Jets' Dewayne Robertson on block
BY RICH CIMINI
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Tuesday, February 26th 2008, 4:00 AM
Weissman for News
Dewayne Robertson doesn't tie up blockers on a consistent basis, largely because he's too small to play nose tackle in the Jets' 3-4 defense. But there is one thing he can tie up: the salary cap. His $11.2 million figure consumes one-tenth of the team's cap.
For those reasons - money and scheme - the Jets are willing to listen to trade offers for the former first-round pick, the Daily News has learned. Over the last few days at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, the Jets have been gauging Robertson's value around the league, according to several NFL sources. A handful of teams, including the Broncos, are showing interest.
It means that two of the Jets' highest-drafted defensive players, Robertson and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, could be traded. The Daily News reported on Friday that Vilma, a first-round pick in 2004, has received permission from the team to seek a trade. He, too, is ill-suited to Eric Mangini's 3-4 scheme.
Robertson, the fourth pick in 2003, never has lived up to expectations and his contract has become an albatross. He's due to make $9.8 million this season - $6.8 million in base pay, plus a $3 million roster bonus (due in June). In five seasons, he has pocketed more than $26 million, a hefty price for 14-1/2 sacks. He's signed through 2009.
But he's still only 26, and many believe he could be an impact player in the right scheme. Robertson would be a good fit in the Broncos' 4-3 scheme, and they're known to be in the market for a defensive tackle. The Broncos reportedly are getting close to a trade for the Lions' Shaun Rogers, who almost certainly will be dealt when the trading period begins Friday. Rod Coleman, cut recently by the Falcons, is another quality interior lineman looking for work. He's scheduled to meet with the Bucs.
Robertson is the youngest of the group, so he'd probably have more appeal. But any team that covets him almost certainly will want to renegotiate his enormous contract. It's unclear if Robertson has received permission from the Jets to speak with other teams.
He never complained publicly about being miscast in Mangini's defense, but Robertson is known to be frustrated with his role. Robertson's backup is Sione Pouha, who received glowing praise from Mangini over the final month of the season.
NO PATS: In a new twist to the Jets-Patriots rivalry, the Jets told Vilma's agent he could talk trade with any team except the Patriots, the Boston Globe reported.
No surprise here since the guy is not a typical 3-4 nose tackle. I just hope we can some value back for him and Vilma. Hopefully Mangini knows what he';s doing and is not just being stubborn because he wants to run a 3-4 defense. I always thought a good coach just adapt to his players skills.