When New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas took over during the summer of 2019, he knew that the entire organization needed an overhaul that would start anew by rebuilding through the draft.
Per ESPN NYJ insider Rich Cimini on September 3, that plan yielded “the third-youngest roster (average age: 25.4), according to Spotrac [in 2021].”
Douglas would probably agree that there were some mistakes along the way, but after a monster draft class in 2022 — as well as a decent one in 2021 and an integral trade for Aaron Rodgers in 2023 — that Jets have finally turned themselves into a legitimate playoff contender. They also flipped the script from 2021 to 2023 in terms of average age of the roster.
“The roster has undergone a dramatic change over the past three seasons,” Cimini noted during his article after citing the very youthful average age in 2021. “Now they have the oldest [roster in the NFL] (27.3), as of Friday.”
That total 180 starts with Rodgers himself (age 39), but it extends to veterans that have come along for the ride — like Dalvin Cook, Randall Cobb, Duane Brown, Billy Turner, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods among others.
“An old team doesn’t mean it’s doomed to failure,” Cimini went on. “In 2020, the Tom Brady-led [Tampa Bay] Bucs won the Super Bowl with the oldest roster. The Jets’ front office would much rather view the roster from this perspective: Almost perfect balance, based on NFL experience.”
He ended his point by listing the different age ranges on the roster. According to Cimini, there are currently 17 rookies and second-year players, 17 third-to-sixth-year players, and 19 vets that are entering their seventh season or greater. Pretty well-rounded indeed.
Jets Open Up With Top-10 Super Bowl Odds, Favorable ‘Best Futures Bet’
Covers.com produced a full NYJ betting preview for the 2023 campaign — written by analyst Jason Logan — and the odds are more favorable than they’ve been in a very long time.
The Jets are now +1800 to win the Super Bowl this year on FanDuel Sportsbook, but as Logan stated, those odds ventured as high as +900 after Rodgers was first rumored to the franchise. Ahead of Week 1, they’ve settled in right around the seventh best odds in the NFL — tied with the Baltimore Ravens.
Logan believes the “best” NYJ futures bet involves the season win total, however, as he advised fans to consider the Jets at “Over 9.5 wins.”
“Aaron Rodgers’ arrival makes the AFC East one of the tightest divisions in football,” he reasoned. “Buffalo is still the frontrunner, but New York and Miami appear destined to fight for second place — a fight that could yield double-digit wins for both sides.”
Continuing: “You could take New York to make the playoffs at -130 [range] or lay less for [them] to win 10 games, something the preseason odds lean heavily toward. The strength of schedule says the Jets have the second-hardest road in the NFL, with the bulk of those challenges in the opening six weeks, but it may look worse than it really is. Gang Green doesn’t have any rest disadvantages, plays their toughest non-divisional foes at home, and the trickiest spot (third road game in four weeks at Buffalo) sees the Bills coming off a MNF game before hosting New York in Week 11.”
Logan concluded that “even if the Jets get off to a rough start… there are still plenty of chances to put 10 wins on the board by the end of the season.”
Jets Should Aim to Beat Out Bills & Dolphins in AFC East
Logan talked about competing for second in the AFC East, but the Jets should aim to win it — and head coach Robert Saleh expressed that mentality on August 30.
“The mindset doesn’t change,” the Jets HC said. “Cause the good thing is — yes, we are in a really tough division but they all gotta play us too. So, the mindset’s always about us. It’s about what we can bring and it’s about whether they can stack up with us. Sounds cocky, I get it, but you can’t think of it any other way.”
Cimini pointed out that the Jets have not won the division since 2002 during the September 3 article — “when Chad Pennington was the quarterback and Herm Edwards was the coach.”
“The 20-year slump is the third-longest active drought, behind the Cleveland Browns (30 straight seasons) and Detroit Lions (29), per ESPN Stats & Information research,” he informed. “The Las Vegas Raiders are tied with the Jets at 20.”
A Week 1 victory over Buffalo would go a long way in changing that.
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