The Jets entered the 2018 offseason full of hope and a boatload of cap room. They emerged with the best available cornerback in Trumaine Johnson and drafted a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, giving them reason to believe in the coming year. The Jets hardly expected to contend, but they looked the part of a team that could make some noise and at least finish in the middle of the pack.
That, of course, isn’t how things played out. The Jets finished the year 4-12, failing to improve on their five-win season in 2017.
With that, the Jets were in an eerily familiar position this offseason. Gang Green had more than $100MM in cash to burn and, once again, owned the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.
Much of their free cap space went to signing Le’Veon Bell, much to the chagrin of new head coach Adam Gase. In April, the Jets used the third pick to select defensive tackle Quinnen Williams – regarded by most as the best player available – rather than addressing more pressing needs, such as their lackluster edge rush. After signing the biggest star on the open market and overseeing one of the most crucial drafts in franchise history, GM Mike Maccagnan was given the heave-ho in favor of Eagles executive Joe Douglas.
The Jets’ past draft blunders and internal discord have been well-documented, but despite all their warts, the Jets have real talent on both sides of the ball. If Darnold is able to take a leap forward in 2019 and Bell is able to quickly shake off the rust, the Jets just might have a balanced attack good enough to keep defenses honest. Gang Green also boasts a quietly dangerous group of receivers, headlined by Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Jamison Crowder.
Meanwhile, the Jets boast a fearsome interior defensive line and a serious upgrade at inside linebacker after C.J. Mosley supplanted Darron Lee. And, in the middle of the secondary, they have a young and exciting tandem of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
Can Adams’ strong coverage skills offset the Jets’ possible deficiencies at cornerback? Can the Williamses do enough damage up front to allow the Jets’ iffy edge rush unit to penetrate the backfield? Can the arrival of two-time Pro Bowler Kelechi Osemele help to fortify the Jets’ offensive line?
If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then the Jets just might be a competitive football club in 2019.
Will the Jets reach or break the .500 mark this season? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comments section.