The New York Jets’ 2016 campaign fell spectacularly and in the view of the entire nation (until they turned it off at the end of the third quarter) as they fell to the Colts 41-10 on Monday Night Football, officially eliminating them from playoff contention. As teams are eliminated from their postseason bid, we will do what they do: look ahead at their 2017 campaign. For the Jets, there are questions abound, but you don’t become the fourth team eliminated without a lot of question marks.
Is their 2017 starting quarterback even on the roster?
Between the time I started putting this piece together and the time it was published, Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Bryce Petty. After the game, Todd Bowles said that Petty was his started for the remaining four games of the season. Fitzpatrick is on a deal with no base salary next year and represents just $5,000,000 in dead cap space. Geno Smith’s time with the team will come to a merciful conclusion. That leaves them with just Bryce Petty, who is unspectacular, and Christian Hackenberg, whose nickname, “hack,” is very appropriate. He’s a hack quarterback. They need a new starter, and they will go after one in the draft or maybe… Colin Kaepernick?
Is it time to eat the rest of Darrelle Revis’s contract?
Darrelle Revis all but retired on the field this season, but he isn’t one to walk away from money. He said he isn’t enjoying playing, but he’ll still show up and cash his paycheck. He’s owed $19,000,000 next year, but cutting him saves $13,000,000 against the cap. He’s challenging the Jets to cut him so he can just retire (or go play elsewhere where it’s fun for him to play/actually win). The Jets may have no other choice as they are on the verge of blowing it all up.
Is Todd Bowles on the hot seat?
General Manager Mike Maccagnan didn’t hire Bowles, and he’s been mostly ineffective in his tenure in New York. Only a balling out season from Ryan Fitzpatrick kept him afloat last year, but everything is crumbling around the man. It’s easy for a GM to convince a head coach that he just needs someone who can coach up “his guys” properly. It doesn’t hurt Maccagnan’s case when there are legitimate stars on this team (Marshall, Decker, Wilkerson, Richardson and the corpse of Darrelle Revis). Bowles may be feeling his seat warming up.
Do they trade or extend Sheldon Richardson?
The Jets tried repeatedly to move Richardson before the season and during the season, but the price tag was too high. Now they’re facing a complete blow up of the team and starting from scratch. Richardson is one of the best players on the roster, and one of the best defensive linemen in the league, but they have a decision to make with Richardson. The defensive line is crowded and about to get expensive with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Williams. Richardson is on a one-year deal, and the Jets have to decide if he is going to get a new one or if they’re going to try to move him and get anything for him. They’re not going anywhere in 2017 so they might as well give it a shot.
Should they focus on 2018 and beyond?
The Jets are a weirdly put together roster as most of their good players are old or are getting up there. A window that never really existed is closing thanks to Father Time. They’re the third-oldest team, as 14 of the players currently on their roster will be at least 30 years old when the 2017 campaign rolls around. They’re not going to be winning the division as long as Tom Brady is pulling an NFL paycheck, and they may just have to call next year a mulligan and retool for a Brady-less future.