Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 11/22/13

The book is out on the Jets defense -- they are stout against the run, vulnerable through the air, and don't force a lot of turnovers. Rex Ryan's pride and joy ranks 22nd in pass defense (surrendering 250.8 yards) and has only registered seven takeaways, tied for fewest in the NFL.

Opposing players know this. Opposing coaches know this. And the Jets know this, too.

On Thursday, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Ed Reed showed up in the locker room donning identical T-shirts, with a "Wanted" poster and picture of a football on the front, and "In the air or on the ground. $20,000" written below it.

https://twitter.com/janesports/status/403614269792473088

https://twitter.com/KristianRDyer/status/403615473813954560

No, they're not putting a bounty on the football a la Gregg Williams. Cromartie and Co. are simply sending a message: Force turnovers. Any kind of turnovers.

The Jets recently signed Reed, the future Hall of Famer, in large part because the secondary is getting toasted, having allowed 33 plays of at least 20 yards.

Despite Reed's presence in Week 11, the struggles continued, as Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns -- without his top two receivers, no less -- in a blowout win. Reed, 35, is no spring chicken and certainly not the same player from five years ago.

"It's tough, man, when the ball isn't coming as close to you as it used to," Reed told ESPNNewYork.com. "It's a respect thing."

Cromartie, in one word, has been disappointing. Coming off a Pro Bowl campaign in 2012, the 29-year-old is beginning to show cracks in the armor, as his athleticism may be fading. Cromartie has struggled to keep up with speedier wideouts this season, needing more over-the-top help than in recent years.

Next up for them is Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who has already tossed 13 interceptions this season. If anything, the incentive is there for Reed to get one against his longtime former team, an event that he sees playing out.

"Ask me after the game when I pick one," Reed said when asked if he'd like to pick off Flacco.

For the Jets, that'd be 20-grand well spent.

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