3 small NY Jets moves that could make a big difference in 2024

These under-the-radar moves could make a big impact in 2024
Greg Zuerlein
Greg Zuerlein / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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3. NY Jets re-sign Greg Zuerlein and Thomas Morstead

Okay, so this is cheating a bit, but these two players make up the core of the Jets special teams and have been a big reason that performance in this crucial facet of the game has turned around.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Thomas Morstead were arguably the two most valuable players on the team last season and priority re-signings for general manager Joe Douglas.

Early in Joe Douglas's tenure, Jets fans became accustomed to watching points fall off the board while the team paraded around a clown car of horrid kickers like Kaare Vedvik, Sam Ficken, and Matt Ammendola just to name a few. Unlike clowns though, watching these guys was anything but funny.

Zuerlein arrived in 2022 and stabilized the kicking role. Last season in particular he was near automatic going converting 35-of-38 field goal attempts which was tied for ninth in the league. On kickoffs, he was third in the league in touchback percentage at 90.6%.

Morstead joined the team last year for his second stint with the team. The first time around, the Jets signed him in 2021 as an injury replacement for former sixth-round draft pick Braden Mann. Mann proved to be a liability eventually costing the Jets games like the walk-off punt return against New England in 2022.

While the Jets foolishly punted Morstead to the curb in 2021, he was a revelation in 2023 consistently pinning opponents deep and launching bombs with enough hang time for his coverage team to make plays.

Often overlooked, football games are pretty regularly won or lost based on the field position battle. A team's ability to make their opposition go as far as possible to score, and to maximize their own scoring opportunities is crucial and often is the deciding factor between two otherwise evenly matched teams.

That's why these two players have such an impact on the team. Last year, though the final record was disappointing, these two were unseen forces responsible for at least a couple of wins. If everything else goes to plan this season, their impact will be magnified even greater, and retaining them will prove to be one of Douglas's most impactful moves.

Of the many splashy moves the Jets made this offseason, the three that have pretty much flown under the radar could be the most impactful.

The toughness of John Simpson rubbing off on his teammates across the line can be the difference between a merely good unit and one that imposes its will on the opposition.

A mystery-wrapped-in-an-enigma might prove to be the next defensive playmaker and bail out the team in a big way if injury were to strike the Jets' biggest strength.

And two veterans who toil in relative obscurity will absolutely make the difference in a few games this season, and given where the Jets want to go, every game they can tally in the win column is a big one.