The New York Jets surprising 3-3 record in 2017 leaves people wondering with better moves this offseason by general manager Mike Maccagnan, what could have been due to how they’re overachieving.
The 2017 New York Jets were a team destined to be a failure, but in spite of a coach that couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag and general manager Mike Maccagnan, who simply didn’t believe in these players, here they are sitting at 3-3 going into their Week 7 game against the Miami Dolphins.
Apparently, the players in the Jets locker room didn’t receive the message that the management and coaching staff were trying to send, which appeared to be “play poorly so we can receive the 1st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft”. Now that the players have proven not to be as bad as advertised by the media, now Jets fans wonder what could have been.
The Jets had an abysmal 2016 season resulting in only five wins, which was disappointing after having 10 wins in 2015. With Ryan Fitzpatrick being brought back late in the offseason, combined with wide receivers leading the NFL in drops for the second straight year, and an underachieving defense, the 2016 Jets never seemed to get on the right track.
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Maccagnan decided that it was time for change and key players such as Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, and Fitzpatrick were not brought back for 2017. This left the Jets with $33 million of cap room to spend in free agency. What do the Jets do with their new found wealth?
They brought in Josh McCown and Morris Claiborne. Both have played pretty well this year, but these hardly were moves that would be classified as rejuvenating a fan base, that just watched their team not only lose 5 games but play dreadful for the majority of the season.
The Jets have been in a position to win every game, other than the one in Oakland against the Raiders, in which the Raiders poured it on in the 2nd half on their way to a 45-20 victory. What if they used some of their cap space that they had available to bring in a couple players in positions they are struggling in?
You know, such as on the offensive line, linebacker, or maybe a big play wide receiver? Would we be talking about a Jets team with three wins or possibly five wins? Now, Maccagnan has told everybody willing to listen that the Jets are projected to have over $80 million in cap space going into next year with the salary cap carryover.
This guarantees nothing. They had a decent amount of money to spend in 2017, why should he be trusted with anything in 2018? Too often in sports, teams are setting themselves up for failure, in order to pick up young talent through the draft and teams that participate in this practice always tell their fan base to wait until the next season.
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This year’s prize was supposedly Sam Darnold from the University of Southern California. Through half of the college football season he hasn’t played bad, but certainly has not been amazing. Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, and Matt Barkley are three quarterbacks that enjoyed success while playing at USC, but none of them have had great success in the NFL.
In football, there is never a guarantee of health. Every year the goal should be to put the best product on the field that you possibly can, not every year, but hey, it’s a convenient excuse for when a team loses.
The players on the Jets have done a great job playing hard, and have at least proven that they aren’t the worst squad in football. This also proves that their general manager has let them down. Time is very precious in an NFL career and a real disservice is being done to these players by not putting them in the best position to win.
Every team’s goal should be to win every single game, every single year. This is is the attitude that has made the New England Patriots five-time Super Bowl Champions. They have not had the first overall pick since Tom Brady has arrived, and even lost some draft picks along the way yet are in a position to compete for a title every single year. Since the NFL is supposedly a “copycat league” it would be in the Jets best interest to look how organizations that win run their teams. Instead, we will be sold on the following season and again wonder what could have been.