It didn’t take long for the Jets to clear house this offseason, releasing a majority of their core veterans. Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and Nick Folk were all released by the Jets. Also no longer a Jet is last year’s starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. According to Bleacher Report, Todd Bowles discussed an “open QB competition” for the starting job between Bryce Petty, Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg at the NFL owners meeting last Tuesday.
Fansided expert for TheJetPress.com Luis Tirado said, “It’s a tough business but the Jets made the right decisions in the grand scheme of things,” in regards to their off-season cuts. “Everyone that is left on the roster is worthy of a spot.”
As of this point, the Jets have yet to make any sort of big free-agency splash and are not expected to go for the home run with a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft. Mike Maccagnan is allowing this rebuild to take the time necessary in order to build a better, more talented Jets team. With there not being a single “can’t miss” prospect at the quarterback position in this year’s draft class, it appears the Jets will see what they’ve got in the young guys, Petty and Hackenberg – to the fan’s pleasure, as we haven’t seen much from either of these two players.
In regards to the Jets QB competition, Tirado hopes the ordering on the depth chart will be “Petty, Hackenberg, McCown” and says that “it’s best the Jets see what they have…McCown was brought in as a mentor and an insurance policy in case both of them either get hurt or don’t play up to standard.”
As the Jets will be entering week one with a few question marks and places of deficiency on their roster, some have suggested that this year will be a “tank year” for the Jets, where acquiring the top draft pick will be a top priority. Michael Kay suggested on his radio show on ESPN 98.7 that the Jets could be trying to “suck for Sam,” in reference to USC quarterback Sam Darnold, or any of the other highly rated quarterbacks expected to declare for next year’s draft. This idea was shut down by Tirado who suggested, “Todd Bowles is emphasizing that the Jets will be competing this upcoming season,” and that “there’s no guarantee that such a player will always live up to the hype.” In regards to any potential plans to tank, Tirado said, “Like former head coach Herman Edwards once said, you play to win the game!”
As for Petty and Hackenberg, they were taken later in their respective drafts as “project quarterbacks.” In this year’s draft class, Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes has been considered the most physically gifted “project quarterback” in the draft. “Oh yes, for sure” is how Tirado responded to the idea of taking a potential project quarterback later in the draft. “Until the Jets find a franchise quarterback, it is best to keep drafting more until one is revealed. I’d love someone like Mahomes or even Nate Peterman if they’re available in the mid to late third.”
No matter who ends up on the field week one, it is no doubt that the players on that field will be playing to win the game. With these veterans now gone, many young guys will be x-factors for the Jets, as they will depend on them heavily to step up. Last year was a breakout year for wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, and fellow receiver Robby Anderson along with running back Bilal Powell both showed some promise toward the end of last year as well. With Mangold and Revis gone, Wesley Johnson will be expected to step up and the defensive line will become the new face of the Jets defense. By week one, this will be an entirely different Jets team than what we are used to. Although, with so many young players whom we are eager to watch and see what they’ve got, this could be one of the most fun Jets teams to watch play since the early Rex Ryan days.