Our man Joe Douglas has been fairly quiet the past few months, making minor moves while mainly letting the team show its strengths and weaknesses. To be brutally honest the strengths are few and the weaknesses abound, but Joe vowed to bring bring greatness to Jets Nation
Remember his welcoming press conference? He said:
“We are going to find passionate people who love the game of football. That hate to lose more than they love to win. That love to prepare, that love to practice and who love to compete. Players who are football smart with strategic thinkers and who are not going to beat themselves.”
“To Jets Nation you are getting a general manager who is a relentless worker. Someone who understands a winning culture, someone who is going to strive to put a product on the field each Sunday that competes for greatness and that I hope will make you proud.”
We haven’t been too proud as of late.
So if you take Joe at his word, he has been a veritable clandestine whirling dervish of conclave activity in sub rosa. The only thing we know for sure right now is that Allen Iverson will not be joining the Jets anytime soon.
Joe should have a good idea how he wants to proceed with the roster.
He has made some minor moves recently in re-signing Steve McLendon to a one year extension and long snapper Thomas Hennessy to a new four year contract. Both could be seen as quality moves. Hennessy gives stability to the special teams, and McLendon is a low cost solid performer who is a positive voice in the locker room. But resigning a aging vet or a guy who snap a ball a long way accurately between his legs alone will not bring this team championships any time soon.
No, Joe was brought here to make the tough decisions and the appropriate determinations of talent as they pertain to the Jets roster. He can accelerate the process if he wisely deals with teams searching for pieces to their Playoff rosters while he is getting surplus value for those players.
Time is running out for that process as the NFL trade deadline is fast approaching on October 29th at 4pm EST. How Joe does in the next few days will go a long way in determining the future of this dormant franchise. A wise trade or non-trade might be a difference between a swift return to Playoff contention or a long wait to be competitive.
If the Jets should happen to make a coaching change in the near future, they will need as many picks as possible to transform the team into a viable likeness of the new coach’s vision of a team.
Numerous trades have already taken place with Mohamed Sanu going to the Patriots for a 2nd round pick, Gareon Conley to Houston for a 3rd round pick, and Emmanuel Sanders and a 7th round pick to the San Francisco for a 3rd and 4th round picks.
Quandre Diggs and a 7th went to Seattle for a 5th round pick. Marcus Peters went to Baltimore for LB Kenny Young and a 5th round pick. Austin Corbett went to the Rams for a 5th round pick.
The big trade was Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for a 2020 1st round , 2021 1st and 4th round picks. Additionally Minkah Fitzpatrick, a 2020 4th + 2021 7th round picks went to Pittsburgh for a 2020 1st and a 2021 5th + 6th round picks.
Let’s look at the Jets players who are worthy of trade proposals and the free agents who could bring the most bang for the buck. Almost half the roster (23 players) will be unrestricted free agents so there is work to be done.
Players the Jets should re-sign now
Alex Lewis Guard
A cheap pickup who has played surprisingly well on an offensive line with few bright spots. Lewis has had injury problems in the past but seems healthy now and he is still only 26 years old. He brings size and some versatility to the line, and would at worse be a quality backup on a future Jets top 5 offensive line.
Lac Edwards Punter
Edwards was one of the best selections the Jets made in the 2016 Draft after they whiffed with their top two picks. Edwards should be easy to sign, and the Jets would know what they have in their punter since he has been here for his entire career.
Sam Ficken Kicker
We can wait to see how Ficken does the rest of the year, but assuming he does well it would be nice to go into 2020 camp with a kicker the Jets had some confidence in. They would avoid the fiasco that was the kicking position earlier in the year. Again the contract would be cheap with little guaranteed money.
Matthias Farley Strong Safety
We have seen little of Farley other than as a special teamer. He was a starter in Indianapolis earlier in his career and is a quality backup for Jamal Adams. The strong safety position is a important position in a Gregg Williams’ defense, and it would be nice to have someone familiar with the scheme. Again, he should be relatively inexpensive.
Ty Montgomery Running Back
In a future offense where Le’veon Bell is the centerpiece it would be nice to have a player with Montgomery’s skill set as a backup in case of injury. Montgomery is still only 27 years old and is great out of the backfield. He also plays special teams. He may be a little expensive as compared to other backups but he will not break the bank. Plus his position is unique to the Jets, Bell is not an easy back to replace even for a short period of time.
Brian Poole Cornerback
Poole plays a premium position. Even though the Jets secondary is a weak spot on the team Poole has shown well most of the time. He is only 27 years old, and finding solid slot corners is difficult to do. When you have one who is viable, you should keep him. Poole has one of the highest PFF grades of any cornerback in the NFL so bringing him back, especially at a team friendly deal is a no-brainer.
Player who the Jets may bring back
Demaryius Thomas WR
Thomas would be a veteran presence in the WR room. He has played with and was highly respected by Peyton Manning. He is on the downside of his career, but he would be a coach on the field for a young group of receivers the Jets may have in the future. Plus he can still play better than any JAG receiver you may bring in.
