The New York Jets Anti-Offseason

Mike Donnelly of TOJ breaks down what the New York Jets should NOT do this offseason

March has arrived and the offseason rumor mill is in full swing. Free agency is just around the corner and then before we know it, the draft will be here. As we all know, it’s a lot of fun to speculate about what our favorite team will do to improve the roster, and everyone has their own opinion as to how the Jets and John Idzik should go about doing that. Whether it’s on Twitter, fan forums, blogs, or just chatting with buddies, everyone wants to tell you what the team should do. Well I’m not here to tell you what Idzik should be doing this offseason (ok, well, I kinda am…), I’m here to tell you what the the Jets SHOULDN’T do. That’s right, I present to you, the Anti-Offseason Plan!

DON’T… Sign Michael Vick – This one pops up a lot and every time it’s mentioned I get an empty feeling in my stomach. And should the Jets actually sign this guy, my stomach will indeed be empty because it will likely cause me to projectile vomit all over the place. Looking past all of his many off-field transgressions, arrests, and other various problems, the fact of the matter is that Michael Vick stinks at football these days. Just look at how much better last year’s Eagles got once Vick hit the bench and Nick Foles took over. It was like night and day. The offense took off once the inaccurate, turnover-prone Vick was no longer on the field screwing up red zone trip after red zone trip.

I know what you’re saying: “But Vick had his best year with Marty Mornhinweg!”. Yes, that is technically true, but that was FOUR years ago now. And as far as I know, Marty was with Vick in 2011 and 2012 as well, and Vick sucked those years. So just reuniting with his former coordinator isn’t going to magically turn him back into an elite QB. It’s also not going to somehow make him healthy, which is something he hasn’t been in forever. The bottom line is Vick is washed up, injury prone, and he isn’t the kind of mentor you want for your 2nd-year QB.

I’d Rather: Bring in a solid veteran backup who accepts his role as the backup. We want him to mentor and teach Geno, while also pushing him to perform, not necessarily competing with him for the job. Sign a guy like McCown, Shaun Hill, Tarvaris Jackson, or even Matt Cassell. None of these guys are world beaters, but the point is for Geno to be the man, not the QB we bring in.

DON’T… Give Erik Decker Big Money – Is Erik Decker a good wide receiver? Yes. Would he be the Jets best wide receiver by a good margin? Absolutely. Does that mean the Jets should write him the monster check it’s going to take to get him to sign on the dotted line? NO!!! Decker is a good — but NOT great — receiver. His numbers the past two seasons have unquestionably been greatly inflated by playing with Peyton Manning, and I don’t think he is a difference maker on offense. Defense don’t fear Erik Decker, and if you’re going to be spending $20 million or more in guarantees, you need someone better than Decker. He’s the best receiver on the market, but that doesn’t mean he should be paid top-end money.

I’d Rather: Sign Golden Tate for less and use the difference to address other holes. Give me Tate AND a lower tier free agent WR such as Andre Roberts, Andrew Hawkins, or Jason Avant combined for less than what it would cost to sign Decker and I’ll be a happy man. If Tate can’t be had, then make Hakeem Nicks a 1 or 2-year offer to come and get his career back on track. Nicks is the most talented receiver on the market and if he can get healthy, he could be a major steal.

DON’T… Bring Back Willie Colon – Look, I liked what Willie brought to the Jets last year as a 1-year stopgap option too, but as I argued on Twitter, that’s all he was brought in to do. And while he did have a solid year, the Jets now have the cap room to add a difference maker to the line, which is a luxury they didn’t have last year when Colon was brought in to hold down the fort. Colon is clearly on the downside of his career and is coming off a major injury, which is just the latest in a career full of them. The odds of him being able to bounce back and play a full 16 game schedule at a high level in 2014 are just not that high. It’s time to move on and address the position in free agency.

I’d Rather: Sign Geoff Schwartz or Jon Asamoah. Both would represent big upgrades and could be had for reasonable money.

DON’T… Lowball Austin Howard – This one should go without saying — and I’m fairly certain a deal is close to being done — but the Jets need to wrap up Austin Howard long-term. There’s no sense in letting him test the market and see what other teams will offer, because invariably there will be some team run by a moron doing a Jeff Ireland impression who will blow Howard away with an offer that the Jets won’t be able to match. Just wrap him up and know that the RT position is safe for at least a few years. The last thing we want is to fall back into the days of Wayne Hunter, right?

I’d Rather: Umm.. you know, not lowball him. Just get the deal done.

DON’T… Draft Another D-Lineman in the 1st Round – For the sake of Jets fans health everywhere, please don’t draft another DL. We’re pretty set with WIlkerson, Richardson, Harrison, and Coples up front. Let’s change things up and address another position for a change, huh? And I’m not even of the belief that the Jets MUST draft a WR or TE in the first round (although that would be nice), I just don’t want to see another DL taken in this spot.

I’d Rather: Pretty much anything else. But yeah, someone for Geno Smith to throw the ball to would be pretty nice.

