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Now it's clear: Jets are tanking the season, looking ahead to 2018


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Now it's clear: Jets are tanking the season, looking ahead to 2018

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Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sometimes you wonder if the New York Jets will ever figure it out. What they did Tuesday, abruptly releasing the well-respected David Harris and pushing Eric Decker out the door, stinks on so many levels.

To me, this reeks of owner Woody Johnson trying to save money. By dumping Harris and Decker, who will be released or traded by the end of the week, Johnson will save $13.75 million in cash payroll. He probably figures they're going to be miserable anyway, so why not save some money in the process?

I hate to invoke the 'T' word -- tanking -- but this sure looks like a tank job. Harris and Decker are solid players that could've helped the Jets in 2017, but the team seems more concerned about 2018 than anything else.

Johnson has put coach Todd Bowles in an almost impossible situation. It's one thing to dump an aging player with a prohibitive contract (Darrelle Revis) or a young player with a bad attitude (Calvin Pryor), but to fire two proven veterans on June 6?

There's a fine line between rebuilding and tearing down for the sake of tearing down. This is the latter. They're also undercutting the coach's chances of succeeding. This is an ominous sign for Bowles, who has to feel helpless.

Let's examine what unfolded on Black Tuesday, starting with Harris.

It made no sense from a football perspective, and it was a lousy way to treat a loyal, classy player who rarely missed a day of work in 10 years and never -- repeat, never -- got into any trouble off the field.

Harris was one of Bowles' favorite players, and no one can convince me Bowles was in favor of this move. He tried his best to mask his true feelings, calling it "an organizational decision," but that was just Bowles being a company man. He was stung by the move, and it was written all over his face.

First of all, they don't even have an obvious replacement on the roster. Darron Lee and Demario Davis, re-acquired last week in a trade, aren't "Mike" linebackers. Bowles mentioned Davis, Bruce Carter and Julian Stanford as candidates to replace Harris. Give him credit for keeping a straight face when mentioning Stanford, a marginal player who may not even make the roster.

Harris' salary -- a non-guaranteed $6.5 million -- wasn't prohibitive. They easily could've kept him on the roster because, let's face it, it's not like they've been paying top dollar for talent this offseason. Why not just carry the $6.5 million?

"That's a good question," Bowles said before explaining that everyone in the organization was "on the same page" after multiple internal discussions.

Sorry, I'm not buying that.

The Jets made it about money by approaching Harris a few days ago about a pay cut. They should've done it in March; that would've given him more options. Because Harris was in the final year of his contract, there was no cap benefit to waiting. So why wait until early June?

"That's a good question," Bowles said.

Bowles doesn't have final say over personnel, so this tells me there could be a disconnect between him and management. Earlier in the day, I asked Bowles about the possibility of cutting Decker, too. He was non-committal. Asked about all the high-profile players that have been cut on his watch, he insisted, "It's not like they're going behind my back when they're making decisions." He said he's cool with everything.

Again, I'm skeptical. Do you think he's cool with Josh McCown throwing to Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson? Or Christian Hackenberg throwing to them? Oh, man.

If the coach stands on the table for a player, as I believe Bowles did with Harris, why not defer to the coach?

The NFL is a cold-blooded business, and there isn't much loyalty among players and owners, but there's a right way of doing things and a wrong way. The Jets opted for the latter with Harris, firing a future Ring-of-Honor member after the eighth OTA practice. Harris deserved better.

 

Has Harris declined? Sure, he's not a three-down player anymore, but he's still a solid run defender and was "the glue" to the defense, as Bowles liked to call him. It would've been a different story if they had signed a quality replacement -- they flirted with free agent Don'ta Hightower in March -- but no savior is walking through the door in the middle of June.

On paper, Harris didn't fit the youth movement, but you can't have a team filled with young players. You need some wise heads to lead the transition, and Harris would've been ideal because he has no ego. Unlike Marshall, who wanted no part of rebuilding, Harris preferred to stay.

So much for loyalty.

Get ready for a long and painful year.

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Part and parcel of tank seasons is a serious scramble to cover one's ass while simultaneously burying the guy next to you. I want to see how the nonsense QB "competition" takes shape, if Bowles keeps pushing McCown out there and if Maccagnan does something about it. It's worth remembering that John Morton left a cush job with the Saints to oversee this toilet, and I can't imagine he's just gonna lay back and watch his career implode in six months.

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What are the odds Decker would make it through 1/2 the season healthy? Anyone? 

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

6/6/17, 8:15 PM

As Jets look to see if they can trade WR Eric Decker, he has been medically cleared from off-season shoulder and hip surgery, and is healthy

 

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1 minute ago, C Mart said:

What are the odds Decker would make it through 1/2 the season healthy? Anyone? 

