One Jets Drive

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The New England Patriots release of Aaron Hernandez is obviously very helpful to the Jets.

We all know how difficult the tight end combination of Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski has been on the Jets the last four seasons.

Now there is a chance, the Jets won’t see either one of them in Week Two up on Foxboro.

Obviously Hernandez is out of the picture, and Gronkowski, coming off his fourth arm surgery, and his second back surgery, might not be ready.

Gronkowski is a physical mess right now, so who really knows what the future holds for the guy.

So the Pats have gone from having one of the best tight end situations in the league to a rough one.

But they do have a player who could be a sleeper for them at tight end. Remember Jake Ballard, the tight end who surprised many by his play as a rookie free agent with the Giants two years ago?

Well he’s now with the Pats, and ready to contribute after missing last year with a knee injury . . .

I’m not comparing the Hernandez murder charges to Mike Goodson’s legal matters. I wouldn’t do that. That would be irresponsible.

But it’s interesting to note the Patriots cut Hernandez immediately when he was arrested today. And remember, he’s not guilty yet (though it doesn’t look good for him).

We all know by now, the Jets are sticking with Goodson, who while his charges aren’t of the scale of those leveled against Hernandez, they are still serious.

And they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

It came out a few weeks ago that the criminal case against Goodson, for charges stemming from a May arrest for possession of handgun with hollow bullets and marijuana, will be sent to a grand jury.

“Mike Goodson is a New York Jet, so, we’re continuing to develop him like all the others,” Jets GM John Idzik said.

“The legal situation, we just let it run its course and we respond accordingly, the same way with the league, the same way with the club. We’re in a human business, so when you’re dealing with that there’s unpredictability. There’s always going to be a certain degree of risk or unpredictability with what we do, and we like to believe, based on the information we gather, we take calculated chances with players, with people and with employees, (but) at the end of the day, we’re going to get the type of  people that we feel can help us.”

Here is the problem – Goodson had a bad track record off-the-field when the Jets signed him. It’s almost like the Jets are pretending his problems started in May. It’s not like this was a guy who a model citizen before his May 17 recent arrest in Denville.

“He was sued for paternity and child support by three women from August 2010 to May 2011, according to court documents in North Carolina and in Texas, where he grew up. He has fathered at least six children with those women, one of whom he lived with for two years, records show,” wrote ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini.

“Goodson didn’t pay a $56,465 bill at a Houston-area jewelry store, which included the purchase of a $37,500 Breitling watch, according to court records. The store sued him, and after interest and fees, he ended up paying $84,423.44. The amount was garnished from his Raiders paychecks, according to records in Texas and California.”

This background led one unnamed scout to ask ESPN New York, “Do these guys do background checks?”

“We do our homework in respect to background checks,” Idzik said.

You just have to wonder if the Jets did as thorough a background check on this player, as they have on other free agents in the past.

Remember, Goodson was one of the first players to sign with the Jets after Idzik took over in late January. Goodson signed on March 15

It was like a bus station in Florham Park at the time, with people coming and going from the front office. During a transition period like that, you can let your guard down.

And also, at the time, Idzik was working with a large staff with many people he hardly knew. People might not have been on the same page, yet.

This equation can lead to suspect due diligence.

I just find it hard to believe, that Idzik, starting fresh with the Jets, would be presented that laundry list of problems Goodson has had, and would say, “Let’s jump on this guy.”

But now the Jets are doubling down on Goodson.

Some thought the Jets should have dropped Goodson immediately after the arrest, and the Cimini feature noting all his past legal problems.

However, they clearly think they need this player desperately.

“We’re going to get the type of  people that we feel can help us,” Idzik said.

March 26, 2013

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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