New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas was already pretty popular among the fans when he was hired back in 2019. He brought a sterling reputation as a competent football mind and received rave reviews from the media.
This offseason his street cred reached another level among the Gang Green faithful.
Earlier this week the green and white added veteran offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Not often do you get the chance to add an impact free agent in the middle of June, but that’s exactly what the Jets were able to do with this addition.
Moses will immediately take over the right tackle position. This move will bring a reliable and steadying presence to the trenches for the green and white.
When you take a look at what Douglas was able to accomplish this offseason, you can’t help but be impressed:
- Wide receiving corps was totally upgraded with youth, star power, and experience.
- The offensive line was revamped with the addition of Alijah Vera-Tucker and a proven veteran in Moses.
- Plus the obvious swap in the quarterback room from Sam Darnold to Zach Wilson.
Optimism is overflowing from Jets fans and it’s easy to understand why. Although it appears Douglas could have one more trick up his sleeve heading into 2021.
What Kind of Move Could Douglas Be Cooking Up?
The Jets roster is markedly improved from last year, but several glaring weaknesses remain on the team.
One of those holes is at right guard.
The green and white currently have a battle royal like competition featuring undrafted players, veterans, and young hopefuls looking to break through. While there’s still plenty of time between now and when the season starts in September, there doesn’t appear to be a clear answer at the position in house.
Although there is a very intriguing veteran that was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers that could fit the bill.
David DeCastro was a surprising cut this week and boasts an impressive resume that could pique the interest of the folks over at 1 Jets Drive.
The former first-rounder is expected to have a third surgery on his troublesome ankle that “bothered him for most of” the 2020 season. Despite the recent injury issues, DeCastro wouldn’t rule out playing again.
Although it doesn’t look like it’ll be in 2021. There are some rumors floating around that he could be toast for this upcoming season, but could be ready to go in 2022.
Pulling a Page Out of His Old Baltimore Playbook
If there’s a chance he’ll be unable to play in 2021, why the heck would the Jets be interested in some injury-ravaged veteran?
That’s where Douglas could pull a page out of his old Baltimore playbook.
This offseason veteran offensive tackle Ja’Waun James tore his Achilles away from the Denver Broncos team facility working out on his own. That provided a unique loophole for the Broncos to get out of his contract without having to pay him.
The NFL is a cold-blooded business.
While that injury will likely keep James from playing any organized football in 2021, there’s a chance he can bounce back in 2022. So the Ravens quickly signed him to a two-year deal for $3.5M this offseason. The deal only features $500K guaranteed but there are incentives built into the contract that’ll allow him to earn an additional $5M if he can return to form in 2022.
James will use the 2021 season to rehab with the Ravens at their facilities, then in 2022 if he fully recovers from his injury, the Ravens will get a star talent at an insane discount. If he’s unable to recover, the Ravens can simply move on.
It’s the ultimate low-risk vs high reward kind of move. This is exactly what Douglas should offer to DeCastro.
The Jets can monitor his rehab in 2021 and DeCastro can get familiar with the New York offense. Then next year he can be fully ready to step in and be the team’s starting right guard in 2022. It’s a great flier deal where the Jets would have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.