With new GM John Idzik handcuffed by a salary cap disaster the Jets offense did not have much talent in 2013. Now, thanks to prudent moves and drastic roster cuts, the Jets have been sitting in a much better place in regards to the cap, and with that the team was able to add a fresh injection of talent in this off season, both through free agency and the draft. So let’s take a look at the revamped offense.
2013: Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez(Injured), Matt Simms– The year started off with controversy as Mark Sanchez was put in with the second team in a preseason game and subsequently injured his throwing arm, granting the starting qb job to Smith by default. Geno would go on to struggle in his rookie season, eventually showing some promise in the final month of the season.
2014: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms, Tajh Boyd- The Jets have gone out and added a veteran presence in Michael Vick who also has a familiarity with Marty Mornhinweg’s system. The Jets also added quality depth through the draft by drafting Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd in the sixth round.
2013: Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Greg Salas, Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates– Between Santonio Holmes being plagued by injury, Stephen Hill making little to no progress as an NFL caliber receiver, and the lack of quality depth this was a hurting unit and it showed. Jeremy Kerley was the only standout and he wasn’t enough to carry the offense.
2014: Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans, David Nelson, Stephen Hill, Jacoby Ford, Clyde Gates, Greg Salas– The New York Jets knew they had issues at receiver and preceded to address the need in free agency with the signing of Eric Decker who was arguably the best receiver in free agency, and former Raiders burner Jacoby Ford. The Jets also drafted two wide receivers in the fourth round of the draft to help shore up depth and add competition.
2014: Jeff Cumberland, Jace Amaro, Zach Sudfeld– Many pundits and analysts will fault the Jets for not going out and grabbing a receiver earlier in the draft, but the drafting of Jace Amaro should be seen as just that. Jace Amaro fits more into the new school style tight end we are seeing in the NFL, the kind that does most of his time in the slot. Look for Amaro to create mismatches that will be hard for other teams to defend.
2014: Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, Daryl Richardson: Size hurts but speed kills, at least that’s what the Jets are hoping will happen with the signing of the NFL combines fastest man, Chris Johnson. The Jets also claimed Daryl Richardson off of Waivers which could spell the end of Mike Goodson’s short tenure with the Jets. Either way the Jets backfield should be dynamic and interesting to watch next season.
The Jets have systematically gone out and added either higher talent or quality depth to every skill position on offense. Some of the acquisitions come with question marks, such as Michael Vick and Chris Johnson. For Vick the issue is both age and versatility, as he has been injury prone for the past couple of seasons. With Chris Johnson it is purely about age, while he was battling through an injury last season, he still managed to top the 1000 yard rushing mark. However, at 28 the question is how much juice is left in the tank. We will have to wait and see how this new look offense will play on the field next season, but at least we can rest assured that the front office hit the off-season with the goal of improving the team.