Rontez Miles Free Safety
Another veteran presence who plays well on special teams, Miles is 31 and is coming off a big payday from Mike Maccagnan ($1,907,000) so he would need to take a pay cut.
Brandon Copeland Edge
Copland just came off suspension so we will need to see how he plays the rest of the year. He is another Maccagnan bonus baby ($1,750,000) with mild production. His play the rest of the year and his salary demands will make the determining factor for a guy who has played a grand total of 39 snaps so far this year.
Neville Hewitt Inside Linebacker
Hewitt had a good first game of the year and played nearly every snap the first four games but has been nicked up with neck and knee injuries. His play has tailed off some as the year has progressed but he is still only 27 and could be a valuable asset for the right price.
Jordan Jenkins Edge
Jenkins is not an every down player for the defense but still gets about 60-75% of the snaps. It would be interesting to see how he is valued by Gregg Williams. Jenkins is just 26 years old and should have his best years ahead of him. He is a type of player who could be valued by the Jets or traded to another team for Draft capital. We will have to see how this plays out.
Players who have true trade value
Leonard Williams Interior Lineman
Like it or not, Leonard Williams has been a solid if unspectacular player for the Jets. At 26 years old he is still an ascending player, but his ceiling will likely never reach his Draft position. That is where the animosity of Jets fans emanates from. He is still a solid citizen and a quiet but positive locker room voice. Salary will be a key, and the Jets really don’t need to spend more money on the defensive line. I have not heard anything about contract talks. If that is so, the Jets should trade Williams soon. If Mohamed Sanu was worth a 2nd round pick Leonard Williams is worth more, especially to a Playoff needy team.
Robby Anderson Wide Receiver
I actually highlighted Robby as a possible UDFA pickup before the 2016 Draft and have written other pieces on him over the years. I like Robby as a player, but I feel that if the Jets could get a quality package of picks, they should trade him.
I realize that Robby has led the Jets in receiving the past two years and his leaving would leave the cupboard fairly bare for the offense. Still, the Jets are going nowhere this year, and Robby will probably be lost in free agency. Why not get something for him? The Jets will probably sign a few free agents next year so a compensatory pick would probably not be available to them for losing Robby
Robby is a great #2 WR in the mold of a Will Fuller but he will never be a #1 WR,. He is just not physically strong enough to play through quality press coverage and/or be a high volume receiver. The Jets don’t have a true #1 WR to aument Robby’s skills so he is a hit or miss player with the team. Vyncint Smith could fill his role in the future while the Jets use the picks they get from the trade to fortify their team.
Other Free Agents
Ryan Kalil Center
Kalil was a nice try but at 35 years old he is not near the player he once was.
Kelvin Beachum Tackle
Beachum is probably not in the future plans for the Jets, and considering he is now injured the chance they could have traded him has disappeared.
Trevor Siemian Quarterback
A player who was grossly overpaid to be a backup and failed miserably when called upon, I hope Joe D sees the error of Adam Gase’s ways and says bye-bye.
Tom Compton Guard
With the offensive line being a complete disaster this year, the fact that Compton has played a grand total of 4 snaps is all you need to know how the Jets feel about him.
Brent Qvale Tackle
How Qvale is still even on this team or any team is a mvstery.
Ryan Griffin Tight End
Griffin is 30 which means he makes above $1 million in salary which is too much for his production. The offseason should see some new blood at TE for the Jets.
Daniel Brown Tight End
Another low ceiling player who the Jets could replace. Tight end is a tough place to find quality so he conceivably could be back in 2020.
Bilal Powell Running Back
I always liked Powell as a player and still don’t know why he wasn’t given more opportunities in the past. He always produced. Sadly those days are gone and his years of service make him too expensive to be a #3 RB on this team. It was nice to see him come back to full health from his neck injury. A quality back and a quality Jet, I wish him well.
Albert McClellan ILB
A special teamer pressed into duty because of injuries, McClellan is 34, and his best playing days are behind him. The Jets need to find another Cashman in this upcoming draft to backup this year’s Cashman and Mosley.
Brandon Shell Tackle
A player who was a starter on the Jets as a 5th round selection but has a skill set as a career backup, Shell is the guy you always want to replace and upgrade. It is too bad Maccagnan never drafted anyone to replace him. He could come back as a backup, but I see the Jets moving on. I would trade him for a bag of chips now if I could get it.
Most of the other players on the team would have little trade value comparable to the value they have to the team right now. A Brian Winters could be moved. He would also bring little in Draft capital in return and leave a gaping hole on the offensive line, putting Sam Darnold in greater danger.
Joe, the ball is in your court, and Jets Nation is awaiting your next move. We are expecting great things. Show us a little something. We have only 6 picks in the 2020 Draft. We want to see you shine so if you could add two or three to that total it could be glorious.
What do you think the Jets should do?