We kick off the first offseason edition of the Jets Mailbag with burning questions about the never-ending quarterback conundrum, Todd Bowles’ future, draft strategy and the age-old query: When will the suffering finally stop?
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Is there a QB out there that the Jets can actually trade for? Rivers? Brees?
— Eder Calixto ?@bkEcali
What sense does it make for a rebuilding franchise to trade for an expensive old quarterback? Philip Rivers would sooner want to be exiled in Siberia than be traded to the Jets. Not happening.
Why on God’s Green Earth would the Jets want to trade for Drew Brees, who will turn 38 in a few days. Thirty-eight! Can Brees still play? Sure, but did I mention that he’s 38? His desire to play for the Jets on a 10-point scale: Somewhere between a 0.0 and 0.1.
Tony Romo will likely be available, but let’s examine this: Romo is an injury-prone 36-year-old quarterback who has had trouble staying healthy behind the best offensive line in football. What’s the over/under he’d actually stay healthy before getting hurt behind the Jets middling offensive line? One, maybe two quarters?
Sure, there are folks on One Jets Drive who believe that Romo is still a difference maker. In a vacuum, they’re right. He is. But it’s too bad that the NFL’s Bubble Boy actually has to play outside of a vacuum. If they change the rules to two-hand touch, Romo would be a stud.
The Jets would have to give up draft-pick compensation and pay Romo, whose deal runs through 2019. He’s scheduled to earn a guaranteed $ 14 million base salary with a nearly $ 25 million salary cap charge in 2017.
Will the Jets inquire about Romo this offseason? Probably. Will they pull the trigger on a trade? God, I hope not— for their sakes.
Todd Bowles isn’t a coordinator anymore. He needs to focus less on play-calling and more on the big picture.
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
What is the plan for Devin Smith going forward within a young, talented WR corps?
— Jim Fink ?@JimFink1515
Smith is way too talented to be wasting away on the bench. He played only 35 snaps in four games this season for myriad reasons. First and foremost, he needs to regain full confidence in his surgically repaired knee. When I spoke to Smith a couple weeks ago, it was evident that self-confidence won’t be an issue going forward. The biggest question is whether the Jets will give him a real chance to prove his worth — and prove them right after making him the 37th overall pick two years ago.
Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan really should maximize snaps for their collection of young receivers. Let’s strip away the B.S.: 2017 will be a rebuilding season. So, it’ll be critical for guys like Robby Anderson, Charone Peake and Smith to get as much playing time as possible. (Quincy Enunwa will obviously be out there too).
Smith told me that he will either train in California or return to Ohio State to work with his former coaches this offseason. It’ll be a vital time for the former second-round pick. I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on him. He has real ability and can make a difference moving forward.
If Bill O’Brien gets fired after the postseason, can you see an O’Brien/Hackenberg reunion?
— Lion Trahan @sono_leone23
Woody Johnson has already said that Todd Bowles will be back in 2017. Texans owner Bob McNair has already said that O’Brien won’t be fired after the playoffs.
Besides, I’m not sure O’Brien could magically fix Hackenberg.
Jets need a total overhaul. What is the likelihood NYJ trades down in round 1 one or more times to stock up on picks?
— Peter LoPalo @pjlop94
It’s tempting given the many holes that need to be addressed on this roster, but would Mike Maccagnan pass up a difference maker at No. 6? It’s way too early to know the plan, but picking up an additional third-rounder, for example, by sliding down a few spots might be a good strategy. It all depends on which players are available at No. 6. And that’s way too early know.
Christian Hackenberg in the second round is a pick the Jets would like to do-over.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Which quarterback should the Jets try and make a move for this off season and who should we target at the 6th pick
— Barry Allen @Pat_Gonnella11
I got to be honest: It’s slim pickins’ out there. Does Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler or Mike Glennon move the needle for you? Heck, Tyrod Taylor looks like Fran Tarkenton compared to some of these signal callers that will be available this offseason.
Jets fans should get used to this reality: There’s no elixir on the market.
The 2017 quarterback class looks mediocre, according to most evaluators that I’ve touched base with in the past month or so. North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, who announced this week that he’s foregoing his senior season, is an intriguing prospect. The buzz in league circles is that the Jets are high on him, but we’re only now beginning the exhaustive evaluation process. There’s a chance that Trubsiky might not even make it the No. 6 pick.
Clemson’s Deshaun Watson had a national championship game for the ages, but I don’t think he’s worth a Top 10 pick. Same goes for Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
How was defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers not fired? Seems clueless when speaking. Will Todd be more of a CEO and let Kacy call plays now?
— Biggs @Bigggs15
Bowles trusts Rodgers implicitly. He’s assumed important roles to take day-to-day responsibilities off Bowles’ plate, but I do think it’s time for the head coach to transition to more of a CEO role. Rodgers should take on more play-calling duties. Bowles must take more of a birds-eye view of the team, which means investing more time on the offensive side of the ball during the season.
TWO-MINUTE DRILL (10 Quick Hitters)
Once the Jets clean up their cap space, besides quarterback, I would sign a cornerback. Stephon Gilmore would be the first guy I target. Thoughts?
— Ira from Staten Island
Gilmore was brutal in the first half of the season before rebounding. He’d be a clear upgrade, that’s for sure.
Philip Rivers is reportedly reluctant to go with the Chargers if they move from San Diego to Los Angeles — do you really think he’d welcome a move to the Jets?
(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Can we borrow a page from Red Auerbach and draft Sam Darnold this year?
The USC freshman quarterback looks like the real deal. Then again, so did Christian Hackenberg in his first college season.
Who gets the majority of snaps at nose tackle? Mclendon played well in the early, but Deon Simon played REALLY WELL late in the year.
— Owen Sullivan @Osullivan303
Deon Simon. Give Maccagnan & Co. credit: He looks like a seventh-round steal.
What do you make of not retaining Kevin Patullo? Had a great 2015. Anything to do with the doubt surrounding Hackenberg/Petty?
— Eamonn Higgins @higgins0519
Patullo was Chan Gailey’s hand-picked QB coach. I think Todd Bowles will be looking to replace Patullo with someone with previous experience coaching that position.
Any chance the Jets hire an OC that could potentially replace Bowles after 2017? A la Koetter-Lovie…
— Raj Chudgar @RajPC1
Never say never, but I would be surprised. If Johnson fires Bowles after the 2017 season, I’d expect that he wouldn’t promote someone from Bowles’ staff.
Obviously Bowles’ early hires didn’t pan out. Do you think he learned enough in 2 years to select better candidates?
— Michael Romano @michaelromano25
When Tyrod Taylor looks like the best quarterback on the market, you know it’s a lean year.
Jets fans better hope so. (And I think so).
Do you see both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker being on the team next season?
— Rocky D @The_rock954
Nope. It’s time to maximize snaps for the young receivers. One of the two vets could be back, but it makes little sense to retain both of them for a rebuilding team.
Name me the last productive second-round pick… 3-year tenure with team minimum…
— Chris Kasulke ?@ChrisCk3864
David Harris, 2007. Yeah, it’s been a while.
In retrospect would you use a 2nd round draft pick on Hack?
— Mike @MikeOC1968
I think we all know the answer to this question.
When does the suffering stop?
— Brian @coffee8502
Before the suns burns out.