The Jets are big winners this offseason, with free agent signings. From what they did in the draft, things were looking promising. The whole AFC East has improved a great deal and its going to be a knockdown free for all. Buffalo, New York and Miami are going for the division crown, one that the Patriots have had a strong hold on for years.
For New York, the biggest issue was that they couldn’t cover anybody. They more than addressed that with the signings of Marcus Gilchrist, Buster Skrine, Antonio Cromartie and some guy named Darelle Revis. This ultimately will have the Jets as one of the top defenses in the league again with a more improved defensive backfield.
So far things have gotten a little hairy. Going into training camp, there’s still a contract issue that needs to be resolved with Muhammed Wilkerson. The Jets want to keep the star defensive end but have not engaged in talks about an extension. That might have changed as Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Things continued to spiral out of control for Richardson as he was arrested for street racing and eluding police. On that stop, the 24-year old allegedly had some marijuana and a loaded weapon in the car with a 13-year old in the backseat. Pretty freighting turn of events for the young man who is one of the top players at his position. I am sure there will be more discipline to come down on Richardson.
With the Jets, they are always in the news for the wrong reasons. Once you think it can’t get any worse, it does. Geno Smith, the team’s starting quarterback, will miss 6-10 weeks for having his jaw broken during a altercation with former teammate IK Enemkpali. Yes you read that right, a teammate apparently punched the 3rd year quarterback and literally knocked him out for a few games. Enemkpali was released immediately. To pour more salt on the wound, our old friend Rex Ryan signed him a day after. Things tend to get worse for a organization that has high hopes this season.
So where are the Jets now? What are they going to do moving forward? For one, Richardson will be missed, but the Jets are loaded up front and this makes the pick of Leonard Williams that more important. Williams has been impressive during training camp and is expected to take on a bigger role than he once anticipated. The sixth overall pick is a freak of an athlete and is expected to contribute right away. At the Quarterback position, let’s face it, Geno’s numbers have not been great the past two seasons. He has the worst QBR in the league and his turnovers are also amongst the worse.
The Jets went out and got Ryan Fitzpatrick. He doesn’t jump out at you and he has had his struggles in the past, but last year he enjoyed one of his best seasons to date and many feel he is an upgrade and gives the team a better chance to win. Fitzpatrick threw for 2,483 yards with 17 Tds and 8 INT. He had a QB rating of 95.3 and a QBR of 55.3 in 12 Games he started for the Texans. Those numbers blow Smith’s out the water.
With Brandon Marshall is now teamed up with Eric Decker, making them a potent one-two punch. If Fitz plays well this could mean trouble for Geno. Head Coach Todd Bowles has made it clear that Geno will not be guaranteed his starting spot once he heals. That could ultimately be the end of the Geno experiment. With fourth round pick Bryce Petty pretty much on a redshirt this year, expect him to compete next season for the starting spot.
It’s been a learning curve for Petty. He has not had a great training camp, but he has the potential to be a good QB in this league. If the Jets can concentrate on staying out of the news and getting focused on some football, this team can surprise many. Once again, quarterback play is what they are missing and if Fitzpatrick can give this team what he gave Houston last year, watch out.