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Jets' Offseason Plan Mirrors Past Super Bowl Champion?

The New York Jets have used free agency to make short-term deals to benefit the current roster while staying competitive in the long term. That kind of thinking mirrors a Super Bowl team that pulled off a miracle run not so long ago.
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The New York Jets have spent the first week of free agency finding top players that match their price and locking them up to short-term deals. 

On that metric alone, general manager Joe Douglas has knocked the first wave of free agency out of the park. 

The shrewd signings, and value trades that have transformed New York's offense from a poor one in 2023, to a lethal combination in 2024 before the 2024 Draft rolls around is nothing short of remarkable. 

It's also similar to another team that runs a similar philosophy to that of New York. 

Douglas' career has taken him from the Baltimore Ravens to the Philadelphia Eagles. Under Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore, Douglas learned how to scout for players who may be overlooked. In Philadelphia, the executive learned how to manipulate the cap to his desire and add top pieces at half the price of other organizations. 

Jets - Eagles

It's Philadelphia's past that mirrors what Douglas is trying to do now. 

In 2017, the Eagles made a series of shrewd trades that brought in role players while also making short-term signings for players who had question marks coming into the season. Here's a list of some of the few:

QB - Nick Foles - two-year deal

WR - Alshon Jeffery - one-year deal

DE - Chris Long - two-year deal

DB - Patrick Robinson - one-year deal

RB - LeGarrette Blount - one-year deal

TRADE - with Baltimore Ravens for DT Timmy Jernigan

PRESEASON Trade - with Buffalo Bills for Ronald Darby

 Now this is only some of the highlighted moves made by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, but the similarities between what they did here and what Douglas (Director of Player Personnel with Philly at the time) has done with the Jets is staggering. 

One main highlight of any offseason like this is that the Eagles locked up players to short-term deals. Players like Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, and Patrick Robinson all had question marks surrounding their durability, but each played an important role on the 2017 team that ended up winning Super Bowl LII. 

Now, as much as the comparison to the Jets current offseason makes sense, it's important to note that Philadelphia truly struck lightning in a bottle that offseason. Almost every move made by the organization worked out in droves, and it's been hard to duplicate since. 

That doesn't mean Douglas hasn't been trying with New York. 

The signing of Mike Williams, a deep-threat, big-play wide receiver, mirrors that of the one the Eagles made for Jeffery over seven years ago. Remember, Jeffery was coming off two middling seasons with the Chicago Bears and had injury concerns attached to him. New York is hoping that Williams will put forth the production Jeffery did in his first season with the organization (57 catches, over 700 yards, and nine touchdowns). 

There is also the signing of a quality backup quarterback who has injury concerns of his own to a two-year deal. New York acquired Tyrod Taylor to run their offense while the Eagles brought back Nick Foles. Taylor won't and shouldn't be expected to match what Foles did in Philadelphia, but it's worthy to understand why the Jets gave him a two-year deal and how similar it is to other organizations who value the backup quarterback position. 

Finally, there are the veteran positions of value. 

Long, Blount, Jernigan, and Robinson were all gobbled up quickly in free agency by the Eagles in 2017. They all played an impact despite their age or lack of effectiveness in the case of Robinson. 

How similar is that to the Jets acquiring a former Raven in the trenches for a third-round pick swap? Or bringing in aging players like Tyron Smith, and short-term deals for John Simpson, Javon Kinlaw, and Chuck Clark?

It's pretty crazy how Douglas is trying to do exactly what worked in Philadelphia. 

It may not work, but if the Jets get even close to the kind of production the Eagles got with their 2017 roster, New York could certainly be seen as one of the few titles that can contend for a Super Bowl.