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How Joe Douglas should rebuild Jets broken roster this NFL season


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How Joe Douglas should rebuild Jets’ broken roster this NFL offseason

January 2, 2020 | 2:15pm | Updated 

 
 

Joe Douglas spoke to reporters for 22 minutes on Tuesday, going over the 2019 season and looking ahead to 2020.

There were a lot of words spoken, but one simple sentence summed up what lies ahead for Douglas.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Douglas said.

You can say that again.

The Jets’ 7-9 season showed off plenty of roster holes. Years of poor drafting and poor free-agency decisions have left the Jets with one of the worst rosters in football. Now, Douglas, who was hired in June, gets to start fixing it.

He laid out what he wants in players to build the culture he seeks.

“It’s going to take people with the right level of commitment, character and competence,” Douglas said. “Every person, every player that we bring into this building, they’re going to be assessed on their fit within our culture and their ability to help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is win a Super Bowl, year in and year out.”

Culture is only half of the equation. He also needs to bring in some talent.

Douglas probably does not need our help, but we’ll offer it anyway. Here is how we would handle the big decisions of the Jets offseason.

Taking care of their own

The Jets have just under $60 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com. That number can jump to closer to $80 million with a few cuts – Trumaine Johnson, Brian Winters and Avery Williamson all range from definitely gone (Johnson, Winters) to possibly (Williamson).

That may sound like a lot of cap room, but the Jets have 22 unrestricted free agents and their best player is going to be looking for a raise, so much of that space could be gobbled up before free agency arrives.

I would start with star safety Jamal Adams, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal but is underpaid and deserves a big deal. Adams is due to make $3.5 million in 2020, a far cry from the $14 million per year the top safeties get. Landon Collins got a six-year, $84 million deal with $44.5 million in possible guarantees from the Redskins. That is the starting point in my mind for Adams. I would make him the highest-paid safety with a six-year, $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, making the team’s commitment to its best player clear. Douglas would send a clear message to the locker room — if you perform, you will be rewarded.

image.gif.d25168fd86ab475007e8470203df3058.gif

After Adams, I would try to re-sign Jordan Jenkins, who led the team with eight sacks, and won’t break the bank.

The Jets need to fix the offensive line in free agency and the draft, but I would re-sign guard Alex Lewis, who played well when he became a starter. I would also bring back tackle Kelvin Beachum with the hope that the Jets land a tackle in the draft who could either play left tackle with Beachum moving to right or play on the right side for one year before replacing Beachum at left tackle in 2021.

The trickiest decision may be wide receiver Robby Anderson. It is hard to replace speed like Anderson has. However, the prices being thrown around for Anderson would scare me. If I’m Douglas, I am not going higher than $12 million per year. If Anderson gets more than that from another team, wish him well and count on your scouts to find you a speed receiver.

As for running back Le’Veon Bell, I don’t think the Jets really have a choice. He is due $13 million guaranteed in 2020. No one is trading for that contract and I don’t think it makes sense for Douglas to eat money to make a trade.

Free agency

The Jets made a huge splash in free agency last year. They committed $122 million in guarantees quickly as former GM Mike Maccagnan went for it. This year, Douglas needs to be smarter and I think he will be. I already have the Jets making a big investment in Adams.

If I’m Douglas, I am pretty much sitting out the first two days of free agency when the funny money gets spent. Then, I’m pouncing on value.

The Jets’ player acquisition priority should be simple: Protect the quarterback and affect their quarterback. That is what the Jets failed to do enough of in 2019.

Enlarge Image Dante FowlerGetty Images

Redskins guard Brandon Scherff is the top offensive lineman expected to hit free agency. I think he might be too expensive for my plan, though. The Patriots’ Joe Thuney is scheduled to be free. If he hits the market, that might be a more affordable option at guard.

The Jets are going to need at least three new starters on the offensive line between free agency and the draft. Getting a guard and a tackle during the second wave of free agency would remove some pressure during the draft.

Edge rushers are hard to find in free agency. If a team has a good one, it usually does not let him go. Jadeveon Clowney is the big name expected to be free. I would not go near him.

Bud Dupree of the Steelers is interesting, but Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said re-signing him is a priority. He also may cost too much.

Dante Fowler of the Rams may hit the market and may carry a more palatable price tag.

The Jets also need a cornerback. James Bradberry of the Panthers could be an attractive option.

One other priority I would have in free agency is backup quarterback. Sam Darnold has missed six games in his first two years. The Jets are 0-6 in those games. Jets coach Adam Gase has not had much success with backups in Miami or this season.

