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Jets have $80M to spend, but is Maccagnan right guy to spend it?


Ken Schroy
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Jets have $80M to spend, but is Maccagnan right guy to spend it?

In the span of 12 days in the summer of 2016, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan handed out two big contracts. On July 15, he signed Muhammad Wilkerson to a five-year, $86 million deal. On July 27, he signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $12 million deal. Those moves tied up the two biggest loose ends around the Jets that summer and were widely hailed as good moves by fans and observers (raising my hand sheepishly.) Whoops. Seventeen months later it is clear those two contracts were mistakes and now are two of the biggest blemishes on Maccagnan’s Jets résumè. Fitzpatrick flamed out last season and the Jets and Wilkerson are heading for a divorce, perhaps as early as Wednesday, after his alarm clock failed one too many times. Throw in the five-year, $70 million deal he signed Darrelle Revis to in 2015 and you could argue that Maccagnan’s three biggest contracts have all been busts. Revis’ deal falls more on owner Woody Johnson, who was pushing to bring him back, than Maccagnan, but it still counts as a Maccagnan signing.

The Wilkerson and Fitzpatrick decisions were similar, and you wonder how they will affect Maccagnan’s decision-making going forward. Both players were coming off strong 2015 seasons, but the organization clearly had reservations about paying big money to either one. With Wilkerson, there were questions about his commitment and how he would react once he got paid. With Fitzpatrick, there were questions about whether 2015 was an anomaly that could be duplicated. In both cases, those reservations turned out to be prescient. What is most disturbing about both of these contract failures is the Jets had spent time with the players. This was not like signing a free agent from another team and then finding out his issues. They knew more about them than any outsider did and still they did not seem to trust their guts on the players. Maccagnan buckled at the last minute with both players. Was it public pressure? There were drumbeats from the media to sign both players and it is possible Maccagnan fell into the trap of listening to them.

Both players looked like they might go unsigned by the Jets until the final hours. For Wilkerson, to whom the Jets had applied the franchise tag, there was a 4 p.m. deadline on July 15 for him to sign a long-term deal or else he would have to play 2016 under the tag. Just before 4 p.m. that day, the Jets and Wilkerson agreed to a deal that paid him $36.75 million guaranteed. Fitzpatrick did not have a true deadline, but the Jets set an internal one of getting him signed before the first team meeting of training camp, which was at 7 p.m. on July 27. Fitzpatrick agreed to his deal just before 7 p.m. and made it to that first meeting. The Jets are projected to have more than $80 million in cap space to spend this offseason. This is Maccagnan’s chance to add an influx of talent to a roster that has plenty of holes.

Should you trust him to find the answers? Well, Maccagnan has shown he can identify talent, but, oddly, he usually does better on the small-ticket items than the big-ticket ones. His additions of Demario Davis, Kony Ealy, Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Kerley all paid dividends this season. Signing Robby Anderson as an undrafted free agent in 2016 looks like a brilliant move. On the negative side for Maccagnan are the failures of big-ticket signings Revis, Wilkerson and Fitzpatrick along with the drafting of quarterback in bubble wrap, Christian Hackenberg, in the second round of the 2016 draft. One thing Maccagnan deserves credit for with the signings of Revis and Wilkerson was building easy escapes after a few years, and Fitzpatrick’s was just a one-year deal. Still, Maccagnan spent nearly $88 million of Johnson’s money on those players with little to show in return. Maccagnan’s free-agency batting average is below the Mendoza line right now. It would help his cause if he hit some home runs in free agency this winter.

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I think he went on a heavy spending spree because he did not know what the roster had (since it was his first year) and wanted to surround Geno with as much talent as possible to see if he was the answer. While those FAs took up most of the cap Macc brought in cheaper alternatives via the draft/trades/waiver wire to build a young roster without needing to rely on them right away.

I don't think we will go too crazy in FA especially if we can't land Cousins.

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Look how successful the Jaguars have been with more heads in the room-Coughlin, Caldwell, Idzik, Marrone.  I think these guys start to believe their own baloney.  

Mac can’t spend that money and make those picks by himself.  It will set the team back 5 years.  

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1 hour ago, bla bla bla said:

I think he went on a heavy spending spree because he did not know what the roster had (since it was his first year) and wanted to surround Geno with as much talent as possible to see if he was the answer. While those FAs took up most of the cap Macc brought in cheaper alternatives via the draft/trades/waiver wire to build a young roster without needing to rely on them right away.

I don't think we will go too crazy in FA especially if we can't land Cousins.

I think it was moreso Woody's mandate to spend money and make this team competitive ASAP after the Idzik debacle.  Hence the push to bring Revis back. 

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1 minute ago, drsamuel84 said:

I think it was moreso Woody's mandate to spend money and make this team competitive ASAP after the Idzik debacle.  Hence the push to bring Revis back. 

I do think Revis was a woody move but the rest of the moves made sense as placeholders until he could bring in his own young guys to fill out the roster.

