Hello Jets fans!
I'm a Panther fan however, I recently took part in a several month long Mock offseason over at Cat Scratch Reader, the Carolina Panthers blog. I posted asking for advice a few months back, but now the mock offseason is over and I came here to share what moves I made as GM. This was a full mock offseason, we had a pre-free agency period, a franchise tag period, a free agency period and the draft. Overall it took around a month and a half to do. As a person who lives no where near New York and hardly hears anything about the Jets other than the infamous Butt Fumble, I had to do a bit of research to learn your roster and so there are probably a ton of things that seem odd, but please forgive me as I am not an expert. Also, to avoid complications we did not have a salary cap, but we did have spending money limits, I'll explain later.
(Note, the roster we started with was based on what the rosters looked early January just after the season had ended, so Bart Scott and others were technically still on the roster and had not been cut!)
I took over the Jets and the first thing I realized was the team lacked a real QB, was old on defense and had a terrible OL, so I didn't plan to keep either of the FA guards. But QB was definitely the most important, you have to have someone to lead the offense, so my first moves were to try and secure a QB as fast as possible. My other philosophy was to try and rid the Jets from as many bad attitudes and bad press as I could, because off the field distractions are not needed.
The rules were that each GM could only use 3 trades, but we later added that you could make 2 draft day trades. I used all 3 of the pre-draft trades.
Pre Draft Trades:
-My first trade was with the Bengals, I traded them Bart Scott to them for their 4th round pick and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. My reasoning behind this was that Bart Scott isn't the player he used to be, so I should try to trade him now to get what I could for him, and that was a decent slot receiver in Andrew Hawkins and a 4th round pick.
- My second trade was a big one. I traded Santonio Holmes, Cromartie, the Jets 2nd round and 4th round picks and the Bengals 4th round pick for QB Joe Flacco. My reasoning behind this was simple, get rid of the bum Santonio Holmes, give up Cromartie and 3 picks for a franchise QB (whether he's just good or 'elite' is irrelevant) and it was well worth it, in fact, it was my best move in my opinion during the offseason.
- My third trade was the most difficult to negotiate actually. it took 3 days worth of negotiations but in the end it came together. I traded Kendrick Ellis and my 6th round pick to the Raiders for ILB Rolando McClain and the Raiders 4th. The Raiders were the ones who initiated this trade, they wanted Kendrick Ellis, so I tried to get as much out of this as possible. Rolando McClain is a young talented ILB who will fill the hole that Bart Scott left.
Draft Day Trades:
- My one and only draft day trade wasn't my best. I wanted to move back into the second round but I didn't have much ammunition, so I traded Revis to the Titans for their 2nd and 4th round picks.
I'm just going to copy/paste the rules from another fanpost another participant wrote on the Bill's blog:
"The rules with free agency was that each team had $25 to spend no matter what the real life team had in their cap space. Also we had a bid style of free agency where whoever had the highest bid after 48 hours of the last bid, won the player. The top 5 free agents as indicated on Walter Football were the only players to enter free agency."
Also, one lest note to keep in mind is we were allowed to sign players who had been cut by other GM's during the mock offseason. And with that in mind, here are the Jets moves.
-Franchised Laron Landry for $6 - Now while it seems idiotic to franchise tag him, it was actually a well thought out move. I saw him going for far more than $6 on the open market and I didn't want to find a replacement at safety, so this was a needed expense.
- Armanti Edwards, QB ($1) - A cheap one dollar pickup for a back up QB that is mobile and has a rocket arm (don't worry, he's not like Tebow, he can throw.)
- Chris Rainey, RB ($1) - A speedy scat back good for screens and playing in the slot, good for his value and serves as a change of pace back.
- Brian Urlacher, ILB ($2) - Yes he's old, but he still has an insane amount of football knowledge and leadership skills that make up for his physical decline, and at 2 dollars..I couldn't say no.
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR ($3) - In hindsight, this wasn't a good signing (as you'll see in the upcoming draft) but at the time I thought getting an elite return man and slightly average wideout would be a good deal at $3.
- Brent Grimes, CB ($5) - An underrated CB who can step in immediately and provide a quality starter after losing both Revis and Cromartie.
- Louis Murphey, WR ($2) - A fast, deep threat wide receiver. Nothing more than average at best, but he can stretch the field and was a good pickup for his price.
My losses in free agency were pretty straight forward: Mike Devito, Brandon Moore, Slausen and Keller.
and now the grand finale!
I went into the draft knowing what positions I had to address. OLB, OG, OT, WR and NT. After those positions I was looking for safety and corner help, unfortunately neither a safety or corner that I liked fell to me.
- Round 1 pick 9: Chance Warmack, RG - To me, this pick was a simple selection. I didn't need a LT and Ansah had already been taken, so I took Warmack, a sure fire starter at RG. Some people think that taking an OG this high is risky, but I think the value Warmack brings to the OL outweighs any other options I had at that pick.
- Round 2 pick 8 (acquired from Titans): Jesse Williams, NT - This was too good of a value to pass up. A strong NT to rotate with Pouha and eventually replace him.
- Round 3 pick 10: Menelik Watson, RT - After watching film on Watson, I really liked his big frame and quick feet, he has a few issues, but those will be corrected over time. I think he'd be an immediate starter and can replace Howard.
- Round 4 pick 3 (acquired from Raiders): Ace Sanders, WR/KR/PR - This was one of my favorite picks, a speedy slot reciever who is a great kick and punt returner. If you get the ball in his hands, good things happen. Well worth the 4th round pick.
- Round 4 pick 10 (acquired from Titans): Jamie Collins, OLB - He's a very speedy OLB, and is sure to challenge for a starting spot if not take it immediately. While he's far from the best in this class, I needed an OLB and he was the one left that I liked the most.
- Round 5 pick 8: Marcus Lattimore, RB - If he was healthy, he'd be the best RB in the draft, sadly he blew out his knee last season. He'll spend this season on IR/PUP and come back strong next year. Also, it's worth the risk in the fifth round.
- UDFA: Travis Long, OLB - not a flashy pickup, but he's a high motor guy who should make the roster.
QB: Joe Flacco, Armanti Edwards, Greg McElroy
RB: Shonne Green, Chris Rainey, Joe McKnight, Marcus Lattimore (PUP)
FB: Lex Hilliard
OG: Ducasse, Warmack, Schlaudraff
LDE: Q. Coples, Claude Davis
NT: Jesse Williams, S. Pouha, D. Harrison
RDE: Muhammed Wilkerson, R. Sapp
LOLB: Bryan Thomas, G. McIntyre, Travis Long
LILB: Brian Urlacher, Demario Davis
RILB: Rolando McClain, N. Bellore
ROLB: Jamie Collins, Mauga
SS: Yeremiah Bell, J. Bush
FS: Laron Landry, Eric Smith
K: Nick Folk
LS: T. Purdum
KR: Ace Sanders, Tedd Ginn, Chris Rainey
PR: Tedd Ginn, Ace Sanders, Chris Rainey
Players to be cut:
C. Schillens - WR
B. Powell - RB
J. Griffin - RB
Derek Epps - TE
Tebow - QB
Sanchez - Butt fumble
C. Gates WR
J. White WR
Reuland - TE
C. Pace - OLB
D. Harris - ILB
Overall, I'd like to think I left this offseason better than I entered it. I got rid of a few aging players and picked up a good QB. I also solidified the both offensive and defensive lines. But I'll leave it up to you guys to judge!