happy to put the 2011 season behind him. His third year in New York began like the previous two: with talk of championships. Except this time, the Jets not only fell short of the AFC Championship game (where they had lost in 2009 and 2010), at 8-8 they didn't even make the playoffs.

By the final week of the season, one that ended with an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins, team captain Santonio Holmes had been benched for insolence. In the end-of-year press conference days later, Ryan spent most of his time explaining why everything went so horribly wrong and promising to fix it in the coming months.

Of course, Ryan says a lot of things, not all of them believable, starting with the annual championship guarantees. He also said he's committed to quarterback Mark Sanchez, which might be true right up till the moment a better offer comes along. And then there are his prognosticatory skills. In the days leading up to the AFC Championship game between the Ravens and Patriots, Ryan boldly predicted that Baltimore is "going to win this game."

So now Billy Cundiff knows who to blame for that.

Ryan, like the rest of the NFL world, was in Indianapolis for Super Bowl week. On Wednesday, he told the Newark Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas that when the championship matchup between the Giants and Patriots was set, it felt like a "cruel joke."

Still, the Giants winning their second Lombardi Trophy in four years hasn't provided Ryan with extra motivation heading into 2012.

“Absolutely not,” he said Wednesday at the annual luncheon for the Long Island Association, where he also participated in a panel discussion with Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms. “You can’t be more motivated than we are. ...

Click to enlarge Sanchez's Valentine Day message. (Twitter)
“Anybody that is successful, you have scars, and this clearly — we’ve got some scars this year from this,” he said. “But anybody that doesn’t have scars is either lying to you or never dared.”

Ryan also reiterated what he's said several times this offseason: “2011 was a huge disappointment for us, but if we don’t learn from it, then we’ll repeat the same mistakes. We are not going to do that; we’ll learn from it.”

Oh, and to set the record straight (we're looking at you, Norv Turner), technically, Ryan does have a Super Bowl ring -- he earned it as an assistant with the Ravens in 2000 (hey, if it counts for Trent Dilfer then it counts for Ryan). He spoke of more rings but thankfully didn't offer a specific time frame.

“I plan on getting another one, and I plan on getting it quickly,” Ryan said.
 
The coach, now heading into his fourth season, might have his biggest job in front of him. High on the to-do list: fixing the locker room. However, he may have one less thing to worry about: the awkwardness between Sanchez and Holmes. On Valentine's Day, Sanchez (who is reportedly dating Kate Upton -- yep, the same one Brinson somehow corralled for a few minutes in Indy) sent Holmes a very special tweet (it's to the right there -- click on the photo to enlarge). 

No word yet from Holmes.

Ryan's response Wednesday when Esiason pointed it out to him? "Pretty funny."

Yep, right up until the moment Holmes again quits on Sanchez and his teammates. Until then, it's hilarious.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:57 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Where will Randy Moss play?

Moss is coming back -- where could he end up? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Move over, Mr. Valentine: there's a new guy in our hearts, and his name is Randy Moss. Moss announced his return to football via USTREAM and in the latest installment of the Pick-Six Podcast we break down his performance on live Internet television, and wonder where he might end up playing in 2012 (if anywhere).

We also discuss whether or not DeSean Jackson is a worthwhile franchise-tag candidate, what other wide receivers are available on the free-agent market, who'd they rather have in a wrasslin' match between Jason Pierre-Paul and Brandon Jacobs, and whether Roger Goodell is overpaid at $20 million a year or not. All that plus much, much more below.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 6:35 am
 

Report: Jets, Eagles 'curious' about Randy Moss

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday morning, Randy Moss fired up the Internets by proclaiming "I wanna play football" on USTREAM. Yes, that's him coming back to football. And he's eligible to sign with a team whenever he wants. However, it's not likely you'll see anyone sign him before they find out what kind of wide receiver market emerges vis-a-vis franchise-tagging.

There are definitely teams interested in Moss, though. Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reports that the Eagles and Jets are "curious" when it comes to Moss and that the 49ers and Patriots should be lumped into potential suitors for Moss as well.

Latest NFL News, Notes

Moss spoke on Monday morning about dealing with some personal and/or family issues. If he was going through things that altered his concentration and motivation, it's possible there's another reason for his poor production in 2010.

