Former Nets coach taking Alabama to new heights

It sounds impossible because it seems impossible: Alabama basketball once was better than Alabama football. In the early years of the 21st Century, while Mike Shula was struggling to put together winning seasons with one of the most storied programs in the nation, Mark Gottfried was treating the largely indifferent Tuscaloosa campus to five straight […]

It sounds impossible because it seems impossible: Alabama basketball once was better than Alabama football.

In the early years of the 21st Century, while Mike Shula was struggling to put together winning seasons with one of the most storied programs in the nation, Mark Gottfried was treating the largely indifferent Tuscaloosa campus to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including an unlikely run to the Elite Eight as a No. 8 seed in 2004.

The 27-year-old Long steps into the middle of a line that had some struggles last season. The Jets wanted to upgrade from center Wesley Johnson and view Long as that upgrade. They had interest in some of the top centers on the market, like Weston Richburg and Ryan Jensen, but Richburg went to the 49ers and Jensen might be too expensive for them.

The Jets tendered restricted free agent wide receiver Quincy Enunwa at the second-round level, meaning he will have a salary of $2.9 million this season. Enunwa is recovering from neck surgery that cost him all of last season. He had 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He was a sixth-round pick by the team in 2014. If a team wants to sign Enunwa away from the Jets, they would have to give up a second-round pick, something that is not happening.

General manager Mike Maccagnan attended Oklahoma’s Pro Day on Wednesday where the star was quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Giants were also well represented, with offensive coordinator Mike Shula and four scouts in attendance. Broncos GM John Elway and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis were also there.

Some contract details emerged from the Jets’ early signings.

Cornerback Trumaine Johnson received a whopping five-year, $72.5 million deal with $34 million in fully guaranteed money and another $11 million in injury guarantees, according to a source.

Linebacker Avery Williamson will sign a three-year, $22.5 million contract, according to his agents.

Running back Isaiah Crowell will sign a three-year, $12 million with $6 million in guarantees, according to a source.

The full details of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s one-year deal are not known, but it is believed the base is around $5 million. Several reports said it could reach a maximum value of $15 million. That is surely only if he hit a lot of incentives.

The Jets lost two of their own free agents Wednesday when LB Demario Davis signed a reported three-year, $24 million deal with the Saints and K Chandler Catanzaro signed a three-year, $9.75 million deal with the Buccaneers, according to reports.

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