Jan 31, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson attends the press conference for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at Rose Theater in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How Long is Too Long for a Rebuilding Team?


Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik, Jr (left) and New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese (right) exchange greetings prior to the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

So, your team is in rebuilding mode. They need to get back on the winning track and start building through the draft. Year one has its ups and downs but the rookies seem to be progressing. In year two, a couple of key free agents are added as well as a 2nd draft class. What level of expectations do you have for a team in that situation? If you see incremental progress are you patient enough for year three? Four? Am I talking about the Jets? A little bit but this article is inspired by the constant rebuilds of the Mets and Islanders.

I was watching the NHL Draft on Friday (yes I realize I have no life) and was expecting the Islanders to package the number five pick in the draft and one of their many prospects to get a player who can help now. It never happened. They drafted two prospects that are very talented and might help the Islanders…in 2017. Yes, unlike the NFL or NBA, these players are not pro ready. They go through the minor leagues much like baseball players do. So General Manager Garth Snow will continue his rebuild that started in 2007. Yup 2007. Unless they spend in free agency, which hasn’t happened much as they are perennially at the cap floor, it will once again be up to unproven prospects to lead the way.

The Mets have been rebuilding since Carlos Beltran decided not to swing against the Cardinals in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. The Wilpons were hit hard by the Madoff scandal as profit-makers who had to give a large amount of money back to the trustees, the uncertainty of the amount kept payroll down for a while. That issue has resolved for the most part and the Mets are still at a payroll of $85 million which won’t get it done, especially in New York. The Mets have loaded up on prospects, the only problem is that they are all starting pitchers. They don’t spend to fill their offensive or bullpen holes and the process repeats each year.

I’m out of patience with the Mets and Islanders. I want results or heads to roll at this point. Will I feel like that after this year with the Jets? Not if I see the young players improve and gel, that Geno Smith is capable of being a franchise quarterback and a winning record. If not, then sadly we will have a new head coach and quarterback and the respect John Idzik has gotten will turn to a very hot seat. It’s a big year for the Jets because it’s always a big year for the Jets. The fans demand success and won’t tolerate anything else for very long. Jets fans understand the rebuilding is a necessary evil but also that parity in the league shortens the time needed to reload. Success is demanded and that is the way it should be.

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Tags: New York Jets Rebuilding

  • Speaksnow

    Jets, Mets, Knicks, and (sort of) Islanders. I have had one championship in my adult life, as I’m about to turn 55. Oh yes, there was the Islandes of the 80′s. I was a big hockey fan from the early 70′s, and adopted the Islandrs as my team their first year in the league, but the Devils clutching and holding style of the early 90′s turned me off. Now I enjoy playoff hocke, but don’t root for any particular team.

    All of my teams have had very sad front offices, ownership, or both. I have no clue what the mets are trying to do. The Dolan era has been one big joke. Talk about a circus. Maybe Phil will be the Jets Parcels, and return them to respectability. We can only wait and see. The only exception has been the Jets. Ownership wants to win. They have consistently tried to implement a plan. I even respected the Tanny, Manginious era. What would have happened if Favre didn’t blow out his arm. Oh yeh, they’re the Jets. Something like that always seems to happen.

    I’m excited about the Jets upcoming season. They’re young, and improved. They have an excellent coach, and the circus is gone with our new GM. There is little hope on the horizon for the rest of my teams. GO JETS

  • AC

    The Jets will always be in a rebuilding mode until they know they have a QB they can trust to play efficiently and become a team leader. Its way too early to know if Geno is that guy. I will tell you this, the Packers did it correctly with Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Draft Rodgers, let him learn behind a prolific QB (if I can remember he wasn’t so happy at first, knowing he would be on the bench a few years, but then realized how better of a player he became because of it). The Jets seem to just throw these guys in there. Sanchez, Geno, and even Favre on his way out. The Favre situation was handled poorly, as he had success in Minnesota the following year. He should have been taken out when his arm was hurt, regardless of the consequences. That is what depth is about. Back to Geno and the Jets. The problem with the Jets is, the fans are now in creasingly impatient after waiting so many years now for a championship and sitting behind arguably the most dominant franchise in the league for the past decade. Even if they haven’t won a Championship, they have been in the running pretty much since Brady took the helm. Rex is a good coach in my opinion, and is obviously great defensively. It would really be horrible to lose him over a botched offense this year. So it is a big year. It would also be horrible to finally obtain the offense we need to win, but then not have the defensive skill and minds that we have now to get it done. Super Bowl teams have both. The Seahawks pretty much won by the same principles that Rex preaches. Ground and pound to open up the passing game, and great D. They got lucky and found a QB proficient enough to lead the team. Right from his rookie year. Apparently Bradway wanted the Jets to draft him, but knowing our team, they probably would have sat him for Sanchez anyway. This year is big for the Jets in every way. They have a tough schedule, or what appears to be based on last year, and still have a lot of question marks. Their fate in a lot of games may be determined by a FG. We need to win those close games to have success this season, because even if the offense improves, we have different weaknesses on defense and the offense will not be outstanding enough to outscore teams in barn burners every week. Its gonna be very interesting.

  • Paul Newbold

    Rex is going nowhere, win, lose or draw this season. Our owner Woody, is in love with Rex! So putting that a side, it is an important year for the Jets. As you said, in the parity of the NFL, a team can be built rather quickly. On the other hand once assembled it can vanish rather quickly, making repeats a rare thing indeed. The name of the game has become consistency, year in and year out. You need to deliver a quality “product” to the fan base. If you look at teams that have in recent times maintained that level of consistency, you find behind the scenes a great coaching staff and an even better front office and scouting department. The Jets are rebuilding the whole organization, not just the team. For years our drafts have been picked apart by skeptics and “experts” alike. They have overpaid for players in free agency, picked poorly in the draft, and cut a multitude of players that have done well elsewhere. The new GM brought with him a new hope things would change. Time will tell… this may turn out to be a better team…..but then again it may not. There remain several questions concerning both sides of the ball.