It is nearly two years since Jets GM Joe Douglas took over in June 2019.
Douglas seemingly recently has improved the team, but he soon will be faced with a franchise-changing decision.
For the time being, though, all is good in Jetsland. They believe in Douglas, as he has four more years on a six-year pact to turn the Jets back into a contender.
Since he took over, Douglas has helped shape his team’s offensive line, drafting Mekhi Becton and signing veterans George Fant, Conner McGovern, Greg Van Roten.
He brought some depth to the linebacking corps adding Neville Hewitt –arguably the team’s defensive MVP in 2020 – and Patrick Onwusar, who will look to regain his once dominating Ravens’ form from injuries this season.
Douglas has piecemealed the rest of the team, having his share of hits and misses in the draft and free agency.
Over the past two weeks, Douglas completed his second round of free agency, spreading the wealth around to every position that needed to be filled.
His big ticket item this spring was former Bengals edge rusher Carl Lawson, who inked a three-year, $45 million deal.
Douglas padded his defense with the additions of linebackers Jarrad Davis and Del’Shawn Phillips, lineman Vinnie Curry and Sheldon Rankings, safety Lamarcus Jenkins, and cornerback/special teamer Justin Hardee.
Offensively, he brought in wide receivers Keenan Cole and Cory Davis, lineman Dan Feeney, tight end Tyler Kroft, and running back Tevin Coleman.
These weren’t any of the perceived big names on the market, but they are all very serviceable players.
On the surface, the Jets appear to be a better team.
But there is the one elephant left-in-the-room decision left — quarterback.
We all know that Brigham Young quarterback Zack Wilson had risen to the top of the Jets’ quarterback needs. Yet, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is back in the forefront again after a successful pro workout.
It is now conceited that Sam Darnold will be on the market, but his value could be drastically affected if Texans’ quarterback DeShaun Watson is dealt in the next few days to either Miami or Carolina.
Darnold should bring back a second- or third-round pick.
Whether it is Wilson or Fields, Douglas has to be absolutely positive that either is the Jets’ next franchise quarterback. If not, the repercussions will keep them in an abyss for a while.
Douglas has addressed most of the major Jets’ needs, although he didn’t sign a veteran cornerback like the Giants, who took an aggressive stance with a few options.
On April 29, the Jets’ quarterback quandary should be solved. A few weeks later, Douglas will get his first look at what he has pieced together in mini-camp.
Douglas has had the opportunity to piece it all together.
We’ll find out in September if he has all the right pieces.