With the New York Jets looking more like a rebuild than a reload, they’ll need a productive draft to become competitive in the near future.
New York Jets fans had the option of sitting in front of the television, with a cold one in their hand, begrudgingly watching Tom Brady and Bill Belichick do what Brady and Belichick do – go to another Super Bowl.
In just under two weeks, the New England Patriots will have the chance to win their fifth Super Bowl in seven attempts during the Brady and Belichick tenure.
Disheartening as this may be, there is a silver lining.
There actually isn’t a silver lining. For the Jets fan base, there is never a silver lining. The offseason has yet to begin and the Jets organization is on the verge of chaos.
Owner Woody Johnson has been chosen by new President, Donald Trump, to serve as Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Certainly an honor for him, but it’s still a decision that would remove him from the daily operations of the team. It has been widely reported that Woody’s younger brother, Christopher, would assume the vacated lead role.
Based upon the structure of the Jets organization, head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan would report directly to Christopher. Christopher, in tandem with Team President Neil Glat, will run the day-to-day operations. It is unclear if Woody will have final sign-off or not, after he departs for the U.K.
Another change that is destined to happen is at the quarterback position. It’s pretty clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick will not be the signal caller moving forward. It would also be a surprise if Geno Smith returned for the 2017 season. That would leave two quarterbacks on the roster in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
The fans got a glimpse of Petty during 2016, who left a lot to be desired. Hackenberg did not step on the field for Gang Green, but reports from “anonymous sources” stated that the practice performances of his were dismal.
If you’re not sick to your stomach by now, there is more.
Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker may also become casualties based on their contracts. Marshall finished the season with 788 yards and three touchdowns, only the third time he finished a season under 1,000 yards. Decker suffered a season ending rotator cuff injury in the early part of the year. He also underwent hip surgery while on injured reserve. Both players’ contracts could force the club to release the two in a rebuild situation.
Oh, but there’s more.
All-Pro center Nick Mangold and All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis are also at a crossroads in their NFL careers. The former first round picks, who are now on the back-end of their accomplished careers, may find it beneficial to either retire or ask for a release to have one more shot at a Lombardi Trophy.
If 2017 is going to be what it appears to be – a full rebuild – then the beloved players of the past decade may want to say their goodbyes this offseason. If this occurs, let’s get the expectations set prior to the season, because there will be no joy at MetLife Stadium. Treat next season as a season long tryout.
A “Flight Training”, if you will.
If expectations are low, and the season is a tryout, there are plenty of things that can go right. Here is a look at what the Jets should focus on going into 2017.