Insider: Jets’ ‘Lifeline’ Trade Bought Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh More Time

Robert Saleh, Joe Douglas

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas hanging out during practice.

The New York Jets ended last season on a six-game losing streak after starting the year off 7-4.

That extended Gang Green’s playoff drought to 12 years and counting which is the NFL’s longest active postseason drought.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated indicated that head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas are firmly on the hot seat if they can’t make the playoffs this season in a column that was posted on Wednesday, May 10.

“In many ways, the availability of Aaron Rodgers provided a lifeline for Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas,” Breer explained for SI. “Few would survive taking a quarterback with the No. 2 pick and seeing him crash and burn as spectacularly as Zach Wilson has the past two seasons.”

Jets Need to Deliver in 2023 or Whole Thing Could Come Crashing Down

Jets Owner Woody Johnson didn’t put a public playoff mandate out into the universe, but he really didn’t have to.

The writing is on the wall and everyone knows this is a results-oriented business and the current regime hasn’t done enough.

Wilson has proven to be an epic failure as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft and that’ll forever be on Douglas’ resume as a general manager.

However, the perfect storm occurred this offseason.

The Jets wanted to put Wilson on ice and bring in a proven veteran commodity at quarterback. Gang Green lucked out in a lot of ways that one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history became available.

Not only did the Jets want Rodgers but in a unique twist of fate Rodgers wanted to come to New York.

“When I thought about it [this] was the only place that made sense,” Rodgers told Jets team reporter Caroline Hendershot. “A team with a really good young group of core players, the right veterans, and the opportunity to play for a team that could go all the way.”

The Main Reason Jets GM Joe Douglas Still Has a Job

While Douglas may have really screwed up the Wilson pick at quarterback, he has done great work on other areas of the roster.

So much so in fact that roster improvement attracted Rodgers to the Jets as a potential destination during the 2023 offseason.

“Saleh and Douglas managed to build a roster and program, strong enough to attract Rodgers to New York,” Breer said in a column for Sports Illustrated. “Which is to say the Jets are in this gray area where team builders rarely are, where success at the other positions has bought them a second big swing at quarterback, and not even really because their boss recognizes that success so much as that second quarterback saw it as a reason to come. And I think that success combined with the quarterback creates a breakthrough for the Jets, just as Tom Brady created a breakthrough for the Buccaneers’ young core three years ago or Peyton Manning got Denver over the hump a decade ago.”

The Jets earned the second swing at quarterback, but if they don’t make contact in 2023 changes could be coming.

Breer bluntly said that very few coaches or general managers get the chance to keep their jobs “after missing the playoffs in three consecutive years.” Saleh is entering his third year in New York and Douglas is entering year No. 5.

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