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No More Excuses for Jets’ Douglas with Pivotal Offseason Just Days Away


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Joe Douglas

The excuse of an incompetent Adam Gase and his track record of landing dozens of his own players on injured reserve is gone.  The purse strings are expected to be loosened by ownership and he’s got the second  overall pick in the NFL draft.  What does all of this mean?  It means that Jets GM Joe Douglas has had valid reasons for coming up short since being hired almost two years ago, but that’s all in the past.  It’s time for Douglas to produce.

They say it’s foolish to judge an NFL draft class before they complete their third NFL season…and they’re right.  But having one full season to evaluate can give you a hint as to whether or not a player belongs.  In the case of the 2019 class put in place by Joe Douglas, countless injuries make even that small observation a near impossibility.  A rookie class consisting of nine players with a 16 game schedule means a possible 144 games to evaluate.  However, Jets rookies appeared in just over half  that number (75 games) with 16 of them coming from punter Braden Mann.

Rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton played just 8 complete games.  Second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims had multiple hamstring injuries, limiting him to just 9 contests.  Safety Ashtyn Davis played in 10 games, defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga in 8 and running back La’Mical Perine in 10 but saw limited action when active.  Quarterback James Morgan had a red shirt rookie year and offensive lineman Cam Clark never saw the field as he too battled injuries for much of the season.  Cornerback Bryce Hall also missed half the year due to injury, and the aforementioned Mann was the only rookie to appear in every contest.  So as we said…a class that’s virtually impossible to gauge as a result of injures and a clueless head coach.

Then there’s Douglas’ poor showing in free agency which, if we’re being honest, should have a grade that carries an asterisk.  As one would expect, Douglas denied reports of him being limited financially by ownership last season, but everything he did suggested that was exactly the case.

In dire need of help along the offensive line, the Jets were expected to make a strong push for offensive tackle Jack Conklin. Instead, they opted for the cheaper and less experienced George Fant.  Along the interior, the only true long-term deal went to center Connor McGovern.  Other than that, it was a series of short-term and low dollar deals that could be easily terminated after this season.  Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten are nice spot starters or backups, but day 1 starters?  Not really.

This, in a season when Douglas himself acknowledged the fact that the team had to build around quarterback Sam Darnold to allow for a fair evaluation.  Even with that being the case, Douglas allowed Darnold’s favorite target to walk in Robby Anderson, while replacing him with another one-year deal to Breshad Perriman.  It was bargain basement shopping across the board.  As with the draft results, that excuse won’t fly anymore.

Douglas and the Jets will enter free agency with more money to spend than 30 other teams ($67 million) and have room to free up even more cash if necessary by way of cutting ties with any combination of Fant  ($7.8 million), Lewis ($5.1 million) and Van Roten ($3.4 million).  Some have suggested moving on from wide receiver Jamison Crowder to save almost $10 million, but that would be foolish at this point.

In addition to being among the league leaders in salary cap space, Douglas and the Jets own the second overall pick in the draft, and that’s where things could get interesting.  Douglas says his goal is to build through the draft, but will he part with multiple premium picks to acquire Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson?  Does he take Zach Wilson or Justin Fields, allowing him to deal Darnold for an additional top 100 pick?  Or, does he do the unthinkable and stick with Darnold, allowing him to entertain the possibility of multiple trade downs, giving him a level of draft capital that no GM has ever had in team history?

Should Douglas take the third option and walk away from the 2021 draft with, let’s say…up to 10 premium picks (he already has five), he would be in position to fix his roster at warp speed.  That is…if the hits on most of his picks, which is something Jets fans still don’t know if he’s capable of or not.  But no matter how many picks he has, he’s got to come away with more hits than misses.  No more do-overs.

The post No More Excuses for Jets’ Douglas with Pivotal Offseason Just Days Away appeared first on JetNation.com (NY Jets Blog & Forum).

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He's had a couple good moves, he's had a lot of stuff blow up in his face. The Saleh hiring and this coming FA and draft will write the book on this guy. He has a fanbase tired of a decade of losing. Which QB does he get for his new coach? Can he finally land a top tier FA? I really expected better decisions along the o-line, better results. 

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4 minutes ago, freestater said:

He's had a couple good moves, he's had a lot of stuff blow up in his face. The Saleh hiring and this coming FA and draft will write the book on this guy. He has a fanbase tired of a decade of losing. Which QB does he get for his new coach? Can he finally land a top tier FA? I really expected better decisions along the o-line, better results. 

When we didn't  throw a huge contract at Conklin, I knew this wasn't  the year we make a big move to improve the team. Not sure what happened there but if CJ was holding him back, that seems to be over now.

