The New York Jets must be patient to let general manager Mike Maccagnan fix the franchise for years to come. It’ll more than likely be another two years before they are ready to contend again.
As Mike Maccagnan enters his third year as general manager of the New York Jets, he faces immense pressure to appease a restless fan base. After an abysmal 2016, Jet fans are tired of the Same ol’ Jets. Maccagnan needs to improve the team for 2017, but he must avoid spending free agent dollars on veterans, as he did in 2015.
Maccagnan has already cleared a significant amount of cap space by cutting cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold, right tackle Breno Giacomini, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and kicker Nick Folk. He should focus his attention on free safety Marcus Gilchrist, as well. Releasing Gilchrist will save the Jets $4.625M according to OverTheCap.com. He is coming off a serious knee injury and took a big step back last season.
The Jets need to find a franchise quarterback for the first time in 40 years; that is no secret. Maccagnan has many options in free agency, such as Mike Glennon, Jay Cutler, and Brian Hoyer. He could also draft a quarterback such as Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina with the 6th overall pick.
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Although a lot of fans want to acquire one of the quarterbacks mentioned above, it would be a better option for the Jets to wait until 2018. Top quarterback Sam Darnold from Southern California will be available next season.
UCLA’s Josh Rosen is another option, and both of these young quarterbacks are better than anyone available in this year’s draft. The Jets should see what they have in Bryce Petty/Christian Hackenberg and sign a bridge quarterback such as Hoyer.
The Jets will most likely contend for the number 1 overall pick if they go this route. The Jets will be able to add significant young talent in this year’s draft since they’ll have a high pick in every round. Maccagnan should know that it is pointless to go all in this year and throw money at veterans and in an unknown quarterback such as Glennon.
The Jets can still sign a top free agent or two, such as safety Tony Jefferson, a25-year-old who played for head coach Todd Bowles in Arizona. They just need top make sure anyone they sign is young and entering their prime.
By the time the 2018 NFL Draft rolls around, the Jets will have significant young talent on their roster, and will be poised to spend in free agency, as well as draft a top young quarterback. This two-year plan will put the Jets back into contention and even a threat to unseat the New England Patriots as AFC East champions.