"Fire Idzik". "Idzik is clueless." "Do the New York Jets have any type of plan?" Yes, these are some of the messages that are being posted on New York Jet fan forums after only one week of NFL free agency. Is the hysteria that is running through some parts of Jets nation warranted? I don't believe so, and there are several reasons why.
The New York Jets entered the free agency signing period armed with a significant amount of cap space. The instant speculation, which was fueled by many members of the media, was that Gang Green would be very aggressive and would sign a couple of the high-profile players that were available. Well after listening to Jets general manager John Idzik, it was quite obvious that was not the approach the front office was going to take. Idzik's philosophy is to build through the draft and to use free agency to fill some holes. The Jets gm will set values to each player and position and will not spend wildly just because there is cap space available. Idzik's plan is focused on sustainable success, not short-term gratification.
With a pragmatic philosophy in place the Jets did go out and sign one of the best wide receivers available in Eric Decker. The former Bronco will be a tremendous asset to the Jets offense with his size and athletic ability. Gang Green also replaced right tackle Austin Howard with Breno Giacomini while re-signing Leger Douzable, Calvin Pace, Jeff Cumberland, Ellis Lankster, Nick Folk, and Darrin Walls. These signings will not be considered high-profile by many, but they give the Jets much-needed depth and continuity.
Going forward the Jets will continue to add pieces to their puzzle, but at the right price. Lets not forget that this is only March and hundreds of personnel moves will occur between now and the end of training camp. There are salary cap casualties, trade opportunities, not to mention some quality free agents still available. Also the draft, Idzik's lifeline, features one of the deepest classes in recent years.
It is time for Jets fans to take a deep breath and to look at the big picture. History dictates that the teams that win the headlines in March normally don't hold the trophy in February. John Idzik is taking a different approach to rebuilding his team and it is going to take some getting used to. Lets see what this team looks like at the end of training camp before making any rush judgements on John Idzik. I have a feeling fans of Gang Green are really going to like what they see on the field come September.