Sometimes player acquisitions work out better than you could imagine. Recent examples for the Jets are Brandon Marshall and Chris Ivory. Sometimes they are disappointing like Santonio Holmes or Breno Giacomini. And sometimes you just roll a gutter ball.
Let's talk about the least effective acquisitions the Jets have made in the last five years. We'll leave scrap heap types who were longshots to make the team out. We'll also leave this to players acquired from other teams. Draft picks won't count. Which players gave the Jets zero?
Mason was coming off an 800 yard season with the Ravens when the Jets grabbed him to be their third receiver in 2011. The acquisition turned out to be a fiasco. He only caught 13 passes in 5 games, and was reportedly such a problem in the locker room that the Jets gave him away in a trade to the Texans. The Jets acquired a conditional pick that turned into nothing because Mason only had 6 more receptions in the NFL. Mason's biggest contribution was preventing Jeremy Kerley from getting on the field quickly enough.
The Jets fell for the hype and a couple of fluky drives. Tebow was a divisive force within the fanbase and a big distraction for the team. Unfortunately, he lacked almost all of the skills necessary to play quarterback effectively in the NFL. The rationalizations for this move bordered on the bizarre. A popular one was that "Tebow isn't a good quarterback, but he's a good football player." Well, if you're a football player who only plays quarterback, and you aren't good at it, how can you be a good football player? The Jets tried all kinds of ways to get Tebow involved from having him run pass patterns to being a Wildcat quarterback to being the personal protector on the punt team. These all hurt much more than they helped. No other team has fallen for the hype since as Tebow has only been able to gather a few training camp invites.
After the Jets forgot they needed to upgrade at right tackle in the 2012 offseason, they made a trade for the Carolina tackle during the preseason. Unfortunately, Otah failed multiple conditioning tests and was ultimately returned to the Panthers as a result.
There was hope the Jets had found an under the radar gem when they signed Goodson in 2013. Almost immediately, there was an off the field incident that led to a four game suspension. In his second game, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. He was cut the next spring after failing to report to minicamp.
The Jets signing Patterson to be a starter was a suspect decision when they made it based on his track record on the field and his injury history. He didn't even make it to Week 1 of his first season, however. Patterson went AWOL before a preseason game and was suspended. He then denied going AWOL, which was strange since he clearly had missed the preseason game. The Jets cut him. Patterson was paid $1 million by the team to never player a snap.