Owner Woody Johnson spends green on Gang Green


David Stoltz, Staff Writer

Following a weak season, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson decided it was time he put some more money into his team. He began with the hiring of new Head Coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan.

The moment the new regime took over, the team began to take a step in the right direction. The first move made by the new General Manager was blockbuster trade involving one of the league’s most productive receivers Brandon Marshall. The Jets were able to acquire both Marshall and The Bears’ 2015 seventh round pick for the Jet’s 2015 5th round pick.

Marshall is five-time All-Pro who brings a veteran presence to the Jets locker room and receiving corps. He is also the Jets true number one receiver, which will allow second year Jet Eric Decker to play more comfortably as the teams number two receiver. As a result, fans will see more production out of Decker and the Jets offense that ranked last in the league in passing yardage last season.

While Marshall has always been productive on the field there remains question on his past behavior off the field. However, this should not be a huge concern for the Jets due to the fact that new Head Coach Todd Bowels has coached Marshall in the past, and he knows how to make sure he remains focused and stays out of trouble.

This was a relatively low risk trade that ultimately provided the Jets with an elite playmaker on offense. This is something the team truly lacked a season ago.

Once free agency period began, the Jets new front office continued to search to make the team better. The Jets began the day by bolstering the offensive line with the former offensive guard James Carpenter who was a former first round pick for the Seahawks in 2011.

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll spoke highly of Carpenter at the NFL’s annual meeting in March. Carroll stated, “Carp did a very nice job for us. There are just very difficult decisions that you’re faced with at the end of the season each year, and that was one of them, and we weren’t able to keep him.”

The team also signed cornerback Buster Skrine who has been a solid player throughout his career for the Cleveland Browns. The always-improving Skrine will replace former first round draft pick Kyle Wilson as the nickel corner. If Skrine continues to develop, there is no doubt he will have a better career than the disappointing Kyle Wilson.

Several hours after signing Buster Skrine, Jets nation exploded as the team brought back former Jet cornerback Darrelle Revis. He was signed to a monster five-year deal worth 70 million dollars. Of that money, nearly $39 million dollars in fully guaranteed. Despite the fact that he turns 30 this year, Revis remains arguably the best cornerback in the league.

The All-Pro was traded from the Jets to the Buccaneers in 2013 and last year he signed a one year deal with the Jets’ rival the New England Patriots. He went on to play an instrumental role in the Patriots Super Bowl victory.

After coming to terms with his former team, Revis posted a picture of himself from when he played for the Jets on his Instagram. The caption read, “I want to thank the Patriots and Pats Nation for NEW YORK. I’m coming home.”

The team went on to reunite Revis with former Jets and Cardinal cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who played for Coach Bowels last season in Arizona. Cromartie played alongside Revis when they were both on the Jets. Together they dominated and helped bring the team to two back-to-back AFC Championship games.

Cromartie, at the age of 31, is now a seasoned veteran who knows Coach Bowels system.  He also provides leadership in the locker room as he can help the younger players on the team adjust to Coach Bowels and his system.

The team also added a coverage safety Marcus Gilchrist who played for the Chargers for the entirety of his young career.  Gilchrist fills a huge whole in the Jet defense. Now that the Jets acquired a safety that can cover opposing receivers, it will allow 2014 first round pick Calvin Pryor to play strong safety and do what he does best make big hits.

As free agency continues the Jets have added more veteran players to fill numerous holes on the roster. However, the team will look to continue to improve in this year’s draft. Many experts predict the Jets will draft a pass rushing linebacker, a wide receiver, or even a quarterback in the first round. For Jets fans the draft will be quite nerve-racking, but also exciting at the same time.

Despite the need for improvement on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets look like they will be a competitor in an AFC East division that is getting increasingly harder to play in.

According to NJ.com, Jets star defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson stated, “We strongly feel like we’re going to be the top defense in the league and top team in the league, not just defense.”

It is quite clear that the Jets are becoming a competitor, and this will allow their defense to show its opponents why it was given the nickname ‘No Fly Zone.’