The New York Jets had a busy day yesterday in free agency, and while they didn’t get the top prize in the free agency pool in Kirk Cousins they got the next best thing in Josh McCown. And when I really think about it, this was the right way to go for the Jets, sure Cousins would have been able to break every Jets franchise passing record, sure he would have been able to sure up a position the Jets have been in an endless search for answers to, sure he would have made the team immensely better, but when you can bring back the guy who lead you to a 5-8 record last year that’s what you gotta do. Now I know the Jets also brought in Teddy Bridgewater, who is 25 years old, has shown a lot of promise in the past, takes care of the ball well, and had his knee explode two years ago and hasn’t played since. And I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but the Jets still have no quarterback. Josh McCown has never started 16 games in a season in his entire career, a career that has been going on since 2002. Teddy Bridgewater is more of a question mark than anyone in the draft, considering how long he has been away from football. I know he probably got some practice time last year but still his situation is unprecedented, not plying football for two years and then trying to resurrect their career. The only other time I can think of something like this is when Mike Vick missed two years when he was in jail, and came back and had some success with the Eagles, but still Bridgewater missed two years with an injury. So with their two new signings being question marks where does that leave the Jets at the most important position in the NFL? Do you draft a QB at 6? Do you keep Hackenburg on the roster and seeing what he has to offer? The answer is that it leaves the Jets in the exact same position they have been in for the entire decade, hopelessly searching for someone to be their answer at QB.
Now I actually am a fan of Isaiah Crowell, I think he is a good every down running back, who is still just 25. He is an upgrade over Forte, and a Crowell Powell combo will form a good 1-2 punch with, Crowell getting the bulk of the carries. But I don’t really care about any of that, what I really care about is the fact that I now have a reason to make bird noises during every Jets game, and that is worth all the money we will pay him.
The Jets biggest free agent signing had to have been Trumaine Johnson, who was largely regarded as one of two top corners in free agency. I think other people are a lot more excited about this signing than I am, the Jets still gave up 30 passing touchdowns last year, so forgive me if I with hold judgment before I anoint them a great secondary by adding one good corner. I think if they are able to bring back Claiborne and pick up some young help in the draft they could show good improvement, but they still lack players who are known for creating turnovers. Also no matter how good of a corner you are, it’s difficult to cover someone when the quarterback has 10 seconds in the pocket to throw every time.
My biggest take away from yesterday is that I don’t think the Jets did anything to get substantially better, they got younger at running back, middle line backer and corner, but younger doesn’t always necessary translate to better. The main reason I wanted the Jets to get Cousins is so that they could address one of their many positions of need in draft. They still need offensive line help, they’re best tight end on the roster is Teddy Thomlinson, they have had a need at edge rusher for the past 10 years, and oh yeah they still need a quarterback. Free agency has just started and they do still have a lot of money to work with, so I’ll withhold my off season judgment until all the chips fall where they may, but right now gun to my head I think this is a 12-4 team and the #2 seed in the AFC. Playoff team? no question, division champs? without a doubt, but super bowl bound? still a work in progress. I have faith they will get their by the end of the off season but for now there is still work to be done.