The only Jets Joe Douglas shouldn’t trade as sell-off begins

The Jets dropped to 0-6 on Sunday with another embarrassing loss, this one a 24-0 defeat to the Dolphins. Here are some thoughts and observations from the game:

1. The CBS cameras caught Jets general manager Joe Douglas burying his face in his hands during Sunday’s debacle, but Douglas was not sitting on his hands after the game. He traded Steve McLendon to the Buccaneers, getting back a late 2022 draft pick. It is not much, but it is something for a 34-year-old who is probably going to retire after this year.

The Jets should be willing to move nearly anyone on this roster. It is all about 2021 and beyond now for the Jets. Douglas should be trying to get whatever he can before the Nov. 3 trading deadline. This is like selling a car for parts. The Jets don’t have anyone who will command a big return like they did last year with Leonard Williams or in the offseason with Jamal Adams.

Here are the only players I would not trade

OT Mekhi Becton

Becton has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury but showed a lot of promise in his first two games when he was healthy. Becton was Douglas’ first draft pick and he should be a cornerstone for the team for the next decade.

WR Denzel Mims

Mims has not played a down yet, so it is silly to even consider him being part of a trade. The Jets are still hopeful Mims can inject some life into the offense when he returns, possibly this week.

QB Sam Darnold

This will change in the offseason if the Jets wind up with the No. 1 pick and they zero in on Trevor Lawrence, but Darnold should not go anywhere right now. The Jets need to let Darnold play out the season once he gets healthy. There still needs to be an evaluation of Darnold, especially if the Jets somehow win a game and end up picking later than No. 1. The decision about whether to keep Darnold or draft a non-Lawrence quarterback is a tougher one.

DL Quinnen Williams

The No. 3 pick in the 2019 Draft has not lived up to his pre-draft hype so far, but the Jets can’t give up on him yet. Williams has shown promise this year against the run and was disruptive in the 49ers game. He might bring back a nice return from a team that wanted him in the draft, but I think they need to count him as part of their core.

WR Jamison Crowder

Crowder has been one positive for the Jets this season. He has one year left on his contract after this year. He probably makes the most sense to move out of the guys I’ve listed, but I do think you need to leave Darnold with his best weapon on the team for the rest of the season and he is also a piece that could be helpful next year.

2. The Jets look like an expansion team. That is how bad it has gotten. This is, by far, the worst Jets team I have covered in my 10 years on the beat and they are gaining on the 1996 and 1976 teams for the honor or being the worst team in franchise history.

Consider this stat from Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith – the Jets have been outscored 185-75 this season. That is a point differential of -110. That is equal to the combined point differentials of the second- and third-worst teams this year. The Jaguars are at -56 and the Washington Football Team is at -54.

Smith projected the Jets’ point differential over a 16-game season and the Jets would be outscored by 293 points. That would be the worst point differential in NFL history, beating out the 1976 Buccaneers’ mark of -287. That was the first year the Buccaneers existed and is often pointed to as the worst team in NFL history.

That is staggering to consider. The Jets look nothing like an NFL team right now.

3. When the Jets’ wide receivers were criticized this summer and the lack of weapons were questioned, Jets coach Adam Gase would often point to the tight ends and running backs as a reason to believe the weapons were not as bad as the media portrayed.

So, where are they?

On Sunday, the Jets threw 11 out of 39 passes to the tight ends and backs. Starting tight end Chris Herndon had zero targets in the game. Zero.

They threw to Frank Gore four times, Ryan Griffin three times, La’Mical Perine three times and Ty Johnson once.

Gase has to get the tight ends and running backs more involved in the passing game. The Jets can’t win on the outside. They need to win in the middle of the field.

4. The prevailing thought has been if the Jets fire Gase during the season that Gregg Williams would be the interim coach. Williams did the interim thing in Cleveland two years ago and has head coaching experience in Buffalo almost two decades ago. But I think Williams ruined his chances when he got cute with the media on Friday and cast blame on the offense for the defense’s struggles.

Williams’ comments did not sit well with people high up in the organization. It would not surprise me to see Williams fired at the same time Gase is let go. I think assistant head coach/linebackers coach Frank Bush would be a strong candidate to be the interim coach.

Revealing stat

The Jets ran more plays than the Dolphins (69-56), had more rushing yards (115-110), led in time of possession (31:55-28:05) and won the turnover battle (2-1) and still lost by 24 points. That is hard to do.

Surprising snap count

Gregg Williams’ player deployment baffles me. Bless Austin began the year as the starting cornerback. He played OK. He then was injured against Denver and replaced by undrafted rookie Lamar Jackson, who had a rough go last week against Arizona. Austin was healthy for Sunday’s game but Williams started Jackson. Why? Austin played 38 snaps (68 percent) and the defense looked much better with him on the field.

Game ball

Don’t blame the punter. Braden Mann punted 10 times for 462 yards and came up with a critical tackle on one long return. Mann boomed a 54-yard punt at one point. The coverage team needs work, but Mann gets the game ball as he ices his leg Monday.

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