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7 minutes ago, JiF said:

Unfortunately, he didnt make his jobs any easier last season with really only netting 1+ positive from a talent perspective in Becton but the way he was coming in out of games last year, is anyone really confident that's guarantee?  Im excited about him but certainty didnt walking feeling confident in him after that rookie season.  

For the most part, I'm of mind to give the entire rookie class a pass just based on the season/Gase factor but JD needed build a foundation last year and he failed miserably at that...so now it just makes this offseason 100x more important.  

And that's where the #2 is such a mind ****.  As much as want the QB, this team is absolutely terrible and the amount of talent you could add trading out (if you draft well) is pretty appealing.

As much as I like Fields, I could see the allure to trading out.   And I wouldnt hate it if they signed someone to compete with Sam ie; Bridgewater, Winston, Dalton, etc.  A veteran who can play.  Dont waste an entire season of evaluation of your roster hoping Sam Darnold doesnt suck with hopefully better coaching/surrounding cast.

Moving on from Darnold is crucial. That will be the telltale sign if Douglas/Saleh are for real about winning. I agree with everything else in your post. Add on a tired fanbase, the Jets need to start winning and drafting guys who play and excel immediately. Last years class had to compete with basically backup caliber players and could barely make an impact. Free agency was never going to be the ticket to success. 

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8 minutes ago, Matt39 said:

Moving on from Darnold is crucial. That will be the telltale sign if Douglas/Saleh are for real about winning. I agree with everything else in your post. Add on a tired fanbase, the Jets need to start winning and drafting guys who play and excel immediately. Last years class had to compete with basically backup caliber players and could barely make an impact. Free agency was never going to be the ticket to success. 

I agree with moving on from Darnold, it's just how?  Sign a vet, take a QB at #2, trade for Watson, trade down and target a later QB in the draft?   Many options, not sure which is the right one.  Every day I feel like one option is the right option and which one I like best, changes daily.  My opinion aside, you have to imagine Saleh/Lafleur want their guy as they step into their new roles.  Attaching your career to Sam Darnold seems like a great way to crash and burn and head back to the coordinator/position coach ranks.

 

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26 minutes ago, Matt39 said:

Moving on from Darnold is crucial. That will be the telltale sign if Douglas/Saleh are for real about winning. I agree with everything else in your post. Add on a tired fanbase, the Jets need to start winning and drafting guys who play and excel immediately. Last years class had to compete with basically backup caliber players and could barely make an impact. Free agency was never going to be the ticket to success. 

If they dont agree with you about Darnold, dont think a replacement can be found right now or actually agree with those who think hes salvageable, then both JD and Saleh arent interested in winning

Interesting take.  

 

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5 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

If they dont agree with you about Darnold, dont think a replacement can be found right now or actually agree with those who think hes salvageable, then both JD and Saleh arent interested in winning

Interesting take.  

 

As JIF pointed out there are stopgaps available, all of whom are better than Darnold. I’m ok with them not liking Wilson or the rest, trading out etc. Bringing back Darnold would be a colossal  waste of time. Not sure how this isn’t the consensus.

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Its obvious JD was building towards this year so someone remind me how many draft picks and cap space JD built undoing all the garbage he was dealt by Macc and he did it fairly quickly. That's part of the Job as well. Its hard top hold Douglas accountable for the rash of injuries the Jets had to deal with this year . Now he gets to make the all important decision at QB that will define his tenure here 

Is it Darnold ?

Is it Darnold and a rookie Draft Choice Competing ?

Is it Watson and trade Darnold ?

Is it a Rookie and trade Darnold ? 

Lots to look at here and every situation I mentioned above has its own set of variables. 

All that being said Douglas does have one thing he's built the most leverage to get to his goal more so than any other team in the NFL.

 

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Just now, CanadaSteve said:

Adam Gase coached team for the last two years with no talent and he is highly thought of by many in the league?

Maybe?

Highly thought of by who exactly. It’s not like other teams don’t have tape of Darnold sucking.

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29 minutes ago, Biggs said:

When Morgan is lighting it up to Mims you'll going to feel like chumps for doubting Douglas.  

I've said elsewhere that IMHO the odds of Sam turning it around this year are ~20%.  I can't even make a guess on the odds of your scenario, Biggs.  Love to see it though.  

