Woody Johnson Feels The New CBA Is ‘Balanced’, Would Like To Re-Sign Santonio Holmes, Hush On Nnamdi Asomugha RumorsJuly 27, 2011 – 5:00 am by Steven Cuce
On Monday we heard New York Giants owner John Mara tell ESPN New York that if the owners extended the lockout into the 2011 regular season, they certainly would have gotten more of what they wanted in the new collective bargaining agreement. But the suits decided to make some concessions for the greater good of the game apparently, so thankfully football is back.
From the other side of the New York football circle — the Jets — owner woody Johnson sounds like he agrees. You get the feeling after hearing both John Mara and Woody Johnson that the owners knew how much backlash there would have been by taking such a hard stance in times of prosperity for the league.
As for the front office end of business for the J-E-T-S? The organization has some serious decisions to make in the next week. Who will New York bring back? Santonio Holmes? Braylon Edwards? Brad Smith? That is just the wide receiver position. Will the Jets go after the most sought after free agent on the market in Nnamdi Asomugha? The real question is do they have the money? Rex Ryan may be forming the dream team defense, but who is going to take a pay cut to make that happen if the Asomugha rumors do have any sort of validity? Mark Sanchez claims he will restructure his contract, so the Jets may have big moves coming on the horizon. Woody Johnson claims he is on board to sign his former players first before going after free agents from other squads, but he played it real coy when it came Nnamdi Asomugha.
Woody Johnson joined ESPN New York on “The Michael Kay Show” to discuss how pleased he is with the new collective bargaining agreement, whether he thinks the NFL is a good business venture for owners, how involved he will be with the free agent signings and cuts made by the New Yorks Jets, the Jets top priority being the re-signing of Santonio Holmes, whether the Jets are interested in prized CB Nnamdi Asomugha, and whether he feels like the league was significantly hurt by the four-plus month lockout.
Are you happy with the way the new collective bargaining agreement turned out?
“The best way to characterize it…yeah I am happy particularly that it is done more than anything. All of aspects of it yeah probably there were some aspects I wish we could have accomplished, but I think it’s a balanced agreement. I think the players can say they did very well and the owners can say it is going to be an agreement that will allow football to flourish and hopefully the fans will see the benefit of that.”
As a great business man before you became the owner of the New York Jets is the NFL a good business?
“That’s a very interesting question. If you look a bottom line business the answer is no. [Michael Kay: How so?] It’s not a big cash return business. It really isn’t. You can get into a lot of businesses that are better in terms of that. In terms of cash return, but in terms of doing something that I think is really great for the country and great for our area I don’t think there is anything better.”
How much will you be involved in the free agent signings and cuts made by the Jets? Is Mike Tannenbaum going to sleep for the next two weeks? Does Tannenbaum run everything by you?
“He’s not [Mike Tannenbaum getting any sleep for the next two weeks]. We talk…I am out here pretty much all the time now and yeah we are…the coach, Mike Tannenbaum and I are in constant communication and we’ve been rehearsing this moment for many months, but there is nothing like the actual day because all the rehearsal helps, but things change even more dramatically on a day like today.”
New York Jets fans want to know this Woody and I will ask you: Is job one for the Jets signing Santonio Holmes right now?
“I will tell you one of the jobs that I have and that Mike [Tannenbaum] has and the coach [Rex Ryan] has is signing our players because you saw what those players did last year for us, so as many of those players that we can get signed the better as far as I’m concerned.”
Are you guys interested in Nnamdi Asomugha? Come on give us something?
“You know I really can’t comment on any player that’s not under contract for the New York Jets. We’re always trying to improve the team Michael [Kay] let me tell you. That’s our job, but yeah it would be unfair to comment on anybody.”
Has the NFL been hurt by this lockout in your estimation?
“I would say no. It really shouldn’t have been hurt. I don’t think it has been hurt. This has been a part of every enterprise. This is part of every family. You have squabbles or you have disagreements or you have to get a new agreement. I think to say the lockout has hurt the NFL is just to not be realistic.