Teddy Bridgewater may have options as a free agent to compete for a starting job, but if he would entertain coming back to the Jets, he is worth a one-year, $10 million deal like they gave Josh McCown two years ago. The position is too crucial to pinch pennies.

The draft

It is impossible to forecast the draft in January. The Jets’ needs are going to change after free agency and players are going to rise and fall on draft boards.

Enlarge Image  

The Jets have eight picks, four in the top 80. Those four players need to be starters or major contributors.

With the 11th pick, the Jets should take the best offensive lineman/edge rusher/cornerback available. This should not be “best player available” and draft another defensive tackle. Douglas should zero in on those three positions and figure out who the best player from that group is.

The best player at those positions figures to be off the board, but if someone like Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas or Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah falls to the Jets, they should pounce. More likely Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa or his teammate Tristan Wirfs, a tackle, will be the pick.

Wide receiver is also a huge need for the Jets. The good news is this is a deep draft for receivers, according to the draft gurus. Douglas should be able to find a starter in the second or third round to either pair with Anderson or replace him.

Like Douglas said, there’s a lot of work to do.

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24 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

I would make him the highest-paid safety with a six-year, $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, making the team’s commitment to its best player clear. Douglas would send a clear message to the locker room — if you perform, you will be rewarded.

ric flair hip thrusts GIF

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26 minutes ago, SAR I said:

The roster isn't broken.  We would have been 11-5 if healthy.

SAR I

i don't think even i believe that.  the roster is broken.  they need at least new olinemen and a receiver to compliment anderson.  and then they need a reliable no. 1 corner and edge.  and then if they're healthy they'd be 11-5.  the thing is the guys who were injured like trumaine, osemyle, winters, kalil really weren't playing all that well to begin with.  their loss was actually a gain because the back ups did much better.  about the only guys who weren't easily replaced were mosely and griffin.  hard to say much about herndon because of the suspension and then injury.

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8 minutes ago, rangerous said:

i don't think even i believe that.  the roster is broken.  they need at least new olinemen and a receiver to compliment anderson.  and then they need a reliable no. 1 corner and edge.  and then if they're healthy they'd be 11-5.  the thing is the guys who were injured like trumaine, osemyle, winters, kalil really weren't playing all that well to begin with.  their loss was actually a gain because the back ups did much better.  about the only guys who weren't easily replaced were mosely and griffin.  hard to say much about herndon because of the suspension and then injury.

I agree we need roster help, but just saying its not a "rebuild of a broken roster".  We are rebuilt.  We're just tweaking.

If not for Karre Vedvik, we're 9-7.  If not for mono, we're 11-5.  We did a lot of good things with backups this year. 

SAR I

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18 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:
Image result for its gonna happen gifs

God, I hope not... IIRC, he’s under contract for another year, perhaps if he improves on his outstanding season, I’d consider it, but not now...  

Hard to justify spending $15M per year(25% of this years available cap space) on that position (S)

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6 minutes ago, JTJet said:

This board will burn to the ground if we give him that contract... and then his play declines or gets injured. 

If his play declines anymore he'd basically have to carry the other team's receivers into the end zone so their feet don't get tired. 

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3 minutes ago, SAR I said:

I agree we need roster help, but just saying its not a "rebuild of a broken roster".  We are rebuilt.  We're just tweaking.

SAR I

I don’t know about tweaking, when we need at least 3 OL, 2 WRs, 1 CB, 1 EDGE, etc 

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14 minutes ago, ID. said:

I don’t know about tweaking, when we need at least 3 OL, 2 WRs, 1 CB, 1 EDGE, etc 

We don't need the Edge.  Gregg Williams manufactures quarterback pressure from other positions.

We need 2 OL this offseason.  A 3rd next offseason.  2 from the draft, 1 from FA.

We need 2 WR's but they are cheap and plentiful.  No worries there, both from FA.

We need 1 CB and that's coming from the draft.

See?  We can afford Jamal.

SAR I

 

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7 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Can't wait for the moment when you guys have to look into the eyes of your children and explain to them why pop-pop can't afford to take them to a Jets game because Jamal Adams picked off Jarrett Stidham that one time in the year of our lord 2019.

Sacks.

Pressures.

RPO QB Spy.

He good.

SAR I

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3 minutes ago, David Harris said:

7-9 is a mirage Sar.  Easy east coast schedule. Losing to Cindy and Fins are major signs the team over-won this season. We are not close and Joe Douglas knows it. I like him but next season will not be playoff ready

11-5 is the reality.  The injuries and a bad kicker made it 7-9.

Yes, next year's AFC West NFC West schedule is rough, but Bills and Pats all play the same schedule and we're taking the division so it doesn't matter.

