The vast majority of the New York Jets offseason is over in terms of major acquisitions and moves. And while the Jets still might add a piece or two to the roster, this team’s rebuilding efforts are largely done until training camp.
So are the Jets better off than they were four months ago?
This time, four months ago, the NFL was six days away from the Super Bowl. And with the season a little over a month from being completed, there was a lot to digest about the Jets season. Especially, figuring out if a team with one win in their first eight games was really and truly the 7-9 team that closed out their first season under head coach Adam Gase with a victory at the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills. Were these the Jets that struggled so mightily to start the offseason? Or are they the team that went 6-2 to close out the year?
As it stands, the AFC East might be shifting its power teams. The New England Patriots appear to be on the decline, having lost Tom Brady this offseason. The Bills are ascendant and the Miami Dolphins added significant talent in both free agency and the NFL Draft.
Did the Jets keep up this offseason after a flurry of moves that completely revamped the offensive line and added quality depth to both sides of the ball? Yes and perhaps no.
“The Jets have gotten better talent-wise. This crazy offseason doesn't help them coming together as a team though and Adam Gase is still unproven as a leader,” said former NFL general manager Randy Mueller.
“I think Buffalo is primed to take the next step. The experience they gained by going to the playoffs last year is invaluable. I also think Miami is a much more talented/better team than when the season ended last year. They seem to be clearly focused and on a mission.”
Mueller has been a general manager of both the New Orleans Saints and the Dolphins. He recently praised the development of Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who enters his third year as the team’s starting quarterback.
The Jets had a big free agency period, most notably overhauling what was the league’s worst offensive line in 2019 with five potential new starters. They still have money left over to theoretically address a new contract for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and still carry money into next year, when they should be major players in free agency. The rebuild is well under way.
With the Patriots seemingly and potentially in decline, the path to the playoffs is as wide-open as it has been in the AFC East for two decades. As Mueller notes, however, it won’t be easy for the Jets as the Bills are a solid team that is progressing and added an elite wide receiver in Stefon Diggs this offseason.
The Dolphins had a big free agency period as well and a very good draft. The Jets, forever in rebuilding since 2011, have some catching up to do.