Jets general manager Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him. One look at Douglas, however, and it’s clear he’s not one to be intimidated by the challenge.
The start of the regular season is almost here and teams around the league are gearing up for their final roster cut-downs. There will be hundreds of players hitting the market next weekend. For the Jets, it’s a chance to upgrade their roster before the games count for real.
Douglas, 42 years old and in his first year as general manager, knows he has to do his part in order to give head coach Adam Gase the players he needs to succeed. It’s an obvious expectation of a general manager, but it’s also one that requires an aggressive mentality for fielding a winning product for the fans.
“Our focus is to win games while we’re here,” Douglas said before the Jets faced the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. “So we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.
Not everyone pulls off the “whatever it takes” mentality. Action is required in order to back it up.
Douglas has three Super Bowl rings on his resume which proves just how much he gets what that means. His success as an NFL scout led him to becoming Vice-President of Player Personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles and ultimately resulting in a six-year contract to be general manager of the Jets.
“There are going to be opportunities,” Douglas noted. Whether it’s trades, claims, there are going to be guys really from that 46,47 spot on the roster all the way to 63, when you’re talking about the 10-man practice squad, where you can really find guys that can help you in those spots.”
The responsibility of making sure there’s talent and depth at every position is where Douglas knows he’ll need to be aggressive. The Jets were big spenders in the offseason and they already have their quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold. But winning teams get contributions from everyone on the roster, star players and role players collectively moving as one unit.
There are question marks at cornerback where Trumaine Johnson is working his way back from a hamstring injury. The Jets are also thin at linebacker after losing Avery Williamson for the season to a torn ACL and Brandon Copeland for the first four games of the season because of a suspension for performance-enhancing substances.
Douglas will look at what he has currently on his team’s roster as well as which available players will be hitting the market.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the Jets have No. 3 waiver priority; this puts them in prime position to get an impact player if one lands on their radar.
Douglas, in “whatever it takes” mode, made it known he intends to use his options, all of them.
“We plan on using it,” Douglas said. “I’m fired up.”
There’s talking about winning football games and then there’s doing the grunt work required to turn that talk into action. Douglas will get his opportunity to do exactly that and, from all indications, it appears he can’t wait to do whatever it takes.