So many questions … Here are a few more you asked me in this week's edition of the SNY Jets mailbag:
Why haven't the Jets gone after Clowney? -- @BuddhaTaino
Money. Actually, it's more about player value. Jadeveon Clowney may be the best pass rusher on the market, but he wanted more than $20 million per year on a long-term contract, and then reportedly lowered his demands into the $17-18 million range. So far no one thinks he's worth that -- certainly not on a long-term deal. The Jets clearly don't.
There are a lot of reasons for that. One is that he's had three knee surgeries and even at age 27 that can take a toll. It makes him a risky bet for a long-term, salary cap-crunching contract. Also, as good as he is -- and he is good and disruptive and strong against the run, too - he had only three sacks last year and has never had more than 9 ½ in a single season. Pass rushers will always say that sacks aren't a good measure of all they do, but like it or not it's how teams often measure them, and teams pay big money for guys who actually produce those sacks.
The Jets obviously don't want to spend that kind of money for a player who has had 12 sacks in the last two seasons. You know who's done better than that? Jordan Jenkins. He had eight sacks last season and 15 in the last two seasons and the Jets got him back on a one-year, $5 million deal. Maybe he's not in Clowney's class as a player. But the bottom line is he's been more productive, especially in the category that pays.
Will the Jets trade Le'Veon Bell now that Frank Gore is on the team? -- @zevi_weis
No. At least not yet.
First of all, Bell is guaranteed $13 million this season, which doesn't help his value on the open market. The rosters of most teams are pretty set right now, so adding a $13 million running back right before camp isn't in anyone's plans. If the Jets were going to do it, they would've done it back in March before free agency started. I don't think they want to trade him, nor do I think they could.
However, I think all bets are off on Bell being dealt at the trading deadline. That will obviously depend on whether the Jets are in the playoff chase or not. If they are, they're not going to deal one of their best weapons - and as good and durable as Frank Gore is, he's still 38, his skills are declining, and Bell is still better.
But if they're out of it? Well, Bell doesn't seem to have a future with the Jets beyond this season. They drafted La'Mical Perine in the fourth round and he could be Bell's replacement. So sure, in October with nothing to play for, it would make sense for the Jets to deal him for anything, knowing they don't plan to bring him back in 2021.
Do you think the Jets will make a trade for a wide receiver now since Enunwa won't be coming back? -- @SpriggsyFresh
No, I think if they were going to make a trade they would've done it when DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs and Brandin Cooks were available. They certainly would have done it before the draft. Because I think they knew Quincy Enunwa wasn't returning this season. That didn't catch them by surprise.
It sounds like they are content with what they have - Jamison Crowder as the slot guy, Breshad Perriman as the Robby Anderson-like deep threat, and rookie Denzel Mims as a potential future No. 1. I don't like the rest of their depth chart, but they seem to think veteran Josh Doctson and third-year pro Vyncint Smith can be useful.
Maybe they'll add another veteran at some point if one is available, but it would only be someone brought in for insurance and depth.
What is the one thing you want us to understand/know about the Jets that is either unknown or misunderstood from the outside? -- @asciglitano1
There has been so much losing and so much disappointment, both lately and throughout the Jets' history, that I can understand why Jets fans are pessimistic by nature. I can also understand why they overreact and demand change the minute things go wrong. I saw that a lot this past year with fans (and some in the media) wanting Adam Gase fired before his first season was over.
But I actually believe the Jets are in good hands, and people should try to understand that and try to show some patience -- as hard as that is.
First, I believe Jets CEO Christopher Johnson really cares about this team. He's not an absentee owner content to count his money from afar. He's emotionally invested, he's present at the facility, and he really wants this to work. He's also willing to understand what he doesn't know and leave the decisions up to his football people - which all owners should do.
And he hired the right GM in Joe Douglas. People around the NFL rave about him. If the Jets hadn't hired him, someone would have this past offseason. And from the early returns, he's building his team the right way -- with strength up front and no crazy, quick-fix contracts.
As for Gase … I don't know if he's the right coach. We'll see. But I think he will be good for Sam Darnold and the offense, and he absolutely hired the right defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams. I think they'll win eventually. But I know we learned nothing about his ability to do that based on last year, when his quarterback was sick for more than a month at the start.
So I guess that's it: That I think I see the right people in place on the inside and the right plan being executed. I know it's hard to keep the faith, but I really think Jets fans should.
Will a possible shutdown of part of 2020 have an impact on the 2021 cap? -- @Bukes1
This isn't a Jets-specific question, but I included it because it's important and I find the possibility fascinating. The simple answer is: Yes. The salary cap is tied to revenue, so if a shutdown or any loss of games or games without fans leads to a loss of revenue, the salary cap as it's designed will almost certainly go down.
In fact, ESPN recently reported that the cap -- which is $198.2 million for 2020 -- could shrink by 50 percent in 2021. ESPN's Adam Schefter said he's heard it could go down anywhere from $30-80 million next season.
I honestly don't know how that would work, though. Remember, it's not just about spending on free agents in a particular year. Teams have already spent on future caps by the contracts they've given out the last few years. They plan as if the cap will at least stay the same and probably go up. If it goes down significantly, teams would have to cut players just to get down to the lower bar. Some might not be able to do it.
And the players who are cut -- even top ones -- might not find teams with cap room to give them significant deals. In short: A significant cap decrease would create chaos.
I assume they'd find a way to keep the cap where it is, at least. I've heard they've discussed the idea of borrowing against future caps and "paying it back" when revenues go back up, post-pandemic. I don't know the answer, and I don't think the NFL does either. But if any games are missed or played without fans or if revenues drop in any significant way, it's going to be a fascinating issue to watch.