People who have been following the NFL offseason thus far has noticed a trend with the New York Jets. While they have not been in the playoffs since 2010, the Jets have feigned a competitive spirit over the past few years. That seems to be the way of the past, and the rebuild seems to be among us. The New York Jets have blown up a roster that got them within one game of the AFC Playoffs in 2015. The Jets cut familiar faces such as Nick Mangold, Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and are currently attempting to move wide receiver, Eric Decker. Alongside these veterans, the Jets have also parted ways with receiver Devin Smith, kicker Nick Folk, and safeties Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor. The Jets have also acquired QB Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, and re-acquired linebacker Demario Davis in the Pryor trade with Cleveland. But what does this mean for the 2017 Jets?
In 2015, the Jets receiving corps boasted a three-headed monster in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. This year, as of now, it looks to be a trio of Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, and rookie ArDarius Stewart. Two years ago, Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to finally be the perfect bridge QB that got the Jets within a game of the playoffs. After holding the Jets hostage in the 2016 offseason, he proceeded to have one of his worst years as a pro. This led to the Jets not renewing his contract and looking for a new quarterback to mentor Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. Joining the stable of quarterbacks, 38-year-old veteran Josh McCown. McCown boasts a career 79:69 touchdown to interception ratio. He was signed to a one-year contract worth $6 million dollars. To summarize Josh McCown’s role as a mentor best: his former “mentees” include JaMarcus Russell and Johnny Manziel. Simply put, the mentor argument does not hold a lot of water.
The New York Jets are working to clear cap space ($69 million this season) for the upcoming years and seem to be in full-blown tank mode.
The #Jets have now cleared $49.9M in 2017 cap releasing:— Spotrac (@spotrac) June 6, 2017
Trading or releasing WR Eric Decker will clear another $7.25M in 2017 salary cap for the #Jets, bringing their offseason total to $69M.— Spotrac (@spotrac) June 6, 2017
Looking to retool their secondary, the Jets draft safeties with their first two picks (Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye) to take over starting duties formerly filled by Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor. Filling the rest of the defensive lineup include a stout front four in Muhammed Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson, and Steve McClendon. The Jets should still boast a top tier run defense, but their secondary was exposed as a major weakness in the 2016 season. While Darrelle Revis was a shadow of himself in 2016, he was an anchor on the Jets defense for years.
Simply put, if this Jets roster is not the worst in the league, it is getting there fast. The Cleveland Browns, another cellar dweller, drafted two defensive studs in Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers in the offseason. They also are working on figuring out their quarterback scenario and roster at least two quarterbacks better than anyone on the Jets.
This season, the Jets should expect to remain at the bottom of their division. The Patriots are still the Patriots, the Dolphins have made major strides after a Wild Card berth in 2016, and the Buffalo Bills replaced Rex Ryan with an unknown head coach while continuing to ride with their veteran in Tyrod Taylor. However, they took strides to improve their team through the draft and cleared cap space to hopefully make major acquisitions or to continuing paying their studs. The next few years should be dim, but the Jets have the type of roster that could easily attain the top overall pick in the 2018 draft. I have one question for you all, is it time to be Suck for Sam (Darnold) yet?
[Featured Image by Julio Cortez/AP Images]