As March Madness sweeps the nation, the NFL’s free agency frenzy is supplying its share excitement for NFL diehards.
Two noteworthy signings were made by the New York Jets on Friday as quarterback Drew Stanton and wide receiver Chaz Schilens will join the Green and White in 2012. While both will likely perform in back-up roles this upcoming season, New York is building quality depth at key offensive positions.
Stanton, a former second-round pick of the Detroit Lions, spent four years as a second and third string quarterback in the Motor City. As a spot starter, Stanton showed mobility outside the pocket but his 56 percent career completion percentage leaves something to be desired.
With the Jets awarding Mark Sanchez a three-year contract extension, it seems abundantly clear that the front office is all-in with its ‘Sanchize quarterback. While Stanton is not the ideal candidate to press Sanchez, he certainly represents an upgrade over 41-year old and recently retired Mark Brunell.
Schilens on the other hand is a player who was lost in the shuffle in Oakland falling behind receivers Jacoby Ford and Darius Moore on the team’s depth chart. Entering his fifth NFL campaign, Shilen’s young career has been plagued by injuries as the wide out played in only 44 of a possible 64 games.
His 6’4” 225 pound frame provides a big target for Sanchez and a viable weapon if injuries befall the team as they did a season ago. While Schilens has flown under the radar for the majority of his career, the Jets are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with the talented but unproven receiver.
With New York expected to make a major splash in free agency, the Jets kicked off the offseason targeting second tier free agents and re-signing starters Sione Pouha, Nick Folk and Bryan Thomas.
As fans grow restless with the core of the 2011 team largely unchanged, it begs the question could this be the calm before Gang Green's free agent storm?
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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