The NY Jets had quite the successful offseason, but these three moves are still a bit questionable.
NY Jets‘ general manager Joe Douglas was dealt a difficult hand in his first offseason with the team. On top of being saddled with one of the worst rosters in the NFL, Douglas had to navigate through the difficult waves of a pandemic-riddled offseason.
Safe to say, it wasn’t the easiest task for a general manager taking part in his first offseason with the organization. But now that the dust has settled, it appears as though Douglas did a pretty good job overall.
From beefing up the offensive line to snagging a few very team-friendly contracts on defense, Douglas made a number of great moves in the offseason.
However, just as with any team, there were a few decisions made that left fans scratching their heads.
Now, it’s still too early to properly analyze the effects of each offseason move. Many signings/draft picks end up looking a lot better or worse with the benefit of hindsight.
On the other hand, some moves are destined to fail from the very beginning. Sometimes, you could predict future failures.
Douglas pushed a lot of the right buttons this offseason, but let’s take a look at three instances that seem very questionable at the moment.
Next: 3. Signing George Fant
3. The NY Jets may have made a mistake signing George Fant
Douglas clearly placed an emphasis on addressing a Jets offensive line that ranked in the bottom two in the NFL by nearly every metric last season. And in many ways, he accomplished that goal.
Signing established center Connor McGovern in free agency was a start and drafting standout Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round of the NFL Draft could be the move that makes his Jets tenure.
However, that doesn’t mean that every move came with sound reasoning.
The Jets decided to give veteran swing tackle George Fant a pretty sizable three-year, $30 million deal in the offseason — a hefty sum of money for a guy who could never hold down a starting job playing on Seattle’s lackluster offensive line.
Now, what’s important to note here is that Fant will likely never see that $30 million. The Jets could feasibly move on from his contract after just one season with only $2 million in dead cap. Essentially, this is a $13.7 million investment — the amount guaranteed to him at signing.
Still, Fant’s career of subpar play hardly makes him an intriguing starting option if Chuma Edoga fails to improve upon his awful rookie season.
Consider the fact that longtime Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga signed with the Los Angeles Chargers for the same three-year, $30 million contract. Bulaga is guaranteed more money, but he’s also a significantly better player with a much more proven track record.
Even if the Jets cut ties with Fant after one season, you could argue that he isn’t even worth the salary he’ll make in 2020. And if the Jets just spent a little more in guaranteed money, they could have had a much better player in Bulaga.
Perhaps Fant exceeds expectations in 2020 while Bulaga shows signs of aging. But on the surface, the money saved here doesn’t appear to be worth the loss of talent.
Next: 2. Drafting James Morgan
2. The NY Jets may have made a mistake drafting James Morgan
While the other two entries on this list have a chance of being disproven over time, it’s difficult to see the selection of FIU quarterback James Morgan in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft getting justified at any point in the future.
Look, it’s easy to understand what Douglas was doing here. The Jets had little to no depth behind Sam Darnold and he knows from personal experience just how valuable having a quality backup quarterback could be.
He clearly fell in love with Morgan’s leadership and intelligence and thought it would be great to have a long-term backup on a rookie deal for the next four years.
It’s understandable — but that still doesn’t mean it was the right decision.
The Jets roster is still one with many holes and Douglas could have used that fourth-round pick to select a player who could have much more of an impact.
The receiver position is still extremely thin (we’ll get to that), why not take a flier on another receiver? Why not continue bolstering the offensive line or another key defensive need like edge rusher?
There were other moves that could have been made here as opposed to drafting a player who you ideally hope never sees the field. Really, the only way that this pick becomes justified is if Darnold gets injured and Morgan is forced into action.
Drafting a backup quarterback in the fourth round isn’t necessarily a bad decision. But given the state of the Jets’ roster, it just didn’t make much sense.
Next: 1. Not re-signing Robby Anderson
1. The NY Jets may have made a mistake not re-signing Robby Anderson
The previous two entries could certainly be argued and you could even say that we were grasping at straws a bit. But this one — this seems to be a true mistake on Douglas’ part.
For some reason, there seems to have been a little revisionist history when it comes to Robby Anderson so it’s time to set the record straight.
Robby Anderson is a very good wide receiver who would serve as a mid-to-high-end No. 2 receiver on most teams. He worked hard to develop his all-around game to the point that when he left the Jets, he was no longer the one-trick-pony deep threat that many made him out to be.
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Anderson will never be the most complete wide receiver, but he’s a very good player. And if he were still on the Jets, he’d be the team’s best receiver.
The Carolina Panthers signed Anderson to a very reasonable two-year, $20 million contract in the offseason prompting questions as to why the team didn’t match that offer. Anderson wanted to return to the Jets, so why low-ball him so much?
Instead, the Jets immediately signed his replacement in the much less proven Breshad Perriman. Perriman could make up to $8 million on a one year deal in 2020 — a sizable chunk of money for a player with five games of production over his five-year career to this point.
Essentially, the Jets will have saved a measly $2 million for a player who, let’s be honest, is significantly worse than Anderson. Perriman has been a depth receiver every step of the way to this point and his issues with drops, route-running, and injuries have hindered his progress.
He’s made some strides, but he’s not the player that Anderson is — plain and simple.
The Jets still have a major hole at the wide receiver position and it’s mind-boggling that the team decided to save a little bit of money for a major drop-off in talent at a position of need.
Joe Douglas made a lot of great moves this offseason, but this one could ultimately come back to bite him.