A much needed rant for Jets fans after what was transpired over the last few weeks…
Well, here we are again. A couple weeks out from free agency and while there’s a whole bunch of optimism with a new era after Joe Douglas brought in Robert Saleh and the staff that’s been assembled, there is still entirely too much scared thinking when it comes to how this roster should be built.
The Sam Darnold SagaIt’s safe to say there was a good majority of Jets fans that were on board with Darnold after the end to his rookie season. There were obviously some things to improve and build on but there was a general sense of excitement that Darnold was going to be “the guy”.
We’ve all witnessed what’s transpired over the last two seasons. The problem, for some, lies in Darnold’s future with the Jets. There are far too many people bringing up past examples of QBs getting into new systems with new coaches and prospering, Ryan Tannehill being the one that gets brought up the most.
If you take the name “Sam Darnold” away from the stats and just look at the play for what it is, you see an inconsistent quarterback. Yes, he played for Adam Gase, quite literally the worst head coach in the history of the profession. Yes, the weapons weren’t great. Yes, the offensive line was below average. Darnold’s play wasn’t that great either from a week to week basis. You see the flashes but there hasn’t been a consistent stretch of really good games from Darnold since his rookie season. Again, take the name out of it and look at it for what it is.
Do I think Darnold is going to be good if he ends up with another team? I truly do. And there is a large group of fans that believe that as well. However, sometimes timing just isn’t there. It doesn’t make sense, after what we’ve seen for a majority of Darnold’s career, for a first time GM who didn’t draft him and a first time head coach who has no ties to him, to put possibly their only chances at their respective positions into an inconsistent quarterback. It shouldn’t matter that Darnold might be good in a different setting. The Jets failed Darnold by hiring Adam Gase. Sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s best for both parties to move on.The Deshaun Watson Aspect
There is a lot of murkiness surrounding Watson. It seems like every day we see a new team he favors, a new report on what the Texans plan is or a new report on what’s going to happen. The reality is, at this point, nobody really knows anything.
Now as it relates to the Jets. Yes, you trade for Deshaun Watson if he wants to come here. Period stop. It’s the same crowd that complains that the Jets haven’t had a franchise QB since *insert year* that is entirely too quick to not want a guy who just threw for 4800+ yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. I get it, after watching Jets games, the 4-12 Texans are probably not high on the list of teams you want to watch. But Watson wasn’t the reason for that 4-12 record.
Having a bunch of draft picks are great. It’s great to have four first rounders in the next two years for a team with as many needs as the Jets do. Want to know how you can hedge some of those needs? By getting Deshaun Watson. For as much of a clown show the Jets have been in the last decade, they’re not the 2021 Houston Texans. If the Jets were to get Watson, at the absolute least, you have the best quarterback in the division. Now, with a top five quarterback on your team, you get a little leeway on hitting on picks. Not every pick needs to be a home run for this Jets team.*screams* This all could have been avoided if the Jets just took Watson at six in 2017.
The Overall Scared Thinking
I have never seen a fanbase more afraid of being good than the Jets fanbase. Scared money don’t make money. You have to take swings to be really good. Look at the Chiefs trading up for Pat Mahomes. There were a lot of people in the draft community that we’re skeptical about Mahomes in that draft. But the Chiefs saw the guy they wanted, got him and now look. The Jets took a safety because they had Christian Hackenburg on the roster. Look at the last draft. Tristan Wirfs was a starting tackle for the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. Mekhi Becton was widely looked at as a low floor, high ceiling player going into last years draft. Joe Douglas took a swing and it looks like the Jets are in line to have one of the best left tackles in the league. That’s a big swing for a first time GM.
I have seen some “trade back and get more picks” thoughts as well, far too many for my liking. It’s not Madden. You have enough picks in the near future to turn this team around. Take the QB at two. Fill other needs with the other draft picks. How many years have the Jets been bad but not bad enough to get a high enough pick to jump start the “rebuild”? You don’t get many chances to get the second overall pick with two guys like Zach Wilson and Justin Fields there when there’s a need for a QB. It’s not as difficult as fans make it out to be.
For too many years, fans have had to talk themselves into free agent signings and draft picks alike because their team decided to add them. You may not have agreed but you do the typical fan thing of vastly overrating the positives and not looking too hard at the negatives. It’s okay to want more out of your favorite sports team. It’s okay to be critical of free agent signings and draft picks. You spend however many months that turn into years investing yourself into a football team that you have zero control over. That same team hasn’t been in the playoffs in a decade. It just doesn’t make sense how there is complaining that the Jets haven’t been good in a decade yet you don’t want the team to take swings to be good.
Contrary to prior belief, it doesn’t take decades to rebuild team. Hell, the Bills made the AFC Championship game two years after having a top ten pick. It’s a hell of a start getting Saleh, the staff he’s brought in and having Joe Douglas with the training wheels off ready to truly build this roster out. You want the Jets to be good. I want the Jets to be good. This site wants the Jets to be good. To be good, you have to take some chances. Stop being afraid of the negatives that can happen for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the first term of the Obama administration. Will it work out? Who knows! It’s sports and that’s what keeps bringing us back every season.
As much as a lot of us wanted things to work out with Darnold here, it’s time to accept that that’s just not in the cards. That’s not to say the towel needs to be thrown in, though. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Jets have continuity in the head coach and the GM. Douglas has shown he’s willing to take the big swings in order to put this team on the right trajectory and Saleh already has eyes set on building a winner. Embrace the All Gas No Brake mantra as a fan as we enter a new era of Jets football.