The playoffs are the key.  Home against Houston.  At Kansas City.  At Baltimore.  We need an offense that can keep up with those RPO quarterbacks and a D that can stop them.  All signs pointing up.

SAR I

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6 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Can't wait for the moment when you guys have to look into the eyes of your children and explain to them why pop-pop can't afford to take them to a Jets game because Jamal Adams picked off Jarrett Stidham that one time in the year of our lord 2019.

motivational get well soon GIF by Originals

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:
 

Joe Douglas spoke to reporters for 22 minutes on Tuesday, going over the 2019 season and looking ahead to 2020.

There were a lot of words spoken, but one simple sentence summed up what lies ahead for Douglas.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Douglas said.

You can say that again.

The Jets’ 7-9 season showed off plenty of roster holes. Years of poor drafting and poor free-agency decisions have left the Jets with one of the worst rosters in football. Now, Douglas, who was hired in June, gets to start fixing it.

He laid out what he wants in players to build the culture he seeks.

“It’s going to take people with the right level of commitment, character and competence,” Douglas said. “Every person, every player that we bring into this building, they’re going to be assessed on their fit within our culture and their ability to help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is win a Super Bowl, year in and year out.”

Culture is only half of the equation. He also needs to bring in some talent.

Douglas probably does not need our help, but we’ll offer it anyway. Here is how we would handle the big decisions of the Jets offseason.

Taking care of their own

The Jets have just under $60 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com. That number can jump to closer to $80 million with a few cuts – Trumaine Johnson, Brian Winters and Avery Williamson all range from definitely gone (Johnson, Winters) to possibly (Williamson).

That may sound like a lot of cap room, but the Jets have 22 unrestricted free agents and their best player is going to be looking for a raise, so much of that space could be gobbled up before free agency arrives.

I would start with star safety Jamal Adams, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal but is underpaid and deserves a big deal. Adams is due to make $3.5 million in 2020, a far cry from the $14 million per year the top safeties get. Landon Collins got a six-year, $84 million deal with $44.5 million in possible guarantees from the Redskins. That is the starting point in my mind for Adams. I would make him the highest-paid safety with a six-year, $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, making the team’s commitment to its best player clear. Douglas would send a clear message to the locker room — if you perform, you will be rewarded.

image.gif.d25168fd86ab475007e8470203df3058.gif

After Adams, I would try to re-sign Jordan Jenkins, who led the team with eight sacks, and won’t break the bank.

The Jets need to fix the offensive line in free agency and the draft, but I would re-sign guard Alex Lewis, who played well when he became a starter. I would also bring back tackle Kelvin Beachum with the hope that the Jets land a tackle in the draft who could either play left tackle with Beachum moving to right or play on the right side for one year before replacing Beachum at left tackle in 2021.

The trickiest decision may be wide receiver Robby Anderson. It is hard to replace speed like Anderson has. However, the prices being thrown around for Anderson would scare me. If I’m Douglas, I am not going higher than $12 million per year. If Anderson gets more than that from another team, wish him well and count on your scouts to find you a speed receiver.

As for running back Le’Veon Bell, I don’t think the Jets really have a choice. He is due $13 million guaranteed in 2020. No one is trading for that contract and I don’t think it makes sense for Douglas to eat money to make a trade.

Free agency

The Jets made a huge splash in free agency last year. They committed $122 million in guarantees quickly as former GM Mike Maccagnan went for it. This year, Douglas needs to be smarter and I think he will be. I already have the Jets making a big investment in Adams.

If I’m Douglas, I am pretty much sitting out the first two days of free agency when the funny money gets spent. Then, I’m pouncing on value.

The Jets’ player acquisition priority should be simple: Protect the quarterback and affect their quarterback. That is what the Jets failed to do enough of in 2019.

Enlarge Image Dante FowlerGetty Images

Redskins guard Brandon Scherff is the top offensive lineman expected to hit free agency. I think he might be too expensive for my plan, though. The Patriots’ Joe Thuney is scheduled to be free. If he hits the market, that might be a more affordable option at guard.

The Jets are going to need at least three new starters on the offensive line between free agency and the draft. Getting a guard and a tackle during the second wave of free agency would remove some pressure during the draft.

Edge rushers are hard to find in free agency. If a team has a good one, it usually does not let him go. Jadeveon Clowney is the big name expected to be free. I would not go near him.

Bud Dupree of the Steelers is interesting, but Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said re-signing him is a priority. He also may cost too much.

Dante Fowler of the Rams may hit the market and may carry a more palatable price tag.

