The New York Jets have doubters every season. Many believe the franchise is a joke until proven otherwise and the players are starting to take on that underdog mentality.
One athlete that appears to embody this mindset is defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers. The former fourth-round pick was released after one season with the Los Angeles Rams that included two regular-season sacks and a third in the Super Bowl.
The Rams doubted his potential but general manager Joe Douglas saw something in “JFM.” With New York, the pass rusher voiced that he never took that for granted, promising the Jets GM that he won’t let him down. So far, he hasn’t.
JFM Promotes ‘a Message’
With the Jets, Franklin-Myers has exceeded all expectations registering nine sacks and 27 quarterback hits over the past two campaigns. As the lead defensive end after the Carl Lawson injury, JFM also ranked first on the team in QB pressures and overall defensive grade according to Pro Football Focus.
In the end, these accomplishments earned the former Rams cut an early $55 million extension. A loud statement for a mild-mannered professional.
Speaking of loud, Franklin-Myers sent an all-caps message to doubters on September 3, implying that he’s not satisfied just yet. In a somewhat out-of-character move, the S.F. Austin product shared a photo on Twitter with the caption, “a message.”
“F*** ANYONE THAT DOUBTED ME,” JFM’s shirt read in a very legible font.
Franklin-Myers has been the subject of a mixed approval rating from fans after his pay raise. It comes with the territory — cash out in NYC and you better continue to post solid numbers.
To be clear, JFM has been one of the more consistent defenders on the Jets since signing his extension, but some believe that he should be a double-digit menace in the sacks department too. That’s still the plan as the franchise hopes to recreate the “New York Sack Exchange” this season.
Overall, this bold social media statement seemed to get a positive reception from fans.
“Besides being a Jet, this shirt earned a follow,” commented one fan. “Good luck this season big man!” Another replied. The tweet also had 360-plus likes and 26 retweets at the time this article was written.
JFM’s Role in 2022
Many covering the team thought that Franklin-Myers might move back inside to defensive tackle this fall but the coaching staff has remained steadfast in their belief that he’s most valuable on the edge during the early downs — while rotating inside on expected passing sets.
That versatility is one of the major reasons that Douglas paid JFM the big bucks well before he needed to. The Jets kept four D-tackles on the initial 53-man roster but Franklin-Myers provides tremendous depth on the inside, should they ever need to shed a roster spot.
With Lawson and Quinnen Williams healthy — and players like Jacob Martin, Bryce Huff and Jermaine Johnson II subbing in alongside him in pass-rushing situations — there should be less pressure on JFM to do what he’s set out to do.
Double-digit sacks are a legitimate expectation for at least three Jets contributors in 2022, and you better believe that Franklin-Myers is one of them. Don’t doubt the man, you already know how he feels about that.