The New York Jets are in danger of making a massive mistake that doesn’t bode well for Zach Wilson’s future.
The jets trade up is a situation that the New York Jets are in danger of making a massive mistake. It doesn’t bode well for Zach Wilson’s future and could potentially cost them their chance at winning the Super Bowl.
Joe Douglas didn’t hold back this summer when it came to making big moves. For a New York Jets club coming off a 2-14 season, the second-year general manager utilized free agency to address major gaps at key positions. He chose former BYU standout Zach Wilson as the second overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, which comes as no surprise.
While the Jets still have a long way to go, there’s no denying that they have a stronger roster than they had a year ago going into the 2021 season. That isn’t to say that supporters of the AFC East team should be too optimistic about the future.
In reality, the Jets are on the verge of committing a major blunder that could doom their new franchise quarterback.
The injury of Carl Lawson left a big hole in Robert Saleh’s defense.
For years, the Jets have failed to get after the quarterback. With a clear need for a No. 1 pass rusher, Joe Douglas targeted a high-priced free agent with a penchant for putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Carl Lawson’s three-year, $45 million deal filled a big need that had been there for far too long.
Unfortunately for the Jets, their most high-profile offseason acquisition was dealt a devastating blow only months after enjoying early-career success. On Aug. 19, Lawson tore his right Achilles tendon during practice.
The former Bengals star will be sidelined for the entire 2021 season.
With the 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive end out until 2022, first-year head coach Robert Saleh has a tough task ahead of him in replacing one of the league’s most dynamic edge rushers. When Lawson went down in practice a week ago, the Jets’ prospects of taking a major stride forward on defense took a quick tumble.
The Jets are on the verge of committing a huge blunder that could jeopardize Zach Wilson’s future.
If the front office does not put him up for success, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson may have a tough time converting the New York Jets into a successful club. | Getty Images/Patrick McDermott
The Jets spent a lot of money to sign one of the best defensive players available in free agency. They also spent the No. 2 overall selection in the 2021 draft to acquire an intriguing quarterback prospect who they believe would help fans forget about the disastrous Sam Darnold period.
And, if Douglas wants to ensure Zach Wilson’s long-term success, he must take a step back and reconsider his approach before making a major error.
“After losing Carl Lawson to a season-ending torn Achilles, the Jets are now searching for ways to acquire a pass rusher to help replace the hole, per sources,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on Sunday, Aug. 22. The possibility of a move before the start of the season is being considered.”
The Jets will need to find a new starting defensive end. Making a deal to replace Lawson, on the other hand, makes little sense. After all, before he went down with a season-ending injury, the Jets seemed to be in trouble on defense. They won’t have a playoff-caliber team on that side of the ball without him in the lineup.
When you’re virtually certain to finish last in the AFC East, why part with precious draft capital? Isn’t it better to save your choices and utilize them in the NFL Draft in 2022 or as possible trade assets next offseason?
The Jets need to consider the broader picture. There will almost certainly be plenty of difficult times in their 2021 season. That’s what a rebuilding club has to deal with. Instead of attempting to trade for one of their few blue-chip players, they should save their future assets and utilize them to surround Wilson with superior offensive talent when the club has a chance to make the playoffs.
It remains to be seen if the Jets make the mistake of giving up draft capital for Lawson’s short-term successor. However, the fact that they’re considering it should raise some eyebrows among supporters.
Should Jets supporters be worried about the future?
Giving away draft choices at this stage of a rebuild in order to finish last in their division is not what successful turnarounds have done in the past. Fans of the Jets should be concerned. https://t.co/PYrM2xq4x6
August 22, 2021 — Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13)
The Lawson injury dealt a devastating blow to a Jets club that hasn’t won a game since 2015. At this point, making an even trade for a guy whose skill and resume persuaded the Jets to give him $15 million per year is difficult.
Douglas and Saleh will have to collaborate in order to solve their new issue. It shouldn’t, however, conclude with the club giving up a draft choice.
On paper, the Jets seem to be a long way behind the rest of their division. They’ll start a rookie quarterback who isn’t quite ready yet. They also have a first-year head coach who is pitted against Bill Belichick, Sean McDermott, and Brian Flores twice a year.
In truth, the Jets will need to utilize the next season to address several key issues.
Do you think Wilson has what it takes to become a superstar? Is Mekhi Becton a top-tier left tackle? Is Corey Davis capable of developing into a go-to playmaker in the passing game?
Fans of the Jets should be concerned about what lies ahead. Sure, Wilson’s potential offers the team reason to be optimistic about the future. However, with 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims seeming to be a trade target, Douglas may be forced to part ways with a player who cost the club a valuable asset. Aside from Marcus Maye, it’s difficult to get enthusiastic about any of New York’s backup players. The fact that the offensive line will be led by a rookie guard (Alijah Vera-Tucker) and a second-year left tackle demonstrates how precarious the position is up front.
Oh, and don’t act like a skill group comprised of Davis, Jamison Crowder, Tevin Coleman, Lamical Perine, and Chris Herndon should scare defenders. At the very least, rookie receiver Elijah Moore seems to have the potential to become an important part of the offense.
The Jets’ situation isn’t all doom and gloom, but it’s obvious that they won’t be competing for a Super Bowl championship anytime soon.
That is why Joe Douglas must maintain his war chest stocked for the future.
After all, Zach Wilson’s long-term success should be prioritized above winning a few games in 2021.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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The new jersey jets are in danger of making a massive mistake that doesn’t bode well for Zach Wilson’s future.
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