Chase Stuart did an interesting study at Football Perspective. He took a look at the ages of various teams by weighing production. He used a metric called Approximate Value. Essentially, it shows how much of a team's production came from old players and how much came from young players. The Jets rated as the oldest offense in the league.
On offense, the Jets stand out as really old, and with good reason: New York had an unorthodox approach to building an offense, which was through veteran acquisitions. Of the Jets top 8 offensive players in AV, only two were homegrown, and those players (Nick Mangold (31.6) and D’Brickashaw Ferguson (31.7)) were both drafted back in 2006! Otherwise, there’s Brandon Marshall (31.4, acquired via trade with Chicago), Ryan Fitzpatrick (32.8, trade with Houston), Chris Ivory (27.4, trade with New Orleans), Eric Decker (28.5, free agent signing), Breno Giacomini (29.9, free agent signing), and James Carpenter (26.4, free agent signing). Willie Colon (32.4, free agent signing) would have joined that group if not for injury.
More than anything, this underscores two things to me. The first is it shows how poor the Jets were at drafting offensive talent in the Mike Tannenbaum and John Idzik eras. Why were the Jets so old on offense? They had to add a bunch of veteran free agents and trade targets because so many of their Draft picks did not pan out. They whiffed on quarterbacks so in came Ryan Fitzpatrick. Stephen Hill not working out helped bring on the Brandon Marshall trade. Various offensive line failures including Vladimir Ducasse and Brian Winters paved the way for various imported veterans.
It also shows the need the team has to get younger. There is only one way to get younger, through the Draft. The team needs to hit on young talent immediately because a lot of this offense is going to have to be replaced in the near future. As always, it starts at quarterback. Even if Ryan Fitzpatrick is back, he is a stopgap solution for a year or two.