When speaking to the media at his end of year press conference, Dolphins GM Chris Grier took the opportunity to commit to Tua Tagovailoa as his starting quarterback. Jets GM Joe Douglas opted not to do the same with Sam Darnold.
Douglas was steadfastly non-committal, saying “we have a lot of decisions to make” when asked if Darnold would be the team’s quarterback in 2021, via Connor Hughes of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hughes notes that Douglas did say he had a good conversation with Darnold on Monday, and that he thinks the former second overall pick has a “bright future.” Additionally, Douglas said he thinks Darnold is going to be a “great quarterback,” but wouldn’t commit to him because he doesn’t have a coach yet, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.
We heard just recently that the Jets plan on either trading Darnold or the second pick in the 2021 draft to a team looking to take a quarterback, so don’t expect them to stand pat and add an offensive lineman or weapon for Darnold. Speaking of that coaching search, Douglas said the team is going to cast a “very wide net,” and will consider coaches from the college ranks with no NFL experience.
They’re looking at candidates on both sides of the ball, and just yesterday requested interviews with a couple of young defensive coordinators. Of course, quarterback isn’t the only thing Douglas needs to shore up this offseason. To that end, Douglas said re-signing impending free agent safety Marcus Maye is a “priority” for him.
Maye started 16 games each of the last two seasons, and missed only a couple of defensive snaps this year. The 2017 second-round pick just played out the end of his rookie deal and is surely looking to cash in. We heard back in November that Maye could seek a deal in the range of $7MM annually. The Jets discussed trading him this past offseason, but clearly the team wants him back after his strong campaign.
One last note just to ruffle some feathers of Jets fans, Douglas said that firing head coach Adam Gase was a difficult decision for him. “This was hard for me. I know people outside this building, they may not see it at this time, but he did some really good things here that will help us moving forward,” Douglas said via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link).