So it was decided, the New England Patriots win Superbowl XLIX. Lets all start a mini round of applause. Yeah, or not. Pats, I still hate you. Although, I can happily say due to the many podcasts and blogs I’ve read, I feel I can finally come to terms with our arch-rivals winning the trophy. Maybe I can now move on. I do unquestionably feel reconciled and ready for another year as a Jets fan. But Dave, the new season is over six months away I hear you cry? Well fear not my peers, there’s loads of extremely exciting events to happen before preseason even begins and some might say none more exciting than this 2015 offseason for the New York Jets. We all are fully aware that our 2014 season was oh –so- painful. To then have our faces rubbed in the dirt by Patriots winning arguably one of the most entertaining Superbowls in the history of the game. Not to dwell, but we cant ignore the fact that they do have a franchise QB in Brady, and yes, he will go down as one of the greatest if not best QBs in history too. I’m not afraid to say it, it’s a fact and his 4 out of 6 possible rings show it. Nonetheless, I will say a 6th round pick returning those sort of results is just not fair!
Except of course, once more, the Jets’ 2014 season ended much sooner than our rivals and the fans knew this year drastic changes needed to be made. Soon after our 4-12 season came to its end, the New York Jets sparked a day that went onto be known as Black Monday. We said goodbye to Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik. Their time was up and though many Jets fans thought they would miss Rex Ryan, it wasn’t long before excitement arose towards hiring a new front office. Subsequently, the owner Woody Johnson with help from advisors (finally) went on to hire Mike Maccagnan, a Director of Scouting out of Houston as our new GM, then together the two signed Todd Bowles, the defensive coordinator from Arizona. Bowles was soon after crowned the Assistant Head coach of the year, a nice cherry to top that cake. Personally, these hirings excited me. In recent years the Jets have had little return from their lowest round draft picks. Trying not to seem jealous all over again, however, its easy to look over at group rivals New England and see what returns can be had from draft choices. For example Brady like I’ve mentioned and then Gronk coming from a late 2nd round pick. Both extreme contenders for being the best in the league within their respective positions. Irritating right?
So when Maccagnan was hired, I was excited to finally have a GM in house that thought with a scouting mind. Its well documented that Idzik visited the bank first and the locker room second. That notion was one that certainly didn’t fly with me. Football is a people’s game. Sure, you have to have somebody high up pulling on the purse strings, but that shouldn’t be the exact person in control of the talent the franchise choses to bring in. No, no, no. Maccagnan has a good mind and I have faith he will choose the best available guys for the job. Now following the Jets hiring of Todd Bowles, the media and social medias alike drew immediate comparisons from the Rex Ryan hire to Todd Bowles. The issue being, everyone believed that Rex had too much connection and love with his defensive strategies, rather than concentrating on the offence as well. Its obvious that scoring points will help you win games. But lately the game is notorious for not handing out the Ws to a team that solely can show off a rock solid defence. The offence needs to show up too. Something us Jets fans are all too aware of being a serious issue in the past few seasons. This will be Todd’s first whack at being a HC. Maybe that is too risky again, but I see a lot of fight in this guy and following the pair’s introductory presser, it left many reporters and fans stunned that there was nothing said for the whole NFL nation to laugh at. A product John and Rex were too accustomed to delivering on a regular basis. Mike and Todd spoke well and said all the right things. Hurrah! Good start.
This 2015 offseason edges closer to its preliminary stages where a lot of work needs to be done to this Jets side, even before we can begin to think about the draft. This is the time for player resigning and the free agency market. Both these areas can prove what Mike and Todd have got, and I know there are areas in which they can make some serious brownie points with us, the fans, and most of all, getting some fast. This is my number one duty on Mike and Todd’s check list. That job is to resign Muhammad Wilkerson. Now resign sounds too tame for a guy of his abilities. What the Jets need to do is throw the bank at this man. In my eyes, he’s a 6”4, 315 pound legend, wrapped in green and white. It has to stay that way. It’s well documented that the New York Jets are going into this offseason with over $40 Million in cap space, which does carry it’s own arguments and discussions with how it’s best spent. But 40 mil is plenty of cap space to light this man’s Christmas’ for many years to come. Jets, pay the man!! Jets and the staff simply cannot let Wilkerson leave the building without a pen touching paper. Sod it Muhammad, keep the pen too, but you’re remaining green and white. The other key defensive resign discussion moves over to the hitman, David Harris. My own personal opinion again, I love this guy. He managed a career milestone, reaching over 1000 tackles. Now for me, if a guy can hunt down that many hits, he’s worth holding on to. The issue is that he is 31 years old. I mentioned we have plenty of cap space available but this all depends on what sort of money Harris will ask for. I know he lit up under Rex Ryan’s defensive wings and now I can only picture what he might do with a breath of fresh air and Todd Bowles’ D strategies. Harris could prove to be a serious weapon in 2015. I say for the right buck we keep him. Sign him up for two maybe three years, but if his rate is too high and he wants to act baller I say, see ya Dave, go test free agency. Sadly the reality is, someone will pay his rates. Most likely Rex at the Bills and then we will have two games a season picking Harris shots out of our jerseys. But lets wait and see on that one. I find it hard to believe Bowles will let a player like Harris leave.
To move on to my final resign discussion, I leave it with ironically our most recent signing, Mr Percy Harvin. Harvin arrived soon after the start of season from a trade with the then, Superbowl champions. It’s not unheard of for the Jets to grab an ex Superbowl winning receiver, hello Tone Time (my first jersey actually) but this only cost the Jets a low round draft pick in 2015 draft. In my eyes, that was an absolute bargain. Stories did pop up about there being fights in the Seahawk’s camp but I personally chose to ignore them all, as I knew we needed a man with his skills and we were already 1-5 or worse. Unknown at the time, the rest of our season would pan out terribly anyway. Percy only managed just less than 500 yards at WR, but he did gain a further 600 from kick receiving and rushes. I feel he was vastly underused last season or they didn’t integrate him correctly. Either way, Harvin is a known weapon at WR and arguably a first choice wide out. A player we certainly didn’t have before hand. Some may have said Eric Decker is a first choice, and sure, he didn’t do too bad with 1000 yards in 2014, but he still has more to prove. Whichever way we look at it, we have a choice to keep Percy, but at what price? There is word out that he will cost 10 Mil plus a season. That is a lot of money, but once you’ve taken a look at the free agency market and accessed other choices, all the good options wont come at a budget cost. If we want to be a threat on offence next season, we need someone that will scare defenders. I think he can do that job. I say we keep Harvin. All these players will come at a high cost for the New York Jets and will eat into that free cap space, but you know what they say in new york, Mo Money Mo Problems. On to Free agency and draft, back to you Billy.
“And the home of the Jets”