The New York Jets are proving once again that they are the most gifted losing franchise in professional football.
Sure, there are NFL teams that lose in a more relentless manner than Gang Green. But to be a fan of New York’s other team is to experience the full gamut of despair. From heartbreak to hopeless, every yard of the field is covered.
We’ve obviously drifted into the “hopeless” category this offseason. Things reached a nadir this week with the team’s ill-timed decision to cut stalwart linebacker David Harris. Wide receiver Eric Decker isn’t far behind.
Since the end of their 2016 regular season, the Jets have cut ties with Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harris and, eventually, Decker. You can make a strong case that those were the six most important players on the roster this time last year. Whoa.
This isn’t a rebuild. It’s a full-scale demolition.
Jets fans, meanwhile, are left to pick up the pieces while trying to avoid the thunderously depressing realities of tweets like this:
Daniel Jeremiah ✔ @MoveTheSticks
From an NFL exec- “I think the Jets might have the worst roster I’ve seen in a decade.”
11:06 AM – 7 Jun 2017
1,958 1,958 Retweets 3,877 3,877 likes
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For the record, this is inexcusable! The Jets have been around for six decades — how could they have the roster strength of an expansion team? In the words of Don Corleone, “How did things ever get so far?”
Out of respect for Jets fans, I believe answers are demanded right now. And that’s why I’ve called Mike Maccagnan, the general manager of the team, to appear in front of the Aggrieved Fan Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
(Disclaimer: I didn’t actually speak with Mike Maccagnan. I’m doing a cute little thing tying into topical current events in the United States. Just play along.)
END AROUND: I’d like to call this hearing to order.
Mr. Maccagnan, I appreciate your willingness to appear before the committee today, and more importantly, I thank you for your dedicated effort to fix the New York Jets. Your appearance speaks to the trust we have built over the years, and I’m looking forward to a very open and candid discussion.
MACCAGNAN: (groggy) How did I get here? What’s happening?
END AROUND: Never mind that. Mr. Maccagnan, the Jets have not appeared in the NFL’s postseason tournament since the 2010 season. They are coming off a 5-11 campaign and are widely believed to be in possession of the most talent-deprived roster in football entering 2017. How do you answer to that?
MACCAGNAN: We understand the frustration of the fans. We are making moves today with an eye on a better tomorrow for the New York Jets.
END AROUND: So you’re willing to admit under oath that the Jets are going to, ya know, suck this year?
MACCAGNAN: We’re going to do everything we can to put the team in the best position to compete every week.
END AROUND: But you’ve fired pretty much every notable veteran with proven playing ability. People are calling this the most blatant tank job in recent NFL history.
MACCAGNAN: I understand that.
END AROUND: Do you?
MACCAGNAN: Wait, what?
END AROUND: Never mind. Can you speak to the rumors that Todd Bowles has been in a sustained state of controlled sobbing since Tuesday afternoon?
Dan Hanzus ✔ @DanHanzus
Todd Bowles in the room adjacent to the #Jets presser area …
2:41 AM – 7 Jun 2017
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MACCAGNAN: I can neither confirm nor deny that.
END AROUND: You gotta admit, Todd’s gettin’ boned pretty good here.
MACCAGNAN: I believe Todd Bowles is a fine teacher and a proven leader of men. As we embark on this exciting new frontier for the franchise, we’re proud to have Todd out in front.
END AROUND: But he’ll probably get fired if you guys go 2-14, right?
MACCAGNAN: Yeah, probably.
END AROUND: How about the quarterback position? You just dumped David Harris, a future Ring of Honor inductee, because he’s 33 and makes more than minimum wage. You’re in the process of disappearing Eric Decker for the crime of exiting his 20s. With that in mind, how can you justify starting a 38-year-old Josh McCown in Week 1?
MACCAGNAN: It is instrumental to have a respected veteran in the quarterback room with our younger players like Christian and Bryce. We are very lucky to have Josh in the building.
END AROUND: But can’t you say the same thing about Harris with the linebackers and Decker with the wide receivers? Surely, leadership is needed in various corners of the locker room. That explanation doesn’t make sense.
MACCAGNAN: Ummmm … Hey, look over there! (tries to escape but is stopped at the exit and escorted back to his seat)
FIRST LOOK AT 2017 SEASON
▹ Projected first-time Pro Bowlers: AFC | NFC
▹ Brandt: Rising quarterback-receiver combos
▹ Projections for top offensive rookies
▹ Schein: Indispensable offensive players
▹ Biggest roster weak spots: NFC | AFC
▹ Under-the-radar X-factors for 2017
WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE …
▹ Falcons | Saints | Panthers | Bucs
▹ Seahawks | Cards | Rams | 49ers
‘TOP 100 PLAYERS OF 2017′
▹ Ike Taylor’s Rankings:
▸ 100-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51
▸ 50-41 | 40-31
END AROUND: Two years ago, you were named the NFL’s Executive of the Year. Now, people are writing columns wondering if your team could defeat the 2011 “Suck For Luck” Colts. Are you concerned about your job security at all?
MACCAGNAN: What, have you heard something?
END AROUND: Huh?
MACCAGNAN: Nothing … Just thought you might have, you know, heard something from someone. Yeah, I feel great about my job security. It’s Belichick-esque.
END AROUND: Which is your preferred hashtag: #ScamForSam, #HosinForRosen or #Failin4Allen?
MACCAGNAN: No comment.
END AROUND: OK, OK. Last one. What do you want your Jets legacy to be?
MACCAGNAN: That’s a tough question.
END AROUND: C’mon Mike. When you’re gray and old, and you’ve moved on from both the Jets and this sport, how do you want to be remembered? What do you want on your football tombstone?
MACCAGNAN: (long pause) Here lies Big Mac. (longer pause) He was better than Idzik.
END AROUND: You’re still in good shape there, Mike. Thank you.