The New York Jets will continue to fail as a franchise due to owner Woody Johnson. This season is yet another massive disappointment with nothing at all to show for it.
After the New York Jets suffered another typical type loss on Sunday at Miami, questions started to surface about if Todd Bowles has lost control and respect of the locker room. Why that was apparent was two of his supposed best defensive players, Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, were benched in the first quarter for missing a team meeting.
Apparently, at least for Wilkerson, missing team meetings is nothing new. Before the Jets game against the Baltimore Ravens last month, Wilkerson failed to show up for a walk through on Friday. What made the no-show even more humiliating for the Jets is that they had planned a birthday cake and celebration for him. However, Wilkerson didn’t feel he needed to let the team know he was taking the day off.
Such news is beyond disturbing, especially after the Jets just handed Wilkerson a franchise player deal worth a maximum of $86M over five years ($54M guaranteed). The deal includes $37M in fully guaranteed pay through the first two years — a $15M signing bonus plus $22M in base salary. The fact that Mo has decided that he shouldn’t be bothered with showing up and trying, is so typical the kind of issue the Jets always find themselves in.
Perhaps this one is a big unique, but what I mean when I say “typical Jets issue” that means one that totally humiliates the franchise and makes them look like the loser, undisciplined, hopeless clowns they always prove themselves to be.
Everyone thought the Mike Maccagnan was a hero after he signed Wilkerson and re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick this summer. Even I was convinced the Maccagnan had accomplished what needed to be done for this season. Boy, was I wrong!
As a writer, you always go with limited knowledge of what exactly a players motivation and character are after being given a big contract. While we can’t know that, ownership definitely should.
However, this isn’t the only issue that the Jets are dealing with right now. Many other reports are surfacing that there is no accountability in the locker room. Players at practice are beginning to question the coaching staff decisions since players are failing to execute the game plans.
This past Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins was perhaps the most troubling loss in the long history of troubling losses for this franchise. What Sunday’s loss showed was just how far this franchise has fallen from their shocking 10-6 season in 2015. Now everyone in the NFL knows that the Jets were a strict product of their schedule last season which was one of the easiest in the history of the NFL.
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Fast forward to 2016 and a much tougher schedule has produced much of the same results that Jets fans have seen over and over and over again in their history. However, this season has the added “knife in the back” feeling of once again being fooled and tricked by a general manager and a head coach that have watched the roster they put together self-destruct.
Bad penalties, awful execution, horrific play calling and dumb game plans have led to a 3-6 season that promises to be one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Looking deeper at the Jets issues, one can’t ignore two draft classes from Maccagnan that has produced one starter – and that was because Leonard Williams fell into their lap. However, even Williams has been a bit of an underachiever, especially considering all the “can’t miss” potential he had coming out of USC.
Perhaps even more disturbing than that is the shocking failure of Maccagnan of how to use his draft picks. Wasting a second round pick on a quarterback that most had being selected in the 5th or 6th round, and then all of sudden realizing when he shows up a training camp at how unprepared he was to play at this level, is mind boggling.
Everyone knows just how much a disaster Maccagnan’s predecessor was, but at this point, he can hardly be celebrated as anything other than equally as woeful. Also, consider that Maccagnan had over $50M in salary cap room when he took over, and the Jets current roster situation is that much more disturbing.
Looking ahead, the Jets will face a number of salary cap issues that will force them to essentially start over again after this season is over. That means that next season the Jets will be one of the worst teams in the NFL, with absolutely no identity or game plan about what this organization is trying to build. If you are a general manager and the roster you took over two years ago is significantly worse than when you took the job, why should this franchise trust you with all of a sudden figuring out how to draft people and bring in quality free agents?
May 8, 2015; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan (left) and head coach Todd Bowles watch rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Moving on to Bowles, it’s no secret that the Jets locker room is about to explode. Players are frustrated at many things, but the most glaring is that once again a Jets head coach has not established an identity for their players to rally around. The defense has been woeful, despite playing six first round selections on their starting 11. Players are constantly out of position and Kacy Rogers never seems to know how to prevent the other team from taking advantage of the Jets matchups.
Long time Jets fans, sadly, are used to this. This is no surprise to them. The players change, the coaches change, the general manager changes, but the results are the same.
However, the one constant is the owner. I’m not sure there is an NFL owner who understands less what it takes to win in this league more than Woody Johnson. After owning the Jets since 2000, you would think that a guy who has done so well in the business world would understand how to build a winner. He does not.
Since day 1, Johnson has repeatedly made horrible hire after horrible hire, from his general manager choices to his head coaches. However, with his most recent hire, he excused himself from making the choice, since he knew he was so bad at it.
As far as hiring others to do the hiring for your organization WHEN THEY ARE NOT A PART OF SAID ORGANIZATION, I have a major problem with that. What in the world is the motivation of people “hired” to hire someone to do a job? Do they really have that franchise’s best interest at heart?
Enter Maccagnan and Bowles who pulled the wool over all of our eyes that first season, but now we are seeing the true colors of a team and franchise falling apart at the seams. Johnson could change the fortunes of this franchise if he wanted to, the problem is as long as fans keep selling out and filling his pockets, why would he want to?
If you are a Jets fan, let this franchise know the final five home games of the season that you are done with the dysfunction and humiliation this franchise always stains you with. Stay home. Refuse to be associated with anything so dysfunctional. Maybe, just maybe then Johnson will do the right thing and hire proven, successful people to run his franchise.