Old Man Thornton Warning – If you want the TL;DR version scroll to the bottom.
Lets get one thing straight – Dominique Rodgers Cromartie isn’t that good. At times the past couple years, he’s looked like absolute trash. So this isn’t really specifically about him. Of course he’d be an upgrade over the likes of guys like Kyle Wilson, but so would almost any football player on the planet earth. Its not like DRC was make or break as far as the turnaround of the New York Jets.
But what it is about, is the rationale behind John Idzik pretty much letting free agency pass him by. He signed Decker for good value, replaced Austin Howard with Breno Wopaguinzo for almost equal value, and brought back Calvin Pace to keep the front 7 intact. But other than that, he hasn’t made a single high profile move. The question is, is that a bad thing? It all depends on his reasoning, which I don’t think anybody knows at this point. Jets fans are reacting like Idzik isn’t even trying. Like he’s not even aware that free agency is going on. Obviously in this town when the Pats are making go-for-the-jugular moves and the Giants stole a prospective free agent right out from under our noses, Jets fans are gonna be up in arms. This was an offseason that had a ton of potential – $40 million in cap space and 12 picks in the draft. And obviously the draft has yet to come and technically free agency is still going, but facts are facts – the Jets had a ton of holes to fill, a ton of money to do it with, and missed out on every big name, impact player. Specifically at cornerback. One of their biggest needs and probably the deepest position in this year’s free agency class and they completely whiffed.
The irrational fan in me wants to fucking flip out. The ability to get better as a team was there. The chance to take a couple risks and potentially turn things around quickly was there. Idzik was just nowhere to be found. Watching the Pats making Super Bowl power moves with our sloppy seconds and the cross town Giants bend us over with DRC is a double whammy. We look like morons again in the papers and on the field our divisional opponent is markedly better while we stayed put. Puke city.
The rational adult in me says he has a plan. Idzik has a long term plan to actually turn the Jets franchise around in a long term capacity. No quick fixes. No over spending on band aids that put you in cap hell in a couple years with nothing more to show for it than, maybe, a couple playoff appearances. He’s got a long term plan to build within the draft while signing the right type of free agents all basically biding his time before he can land a real franchise QB. His first real, true, free agency period as GM isn’t going to accomplish that no matter who he did or did not sign. In the coming years Idzik is gonna have to worry about Mo Wilk and eventually Sheldon Richardson and Coples and some of the true, real talent on the Jets roster. Maybe those guys and potential free agents in the coming offseasons were more congruent with Idzik’s long term plan. Maybe he realizes that blowing his load on cornerbacks with no viable option under center is a waste of time. Rewind like five minutes ago when we our highest paid player was Darrelle Revis and our quarterback fucking sucked and look where we were. Maybe, just maybe, John Idzik is looking to actually avoid making the same mistakes in the past that have plagued the Jets for, oh, I dunno, eternity? The Jets weren’t winning the Super Bowl this year no matter what they did so lets all exhibit a little patience and look towards more of a multi-year plan and all understand that in this league, until you can settle on a legit quarterback, the rest of it is meaningless anyway.
Now all that being said, trotting out the worst secondary in the league again next year is gonna suck. Hoping Eric Decker and, in all likelihood, a rookie wide receiver of some sort, is going to turn everything around for the WR core isn’t exactly thrilling. I have all this faith in John Idzik that he’s a smart, prudent man who won’t succumb to New York pressure and is doing things the right way – but does he really have any track record or qualifications to back that up? Thats just me assuming the Jets hired the right GM, which is kind of a fucking insane assumption. And, if I was a season ticket holder paying money, I’d absolutely be pissed right now.
So it goes both ways. I’m just trying not to be the typical short sighted, pessimistic Jets fan and I’m hoping this is actually a real plan to change the franchise culture. Not just sign everyone year 1 and kid yourself that you’re a real contender with Geno Smith as your quarterback.
TL;DR: Calm down. Its a long term plan. Or perhaps Idzik really does actually fucking suck. There’s really no way we can tell yet. But none of it matters with Geno Smith playing quarterback.