That explanation doesn't sit well with a lot of people. For instance, Plaxico Burress, who said this on Wednesday:
“My production hasn’t been all that great either,” Burress said yesterday. “Santonio’s production hasn’t been all that great either. So you can’t just point at one guy. You can’t just say it was his production.”In a post made on Thursday, Eric Manassy took this issue and ran with it, calling out Kerley's stats vs Mason's. In five games, Mason has made 13 receptions for 115 yards and no touchdowns. Kerley has started only one game and has had three reception for 35 yards and a touchdown. Manassy assumes that Kerley's performance could only have been what the team has seen in preseason.
The other potential factor is budgetary. Tannenbaum said this about the trade:
“Also from my perspective, when you run a team you look at other things like budgets and salary caps and potential for draft choices, what you can do with those. There are other factors that go into it. But Kerley was obviously a big factor.”As we know, the Jets are currently under the salary cap and Mason would have remained until the end of next season. Rich Cimini has pointed out that the Jets have only saved about $640,000 by dropping Mason from their payroll. As far as I can understand it, Tannenbaum may have recognized that the Jets needed to shake up their receiving corps, and Mason was the way to do it. It wouldn't do to trade away the two players big signings the Jets made during free agency (Burress and Holmes). Better to dispose of the smaller, less eye-popping contract and hope it makes an impact on the locker room. Still, though, there's another question left unanswered.
When did the Jets start shopping Mason?
Again, according to the official story, the Houston Texans rang the Jets front office on Tuesday, wondering if Derrick Mason could come over to play, and Mike Tannenbaum sprung him free. It's beginning to seem as though that's not the case.
According to an anonymous source cited by Rich Cimini (which could very well be b.s.), the Jets were shopping Mason around two weeks ago, before the Patriots game, and Rex Ryan wanted him off the team as soon as humanly possible. Which makes his benching against New England make much more sense.
However, there's one final piece to the puzzle (you should see my desk. It looks like Mark Ruffalo's in Zodiac): that non-meeting the wide receivers had with Rex Ryan about Brian Schottenheimer. The team publicly denied it ever happened, but then there's this graf in a story about Mason's trade:
Ryan had what he called “a private conversation” with Mason last week, but both he and Tannenbaum reiterated that Mason’s locker room comments did not play into their decisions.Some slippery language here. We've gone from the conversation never happening to it happening but Mason's "locker room comment" not affecting his trade. Of course, we're not told the location of this conversation. Had it been in Ryan's office, it wouldn't have been in the locker room, would it?
I think it's time for me to take my tinfoil hat off. Despite all the confusion, it seems like the following happened: the team started losing, Derrick Mason and his fellow wide receivers met with Coach Ryan to complain about Schottenheimer. It's quite possible the coaching staff saw Mason as the impetus for these complaints, and he was let go. I imagine the coaches do not want to take the blame about as much as the players want to pin the team's struggles on the coaches. Now that an example has been made, if the play does not improve, the coaches may need to begin looking inward.