DON’T… Trade Up in the Draft – I’m constantly amazed at how many people want the Jets to do something drastic and trade way up in the draft for a player such as Sammy Watkins. That would almost certainly require a trade up into the top 5 of the draft, and that’s just simply not worth it. Unless, of course, you enjoyed the past few years of Jets football where the team had absolutely no depth whatsoever and was forced to bring in guys off the street to play meaningful roles. If that’s what you want to see, then by all means keep calling for a trade up and make all the hashtags on twitter you want. Personally, I think this draft is very talented and very deep and not only will the Jets get a terrific player with their own first round pick, they’ll also get very good players with their 2nd and 3rd rounders as well.

I’d Rather – Stay put and add as many quality players as possible. With the Jets also having either a 3rd or 4th round pick from Tampa due to the Revis trade last year, the Jets are in position to add plenty of very good players and add some real talent and depth to the roster. That’s the way to go.

DON’T… Neglect the Safety Position – I know that Rex Ryan has gotten away with not having top Safety play and still fielding top defenses, but this year the team has money to spend and there are very good safeties available. Antonio Allen has shown enough promise that he should be a starter in 2014, but I would really love to see the team upgrade over Dawan Landry and Ed Reed at the other spot. Obviously Bills Safety Jairus Byrd is the big prize in this year’s free agent class, but TJ Ward isn’t a bad fallback option either. If the Jets are going to write a big check to any player in this year’s class, it would have to be Byrd. He would add a whole new dimension to the defense and give Rex the ballhawking free safety that he hasn’t had since his first go-round with Ed Reed. I just don’t think the team can afford to go into next season with an Antonio Allen and Dawan Landry starting tandem with maybe Ed Reed and Josh Bush in the rotation.

I’d Rather – Sign Byrd or use an early draft choice on a safety with range.

Author: Mike Donnelly

Mike Donnelly is a Staff Writer and life-long Jets fan, who was previously a featured columnist at multiple other New York Jets and fantasy football websites. He lives and works in finance in the NYC area and will help lead our Jets and NFL coverage in 2013.

  • Dan in RI

    Agree with everything you say. Are people serious about trading up in the first round? That has to be the dumbest idea imaginable. There are plenty of “can’t miss” first rounders who turn out to be busts (for example: Vernon Gholston, DeWayne Robertson, etc. from our own history–and many, many QB’s and WR’s from other team’s history). The draft is about taking many shots on goal, not giving away picks to take one really good shot.

    As for our 1st round pick–please take an offensive player. I hope it will be Mike Evans or Eric Ebron, but I would be comfortable with anyone who can catch the ball and make something happen. Who it should be will depend a lot on what we do in free agency.

  • Dave2220

    Do you expect the mid-tier free agents to sign at a faster or slower pace than past year with the draft pushed back?

    A couple of extra weeks before the draft could see more holes filled before the draft. Will be interesting

  • Lidman

    If you think Sammy Watkins is the next Julio Jones, why wouldn’t you trade up to get him? Obviously, there are risks involved with trading up, but the NYJ traded up to get Darelle Revis. The NYG traded up to get Manning.

    I get that it is great to have a lot of draft picks. But, all you have to do is look at NE, who has consistently moved down and picked up extra picks to understand that more picks guarantees nothing. I don’t know if Sammy Watkins or Khalil Mack or going to be ‘generational level’ players. However, if you’re running a team and you believe a specific player is head and shoulders above anyone else, I think you move heaven and earth to get him.

  • twoshady18

    so tell us how you guys really feel about Golden Tate…. love this site and it’s articles but enough about Tate. we get it already. either it happens or it doesnt. If not… i have enough confidence in Idzik to have a solid plan B. Either way it’s going to be an exciting off season.

  • Mike Donnelly

    Lidman, how did trading up for Julio Jones work out for the Falcons? That team has zero depth because they gave up a ton of picks and had to pay Julio big money. To move up from 18 to top 3 or 4 would require a TON of picks. The Jets have way too many holes to even consider doing something like that. There’s a huge difference between trading up to #14 to pick Revis and #2 to select Watkins.

    Dave, I really don’t know how the draft being pushed back will affect the pace free agents sign, but I do expect Idzik to sign several mid-level kind of guys to fill holes that way he can go best player available at the draft and not have big holes that need to be filled.

  • Mike A

    Mike looks like you got at least one wish. I read today in the BR the Jets are already targeting Ashmoah in early FA.

  • PirateSteve

    I love Golden Tate as much as you guys do and I love Odell Beckham(loved the comparison to Steve Smith the other day, that’s exactly who he reminds me of) and I have to agree about not trading up. The depth in this years draft appears to be really impressive and I wouldn’t sacrifice picks for any reason. I’m honestly a fan of moving back into the 20’s and picking up an extra 2nd and taking Beckham with that later 1st.

  • Steve Windeler

    I read that the Jets were targeting everyone. I want receivers that can catch. That fight for the ball. Have a knack for setting up defenders. I want Tate, Lee, Amaro, and Landry. I’ll take Hawkins, and Avant too. Don’t forget Finley. Speed and size are overrated. Smart, smooth, and vision, with good hands.

  • KAsh

    What exactly happened in the past two months that we went from getting serious competition for Geno and Geno no being handed the keys to the franchise to being fine with handing Geno the keys to the franchise?

