It hasn’t been a high-profile, headline grabbing offseason for the New York Jets so far, but that isn’t a bad thing for a team that is in the midst of a massive rebuild. The team’s understated approach to free agency is winning positive reviews so far from those around the league, including one veteran pro personnel executive in Marc Ross.
So far this offseason, the Jets didn’t pursue (or at least land) the big names in free agency. The likes of left tackle Jack Conklin and cornerback Byron Jones landed elsewhere as the Jets maintained their salary cap discipline. The philosophy was clear from general manager Joe Douglas from the onset that he was going to address multiple needs and not blow the entire cap picture on one or two big names.
The Jets had too many holes on their two-deep to simply swing for the fences with one or two names and ignore serious issues elsewhere.
The result of this pragmatism is a deep free agent class that upgrades talent on both sides of the ball but in particular along the offensive line (where four free agents and one player re-signed help to rebuild the weakest link on the Jets a season ago). The offensive line is now significantly better, even if the Jets didn’t sign a single player with a Pro Bowl on their resume.
Ross boasts over two decades of experience in player personnel and scouting. He currently works as an analyst with the NFL Network. He likes the disciplined approach by Douglas in free agency.
“And that's what it seemed like they were trying not to overspend and just to get quality guys - you just kind of solid, solid types,” Ross told SportsIllustrated.com’s ‘Jets County’ on Wednesday.
“You know, we went to two Super Bowls but with just kind of solid guys. And it all depends on Sam Darnold making those guys better and what happens there.”
Ross spent a decade with the New York Giants as their vice president of player evaluation, winning two Super Bowls during that time. He also was a national scout with the Buffalo Bills for several years. He started his NFL career in 1997 with the Philadelphia Eagles where he was the director of college scouting.