New York Jets: 4 Major Moves That Need to Be Made in the Offseason

Chris Dela Rosa@chris_deezyContributor IJanuary 6, 2012

New York Jets: 4 Major Moves That Need to Be Made in the Offseason

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    The New York Jets have major questions to answer following their collapse in 2011.  They were in control of their playoff destiny at the beginning of Week 15 and were feuding with one another by the end of Week 17.

    Some of these questions include:

    Which players should the Jets bring back?

    Is Mark Sanchez worthy of a starting quarterback job?

    Where will Brian Schottenheimer be coaching next year?

    Is the Jets' window for a Super Bowl shut?

    In order answer the questions of fans and critics, the Jets will need to make decisions and moves during this offseason.

    In this slideshow, I will go through some of the major changes the Jets need to make in order to answer the questions the public has and questions the team itself has.

    As always, feedback is welcome.  Enjoy!

1. Get Rid of the Cancer in the Locker Room

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    After the lockout, the New York Jets re-signed wide receiver Santonio Holmes to a five-year contract worth $50 million.  After the poor performance by the Jets in the home stretch and Holmes' worst performance in the final game it seems as if the Jets and Holmes need to part ways.

    During the final Jets drive, Holmes argued with Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter. He was then pulled from the game and replaced by Patrick Turner.  Holmes finished the game by himself on the bench with only one target and no catches.

    His behavior was out of line and the Jets failed to make the playoffs although Rex Ryan had guaranteed it for the third year in a row.  With the tension between the two, it is doubtful that Holmes is going to want to play to his full potential next year.  Before it gets any worse the Jets need to dish Holmes to the highest bidder.

2. Re-Sign 2011's Performers

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    The Jets added Aaron Maybin right before the start of the 2011 regular season as a leap of faith.  The 2009 11th overall pick by the Bills was considered a bust after his time in Buffalo.

    Upon joining the Jets, Maybin became a deadly weapon in the right situations.  In obvious passing situations, mostly on third down, Mike Pettine (defensive coordinator) would send in Maybin to try and finish the drive off by getting a sack.

    By the end of the season Maybin had 11 tackles, and led the team in sacks with six.  Although he may not be a premier pass rusher, Maybin performed well in 2011 considering that he arrived on the team late and is a young player that can still be developed.  He is definitely a keeper for the Jets.

3. Get a Reliable Quarterback

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    Mark Sanchez simply could not get it done in 2011.  While he threw more touchdowns than in either of his first two years, he threw almost as many interceptions as he did his rookie year.  

    With the way Sanchez has been getting "protected" by his offensive line and the way he moves around with the ball, he has been susceptible to big hits.  If Mark Sanchez went down with a big injury in 2011, the Jets would have had Mark Brunell playing quarterback for them.  No offense, but Brunell is not a quality quarterback anymore.

    The Jets have been a popular name in the Peyton Manning discussions as the offseason approaches.  As of right now, getting Manning would be a good decision if he still has the physical skill set to play quarterback in the NFL.  He would be a better mentor football-wise for Sanchez than Brunell is, and if Mark Sanchez performs poorly, they could always bench him and let Peyton take over.

4. Draft a Safety!

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    One of the players I have criticized time and time again for performing poorly has been Jets safety Eric Smith.  One of his biggest flaws is a basic of football—covering an opponent.  

    With the way Mike Pettine calls the defense, it is usually the safety's responsibility to cover tight ends.  In 2011, the Jets safeties (mainly Smith) failed to do so even with years of experience.  A game Smith really failed to perform in was against the New England Patriots back in week 10.

    While Smith had seven tackles against the Patriots, he still helped to allow Rob Gronkowski have a day against the Jets that included catching eight passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

    Needless to say for those of you who have been following the Jets, Smith is an expendable player, and with the way he has played over the years, it is surprising how he has managed to slip through the cracks and keep his starting job.