Less than a month to go before we officially start training camp for the entire New York Jets roster and what better time to check it out with our expert pens Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller.
This mailbag column will discuss potential pre-season deals and extensions that may be in development, as well as our mindset towards the 2022 season and beyond. Before we get started, here are links to our latest weekly fan chats:
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Extensions & Potential Pre-Season Deals
1. Who would you renew first if you were Jets general manager Joe Douglas, Quinnen Williams or George Fant?
This is an intriguing question as both players are at very different stages in their careers. Williams still has two years left on his contract and is only 24 years old. While Fant will be 30 years old before starting training camp and is entering the final year of his contract.
If it was up to me, I would renew Williams first. If you trust him as much as the staff seem, then why don’t you take the initiative to sign a long-term contract with him?
He’s really talented and is set to have the best year of his career – in his second year of the system and surrounded by other really talented players. It’s a healthy bet worth making this season knowing the variables you make. By doing so, you’ll save a few bucks, and if he explodes this season, you’ll look like a genius for doing it early.
Those are all very fair points but due to the uncertainty in attack position I am extending Fant before Week 1.
With Williams you benefit in terms of time with you and while you can save money in the long run with a lucrative contract, you could also end up offering a huge deal for an uncertified player. prove he fits the system. This is a pivotal season for “Big Q” and if he’s had another lackluster campaign, you’ve backed yourself into a corner.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to renew both players but I think Fant is the more pressing issue. Get this deal done now because if Mekhi Becton gets injured again in 2022, you’re in real trouble with Fant holding all the cards in the negotiations.
2. Would you consider trading Denzel Mims before Week 1?
You can’t be Dave Gettleman and turn off the phone. I will always listen to any offer for any player, within reason.
Mims is fighting for a fifth or sixth play on the depth chart right now. I believe he will make the list and be the key to breaking glass if a receiver wide above him is injured.
As per the latest news on the job, Mims has finally acquired and he is the “star of the season” according to Rich Cimini. Unless the offer is crazy (how can it be), I’ll keep him. He has two years left on his rookie contract, so why would I throw it away for a half-eaten Snickers bar?
That does not make sense. I’m holding on to him but I would consider trading almost anyone on the list if the price matches a few exceptions.
I think the answer to this question has a lot to do with players like Jeff Smith and rookie Calvin Jackson Jr. – or even a wildcard like Lawrence Cager or Kenny Yeboah. If two of these bubble candidates prove they belong, that’s bad news for Mims.
Baylor’s production is going to have to really impress this summer to make him unbelievable in my eyes. He’s not contributing anything worthwhile to special teams, so if he’s the fifth or sixth recipient, he’s squandering a spot on the roster.
However, if he proves he’s worthy of some of the same WR roles as Corey Davis – or even if it’s trending so for next season – then I’m more likely to keep him. it again. I would never cut Mims because of his contract but I would cut my losses and trade him for anything worthwhile if other profound factors force this issue to occur.
3. Positions like full-back and full-back seem to have depth towards training camp. Would you consider trading assets in either position?
As I said before, I would treat everything as any good general manager should do. However, I’m leaving the likes of Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols on the corner.
For any trade, you have to weigh the profit (how much you get back) versus the comfort of having depth in case trauma occurs (and they always do). I prefer security over what can turn into a three pick date? That just wasn’t enough for me.
Now in defence, it’s a different conversation. Connor Hughes had a little story in his article for The Athletic that I tweeted about unearthing a guy you could pick to pick. I’m all about that because in this scheme you’re keeping between 10-11 top, which means quality players won’t be shaken and that’s a big deal to have.
I’ll flip one of those picks for a three-day pick soon if the opportunity presents itself. Otherwise, you will cut them and someone can get them for free.
It’s hard to look at a recent lead like Hall or Bryce Huff doing everything right and then trading them, but that exact scenario could come in August. This is a business. difficult and GMs are hired to think rationally, not emotionally.
Similar to Mims, it can depend on other people’s training camp results. If critical injuries happen like they did last summer, there will be room for these contingencies to make up the 53-person roster. Otherwise, or if the bubble candidates unexpectedly perform, you could see Douglas sell off a more valuable asset in either position.
Like Boy Green, I’m inclined to trade a defensive midfielder over a full-back – consider the Jets with 14 or 15 combined DE and DT that I could see to make the NFL lineup next year. 2022.
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Looking Back & Looking To The Future
4. Looking back, do you regret missing out on a veteran wide recorder like Tyreek Hill or AJ Brown?
At the time, I made a compelling case for why I’d prefer a proven pick over a rookie because you know what you’re getting. Looking back, however, I am satisfied with the decisions that were made.
At the time, it missed out on both Hill and Brown because the actual price – commercially, not the contract – was manageable. Then again, the Jets’ all-star draft wouldn’t have been possible had they made one of those blockbuster deals.
The real question is, how quickly can Garrett Wilson adapt to the NFL game? From what I’ve heard from draft analysts, Wilson is an instant hitter who can make things happen in the first place. We will see if those statements are true.
I love what I’ve seen from Garrett Wilson’s personality so far and it’s not taken lightly for him, but I would still prefer the Brown trade on draft night. If you give up pick 10 – more than what Philadelphia gave up – you don’t have to worry about losing to Jermaine Johnson II or Breece Hall in this scenario.
It would be a straight swap, and I’m willing to pay the contractual difference to a veteran who can help Zach Wilson without any trouble in Week 1.
Again, this is by no means an insult to Garrett Wilson, who could be a real number one talent, but I’ll be honest and admit that I still prefer the experience. Hill is a bit different because of his age and out-of-field drama. I think I’ll stick with the rookie more than the old Captain’s superstar, but I’ll take Brown in a heartbeat.
5. CJ Mosley says his thinking is “playoffs or bust.” Will fans have the same mentality about the 2022 season?
Obviously yes. We are “fans” for a reason, short for fanatic. Anything below those expectations is the losing mentality that has hit us for general mediocrity over the past 11 years.
We’ve been so bad for so long that fans have had to adjust their expectations accordingly. It’s disgusting! It’s time to trust again and you have to be ready to get hurt. The Jets have the longest running drought in 11 seasons and are continuing to count and the next closest isn’t that close (Denver Broncos, currently running in six seasons).
In the NFL, unlike some sports, reality turns things around very quickly because of the abundance of resources available. Reconstruction in four or five years is a thing of the past – it’s time to win and that should be the expectation.
This question makes me think of the New York Mets. As we all know, many Jets fans are also Mets fans, and even though the baseball franchise has been in first place all season without Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer – two of the best pitchers in the sport – most fans are just waiting for them to crash.
As Boy Green said, this mindset has hit us all over the years.
Now, the Mets are in a slightly different position than the Jets with a rich new owner and a ton of talent at the ready but that doesn’t mean Gang Green can’t shock some teams. To quote our baseball brethren: “You have to believe.” That’s what being a fan is all about.
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