3 things we learned from the NY Jets 2024 offseason

Some of the NY Jets' moves provide insight into how the team plans to contend in 2024.
Morgan Moses
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3. The NY Jets are taking the new kickoff rules seriously

The new kickoff rules taking effect this year promise to reinvigorate a play that had largely become ceremonial since the last rule change. Prior to the kickoff being moved up to the 30-yard line the Jets often employed dangerous returners such as Chad Morton, Leon Washington, Brad Smith, and Joe McKnight.

One of the thoughts when the Jets drafted Malachi Corley a common thought was that his tremendous YAC ability could be put to use in returning kicks. Since then the Jets have made a couple of moves to double down on finding productivity from their kick return unit.

The Jets have taken a flier on former All-Pro return man Tarik Cohen. Injuries and off-field tragedies have derailed Cohen's once-promising career, but if he proves healthy and can return to form he can be dangerous with the new rules.

Hedging their bets, the Jets also worked out another former All-Pro kick returner in Jakeem Grant this spring. Like Cohen, injuries have kept Grant out for the last two seasons. However, when he's been healthy he's been productive with four career punt return touchdowns and two kick return touchdowns.

Still in the fold is last year's primary return man Xavier Gipson who beat out veteran Mecole Hardman for the kick and punt return jobs. Gipson was up and down in this role, scoring a touchdown on a punt return on opening night while also muffing some punts and failing to make much of an impact returning kickoffs.

That said, he's a young player with speed and potential to add to the crowded return man competition that should be interesting to watch this summer.

The Jets are clearly looking for any advantage they can grab, and want to put as many points on the board to support their stellar defense. This is a further commitment to special teams which has received more and more support from the organization in recent years. It's also a really good idea.

The above three things are clear initiatives the Jets are taking based on their moves this offseason. Some, like investing in return men are clearly smart moves to capitalize on the changing NFL environment. Some, like the run scheme change, were born out of necessity and availability of players to fill an obvious need.

And some, like the changes to how the defensive line will look and operate will raise eyebrows and may seem questionable until we see the results on the field.

Without a doubt, however, these are three key items to keep an eye on once the cool autumn air of September rolls in and the games start counting in the standings.