Isay: How the Jets and Giants compare this offseason
This offseason, the Jets and the Giants are at different stages of their rebuilds. Both teams are revamping nonetheless. Who is in a better position to succeed? And what do the Giants and the Jets have to do this offseason to ensure that they are on the right track? Let me tell you what I think.
What the Jets are currently doing: The Jets have the second-most cap space in the NFL and a boatload of high-quality picks in this year’s draft. While that is a reason for optimism, general managers don’t go to the Hall of Fame for clearing cap space and trading the franchise’s best player, Jamal Adams, for two first-round picks – especially if the team has a worse record the following year. The Jets have a long way to go before they become a serious contender.
What the Jets can do in the offseason: The best the Jets can do this offseason is put the right pieces in place to speed up their rebuilding process. This can happen in two ways:
1) They can draft the right quarterback. I would be shocked if the Jets stick with Sam Darnold because there is no way that Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas want to hitch the fate of their own jobs on the hope that Darnold can drastically improve in his fourth season. It doesn’t matter if they draft Zach Wilson or Justin Fields; the quickest way for the Jets to rebuild is to get a quarterback who the coaching staff believes in and the front office can build their team around for years to come.
2) Strike gold on their high draft picks. The Jets have six draft picks in the first 106 selections. It’s likely that this will be the greatest concentration of high-quality picks that the Jets will have in a single draft until their next rebuild. This means that the Jets must draft impact players this year. Not just good players, but guys at key positions that can be the best players on a playoff team. If the Jets can do that, their dreadful rebuild will finally come to an end sooner rather than later.
What the Giants are currently doing: The Giants are in more complicated spot than the Jets. They don’t have a lot of cap space, but they should be able to clear space relatively easily. There are tons of questions surrounding the team, and General Manager Dave Gettleman will need to answer a lot of them this offseason if he wants to keep his job. For example, fans are asking: will they re-sign free agents Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams? Will Daniel Jones take the step forward that the Giants so desperately need him to take?
What the Giants can do in the offseason: The Giants need to improve their offense. While their defense was sound, the Giants’ offense scored the second-least amount of points last season. This can be blamed on many factors, but regardless of what happened last year, the Giants need to improve their offense if they want to make the playoffs. Here are the two most important things that the Giants must accomplish this offseason to do so:
1) Get Daniel Jones a blue-chip receiver. Tight End Evan Engram was the Giants’ most targeted player on offense last season. Engram had eleven drops and disappointed hopeful fans. If the Giants want to give Jones a fair shot to prove himself as a franchise quarterback, they need to give him a receiver who can consistently get open and, most importantly, catch the ball. Whether they draft a receiver in the first round or sign one in free agency, this offseason will be a failure if the Giants do not help Danny Dimes get a wide receiver who creates more explosive plays and can be a reliable target.
2) Make the offensive line a strength. According to Sharp Football Analytics, Daniel Jones was the second most pressured quarterback in the NFL last season. The Giants’ offensive line needs to become a sound unit if they want to succeed. While the group made strides last season, they need to finalize a strong offensive line. The group needs to do a better job keeping Jones on his feet and creating holes for a hopefully fully-recovered Saquon Barkley to run through. The Giants need to invest money in the offensive line in free agency and one – 0r more – of their high picks in the draft on an offensive tackle and/or an offensive guard.
At the end of the day
At the end of the day, both the Jets and the Giants need to improve greatly if either team wants to make the playoffs next season. While the Giants are further along in their rebuild, there are many concerns about the team, and it’s unclear if the team is headed in the right direction with General Manager Dave Gettleman at the helm. The Jets, on the other hand, have a lot of cap space and draft picks, but how they will utilize those assets is unclear. It is unclear how competitive the Jets or the Giants will be next year, but regardless, the offseason is a time for fans to be hopeful that their team can put a Super Bowl contender on the field sooner rather than later.