The New York Jets disappointed in many ways in 2019 despite finishing with a 7-9 record. Here are five players who disappointed the most this past season.
The New York Jets went through a rollercoaster of a 2019 season. Despite finishing with their best record in four years, the Jets still managed to disappoint.
Gang Green started the season 1-7 with disastrous losses, back-breaking injuries, and coaching criticisms aplenty. But somehow, they managed to win six of their final eight games and finish the season with a 7-9 record.
Still, there were plenty of disappointing seasons from key players along the way.
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Some entered the season as high-profile offseason additions looking to make an impact in their first season with the Jets while others were returning starters who failed to follow-up on their 2018 success.
Either way, they certainly didn’t live up to expectations in 2019.
For the sake of this list, we will be excluding players who disappointed due to injuries meaning that players like C.J. Mosley and Chris Herndon — who suffered through disappointing seasons in their own right — won’t be included.
Let’s take a look at five Jets who disappointed the most this past season.
Next: 5. Darryl Roberts
5. Darryl Roberts, CB
In hindsight, paying Darryl Roberts $18 million over three years with the hope that he could be a full-time starter was a poor decision in hindsight. And it’s moves like these that eventually got general manager Mike Maccagnan fired.
But that doesn’t mean that Roberts’ 2019 season was any less disappointing.
The 29-year-old was a career backup who excelled when given the opportunity to start in 2018. Due to injuries to the likes of Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne, Roberts was thrust into a starting role and he performed admirably.
Roberts earned a respectable 68.9 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2018 and that grade likely would have been higher if not for a few games he started — and struggled — at safety.
But in 2019, his PFF grade dropped to a very poor 56.6 capping off a very disappointing season. Roberts was benched in favor of newcomers Nate Hairston, Arthur Maulet, and Blessuan Austin and never regained his starting job back.
The Jets will be able to rid themselves of Roberts’ remaining $13 million cap hit over the next two years without any dead cap this offseason and they may just be willing to do that.
After his above-average play in 2018, Jets fans likely expected more from the 2015 seventh-round pick. But alas, Roberts proved that he wasn’t starting material this season.
Next: 4. Quinnen Williams
4. Quinnen Williams, DT
Anytime a player is selected with a top-five draft pick, fans expect an immediate impact from a high-caliber player. For that reason, Quinnen Williams‘ 2019 season must be viewed as a disappointment.
Williams was used in a rotation role in his rookie season and his numbers reflect that. The Alabama product finished with just 2.5 sacks and 28 tackles as he was mostly a non-factor in the passing game.
And even defending the run, Williams rarely made a splash play as he only had four tackles for loss on the year. Not exactly numbers worthy of the third overall pick.
Of course with any season, context must be taken into consideration.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams didn’t exactly use Williams as a pass-rush specialist. Instead, Williams was tasked with plugging up running lanes and filling gaps as a 1-technique defensive tackle.
Not exactly the role he typically filled while at Alabama.
Still, his lack of production must absolutely fall on him as well and Jets fans will certainly be hoping for a much more impactful season in 2020.
The cries of “bust” are definitely premature, but that doesn’t mean that Quinnen Williams didn’t disappoint in 2019.
Next: 3. Henry Anderson
3. Henry Anderson, DE
When the Jets traded a seventh-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for defensive lineman Henry Anderson during the 2018 NFL Draft, few expected the former Stanford standout to amount to much of anything.
But a breakout season that saw him total a career-high seven sacks was enough to earn him a sizable contract in the offseason. Anderson was handed a three-year, $25.2 million contract in March and there was hope that he would repeat his prior success in 2019.
Evidently, that didn’t end up happening.
Anderson quietly reverted back to his subpar pre-Jets form finishing with just one sack while making very little impact in either the pass or run game.
The 28-year-old would go on to earn the worst Pro Football Focus grade of his career finishing with a lowly 55.8 rating. Not only was he not getting statistical production, but clearly there wasn’t any “hidden production” either.
Unfortunately, the Jets are likely stuck with Anderson and his contract for another season and unless he regains his 2018 form next year, they’ll likely look to part ways following the 2020 season.
And after what we saw two years ago, it’s a shame that it might come to that.
Next: 2. Ryan Kalil
2. Ryan Kalil, C
The Jets made a number of high-profile free-agent additions back in March that fans hoped would turn the fortunes of the franchise around. But it wasn’t until August that new general manager Joe Douglas was able to coerce center Ryan Kalil out of retirement.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Kalil was signed to provide a huge boost to a Jets offensive line that had a huge hole at center going into the year. And the Jets hoped that Kalil would be the stabilizer up front that the team desperately needed.
But much like the others on this list, Kalil simply disappointed.
The Jets offensive line lacked unity and chemistry early in the season with Kalil’s late arrival blamed for such and the former Carolina Panthers stalwart looked like a shell of his former self.
Kalil finished with an abysmal 55.5 Pro Football Focus grade which was by far the worst of his 13-year career. He would play in just seven games before landing on the injured reserve and being replaced with Jonotthan Harrison who — while unspectacular — outperformed the aging veteran.
The Jets will gladly move on from Kalil this offseason and pass this signing off as a failed one-year experiment.
Next: 1. Le'Veon Bell
1. Le’Veon Bell, RB
Le’Veon Bell was supposed to transform the Jets offense. He was supposed to be the best skill position player the team had in years and he was expected to make life much easier for young quarterback Sam Darnold.
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Now one year later, it’s clear that none of those things proved to be true. Truthfully speaking, there may be no greater disappointment in the NFL this season than Bell.
Much like Williams, however, context is crucial.
Bell was saddled with running behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and grossly misused by head coach Adam Gase.
Rather than get the talented running back in space by deploying outside runs and throwing him the football, Gase opted to use Bell as an inside-the-tackles runner and throw him the football at the lowest rate of his career.
Bell saw just over five targets per game which was the lowest total in any full season since his rookie year. And given the way he was used and the poor offensive line he ran behind, Bell’s horrendous 3.2 yards per carry average is far from unexpected.
But that doesn’t mean that anything we saw in 2019 was any less of a disappointment.
Bell underperformed last season due to a combination of factors, but there’s no argument that supports the notion that he didn’t disappoint in 2019.