We have passed the final tentpole event of the NFL offseason with the schedule officially released.
Now for the New York Jets and every other team, they have to go through their final practices and mandatory minicamp and then we’ll have one last break before training camp.
Surprise Jets Roster Cuts and Stealing Jobs
1. Who is the most surprising player you can think of that could be cut by the Jets before training camp?
Another mildly surprising suggestion might be cornerback Bryce Hall, who started for the Jets from 2020 through 2021. Gang Green is deep at the CB position and Brandin Echols outshined Hall as the top backup in 2022, not to mention his cap hit surges to a little over $2.8 million this season.
Outside of guys like that, I don’t think you’ll see anything way out of left field at this stage of the offseason. Head coach Robert Saleh already guaranteed the safety of DE Carl Lawson and WR Corey Davis.
Whitehead is probably the biggest name remaining on the roster that could realistically get dumped ahead of training camp. I think the collection of later draft picks that had the bump in pay from playing time percentages (what MO just indicated) are all on the chopping block.
If they aren’t cut I could see the Jets approaching each of them about taking a pay cut and that could make things incredibly awkward.
The biggest issue with Whitehead was his inconsistency with getting players to the ground. He would whack the opponent pretty good, but then they’d bounce off and keep running. Whitehead needs to get back to the basics and if he can, 2023 could be a bounceback. If he can’t, the Jets should pull the plug.
2. Name a player that will steal a 53-man roster spot that we aren’t expecting?
I’ll leave this one slightly open-ended, but I think either Irvin Charles or Jason Brownlee will steal Denzel Mims’ roster spot in 2023. The former second-round selection requested a trade last summer and he’s never really synced up with this new coaching staff from a mentality standpoint.
That could change with the more personable Nathaniel Hackett running the offense, but with Mims’ increased cap hit on the final year of his rookie contract (similar to Hall), I think it’s more likely that the Jets part ways with another member of that failed 2020 draft class.
Charles and Brownlee are both very similar to Mims, except they’re each cheaper with more of a likelihood that they’ll stick around after the 2023 campaign. Once Mims hits the open market in 2024, he’s walking for the highest bidder. Instead, the other two can develop behind Corey Davis as a bigger-bodied Z-WR of the future.
This may sound like a weird answer but Jeremy Ruckert. He was the No. 101 overall pick in last year’s draft so his spot should be secure.
However, I think he will steal the fullback position away from Nick Bawden. Ruckert is an excellent blocker and he needs to find a way on the field.
The tight end room is stacked and that will make it difficult for Ruckert to break through. If he serves in a multi-faceted role that will benefit both him and the team.
3. Brandon Marshall volunteered to come out of retirement this week to join the Jets in 2023. Who is a recently retired NFL player that you’d like to see put back on the cleats for Gang Green?
Up until the Jets landed Aaron Rodgers I might have responded with Andrew Luck! All jokes aside, I’d target a position that typically ages well and I’ll put my money on former Chiefs Super Bowl right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. I know he had injury issues that final season in 2020, but the time off should help with that.
Yes, it’s highly unlikely, but if Schwartz was willing I’d plug him in as the starting RT tomorrow. Mekhi Becton wants the left tackle job anyway so I’d have Duane Brown compete with him for the blindside role and have Schwartz teach up Max Mitchell on the right.
Who knows, playing with Rodgers could entice the ex-Chief, perhaps…
I always love these questions and it’s cool to hear that B-Marsh wants to join the party. If he has something to contribute I’m always willing to listen.
This team is all-in on winning a championship and that means by any move necessary.
When I think about players I’d try to recruit out of retirement I think about what positions the team needs. The first position that came to mind was safety.
Ed Reed is 44 years of age and is one of the best ballhawks in NFL history. While he is most known for his days with the Baltimore Ravens, he also played his final season with the Jets back in 2013.
I feel like the ability to intercept passes is a skill you either have or don’t have and it never goes away. Let’s bring him back baby!
Jets 2023 Schedule Predictions
4. Who is someone, whether coach or player, that you’ll be rooting for on the Jets?
I’ll really be rooting for Hackett to succeed as the offensive coordinator in 2023. For starters, the Jets’ offense has been an absolute mess for most of my lifetime, so it would be nice to see a top-ranked offensive unit for a change.
On a more personal level, Hackett is highly-regarded as one of the most genuine dudes around the league and after a catastrophic season as a head coach in Denver (where Russell Wilson just did whatever he pleased), I feel Hack deserves a shot at redemption. The built-in connection with Rodgers and all of the pieces on offense should help with that.
Plus, if Hackett succeeds in New York, maybe he sticks around for a while. After the Broncos’ nightmare, I’m not sure he’ll get any head coaching offers anytime soon, and even if he does, he may choose to call plays with the Jets after his last experience as an HC.
Let’s be honest LT had a really rough year for the Jets in 2022. Arguably it was the worst year of his career and it is somewhat unexplainable.
He moved from San Francisco to New York in the same system at the same exact position. That should’ve been about as safe of a bet as you can make during the free agency process.
For whatever reason it didn’t work out that way. I got a chance to speak with Tomlinson for an interview both on and off camera and he seems to have a fire in his eyes.
He has such a beautiful family and he cares about the game so much. I want him to be good for both the success of the team and for himself.
5. With the 2023 schedule now out for the Jets, give me your way too early prediction for what will happen during the regular season.
I said it at a family gathering the other night and I’ll stand by it. Not only do I think the Jets will make the playoffs in 2023, but I honestly believe they’ll win the AFC East.
The Patriots have done very little to improve their roster from the 8-win season last year, and two of those victories came against pathetic performances by Zach Wilson. With Rodgers on the Jets, those are losses and New England is 6-11 (plus they have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL on paper).
I also feel like the Buffalo Bills have remained the same and as the old saying goes: if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. If the Jets beat Josh Allen’s Bills with Wilson and no Breece Hall or Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2022, they can beat them with Rodgers and all of those supporting players this time around.
Miami is my dark horse. If Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy, I think the Dolphins are better in 2023 with Vic Fangio and Jalen Ramsey improving the defense. Having said that, I’ll take a top-ranked Jets D and a young and talented Rodgers-led offense over all three.
As for my way-too-early record prediction, I’ll say the Jets finish at an unheard-of 12-5 (split with Buffalo and Miami, sweep NE).
I have the Jets going 13-4, winning the AFC East, and having the best regular season in franchise history. No pressure.
Gang Green has a talented roster and was on the edge of the playoffs in 2022. Then this offseason the Jets added one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
The bar is set incredibly high and for good reason. We’ll see if the Jets can live up to the near-impossible billing next season.