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Building a Rivalry: Part 2

spike jayz

Subway Serious!

WHAT A GAME!!!  Game 2 of this newly minted rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks was even more exciting than the first game between the two teams which ended in overtime.  Even after that first game there were doubters saying how this matchup couldn’t be considered a rivalry because of how new it was, but after last night’s thriller all of those naysayers must jump ship.  The intensity in the Barclays Center was so high that it had a playoff atmosphere feel to it.  Both teams had fans representing them cheering with “Defense” and “MVP” chants all night long.  The arena was filled with the expected superstar celebrities like Jay-Z, Spike Lee and many more New Yorkers that were split between the Knicks and Nets.  The game was exhilarating from beginning to end and the Knicks came out on top with a 100-97 win to even the series between these two teams at 1-1.

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Kidd Rocks! No Kidd’ing. Purrs like a Kiddy! Does not play with Kidd gloves! I could go on, but I have to empty my Kiddney.

While the excitement over this game was similar to the first game between these two teams, there were a lot of differences entering this contest.  In the first matchup between theses foes, the Knicks were without Jason Kidd and the Nets were full strength, while in the second matchup the Nets were missing their stud Brooks Lopez  and Knicks were healthy…that is without Shumpert and Stoudemire.  After the Knicks loss in game 1, I mentioned that the absence of Jason Kidd was the main contributor to the their demise.  Boy was I right!  Kidd showed flashes of the All-Star who lead the then New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals a decade ago.  The Knicks were in a deep hole early in the game and trailed by as many as 17 points but with the veteran leadership that Kidd has displayed all season long, there never seemed to be a sense of panic on the side of the Orange and Blue.

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Age has not Melo’d this guy.He’s playing like the Carmelo topping of a perfect sundae!

While Kidd kept the pace of the game exactly where the Knicks needed it to be, the real superstar of this fantastic game was the man they call Melo.  Carmelo Anthony had his best game of the season and proved why the New York faithful has been justly chanting “MVP MVP” on a nightly basis.  Melo had a stat line of 45-5-3 while shooting a lights out 15-24 from the field.  It looked at times as if Carmelo had placed a magnet in the rim and the ball and every time he tossed it up it was just drawn to the hoop.  It was arguably his best game since the Knicks acquired him two years back.  The Nets came out of the gates flying and were up 21-5 at the beginning of the game, but Carmelo Anthony knew this was his game to win and he put his team on his shoulders and played outstanding and inspired ball.

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If Baltche catche fire too much, the Knicks get burned. Good thing the ‘Bockers had their extinguishers playing.

Brooklyn’s hot start was a huge surprise to me, especially with how well the Knicks have been playing and how poorly the Nets have been.  Since the first matchup between these teams, the Knicks had gone 6-1 while the Nets have been 2-5 and they were in the midst of a 4 game losing streak.  Everything seemed to be in the Knicks favor heading into the game but the Nets had a secret weapon that only my man NYBobby seemed to know about.  Andray Blatche, the back up to the injured Lopez, seemed to put anything he tossed up into the bucket.  I called Bobby before the game and said that the Knicks were going to manhandle the Nets because Lopez was out but he responded by saying that Blatche was going to have a huge game.  I hate to admit when he is right but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Blatche finished with 23 points on 9 of 13 shooting and he had the best +/- on the Nets with a +9.

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Ray Felton the floor most of the night, but thankfully Williams was also sleeping Deron the game.

As for the Point Guards in this matchup, there really was a lot of disappoints on both sides…more so for the Knicks.  For the second straight time against the Nets, Raymond Felton seemed to be lost on the floor for much of the game as he committed 7 of the Knicks 10 turnovers.  Felton’s shooting was abysmal where he finished with 3 of 12 from the floor to end up with an ugly stat line of 8-1-7 with 7 turnovers.  On the other end, Deron Williams, who is easily considered a top 3 PG in the league, had an off night himself.  While he ended up with 18 points and 10 assists, he really never found a rhythm all night and he even missed a potentially game tying open three pointer.

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It’s that time of the year! Everyone loves the Nutcracker, and that’s what the Knicks were.

During last night’s contest I was on the edge of my seat the whole time as the game was filled with nonstop action.  With the series between these teams split 1 a piece, the next game has a lot of importance.  Luckily for fans of both clubs, we don’t have to wait to long for that matchup because the two teams face off again, this time in the Garden, a week from today.  I am thrilled to say that New York not only has two potentially dangerous playoff teams, but they have a newly found rivalry that I expect to be around for years.

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Fined For Flopping

I’m like JC; sacrificing myself for my team and taking the punishment for their sins.