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I have been very negative relating to Joe D-I judge by actual results-not pipe dreams or what may happen-football is very easy-like parcells always said you are what your record says you are. The jets were the second worst team in the league under the watch of Joe D and they got much worse not better. I am not sure why some give him a pass for last year. He  wasted a year of the rebuild -some say it was by design to free up tons of cap and get high end free agents-there have been none and I honestly dont think there will be. Last year folks said all year the plan was to tank for trevor. In the end we saw it was not-the losing was not a result of effort but bad players and bad coachinig.    I do not fault Joe D for things beyond his control though. If a team puts a tag on a guy nothing he can do about that but he should have understood that definitely was something teams could do.  He has money to spend and it needs to be spend-not spend money to spend money but the roster is maybe the worst in football and any guys he brings in even will be big improvements on what we got.

If Joe gets a QB or brings in some quality players I will be his biggest and loudest supporter but the time is now-dont give me the patience crap year in and year out. My ticket prices do not reflect a rebuild.

My fear is I have seen this movie before with Mac and Izadick and right now(that could change) Joe has done nothing to show he is different when it comes to results.  If you build from the draft and lose a few of your better players each year it will take a million years for this rebuild. 

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3 minutes ago, SAR I said:

snowdouglas.jpg

Snow Douglas scorecard.

SAR I

dont forget our one trick pony robbie A

since joe took over the talent has been a big net negative-as I just posted you cant lose a bunch of your better players and then bring in one to two in a draft and think the team will improve

I agree there has been one good gain in becton and even he was not all world but he at least showed promise. 

 

 

 

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No GM will say they are tanking, but let's be honest, last season the Jets decided  during a season without fans to take the plunge in order to correct so many wrongs from poor drafts and poor decisions during free agency. You can clearly see Joe Douglas has a plan, and he's doing a good job executing it. I like our chances with the well respected Joe Douglas. 

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5 minutes ago, Dcat said:

I'd give JD a raise for eliminating Maccagnan's bums.

and he replaced the bums with even bigger bums...

at some point you need to field a quality roster.

I like the coach hire but his hands are going to be tied behind his back unless we get some actual players in

 

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13 minutes ago, kmnj said:

that is nonsense-the jets tried to win every game and it showed-they didnt play the young guys but stuck with vets trying to win-Joe D brought in free agents and they sucked too.   If the plan was to tank for trevor they failed at that too. 

all joe d did was put together a team that was the second worst in the NFL-that is it -that is not a good job-any single person on this board could dump salary. the trick is to replace those players and that salary with better players which is his job so far he has not done that.

This is the make or break year-he needs to build a much better roster for next year-a 2-4 win team is not acceptable again-Parecells took a one win team and in his second year they went to the AFC championship. Joe has tons of money and lots of draft capital-time to put up or shut up. If he puts up I will be president of the Joe D fan club. I have gone to 300+ games in person. I can assure you I want him to succeed but until he does hold him accountable

I said they took the plunge, I didn't say they were tanking. Players and coaches don't tank. They (ownership/GM) just decided to put themselves in a better position during the pandemic to have more cap flexibility and more draft picks going forward. We have a lot of draft capital and cap space, and it didn't happen on accident.

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4 minutes ago, playtowinthegame said:

I said they took the plunge, I didn't say they were tanking. Players and coaches don't tank. They (ownership/GM) just decided to put themselves in a better position during the pandemic to have more cap flexibility and more draft picks going forward. We have a lot of draft capital and cap space, and it didn't happen on accident.

draft capital means nothing if you dont replace lost players with better players or improve upon the players you have-draft picks mean nothing if you dont draft well-there is no skill in creating cap room. Any person on this board could cut players who had high salaries-there is no genius with that. He wasted a year -he could have improved the line last year as part of a long term plan and wasted the chance to do so.   As others have said-cap and picks-no excuse if this team is not MUCH better this season

 

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29 minutes ago, kmnj said:

dont forget our one trick pony robbie A

Damn, there are so many we lost it makes sense I'd forget one or two.  Fixed the first post, thanks.

31 minutes ago, kmnj said:

since joe took over the talent has been a big net negative-as I just posted you cant lose a bunch of your better players and then bring in one to two in a draft and think the team will improve

I agree there has been one good gain in becton and even he was not all world but he at least showed promise. 

I'm not giving up on Joe D, but so far I do not like what I see.  It doesn't take more than 2 years to blow up a bad roster.  This is Year 3.

SAR I

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2 minutes ago, kmnj said:

draft capital means nothing if you dont replace lost players with better players or improve upon the players you have-draft picks mean nothing if you dont draft well-there is no skill in creating cap room. Any person on this board could cut players who had high salaries-there is no genius with that. He wasted a year -he could have improved the line last year as part of a long term plan and wasted the chance to do so.   As others have said-cap and picks-no excuse if this team is not MUCH better this season

 

2020 was the perfect year to waste to improve our draft position. 

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