After all, Moss was considered "done" after a 2006 season with the Raiders that saw him catch 42 balls for 553 yards and three touchdowns at the age of 30. A year later, he was destroying the NFL for a record-breaking Patriots team, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Sure, Moss is five years older now than he was then. But he's one of the all-time physical freaks in NFL history, and if he's motivated and healthy, he can be a difference-maker.

The Patriots make sense for Moss because they lack a deep threat. Sure, Bill Belichick isn't known for second go-rounds, but he's already done it with Deion Branch; why wouldn't Moss work too if he's willing to work hard, be quiet and take less money than Chad Ochocinco?

The Jets are a logical fit also because, well, they're the Jets. If a famous veteran is on the market, they'll chase him. Also, he would fit the personality of the Jets, in theory. However, Mark Sanchez under center could be a concern for Moss, particularly if his top goals are producing big stats and winning a championship.

That applies to the 49ers, who are also a run-based team. But there's no other top wideout in San Francisco and the Niners have an easier path to the playoffs out of the NFC West.

And, of course, there's the Eagles. After last year's "Dream Team" debacle, it's easy to cringe at the idea of adding Moss. But if DeSean Jackson is dealt out of town to plug a hole on defense and a motivated Moss can come in and catch bombs from Michael Vick, that's a pretty spicy proposition.

No one knows what Moss will look like, of course. But it's Randy Moss we're talking about, which is why it's hard not to be curious.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:01 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 11:12 am
 

Would Peyton to 'Skins only be about the money?

It's early, but the race for Manning appears to be down to three teams. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

CBSSSports.com's Will Brinson did the heavy lifting Friday, handicapping the possible landing spots for Peyton Manning in 2012. No matter who's making the list, the Dolphins, Redskins and Jets seem to be the early frontrunners.

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann is on record saying that the 'Skins don't need Manning but that puts him squarely in the minority.

The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg has made it his mission to transcribe every Manning-to-Washington-related television or radio conversation, and on Thursday, it was ESPN's Chris Mortensen's turn. He was talking about -- shocker -- Manning, the Redskins came up, as did Theismann's objections.

“Well, I love Joe, but I think that’s just silly,” Mortensen said via Steinberg. “I mean, if we were in the same room, I’m sure we’d have this debate anyway. Why would that be a horrific idea? I think he alluded to that being a band-aid. Well, listen, they need to win. They’re in a very competitive division in the NFC East. And if you’ve got Mike Shanahan, who’s an offensive mind that certainly Peyton Manning would have high regard for, and you’ve got an owner who will go out and get players around you, two or three more players…."

Mortensen says a lot of things, not all of them accurate, but he's right about Manning's regard for Shanahan. Steinberg dug up this three-year-old quote from the Denver Post:

“I would be hard-pressed to find a better offensive mind that Mike Shanahan,” Manning said in February 2009. “I had him [during the Pro Bowl], and that was a special week. They fired Phil Fulmer in Tennessee and, you know, just be careful. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Now Coach Dungy retired. But I think there’s a lot of good football coaches out there, and I think Mike Shanahan is one of the best of them.”

So there's that. Whether that's enough to entice Manning to play for the Redskins is another matter entirely.

The Post's Sally Jenkins writes that "Shanahan is the only head coach in the market for Manning’s services who can say he’s won two Super Bowls, and knows how to work with a fully formed Hall of Famer. He can also say he has made real strides in rebuilding, despite the Redskins’ record."

As for the former, most critics would point to John Elway, not Shanahan, as the reason for the Broncos' two Super Bowls. And the latter is a stretch by any measure; maybe the Redksins have made incremental improvements under Shanahan but let's be honest: he wasn't hired to take a four-win team to the heights of 6-10 and 5-11.

John Feinstein, Jenkins' colleague at the Post, doesn't share her optimism. In fact, he's of the opinion (like a lot of people), that there's only one reason Manning would come to Washington. To quote Randy Moss: straight cash, homey.

“You’re 36 years old, you’ve got a major neck problem, you probably only have so many hits left in you," Feinstein said recently during an radio appearance. "Why would you go to a team with a questionable at best offensive line, where the guy who’s most important to you sat out the last four games because he tested positive for recreational drugs, an organization that is constantly in flux?

