Maccagnan, Bowles Already Changing Complexion of Jets

The New York Jets are coming off a disastrous 4-12 season. It resulted in owner Woody Johnson firing both Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik. The Jets had failed to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season and it was time for a change.

Woody Johnson hired new General Manager Mike Maccagnan on January 13, 2015 and new head coach Todd Bowles just one day later. Together this new regime has had a strong start to the offseason bringing in big names, familiar faces, and developing areas of need to improve for this football team for the upcoming 2015 season.

Mike Maccagnan’s first move as general manager came when he traded a fifth round pick to the Chicago Bears for wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Brandon Marshall is a nine year veteran, five time pro bowler, and solid number one wide receiver. He is coming off a season in which he was put on injured reserve at the end of the year due to fractured ribs.

Marshall’s ability on the field has never been doubted. Before last season he racked up 1,000 receiving yards in his previous 8 seasons. Marshall has been known to be quite a distraction or a problem in the locker room including an argument with his former teammate Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. This move helps the Jets bring in that number one receiver they’ve been looking for. Marshall, along with current Jets Wide Receivers Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley, improves the depth at the wide receiver position.

Perhaps the most important need of improvement for the Jets this year was the cornerback position. The Jets secondary was a disaster last year, due to the lack of talent and experience of what was put on the roster by John Idzik. Mike Maccagnan quickly improved the Jets secondary by bringing back a familiar face, All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Revis is coming off a year in which he won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. The Patriots had declined his offer to remain and let him test the free agent market. There were reports by ESPN that Woody Johnson, who earlier this year had been criticized for tampering comments towards Darrelle Revis, wanted to push Maccagnan into bringing back the former Jet.

Revis was signed to a five-year, $70 million deal to the Jets on March 10, 2015. Revis played for the Jets from 2007 to 2012 and he is now back home where it all started for him. It just kept getting better and better for the Jets as just two days later Maccagnan then brought back another former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Revis and Cromartie were teammates on the Jets from 2010 to 2012. They have proved to be one of the most dangerous duos in the secondary position in the past. This reunion is exactly what Jets fans have been hoping for and it’s a huge step for a team looking to rebuild and win now.

Though having improved the general depth of the team, the quarterback  position still remains the most important decision for Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan. Current starting quarterback Geno Smith is coming off a disappointing 2014 season. He threw 13 touchdown passes along with 13 interceptions and posted a QBR rating of 35.4, which was ranked 30th in the league among all quarterbacks.

The first word that comes to many people’s mind when it comes to Geno Smith is inconsistent. Maccagnan and Bowles have not yet announced who would be the starting quarterback in the upcoming season. Maccagnan did make a move by signing former Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Although Fitzpatrick may not be that big name quarterback that fans have been hoping for, this move does make a lot of sense for the Jets. They have brought in a veteran quarterback to push and compete with Smith for the starting job. and the move also reunites Fitzpatrick with his former head coach and new offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey in which he played for when they were both on the Buffalo Bills.

This move does not mean that Smith or Fitzpatrick are for sure the only two options at the quarterback position. The Jets currently have the sixth pick in the NFL draft and many expect that they will draft Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota could be the franchise quarterback that the Jets have been waiting for, but it is still unknown whether or not the Jets will take a quarterback with the sixth overall pick. The Jets quarterback position still remains questionable at the moment. The decision will likely be made with a quarterback competition throughout preseason in August.

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