As we barrel towards the 6th straight year that the New York Jets miss the playoffs, we turn our eye to the offseason. Kevin had our first look at prospects that the Jets should have their eye on right here, but this week’s Pick Six focuses on 6 moves the team should make before we get there. These are realistic moves, and not Madden-style moves. Let’s take this one back like a Ryan Fitzpatrick throw in Arrowhead:
1. Trade DL Sheldon Richardson to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2nd round pick ($8.09M cap savings)
Trading Muhammed Wilkerson would be the move I would make, PR hit be damned, but no one wanted him when he was coming off a career year so I don’t think anyone bites now coming off a down year and with almost $27M guaranteed left on his deal. Trading Sheldon Richardson now, the second best DL out of the 3 the Jets currently employ, let’s you play Wilkerson/Leonard Williams/Steve McClendon as your starting DL in the base 3-4 the Jets employ. This also nets the Jets a 2nd round pick which gives the Jets 4 of the first 128 picks and 7 picks total in next year’s draft without expected comp picks for Damon Harrison, Chris Ivory, and Demario Davis. The Cowboys need a young game changer up front on defense and the Jets and Cowboys talked trade at the deadline so it’s wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jets revisit talks with Dallas and settle on a second round pick.
2. Cut WR Eric Decker ($8.75M in cap space)
Dealing Decker after the two injuries he’s sustained and with an almost $9M cap hit is going to be borderline impossible. Releasing Decker is the best option even though I think Decker’s game can age a little better than Brandon Marshall’s going forward. Decker won’t get you the return Marshall will, and he nets you a higher cap savings. I’ve been a Marshall fan since he entered the league and I think he’s been the only real leader on an offensive unit that is devoid of any identity. He has struggled this year in large part because of the QB throwing him the ball. While Ryan Fitzpatrick sildenafil generique sans ordonnance quebec is throwing interceptions to opposing teams and young guys under the bus, Marshall owns his failures and continues to actually give a damn about every game. In a lot of ways Fitzpatrick, Darrelle Revis, and Wilkerson represent what’s wrong with this team while Marshall, Williams, and Richardson should be the guys you build around. It would be a bad move if the Jets have to get rid of 2 of those guys. Marshall stays and Decker goes, which nets you a $8.75M savings.
3. Sign Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth
The free agent offensive line class doesn’t have much depth, but the best guy available is Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth. He should be Mike Maccagnan’s first call on the first day of free agency. Whitworth has been solid on the Bengals OL and, while not a splashy name, he is a stabilizing force. A team that will need two tackles can’t go in with question marks; better to sign the solid veteran and then take a chance on a underperforming young player like Riley Reiff from Detroit to play RT. Whitworth would also lessen the need for the Jets to reach for an OL prospect like Cam Robinson in the top 10.
4. Release CB Darrelle Revis ($7.3M cap space)
$6M dead cap hit? Watching Revis sign with the Bills? Reopening old wounds? All worth it to be rid of the greatest player to ever wear a Jets uniform after what can only be described as a clinic on how to mail it in this year. To go from a defensive player of the year candidate to not even a dime corner in this defense is astounding. I can point to the concussion sustained against the Texans as a reason for the scared tackling, but he’s been getting beat like a drum by 4th and 5th wideouts with his only good game coming against Larry Fitzgerald. Take that with him refusing to take responsibility for his poor play and, If he doesn’t retire, I’m releasing him and taking the cap savings to take aim at a free agent cornerback to replace him.
5. Resign Geno Smith
This one won’t be popular, but if the Jets are serious about this Christian Hackenberg as the franchise QB, then the Jets will need a bridge to get there. They can go out and sign Jay Cutler, trade for Tony Romo, or resign Fitzpatrick if they really want to go crazy but I think the best bet is to resign Geno Smith to a one year-prove it deal where he competes with Bryce Petty and the aforementioned Hackenberg for the starting job. Smith can get one year to salvage his career, the Jets get some continuity at QB, and Hack doesn’t have to be rushed as he learns a new system. Smith will probably come cheap, but the Jets should face competition for his services from teams like Jacksonville, Denver, and possibly Minnesota so they’d be smart to lock Smith in before he hits the open market.
6. Fire Chan Gailey and hire Norv Turner as Offensive Coordinator
After a great year last year, Old Man Gailey has been downright awful this year both in the red zone and with his curious usage of his most talented players. I think a head coach cannot be afraid to fire underperforming coordinators, and Gailey has underperformed this year. Same goes for Kacy Rodgers, but he seems to be Bowles’ version of Dennis Thurman at this point and probably won’t let go. Norv Turner has been a head coach in this league before, has had a lot of success as a playcaller in this league, and has developed young QBs at almost everywhere he’s been. Hiring Turner also gives you an in-house candidate to turn to in case Bowles sputters next year and you want to make a change. Turner checks off all the boxes and, as we’ve seen with the hire of Wade Phillips, Rod Marinelli, and Jim Schwartz as coordinators sometimes the best move you make is the person you hire to oversee one side of the ball for you.
With these moves (as well as the expected moves like not resigning Fitzpatrick, cutting Marcus Gilchrist, Nick Folk, and Breno Giacomini, and releasing Ryan Clady and the Jets start the offseason like this:
7 confirmed draft picks (3 additional compensatory picks), 10 total picks
$41.5M in cap space (before the Whitworth and Smith contracts)
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com