New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas may only be a few months into his job, but he should already be on thin ice given his handling of the team so far.
Although rumors swirled regarding the future of some members of the 2019 New York Jets roster, the only notable move they made before the October 29th trade deadline was dealing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the New York Giants.
While names like Le’Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Marcus Maye, and Jamal Adams were floated in potential deals, these names stayed put and they are going to likely be on the roster for the remainder of the 2019 NFL season.
Regardless of whether these players stayed on the roster or left the team, Jets fans still have a very legitimate reason to be upset off the heels of the October 29th trade deadline.
Should fans be upset because they did not obtain picks for Jamal Adams? No. Should they be upset because general manager Joe Douglas apparently “hurt” Adams’ feelings by listening to offers from other teams? No.
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They should not be upset that the team was looking to stockpile picks for players they don’t want to re-sign, nor should they be upset that Douglas and head coach Adam Gase could apparently be looking to move on from large investments they felt didn’t fit the long-term future of the team.
Jets fans should be upset because of comments made by Douglas in a press conference after the trade deadline. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Douglas apparently believes the Jets are fielding a competitive roster.
Douglas was quoted in the press conference saying, “The scoreboard might say that we’re non-competitive, but we’re far from that.”
If Douglas truly believes this, the Jets are in serious, serious trouble. Say what you will about Sam Darnold being sick as well as the influx of injuries, but you are not competitive with a 1-6 record.
People are not stupid and they see what is unfolding in front of them. Followers of the team know that Douglas inherited this team under unique circumstances. His predecessor Mike Maccagnan oversaw the 2019 free agency and draft class before he was unexpectedly fired.
One could estimate that 75 to 80 percent of the current roster a minimum (if not more so) are not Douglas and Gase guys. Before Maccagnan’s firing, it is not like he was a revered general manager who put together a perennial playoff contender year after year.
Douglas’ comments can be considered to be reminiscent of former Jets general manager John Idzik’s infamous press conference in 2014 when he talked about how amazing everything was when the team was 1-7.
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Odds are that Joe Douglas wanted to remain professional and did not want to throw Maccagnan under the bus. That being said, you can publicly state you are dissatisfied with the roster that you were saddled with for the season and you want to make some sort of change as soon as you can.
Douglas is not fooling anyone and remarks like this serve no positive purpose in the long term interest for the Jets or their fans. In spite of this quote, Douglas does not have a competitive team on his hands.
He does not have anything close at the moment. What is the harm in expressing your frustration with how the season is currently going and saying you need and want to make changes?
We know this was not Douglas’ team he wants, but if he is trying to fool people saying this team is more competitive than the scoreboard lets on, how much editing of the roster are we really going to anticipate him making to improve the team?
One could infer that the issues with Kelechi Osemele which ultimately led to his release are already a bad omen for 2020. Players can be said to view issues like this unfavorably.
With the conflict with Osemele already leading the way and Douglas’ comments about fielding a competitive team, the Jets may already be behind the figurative eight-ball and we are barely halfway through the 2019 season.
Those invested in the New York Jets need to hope that Douglas feels much differently in private than he is letting on in a public press conference.
Joe Douglas really needs to show some kind of fire this coming offseason and make moves to improve the team, namely the offensive line, as the clock strikes on the new league year.