Gang Green’s recent spending spree has led to the pricey acquisitions of guard Alan Faneca, tackle Damien Woody, nose tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Calvin Pace. Rather than applaud the organization’s attempts to improve in 2008, The New York Daily News’ Rich Cimini serves as a sounding board for one shadowy Jets vet’s gripe-fest.
“You pay guys you don’t even know, and the guys in the locker room – the guys that have your back – you don’t give a damn about them,” one player said Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It shows where the loyalty is.”
Free agency is a double-edged sword, and front offices always run the risk of alienating their own players. The Jets have doled out an incredible sum – $138 million in contracts, including $63 million in guarantees – causing some veterans to wonder if there will be enough salary-cap room for them to score new deals.
Wide receiver Laveranues Coles and tight end Chris Baker, both with two years remaining on their current contracts, publicly expressed their desire for raises at the end of the season. Coles’ situation recently turned ugly when he accused the organization of lying to him.
Perhaps the most underpaid player is safety Kerry Rhodes, who is due to make only $927,000 in the final year of his contract. He can be a restricted free agent after the season. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery was in the same situation a year ago, and he was rewarded with a five-year, $19 million contract.
One Jets player said he never heard of Pace until yesterday. Another player said he was envious of linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who realized his wish to be traded.
“They’re getting rid of the young guys and bringing in old guys,” the player said. “I don’t know what they’re doing.”