With quarterback Aaron Rodgers in town, many eyes will be on this squad from the get-go (including from the Hard Knocks camera crew).
Here are five storylines to follow as New York commences camp.
Super Bowl or bust. There’s no sugar-coating it here. With Rodgers under center, new weapons on the offensive end, and the defense coming off a stellar 2022 season, this team is in contention to win it all. And it would be a shame if it didn’t.
The Jets clearly went all in this offseason, looking to right the wrongs after Zach Wilson’s struggles prevented them from reaching the postseason last year. You don’t trade for arguably the most talented quarterback of all time, sign various new players at his apparent request, and bring in a new offensive coordinator that has experience coaching him just to appear in the AFC Divisional Round or AFC Championship.
This team needs to be playing for a Lombardi Trophy in February or the dream offseason was all for nothing.
Brown? Becton? Mitchell? Bueller? The Jets have to answer major questions at the two offensive tackle positions.
While Saleh insists the left tackle spot is Duane Brown’s job to lose, the 37-year-old veteran underwent offseason shoulder surgery and shouldn’t be 100 percent for the start of camp. Mekhi Becton is also still on the roster but has played just one game in two years due to multiple knee injuries. There’s also Max Mitchell (unproven second-year player), veteran Billy Turner (possibly just training camp competition and insurance), and Carter Warren (unproven rookie).
At some point between now and the team’s Sept. 11 regular-season opener, the staff will need to decide if Brown or Becton can be trusted more to serve the blindside duties, while deciding amongst the multitude of takers for the right tackle job.
Reserve WR question marks. The Jets are entering the year with a plethora of talented receivers, including reigning Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and newcomers Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb.
But there are still issues to resolve regarding some of the reserve receivers.
Will general manager Joe Douglas still try to lower the salary of Corey Davis, who’s the No. 4 or 5 receiver but has the third-highest cap hit ($11.17 million) on the team? Will this be the end of Denzel Mims’ road with the Jets after three straight underwhelming seasons?
There’s not so much concern with the starters, which is obviously great. But the same can’t be said of the depth, which is also important. The Jets need to decide whether keeping Davis on the same salary and retaining Mims (period) will be worth it.
Return of Breece. Second-year running back Breece Hall is returning from an ACL tear suffered in the midst of a promising rookie campaign. The 2022 second-rounder averaged 5.79 yards per carry before the injury, with 197 yards from scrimmage in a Week 5 win over Miami.
Saleh insists Hall looks great and is optimistic he will suit up Week 1 but the youngster is seemingly taking a cautious approach.
“I’ll be ready when I’ll be ready,” Hall told reporters back in May. “Obviously, I hope I’m ready, but you never know. I’m just taking it a week at a time and letting my knee do what it does.
“Everybody wants me to be ready for Week 1, but at the end of day, you have to come back when you feel ready. Until I feel like I’m ready, I’ll just know.”
Hall is expected to be a major component of the offense when healthy, so his injury situation is something to monitor for the time being.
Can defense replicate 2022? This Jeff Ulbrich-led Jets defense was great last season, finishing the year fourth in both total defense and scoring, as well as third against the pass.
But did the group overperform? Can linebacker C.J. Mosley still be a 155-tackle player in his age-31 season? Can linebacker Quincy Williams continue to grow after inking a new contract? Will Jordan Whitehead and newcomer Adrian Amos prove to be a reliable duo at safety?
In order for this team to get the most out of its offseason overhaul and reach the Super Bowl, this talented defense must shine again and take pressure off Rodgers and the offense.