Free Safety Reggie Nelson chooses Bengals

The Jets courtship of safety Reggie Nelson just shows it's not a done deal until there's a signature above the dotted line.

Just when the New York Jets appeared to be on the verge of signing one of the top safeties on the free agent market, they were given the cold shoulder.

A highly coveted defensive ball hawk, safety Reggie Nelson rejected the Jets contract offer instead electing to return to the Cincinnati Bengals. Following a two-day visit at Gang Green's sprawling Atlantic Healthcare Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, the lure of the big city and an even bigger head coach were not enough to convince Nelson to join the Green and White.

Now, New York shifts its focus to another eligible safety in former Redskin, Laron Landry. While Nelson was regarded as the strongest cover safety available, Landry brings an entirely different skill set to the table. With herculean strength, innate tackling ability and surprising quickness, Landry's versatility would be well-suited in Rex Ryan's exotic defensive schemes.

Coming off season-ending injuries to his Achilles heel the past two seasons, Landry's durability is certainly in question. While the Jets front office will continue to actively pursue top free agent safeties, Landry looks to be atop the team's short list.

Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for

You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland By:

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