Jets GM Joe Douglas raises expectations for 2022 after rebuild

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Joe Douglas has spent his first three years as Jets general manager working on positioning. Now he’s hoping it’s time for the payout.

When Douglas took the job in June 2019, he inherited a muddled roster. He’s worked to rid the team of bad contracts, set its salary cap and stack draft picks. After winning just six games in the last two years, Douglas has high hopes for 2022.

“We need to play meaningful games in December,” Douglas said Tuesday at NFL league meetings.

Douglas thinks the team has improved with free-agent signings on both sides of the ball and the young players they played against last season should take a step forward, which means the team should be improved after the 4-13 season last year.

“To be able to bring in some high-quality veteran free agents who are young,” Douglas said, “who are still in their prime and have played in championship moments to really complement those young players and add to this entire locker room.” help to grow and develop we just went through what we did last year, playing against all the youngsters and knowing there would be some bumps along the way hoping the payoff is now with this one year begins.”

Douglas didn’t break the bank at free hand but added some high profile players like tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, guard Laken Tomlinson, cornerback DJ Reed and safety Jordan Whitehead.

Douglas deflected from his normally intentional approach last week when he attempted to acquire wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs. The move would have cost the Jets draft picks and money for a new deal with Hill. Douglas didn’t dish out any market-defining deals as Jets GM, but this would have been for Hill. The swap didn’t go through because Hill preferred to play for the Dolphins.

Jets GM Joe Douglas
Bill Kostron

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Douglas said. “I think when you put together a team, if you want to be at the top of the market, ideally you want to be at the top of the market with a homegrown player, but in such unique circumstances, this type of player, we felt that it was a good time to be aggressive. It didn’t work out in the end, but we feel good about our intention and will have many conversations in the future.”

It has sent a signal that Douglas is ready to take such a step if the opportunity arises. There is talk of another wide receiver becoming available ahead of the draft, like the Titans’ AJ Brown or Seahawks’ DK Metcalf. Douglas was asked if he expected another opportunity like Hill.

“You hear rumors,” Douglas said. “Until these opportunities become a little more concrete, they are just rumours. We didn’t anticipate the opportunity that popped up last week, but when it became available we were ready. In a situation that could be a different player, a different position, I feel like our pros, our HR people are doing a great job preparing all the staff and coaches to get the reviews so that when those opportunities arise we can surrendered, can jump straight in and be aggressive.”

After the Jets missed Tyreek Hill, there could be trading opportunities for the Titans’ AJ Brown (l.) and Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (r.).
Getty Images (2)

Douglas said he had no problem with how the Hill trade to Miami went. The Jets had worked out a trade deal with the Chiefs before the Dolphins swooped in to snap Hill, but Douglas said Hill’s agent Drew Rosenhaus and Chiefs GM Brett Veach have been transparent throughout the process.

“We knew it was going to be a tough fight,” Douglas said. “We wanted to make a really strong offer to convince the player and the agent that this is a good place. In the end it didn’t work out. There was full transparency in the process.” Jets GM Joe Douglas raises expectations for 2022 after rebuild


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