The New York Jets have done a poor job of creating turnovers this season. Rex Ryan’s typically ferocious defensive scheme has come away with just seven takeaways, which is tied for last in the league with the San Diego Chargers. Ed Reed is supposed to help remedy that issue. Are the Jets using $20,000 rewards as well?
On Thursday, Reed and fellow defensive back Antonio Cromartie were seen strutting around the locker room in shirts that said “WANTED: In the air or on the ground. $20,000.” Here is what the shirts look like:
— Jane McManus (@janesports) November 21, 2013
Naturally, reporters wanted to know if this was the Jets’ way of saying they have some sort of bounty system in place for turnovers. Reed got understandably defensive when asked about it.
“No, I’m not offering 20 grand for a turnover,” the 35-year-old said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “I like how you tried to work that. It’s a shirt, man. I like how you did that. It’s funny how you guys twist our words.”
The Jets are obviously trying to send some sort of message, though that doesn’t mean they’re actually paying players for turnovers. And if they were, that doesn’t mean players are being paid to injure opponents. There’s a difference between cash rewards and bounties. The issue with rewarding players for turnovers would have to do with salary cap violations, so the players would be wise not to admit it even if that is what they’re doing.
In any event, we get the point. The Jets’ defense has held its own by ranking first in the league against the run, but they need to take the ball away more.