Coming off of the first win of the season, the New York Jets are riding high and understandably so.
This was only the second dub for the green and white in the months of September/October since 2019. These don’t come often so it is best to savor the moment.
Although not everything is always peaches and cream. There is one intriguing story that lies beneath the surface that could go one way or another.
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One of the Biggest Surprises of the Season
This Jets defensive line was supposed to be very good because of the level of talent and the brand new 4-3 aggressive scheme. Before we got to see what this would look like firing on all cylinders, we were robbed of the final product due to the injury bug.
Apparently just fine.
The Jets are tied for third in the league in sacks (13) and were absolutely dominant vs the Tennessee Titans in Week 4.
After accumulating six sacks through the first three weeks of the season, Gang Green topped themselves completely with a seven-sack showing on Sunday.
A big part of that was because of the play of John Franklin-Myers.
Originally he was a waiver wire dart throw by general manager Joe Douglas and now he has developed into a key cog for the Jets defense.
Through four games he already has tied his single-season career-high in sacks (three) and he still has 13 more games to add to that total.
JFM is in the last year of his contract and is set to be a free agent in 2022.
To Give an Extension or Not
With JFM playing out of his mind a lot of people have started to speculate that perhaps a proactive approach from the Jets GM would be a wise choice before we get to the offseason.
That very point was brought up on the Flight Deck podcast that is hosted by ESPN’s Rich Cimini who has covered the Jets for the last 30 years:
“Interesting question here Paul, I’m not so sure that is a slam dunk, and here’s why. The Jets have a lot of money invested into the defensive line. Of course, Carl Lawson (three years for $45 million) and Quinnen Williams at some point whether it’s next offseason or thereafter, he’s going to get a monster deal. They’re also paying Sheldon Rankins. Do they want to extend that budget for another player on the defensive line? That’s going to be an interesting question.”
It’s an interesting question and one the Jets faced a handful of years ago when they were choosing between Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison, and eventually Leonard Williams.
Although the one counter-argument to this point by Cimini is the difference between those Jets teams and the current one. This coaching staff values and relies on the defensive line play way more than those previous regimes.
Cimini also brought up another good point on the podcast and that’s JFM’s position.
He was talking with Bryan Cox who is a former NFL player and an advisor to Franklin-Myers and they brought up his true natural position. In those conversations, Cox suggested JFM is a three-technique, which is the same position Williams plays.
Right now, according to that factoid, Franklin-Myers is playing out of position. With the Jets clearly invested in Williams, it would appear that JFM doesn’t have a long-term future here with the green and white.
Considering all of these factors, Cimini said that an extension for JFM isn’t a “lock” despite how well he has played this season.
It’ll be a very interesting decision and discussion for Douglas and the rest of the Jets’ brass over the next handful of weeks and obviously into the offseason.