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Jets owner Woody Johnson 'absolutely' willing to pay for veteran QB; no playoff term for 2023

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What also didn’t work was New York’s offense in 2022. After two seasons with 25th and 26th places in total offense, the Jets mutually parted ways with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur on Wednesday. It wasn’t an easy decision for coach Robert Saleh, who brought LaFleur with him from San Francisco to New York in 2021, and told reporters on Thursday that “it seemed like it would be in everyone’s best interest” if LaFleur looked elsewhere. .

LaFleur wasn’t the only coach to leave the Jets this week. Saleh also announced the departure of offensive line coach and game coordinator John Benton.

“I won’t go into detail about that,” Saleh said. “I love John. He’s coached in this league for a long time, I’ve been with him a long time. I just wanted to go in a different direction.”

Not wholesale changes for Saleh’s side, but after failing to carry their share of the load in back-to-back seasons, changes needed to be made up front. It also became clear towards the end of the campaign that another change was needed in the game’s most important position.

Zach Wilson’s lack of improvement has shifted from worrisome to catastrophic for the Jets in 2022, especially after New York lost promising rookie Breece Hall to a season-ending knee injury. Wilson was benched twice during the season and failed to capitalize on the opportunities that came his way, allowing critics to point to him as the reason for the Jets’ shortcomings in the second half of the year.

LaFleur was unable to save Wilson before leaving the team, and it seems likely they are looking for outside help that can immediately upgrade New York’s offense in 2023.

Johnson told reporters Thursday that he is “absolutely” willing to spend big on a veteran quarterback this offseason.

“We have a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend,” said Johnson, by “But, yes, yes. That’s the missing piece.”

Saleh also hasn’t ruled out adding an arm to the QB room.

“We’re going to be aggressive when it comes to the quarterback game and we’re going to make sure we do everything we can to satisfy that position,” Saleh said. “I want to be so cocky to say I think this is plug and play where are we going to improve? When you can run the ball, you have special teams and you have a top five defense, you re should be in the playoffs. I think we can stay on track that we were following.

New York’s defense has certainly played at a playoff-worthy level in 2022, but the offense has lagged significantly, especially after losing Hall. On paper, the Jets look ready to take the next step, which should include a playoff berth in the future — as long as they find a quality quarterback.

With expectations comes pressure. If and when the Jets find a quarterback — the offseason promises to be an exciting one for several teams — people won’t accept another basement season in New York, even if Johnson isn’t pushing. publicly.

New York is in a decent position in terms of squad quality, but Saleh knows that complacency will only produce similarly disappointing results. After a productive 2022 draft, the Jets can only benefit from an equally positive offseason, which could include the return of injured key players like point guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2023.

“It’s not just one person. We have to fix our O-line,” Saleh said. “We’ve got to get more consistency in the quarterback game. We’ve got to improve in terms of being young as receivers, so they’ll be a year older, it’ll get better. Bring Breece back, add to him, get healthy.

“It’s never one person, and I’ll defend that. We were 14th in the NFL in scoring when Breece and AVT were on the field, and it kind of disintegrated from there. But there’s a lot of promise with this group. We’re going to stay healthy, we’re going to keep going.” to add and very excited to see the direction it might take.”

New York expects the direction to be upwards. The Jets have a lot of work to do in the meantime.