Last year at this time the New York Jets felt they were a team on the rise, but after this season they look ready for a complete rebuild.
The New York Jets roster is filled with aging veterans who might not be around long enough to see this team make a serious playoff run. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Matt Forte and Ryan Fitzpatrick could all be elsewhere in the near future.
As far as long-term building blocks are concerned the Jets have a pretty empty cupboard. Their top young player is Leonard Williams who has established himself as one of the better defensive linemen in the league.
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He is someone the team can rely on and figure as part of their future. Muhammad Wilkerson is another defensive lineman who is an important piece to the puzzle. However, there were some locker room issues regarding missed meetings that have hurt his reputation.
New York needs Wilkerson to refocus himself and be the player that recently earned a long-term extension.
Sheldon Richardson has the talent to be a building block, but off-field issues have changed the way the Jets view him. There are rumors that Richardson was on the trade block during the season and could very well get moved during the offseason.
Linebacker Darron Lee is finishing a rocky rookie season where his lack of size hurt his productivity. However, his elite athleticism brings optimism for improved play in the near future.
The rest of the defense consists of average starters or aging veterans who are on the way out the door. Someone like a Marcus Gilchrist is a solid piece to the puzzle but shouldn’t be considered a franchise building block.
Things are much worse on the offensive side of the ball where I struggled to find one player that can be seen as a long-term asset. The one obvious choice should be rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg. However, the Jets have handled him in a way that screams they lack confidence in his development.
The immediate future looks pretty bleak in New York where we could see a few more seasons like this year.