Jets coach Todd Bowles talks after his team’s 38-3 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 30, 2018 in Foxborough Mass. Bowles was fired hours later..
North Jersey Record
The Jets are once again looking for a new head coach. Tuesday was day No. 9 of the search to replace Todd Bowles.
The Jets have a young quarterback in Sam Darnold, a high draft pick and a ton of money to spend in free agency. So with seven jobs still available (the Packers hired Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur on Monday), where does the Jets’ gig stack up? Here are the rankings
7. Arizona Cardinals
Pros: Josh Rosen has a chance to be a good NFL quarterback after showing some signs of promise as a rookie. And the Cardinals have some talented pieces like cornerback Patrick Peterson and running back David Johnson and the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.
Cons: Coaches may want to stay clear after Steve Wilks was never really given a chance, lasting only one season. There is also instability in the front office: GM Steve Keim’s could be on thin ice after a couple of bad drafts, free agent classes and a DUI arrest last offseason.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
Pros: As Marvin Lewis proved, ownership is willing to stick with a coach for a long time even if he’s not winning. The roster has a lot of young talent on both sides of the ball, led receiver Tyler Boyd and cornerback William Jackson III, which could lead to a quick turnaround.
Cons: Ownership has been known to meddle in football matters. And what if the Bengals aren’t as patient with this coach as they were the last?
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pros: The book isn’t closed on Jameis Winston just yet, and the Bucs have a big-time receiver in Mike Evans. An offensive mind like Bruce Arians, who is expected to get this job, will have something work with.
Cons: The defense is a complete disaster. If it doesn’t go well with Winston in 2019, the Bucs will have to search for a new quarterback.
4. Miami Dolphins
Pros: They moved on from Adam Gase because owner Steven Ross wants to rebuild, and build back up right way. That means the expectations won’t be unreasonable, especially in the first few years. This is a chance for a coach to implement his system and build things the right way.
Cons: The roster is a mess. The Dolphins don’t have a quarterback of the future. And they have to play the Patriots twice a year.
3. Denver Broncos
Pros: Denver’s defense still has a ton of talent, led by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. The offense looks like it might have a capable, young running back in Phillip Lindsay. John Elway has built a winner before.
Cons: It’s not easy working under Elway, just ask Vance Joseph never seemed to have a chance after a down first year (he was fired after his second season). The Broncos don’t have a quarterback, and they have to face Patrick Mahomes twice a year for the considerable future.
2. New York Jets
Pros: A 21-year-old quarterback in Sam Darnold, who appears to be the real deal. The team hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 50 years, so there’s an opportunity to become a “freaking legend” as CEO Christopher Johnson said. The Jets have about $100 million in cap space and the No. 3 overall pick to upgrade the roster in the coming months.
Cons: The Patriots are still in the AFC East and don’t appear to be slipping yet. There’s not a lot of talent on the roster. General manager Mike Maccagnan should be on the hot seat in 2019, which could mean a quick hook for both the coach and GM if things go badly in 2019.
1. Cleveland Browns
Pros: Baker Mayfield looks ready to win right now and he’s surrounded by a roster that has enough talent to contend for a playoff spot. And yet Cleveland has been so bad for so long that the expectations are not out of control. If winning a Super Bowl with the Jets would make a coach a legend, a championship coach in Cleveland would become a deity.
Cons: Owner Jimmy Haslam made a series of poor decisions that led to the Browns going 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017. Perhaps Haslam has started to figure it out. But if he hasn’t, it could be tough sledding for the new coach.
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