Jets Fire Offensive Coordinator John Morton

The Jets made their first seismic move in an offseason that promises to be filled with them by firing offensive coordinator John Morton, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

Although Morton didn’t have a star-studded crew on offense, there were enough concerns about his in-game decisions to warrant a change. The Jets finished 25th in scoring, 28th in total yards, 29th in first downs, 23rd in third-down efficiency, 24th in passing yards and 19th in rushing yards.

“It’s always good to have consistency and continuity, but in the NFL things change all the time,” Todd Bowles said the day after the Jets finished their second consecutive 5-11 season. “You have to be ready. If we keep the same scheme, that’s great. If we have to change for whatever reason, we’ll go from there.”

Will the Jets Turn it Around in 2018? One Former Player Personnel Guy Feels They Are Close

The Jets are getting a lot of kudos for the way they handled a tough season, and the way the team played despite what many felt was going to be a season that could have seen the team win just 2-3 games.

One person who for sure took notice is that of Gil Brandt, long time player personnel guy for the Dallas Cowboys, and now NFL Media senior analyst.

Today Brandt released an article on NFL.com talking about teams that have chances to go from ‘worst to first’ in 2018, and while he doesn’t say the Jets will do that, they do have a very good defense that will be back in 2018.

Here’s what he had to say about the Jets:

7) New York Jets (AFC East, 5-11)

The Jets played much better than expected. Coach Todd Bowles is pretty good, and I think they possess some talented defensive players in Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Leonard Williams who are also solid character types. Second-year pro Robby Anderson, meanwhile, has proven to be a find at wide receiver. The question for the Jets is, who will play quarterback? Josh McCown is 38 and headed for free agency, and while there’s a slim chance Bryce Petty could turn into something, it doesn’t seem like Christian Hackenberg ever will. Still, New York is pretty much on par with Buffalo and Miami. It’s an extremely safe bet that the Patriots will once again win the AFC East in 2018, meaning the Jets have almost no chance to go worst to first — but they have a better chance than the team ranked below, which simply faces more in-division obstacles.

Josh McCown Back with the Jets in 2018? It Could Happen

Jets general manager Mike Mccagnan said Tuesday that the team is open to bringing back veteran quarterback Josh McCown in 2018 according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Maccagnan also claimed that the team has not “closed the book” on 2016 second-round bust Christian Hacenberg-no word from Cimini as to whether the assembled reporters broke out in peals of laughter. As far as McCown goes, the Jets should want him back after the veteran unexpectedly led a team believed to be tanking and competing for the No.1-overall pick to five wins and several more close, competitive losses.

Even more unexpectedly, the oft-injured McCown managed to start 13 games for the Jets and threw 18 touchdown passes to only nine interceptions. On the flip side, McCown turns 39 years old in July and no one would blame him if he decided to call it a career.

McCown would be fine as a bridge option in 2018 but the Jets seem no closer to finding their quarterback of the future than the were last year at this time. One thing for certain is that the future is not Hackenberg or Bryce Petty. The Jets plan to be “very active” in the free agent market and seem likely to select a QB out of this year’s talented draft class with their first-round pick.

Jets Place RB Matt Forte on IR with Knee Injury

The season is over for veteran running back Matt Forte as the Jets placed him on injured reserve Saturday according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

The 32-year-old has been playing through questionable tags for weeks as he battled a knee injury and admitted earlier in the week that he has been “playing on one leg.” Forte frankly never seemed fully recovered from his 2016 knee issues and his role in the Jets running back-by-committee rotation has diminished in the second half of the season. He finishes 2017 with 103 rushes for 381 yards and two touchdowns plus added 293 yards and another touchdown through the air.

Forte has stated that he plans to return in 2018 for an 11th NFL season. If he does so, it likely won’t be as a member of the Jets although he is under contract for another season. The Jets can save Forte’s $3 million salary in 2018 by cutting him and they are expected to move forward with Bilal Powell, promising rookie Elijah McGuire, and perhaps some help in the draft. Forte is fifth among active rushers with 9,796 career rushing yards.

Jets Extend Contracts of GM Mike Maccagnan and Head Coach Todd Bowles

It’s been a busy day for the Jets, who today announced on their website that they have extended the contracts of general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles.

“We are very happy to have extended both Mike and Todd. During their time here, they have worked together to help the organization build a foundation on which to grow,” said Jets CEO Christopher Johnson. “ They are identifying, developing, and getting productivity out of our players. I believe we are headed in the right direction. This provides us continuity and stability as we continue to move this team towards sustained success. We still have a lot of work to do and I am excited to work closely with both of them as we move forward.”

Maccagnan, hired to his position on Jan. 13, 2015, is focused on building the team’s foundation through the draft. Named the 16th full-time head coach in franchise history on Jan. 14, 2015, Bowles instilled a culture change in 2017 and players continually praised the improved chemistry in the locker room. Working together, the Jets’ football leaders have drafted and developed key players including Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Robby Anderson. The roster was also bolstered with trades for Demario Davis and Jermaine Kearse in the offseason as they both became key contributors for the defense and offense respectively.

The Jets will conclude their 2017 regular season against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on New Year’s Eve. The Green & White head into the offseason with financial flexibility and three picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Jets Players Select QB Josh McCown as Team MVP

For a quarterback not expected to do much this season, veteran signal caller Josh McCown outplayed what many thought, and today was named the team MVP by Jets players.

The 38-year-old played in 13 games before getting hurt, throwing for 2926 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He was 5-8 as a Jets starter, way better than most felt he would be.

Congrats to McCown, a player that should be brought back to the Jets next season.

Jets RB Matt Forte Says He’s Been Playing Most of the Season on One Leg

Jets running back Matt Forte, who might not be back with the team in 2018, said Thursday he spent a large chunk of this season “playing on one leg,” due to knee swelling, Darryl Slater of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

But Forte, who on Sunday will finish his 10th NFL season, said he wants to play next season and wants to return to the Jets. Forte turned 32 earlier this month.

Forte is in the second season of a three-year contract. He hasn’t put up eye-popping stats with the Jets — 1,194 rushing yards (3.7 per carry) and nine touchdowns in 26 games, plus 556 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.

“When I was healthy and got the opportunities, I think I produced at a decent level,” Forte said of his time with the Jets so far. “Since the bye week [this year], I’ve been basically playing on one leg, so that’s been tough. Obviously, that hinders your production level.”

Could the Jets Lose Todd Bowels to the Cardinals if Bruce Arians Steps Down?

There are “rumblings in league circles” that the Cardinals would have interest in current Jets head coach Todd Bowles if Bruce Arians opts for retirement according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Bowles was the defensive coordinator in Arizona under Arians for two seasons before landing the Jets job. Costello says Bowles was “extremely popular with ownership” in the desert, and they would be interested in bringing him back. That is unlikely to happen, however, as right now it looks like Jets ownership plans to keep Bowles for 2018. if the Cardinals choose to trade for their next head coach, Bill O’Brien of the Texans would make more sense as a target than Bowles.