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Today we look at 12 things the Jets SHOULD NOT do this offseason…
1. Kick The Can – In a perfect rebuilding world, the Jets are going to make the hard decisions of moving on from Brandon Marshall and Nick Mangold. In a less optimal rebuilding world, one or both of them will finish out their contract and play here next year. In the worst possible rebuilding world, the Jets will lower their 2017 cap hits by spreading their guaranteed money into 2018 or beyond. The Jets absolutely cannot kick the can down the road with any player on their roster over 28 years old. The same goes for David Harris, Darrelle Revis, Matt Forte or Steve McLendon.
2. Invest Old – Similar to the first one but the Jets should not be spending heavily on any free agents over 30. This means no Andrew Whitworth (35), no Martellus Bennett (30), no Lorenzo Alexander (33), no Trent Cole (34), no Brandon Carr (30), and definitely no Josh McCown (37). They should be targeting free agents in their mid 20s who could be stepping into larger roles here than they had in their previous situations.
3. Overestimate Sheldon Richardson’s Value – The Jets need to accept the reality they may have to settle for a 3rd or 4th rounder in return for Sheldon Richardson, who needs to be traded. Richardson was suspended twice last year (once by the league and once by his own team), which gave him more suspension than sacks (1.5). The year before he was suspended for four games. There is no question Richardson is immensely talented. There is no question his production the past two years on and off the field has been a step down from his first two years. When the Jets decided to pay Muhammad Wilkerson big money, Richardson’s chances of getting a payday here ended. The Jets have failed to find a way to effectively play Richardson, Wilkerson and Leonard Williams together and now it is time to move on, even if it doesn’t return a premium draft pick. The Jets won’t have Richardson in 2018 so don’t waste another year experimenting around with your three big name defensive linemen, start figuring out how to move forward with just Wilkerson and Williams.
4. Lose Draft Capital – The Jets need to build out the lower and middle class of their roster. Over the past two years, they have only drafted 13 players. They are already down a pick heading into this year’s draft. They should looking to obtain more picks by a mix of moving Richardson, Brandon Marshall and trading down when it makes sense. They do not have enough ammo to aggressively be moving up in any round and again, they shouldn’t be shy about parting ways with veterans for more draft picks and they absolutely should not give away any draft picks for veteran players.
5. Don’t Pass The Torch – Players like Steve McLendon and Matt Forte will likely be here because of their contract situation but that does mean they need to remain full time starters. Beginning in OTAs and minicamp, Deon Simon and Bilal Powell should be seeing larger roles, if not becoming the starters outright. Despite the names on the back of the jerseys, the Jets shouldn’t be shy about demoting the necessary players, if a younger upgrade is available on the roster.
6. Half Ass Tight End – Assuming Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Bostick can hold down tight end is unacceptable. Neither player is capable of being a full time tight end, particularly in a new offense that will emphasize the position more. The Jets need to be aggressive in both free agency and the NFL Draft about improving the position.
7. Double Down – Everybody knew Christian Hackenberg was a project and/or a reach in the second round. If the Jets internally do not believe he is a future starter here after watching him the past year, they cannot be shy about targeting a quarterback early in the NFL Draft. Yes, there will be further blowback about the Hackenberg pick but that doesn’t matter, if your scouting department thinks Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Mitch Trubisky or whoever is more likely to be the guy than Hackenberg, pull the trigger. If the Jets made a mistake with Hackenberg, they are only compounding it by passing on quarterbacks the year after.
8. Go Full Osweiler – Whatever veteran quarterback the Jets invest in, it should be a low cost deal that they can out of in 2 years without long term damage. The two most expensive options would likely be Tyrod Taylor or Mike Glennon. You don’t pay Taylor more than 8-10M per year with 2 years guaranteed and you don’t pay Glennon more than 5-7M per year with 2 years guaranteed. The worst thing the Jets can do is replicate Brock Osweiler’s contract for somebody like Glennon.
9. Play The PR Game – The most marketable names on the Jets are Marshall, Revis, Mangold, Decker and Forte. This should have no bearing on what football decisions are made around those guys. Be 6-10 with young players. Don’t be 6-10 with big name veterans. It is okay to turn the page to the younger players on the roster (Enunwa, Powell, Anderson, Lee, Jenkins, Williams) and whoever is added this year. Also don’t feel the need to chase JAY CUTLER or TONY ROMO because everybody knows who they are.
10. Be Cheap With Young Talent/Depth – Names like Ben Ijalana, Josh Martin, Wesley Johnson and Corey Lemonier aren’t household ones or even players who may be starters next year (outside of Johnson), that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to them providing depth. The Jets can bring all these guys back for cheap and should do it.
11. Maintain Status Quo On Special Teams – Nick Folk can probably be replaced by Ross Martin. Lachlan Edwards needs competition. Jalin Marshall cannot be your primary returner, especially on punts. Go find competition in the draft or free agency.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com