John Idzik: Why I Have Complete Faith in His New York Jets’ Plan


Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This one was prompted by a regular reader of the Jet Press, hopefully he will recognize that it’s him when he sees this. I will leave him anonymous since I never asked to use his name, but he is a regular reader and commenter on the site, so he knows how I write, so he is as good of an authority as any to have an opinion on the site.

The other day, he left a comment on the site, where he speculated that my faith in John Idzik was blinding me. This reader, being such a regular commenter, got me thinking. Is he right? Am I blinded by my faith in John Idzik? So I thought about the last two years, and what John Idzik has done over those two years, and I realized I am not blinded by faith. My faith is real. And here is why I have such strong faith in John Idzik.

To date, he has not made any discernible mistakes.

First of all, the work with the salary cap is nothing short of magical, taking the team from almost $30 million over the salary cap, to at one point, nearly $40 million under the salary cap. That’s a great way to set the team up to be successful.

John Idzik’s first draft was wonderful, yielding him the defensive rookie of the year in Sheldon Richardson, starting cornerback Dee Milliner, quarterback Geno Smith, the eventual starting left guard Brian Winters, and the starting fullback in Tommy Bohanon.

His first draft, and five starters come out of it. John Idzik did pretty good there, wouldn’t you say?

Let’s look at some acquistions now from last season:

John Idzik did quite well with these moves, considering that he had absolutely no money to work with to make the moves.  The players on this list, while healthy, made a positive impact on this team.  Isn’t that John Idzik’s job, to make acquisitions that make the team better?

You might say, what about Mike Goodson and David Garrard?  They both added very little to the team.  One had legal troubles, and the other was never healthy enough to get on the field.

That would be true, these moves were unsuccessful.  However, there is no real move that the Jets SHOULD have made instead.  That, and these moves didn’t kill the team either.  The Jets didn’t end up 8-8 because of Goodson or Garrard.  Therefore, these moves don’t equate to a major black mark on John Idzik’s record as the general manager here.

We look at 2014 on the next page.

Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik walks off the field with the ball after the game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 37-27 Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2014 is a year that is causing a lot of debate already. How is John Idzik doing? Is he making the right moves, or is he waiting too long? I say he has made good moves, and we cannot judge the moves we are questioning…….yet.

What has he done so far? First, he has brought back key components of the current roster, such as Nick Folk, Leger Douzable, and Nick Bellore. You cannot minimize the importance of bringing back these types of guys. They get their job done in their roles, and John Idzik recognized that by bringing them back.

Then we have Eric Decker. Are some of his numbers inflated because of Peyton Manning? Sure. But at the time of the move, he was the best wide receiver on the market by far. Not only did John Idzik bring the receiver in here, but he did so with a team friendly contract, not crippling the team with his salary cap.

Good move, right?

Whether or not you like Michael Vick, and you know I don’t, he was the best veteran quarterback on the market. Why am I bringing this up since I didn’t like the move? Because if it works, it’s a great move. It has the potential of being a stellar decision, and again, done on a team friendly contract.

We will summarize the contracts in a minute.

Now, the cornerback position. The Jets did let a lot of guys go by, we don’t have to name them all again. However, is it really surprising? If he wouldn’t sign Darrelle Revis to a big contract, is it a big leap to realize that he wouldn’t sign Alterraun Verner to a big contract either. Dimitri Patterson is here on the cheap. We have talked about how productive Patterson has been when healthy. Imagine if Patterson is healthy for 16 games at that rate. Idzik could be executive of the year.

These are low risk, high reward moves, and that is the point. If Patterson is ready to go, they have a starter on the cheap. If not, they haven’t invested a lot of money, so they can get out from under his contract easily.

And to complain about the guys they DIDN’T sign doesn’t fly….yet. They haven’t been on the field yet. Patterson could outplay all of those guys. We would erect a John Idzik statue if something like that happened.

What’s wrong with that?

We see John Idzik’s plan: Invest in low risk, high reward players. His signings have been solid, and the plan is far from over. There will be cuts, signings, and something called the draft.

John Idzik has not steered us wrong yet, with any real mistakes. That is why I have total faith.