New faces: RB Le’Veon Bell, LB C.J. Mosley, DT Quinnen Williams, WR Jamison Crowder, C Ryan Kalil, OG Kelechi Osemele, RB/WR Ty Montgomery, CB Brian Poole, QB Trevor Siemian, K Chandler Catanzaro, OLB Jachai Polite
They’re gone: OG James Carpenter, C Spencer Long, CB Buster Skrine, DL Mike Pennel, WR Andre Roberts, K Jason Myers, S Terrence Brooks, WR Jermaine Kearse, RB Isaiah Crowell
2019 snapshot: Few teams in the league had a more complicated offseason than the Jets, who apparently disliked their own moves from this spring so much that the man who made them is now gone. Former GM Mike Maccagnan was fired in May, with Joe Douglas hired in June.
That came after Maccagnan hired Adam Gase as head coach, led a free agent spending spree for Bell, Mosely and Crowder, and ran the draft room as normal in April. Did the team finally get it right by hiring Douglas? Or does that bizarre sequence of events simply show a dysfunctional organization?
Maccagnan’s moves certainly raised a few eyebrows. He made outlandish investments at two of the league’s least valuable positions in running back (Bell; four years, $52 million) and inside linebacker (Mosley; five years, $85 million), then added an expensive slot wideout (Crowder; three years, $28.5 million) just a few months after extending Quincy Enunwa, who predominantly plays the slot.
The draft was more encouraging, as Williams was clearly the best player available, even at a crowded position with Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon and newly re-signed Henry Anderson. Third-round picks Polite and OT Chuma Edoga each bring some upside (albeit amid character concerns), and TE Trevon Wesco (fourth round) should be a nice Swiss-army knife as a tight end/H-back.
Even if you disagree with how they got there, the Jets are certainly more talented. Douglas added a nice cherry on top by coaxing Ryan Kalil out of retirement to fill the hole at center, though the O-line chemistry could take time to build.
Get to know… RB/WR Ty Montgomery
Cast aside by the Packers after a critical fumble last year, Montgomery finished the year with the Ravens and then remained a free agent until April. But by all accounts, he’s been a star at training camp, giving Gase another toy to play with.
Worth the investment?
–The Jets managed just four wins a year ago, but with several major talent upgrades, they could reasonably flirt with the postseason. It’s not hard to see them topping their 7.5-win over/under.
–As far as MVP longshots go, you could do far worse than Sam Darnold (+6600), who came on strong to finish his rookie season and now has Gase as his head coach.
Bottom line: Now with enough infrastructure to support him, the Jets’ trajectory will be tied directly to the development of Darnold in Year 2.