While there’s much to be excited about, this unit is far from perfect.
Here are five positives and five negatives — one each for every position group — for Gang Green’s offense ahead of the new season.
Good news: Aaron Rodgers. Self-explanatory.
Bad news: One of the more underrated positions in the NFL is the backup quarterback. A starter going down with injury can instantly ruin a team’s season. The Jets cannot be unprepared, especially since the 39-year-old Rodgers just dealt with a thumb injury last year and isn’t getting any younger.
Zach Wilson is expected to improve under the watch of a future Hall of Famer. But “expected” is the keyword here. Are we so sure he’d be ready to perform and lead this offense if disaster struck?
Good news: Breece Hall is returning from an ACL tear and should be a key component of the offense. Again, Rodgers is up there in age — this offense cannot be 100% reliant on his arm. So it’s great a home-run hitter of a running back will return to the fold.
Bad news: The injury concerns still exist with Hall, however. At such a physical position, who’s to say he won’t run into the dreaded health-related issues again? And if he does go down, the Jets may be left with Michael Carter, Bam Kight, and/or rookie Israel Abanikanda, each of whom figures to battle for the top backup job in camp. So a midseason trade would potentially need to be in order.
Good news: General manager Joe Douglas went out and signed various veteran receivers in preparation for Rodgers’ arrival. This includes Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb — both former Packers — as well as Mecole Hardman. Lazard and Hardman figure to start alongside reigning Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, so this should be a solid group for Rodgers.
Bad news: The wide receiver with the highest cap hit — Corey Davis — isn’t even slated to be one of the three main starters. Davis is entering the final year of his contract and will count for an $11.17 million cap hit. It’s only the 18th-highest cap hit amongst all NFL receivers, so it’s not drastic in the grand scheme of things. But certainly a financial setback the Jets still should address.
Good news: Injuries and the lack of a true role hindered Jeremy Ruckert in his rookie campaign. But after impressing this offseason, it seems the 2022 third-round pick out of Ohio State is improving.
Bad news: Regardless, though, is there even much of a role in which Ruckert can showcase this improvement? With veterans Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah returning after respectively taking 77% and 53% of the offensive snaps last season, Ruckert may see his role continue to fade.
Good news: The Jets have the potential to field one of the better interior units in the AFC. Veteran left guard Laken Tomlinson is returning, right guard Alijah Vera-Tucker is coming back from a triceps injury, and the Jets have their training-camp choice of second-rounder Joe Tippmann and veteran Connor McGovern at center.
Bad news: The offensive tackle fiasco is still alive and well. Mekhi Becton insists he’s a left tackle but has played in just one game over the last two years due to injury. Duane Brown figures to win the left tackle job but will be 38 in August. Plus there’s the unproven Max Mitchell, rookie Carter Warren, and veteran Billy Turner, who played with Rodgers in Green Bay for three seasons.
The training camp battles for these two spots should be fun.
Follow ESNY on Twitter @elitesportsny