7 Biggest Issues Facing the New York Jets This Offseason
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs last season, the New York Jets saw their postseason drought extend to three consecutive years.
With the 18th pick in the upcoming NFL draft, the team once again faces many questions.
Rex Ryan will come under much scrutiny, as it seems he does every year, and this may be his last chance to prove to the world that Gang Green can be a playoff team.
The Jets face many issues this offseason, so let me explain the biggest seven to you.
7. Will Decker Be Able to Put Up the Same Numbers with a Different QB?
On Wednesday, the Jets signed Decker to a five-year, $36 million deal to give the top free-agent wide receiver a new home.
But there's one question that everyone is asking: Will he put up the same numbers as last year with a Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez rather than a Peyton Manning?
Only time will tell, but Decker had more receiving yards than New York's top two receivers combined last year.
They need a serious receiving threat if they want to contend and for now, Jets fans will just have to marvel at the above highlight tape and hope that's what their team gets, as well.
6. Decker Will Have to Travel to Revis Island Twice
Unfortunately for Jets fans, they will have to see their old friend twice this year, which could potentially negate the effectiveness of Decker.
Although Richard Sherman may now be the top corner in the league, Revis isn't far behind.
Just as things were looking up for the Jets when New England lost one top-flight corner in Aqib Talib, the Patriots picked up another.
If Revis defends Decker like he did this Seahawks receiver above, the vacation to Revis Island may not be a memorable one.
5. Keeping Mark Sanchez Just Minimizes Cap Space
At the beginning of the offseason, there were three players the Jets were thought to have to release in order to free cap space.
Two of those, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie, have been dealt with, and now it's time for the third.
As described by Pro Football Focus, the Jets would save $8.3 million by cutting Sanchez, and realistically, he doesn't have a future with New York after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.
The best option would be to release Sanchez and test the market for a quarterback who can be Geno Smith's competition.
The best use the Jets would get out of Sanchez is a hair-fixing sideline spectacle, so just dump the man.
4. With the Departure of Santonio Holmes, Who Will Complement Decker?
As previously stated, last year's receiving corps was abysmal.
The Jets ranked 30th in the league in team receiving yards and released their second-leading receiver.
With Decker now filling a primary slot on the flank, the Jets need a presence in the slot.
Drafting the spark plug in the first round would be a wise choice for New York, as Matt Miller explains above why he's a surefire day-one starter in the NFL.
3. Replace Pro Bowl Corner Antonio Cromartie
In addition to releasing one of their top receivers, the Jets released arguably their best corner in Cromartie.
Cromartie ranked second on the team in passes deflected and tied for the lead in interceptions.
Yes, the Jets ranked sixth in the league in total defense, but they will need to pick someone up to accompany Dee Milliner.
Their primary need right now is on the offensive side, so that's where they'll most likely go in the first round, but look for the Jets to pick up a corner in Round 2.
As evidenced by the photo above, Cromartie is capable of covering top receivers like Josh Gordon, so the Jets will have to find a suitable replacement.
2. Solidifying the Offensive Line
As detailed by The Gang Green, the Jets offensive line has gone from one of the best in the league to one of the worst.
This past year, the unit ranked 20th in pass protection after consistently being in the top 10 or higher in each of the past four years.
Brian Winters lead all guards in sacks allowed and Vladimir Ducasse has fallen well short of expectations.
Too bad the Jets don't have three first-round picks because this is their third pressing need if they want to get back to playing football in mid-January.
If they don't pick a guard or tackle in one of the first three rounds, Smith may be seeing more of the action pictured above.
1. Who Is Going to Play Quarterback?
Many say the obvious answer is Smith.
He didn't have a terrible season, but Smith isn't capable of leading a team to the playoffs.
He ranked 21st in passing yards, 28th in touchdown passes, 35th in completion percentage, 37th in quarterback rating and fourth in interceptions.
That simply doesn't cut it, and since Sanchez doesn't either, the Jets will have to look to the market or the draft to bring in someone to compete with Smith.
Without a change at the helm, the Jets will face similar issues to early last season, as conveyed in the video above (courtesy of Rant Sports).