Jets Urged to Consider Drastic Offseason Move: ‘Should Be on the Table’

Robert Saleh

Getty Is New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh on the hot seat in Week 18?

Heading into the month of December, a portion of New York Jets fans were calling for Robert Saleh to win the NFL coach of the year award in 2022.

Now — following a five-game losing streak and two lifeless performances that eliminated Gang Green from playoff contention before the final week of the year once again — others are suggesting that the Jets should make a change at the top. It’s been that kind of a wild, up-and-down season.

WFAN NYC radio host Brandon Tierney was not the first to suggest this massive coaching hire, but he was one of the more established media members to do so publicly after the embarrassing effort from New York against the Seattle Seahawks.

“After starting 6-3, the Jets have lost 6 [of] 7 and are staring at 7 [of] 8 to ride out this pitiful finish,” Tierney voiced. “They were utterly lifeless in a must-win game. Flat. Again. Everything should be on the table. Said last week: ‘Call Sean Payton.’ And I’ll say it again: ‘CALL SEAN PAYTON.'”

Is Robert Saleh on the Hot Seat in Week 18?

There has been almost no inkling that the Jets are planning to fire a coaching assistant, let alone Saleh and his entire staff. Well, outside of one report from the Washington Post and former NFL insider Jason La Canfora.

“This is killing [owner Woody Johnson] trust me, I know him well,” an unnamed high-ranking NFL official told La Canfora after Week 16. “All of that booing is driving him crazy. He already wasn’t really sold on this coach. He’s going to want [offensive coordinator Mike] LaFleur out and some changes to that staff. He can’t help himself. Weren’t they 6-3 at the bye? And now they’re getting booed out of their own stadium at Christmas. I’m telling you, something is going to happen there.”

For those assuming Saleh is safe, Jets superfan “Drew from Jersey” reminded everyone why there is no guarantee of that on Twitter.

Woody fired Eric Mangini after losing 5 in a row in 2008,” he recalled. “This with making the playoffs on his resume, great drafting and his BFF as the GM.

He left fans with the simple yet scary warning: “Jets lose [to Miami in Week 18] …. Watch out.”

The tide began to shift on Saleh after he started seesawing back and forth at the quarterback position when Zach Wilson was first benched. Despite his decision, the Jets HC was unwilling to name Mike White the starter for the remainder of the year, supporting a plan to develop and reintroduce Wilson over and over after a “reset” both mentally and fundamentally.

Later, Saleh frustrated fans with his atrocious clock management against the Detroit Lions. Of course, there’s also the question of the locker room’s lack of passion and preparation during these last two catastrophic defeats.

While it’s still somewhat of a longshot to think Saleh will be relieved of his duties in 2023, it’s turned into a realistic possibility for the first time all year. ESPN’s Mike Greenberg even stated that “the jury is very much out on the coaching [staff],” although he added that LaFleur is the biggest question mark at this time.

Former NFL GM Details Sean Payton Price Tag

During a video chat with Heavy’s front office insider Randy Mueller — who is a former NFL general manager himself — fans got a taste of what Sean Payton might cost any and all suitors in 2023.

“Anybody who is interested in Sean Payton is going to have to give the [New Orleans] Saints probably a first-round pick, so you’re going to have to be willing to do that,” Mueller noted. “The ownership is also going to have to be willing to pay a salary probably north of $10 million per year. And then third, restructure your front office like Sean wants it.”

“My history tells me that 25 NFL teams are going to walk away from that,” the former GM predicted. “They’re not going to want to do that. And so the pool is limited, the options are limited for a coach like Sean Payton. And that’s not to take any shots at him at all, it’s just, traditional NFL franchises won’t do two of those three for the price you have to pay.”

Whether or not the Jets would ever consider a move like this depends on the current frustration level of ownership. Johnson has been patient with general manager Joe Douglas and Saleh so far, but will that continue this winter considering his brother Christopher Johnson hired both key pillars of this organization?

Payton is a likely future Hall of Fame head coach, with a .631 win percentage and a record of 152-89 while leading the Saints. The offensive guru is famous for resurrecting the career of Drew Brees and turning him into one of the game’s top record holders as a passer.

He also won the Super Bowl once and has made it into the postseason nine out of his 15 seasons as a head coach. Payton was named the NFL coach of the year by the Associated Press and the Pro Football Writers Association in 2006.

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