The Jets' offseason featured more than enough storylines to last for years.
They fired one coach, then hired a new one. Then they fired a GM, and hired a new one. Along the way, they spent well over $100 million in guaranteed money in free agency, bringing their total to well over $200 million over the last two years.
Their hope -- their belief -- is that all of that turmoil and transition will pay off this season with their first playoff berth since 2010. Of course, a lot still has to happen for the Jets to get there.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the biggest Jets storylines to watch:
1. The arrival of the 'Sam-chise'
Everything the Jets do, every dream they have, all hinges on the abilities of their 22-year-old quarterback, Sam Darnold. They believe he is ready to step into the ranks of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. New head coach Adam Gase is absolutely positive that he will.
They better be right.
Darnold did take some huge steps forward at the end of last season, and gave everyone reason to hope for a bright future. But the fact that the Jets added a bunch of weapons to build an offense around him, and hired Gase in large part because of their belief in his offense and his ability to develop Darnold, means they're ready for the payoff.
It won't be smooth because it rarely is. But if Darnold really can take a huge leap in Year 2, the Jets can, too.
2. Can the Bell still toll?
The Jets generated a lot of excitement by signing free agent RB Le'Veon Bell for four years and $52.5 million ($35 million guaranteed) in March -- and understandably so considering he's one of the best running backs in the league. But beneath that excitement is a major risk because Bell was one of the NFL's best.
Is he still?
They can't be sure since he hasn't played an NFL game since Jan. 14, 2018 -- just shy of 20 months ago -- thanks to his decision to hold out in 2018. He says he's in top shape and ready for football, but he didn't get into a preseason game so there's no way to be sure if he's right. The Jets are gambling that he's ready and hasn't lost a step. Will they have to take it slow with him to make sure? Will they unleash him right from the start?
It all remains to be seen. The Jets should find out pretty early, though, whether their expensive gamble will pay off.
3. Adam Gase's redemption
The Jets believe Gase is an offensive genius who is a master at pushing the right buttons and already has the pulse of his team. But just a few months before they hired him, he was a bust of a head coach in Miami where he finished 23-25, and neither he nor his teams lived up to the hype.
Now, Gase and his supporters would argue that he never really had the players in Miami -- especially at quarterback. His detractors say he was overwhelmed and better suited to be an offensive coordinator. He quickly gets a second chance to prove his worth, though, and join the many NFL head coaches who turned out to be better the second time around.
He does seem to have the tools -- particularly on offense where he's got the quarterback he always dreamed about, a theoretically top-flight running back, and a slot receiver in Jamison Crowder who could be the key to his passing scheme. And he's definitely given the franchise a jolt of energy following too many years of the emotionless Todd Bowles.
Make no mistake, though: This is Gase's last chance. If he can't succeed in his second go-round as an NFL head coach, he won't get a third.
4.The defense's attitude adjustment
They have been the most underachieving part of the Jets for years. So much promise, yet so little production. That is all expected to change under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, one of the most aggressive defensive coaches in the league.
He has ramped up the intensity in practices and players love it. The expectation is that will carry over to games, where the Jets will be a blitz-happy bunch. The belief is also that Williams can get production out of an underwhelming group of edge rushers and the disappointing Leonard Williams, who has yet to live up to his own draft status or hype.
There are holes in this defense -- edge rusher and cornerback in particular. But they are betting heavily that Williams will bring them enough of an edge to overcome those.
5. Unleashing the Big Cat
Nothing seems more critical to Gregg Williams' defensive plan than turning Leonard Williams into the pass rusher he was always expected to be. He's a heck of a player, but he was the sixth overall pick of the 2015 draft and will earn $14.2 million. For that, the Jets should rightfully expect way more than his 17 career sacks, and seven over the last two years.
With Gregg Williams calling plays and rookie Quinnen Williams on the inside, the stage should be set for Leonard Williams to breakout. And with a lack of talented edge rushers, the Jets really need him to do it.
It's not only about this season, but it's about Williams' future. He's a free agent in March and a big season could mean a mega-deal for him, given how much the top pass rushers get paid.
The Jets have about four months now to decide whether or not he's worth what will surely be a very high price.