Even though “flopping” has become an NBA enigma over the past two years, it really has been around since the days of Celtics great, Frank Ramsey, and his famous flailing arms he used time and again.  While Ramsey might have been the first recognized “flopper” that the NBA had to offer, the true art of flopping wasn’t mastered until a scrawny big eared sharp shooter out of UCLA entered the league.  Growing up a die-hard Knicks fan, I had to suffer through many beatings by Reggie Miller.  While Miller will go down as one of the NBA’s greatest shooters of all-time, he will also be remembered as the best “flopper” ever.  Reggie made it an art form.  He was so good at deceiving the referees that it seemed towards the waning years of his career that he depended more on the foul line then on his natural-born talents of shooting.  Now, flopping has gotten way out of control in the NBA and it has taken from the integrity of the game.  NBA Commissioner, David Stern, and his crew have helped develop a rule that will fine guilty flopper’s and could even lead to a suspension.

Please just don’t hit me no more! Oh the humanity!

My favorite NBA personality, and former NBA head coach, Jeff Van Gundy, has been at the forefront of battling flopping and making it a penalized offense.  While Jeff has made exaggerated remarks claiming that he wanted players to be fined millions of dollars for these cowardly plays, really all he was trying to do was bring order back to the game.  Flopping has gotten so out of control, that is became distracting topics of debate on popular shows like Sportscenter, Mike and Mike, First Take and many other sports media platforms.  To me, it’s an extremely embarrassing thing when a player dives on the floor in attempt to deceive the referee and get a foul call, rather than manning up and just playing the game the way it was meant to be played.  Now, these dastardly acts will cost their makers a lot of money or even have them suspended for a period of time.

They moved so fast and hit me and ran! That’s why no one is near me – I can’t even tell if I’m on the floor or the ceiling.

While it’s nearly impossible to see every flop live, the NBA will put together a committee that will review accused flops days after the game and then announce whether or not a player has been hit with one of these fines.  Here is how the fines and possible suspension will go.

  • Violation 1: Warning
  • Violation 2: $5,000 fine
  • Violation 3: $10,000 fine
  • Violation 4: $15,000 fine
  • Violation 5: $30,000 fine
  • Violation 6 and above:  According to the NBA, “He will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.”

The judges loved your disco styling, but thought your dance steps were … oh, you’re playing basketball? Sorry.

I don’t agree with the first violation being a warning, because every player in the league knows when they are flopping, so that in itself should be enough warning.  I do like the fact that the NBA said they were going to do something about these outlandish flops and now they have.  While a lot of people have different definitions of what a flop actually is, the NBA released their statement today defining it:

OH MY GOD! Did you see that?! That big bad man pushed on me an’ he was shoving an’ then his breath was awful an’ … $5,000? Why?

“Flopping will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.”

Yeah that’s right – I’m gonna fly to the basket AND fall to the ground on the same move! I ain’t wasting time waiting for someone to come near me to foul me.

If this rule was intact in the 90’s, when Reggie was in his prime, I believe that Miller would be nearly bankrupt today.  That being said, I am very happy that the NBA has made moves to fix this epidemic and I have hope that there will be no more flopping soon enough.  We can celebrate this minor victory for the league once the season starts, but for now, enjoy this hilarious video of some of the greatest flops and flopper’s that the NBA has ever seen.


On Scene at New York Jets Training Camp

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A Jet with a brass head. Now if the active players can get some brass balls…

First I will start by giving a huge congratulations to the legendary Curtis Martin for his recent induction to the Football Hall of Fame.  Curtis, you were one of the greatest running backs ever and I was honored to watch you dominate as a New York Jet.  Now on to the current events.So, this weekend the Sports Debaters made the road-trip to Cortland, NY to take in the Green and White scrimmage at the New York Jets training facility.  A lot of events unfolded that definitely stirred up the locker room as well as the blogosphere.  Going into the scrimmage there was truly only two stories people cared about, Tim vs. Mark and Antonio Cromartie vs. the Jets receiving core.  After the scrimmage, those were still the prominent headlines but with a little tweak to each.

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If it wasn’t for the fourth string fight, there would have been no energy at all!

I’ll start by saying that what the Jets call a scrimmage, I call a joke of touch football.  It seemed as if everyone on the team was lost and I was nearly falling asleep watching the same old shit play after play.  As a matter of fact, the most exciting action took place when two fourth string players got into a scuffle that resulted in the starters running on to the field to break it up.  When Mark Sanchez and the “starters” took the field, (I put starters in quotations because there are a lot of changes that need to be made), I was ready to see what the offensive mastermind Tony Sparano had in store for the fans.  It turned out that no one on the offense had any clue what to do and it was 3 and done over and over again.

