Whether you call it a youth movement or call it a full-fledged tank, it’s impossible to dispute the fact that the New York Jets have spent most of the offseason releasing veterans.
The wave of cuts continued this past week, when New York released long-time starting linebacker David Harris as well as Eric Decker, who only played three seasons in New York, but was still one of its best wide receivers in recent history.
Decker and Harris join a lengthy list that includes, but is certainly not limited to, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall and Nick Mangold.
Despite the turnover at many positions, one thing hasn’t changed: The Jets still have a veteran quarterback who will likely take the field as the Week 1 starter.
Josh McCown, who will turn 38 years old on July 4, is atop the quarterback depth chart with youngsters Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg behind him.
“Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody’s got to be the teacher,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said after minicamp on Tuesday.
The teacher comparison, which drew laughs from reporters in Florham Park, may be even more accurate than Bowles initially intended. If McCown does become the ‘teacher’ of the team, he will still have to remember that kindergarten classes are often unruly and will require a lot of work to mature. Bowles’ task will be maturing his young team and his job could be on the line if he doesn’t.
Bowles still has lofty aspirations for the team, acknowledging that the expectations don’t differ just because of personnel changes.
“My expectations are high; the team’s expectations are high,” Bowles said. “I’m trying to get to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl — no different from any other year.”