At this time of the offseason, everyone has high hopes for what could be come September when the season kicks off. We fantasize about the players we want the Jets to sign, the players we want to see them draft, and we play out in our heads how perfectly everything is going to come together. Well today I’m going to go over the Anti-Offseason. These are the things we do NOT want to see the Jets do, the players we don’t want wearing the green and white in 2013. Unless of course we want to see Jadeveon Clowney in 2014, in which case some of these moves would be pretty darn helpful.
1. Draft a QB at #9 Overall – This would be just about the worst thing the team can do this offseason. Yes, I know all about the Mark Sanchez situation and how much many of you hate him. However, the fact remains that his contract prohibits the team from getting rid of him this offseason, and he will fully be involved in a competition to win the job for a fifth straight season. I’m not opposed to bringing in a mid-round QB that the team is high on to groom for the future, but at #9, drafting any of these guys would be a major, major reach. Quite simply, the 2013 QB draft class is putrid at the top, and that’s really all there is to it. The way to build this team back into contention is to build up all of the positions AROUND the QB (both sides of the ball) and then next year try to scoop one up in a QB-rich draft, or attempt to trade for or sign one when the salary cap situation clears up a little bit. For the record, I firmly believe the Jets should draft a pass rushing OLB at #9.
2. Sign or Trade For Alex Smith – Another horrible move at the quarterback position would be to sign or trade for Alex Smith of the 49ers. I hope most fans realize that Pre-Harbaugh, Alex Smith basically was a worse version of Mark Sanchez. He’s a highly drafted player that never lived up to his lofty draft stock and never even had the success that Sanchez did. Think about that for a few minutes before you start concocting wild trade ideas to bring him in AND pay him handsomely. If he can bring Harbaugh, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and that offensive line with him, then sure this would be a fine addition, but that’s not happening. (Note: I had Michael Vick added to this section as well, but thankfully the Eagles re-signed him and we don’t have to worry about that walking turnover ruining our 2013.)
3. Tim Tebow Being on the Roster – This one should go without saying, but Tebow can NOT be here in 2013. Cutting him would be addition by subtraction for the quarterback position. Hopefully this is the last time I have to mention His Holiness in this space.
4. Shonn Greene as Starting RB – I’m a bigger fan of Greene than just about anybody, and I think he can still be a good player in this league, it just better not be next year for the Jets. He’s a horrible fit for Marty Mornhinweg’s new West Coast Offense style, and it would be like trying to fit a big fat round Vladimir Ducasse-sized peg into a small square hole. We need a running back that offers more versatility and can be a big factor in the passing game. Greene will go elsewhere and be a useful 1B option on a run-heavy team.
5. Reggie Bush or Similar High-Cost RB Brought In – Yes, we need a new starting RB, but targeting a guy like Bush or a similarly highly paid back would be an awful decision. Unless you can land an elite running back in the Adrian Peterson mold, then it is not a good idea to invest big money into one. Pay for Reggie or someone like that may seem fun on paper, but it would be a disaster for the long-term building of this team.
6. Vlad Ducasse or Matt Slauson Starting at LG – Slauson is a free agent and is likely gone. The team clearly needs to upgrade along the offensive line and LG is the first spot to look at. One player who should NOT fill that role would be the man who took 1/3 of the series at the position in 2012, Vladimir Ducasse. Big Vlad is like the gag gift from Mike Tannenbaum that just keeps on giving. He’s a joke that simply writes itself. We need new blood at the position, and these two need to be kicked to the curb.
7. Stephen Hill locked in at #2 WR – One of the biggest mistakes the Jets brain trust made in 2012 was expecting Stephen Hill to step in as a starting WR from Day 1. He was an extremely raw player coming into the league, and they overlooked the fact that he lacks one of the key components of being a good wide receiver: He can’t catch. In related news, GM Mike Tannenbaum was fired after the season. The team needs a low-cost veteran (BRAYLON EDWARDS!!) to be here next season holding down the fort until Hill is ready. Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are locked into roles, so a veteran plus Hill rounds out a decent WR corps.
8. Calvin Pace Starting at OLB – My least favorite player on the team, Mr. Calvin Pace! I have nothing against him personally, in fact I used to be a fan of his, but the fact is the guy is toast. He’s done, finished, washed up, used up, it’s over. If he’s back starting in 2013 after being cut and then re-signing for a lower salary, well, it won’t be the best thing in the world, let’s just say that. New blood is needed at linebacker, and hopefully once Pace and Bryan Thomas are jettisoned, the team can even save some money by selling off their sun dial they’ve kept around to time these guys when they run.
9. Eric Smith on the Roster – He’s due $2.5 million next year and will certainly be cut. Yes, he has value as a special teamer, but John Idzik would be crazy to bring him back. Rex Ryan clearly is fond of Smith, but his playing time on defense took a major hit this year. I don’t even need to look at the stats to know that he played a low percentage of the snaps, because I didn’t see tight ends and slot receivers routinely torch the defense, which was an Eric Smith staple. If he’s around, Rex might be tempted to play him, and that would be very, very bad.
10. Ellis Lankster in a Meaningful Role – If he’s on the team as like a 5th corner or something, I suppose it wouldn’t be the most awful thing, but I’d prefer if he’s just cut and fulfills his destiny as the CFL’s 7th best slot cornerback. If he’s back playing meaningful snaps as a nickel or dime back, then it will be hard for the defense to improve.
11. Trade Revis – Finally, the point I feel most strongly about as I’ve stated numerous times already. If the team trades Darrelle Revis this offseason I think it would be a major step back not just for this year, but for the future as well.
So there we have it, the 11 moves that could take this offseason from hopeful to hopeless. If John Idzik is smart about this offseason and goes 0 for 11 on these potential moves I’ve listed, then I truly believe this Jets team isn’t as far away from contending as it may seem. Let’s hope these next few months are a time we look back on in a few years as the exact time that an elite talent-filled roster was starting to be constructed. As long as these 11 moves aren’t made, it can be.