Saleh is known for his high intensity, passionate love for the game in which he often exhibits on the sidelines. The Jets should be jumping for joy at the fact they were able to land such a hot commodity at the time in Saleh.
His job has officially begun.
Usually, the first order of business for first-year head coaches is to hire their coaching staff. Many have already speculated that Saleh will be joined by 49ers’ passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur, brother of Matt LaFleur, who currently serves as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
It will be the job of both Saleh and LaFleur, to evaluate soon-to-be fourth-year quarterback, Sam Darnold.
Sam Darnold’s future with the NY Jets remains uncertain
At first glance, no one really knows the answer to how long the Saleh-Darnold marriage will last. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson recently said that Darnold’s future with the team isn’t all that “cut and dry.”
While ESPN’s Rich Cimini recently reported that Saleh and LaFleur believe Darnold has “untapped potential”. Both may be true, of course, the Jets will certainly try and keep this topic within Florham Park facility walls.
Regardless of the staff’s opinion on Darnold, the financial aspect of keeping him around for another year may be all fans need to dissect this anomaly. If the Jets were to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, it would cost the team around $25 million.
One wouldn’t be too sure a new coaching staff would risk a good portion of their cap space on a single player who hasn’t exactly proven he’s worth what he would be getting paid.
The Jets wouldn’t have to pick up the option until after the 2021 NFL Draft, so fans are likely to get an answer before that becomes a serious topic of discussion.
Overall, the Jets have two options — trade Sam Darnold, or play Sam Darnold. The Jets won’t pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option unless he’s a bonafide starter in 2021.