    McCown could not push a fly; his one and only above-shitty year was a five game stretch last year to cap off a ten-year career (in a new offensive system, with a young, two-time Pro-Bowl running back and two Pro-Bowl wide receivers). If McCown suddenly became good, did Pace suddenly become a good pass-rusher? And Hill and Jackson could not hold onto a starting job if they each had ten hands. Sanchez is better than all of these guys combined.

    Vick is not a great option, but what other serious competition can we offer Geno? Schaub? Has last year not left him mentally broken? Some second/third round draft pick? Who will he throw to and do we really want to go through another year with a rookie QB? Ssanchez? How do you explain that one in a press conference? Unless Geno improves by leaps and bounds this offseason (it is possible, but let’s not assume it already happened), this backup will have to be able to beat Geno in camp and lead this team in the regular season. Even if Geno does get better, if he has another breakdown midseason, this backup will have to come in and lead. We are basically shopping for a diminished (so he will not cost as much as a real) starter on the free agent market: who would you go with?

  • PirateSteve

    KAsh, I agree with you about Geno. Geno gave us reason to hope at the end of last year but prior to the last 4 weeks of the season he had a stretch of being repeatedly benched. Not exactly the most faith inspiring performance.

    I would like to see the jets take a project QB w/ upside in the 2nd-4th rds. A guy like Jimmy Garropollo or Zach Mettenburger or even AJ McCarron would be a great depth pickup that might even be able to step in around week 8 if Geno goes into a tail spin.

    I’m not impressed by Vick or McCown or Schaub. They are pure scrap heap players. And Vick and Schaub still think they can start(laughable). I was bummed Henne resigned, I liked the thought of him as a Jet.

    A vet QB to lend a helping hand in Geno’s development would be good but thinking Geno is not still a huge question mark is just insane.

  • Harold


    We have way more picks then the Falcons. We could move up with our #18,, 49 and #80 pick to around #6. If he is avialble there we have Watkins and still another likely top 70 pick.

    We would still have a 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th plus comp picks 2 or more. that would be 7-9 picks plus Sammy Watkins. I would take that. As should many Jets fans.

  • KAsh

    Watkins and a fourth-round pick are nowhere close to someone like Lee or Evans, a second-round pick, two third-round picks, and that same fourth-round pick. Watkins is good, but not that good.

  • Lidman

    Mike…Julio Jones was a big factor in getting them to the NFC title game a year ago. He’s a difference making WR and Atlanta was better for getting him. I get it, he got hurt and they fell apart this year, so it’s an easy thing to go after, but if you don’t think they’ve done well on that trade, I would disagree.

    You can play the ‘if’ game all you want Most of the writers on this site seem to believe Idzik will prove to be a very good GM. So, if Idzik decided to trade up to get Watkins, or Evans or Ebron, why wouldn’t you have confidence in that move?

  • Mike Donnelly

    Lidman, yes I do think Idzik is going to prove himself to be a very good GM. And that is exactly why I don’t think he will do something drastic like trade a ton to move up to #2 to select Watkins, which is pretty much where he would have to move up to to ensure he will get him. It would be insane to give up this year’s #1 pick, 2nd round pick, 4th round pick, and then a 1st and 3rd next year to move up into the top 5 to take Watkins.

    The Jets are not one player away from a Super Bowl. They need to add depth and talent across the entire roster. You don’t do that by packaging a bunch of picks for 1 player, unless you’re talking about a franchise quarterback or something… not a receiver.

    Now, if Watkins were to slip outside of the top 10, or Evans is around at 15,16… then yeah I wouldn’t be quite as opposed to a deal. But I do think they should stand pat and add as many good football players to the roster as they can and build a foundation going forward.

  • John X

    Lowball Howard and you’ll need to fill yet another hole. Not sure this is the best advice.

  • Lidman

    Mike..I never said to give up 4 picks to swap 1st round picks. Who knows what it would take. Sanchez didn’t turn out as we wanted, but when you look what it took to move up, that year, it wasn’t that much. I know everyone believes in ‘the chart’, but you see teams go outside that all the time.

    While we all agree the NYJ have holes. We all have to remember they also went 8-8 last year. A great player makes a big difference, in the NFL. If you think there is a difference maker, you go get him.

  • Harold


    We would 2 picks in top 70 that is a 1st and the 5th pick in third.

    Then the additional picks I mentioned for a total of 7-9 picks. If you get what you perceive is a top notch prospect an offensive Sheldon Richardson than it is well worth it.

    We can grab young depth FA who dont cost much to round out the roster along with picks.

  • KAsh

    Except Watkins is not that far removed from a receiver you can get at the top of the second round. Giving up three picks for him is insane.

  • Gustavo Flores

    I hope you guys are not serious as in Geno Sanchez phase 2. Geno is a back up at best and we should keep him as a back up and let him develop behind a true number one QB. I can’t believe that there is even thought of Geno as a starter after all the stupid mistakes he made last year. He is as good as Sanchez and not better and won’t ever be. If there is a change in all hell he can develop so be it but not at as the starter so he can torture our fan base for the next two years. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!