While the NFL offseason has been relatively quiet for most teams, the New York Jets have continued to find themselves in the headlines…for both the right and wrong reasons.
It began with a busy free agency period where the team cashed out on marquee free agents such as CJ Mosley and Le’Veon Bell. It continued with the release of new uniforms, including a “stealth black” look that will bring a new identity to the franchise following years of dismay. Then, with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jets chose who many considered the best player available, DT Quinnen Williams.
However, the Jets will Jets…right? The highs quickly dipped to lows in just a matter of weeks.
Rumors surrounded the franchise with a potential disagreement with new head coach Adam Gase and GM Mike Maccagnan. The two continued to publicly speak on the rumor in denial. They claimed it was not something anyone should be worried about.
The tables turned quite suddenly, however, when Maccagnan was fired just weeks after a successful free agency and draft. Gase was, and still is, the man in charge.
Reports began circulating that Gase was unhappy with the team’s decision on Le’Veon Bell, and suddenly, “experts” began to say that the Jets could trade him. It surely does not help the cause that Bell has been absent from all Jets offseason training activities thus far.
However, as of late, the dirt has settled a bit. The Jets are in the midst of their OTA’s, and focus has merely turned away from the ongoing negative turmoil.
This has given us, the Jets’ writing staff at Full Press Coverage, the opportunity to share our individual thoughts on what has and will happen with Gang Green:
1.) What do you predict the Jets’ record will be in 2019?
Kyle: As I’ve been a Jets supporter for the last 20+ years, one thing I’ve learned is to never get your hopes up too high. My prediction for this team this year is 7-9. I see quite a few tough matchups on the schedule, and with the way the Jets have failed to close out games in the past, I’m reluctant to think it may just happen again.
James: I think the Jets will make a big improvement from their 2018 season, getting over the .500 mark by a slim margin. I predict their record to be 9-7.
Adam: Although I want the Jets to end their playoff drought, I’m trying to keep expectations low. I predict an improvement, but not a huge leap. 8-8 or 9-7.
2.) Is this team bound for the playoffs? Can this be the year the drought ends?
Kyle: Not if my 7-9 prediction is correct. I think 2020 will be a better year for playoff consideration.
James: I think the Jets will contend for a playoff spot, but they’ll fall just short. With the AFC West and the AFC North both being stacked divisions, I think the Jets fall just short of a wild card spot.
Alessandro: Yes they are after a long drought.
Sam: At best the Jets will slide into one of the two wild card positions. The AFC is extremely competitive this year so it may be difficult to secure a spot.
Adam: I don’t think they’re ready to make the leap yet. While the team has made strides this off season, there are still some holes left to fill. I do expect them to be fixed by the 2020 season.
Anthony: Give it one more season. New coaching system and new core could bring about new problems. Darnold’s sophomore season will likely come with a learning curve.
3.) Name your favorite free agent addition and your favorite draft addition.
Kyle: I think the choices are obvious for Jets fans. Le’Veon Bell was a HUGE addition to this offense. Quinnen Williams was just as big in the draft, adding a new layer to the front seven.
James: I’ll go outside of the box here, saying Jamison Crowder was my favorite free agent addition. He’s been one of the most productive slot receivers in the NFL when healthy. My favorite draftee is Jachai Polite. He’s an animal on the edge whose stock was killed by a poor pre-draft. He may turn out to be the steal of the draft.
Alessandro: Through FA my favourite addition is CJ Mosley, I love how dominate he is and since he have been given authority to make extra calls while on the field he will be able to lead us better. My favorite addition is the CB from Rutgers Blessuan Austin, he is a dominate CB and if he can get fully healthy I have no objections to him ruling at CB 3 possibly CB 2.
Sam: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder will bolster the Jets’ wide receiver corps. Crowder can play slot receiver giving Sam Darnold another option on the field. Also, his contract isn’t too expensive, which allowed for the signings of both Mosley and Bell. Through the draft? 3rd round draft pick Jachai Polite. This pick filled an edge rusher need and takes a chance on a player with high risk and reward.
Adam: It’s easy to say Le’veon here, but my attention has been focused on CJ Moseley. Defense wins championships, and that linebacking core looks terrifying. Through draft? All aboard the Polite Hype Train. The third rounder is going to be an amazing player for the Jets.
Anthony: Hard to pick which side of the ball I want to address here. By default, I have to be most excited for Bell and what he can do for the Jets offense. Through draft? Jachai Polite was a steal and will prove it to front offices league wide.
4.) Which rookie do you see making the biggest case for ROTY?
Kyle: Can’t go against the first round pick, Quinnen Williams. I think the explosiveness and stopping ability he brings to the table will elevate the entire Jets’ front seven. This will make him an immediate ROTY candidate.
