A rebuilding year is fine for the New York Jets but it must be a year that shows progress, so says a team source familiar with the team’s situation following a 5-11 record last year.
With no Darrelle Revis, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall or Nick Mangold it appears that the Jets will undoubtedly be a younger, leaner team in 2017. They are clearly in rebuild mode, something that is evident from the jettisoning of talent from the roster in recent weeks. But the impetus from atop the organization isn’t an instant turn around as there seems to be a prevailing wind of slow, steady change.
A source close to the situation said that general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles have been given the green light “to rebuild the team from the ruins” but that it doesn’t mean that the team is expected to tank or on the flip side to make the playoffs in 2017.
“Ownership wants them to be aggressive but smart in free agency. There isn’t a ‘Playoff or bust’ mandate for Todd or Mike,” the source told Metro. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity to Metro but he has knowledge and is part of the discussions surrounding upper management.
“This team has to get younger and better, everyone knows that. It is also known that it takes time to get there. That 2015 season built some false hope that this team was further along then it really was. Then Darrelle has a bad year and gets banged up, Fitz regresses and Mo [Wilkerson] has injuries and really struggles. They have to blow it up earlier than expected.”
The source, involved in player personnel issues, spoke to Metro late last week.
He said that the Jets willingness to be selective and coy during the opening few days of free agency points to a team wanting to set the sites straight “for the long haul and not a quick fix.”
“The team needs to show direction. It doesn’t have to be a winning season or a return to the playoffs,” the source said.
“But there’s no doubt that Macc (Maccagnan) needs a home run draft, something he hasn’t had yet. He needs to show that a future is coming in place. Ownership gets that, understands that a process is in place. He needs to be able to show that a turn-around is on the horizon. Doesn’t have to be playoffs or a winning record but that the team is ready to take another step.”