“Other than Dan Snyder going into his wallet and giving him guaranteed money where other people are more likely to give him an incentive-laden contract, I can’t think of a single reason why Peyton Manning would want to come here," Feinstein continued. "...The only reason Peyton Manning would come to Washington would be if the money was so much better than anybody else. Because no matter how much these guys make, no matter how much they have made, it is still about money, not only because they want to put it in their bank account, but because it’s an ego thing like it is with everybody.”

The Redskins have been much better about avoiding high-priced soon-to-be-washout free agents in recent years. History suggests they should steer clear of Manning, too. We just wonder if Snyder's impulsiveness will get the best of him.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:48 am
 

Handicapping where Peyton Manning plays in 2012

Anyone else see what stadium they're in? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

This is the season of Peyton Manning rumors. We hear he has "a noodle arm." We hear he cannot "throw the ball to the left." We think there's no way he could play for the Colts again after all the drama leading up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. But what do we know?

Nothing, at least when it comes to Manning's future. In the interest of trying to figure out what uniform -- if any -- Peyton will play, let's handicap the race for one of the all-time greats in 2012.

Anything and everything is in play, except for teams that already have what we'll loosely term a "franchise quarterback." The Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Texans, Chargers, Giants, Cowboys, Packers, Lions, Bears, Saints, Falcons, Panthers and Rams all have their guy.

The Jaguars, Raiders, Vikings, Buccaneers and Broncos have very recent first-round investments in quarterbacks and aren't likely to pursue Manning. The Bills have a lot invested in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Peyton Manning isn't going to play in Buffalo. It's like Cleveland. Ain't happening.

That leaves the 49ers, Titans, Chiefs, Jets, Seahawks, Colts, Redskins, Cardinals and Dolphins as possible landing spots. We'll break down the scenarios in our order of likelihood and provide actual available odds from Bovada.lv and/or the Vegas percentages from RJ Bell of Pregame.com.

Longshots

49ers: The Niners could perceive Manning as the guy to put them over the top. But Jim Harbaugh says he's got "their guy" in incumbent-but-still-free-agent quarterback Alex Smith. Maybe he means it. Or maybe he's just doing good public relations. It would be a fascinating fit for a number of reasons (Andrew Luck's old coach anyone?) though.
Vegas Odds: 2%


Chiefs: Matt Cassel isn't the long-term answer for anyone, but he did make a Pro Bowl (thanks, schedule-makers!) and he is Scott Pioli's guy. Plus, Romeo Crennel -- a defensive coordinator -- is from the previous regime as well. Oh, and this is Patriots Midwest. Makes no sense.
Vegas Odds: 1.5%


Titans: This would make sense ... except the Titans have already invested in a veteran (Matt Hasselbeck, three-year deal) and a rookie (Jake Locker, first round in 2011). Plus, they came out and said they're not chasing him.
Vegas Odds: 1.5%

Jets

Vegas Odds: 11%
Actual Line: 5/1
Everyone will tell you the Jets are the perfect fit, as they're "just one piece away." This couldn't be further from the truth: the Jets are "several pieces away" at least. Some of those pieces are on defense and some of those piece are on offense. Quarterback is one of the pieces they need, but plugging Peyton onto Rex Ryan's roster wouldn't even make them the favorite to win the AFC East, unless he was 100 percent healthy.

There are also people that will tell Eli vs. Peyton in New York is the ultimate storyline. While that's true, that doesn't mean it's something either of those guys want to deal with for the length of their current contracts. You saw what happened at the Super Bowl, right? Every question pointed to Eli was about Peyton's neck and his recovery ... even though Eli was playing for a Super Bowl. It would be magnified in the Big Apple.

And don't think Manning doesn't see a parallel to Brett Favre with the Jets option either. Look at the way he's handled his business thus far; looking like Favre is the last thing he wants.

Seahawks

Vegas Odds: N/A
Actual Line: N/A
Everyone's sleeping on Pete Carroll! That terrifies me to no end. Look, there are plenty of reasons why this doesn't make sense. There's no guaranteed running game (Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett are both free agents), the offensive line's young and injury-prone thus far and Sidney Rice is the best receiving option.

