Jets fans have a few blessings to count on this fourth Thursday
At 2-8 and facing yet another meaningless stretch of football to end the season, one would assume that the New York Jets don’t have many things to be thankful for as the holiday commences.
Jet X, however, advises the beleaguered fanbase to reconsider. Curl up with some leftover turkey in front of the fire and put off the raising of the Christmas tree with these blessings.
The fact the Jets didn’t play under the Thanksgiving spotlight
As star-crossed as the Jets have been, at least their holidays aren’t subjected to yearly disappointments like their counterparts in Detroit.
— BIG ED (@NYCKING) November 25, 2021
The Jets are 1-4 all-time on Thanksgiving, their lone win coming in the 2010 primetime game against Cincinnati in a game best known for two Brad Smith touchdowns.
Elijah Moore & Michael Carter
It’s completely unfair, but the Jets’ offensive success and development will be judged solely by Zach Wilson‘s progress. But while Wilson was recovering from a sprained PCL, both Elijah Moore and Michael Carter established themselves as legitimate young threats on offense that could cause issues for opposing defense for years to come.
*Weekly Michael Carter is a stud tweet* pic.twitter.com/21bsnTGYcT
— NYJ MIKE (@NyjMike) November 22, 2021
Moore, a second-round pick, might be the Jets’ first legitimate homegrown big-play threat since Santana Moss in the 2001 draft. Carter has established a hold on the Jets’ primary rushing duties while also fulfilling the dual-threat abilities he teased on Chapel Hill.
Carter is out for the foreseeable future but it’ll be interesting to see if and how Moore will click with the returning Wilson, the lone New York thrower that has yet to find the Ole Miss alum for a touchdown this season.
The Jamal Adams trade
Frankly, Jamal Adams might be doing more for the Jets when his games are staged 2,873 miles away from Florham Park.
A combination of Adams’ mediocre play and the downfall of the Seattle Seahawks franchise has the Jets sitting pretty, especially when it comes to their positioning on the 2022 NFL draft board. Thanks to a first-round pick bestowed to them through the trade that sent Adams to Seattle in 2020, the Jets are currently slated to pick twice within the first five selections, as Seattle has limped to a 3-7 record.
So far, the trade has yielded only depleted cap space for Seattle while the Jets used the 2021 first-round selection they received from Seattle to add an offensive cornerstone in Alijah Vera-Tucker.
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) October 7, 2021
The final Seattle selection gives the Jets an interesting opportunity for the final seven games of this season and the offseason ahead.
Not only can the Jets go for wins with as they embark on an R&D session without worrying about torching their draft spot, but they’re also in a position where they can potentially use one of their first-rounders to trade down for more picks, gain veteran assets, or move up the draft board, much like they did last spring as collaboration with Minnesota led to the Vera-Tucker selection.
$51.8 million (and counting?) in 2022 cap space
If this season has proven anything, it’s that the Jets’ long-gestating rebuild project isn’t complete.
New York still has plenty of holes to plug and countless areas to improve. The offensive line still needs some tinkering and the Jets could desperately use some new contributors in the tight end spots. Defensively, there are holes just about everywhere.
Joe Douglas will once again have a sizable offseason budget to work with. For the time being, it’s not as expansive as last year’s surplus (which exceeded $70 million), but that could change with the release of several veteran faces.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags