Mock Offseason: The Reckoning

Four plays into the 2023 New York Jets season most fans went from hope and excitement to utter disbelief. What was supposed to be a team playoff bound at least turned into just wanting to end the season. Joe Douglas went all in for Aaron Rodgers, they just didn’t really execute that plan well. Zach Wilson has been a total bust. The offensive line has been terrible. The Jets have been unable to find any sort of offensive role players to play along their superstars in Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. So where do the Jets go from here?

I’ll be the first one to say, I am an Aaron Rodgers fan. I think he’s a great QB. I think at his worst he’s the best QB the Jets have had since Namath. Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. My guess is if you dislike Rodgers is probably more due to his off the field persona rather than his on the field play. That’s totally fine. The reality is the Jets won’t be rebuilding while Rodgers is here. They are going to try and win a championship or two while he’s here. However, I think there’s a way to do that, while also setting this team up for long term success. The Jets don’t have to live in infinite extremes of team building.

First, most of the Jets defense is under contract. This is an absolute stellar unit. With even a top 20 offense this defense could have drug this team to a playoff spot. We have two offensive superstars in Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. These players are in their rookie deals and are everything you look for in a foundation piece. The Jets also have elite superstars on defense in Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams who elevate everyone’s play. These are the pieces I would build around and here’s how I would do just that:


Fire Nathaniel Hackett and hire Mark Brunell as the offensive coordinator. Brunell is currently the QB coach for the Detroit Lions and has done really good things with Jared Goff.

Restructures (Cap Savings):

CJ Mosely 3 years, $31 mil ($16 mil)- I like CJ Mosely. I think he could finish his career here and do some very good things. I want to give him a modest extension and lower his cap hit by quite a bit.

Cuts (Cap Savings):

Post 6/1 cuts:

Laken Tomlinson ($13 mil)- things just haven’t worked out for Tomlinson. He’s been one of the most underwhelming free agents in quite some time.

CJ Ozumah ($8 mil)- another player with some pretty good expectations that have just done absolutely nothing.

Trades (cap savings):

John Franklin Meyers to the Arizona Cardinals for pick 69 and Rondale Moore ($5.7 mil)

Zach Wilson to Minnesota for pick 105 and a conditional 2025 4th round pick ($5.5 mil)

Cap Number: $64.1 mil

Signings (Cap Hit):

Thomas Moorestead, P- 1 year, $1.5 mil- the best punter in the league.

Greg Zuehrline, K- 1 year, $1 mil- he’s been very consistent this year. No need to look further.

Bryce Huff, EDGE- 5 years, $90 mil ($12 mil)- Huff is establishing himself as a premier pass rusher in the league. In all aspects of playing defensive end he’s a lynchpin and a player the Jets need to keep around.

Al Woods, DT- 1 year, $2 mil- I liked what I saw with Woods on the field. He helps in the run game and adds depth to the defense.

Blaine Gabbert, QB- 1 year, $4 mil- the Jets need stability at the backup QB position. Someone smart enough to know where the ball needs to go. Gabbert is a limited QB, but he is a smart player and a good backup.

Connor McGovern, C- 1 year, $4 mil- I’m not a huge McGovern fan. He’s getting older. He’s coming off injury. He’s been shown to be a pretty decent Center and capable Guard. I think he’d be a good depth add.

David Bakhtiari, LT- 1 year, $6 mil- this will be my first controversial pick. He’s due a lot of money by the Packers and I think he’s ultimately let go. He’s coming off knee issues but the hard facts are the LT market is very poor and I don’t want to rely on a rookie LT all season. When healthy he’s a top tier LT in the NFL.

Cornelius Lucas, LT- 2 years, $6 mil ($3 mil) I think the worst move the Jets can make is panicking at the Tackle position and signing a below average player to a huge deal. Lucas graded out at 69, and has experience playing both tackle spots. He provides good depth.

Darnell Mooney, WR- 2 years, $11 mil ($4 mil)- the Jets are really missing a big play deep threat. Mooney really hasn’t gotten a chance to shine in Chicago. He’s also got special teams experience and should add a lot of big play ability for Rodgers.

Geno Stone, S- 3 years, $28 mil ($8 mil)- I’m going against my own grain with this. Safety play isn’t hard to find. Stone might be the exception here. He’s a big playmaker and something this defense has been sorely missing. If the defense has given up a play, it’s usually a Safety being the culprit. Stone solidifies the back end of the defense.

Remaining Cap: $18.6 mil


Jets trade pick 10 to the Raiders for picks 13 and 45 the Raiders pay a premium to move up for Bo Nix

Pick 13 Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State- Do the Jets go pass protector or pass catcher here? I really like Fuaga as a RT prospect. He has elite size and strength. He’s very refined with his footwork. I think he’s solely a RT and he’s going to be a darn good one.

Pick 45 Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon- Franklin is one of my favorite prospects to watch with the ball in his hands. He’s fluid with his route running and has truly elite speed on a 6’ 3" frame.

Pick 69 Sedrick Van Pran, IOL, Georgia- The Jets need to add some nastiness to their line. Van Pran is a leader on the field. Along a star studded line, he easily pops off the page the most. He’s currently a Center but I think he projects more as a Guard.

Pick 72 Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee- The Jets need to add a high upside developmental QB to sit behind Rodgers for a year or two. Milton has the mental makeup and raw traits to be an elite QB at any level. His touch and accuracy seem to be a concern. Personally I think this is due to sloppy footwork and mechanics that are correctable.

Pick 107 Junior Colson, LB, Michigan- Colson is a prototypical MLB. He does well in the passing game but will make his money as a downhill linebacker that’s going to blow up the running game. He is really fun to watch play football.

Pick 109 TJ Tampa, DB, Iowa State- Tampa is a very good player stuck on a bad team. He currently players cornerback at Iowa State, but will be an excellent Safety at the next level. He offers well above average IQ on the field and stands 6’ 2" and offers all kinds of athleticism. He’s also a true leader in the locker room.

Pick 169 Keith Randolph JR, DT, Illinois- ideally the Jets need to add a partner to Quinnen on the interior of the line. Randolph is a true DT at the next level. He’s all strength and just enough speed to a very good player at the next level. He needs to work on his pass rushing technique, but he has a chance to develop into a late round gem.

Depth Chart:

QB: Rodgers, Gabbert, Milton

RB: Hall, Abanikanda, Valladay

TE: Conklin, Ruckert, Kuntz

WR: Wilson, Franklin, Moore, Lazard, Mooney, Gipson

OT: Bhaktiri, Warren, Fuaga, Lucas

OG: AVT, Van Pran, McGovern

C: Tippman

DT: Williams, Huff, JJJ, Thomas, Randolph, MCDonald, Woods, Jefferson

LB: Quincy, Mosely, Surratt, Colson

CB: Reed, Sauce, Carter, Hall, Converse

S: Stone, Adams, Tampa

K: Zuerhline

P: Moorestead

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