But the defense is good in Seattle, the coach is enthusiastic, and as we note with the Cardinals below, the NFC West is a much better path to the Super Bowl than a lot of other spots. There are also plenty of offensive skill-position guys available in free agency, so it's possible the Seahawks could convince Peyton to take snaps in Seattle and then let him play pied piper for other talented players.

Retirement

Vegas Odds: 20%
Actual Line: N/A
We have to talk about it, you know? Bovada's not offering a betting line on this, but this is the most-likely scenario according to RJ Bell, as Vegas' odds give it a 20 percent chance.

I don't buy it ... but only for this year. Even if -- hypothetically speaking -- there are still reports about Manning only being able to sling his noodle to the right side of the field when March 13 comes around and -- somehow -- no one signs him, he'll keep rehabbing the entire season, getting healthy and will get a call from someone with an injured quarterback midway through the year. Last year there was a waiver scramble for Kyle Orton and the Bears actually considering calling Favre.

Manning would get a job, worst case, by November. Which is precisely why someone like the Redskins would go ahead sign him anyway, regardless of how healthy he is.

Colts

Vegas Odds: 14%
Actual Line: 3/1
Here's a theory I meant to throw out there during Super Bowl week: Jim Irsay and Peyton are punking everyone. They're having fun with everyone by acting like they hate each other, even though they have a master plan in place. Irsay will not pick up Manning's option on March 8, allowing him to become a free agent. But then Manning will re-sign with the Colts as a free agent, allowing them to limit the cap damage his contract does. He would still have $10.4 million in dead cap space if they don't pick up the option, which still gives them something like $18 million to work with.

The Colts can make his new contract cap-friendly and incentive-laden, and let Peyton finish his career as a Colt. They can also draft Andrew Luck or, if Luck decides to make a stink about playing behind Peyton, trade the pick or draft Robert Griffin, III.

There are reasons why this makes no sense: the actual disdain between Irsay and Peyton, the distraction that Peyton's situation was to Eli in the Super Bowl, Peyton's unwillingness to take less money to play for the same team and the Colts need to rebuild all the way, to name a few. But we're still throwing it out there.

Cardinals

Vegas Odds: 3%
Actual Line: 2.5/1

Vegas doesn't like this option, but it makes a lot of sense to me. They need to do work on the offensive line, but those problems can be addressed through free agency and the draft. Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald, a top-five wideout in the NFL, who somehow managed to catch 170 passes for 2,548 yards with John Skelton, Max Hall and Kevin Kolb under center the last two years. They have Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams in the backfield and a defense that came on strong at the end of 2011.

The Cardinals also play in a division that's conquerable right away; the NFC West might pose the path of least resistance when it comes to obtaining a Super Bowl. Arizona's lacked a franchise quarterback since Kurt Warner retired two years ago, and don't think Fitzgerald wouldn't welcome this move with open arms.

The Kurt Warner parallel here is perfect for Manning, even if Warner's path to Arizona was much different than Manning's would be.

Shanahan and Peyton together: What could go wrong? (Getty Images)

Redskins

Vegas Odds: 17%
Actual Line: 2.5/1
No surprise here, but Vegas likes the Redskins a lot. After all, it's the Redskins. They throw big money at the biggest names, and no name in the history of free agency would be bigger than Peyton Manning. (I agree with Mike Freeman that Reggie White was a bigger free agent, but only because he wasn't an unknown. But Peyton's a bigger "name.")

The Redskins also think they're one piece away from making a run in the NFC East, even though they lack a lot more than just a quarterback. Who's Peyton throwing to? Who's running the ball behind Peyton? Who's protecting Peyton? WHY IS KYLE SHANAHAN ROLLING HIM OUT TO THE RIGHT?

But seriously: Mike and Kyle Shanahan have an offensive system that is absolutely tailored to a guy like RG3. They should make their all-in move on draft day, hop the Browns and grab the Baylor quarterback. He would be an instant superstar in Shanny's system and, in my opinion, more effective than Peyton for Washington in 2012. Of course, having said all that, this is Dan Snyder's team. Don't count them out to grab Peyton.

