Leonard “Big Cat” Wiliams will play in the MetLife Bowl… but not for the New York Jets after the team’s moves ahead of the NFL trade deadline. Kelechi Osemele – the big offensive line addition of the off-season – is no longer on the team and is preparing for Surgery War 2019 to go to court. Meanwhile, beloved Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams has been alienated from the franchise and who knows if he will sign an extension anymore.
The 2019 season has seen a playoff-hopeful team flip back into the poorly ran, loveable losers return. From injuries to poor coaching, the players and fans are all disappointed. After the chaotic, rumor-filled trade deadline, the locker room is beginning to crumble as loyalties are questioned. Everyone is under the microscope, as general manager Joe Douglas begins to plan for the 2020 off-season. At the same time, the Jets face the winless Miami Dolphins this Sunday. Barring the question – now what?
Post NFL Trade Deadline New York Jets: What Happens Next?
Get Jamal Adams Back On Board
Sitting at 1-6 with an abysmal offensive line and the team’s poor health, the Jets are in no position for a miraculous playoff push. That leaves the team out of contention and getting ready to analyze the roster for next season. Thus, contenders will call around and see if players are available and their prices. Douglas set a value on all his players and stuck to it. It was said before the deadline that he would only trade Robby Anderson if the offer was too good to pass up. A philosophy he stuck to with everyone.
But the fact he answered the phone rattled the star safety. In his third-year out of LSU, Adams voiced his disappointment in hearing his name in trade rumors and praised the Dallas Cowboys as well as his interest in playing for them. With Adams’ interest in playing for other teams out there as well as his distrust in management now felt – there is certainly a divide between the leader of the defense and front office.
The Jets need Adams on board in order to be successful. His vocal leadership on and off the field, personality, and talent are everything the Jets want and need in a player. For them to alienate Adams and not fix it would show the dysfunction and poor chemistry the Jets have been known for in the past. If Joe Douglas truly wants to change things, it starts with getting Adams back on board.
Adam Gase – Break Out The Playbook… Please!
The offensive guru, mastermind, and quarterback whisperer Gase needs to show something as the next six opponents have a combined record of 7-39. Yes, the offensive line is a major issue. Le’Veon Bell cannot run the ball without getting hit before the line of scrimmage. Sam Darnold certainly cannot step into his throws because of the fact he will be sacked if he does. The quick collapse of the pocket does not even buy enough time for Anderson to get open downfield.
Take a look at any great offensive mind, and they can make adjustments to get the ball out of his quarterback’s hands quicker, and have an efficient run game. Gase needs to realize this offensive line will not permit the offense he wants to run. With Chris Herndon potentially back against Miami, it will allow a big weapon over the middle for Darnold, one that he has certainly missed.
Gase’s hot seat is beginning to heat up. Now it is time to see if he will finally take the training wheels off of the playbook.
Identify 2020 Front-Seven Talent
Linebackers C.J. Mosley and Blake Cashman, and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams are locked in the starting lineup in 2020. It is possible for defensive end Henry Anderson to join them in year two of his three-year deal. Steve McLendon signed a one-year extension that will bring him back next season. Jordan Jenkins has been a starter since year one and should earn a nice deal this spring whether from the Jets or another team.
Outside of them, it is all up in the air. A constant rotation of players have come and gone over the past decade, and Joe Douglas will need to figure out if there are any keepers on the current roster. Folorunso Fatukasi has stepped up and will have the opportunity to continue starting thanks to the Williams trade. Kyle Phillips should have more playtime as the season goes on. To give Fatukasi, Phillips, as well as Brandon Copeland, Harvey Langi, Tarell Basham, amongst others more snaps will be vital down the stretch. The front seven will likely look completely different this time next season, and now is the time for these guys to prove themselves worthy of returning in 2020.
Begin Analyzing The Offensive Line
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum will not be back in 2020. Osemele’s replacement at left guard, Alex Lewis, has been mediocre. Ryan Kalil’s return from retirement has gone poorly at center. Right guard Brian Winters’ contract allows him to be cut after the season. At right tackle, Brandon Shell and Chuma Edoga have struggled mightily this season.
Douglas is known to want to build his roster through the trenches, something he will get to do from scratch for the Jets. Only backup center Jonotthan Harrison, Edoga, and waiver-wire pickup Conor McDermott are under contract for 2020. That being said, the next nine weeks Edoga needs to earn a starting job at right tackle. If not, then the entire offensive line will be completely new to the roster next season.
Build Around The Current Core
Whether or not Adam Gase returns for another season as the Jets head coach, Douglas will need to build around the current core. Not only the fan base, but ownership wants to see results. There is a reason why fans thought something would be different this season for the Jets. The reason being Darnold, Bell, Herndon, Mosley, Adams, and many more. The current core is full of talent and with almost half the roster set to enter free agency, there will be plenty of moves to be made to build around it.
It will start by putting a mix of youth and experience along the offensive line to protect Darnold. No more band-aid jobs that end up going south by year two. Then, the Jets need a number one receiver. No matter if Anderson is extended or not, the Jets do not have that do-it-all weapon on the outside. After that, priority must be to acquire edge rushers and corners. Gregg Williams’ defense cannot function correctly unless he can rely on his corners to play lockdown coverage and send the pass rush full-force. This core has character, leadership, and all the tools to lead the Jets to be a playoff contender… next season.
Last Word on the Post-Trade Deadline New York Jets
The Jets are not about to make a playoff push. They simply do not have the talent or health to do so. Joe Douglas knows this and is most certainly not asking the question “now what” after the trade deadline. With playoffs out of the question, Douglas knows what is next. The time is now to figure out who will return to One Jets Drive next summer and begin to focus on the health of the stars. The 2020 off-season has officially begun for the New York Jets.