Miles Austin has finished up his visit with the New York Jets, and while it isn't clear yet if he's left the area where his family is during this Easter weekend, he did leave the Jets facilities without an offer being made.
It's anything but a sign of the Jets intentions that they did let him leave without making an offer since the type of offer they could make would take a few days to develop. According to Dave Hutchinson at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, the Jets informed Austin that they plan to put together an offer for him over the coming days.
The NFL has some say in how long they wait, as the signing period ends next Friday, April 17th, and that would leave the Cowboys exactly one week to match any offer made by the Jets before draft weekend, or receive the Jets second round draft pick in return for Austin. The Jets could make an offer to Austin at any time before then as well, which would still give the Cowboys seven days to match it.
Since Terrell Owens was released in early March Miles Austin's stock has been on the rise. Known in Dallas as a speedy receiver with the ability to stretch the field and make big plays, Miles Austin poses a threat to any team that he plays for in 2009 with his inability to stay healthy for a full season yet. He does have the talent and upside to be well worth a second round pick in this year's draft however.
The real issue at this point for the receiver slated to replace T.O. this year in Dallas rests in how creative the Jets get with their offer to the fourth year receiver. The Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum could decide to include a poison pill in the offer similar the one they made to Curtis Martin a decade ago to snag him away from New England.
An example of this poison pill could be a clause stating that Austin's entire contract would become guaranteed should he play five games in the state of Texas. This type of language would virtually prevent the Cowboys from matching the offer and would thus send Austin to the Jets in return for the 52nd overall pick in this years draft.
Dallas released Owens saying that it was a move in favor of letting the younger guys on the team step up, specifically Miles Austin. They've been grooming since signing the undrafted free agent as a rookie.
But if the Jets do decide to put a poison pill in the offer, the Cowboys would have no choice but to let him go and try to replace him through the draft and free agency. Matt Jones, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, and Plaxico Burress are some of the most notable free agent receivers on the market right now, and there are some good receivers in the draft that could come in and play behind Williams and Crayton this year.
Picking midway through the second round at 51 and 52, should the Jets get Austin, the Cowboys wouldn't be likely to find a receiver to step in as the number 2 receiver this season unless they package some picks together to move up in the second round, or into the first round. For Dallas, the upcoming offer to Austin from the Jets could change the outlook of the season drastically. Stay tuned for more.