NY Jets: Adam Gase has been fired — what comes next?

NY Jets, Adam Gase (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Adam Gase (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
NY Jets, Adam Gase
NY Jets, Adam Gase /

NY Jets, Adam Gase Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets have officially fired head coach Adam Gase. So what comes next?

The NY Jets are set to embark on a new era. An era that will hopefully be filled with more promise, excitement, and success than their previous one. It will be an era without Adam Gase.

The Jets announced the inevitable late on Sunday when the team released a statement that they had officially parted ways with Gase. He had been fired. And just like that, one of the darkest periods in the franchise’s history had come to an end.

Gase departs with a career 9-23 record in New York, but that doesn’t come close to telling the whole story.

16 of those 23 losses (nearly 70 percent) came by double digits. The Jets scored fewer than 20 points 20 times. Gase’s offense ranked dead last in yards per game in both seasons with the Jets and never finished above 31st in points per game and offensive efficiency.

There has been no worse offense in football over the last two years than the Jets’ offense under Gase. So much for that “brilliant offensive mind” of his.

Gase is gone and that’s encouraging, albeit expected news. But his departure doesn’t come close to fixing the Jets’ problems. So what comes next?

What is the next step in the process of rebuilding this miserable disaster of an organization?

Next: 1. Hire the right head coach

NY Jets, Adam Gase
NY Jets, Adam Gase /

NY Jets, Adam Gase Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. The NY Jets must hire the right head coach

Everything will start with who the Jets hire as Gase’s replacement. Two years ago, owner Christopher Johnson was faced with a decision that would shape the direction of the franchise.

With Todd Bowles out of the picture and a young, promising quarterback in Sam Darnold, Johnson needed to ensure that he hired the right coach who could not only develop Darnold, but continue to grow the team into a contender.

He chose Adam Gase. And the rest is history.

The Jets can ill-afford to make the same mistake this time around. It’s increasingly likely that the Jets move on from Darnold in the offseason and start anew at the position. And if that’s the case, they’ll find themselves in a very similar position to the one they were in two years ago.

Only this time, it might not only be the fate of their new quarterback on the line, but that of general manager Joe Douglas.

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Douglas is expected to lead the hiring process and, if all goes according to plan, he’ll be paired with “his guy.” This will likely be Douglas’ only chance to hire a head coach with the Jets, so much like Johnson, it’s crucial that he makes the right pick.

Bottom line, the Jets need a leader of men. They don’t need a flashy “offensive mind” with no experience as a head coach (as much as someone like Joe Brady would be exciting). They need a CEO-type leader who can change the culture of the franchise.

Keep your eyes on guys like Matt Campbell from Iowa State and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, but don’t be surprised if the Jets go the Wink Martindale route.

Hiring a new coach is the first step in the process. And it’s a step that the Jets can’t afford to mess up.

Next: 2. Rebuild through free agency

NY Jets, Adam Gase
NY Jets, Adam Gase /

NY Jets, Adam Gase Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

2. The NY Jets must rebuild the roster through free agency

Joe Douglas opted for the bargain-shopping approach in free agency in his first full offseason with the team. But expect that to change this time around — at least a little.

While fans shouldn’t be expecting a Mike Maccagnan-esque shopping spree, Douglas will likely be more aggressive than he was a year ago. With over $70 million in cap space (and more on the way), the Jets will have plenty of financial flexibility this offseason.

And with needs up and down the roster, there should be no shortage of potential positions to target. Fortunately for them, this free agency period could be ripe with top-tier talent as well.

Wide receivers like Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are set to hit the open market. If any of the four tests free agency (Smith-Schuster and Robinson are the most likely), the Jets should be all over them.

As for the offensive line, the attention will shift to Joe Thuney and Brandon Scherff who both stand a good chance at hitting the market. Both players were franchise tagged last offseason meaning that it’s likely extension or bust for each of them.

The cornerback market is thin with only William Jackson III a legitimate above-average outside cornerback option at the moment. But the likes of Matt Judon, Bud Dupree, and Shaquil Barrett all make sense as edge rushers to target.

Simply put, the Jets will have options. While teams oftentimes find more success building through the draft, it never hurts to supplement the roster in free agency.

The Jets will have the cap space to do so, and expect Douglas to take advantage this time around.

Next: 3. Hit on their draft picks

NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. The NY Jets must hit on their draft picks

Not only will the Jets have a boatload of cap space to play with this offseason, but they’ll also have an enviable amount of draft capital. Nine total picks including two first-rounders and a whopping six within the top-100 is enough to make any GM salivate.

And after the success that Douglas’ first draft class has had, Jets fans should be cautiously optimistic about what their GM could do this offseason.

Of course, everything starts with the No. 2 overall pick. While the Jets will have their choice of options, the best and most likely option would be to stay put and select a quarterback — be that Ohio State’s Justin Fields or BYU’s Zach Wilson.

After that, it’s impossible to say what positions will be addressed without knowing the full outcome of free agency.

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It’s safe to predict that the Jets will likely target a cornerback early given the weak crop of free agents available this year. Edge rusher also seems to be a likely target and the Jets will surely address their offensive skill positions.

Providing their new quarterback with a proper supporting cast is essential. That will come with improved interior offensive line play, some additional pass-catchers, and a viable running game.

Douglas must use his nine selections to not only add potential building blocks of the future, but to continue filling out this roster with depth. After all, it’s likely half or more of the players under contract right now won’t even be on the team come next September.

The Jets have put their trust in Douglas to properly evaluate and identify talent. Now he must reward them for their trust.

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Adam Gase is gone, but this organization still has a long way to go before they could begin to field a consistent contender.

The resources are there, however, for them to get it done sooner rather than later.