James: Quinnen Williams will make the biggest case for ROTY. He’s a beast inside who can do just about everything. He’ll put up monstrous numbers as a DT, which will make him a very strong candidate for DROY.
Alessandro: The obvious choice would be Quninen William’s but my money is Jakihi Polite. Watching footage on him makes me question less why we didnt pick Josh Allen but he has a long way to go. But I feel he can be the dominate Edge we need.
Sam: This is an easy one. Quinnen Williams will tear up opposing offenses, making his pitch for ROTY.
Adam: Jachai Polite. I’m doubling down on the third round rookie. Quinnen Williams could be a strong contender, but mid-to-late round picks are always given a little extra love. I expect Jachai to fully meet those pre-draft expectations.
Anthony: You have to go with arguably the most talented player in the draft, Quinnen Williams.
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5.) Who will be the Jets comeback player of the year?
Kyle: My gut tells me Quincy Enunwa is due for a big year. We’ve all seen the ability he brings to the table when he’s healthy. Following two down years due to injury, I expect Enunwa to become Darnold’s go-to guy in this new offense.
James: The Jets Comeback Player of the Year will be Marcus Maye. He had an injury riddled 2018, which kept him on the sideline for the majority of the games. In 2019, he’ll return to his healthy ways and improve off of his rookie season at free safety.
Alessandro: Trumaine Johnson, after a terrible and disappointing performance his first season in the green and white he need to make a massive comeback to prove that the massive contract he got wasn’t a big waste of money and he can be the lock down corner that he is.
Sam: Trumaine Johnson didn’t necessarily have an abysmal season but he missed six games and didn’t live up to his 5-year, $72.5 million contract. This year, Johnson can live up to the expectations, play all sixteen games, and lead a Jets defense with playoff potential.
Adam: Marcus Maye. With that bolstered defensive line, along with the addition of Gregg Williams as DC, Marcus Maye can help Jamal Adams lockdown the center of the field.
Anthony: Trumaine Johnson will be revitalized under Gregg Williams.
6.) Which player will make the biggest leap in 2019?
Kyle: It’s Darnold’s time to shine. Once praised as the best quarterback of the 2018 draft, Darnold was overshadowed by Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen in his rookie season. With all of the new pieces surrounding him now, I don’t see a reason why Darnold can’t have instant and sustainable success.
James: Robby Anderson will make the biggest jump in 2019. With an innovative offensive mind at the helm, Anderson’s role will greatly expand this season. I think he finally goes for 1,000+ yards and 7+ TD’s.
Alessandro: Personally, I am rooting for Darnold but I really want to see Jordan Jenkins make the jump. If he can improve his game, lead the team in sacks and prove he is a dominate edge then he and poilte can be a scarier one two punch than Bosa and Ingram.
Sam: Sam Darnold will make the big step from rookie quarterback to franchise quarterback.
Adam: Darnold is an easy choice here, but I want to be bold and say Elijah Mcguire. He struggled being buried on the depth chart so far in his career, but with one of the best backs in Bell joining the team, as well as a receiving back in Ty Montgomery, Mcguire could establish a three headed monster. All the better in helping Darnold out.
Anthony: Robby Anderson will benefit the most from numerous offensive additions this offseason.
7.) Will the Jets finally have a 1,000 yard RB? A 1,000 yard WR?
Kyle: I think Le’Veon Bell will have every opportunity to reach the 1,000 yard mark if he can remain healthy. You have to imagine he’ll get the rock whenever Darnold shows fatigue or struggle. As for receiver, I can’t see a scenario where one goes for 1,000 yards or more, which may not be a bad thing. With a number of viable receivers on offense, you’d have to imagine Darnold is going to spread the ball out quite a bit.
James: Le’veon Bell will easily break 1,000 yards as a runner if he stays healthy. Robby Anderson will break 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career with a more experienced quarterback and a better play caller to help him out.
Alessandro: Yes. Robby will be our first 1k yard. I’m saying he will get 1200 yards. And Bell is be our first 1k yards RB in a while. These guys can break out assuming Darnold makes that jump.
Sam: Of course Bell will hit the 1,000 yard makr, but it’s harder to predict this for one of the Jets’ receivers. If Quincy Enunwa stays healthy and active on the field, he could rack up 1,000 yards.
Adam: Yes and yes. Darnold will take a huge step with Adam Gase as head coach, and the upgraded offense will produce much better now. Bell will break 1,000 yards, and Robby Anderson could have a chance at a probowl season.
Anthony: Bell is expected to explode onto the scene after a year away from football. Have to hope that includes a season that eclipses 1000 yards.
WR? I believe Anderson possesses the ability to come close. But, I’m not sold that any one receiver will reach that mark with Enunwa, Crowder and Herndon in the fold.
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– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Jets and covers the New York Jets. Like and follow on Follow @kylehirshkind
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