Free agency unofficially began in the NFL on Monday afternoon.
While rich in cap space, the Jets had a relatively quiet day. As of Monday evening, they had agreed to terms with only one player. It is Jarrad Davis, a linebacker formerly of the Detroit Lions. Davis agreed to terms on a moderate deal and is a reclamation project after a disappointing stint in Detroit.
I think it would be fair to say there is a lot of angst in the Jets fanbase over the lack of action. I can understand it. Fans have been looking forward to this day for months. During a lost season you circle the start of free agency on your calendar.
On top of this, Jets fans are hungry for a winner after a decade of losing.
I can totally appreciate why people view today as so important. Here’s the thing. It is really only the first act in a long play. We have an entire offseason to go. There will be opportunities well past March 15.
And when I say this is the first act I am not only talking about the offseason of 2021. In many ways this is the first day of what will be a multiyear rebuild. Joe Douglas might be approaching his second anniversary on the job, but this is the first time he has the resources to build his own team. The day he was hired on the job, he was stuck with a team he had inherited with his predecessor for two years. He could tinker on the fringes, but a deeply flawed team was essentially in place for two years.
Make no mistake. Douglas is now on the clock. He needs to put a vastly improved roster on the field in the 2021 season, or it will be a major mark against him. There is still plenty of time to do so.
I wrote last night about the opportunities this year’s free agency will present. There are likely deals to be had. Those deals don’t happen on the first day of free agency. They require patience and negotiating. Players who sign on day one tend to do so because they got an offer so favorable to them that it would be futile to negotiate.
I do think you could argue a few overpays at key spots might have been justified for where the Jets are. However, I don’t think a single player who agreed to terms with another team has doomed the Jets. It simply is much easier to recover from the player you should have signed but didn’t than it is to recover from the player you shouldn’t have signed but did. If three years from now the Jets have a new general manager after a failed Douglas tenure I doubt this is the day we will look back at as the catalyst.
The Jets must find appreciable upgrades at a number of key positions, but there remain abundant opportunities to do so. I believe any angst is premature.
With that said, the GGN Twitter widget is embedded below to provide addition updates, and I invite you to use the comments below as a nighttime discussion thread.