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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson (Rob Carr/Getty)

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson (Rob Carr/Getty)

The New York Jets cut ties with veteran linebacker David Harris on Tuesday, and the team said a few hours later that wide out Eric Decker will be next. The New York franchise has also lost several Pro Bowl players in the last year or so, including Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Ryan Clady, Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Brandon Marshall. The six core players who have been removed have combined to play 61 years in the NFL. That’s a lot of experience and leadership.

That’s not counting the departures of Geno Smith, Nick Folk, Breno Giacomini, Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist.

Considering the Jets went 5-11 last season, and have now gotten rid of, or lost, several valuable players, it leaves fans wondering what’s going on?  I’m here to tell you, the Jets are in full tanking the season mode. A team’s desire to tank a season has almost never been as obvious as the Jets throwing 2017 out the window, and even general manager Mike Maccagnan won’t deny it.

“That’s not something we’re focused on,” Maccagnan said of tanking. “We’re focused on making decisions to help this team going forward. … That’s not our focus.”

I understand you frequently are not going to get straight answers from the general manager, but I don’t know how Maccagnan could claim with a straight face that cutting Decker and Harris were about building a competitive roster.

Obviously the roster looks bad on paper, but we at least have to give this team an opportunity to show what it can do on the field. But don’t surprised if they finish with a worse record than last year’s five-win season.  The Jets aren’t going to field a team that blatantly misses tackles, causes turnovers, or play like a high school football team in order to land the No. 1 overall pick in 2018. Who are we kidding, yes that’s the exact plan. It’s hard to find many victories on their 2017 schedule regardless who starts at QB. Only the 2008 Lions have ever been 0-16. 

In Josh We Trust? Absolutely Not

Quarterback Josh McCown, is the oldest player on the Jets’ roster at 37 years old. McCown is the human tank machine. McCown’s teams have a .353 winning percentage (a 79–145 record) over 14 NFL seasons, and the last two teams he started for both came away with the no. 1 pick in the following spring’s draft.

As the Jets spent the off season shedding veteran after veteran, they made clear that their goal in 2017, presumably, is to finish with the worst record in the league and then draft USC’s Sam Darnold or whoever wrestles the top-signal-caller belt from him in the fall. Starting McCown (or Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty, both of whom are reportedly being roundly outplayed by McCown at OTAs) should only further that objective.

What Does The Future Hold’s For Todd Bowles?

My heart goes out to Todd Bowles. He is now put into a position where he is doing more mentoring than winning. The Jets are all for tanking (for Sam Darnold?), but that does nothing for Bowles. If the Jets do wind up with the first overall pick, it’ll likely mean they won fewer than four games. Do you really think the front office and ownership will be patient enough to keep Bowles around that long after he went from 10-6 to 5-11 last season? Highly thought that, especially knowing Woody Johnson’s track record.

The Jets Owner Would Rather Save Money Than Compete In 2017

All these moves this off season seem to stem from Woody Johnson looking to save money. By dumping Harris and Decker, who will be released or traded by the end of the week, Johnson will save $13.75 million in cash payroll. He probably figures the team is going to be miserable anyway, so why not save some money? 

Karma Will Remember The Way The Jets Treated Harris

The NFL is a cold-blooded business, and there isn’t much loyalty among players and owners, but there’s a right way of doing things and a wrong way. I think it is difficult to argue the Jets handled this situation the right way. I find talk cheap here. It’s easy to say you respect a player, but it rings hollow to me when your actions suggest the opposite. Harris did represent the Jets with character and professionalism. He did hold himself to the highest of standards. I don’t think you can say the same about the manner in which the Jets let him go.The Jets opted for the latter with Harris, as they fired a future Ring-of-Honor member after the eighth OTA practice. Harris deserved better.

No Question About It,  Sam Darnold Is The Prize Gang Green Wants In 2018

Sam Darnold has taken the Pac-12 by storm, as he’s been incredible ever since taking over as the starter, which was capped off by his amazing Rose Bowl performance. A big quarterback with a nice arm, terrific accuracy and decent mobility, Darnold could end up being the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Sam Darnold (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) gets the ball out with speed and he’s accurate in the USC system. He has the necessary arm strength to drive the ball into tight windows and the ability to anticipate throwing lanes. 

Tanking is not a terrible strategy if it finally gets the Jets a franchise quarterback for the first time in 50 years. If you are going to stink, you might as well really stink so the place has to be fumigated. Hey, if the 76ers can do it,  why can’t the Jets learn to trust the process as well.

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