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Even Jesus couldn’t get anything out of Tebow

The crowd of roughly 7,000 roared optimistically when Tim Tebow came into the game.  Every time Tebow touched the ball I waited for him to make something happen and besides a couple of decent scramble’s for positive yardage he looked just as bad as Sanchez.  No one on the offense could do anything and I was ready to leave within 15 minutes of being there.  Thank God that Rex Ryan thought to put his fourth string players in, because that’s when the real action started.

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First string and second string. Are the laces going to hold or do we need a 3rd and 4th string?

What was a two quarterback controversy has now been turned into a three-man battle.  The undrafted son of New York Giants great Phil Simms, Matt Simms, came in with the rest of the fourth stringers to close out what was a disgraceful scrimmage.  After an unsuccessful first drive, Matt came out for a second time and got a first down directly followed by a 31-yard touchdown bomb to fourth string receiver, Raymond Webber.  Matt Simms to Raymond Webber?  Those are two names I had to look up on my phone just to find out who they were.  The truth of the matter is that is the reason there is a training camp, for those players who haven’t been recognized to make a name for themselves and possibly earn a roster spot.  I honestly don’t care at all that Simms did this against fourth string players in a scrimmage game, because after watching Sanchez and Tebow for the past 3 years I can assure you that neither of them have ever thrown a strike like Simms did to Webber.

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I lost a lot of weight. You expect me to make good football decisions now??

“All right, first off, obviously this quarterback controversy with Matt Simms — or was it Phil Simms?” said Jets Coach Rex Ryan. “That’s what you look for in some of the guys that are battling for a third spot. That’s exactly what you look for.”

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Simms: An educated watcher is our best customer.

Well considering Greg “the rat” Mcelroy has never proved to be any better than a water bottle holder, I say give Simms a shot because it would be nice to have at least one quarterback who can throw the ball.

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When you’re a Jet you are always a Jet from the first Jet you cripple to your own dying days…

The other hot topic going into the scrimmage was Antonio Cromartie and his ability to stick his foot so far in his mouth that it actually comes out of his ass.  After announcing to the world that he thought of himself as the #2 receiver on the Jets roster, the under-achieving CB Cromartie had a chance to shut down the Jets receiver’s and prove his point.  Roughly half way through the scrimmage, Sanchez found his favorite target Holmes, who is possibly the only person on the Jets more hated than Cro’, on a slant pattern to the sideline.  While Holmes tried to turn up the field he was met by Antonio and endured a viscous hit (in training camp terms).  The result of the collision was a damaged rib for Holmes and respect from the fans for Cromartie who smartly attacked the only player more hated than himself.  While Cromartie never got to show off his receiving skills he did make sure that there was one less receiver to compete with if he wanted to.

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No camaraderie from Cromartie.

All in all this Jets training camp scrimmage was an absolute joke.  I do love that we can throw another Jets QB into the mix of media overload and now that Cromartie has taken out Holmes he should be the Jets new #1 receiver.  Stay tuned for the Sports Debaters New York Jets Beat Writer, Jeff Butler, for all of your up to date news and highlights throughout the rest of training camp and the entire football season.


Even When He Loses, He Wins!

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On the Mark, get Sanchez, GO!

Last season, Mark Sanchez headed into the offseason looked at as a playoff winner, leading the Jets to consecutive AFC Title Games.  This offseason, everyone said he sucked!!  As a result the Jets brought in Tim Tebow to back Sanchez up, causing the stupidest, most unnecessary controversy in recent history.  Sanchez’s season has been well documented last year…it wasn’t great.  The Jets went 8-8, missed the playoffs and had numerous distractions in the locker room, namely Santonio Holmes.  Sanchez never pointed fingers, took the blame as captain and leader of the team and went off into the offseason determined to succeed this upcoming year, despite the Jets flirting with Peyton Manning and trading for Tebow.  Well ladies and gentleman, as champions usually do, Mark Sanchez has landed on his feet and is showing the world that he isn’t going anywhere!

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Always a guy for One Up(ton)-manship!

You might be thinking to yourself, what the hell is NYBobby talking about?  The season hasn’t started yet.  However, in the game of life, there is no offseason.  Even though his arm is sometimes questionable, Mark’s ability to pick up the ladies has always been consistent.  After dating Jamie-Lynn Sigler, he upgraded to Kate Upton.  At that point, it would appear almost impossible to do better than Upton, the SI Swimsuit cover model in 2012.  However, Sanchez has managed to pull a rabbit out of his hat and is now dating the baddest chick out there, Eva Longoria.  The couple has been seen shopping together and appear to be taking it slow, at least in the public.  However, people like Mark Sanchez and Eva Longoria don’t hang out just because they like each other’s company.  NFL Quarterbacks smash out hot models…it’s the way of the world.  In fact, it might be the only similarity that Sanchez has to Tom Brady, but if that is so, it’s a damn good thing to have in common.

