Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange and Olivia Landis will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What would a season-ending win over the Patriots say about the Jets?
EA: The Jets have a lot going for them as they begin this head-coaching search. GM Joe Douglas, who will be assisted by CEO Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai, will be at the lead and he is universally respected in football circles. While this will be the first time Douglas is in this position, he is a thoroughevaluator and he learned from one of the NFL's league's top executives in Ozzie Newsome, among others. Joe. D. has three Super Bowl rings and he knows how a winner is built while Elhai, a Jets employee for more than two decades, was a critical sounding board for Johnson in the GM search that brought Douglas here. The Jets have two young pillars in place on both lines in DT Quinnen Williams and LT Mekhi Becton, Douglas' first pick as GM. Reviews of Douglas' first draft class, which included snagging WR Denzel Mims in Round 2, have been favorable and Douglas is on record saying he wants to re-sign team MVP S Marcus Maye. Speaking of the draft, the Jets own the No. 2 overall selection, two-first rounders in April, five picks in the first three rounds and six in the top 100 AND two first-rounders in 2022. Douglas also has the financial flexibility to spend wisely with OvertheCap.com projecting the Jets are more than $72 million under the cap. Douglas is looking for a partner, so he is not going to make any major decision — including at QB — without discussing vision with his new hire. Finally, this is New York and this fan base is starving for a winner. If you win here, it's going to be special.
EG: Draft capital, financial flexibility and a young core that worked hard every week despite a 2-14 record. The Jets have eight picks in the first five rounds because of an extra first-, third- and fifth-round pick. The team has six picks in the top 100, which means General Manager Joe Douglas can add a number of talented players to an already young roster. The draft capital would allow Douglas to move up in the draft if he chose to. He's continued to reiterate the long-term plan is for the Jets to draft well and retain their players, which is where financial flexibility comes into play. Financial flexibility is always important, but it comes more into focus this year because of the uncertain cap situation. Whatever happens, the Green & White will be in a good position to acquire talent. Then comes the young talent. The Jets have two players under contract for 2021 who are 30 or older (TE Ryan Griffin, G Greg Van Roten). The young talent on the Jets roster includes DT Quinnen Williams (23), LT Mekhi Becton (21), Denzel Mims (23) and six other players under 25 who played at least 500 snaps. I think this is an attractive job because of these reasons and whoever is hired will have an opportunity to shape the roster as he sees fit while working in with Douglas. From the day he was hired, Douglas said he would never make a unilateral decision and the new head coach will have a say with free agency, the draft and everything in between.
RL: Why did Bill Parcells think leaving the Super Bowl-bound Patriots for the 1-15 Jets in 1997 was a good idea? A few reasons, of course, but one was because the Jets, despite their record, had a core of young, talented players who worked hard, wanted to win and were willing to be coached back up the NFL ladder. Do these Jets have that same core? That remains to be seen, but it seems so, and a young, talented group of returning players who work hard and want to win is a big incentive for an ambitious head coach. So is working with GM Joe Douglas, team prez Hymie Elhai and the rest of the committed people on the football "team." So are the four first-round picks in the next two drafts. So is the Atlantic Health Training Center, still an outstanding NFL facility entering its 14th season after its 2007 opening. So is the New York market. Are there "Not Attractive" bullet points on the other side of each candidate's ledger? No doubt. But are the Jets an attractive destination? Absolutely.
OL: When Asked by the media earlier this week, GM Joe Douglas said there are to four reasons a coach would find the Green & White a good spot: a talented young group of players, draft capital, cap space and the people within the organization. Young players like DL Quinnen Williams, LT Mekhi Becton, WR Denzel Mims and others showed promise this season and are examples of how a young core can be crucial. Douglas also worked last offseason to build the team's draft capital, which would be appealing to anyone looking to expand a roster with loads of flexibility — including four first-round picks over the next two drafts. And let's not forget, the New York market is a great place to be a winner and the Jets have a fan base hungry to root for a winner.