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

6/6/17, 8:15 PM

As Jets look to see if they can trade WR Eric Decker, he has been medically cleared from off-season shoulder and hip surgery, and is healthy

 

They waited for this to cut him.  

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6 minutes ago, ThisYearsModel said:

Problem is, these are the Jets. They'll win a few games and screw up the Tank job too. At least everyone knows they are tanking and it is on purpose, unlike the last 48 years.


Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

Maccs made this roster win-proof. I was nervous about winning too many games but not anymore. Only way this team wins more than a couple of games is if Hack quickly evolves into a stud. Even as the most ardent hack supporter, I don't think that's possible.

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57 minutes ago, Gas2No99 said:

Now it's clear: Jets are tanking the season, looking ahead to 2018

i?img=%2Fmedia%2Fmotion%2F2017%2F0606%2F

Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sometimes you wonder if the New York Jets will ever figure it out. What they did Tuesday, abruptly releasing the well-respected David Harris and pushing Eric Decker out the door, stinks on so many levels.

To me, this reeks of owner Woody Johnson trying to save money. By dumping Harris and Decker, who will be released or traded by the end of the week, Johnson will save $13.75 million in cash payroll. He probably figures they're going to be miserable anyway, so why not save some money in the process?

I hate to invoke the 'T' word -- tanking -- but this sure looks like a tank job. Harris and Decker are solid players that could've helped the Jets in 2017, but the team seems more concerned about 2018 than anything else.

Johnson has put coach Todd Bowles in an almost impossible situation. It's one thing to dump an aging player with a prohibitive contract (Darrelle Revis) or a young player with a bad attitude (Calvin Pryor), but to fire two proven veterans on June 6?

There's a fine line between rebuilding and tearing down for the sake of tearing down. This is the latter. They're also undercutting the coach's chances of succeeding. This is an ominous sign for Bowles, who has to feel helpless.

Let's examine what unfolded on Black Tuesday, starting with Harris.

It made no sense from a football perspective, and it was a lousy way to treat a loyal, classy player who rarely missed a day of work in 10 years and never -- repeat, never -- got into any trouble off the field.

Harris was one of Bowles' favorite players, and no one can convince me Bowles was in favor of this move. He tried his best to mask his true feelings, calling it "an organizational decision," but that was just Bowles being a company man. He was stung by the move, and it was written all over his face.

First of all, they don't even have an obvious replacement on the roster. Darron Lee and Demario Davis, re-acquired last week in a trade, aren't "Mike" linebackers. Bowles mentioned Davis, Bruce Carter and Julian Stanford as candidates to replace Harris. Give him credit for keeping a straight face when mentioning Stanford, a marginal player who may not even make the roster.

Harris' salary -- a non-guaranteed $6.5 million -- wasn't prohibitive. They easily could've kept him on the roster because, let's face it, it's not like they've been paying top dollar for talent this offseason. Why not just carry the $6.5 million?

"That's a good question," Bowles said before explaining that everyone in the organization was "on the same page" after multiple internal discussions.

Sorry, I'm not buying that.

The Jets made it about money by approaching Harris a few days ago about a pay cut. They should've done it in March; that would've given him more options. Because Harris was in the final year of his contract, there was no cap benefit to waiting. So why wait until early June?

"That's a good question," Bowles said.

Bowles doesn't have final say over personnel, so this tells me there could be a disconnect between him and management. Earlier in the day, I asked Bowles about the possibility of cutting Decker, too. He was non-committal. Asked about all the high-profile players that have been cut on his watch, he insisted, "It's not like they're going behind my back when they're making decisions." He said he's cool with everything.

Again, I'm skeptical. Do you think he's cool with Josh McCown throwing to Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson? Or Christian Hackenberg throwing to them? Oh, man.

If the coach stands on the table for a player, as I believe Bowles did with Harris, why not defer to the coach?

The NFL is a cold-blooded business, and there isn't much loyalty among players and owners, but there's a right way of doing things and a wrong way. The Jets opted for the latter with Harris, firing a future Ring-of-Honor member after the eighth OTA practice. Harris deserved better.

 

Has Harris declined? Sure, he's not a three-down player anymore, but he's still a solid run defender and was "the glue" to the defense, as Bowles liked to call him. It would've been a different story if they had signed a quality replacement -- they flirted with free agent Don'ta Hightower in March -- but no savior is walking through the door in the middle of June.

On paper, Harris didn't fit the youth movement, but you can't have a team filled with young players. You need some wise heads to lead the transition, and Harris would've been ideal because he has no ego. Unlike Marshall, who wanted no part of rebuilding, Harris preferred to stay.

So much for loyalty.

Get ready for a long and painful year.

Painful? How so? they are in prime position to get a top qb next draft

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5 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

Maccs made this roster win-proof. I was nervous about winning too many games but not anymore. Only way this team wins more than a couple of games is if Hack quickly evolves into a stud. Even as the most ardent hack supporter, I don't think that's possible.

