As the clock winds down to the start of NFL free agency the expectations continue to skyrocket for the fans of the New York Jets. Their beloved team is armed with over $100 million dollars in cap space, which puts the organization in a position to compete for any player that is available. Now it is up to Jets’ general manager Mike Maccagnan and his staff to put actions behind their words and significantly increase the talent level of the roster. Anything less than a well-executed free agency plan is completely inexcusable, especially after enduring the last two years of a “true rebuild” which produced a barren roster. A legitimate “put up or shut up” period is ahead for Mikey Macc, with failure not an option if the team wants to be a playoff contender anytime soon.
The “no excuses” point of view can easily be reiterated when you look at what the Jets are bringing to the table during the free agency negotiations. Not only does the team have the ability to outbid their competition due to cap space, but they also have a state of the art training facility in a beautiful area of New Jersey, and promising young players like Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams to help recruit and build around. If the front office can’t sell this opportunity to a player, which potentially has been an issue in the past (see cupcakes and Dont’a Hightower), then the only highlight of the offseason will be the new uniforms, which half of the fan base will end up hating anyway.
Time on his side
Over the last two seasons Mike Maccagnan had nothing but time to identify the building blocks for his team’s future as there was no pressure to win as he gutted the team. The holes on the roster were ridiculously obvious throughout the rebuild which should have provided him with the ability to put together a plan/blueprint for this offseason’s spending spree. In addition, the financial flexibility has been anticipated for over a year also providing Mike with a notion of how aggressive he could be if coveting a top player.
Now it all comes down to Maccagnan’s ability to evaluate players and their fit into the Jets’ system. Todd Bowles is no longer around to accept the blame for roster shortcomings, so the man known for his work ethic and scouting prowess has to step up to the table. The “not my coach” excuse is gone especially when you go a bit against the grain with the hiring of Adam Gase. When you hire a new head coach you have a vision for the team and the direction it must head on and off the field. From a personnel standpoint you ensure that everything matches so it is a seamless transition where success happens sooner rather than later. This was further proven with the team’s decision to remain in the 3-4 defense to maximize the talent that will be returning in 2019. So again, it all comes down to finding the right players for your organization and getting them to sign on the dotted line.
Future should be bright
With all things considered the excitement surrounding the New York Jets is completely warranted as this offseason could setup a very competitive 3-4 years, if not more. It is your time to shine Mike Maccagnan. No excuses.