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As the 2019 offseason begins around the National Football League, teams are preparing for the long and exciting season that is ahead of them. For many NFL organizations, like the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants, the offseason has brought a tremendous amount of attention to the operations of their franchises. The scrambling of NFL front offices has had positive and negative effects on some teams and their locker rooms. After the firing of the New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, head coach Adam Gase has had to answer the remaining questions from media outlets about the current condition of the Jets organization. The move to fire Maccagnan came after the signing of the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Confused as to why the Jets front office decided to make personnel changes so late in the offseason, many fans are wondering if the New York Jets have enough potential to be an AFC wild card contender.
The New York Jets have been a team that has been stuck in the rebuilding phase. In the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Sam Darnold with their third pick. During his first season on the gridiron, the New York Jets finished the season ranked last in the NFC East division. Their 4-12 record painted a picture of what direction the team needed to work on in order to experience more success during the 2019 NFL season. For a team that must play the reigning Super Bowl champions twice in one season, it was clear that the Jets needed to make major improvements, starting with their offense.
In 2018, the New York Jets had one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Their 20.8 points per game were the 14th best out of a 16-team conference. The only teams the possessed an even worse offensive attack were their rivals the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. Ranked 29th in the league in the yards per game category, the Jets were not a team many defenses feared last season, which could be why the team struggled to win football games. During the 2019 offseason, the Jets organization decided to make a move that they hoped would increase their offensive production.
Adam Gase and the New York Jets organization made one of the biggest moves of the 2019 NFL offseason. The signing of the former Pittsburgh Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell was a move that received many thumbs up from supporters and fans throughout the league. Bell was able to sign a contract with the Jets for four years, totaling in $52,500,000 and including an $8,000,000 signing bonus. This was a great addition for a team who struggled to run the ball effectively during the 2018 season. Their 1,622 yards rushing as a team was just not enough to win games, even in a pass-first transitioning league. The Jets leading rusher Isaiah Crowell finished the season with only 685 yards total, which did not help the run-first offense that the Jets have built their identity on. In Le’Veon Bell’s last season in the NFL, he was able to contribute 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns to his team’s offensive stat total. This type of production is exactly what the Jets are in need of as they plan to increase their production as a franchise.
Although the Jets were able to sign an elite NFL star, that does not mean they will be able to become an immediate playoff contender. The Jets are still one of the AFC’s weakest teams and they need a lot more than one player to shift the tide of their past fortunes. When it comes to moving on as a team, both Le’Veon Bell and Adam Gase are believed to be on the same page. After Eric Allen tweeted a report of Adam Gases’s approval of Le’Veon Bell, Bell immediately responded to the tweet with an encouraging, “Yup, let’s get it, coach.”
In a conference where teams are getting better each and every season, the Jets will have to make sure they are working harder than the other teams trying to make a name for themselves as well. Teams such as the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Houston Texans have all made offseason moves to ensure better production for the 2019 season. The New York Jets will have to work harder than most in order to see the light of the playoffs in 2019.