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The question is, can he throw the Longoria ball?

I expect great things from Sanchez this season.  Since he already has about the hottest girl out there, he can fully concentrate on football and not worry about what he might be missing out on.  Jets fans, I want you to answer the following question:  When the game is on the line, who do you want holding the ball?  The guy seeing the hottest girl in the universe, or a virgin?  Not even questionable!  For those of us who have been fortunate to date a smoking hot chick like Eva Longoria, we know how much pressure it entails to be at your top performance each and every day.  If you take your mind off the task at hand, interceptions and pick 6’s are bound to happen.  Sanchez is gaining all kinds of life experience that will make him the great QB he has the potential to become.

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Tony took his eye off the ball, so to speak.

Proof of the power of Eva Longoria is obvious by looking at the life of Tony Parker.  Parker has won three Championships in his career, and in a normal Eva Longoria season, he would have made it four.  Unfortunately for Tony, they split up last year.  Parker’s life became like the dude in the Direct TV commercial who sells his hair to a wig shop in Vegas.  After Parker split up from Eva, he lost confidence.  After losing confidence, his game wasn’t quite as good as he was used to.  After his game struggled, he faced off against the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.  After making the Western Conference Finals,  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sent his ass home from the playoffs.  After being sent home, he ended up partying in New York City with Chris Brown.  In the process of partying with Chris Brown, he got jumped by Drake and Drake’s posse.  As Parker got jumped, he took a bottle to the face.  After the bottle hit his face, Parker suffered a scratched retina. Do you see the lesson learned here?  If you date/marry Eva Longoria, you win titles.  If you break up with her, you get your ass beat up by Drake!  Mark Sanchez, pay close attention to the events that happened to Parker and do your best to keep this girl by your side.  All Jets fans are depending on it!


20 Million Dollars? Well worth It!

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If you use $20 bills, it will probably fit in a bag about this big…

As a life long New York Jets fan, I have always suffered from an inferiority complex inflicted upon me by the New York Giants.  My first few years of life took place in the Lawrence Taylor era and my earliest football memory is the Giants winning the Super Bowl in 1991.  Since I’ve been alive, the Giants have played in 5 Super Bowls, winning 3 of them.  The Jets have made it to three AFC Championship games, losing all of them but taking great pride in the fact that they made it as far as they did.  As a result of my jealousy, I have always had a difficult time giving credit to the Giants.  However, if there is one individual that is deserving of any accolades that may be thrown his way, it is Head Coach Tom Coughlin, and the Giants stepped up and finally took care of him yesterday.

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Damn straight I’m smiling! 2 bowl rings in 5 years and 20 million for the next 3? I’ll frigging smile until my ears fall off!

Even though there has been rumors of Coughlin being fired almost every season he’s been a member of the Giants organization, he has always weathered the New York media storm.  As recently as this past December, prior to the game against the Jets, the media was calling for his head if he was unable to lead the G men to the playoffs.  Fast forward 6 games, including a Super Bowl victory later and Coach Coughlin is on a short list of the best coaches in the NFL.  He has come a long way since being criticized by the likes of Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan for his militant demeanor.  Coughlin has shown he contains the ability to adapt to an ever-changing league, and flat-out coach football players, putting his team in position to succeed year after year.

The Giants rewarded Coughlin with a three-year contract extension worth an additional $20 million on his current contract.  Coughlin responded to the deal by saying “It has always been my belief that it is an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of the New York Giants, I’m thankful to John Mara and Steve Tisch and their families for their support and the recognition of what our players and coaches have accomplished. And I’m grateful for the working relationship Jerry Reese and I have. We’ve got a lot of work left to do.”  In true Coughlin fashion, he ended the statement by saying that even though he has won 2 championships in the past 5 years, he will not get complacent, as he understands the demand of coaching in New York.

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At least half that 20 mil is worth the look on Bellyache’s face!

Coughlin is tied for 19th in regular season wins in NFL history.  He has a career 142-114 regular season record, coupled with a 12-7 postseason mark.  As all football fans know, not only did he win the Super Bowl in both 2007 and 2011, he did so in improbable fashion both years, as the Giants overcame obstacles that practically mirrored one another.  If you ask most  people who the best head coach in the league is, the answer would most likely be Bill Belichik.  However, Coughlin seems to out coach him every time their teams matchup, including twice on the biggest stage.  It is rare that any individual deserves 20 million dollars for any given profession, but in this case, I believe Coughlin has earned every penny the Giants are willing to give him.

