It's always darkest before the dawn. A week ago, here on The Jet Press, I wrote about how the feeling was that things would get a lot darker for the NY Jets before there would be any hint of light on the team's horizon.
Welcome to the darkest period of Jets fandom. Three weeks into the NFL season, the 0-3 Jets are already out of contention, and the franchise's residence at the rock bottom of the league remains intact.
It's an all-too-familiar feeling surrounding the Jets franchise. One that's not going to be washed away so quickly.
It's inevitable. This season, the Jets will match their longest playoff drought from 1970 to 1980 — 11 straight years without a playoff berth. When the 2021 season ends, the tombstone will read 2011-2021 — a long period of nothingness for the New York Jets.
Hopefully, that's the end of the fan base's suffering. But until positive signs emerge suggesting otherwise, it might not be.
The expectations were low coming into this year for even the most ardent supporters of the franchise, but the feeling was that 2021 would be a fun rebuilding process.
The hopes were that the Jets would start their climb back to relevancy by playing an endearing style of football that would match its new charismatic leader, Robert Saleh.
Through three weeks, none of that has happened. The Jets are winless, but that's not the issue.
It's the feeling of hopelessness surrounding the franchise that still remains, despite pressing a giant reset button and starting fresh. To this point, the Jets' new identity on the field looks the same as the old one.
The team's performance, combined with its misfortune to start the year, has drained a lot of the enthusiasm that surrounded the team this summer. The losses on and off the field are mounting. And one of the team's best players is praying for his exit.
It's been a rough few months for New York.
The Jets lost a vital part of their offense when Greg Knapp was tragically killed in an accident this past July. Then in August, two of the team's most critical acquisitions on defense were lost to injury in defensive end Carl Lawson and linebacker Jarrad Davis. Lawson was lost for the year.
Not to mention the loss of defensive end Vinny Curry, who was expected to provide veteran leadership on and off the field.
The hits kept coming when the regular season started with left tackle Mekhi Becton and another key free-agent acquisition in safety Lamarcus Joyner going down in Week 1. Now, franchise-tagged safety Marcus Maye is out for 3-4 weeks.
Many of the figures mentioned in the above paragraph were supposed to be leaders who helped forge the Jets' new identity. Players like Becton still can in 2021, when he recovers from his knee injury. Lawson, if he can get back to full strength, will a year from now.
But players like Marcus Maye are living their last days as a member of the green and white. He may never put on a Jets uniform again.
The Jets are definitely rebuilding, but it's an ongoing process that is still in its earliest infancy. There is still some unfinished business in regards to completing the process.
Because of their poor standing, the Jets will be prominent sellers on the trade market. And as a result, many veteran players like Maye, who are not expected back with the team in 2022, will be on the chopping block.
Let's look at the Maye situation as mentioned above first and other veteran players, the Jets could trade before the deadline on November 2nd.