Dolphins

Vegas Odds: 20%
Actual Line: 3/1
The Dolphins are everyone's favorite, and it makes good sense. They have a blossoming running game and with Manning under center, Reggie Bush would only be more effective. They have talented wide receivers, with Brandon Marshall holding No. 1 potential. (Davonne Bess ain't no slouch, and Bush is a fantastic receiving option as well.)

They have a franchise left tackle in Jake Long. They have a talented defense, with only a limited number of free agents that need re-signing. They have an owner who wants to sexy-up the offense and bring in celebrities to the stadium. No one is, um, sexier than Peyton Manning. (And Stephen Ross is "infatuated" with him, reportedly. Me-ow.)

Manning owns a condo in South Beach. He'd get to play his top rival, Tom Brady, twice a year. He'd also get a ridiculously easy schedule in 2012, as outside the AFC East the Dolphins play the Jaguars, Titans, Rams, Seahawks, Raiders, Texans, 49ers, Cardinals and Bengals.

Oh right, one more team: the Colts. In Indy. It's all a little too perfect.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Report: Plaxico 'badly' wants to play for Eagles

Burress "badly" "wants" to play for Philly next year? That's the word on the street. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Prior to the 2011 season, it was widely believed that the Eagles would land Plaxico Burress in free agency. That's mainly because Philly housed the last convict-turned-NFL-player in Michael Vick, whether that presumptive logic was right or wrong.

NFL Offseason Begins

Plax, of course, ended up playing for the Jets, and caught 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. He'll be a free agent on March 13, though, and according to Howard Eskin of NBC 10 in Philadelphia, he "wants" to play for the Eagles this time around.

"Saw and talked to Plaxico Burress at Super Bowl and told me he wants to play for Eagles," Eskin tweeted on Wednesday. "Badly!"

We also saw Plaxico at the Super Bowl while dining at Mo's Steakhouse in Indianapolis, but we didn't get a chance to ask him any questions, because we were too busy cackling about the wide receiver giving a bro-hug to Jared Fogle of Subway. (We were too stunned to take a picture, but we have witnesses. This really happened.)

Eskin followed up on the tweet with NBC Philly's David Chang, although he wasn't quite as emphatic about it happening.

"I do believe the Eagles will take a hard look at signing Plaxico Burress," Eskin said.

Burress wasn't fantastic in 2011; though he tied for the 11th-most touchdowns in 2011, he certainly wasn't close to the 11th-best wide receiver in the league. He's not going to be a deep threat at his age, but he can be a dangerous red-zone weapon, which is something the Eagles could really use.

If DeSean Jackson isn't franchise-tagged and/or doesn't receive a deal, the Eagles will suddenly be a team in need of a wide receiver. That would likely ramp up the potential interest in a guy like Burress.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 3:43 pm
 

Report: Jets owe Santonio Holmes $15.25 M now

Santonio will hopefully look happier the next time he's in the locker room. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Santonio Holmes was at the center of the disaster that was the Jets 2011 season, repeatedly calling out his offensive line and being blamed for some of the locker room problems. But he's going to remain a Jet for the foreseeable future, as the team now owes him a chunk of guaranteed money for 2011 and 2012.

Latest NFL News, Notes

We noted back at the beginning of January that Holmes would reportedly be owed an additional $7.5 million of his 2013 contract on the second day of the 2012 league year if he was still on the Jets. As the New York Post reports, since Santonio hasn't been cut as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Jets now owe the wideout $15.25 million, combining his 2012 and 2013 guaranteed figures.

Turns out, Rex Ryan was serious about Holmes coming back.

The Jets could certainly cut Holmes over the next two years; there's nothing stopping them. But doing so would be throwing more than $15 million down the tubes and stripping their roster of their best skill-position player.

Ryan's team faced an unreal amount of turmoil following the 2011 season, as unnamed members of the team called out Mark Sanchez, Brian Schottenheimer left and running back LaDainian Tomlinson pointed the finger at the wide receiver group for some of the problems. Holmes was at the center of all the internal problems.

If he continues along that path, he'll be an absolute waste of money. If Rex Ryan can straighten him out, then the wide receiver can still live up to the monster contract he signed in the 2011 offseason.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com