The Jets also need a cornerback. James Bradberry of the Panthers could be an attractive option.

One other priority I would have in free agency is backup quarterback. Sam Darnold has missed six games in his first two years. The Jets are 0-6 in those games. Jets coach Adam Gase has not had much success with backups in Miami or this season.

Teddy Bridgewater may have options as a free agent to compete for a starting job, but if he would entertain coming back to the Jets, he is worth a one-year, $10 million deal like they gave Josh McCown two years ago. The position is too crucial to pinch pennies.

The draft

It is impossible to forecast the draft in January. The Jets’ needs are going to change after free agency and players are going to rise and fall on draft boards.

Enlarge Image  

The Jets have eight picks, four in the top 80. Those four players need to be starters or major contributors.

With the 11th pick, the Jets should take the best offensive lineman/edge rusher/cornerback available. This should not be “best player available” and draft another defensive tackle. Douglas should zero in on those three positions and figure out who the best player from that group is.

The best player at those positions figures to be off the board, but if someone like Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas or Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah falls to the Jets, they should pounce. More likely Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa or his teammate Tristan Wirfs, a tackle, will be the pick.

Wide receiver is also a huge need for the Jets. The good news is this is a deep draft for receivers, according to the draft gurus. Douglas should be able to find a starter in the second or third round to either pair with Anderson or replace him.

Like Douglas said, there’s a lot of work to do.

If Douglas pay $10M for a backup QB I will personally murder him.   If Okudah falls to the Jets and he picks him, same.  1st round pick must be an LT, EDGE or a WR - no exceptions.

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9 minutes ago, SAR I said:

11-5 is the reality.  The injuries and a bad kicker made it 7-9.

Yes, next year's AFC West NFC West schedule is rough, but Bills and Pats all play the same schedule and we're taking the division so it doesn't matter.

The playoffs are the key.  Home against Houston.  At Kansas City.  At Baltimore.  We need an offense that can keep up with those RPO quarterbacks and a D that can stop them.  All signs pointing up.

SAR I

Hence we need speed at ILB - another reason to ditch Williamson and hope that Cashman is the man.

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59 minutes ago, SAR I said:

The roster isn't broken.  We would have been 11-5 if healthy.

SAR I

I understand that perspective but certain units on the roster are absolutely broken.  I don't care if the whole OLine was healthy, that's a bad group no dominant players.  An NFL team should have at least 2 OLinemen who are clearly above average.  The Jets have zero.

And although I like Robby Anderson, Crowder is a good slot guy and Enunwa has a nice mix of size/speed/aggressiveness for a WR....none of those guys truly scare anyone.  None of them are one of the Top 32 WRs in the NFL.  That means we don't have a true #1 WR.  In fact, there are many teams (including many bad ones) who have at least 2 WRs better than the Jets (Lions, Chargers, Rams, Browns, Vikings, Falcons, Texans, etc.).  Think about that.  There are more than a few teams where the Jets best WR likely wouldn't even be the #2 there.

I agree that without injuries the Jets would have likely been better than 7-9.  Perhaps picking off Miami, Jacksonville and maybe Cincy too.  11-5 is a stretch but I'm onboard with the thesis that the injuries meaningfully impacted the Jets record.  But without injuries this team still has SEVERE deficiencies, notably on the Offensive Line, the CB group, WRs.

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19 minutes ago, SAR I said:

We don't need the Edge.  Gregg Williams manufactures quarterback pressure from other positions.

We need 2 OL this offseason.  A 3rd next offseason.  2 from the draft, 1 from FA.

We need 2 WR's but they are cheap and plentiful.  No worries there, both from FA.

We need 1 CB and that's coming from the draft.

See?  We can afford Jamal.

SAR I

 

The two sack leaders on the Jets were Jordan Jenkins (FA) and Jamal (who some want to trade).  The Jets had zero pass rush without those guys.  No other player had more than 3.0 sacks on the whole team.  I can live with not getting a major Edge rusher in FA and the Draft only if you tell me that both Jenkins and Jamal are back next year.

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12 minutes ago, Pac said:

motivational get well soon GIF by Originals

If we spike Adams, it’s the end of the Maccagnan Era once and for all. Like when Tywin Lannister ordered the extermination of all the Baratheon bastards, we will root out the Maccagnan Mistakes and be done with his cursed legacy. 

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9 minutes ago, deucebag said:

If Douglas pay $10M for a backup QB I will personally murder him.   If Okudah falls to the Jets and he picks him, same.  1st round pick must be an LT, EDGE or a WR - no exceptions.

You’d proooobably make an exception for Okudah, though

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