At the surface, the Jets' head coaching vacancy doesn't seem as appealing as other openings across the NFL.
Some teams already have the quarterback position figured out with an elite player poised to be around for years to come. Take the Los Angeles Chargers and rookie Justin Herbert or the Houston Texans and star Deshaun Watson for instance.
Others, like the Jacksonville Jaguars, are about to add their own generational talent via the top pick of next spring's NFL draft. What coach wouldn't want an opportunity to start fresh in an organization that's building around Clemson's Trevor Lawrence?
Then, there's the Jets. Two wins pushed New York out of pole position in the draft and they're coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Take a step back, however, and the head coaching vacancy in New York is up there with the rest of them. Allow Jets general manager Joe Douglas to explain why.
"There are so many good people here," Douglas said, mentioning CEO Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai. "I think there’s so many people here that are willing to do anything to win, and they’re willing to help in any way that they can. I think in a perfect world, it’d be great to create this football utopia of an egoless football organization. I feel like there’s a lot of that already in place from a lot of people here, that their hearts are in the right place, they just they just want to win, they just they just want a winner."
Sure, the "people" aren't everything, but that's an important first step in reeling in a top candidate. Take the personnel that New York's new head coach will be working with and mix it with these two factors, courtesy of Douglas once again, and you've got something special.
"There’s a lot of resources here to help a coach succeed," Douglas said. "I think we’re in a good position in terms of draft capital. I think we’re in a good position in terms of cap space. So, I think there’s a lot of positive things for us moving forward."
Not only do the Jets have ample room to make a slew of moves in free agency—bringing in veterans to help with the team's culture, mentor young players and win some games—but they're loaded with draft picks.
Just in 2021 alone, New York will pick twice in the first round (at No. 2 and then wherever the Seahawks end up courtesy of the Jamal Adams trade), they've got five total selections across the first three rounds and nine through the sixth round.
If the Jets can truly take advantage of their picks with the right players, that's the type of class that can begin to turn a franchise around. Not to mention the fact that New York already has some phenoms worth building around on their roster. We're talking defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, left tackle Mekhi Becton, wide receiver Denzel Mims and more.
Further, New York's next head coach will also have the freedom to choose the direction this team is headed. For example, Douglas was asked this week to divulge his plan at the quarterback position for Gang Green and the GM deferred to the head coach who hasn't even been hired yet.
"Any major decision we have going forward, in terms of the roster and in terms of free agency, draft, anything, our new head coach is going to be a big part of that moving forward," Douglas explained.
Having that kind of say in major decisions—decisions that will be made not long after taking over this offseason—will surely be appealing to any and all candidates. That includes the veteran coaches who have been through this process before to those who end up leading a team for the first time.
Asked about New York's 10-year run without a postseason appearance, the longest active drought in the NFL, Christopher Johnson admitted that it weighs heavily on the organization's collective shoulders. He added that he's sick and tired of losing. But the light at the end of the tunnel, in Johnson's eyes, isn't far away.
"We have incredible draft resources in these next two drafts, we have a great deal of money to spend against the cap in a year where it’s unusually good to have money to spend against the cap and we have Joe leading the charge," Johnson said. "And very importantly, my brother and I have a philosophy to hire good people and give them the support and resources they need and let them do their jobs."
The Jets haven't wasted any time seeking out the right individual to take over for Adam Gase. New York has requested interviews with a wide range of quality candidates, already completing initial interviews with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and veteran head coach Marvin Lewis.
Jets fans will need to be patient this offseason as their favorite team conducts what's expected to be a thorough search. That's good, though. After all, who wouldn't want to be the head coach of the New York Jets in 2021?
"I think that this is a really good landing spot for a coach and once we have that coach, once we stick the landing with this coaching hire, I think that the future of this team is very, very bright," Johnson said.