Jets get even better

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:25 PM ET

Rex Ryan’s off-season weight loss was just getting too much air time. New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum had just the answer. Tannenbaum put the attention back on the field by making an already good football team better. The league’s No. 1 defence and No. 1 rushing offence of a season ago has seen plenty of turnover in the past couple of months. Ryan, a win-at-all-costs kind of coach isn’t holding anything back, telling anyone who cares to listen his Jets are Bowl-bound. Although from a distance his improvements on the defensive side of the ball far outweigh anything he has done on offence. And while defence does win championships, pop-gun offences can derail those hopes. Easily the move of the off-season thus far for the Jets has to be the acquisition of cornerback Antonio Cromartie from San Diego for a second or third-rounder (depending on where the Jets season ends) in next year’s draft. Cromartie joins Darrelle Revis, giving the Jets the kind of lock-down corners most coaches can only dream about. Cromartie more than adequately fills the vacancy left by the release of Lito Sheppard, which should allow blitz-happy Ryan to throw more bodies more often at opposing quarterbacks. If there was a downside to this deal for the Jets, it was the abundant ‘baggage’ Cromartie brought with him but the Jets managed to turn even that into a win for them too. Cromartie’s off-field exploits had amassed seven children by six different mothers in five different states and he was in a cash crunch to support them. The Jets stepped in and reportedly fronted him a half million dollars of the coming year’s salary to make sure everyone was taken care of. Cromartie was just the beginning though. Since his acquisition, the Jets have added 35-year-old linebacker Jason Taylor, soon-to-be 31-year-old LaDainian Tomlinson at running back, and troubled wide receiver Santonio Holmes from Pittsburgh in a trade for a fifth-rounder. In the draft, the Jets went out and bolstered an already star-studded secondary with the addition of nickel corner Kyle Wilson, who will start immediately according to Ryan. All of which sounds very good until you take into account the departures. There’s the 1,400 yards rushing of Thomas Jones to replace, not to mention the contributions of Leon Washington to the best ground game in the NFL. Tomlinson, while a flashy signing, is showing every sign that his best days are behind him. Shone Green, the only holdover from last year’s rushing Jets will team up with another rookie, USC draftee Joe McKnight to round out the backfield. And if that drop off isn’t enough, the Jets cast adrift former all-pro guard Alan Faneca in a money-saving move throwing one of the best offensive lines in the NFL into flux. Like Ryan’s lap-band surgery — the quicker, easier route to weight loss — the results of the Jets’ off-season work aren’t going to be immediate. It will be a process, but Tannenbaum’s maneuverings have at least put the Jets on track to at least match last season’s AFC championship appearance. All Grown UP Adam (Pacman) Jones is fishing for a job, but the interest so far appears lukewarm. Jones recently sent a text to former Titans defensive coordinator, now head man in Detroit Jim Schwartz. Seems Jones now realizes his past mistakes and is ready to be a real professional. “My whole message is, I know about my past,” Jones told the Detroit Free Press. “I’m not really here to talk about my past. I’ve made some dumb decisions in the past, but I’ve grown from that. I’m focused as a person. You ain’t got to worry about no phone calls at 3, 4 in the morning. I’m here to play football.” And as for those past bad habits, Jones blames it on his youth. “I was a kid straight out of college,” Jones said. “Partying was what I liked to do back then. I’m pretty much partied out now. Jones has not played in the NFL since the final game of the 2008 season with Dallas. AT THE HALF Seven-year NFL veteran receiver Bobby Wade will be joining 15-year vet Joey Galloway with the Washington Redskins. Wade, who played last year with Kansas City, joins Galloway who signed with the Skins on Wednesday. Maybe they’re just trying to make 33-year-old starting QB Donovan McNabb comfortable with targets his own age and older ... New Orleans can breathe easy for now. Safety Darren Sharper made his visit to Jacksonville, met with management and left without signing a contract. According to the NFL network, Sharper has no further visits planned, which may just mean that the Saints will get the pick-happy Sharper back ... The Philadelphia Eagles have signed a one-year extension through 2011 with QB Kevin Kolb. The deal, according to ESPN is for $12.25-million US with all the money guaranteed. Kolb is going into his first year as the teams starting quarterback following the departure of Donovan McNabb. FOURTH AND INCHES This factoid from CNBC’s Darren Rovell. Ben Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension will cost him $2,841,174 ... Chris Johnson’s a no-show at off-season workouts. There has to be concern this situation is not going to get any better without some movement from one side or the other. “He is under contact, and I am concerned about the players that are here, not the ones that are not,’’ head coach Jeff Fisher told the Tennessean on Thursday. “I would love for everybody to be here. I don’t think you can substitute outside the building the workload that we get done here. It is obvious and has been documented over the years but there’s always exceptions and I hope that C.J. is taking good care of himself while he is not here.’’ Johnson is scheduled to make $550,000 this fall. He wants more.

Photos