Three years into a regime, dude declares the roster is "win-proof," chides others for questioning regime. 

 

Cant make this up.

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3 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Three years into a regime, dude declares the roster is "win-proof," chides others for questioning regime. 

 

Cant make this up.

He went for it in year 1. Got 10 wins. Couldn't tank following a ten win year. It all fell apart and now he's doing the right thing. 

Since you're so smart, tell me what you would have done differently this off season? Only thing I can complain about is going back to back safeties. Other than that I have zero issues. 

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19 minutes ago, ThisYearsModel said:

Problem is, these are the Jets. They'll win a few games and screw up the Tank job too. At least everyone knows they are tanking and it is on purpose, unlike the last 48 years.


Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

This isn't about tanking for a #1 QB. This is about rebuilding a team that had lots of aging vets and a team needing a influx of good young players. 

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42 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Part and parcel of tank seasons is a serious scramble to cover one's ass while simultaneously burying the guy next to you. I want to see how the nonsense QB "competition" takes shape, if Bowles keeps pushing McCown out there and if Maccagnan does something about it. It's worth remembering that John Morton left a cush job with the Saints to oversee this toilet, and I can't imagine he's just gonna lay back and watch his career implode in six months.

It would be so Jets like for Morton to resign before camp, and become a stud O-Coordinator elsewhere.

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the players are reading this too.  hopefully it will motivate them into playing hard and learning the game.  but it could also backfire.  there was no real reason to launch harris or decker.  both of these guys played football without any trouble.

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29 minutes ago, C Mart said:

What are the odds Decker would make it through 1/2 the season healthy? Anyone? 

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

6/6/17, 8:15 PM

As Jets look to see if they can trade WR Eric Decker, he has been medically cleared from off-season shoulder and hip surgery, and is healthy

 

Trade him to the Browns for Pryor. We need to get as many safties as we can.

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team-helmets-jets.png 
YOUR TEAM
NEW YORK JETS
YOUR PICKS
RECENT PICKS
 
 
Big Board Selected: Fanspeak
JETS REMAINING TEAM NEEDS
QB, OT, CB, EDGE, DL, S, TE, RB, G
PLAYERS AVAILABLE
1 QB  SAM DARNOLD - USC
2 WR  CALVIN RIDLEY - ALABAMA
3 QB  MASON RUDOLPH - OKLAHOMA STATE
4 EDGE  ARDEN KEY - LSU
5 QB  JOSH ROSEN - UCLA
6 DL  CHRISTIAN WILKINS - CLEMSON
7 CB  TARVARUS MCFADDEN - FLORIDA STATE
8 OT  MIKE MCGLINCHEY - NOTRE DAME
9 EDGE  SAM HUBBARD - OHIO STATE
10 RB  SAQUON BARKLEY - PENN STATE
11 EDGE  HAROLD LANDRY - BOSTON COLLEGE
12 CB  MINKAH FITZPATRICK - ALABAMA
13 S  DERWIN JAMES - FLORIDA STATE
14 DL  LOWELL LOTULELEI - UTAH
15 QB  JOSH ALLEN - WYOMING
16 WR  JAMES WASHINGTON - OKLAHOMA STATE
17 EDGE  MARQUIS HAYNES - MISSISSIPPI
18 DL  VITA VEA - WASHINGTON
19 S  JORDAN WHITEHEAD - PITTSBURGH
20 RB  DERRIUS GUICE - LSU
21 G  QUENTON NELSON - NOTRE DAME
22 OT  TYRELL CROSBY - OREGON
23 EDGE  TYQUAN LEWIS - OHIO STATE
24 S  RONNIE HARRISON - ALABAMA
25 EDGE  JAYLON FERGUSON - LOUISIANA TECH
26 RB  ROYCE FREEMAN - OREGON
27 WR  DEON CAIN - CLEMSON
28 QB  LAMAR JACKSON - LOUISVILLE
29 CB  TONY BROWN - ALABAMA
30 S  QUIN BLANDING - VIRGINIA
31 TE  TROY FUMAGALLI - WISCONSIN
 
 
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3 hours ago, T0mShane said:

Part and parcel of tank seasons is a serious scramble to cover one's ass while simultaneously burying the guy next to you. I want to see how the nonsense QB "competition" takes shape, if Bowles keeps pushing McCown out there and if Maccagnan does something about it. It's worth remembering that John Morton left a cush job with the Saints to oversee this toilet, and I can't imagine he's just gonna lay back and watch his career implode in six months.

I like John Morton so far and honestly, I think he'd make a better Head Coach than Bowles.  It really wouldn't shock me at all to see Todd get fired halfway through the year and Morton given a legit shot to show he can run the team.  Maybe it's half the bottle of Jack Daniels making it's way into my system but f*ck it. It's gonna be a lonnnnnngggg year.

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