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Jets proprietor Woody Johnson prepared to spend for QB, the ‘lacking piece’


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Owner Woody Johnson believes the New York Jets are a quarterback away from ending their 12-year playoff drought, and he is prepared to spend huge bucks for a confirmed veteran.

“Absolutely,” he instructed a small group of reporters Thursday in his workplace on the Jets’ facility. “We’ve got a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend. But, yeah, yeah. That’s kind of the missing piece.”

Zach Wilson was presupposed to be a key piece when he was drafted second general in 2021, however he was benched twice in 2022 and seems headed for a backup position in 2023. Despite his struggles, and people of the offense, “this team is loaded and ready to go,” Johnson mentioned.

“Our defense was an unbelievable story you saw this year, from last place to close to the top in defense in terms of every measurable,” he mentioned. “If you can do the same thing on offense, it looks pretty good, right?”

Several intriguing names might be accessible within the offseason, from free brokers (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson) to potential commerce targets (most notably, Derek Carr).

The Jets have already got invested $35 million assured in Wilson. The plan is to maintain him, in line with Johnson, however he acknowledged, “Zach had a tough year, there’s no denying that. I still have confidence that I’ve seen some kernels of real talent there. … [His] confidence level, whatever it was, went down, so that was certainly frustrating for him. And then we had that rotation, which is very hard to do in the NFL — changing quarterbacks.”

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The quarterback instability (three completely different starters) contributed to the late-season collapse — a six-game dropping streak that value the Jets (7-10) a playoff spot and left Johnson fuming after every loss, sources mentioned.

The fallout has begun. The Jets confirmed the departure of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, calling it a mutual parting. In addition, offensive line coach John Benton is out. They’re additionally available in the market for a large receivers coach as a result of Miles Austin is suspended for one 12 months for betting on skilled sports activities.

Johnson claimed he did not power coach Robert Saleh to make the employees adjustments, saying he wasn’t a part of “the decision-making tree,” however the proprietor admitted it was “very frustrating” to witness the offensive meltdown — no touchdowns within the last three video games.

After two non-playoff years collectively, Saleh and basic supervisor Joe Douglas might be below strain in 2023. Johnson would not say they’ve a playoff mandate.

“No, I don’t do mandates,” mentioned Johnson, who has reached the postseason six occasions in 23 years of possession. “We’ve had a long wait. Fifty-four years from the last Super Bowl is too long, way too long. I’d like to change that fast, but mandates don’t work.”

There was no mandate, per se, however Johnson made it clear he believes the roster is playoff-ready, saying it consists of “all those young, unbelievable stars.” Johnson mentioned he is optimistic a couple of turnaround in 2023, pointing to how the protection flipped in a single 12 months. It went from thirty second to fourth in yards allowed.

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The offense completed twenty fifth, one of many causes the Jets moved on from LaFleur after two years. Publicly, Saleh advocated for holding LaFleur, fueling hypothesis that his hand was compelled by Johnson.

“There are 32 owners in this league, and they have every right to ask questions and challenge thought, and have all the discussions they want,” Saleh mentioned. “That happens in every building. But at the end of the day, Woody gives us full autonomy with regard to decision-making. And he’s completely supportive of any decisions we make.”

Because of the unsettled quarterback state of affairs, and with 2023 being a possible make-or-break 12 months for Saleh, it is perhaps laborious to draw prime coordinator candidates. Saleh disagreed, saying they’ve younger expertise and a powerful protection. He mentioned the brand new coordinator can have enter into the quarterback resolution.

“We’re going to be as aggressive as heck when it comes to quarterback play,” he mentioned, “and make sure we do everything we can to satisfy that position.”


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