Burning questions for the Jets
CAN WOODY JOHNSON MAKE THE RIGHT CALL ON HIS NEW HEAD COACH AND GM?
The Jets' owner can't afford to get it wrong. With the help of consultants Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, Johnson hopes to nail down the right pair. But can the Jets' fan base trust he'll get it right this time?
"We're going a little bit into the unknown because we don't have a new coach or new general manager and we have a lot of uncertainty,'' Johnson said. "That's what we have to all live through. Both me and the fans have to live through this period.''
IF GENO SMITH ISN'T THE ANSWER AT QB, WHO IS?
Smith has shown flashes of being a good quarterback -- not "Pro Bowl'' level, but good nonetheless. His inconsistency, however, continues to be his Achilles' heel. And unfortunately for Smith, the Jets don't have the luxury of being patient.
His performance in Week 17 in Miami -- a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating, 358 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions -- was a career day for Smith, the 39th overall pick in 2013, but it came months too late to save the Jets' season. In two years, he has committed 41 turnovers (34 interceptions, seven lost fumbles) and has an 11-18 record as a starter. Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston top the 2015 draft class of quarterbacks. Will the Jets try to move up from the No. 6 spot to select one of them?
WILL THE JETS FINALLY BOLSTER THEIR SECONDARY?
Barely spending any money in the offseason was bad enough, but not acquiring any proven starting cornerbacks for his blitz-happy coach was almost criminal. "We didn't spend every dollar we had, but he had a plan for that,'' Johnson said of former general manager John Idzik. "We were going to sign players that we didn't get signed. So we reserved it for that, and maybe we should have spent more. Probably should have spent more.''
The cornerback position may be the biggest area of need aside from quarterback, and the Jets can't afford to go into next season without some upgrades.
WILL THE JETS PAY MUHAMMAD WILKERSON?
Many assumed Idzik's frugal spending in part stemmed from his desire to set aside money for Wilkerson's contract extension, but that never happened. Instead, Idzik chose to give slot receiver Jeremy Kerley a four-year, $16-million deal that includes $5.4 million guaranteed.
The Jets exercised their fifth-year option on Wilkerson's contract, so he'll remain with the team in 2015. But at some point, the new GM will have to make a decision on the defensive end's future with the franchise.
A first-round pick in 2011, Wilkerson led the team with 10 1/2 sacks in 2013 and finished with six this past season. He missed three games this season with turf toe.
IS PERCY HARVIN HERE TO STAY?
Harvin clearly is a dynamic and versatile threat, but it is unlikely that the Jets will pay the former Seahawk, whom they obtained in an October trade, the $10.5 million he's owed in 2015.
In eight games with the Jets, Harvin caught 22 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, rushed 22 times for 110 yards and averaged 24.8 yards per kick return. But because he isn't owed any guaranteed money, the Jets could decide to cut him loose and let the 26-year-old test the free-agent market.
Harvin, who was drafted by the Vikings in 2009 and traded to the Seahawks in March 2013, made it clear that he wants to stay with the Jets. "I feel at home here,'' he said. "I'm comfortable with all the players. I like the vibe around here.'' He sat out the season finale in Miami because of a rib injury.