Mike Maccagnan has his end of season press conference on Thursday. As one might expect, he gave a lot of nonanswers. No general manager in the league is going to substantively give away his strategy for the upcoming offseason.
Maccagnan spoke about his vision for building the team.
On how far he feels the team is from being a playoff team…
I don’t want to put a timetable on that. I think our focus has always been, when we came into this, is to ideally build through the draft and kind of supplement through free agency. I think we did some good things in (the) first season. I think this year, obviously we’re not necessarily happy with our record. I think we did make some progress. There’s some young players who we can kind of build on going forward. Again, I’m not going to set a time table on that. Our focus is more trying to build this team so we can have a team that can go out there and compete consistently for the playoffs every season. From a timetable stand point, I’m not going to put a time table on it.
If you follow the NFL for long enough, one thing you learn is that every general manager says he is going to build through the Draft. Maccagnan’s track record is not extensive, but the early returns are not indicative of a general manager who wants to build through the Draft.
The Draft is an inexact science. You have to build in some margin for error. That is why trading down and 10 to 12 pick Draft classes are hallmarks of consistently successful franchises like the Packers. Maccagnan has a couple of 6 player classes.
Looking deeper into his record, Maccagnan has made six trades where he ended up in a worse Draft position than before, either trading a pick for a veteran player or trading up. He has only one trade under his belt where he added additional picks.
That isn’t to say you should never make a trade for a veteran or a trade up. The Brandon Marshall deal was a great one for the Jets. You just are going to have a difficult time succeeding with a 6:1 ratio. If you are going to trade picks for veterans or trade up, it is easier to do so when you have extra picks to spare.
Maccagnan shouldn’t set a specific timetable for the Playoffs. That would be foolish, but he also doesn’t have an unlimited amount of time to have a team that can consistently compete. Two years in, his team is behind schedule. The base of young talent that could propel the team to contention is thin in part because of some of his decisions.