Jets proprietor Woody Johnson prepared to spend for QB, the ‘lacking piece’

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Proprietor Woody Johnson believes the New York Jets are a quarterback away from ending their 12-year playoff drought, and he is prepared to spend large bucks for a confirmed veteran.

“Absolutely,” he advised a small group of reporters Thursday in his workplace on the Jets’ facility. “We’ve got a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend. But, yeah, yeah. That’s kind of the missing piece.”

Zach Wilson was presupposed to be a key piece when he was drafted second general in 2021, however he was benched twice in 2022 and seems headed for a backup function in 2023. Regardless of his struggles, and people of the offense, “this team is loaded and ready to go,” Johnson stated.

“Our defense was an unbelievable story you saw this year, from last place to close to the top in defense in terms of every measurable,” he stated. “If you can do the same thing on offense, it looks pretty good, right?”

A number of intriguing names shall be out there within the offseason, from free brokers (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson) to doable commerce targets (most notably, Derek Carr).

The Jets have already got invested $35 million assured in Wilson. The plan is to maintain him, in accordance with Johnson, however he acknowledged, “Zach had a tough year, there’s no denying that. I still have confidence that I’ve seen some kernels of real talent there. … [His] confidence level, whatever it was, went down, so that was certainly frustrating for him. And then we had that rotation, which is very hard to do in the NFL — changing quarterbacks.”

The quarterback instability (three totally different starters) contributed to the late-season collapse — a six-game shedding streak that price the Jets (7-10) a playoff spot and left Johnson fuming after every loss, sources stated.

The fallout has begun. The Jets confirmed the departure of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, calling it a mutual parting. As well as, offensive line coach John Benton is out. They’re additionally available in the market for a large receivers coach as a result of Miles Austin is suspended for one 12 months for betting on skilled sports activities.

Johnson claimed he did not pressure coach Robert Saleh to make the workers adjustments, saying he wasn’t a part of “the decision-making tree,” however the proprietor admitted it was “very frustrating” to witness the offensive meltdown — no touchdowns within the ultimate three video games.

After two non-playoff years collectively, Saleh and common supervisor Joe Douglas shall be beneath strain in 2023. Johnson would not say they’ve a playoff mandate.

“No, I don’t do mandates,” stated Johnson, who has reached the postseason six instances in 23 years of possession. “We’ve had a long wait. Fifty-four years from the last Super Bowl is too long, way too long. I’d like to change that fast, but mandates don’t work.”

There was no mandate, per se, however Johnson made it clear he believes the roster is playoff-ready, saying it consists of “all those young, unbelievable stars.” Johnson stated he is optimistic a couple of turnaround in 2023, pointing to how the protection flipped in a single 12 months. It went from thirty second to fourth in yards allowed.

The offense completed twenty fifth, one of many causes the Jets moved on from LaFleur after two years. Publicly, Saleh advocated for protecting LaFleur, fueling hypothesis that his hand was compelled by Johnson.

“There are 32 owners in this league, and they have every right to ask questions and challenge thought, and have all the discussions they want,” Saleh stated. “That happens in every building. But at the end of the day, Woody gives us full autonomy with regard to decision-making. And he’s completely supportive of any decisions we make.”

Due to the unsettled quarterback state of affairs, and with 2023 being a possible make-or-break 12 months for Saleh, it may be arduous to draw high coordinator candidates. Saleh disagreed, saying they’ve younger expertise and a robust protection. He stated the brand new coordinator can have enter into the quarterback resolution.

“We’re going to be as aggressive as heck when it comes to quarterback play,” he stated, “and make sure we do everything we can to satisfy that position.”