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You can’t put a price on Ryan’s worth. You could put a bag on his head, but not a price.

Though many Jets fans enjoy Rex Ryan for what he is, we all understand that a major part of the attraction is his buffoonery.  In every press conference, Ryan does everything he can to make the game about him, not the team.  Ryan states that he brings all the attention onto himself to alleviate the pressure from his team, however it appears to me that Coach Ryan just plain loves being in the spotlight.  Also, his foul language and propensity of flipping off fans at media sessions allows him to be popular with some sects of NFL fans, though it would be extremely difficult to find anyone willing to label him classy.  Tom Coughlin is the polar opposite of Rex Ryan.  Coughlin always carries a team first attitude, constantly stating that his team’s play is about the players, not him.  Off the field, Coughlin has reached out to help others throughout his career.  On May 23rd, Coughlin received the U.S. Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award for all of his work he has done in honoring veterans and active military members, including traveling to Afghanistan in the offseason a few years ago to pay his respects to our troops in person.  In 1996, after Coughlin was introduced to a child with leukemia, and touched by his tragic passing, he started the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund to help support families with children who are suffering from leukemia and other types of cancer.  Coughlin has helped to raise $5 million, and has touched the lives of over 1,000 families.  When was the last feel good story anyone has heard involving Rex Ryan?  No, satisfying men with foot fetishes by providing pornographic video of his wife does not count.

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Meritorious honors for survival under fire – NYPD has NOTHING on Coughlin!

Coughlin has reached the pinnacle of his profession while so many others would have folded under the extreme pressure he has faced.  He has outlasted all the players that have criticized and attempted to sabotage him in.  He has the respect of his players, coaches, ownership and anybody affiliated with the NFL, and is an example of what every head coach should strive to be.  With all that said, we all know that if the Giants get out to an 0-3 start this season, the “Fire Coughlin” chants will ring throughout Metlife Stadium.  However, as he always does, Coach Coughlin will survive and eventually have the last laugh, even if his classy nature does not allow him to fully enjoy it.


Jets Draft Day Rumors!!!

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It's getting drafty

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To Trent or not to Trent

It seems as if the Jets were out of the spotlight for a solid 24 hours…that is unacceptable!  Thank God that Jets upper management made a call to Trent Richardson, star running back of Alabama and expected top 5 pick of the draft, less than a week before Draft day.  Richardson contacted ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini and told him that the Jets called him Sunday to verify correct contact info just in case they trade up for him.  The NFL Draft starts tonight April 26, at 8 PM EST and there are expected to be many moves among the league.  The Jets are looking to be front and center tonight in their hometowns Radio City Music Hall by making a push for the best running back available.  Right now Trent Richardson is slated to be picked 4th overall by the Cleveland Browns.  As the saying goes “history repeats itself,” and as a Jets fan I am hoping that saying rings true tonight.  Just three years ago the Jets traded up with the Browns so they could draft a quarterback named Mark Sanchez and then went on to back-to-back AFC Championship games.

Currently the Jets only have one running back worth mentioning in Shonn Greene and he has proved to be much better in the backup roll.  Sure he broke 1,000 yards in 2011, but that’s not enough in the NFL anymore, especially with new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano focusing more then ever on the Jets “Ground and Pound” approach to the game.  Rumors coming from scouts across the nation are saying that Richardson is everything that Adrian Peterson is and possibly more.  You would be a moron to say that you didn’t want to trade up for him unless the price was too high.  The Jets have positioned themselves nicely over the past few years by accumulating 10 picks for this years draft which gives them a lot of ammunition for trades.  Their first round pick is the #16 overall pick which does have some solid value in itself but they would need a lot more than that to trade up to either 3 or 4 to obtain Richardson.

To get Trent Richardson, the Jets will most likely have to give up 4 separate draft picks or maybe even possibly 5.  With huge voids in their secondary, excluding Revis Island of course, and some vacancies in the Offensive Line and Wide Receivers, the Jets are in need of their draft picks more than ever but I say screw it.  If there is any chance we can get Richardson I say do it.  There are still plenty of Free Agents that would like to play for the Jets so they can fill a lot of their holes there.  I can’t justify not trying to get one of the best College running backs in the past 10 years to come into the NFL.  I am sure there are a lot of Jets fans that would disagree with me so I say feel free to debate.

Do you feel the Jets should trade for Richardson?  If they do trade for him, how much should they give up?