New York Jets: The 20 Million Dollar Question
The Jets are in a seemingly unstoppable spiral sitting with a 1-5 record, last place positioning in the AFC east, and over 20 million in cap space. The question of why the team didn’t use the plethora of cap space to put a more competitive football team on the field. Is John Idzik trying to sabotage Rex Ryan? Was Idzik really that unimpressed with the free-agency market? Does he see something in the upcoming free agency market? Did he just play it too safe? Why have we not resigned or extended Mohammad Wilkerson? These are just some of the questions regarding the way Jets management handled the off-season, and valid questions at that with the Jets sitting where they are.
There was a lot of around the league and amongst analysts when Idzik first came in and inherited head coach Rex Ryan. It is common belief and practice that when a new GM comes in, he brings with him a coach of his choosing. It was clear at the time that Rex Ryan staying was a requirement set forth by Jets owner Woody Johnson. At first things seemed amicable, and the lack of talent on the team was easily dismissed by the fact that the previous GM had left this team in a salary cap nightmare. Idzik quickly and brashly cut the losses and balanced out the budget. He cleared up tons of cap space but in the end did not use all of it, leaving the Jets weak at several positions including offensive line, corner back and wide receiver. Was this done intentionally so that Idzik can finally bring in a coach of his choosing?
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Maybe Idzik was just unimpressed with the free agent class he saw last off-season. Sure there were some great corners on the market, but perhaps there were character issues Idzik had or maybe they just rubbed him the wrong way. One thing is for certain, the upcoming free agent class promises to have some promising free agents. Is Idzik waiting to pounce on this upcoming free agent class? With the salary cap roll over the Jets will have there is a certain logic to this train of thought. In the wide receiver market there will be big names available such as Dez Bryant, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and with the cap hit, Calvin Johnson will have against the Lions he may also find himself shopping for a new team. Could this upcoming free agency period be what Idzik is patiently waiting for?
Whatever the reason may be the New York Jets are a thin team on the field this season. The one unit that consistently performs is our defensive line, a unit Jets fans saw built slowly through consecutive first round draft picks. The first piece of this puzzle has yet to be signed to an extension and made a permanent member of this organization for years to come. Muhammad Wilkerson is the best player the Jets have and a deal needs to get done for him yesterday, but unfortunately we have a restricted free agent to fear, dealing with a GM who might never want to pay big money for big value. It is not unfathomable, given current circumstances, that Wilkerson will be wearing the jersey of a different team next season. This is a scary thought!
The New York Jets might be a slowly derailing train piloted by mad men at the helm. Or this could be a continuation of a rebuilding process. The answer is not clear and won’t be for quite some time. Now we can only wait, watch and hope this team finds a way to turn the ship around. Everything else is speculation, but that does not make it any easier not to speculate as to what is going on with this franchise internally. Jets fans deserve answers as to what the plan is for the future of this team, but unfortunately general managers never just give out their game-plan, so we will have to patiently wait and see what the future might hold.