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29 minutes ago, Matt39 said:

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/

Everyone worth paying will either be resigned or franchised, so expect Maccagnan to do something incredibly stupid.

This is the result of awful drafting. You end up paying guys like Mo who don't play blue chip positions and overspend on mediocre talent from other teams.

And that list is straight poop compared to last year

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I think we have seen enough of Mac.  Same for Bowles.  

They need to both be replaced.  Of course they won't, because Jets ownership ALWAYS makes the wrong decision with these things.  Plus, with their terrible track record, Jets ownership would undoubtedly hire another 2 failures anyway.

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14 minutes ago, drsamuel84 said:

I think it was moreso Woody's mandate to spend money and make this team competitive ASAP after the Idzik debacle.  Hence the push to bring Revis back. 

this is the problem when the owner intervenes, you get an impatient owner who wants to win and spend on aging FAs while mccags the pure scout would rather draft BAP and then throw in a head coach who is only trying to save his job.  you have 3 people in power with 3 different agendas.  the most important thing this past offseason was woody conceding that they needed a full rebuild.  mccags gutted nearly the whole roster of dogcrap and malcontents (mo is hopefully the last one) and had a pretty good draft.  

i think mccags is a big step up in pure talent evaluation from the bad gms this team has had.  the question is, will his criteria for spending $$ in FA change with woody not screaming, win now, win now?

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15 minutes ago, bla bla bla said:

I do think Revis was a woody move but the rest of the moves made sense as placeholders until he could bring in his own young guys to fill out the roster.

Agreed, but all we did was delay the rebuild that was much needed.  Not to blame Idzik for everything but his two drafts and the lack of getting any real talent was debilitating to the organization long term and instead of trying to piece together a 10 win team Macc and Bowles should've went all in on the rebuild year one which I think the fans would've been much more patient of.

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He's signed those contracts but has it hindered the team? It also gave credit to Mac for allowing early exits out of those contracts. 

Either way, until this team starts winning and becoming more of an attractive destination, it's gonna be hard to sign any big name players unless we give them huge contracts. I can see the hot destinations being SF and the Rams, esp offensive players who would love to play in those systems. 

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2 minutes ago, MDL_JET said:

He's signed those contracts but has it hindered the team? It also gave credit to Mac for allowing early exits out of those contracts. 

Either way, until this team starts winning and becoming more of an attractive destination, it's gonna be hard to sign any big name players unless we give them huge contracts. I can see the hot destinations being SF and the Rams, esp offensive players who would love to play in those systems. 

so what you're saying is, the jets will not be a preferred destination until they find a qb.  so they should really consider drafting one.

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21 hours ago, Matt39 said:

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/

Everyone worth paying will either be resigned or franchised, so expect Maccagnan to do something incredibly stupid.

This is the result of awful drafting. You end up paying guys like Mo who don't play blue chip positions and overspend on mediocre talent from other teams.

why do you think he'll do something stupid?  i hope he has learned from wilky's and revis' contracts.  and the awful drafting was a part of this organization long before mac came to town.   i don't like it when teams load up with free agents.  too many times teams will spend tons and have nothing to show for it.  plus free agents are going to be fourth year players or guys who are coming off of their big money contracts. many are clearly on the backside of their careers. and when teams spend big bucks to land a free agent they're going to keep the younger guys on the bench.  it's not always talent driven either.

imo mac isn't going to be doling out huge contracts unless one of a few can't miss guys comes free (hopefully a center). he's going to build through the draft and use the money to re-sign some of the jets own free agents (asj, davis, enunwa, kearse). maybe he does try to bring shelly back but at reasonable cost.  that would alleviate the need to go dline in the draft.

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20 hours ago, UnitedWhofans said:

"Maccagnan buckled at the last minute with both players. Was it public pressure? There were drumbeats from the media to sign both players"

There it is. 

This is a good article and explains the good and the bad with Maccagnan, especially the last paragraph.

He has a point but the greater point is finding a GM who can handle NY media and not buckle to either that or this horrendous ownership. Until then, along with finding that all too elusive franchise QB and HC, it doesn't really ****kng matter and well, F this sh*t team and everything about it.

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20 hours ago, UnitedWhofans said:

"Maccagnan buckled at the last minute with both players. Was it public pressure? There were drumbeats from the media to sign both players"

There it is. 

This is a good article and explains the good and the bad with Maccagnan, especially the last paragraph.

It seems as though you’re presenting this quote as though it reflects-at all-positively on Mike Maccagnan.

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2 hours ago, HessStation said:

He has a point but the greater point is finding a GM who can handle NY media and not buckle to either that or this horrendous ownership. Until then, along with finding that all too elusive franchise QB and HC, it doesn't really ****kng matter and well, F this sh*t team and everything about it.

Pretty much

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On 12/20/2017 at 8:24 AM, drsamuel84 said:

I think it was moreso Woody's mandate to spend money and make this team competitive ASAP after the Idzik debacle.  Hence the push to bring Revis back. 

You have to spend a certain amount of money.   Woody may have pushed for Revis, the rest was on Macc.

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