FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Owner Woody Johnson believes the New York Jets are a quarterback away from ending their 12-year playoff drought, and he is willing to spend massive bucks for a confirmed veteran.
“Absolutely,” he advised a small group of reporters Thursday in his workplace at the Jets’ facility. “We’ve received a cap, so there’s an quantity you possibly can spend. But, yeah, yeah. That’s form of the lacking piece.”
Zach Wilson was supposed to be a key piece when he was drafted second total in 2021, however he was benched twice in 2022 and seems headed for a backup function in 2023. Despite his struggles, and people of the offense, “this crew is loaded and prepared to go,” Johnson stated.
“Our protection was an unbelievable story you noticed this 12 months, from final place to shut to the prime in protection when it comes to each measurable,” he stated. “If you are able to do the identical factor on offense, it appears fairly good, proper?”
Several intriguing names shall be out there in the offseason, from free brokers (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson) to doable commerce targets (most notably, Derek Carr).
The Jets have already invested $35 million assured in Wilson. The plan is to maintain him, in accordance to Johnson, however he acknowledged, “Zach had a troublesome 12 months, there is no denying that. I nonetheless have faith that I’ve seen some kernels of actual expertise there. … [His] confidence degree, no matter it was, went down, in order that was definitely irritating for him. And then we had that rotation, which could be very exhausting to do in the NFL — altering quarterbacks.”
The quarterback instability (three totally different starters) contributed to the late-season collapse — a six-game dropping streak that value the Jets (7-10) a playoff spot and left Johnson fuming after every loss, sources stated.
The fallout has first. The Jets confirmed the departure of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, calling it a mutual parting. In addition, offensive line coach John Benton is out. They’re additionally in the market for a large receivers coach as a result of Miles Austin is suspended for one 12 months for betting on skilled sports activities.
Johnson claimed he did not power coach Robert Saleh to make the employees adjustments, saying he wasn’t a part of “the decision-making tree,” however the owner admitted it was “very irritating” to witness the offensive meltdown — no touchdowns in the ultimate three video games.
After two non-playoff years collectively, Saleh and common supervisor Joe Douglas shall be below stress in 2023. Johnson would not say they’ve a playoff mandate.
“No, I do not do mandates,” stated Johnson, who has reached the postseason six occasions in 23 years of possession. “We’ve had a protracted wait. Fifty-four years since the final Super Bowl is simply too lengthy, approach too lengthy. I’d like to change that quick, however mandates do not work.”
There was no mandate, per se, however Johnson made it clear he believes the roster is playoff-ready, saying it contains “all these younger, unbelievable stars.” Johnson stated he is optimistic a few turnaround in 2023, pointing to how the protection flipped in a single 12 months. It went from thirty second to fourth in yards allowed.
The offense completed twenty fifth, one among the the explanation why they moved on from LaFleur after two years. Publicly, Saleh advocated for preserving LaFleur, fueling hypothesis his hand was pressured by Johnson.
“There are 32 house owners on this league they usually have each proper to ask questions and problem ideas, and have all the discussions they need,” Saleh stated. “That occurs in each constructing. But at the finish of the day, Woody provides us full autonomy with regard to decision-making. And he is fully supportive of any choices we make.”
Because of the unsettled quarterback state of affairs, and with 2023 being a possible make-or-break 12 months for Saleh, it is perhaps exhausting to appeal to prime coordinator candidates. Saleh disagreed, saying they’ve younger expertise and a robust protection. He stated the new coordinator could have enter into the quarterback resolution.
“We’re going to be as aggressive as heck when it comes to quarterback play,” he stated, “and ensure we do all the pieces we are able to to fulfill that place.”