For years, the New York Jets offered Band-Aid solutions to gash-sized problems. One year of Brett Favre? Two years of Ryan Fitzpatrick?
It got you upset. It annoyed you. The never-ending search for a franchise quarterback only became more of a glaring need for an organization starved of success with those two examples.
The New York Jets were always known for plugging and playing. A second tour for Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in 2015 seemed nice but how long could those good vibes truly last? The occasional spending spree gave intriguing but unsustainable results inevitably leading to the offseason purge that describes the current state of this team.
So why be upset now? This is exactly what you wanted all along – the complete rebuild. Embrace the tank. The Jets are, without actually saying so.
It was long overdue but several Jets needed to hit the chopping block this winter. They are ridding the roster of players who did not perform to the level of their compensation. It is the reason why players like Ryan Clady, Breno Giacomini, Nick Mangold, Brandon Marshall and Revis will not be in green and white next season.
Their level of play did not reflect the dollar amount on their check every month.
The Jets are learning from their past mistakes. This offseason they aren’t spending money that would handcuff them with the strict salary cap. While the names of ‘Tony Romo’ and ‘Kirk Cousins’ pop off the newspaper page, trading multiple pieces for that ‘big splash’ while mortgaging the future would be an organizational relapse.
Mike Maccagnan and Woody Johnson are smart. Finally, they’re learning.
Sometimes it takes many years at rock bottom before there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it takes struggling at the right time before that light could be seen. But, enough with the 6-10, 7-9, 8-8 and 9-7 finishes. That is football purgatory. With those records, you are not good enough to make the postseason but you are not bad enough for a high quality draft pick.
That defined the Jets for many years – close but no cigar.
They got close in the 2015 NFL Draft with two franchise quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. ‘Prideful victories’ for former coach Rex Ryan against the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins in two of the season’s final three weeks killed New York’s chances from drafting one of the two talented signal callers. Had the Jets finished the season at 2-14, Mariota or Winston would likely be in green and white.
The Jets may be hitting rock bottom at the right time. This year won’t be easy to watch. But, keep in mind this season holds a deep draft class at the quarterback position once the 2018 NFL Draft rolls along.
So, are the Jets giving up on 2017? Let’s read between the lines.
This summer, there will be a quarterback competition among Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. One of those men will have to lead the Jets in home tilts against the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs. He will also have to lead the charge on the road in Denver, Oakland, Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
With this current roster, the Jets could easily be 0-7 in those games. Ouch. But, there are two ways to look at it. The first way is: if the Jets are winless in those contests, you can bet on a good draft pick in a deep draft. The second way is: if the Jets manage to have a winning record at the end of it all, maybe Petty or Hackenberg is the answer.
Don’t hold your breath on the latter.
It is in black and white. The Jets have to rebuild from top to bottom. There aren’t any excuses left, the Jets ran out of them and I refuse to buy the notion: “it is New York, an organization can’t rebuild in this city.” The New York Mets are prime examples. It was a long road for Mets fans but after several miserable seasons and great draft positioning, the Mets are among the class of the league.
Even former Jet Damien Woody noticed it:
Some of you Jets fans are Mets fans as well. They went through a complete rebuild if I'm not mistaken….can be done in this market
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) March 3, 2017
A rebuild can happen in this market. It will be frustrating and many will call for Todd Bowles’, Maccagnan’s and Woody’s head. Keep in mind consistency and stability are key. Good things can come out of a rebuild if the process is trusted. If you can’t or won’t keep an eye on the Jets this year – it will be tough to – keep an eye on some potential quarterbacks that could be in green and white in 2018.
Do I hear: “Suck for Sam?”
If you are unfamiliar, keep an eye on USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph. There are five other quarterbacks that also could be notable in 2018 – Washington State’s Luke Falk, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Pittsburgh’s Max Browne, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Washington’s Jake Browning.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (Joebarone28@gmail.com)
Jets Lose To Browns In Clash Of The Rookie Qbs 21 17, Sione Pouha And Eric Smith Out Keller Ready To Roll, Tannenbaum Finished As Jets Gm, Jetsinsider Tuesday Team Report, Preview Jets 5 4 V Bills 3 7, Grading Jets Early Offseason Moves Part 4, Rumor Roundup April 16, Idzik Goes Receiver Shopping