New York Jets have a long way to go, even after Brian Winters re-signing
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets made a critical move by re-signing Brian Winters, but this doesn’t mean they’ve already won their offseason.

Fresh off another postseason DNP (six in a row to be exact), the New York Jets are in familiar territory. They’re at a place where great minds have to once again come together to decide how to rectify a disastrous, yet not impossible, situation.

Now some might suggest the re-signing of guard Brian Winters was the “move of the offseason.” This was a no-brainer. According to Pro Football Focus, the Jets’ offensive line ranked 21st in the NFL. But Winters, along with James Carpenter of course, was one of the bright spots. So the trepidation came from what the asking price would be, but much to the delight of the Jets, it fell in line with what they were willing to commit to help rebuild a key weakness.

With all of that said, it’s easy make premature declarations that the Jets somehow “won their offseason.” This team didn’t exactly give you much to cheer about last season outside of not being the Browns’ first win.

Let’s pump the brakes just a bit.

A team that finished 5-11 the previous season with a defense and offense that both ranked bottom-third in the league doesn’t emerge victorious in the off season after signing a guard. That’s not how it works, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

Here’s what we do know: Gang Green still needs a quarterback. And it’s the chicken or the egg argument. Which comes first?

We also know none can reach peak success without the other. The Jets could have the greatest QB in the world, but devoid a protective line, it’s rendered futile, and vice versa.

Looking at the situation through this lens, it’s a step in the right direction, but the biggest question has yet to be answered. Bryce Petty, who ended the season on the IR, is technically the starting quarterback going into next season. We currently have zero evidence that he can be serviceable at that position going forward. He didn’t extinguish any of uncertainty. Petty is, and this might be an understatement, a work in progress.

He’ll have to battle against Christian Hackenberg. Yep, the same guy who the Jets never felt was ready enough to take a single snap all year. This isn’t exactly a star-studded heavyweight duel that’ll knock your socks off.

This a game we’ll play for the next couple months. Who will be under center for the Jets next season? To be determined. The front office has a bevy of decisions to make as it pertains to the direction of this team.

If they feel they can still compete with the veterans on the roster, then the next QB will probably be a season-vet. With guys like Darelle Revis, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker not getting any younger, this is the time for the Jets to possibly capitalize on what’s left of their careers.

Or, they could ultimately decide to blow it all up, trading away the veterans for young assets and draft picks. Fans hate the word, but that’s what you call a rebuild. It might not be the worst thing in the world.

The Jets’ sense of direction is unclear as of right now, but we can all agree re-singing Brian Winters was a critical transaction. Was it the move of the offseason? Let’s not get crazy.

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