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.