Since early June, Jets’ fans have been waiting for the Joe Douglas Show to show its true effect.
Now, the curtain is rising.
The brothers Johnson – Chris and Woody, not the 70’s band – have placed the Jets’ future into his trustworthy hands. They and most Jets’ fans have a good initial feeling about his procured pedigree that Thomas has accumulated over the years.
Officially beginning Wednesday, Douglas had a little over $65 million to fill and secure holes on both sides of the ball.
He also had to decide what to do with 21 free agents on his club.
Thomas also place the Jets in a situation to have a solid chance to win the AFC East in 2020 with the
Brady-less (?) Patriots.
Early indications had Thomas not going after the big ticket players, but making both economic and wily decisions to fill the Jets’ biggest voids at several positions as well as provide some depth in the process. Wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback are his prime targets.
Thomas has to piece all of his preconceived plans together and decide whether or not to make a big splash.
The most intriguing choice will be wide receiver Robbie Anderson, who showed signs last season of being the playmaker the team has desperately sought for the past few years.
Anderson has expressed his desire to stay with the Jets, but he also realizes that a big payday is dangling like a carrot. He can easily slide into a healthy deal with the Houston Texans who just traded De’Andre Hopkins. Houston isn’t the only option.
If Thomas wants to spend nearly a third of his cap, he can place the franchise tag on Anderson, handing him an $18 million check.
Keeping Anderson would be a solid move, but can Thomas then make the most of his leftover cash.
Tampa’s Breshad Perriman could be a cheaper and an equally effective option.
He has indicated that offensive line help is a top priorty in free agency as well as being his top draft pick.
New England guard Joe Thuney –another possible big-ticket player – was franchised by his team.
But Thomas has other thrifty options such as Bryan Bulaga, Jack Conklin, Matt Feiler, Graham Glasgow, Connor McGovern, and Brandon Schreff. They could also resign Kelvin Beachum.
Thomas should resign linebacker and edge rusher Jordon Jenkins, who has drawn attention from the Giants. Dante Fowler and Jason Pierre-Paul were resigned by their clubs.
Linebackers Neville Hewitt and Brandon Copeland should be brought back.
Trumaine Johnson and Daryl Roberts reportedly will be released, and the Jets might pick up James Bradberry, Chris Harris Jr., and Logan Ryan.
Recently released kicker Ryan Succop would bring more stability than Sam Finken.
So, Thomas’ clock is ticking. With a failed previous general manager, Thomas’ leash toward a successful offseason is a short one.
He has a more than an adequate payroll to improve the Jets’ 7-9 record and help take them to the next level.
The Thomas show is about to begin. Hold your applause until later.