Friday, January 21, 2022

The free agent lessons Jets can’t ignore this offseason

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The game took place in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Jets-Buccaneers game, where Tom Brady gave Le’Veon Bell a short pass and CJ Mosley surrounded him and dropped him to the 11-yard line.

Considering that Mosley was struggling with Bell, imagine that on March 12, 2019, at 6 a.m., the Jets signed a five-year, $ 85 million contract with Mosley and a four-year, $ 52.5 million contract with Bell 18 hours later. ‘rdim.

It also made me think about how I should look at March 2022 and the crazy day three years ago when Joe Douglas and the Jets jumped into the wavy waters of the free agency again.

Mosley was named the Jets team’s MVP on Wednesday, a testament to how well he spent the season and confirms his decision to throw him crazy money in 2019. Bell? He was washed away by the Jets after four touches in 17 games. He went out the door on his Twitter and has played for three teams since then. Now it’s a backup and teams sign when the running room is hit with injuries.

It’s a reminder of how difficult free agency can be. Douglas and the Jets are going with a salary of at least $ 60 million this season. There will be spending, spending, spending pressure from the outside. Douglas resisted going insane in his first two seasons at the free agency, but after three years of work and a 13-35 record, the pressure on him grew.

It feels like it did in the 2019 season. The Jets had trained a quarterback in the first round a year ago. There was pressure to quickly improve the roster, give Sam Darnold a gun and end an eight-year playoff drought. This time there is pressure to quickly improve the roster, give Zach Wilson a gun and end an 11-year playoff drought.

Jets
Jets CEO Joe Douglas can learn from the team’s 2019 free agency, which includes CJ Mosley (above) and Le’Veon Bell.

But Douglas needs to take a look at 2019 and learn what’s right and wrong there. Former coach Adam Gase put Mosley at the top of his dream list that season. He saw Mosley as a culture changer who could make the 10 players on the field better with him. His scout report proved to be true even after the injury, and his waiver of the game slowed Mosley’s success here.

Former general manager Mike McCannan made sure the Jets landed by overpaying Mosley. The Crows offered Mosley $ 14 million a year to stay in Baltimore. The Jets gave him $ 17 million a year to become the highest-paid defender in the game. The Jets will have to pay more in a few months to get really good players. This is a losing tax. Players don’t choose the Jets over the contenders unless the Jets give them a lot of $. It can be dangerous, but it worked with Mosley.

The investment in Bell was not good. This was a sign that Gase was against and that McKanyan was doing anyway. The motivation was to win the news cycle and calm the people who called on the Jets to sign with Bell. But there were warning signs. The Jets offered against them. No other team came close to offering what the Jets did. McKanyan should never have signed a player with a player the head coach didn’t want. Two months later, McCann, who was fired after a power struggle with Gase, had an insurance spark.

Douglas needs to make sure he and coach Robert Saleh are the same when it comes to free agent decisions.

“I think Joe and I will see the same thing,” Saleh said Wednesday. “I think ball-loving guys always maximize their personalities. There’s a difference, there’s a difference between ball-loving guys and guys who like what football brings. There’s a big difference, and they they tell themselves every day. “

Mosley is a guy who loves the ball. His games and leadership this season have shown the Jets a big deal for him as a reasonable investment. He has been aware of any free agents who have recently been worried about joining the Jets because of ways to lose.

“You have to be the reason they win. That’s why I came to the New York Jets,” Mosley said. If you’re afraid to come here to lose, don’t come. “

The Jets need more players like Mosley. Douglas has to take them here without falling into the traps that come with free agency.

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