The 2016 season was a very disappointing one for the Jets. There are plenty of candidates for the most disappointing players list. I have narrowed it down to a top three, however.
- Darrelle Revis
Revis’ season began with a 12 catch, 180 yard day for A.J. Green. Revis wasn’t to blame for all 12 catches, but he was the primary culprit for Green’s monster day, including a critical catch Green had to set up the game-winning field goal. Things didn’t get any better for Revis the next week as he allowed a long touchdown on the first series. By the end of the year, the question was no longer whether Revis would be a cap casualty but whether he would continue his career. He seemed afraid to challenge receivers and unwilling to fight off blocks for most of the season. I give him the top spot because of how important he was to the Jets’ plans on defense. The scheme Todd Bowles wants to run depends on having a corner who can man up with the other team’s best receiver. Revis’ was critical to making the secondary and the entire defense work. He didn’t need to be vintage Revis. The 2015 version who looked like Revis 75-80% of the time looked good enough. The team got maybe the least effective cornerback play in the league from the former star.
2. Muhammad Wilkerson
There were not many objections when Wilkerson signed his big new contract in the offseason. That was how good and how consistent he had been through his first five seasons in the NFL. He was the Jets’ best defender in 2015 during their 10 win season. Perhaps he never fully recovered from the injury he suffered in the finale that year, but Wilkerson was barely a factor this season. It wasn’t just that his sack total fell to 4.5. It didn’t feel like he was making the same impact on the games. His biggest headlines probably came when he was benched for a quarter for being late to meetings and for his public criticism of the secondary.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
I put Fitzpatrick a bit lower on the list because expectations are lower. We spoke frequently last offseason about how the odds were he would fall back to earth after a statistically strong 2015. The degree to which he regressed, however, helped sink the Jets early. While Fitz was never a great quarterback, he had been a credible option since 2010. That was not the case from his absurd Week 3 performance where he threw 6 interceptions. When the Jets fell behind in games, Fitzpatrick started playing heroball, and he was not the hero the team needed.
These players also happened to have the three largest annual salaries on their contracts. It is no wonder the team’s play was so poor.
Dishonorable mention: Sheldon Richardson, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Pryor, Ryan Clady, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte