Eagles agree to send CB Lito Sheppard to Jets

Lito SheppardThe Eagles have agreed to a trade that would send cornerback Lito Sheppard to the Jets for a 2009 fifth round and a 2010 conditional pick, which could turn into a second rounder depending on Sheppard’s playing time next season.

Some Philly fans will look at the fifth round compensation and scoff, but the Eagles really got a great deal here. Sheppard barely played in 2008, starting just three games and amassing only 21 tackles and one interception. They held onto him last offseason after not attracting many quality offers and still wound up getting a fifth this year and anywhere between a second and fourth next year. It was a solid trade.

The deal isn’t horrible for the Jets, but there is a catch-22. They acquired Sheppard hoping that he would become a starter, which he should opposite Darrelle Revis. But if Sheppard does become a starter and plays most of the snaps in ’09, then there’s a good chance that conditional round pick could turn into a second rounder.

A second and fifth round pick for Sheppard would probably be too much, but again, if he turns into a quality starter than maybe it was worth it for the Jets. And it’s not like they’re getting a bad player. Sheppard is only 27 and before injuries started taking their toll the past two years, he was one of the more productive players in the Eagles’ secondary.

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Jets expected to name Rex Ryan next head coach

The Jets’ search for a new head coach apparently will end with Ravens’ defensive coordinator Rex Ryan according to the New York Daily News.

Rex RyanIt has come down to Ryan, Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Cards assistant head coach Russ Grimm, sources said.

That the Jets haven’t moved quickly on Spagnuolo or Schottenheimer, neither of whom is involved in the playoffs, is a blatant indication that Ryan is the preferred choice. Like Ryan, Grimm still is in the playoffs, but he’s believed to be a fallback candidate.

Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum met with Ryan for several hours Sunday in Baltimore, and Johnson came away impressed, according to a source. Using an interviewing technique he learned from former Ravens coach Brian Billick, Ryan gave a PowerPoint presentation that outlined his philosophy, practice scripts, etc.

The Jets also are smitten with Ryan’s creative defensive game plans, a big factor in the Ravens’ playoff run. One potential stumbling block with Ryan could be his choice for offensive coordinator. The Jets would like to retain Schottenheimer; it’s unclear if Ryan is on board with that.

Ryan deserves the opportunity to be a head coach. His defenses have always been fantastic in Baltimore and he obviously has a knack for designing schemes. Some highly doubted defensive coaches – namely Marvin Lewis – haven’t panned out as head coaches, but Ryan deserves his shot.

Assuming he gets the job, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with former top 10 pick Vernon Gholston, who was inactive for virtually his entire rookie season because he couldn’t grasp the playbook. One would think that Ryan catch get Gholston (who is a physical marvel) up to speed and get him on the field next year. Maybe he could even turn him into the next Terrell Suggs.

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