The New York Jets have faced accusations that a flurry of recent moves to dump players are a sign that they are tanking the upcoming season for a draft pick.
Perhaps such accusations would have some real credence if the truth wasn’t that the Jets just plain and simple, suck out loud! Last year’s 5-11 record was a minor miracle, especially considering the team’s ongoing quarterback woes. However, given the recent personnel moves those people may have a reason for their suspicion.
The Jets got into a prolonged offseason contract dispute with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick who despite a career year in 2015 has bounced around to seven teams in his career. Fitzpatrick led the Jets to the brink of the playoffs with a 10-6 record but sank their battleship with three interceptions in the last game of the regular season.
Nonetheless, Fitz was demanding big money from the Jets but ultimately settled for $12 million for one year and then proceeded to stink out the joint by reverting to the form that shows why he has been an NFL nomad.
IN 2017, Fitzpatrick is out and the immortal 38-year-old Josh McCown is in at quarterback. That move alone would seem to validate theories that the Jets are trying to lose as many games as possible for a shot at a top three draft pick.
Football Outsiders has this to say about McCown in their 2017 Almanac:
In the 15 seasons since he was drafted “McCown has started and won a total of 18 regular season games” and “McCown enters the season with minus 1,331 career passing DYAR, third worst since 1989 behind Ryan Leaf and Blaine Gabbert”
In layman’s terms, he is horrible and considering that Bryce Perry and Christian Hackenberg are below him on the depth chart that top draft pick may be a lock. This is a team that could take a shot at toxic Colin Kaepernick but the fans are already going to be pissed over the upcoming season of futility.
Not that whoever is taking the snaps is going to make much difference. The Jets two most dangerous receivers – Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker – are both gone and their only remaining deep threat Quincy Enunwa is already injured and out for the year. The Jets did grab two WR’s in the draft but inexperience and incompetence at quarterback are not a good combination.
Things are a little better at running back where aging Matte Forte and Bilal Powell will share time.
The offense is going to be so bad that the Jets are already halfway there in terms of the worst record in the NFL.
The Jets were able to finish 11th in overall NFL team defense and have already begun adding to that unit for once the rebuilding begins. They grabbed star LSU safety Jamal Adams with the sixth overall pick and another safety in Florida’s Marcus Maye in the second round. The addition of former Cowboys corner Morris Claiborne will help with the pass defense.
So, What does it all mean?
Let’s put it this way. If you are in an NFL survivor pool you would be wise to pick the Jets opponents as often as possible because they have a serious shot at Detroit’s 0-16 record. Look for the Jets to lose and lose ugly but to lock up one of the top draft slots where they can select their quarterback of the future.
Unfortunately for head coach Todd Bowles, he won’t be around to see it.