New York Jets: Mike Maccagnan has much more to prove

Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports /

For the New York Jets and all the recent tribulations so far this offseason, general manager Mike Maccagnan has made some good moves but also very questionable ones.

We’ve all heard the phrase by this time. “In Macc We Trust” has become a rallying point for many in the fan base in a little over a year. The phrase can be found all over the internet and has even made it into the main stream media’s headlines. It has truly become a phenomenon in short order surrounding Maccagnan.

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While Maccagnan has made some solid moves for the Jets, I’m a skeptical Jet fan. When hearing that phrase, I have to cringe. Certainly, he has changed the face of the organization and provided Jet fans some excitement, but putting that kind of faith in a new general manager after only one season is a bit shocking to a fan like me.

While understanding the enthusiasm and excited at the possibilities as well, this team still has many problems heading into training camp. Yet, somehow, many are not ready to call Maccagnan the answer to the Jet woes just yet. Judging a general manager after two drafts is unfair to begin with, but to proclaim him the savior as the phrase suggests, is just too far out there for me.

Maccagnan in his first year came in to take over an organization that was in disarray, had just gone through a 4-12 season, had a full array of draft picks and a ton of money to spend in free agency. On the face of things it didn’t appear to be an enviable job to take on, but to his credit, Maccagnan did a fine job of things.

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There are a few question marks surrounding Maccagnan’s approach to building the Jets into a championship quality team however.

Last season, he had a mountain of money and spend it he did! Seemingly, veterans lined up to get a piece of the pie, with cornerback Darrelle Revis getting the biggest piece.

Defensive backs Marcus Gilchrist, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine plus offensive lineman James Carpenter were also lured to the Jets with big money contracts.

Maccagnan agreed to all these big money signings, but neglected to take care of some key talent. Though the team almost made it to the NFL Playoffs, was this truly the best approach?

Another statement we have constantly heard from Maccagnan is that he wanted to get younger and develop talent for the future. Yet, we’ve seen him surrender draft picks in his first two drafts. He got quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Brandon Marshall for late rounders last year, both were short term answers for building that winner the Jet fans desperately want. By the time the Jets are ready to make a run at a title, both will likely be gone. Fitzpatrick may already be gone, where if he had drafted a player, he’d might have found a young talent to develop.

It might seem like I’m nitpicking here a bit, but I’m still baffled with the loss of yet another draft pick as a result of this year’s draft. The Jets were without a draft pick in the fifth round and Maccagnan decided to use next year’s fourth rounder to trade into the fifth round this year. That was baffling enough to this fan, but then to turn around and draft an offensive lineman that most predicted to go late in the seventh round or even become an UDFA is a bit of a stretch in my book.

The other elephant in the room at Florham Park is obviously Muhammad Wilkerson. Granted, Maccagnan inherited the contract troubles from ex-general manager John Idzik and its a tough deal to handle, but he did himself no favors either. With a ton of cash on hand last season, he couldn’t come to terms, even while signing an older Revis to a monstrous guaranteed contract.

This year he seemed clueless how to go forward, there were early talks of trading Wilkerson, then came the pricey tag, then more talk of trading him at the draft. The problem remains, and Jet fans might see their best defensive player walk next offseason.

Look, it’s easy to get the enthusiasm over Maccagnan, he’s made some good moves in his short tenure. Many fans appear to be ready to put a bronze statue of him in front of MetLife Stadium however. He has a ton more to prove before that happens. In three years, when Maccagnan’s rookie draft class has played out their rookie contracts, I might buy into the “In Macc We Trust” but until then, I’ll keep my skeptical eye on things.

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