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Jets mailbag: Geno Smith, Todd Bowles and why you should still care about this year

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith passes against

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of their NFL preseason opener at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 11, 2016. Photo Credit: Adam Hunger

Jets beat reporter Kimberley A. Martin took questions from Twitter followers as the Jets get set to face the Ravens this Sunday.

Here are a few questions and answers from this week:

@Dutch1968: if Jets end up 2-14 or 3-13, what are the odds that Bowles gets fired?

Martin: I just can’t see Mike Maccagnan or owner Woody Johnson firing Todd Bowles after a 2-14 or 3-13 finish. Just on principle alone, I wouldn’t fire a head coach after only two seasons. Head coaches and GMs need time and patience, especially after they’ve 1) inherited a 4-12 mess and 2) are being asked to turn around a franchise that has a long history of poor drafting.

Don’t get me wrong: if the Jets finish 2-14, changes should be made. But if Bowles were to be fired after two seasons, then that would tell me that Johnson and Maccagnan weren’t as confident in his ability as they led us to believe.

@tfinn141: Why should we care about the Jets for the rest of this year? Next year?

Martin: Why should you care?!? Because you bleed green and white — that’s why! (smile) … Look, things are pretty bleak right now at 1-5. I get it. But here’s the bright side: The toughest part of the schedule is over. The Jets have the Ravens, Browns and Dolphins up next — all winnable games (you would think). And, most importantly, the next 10 games are an opportunity to see the young kids develop — Jalin Marshall, Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Jordan Jenkins and Darron Lee (when he gets back from the ankle injury).

Now, if the Jets drop the next three, then it’s officially time to say, “Boat down,” and focus on the Knicks and Nets.

@jerricho89: How well would Geno have to play to have a shot at re-signing next year?

Martin: I don’t see Geno Smith on this roster next year, nor do I think he should be. I think both the player and the organization would benefit from Geno being in another uniform. He needs a fresh start and this stretch could be a great launching pad for the next phase of his NFL career — if he takes care of the football and makes smart decisions. This regime did not draft him and since he’s been here, Maccagnan has taken two quarterbacks within the first four rounds in the NFL draft. That suggests the Jets don’t see Geno as a long-term answer.

@stevieray1958: Geno and Fitz not under contract past this year. Is Geno just playing until Petty avaliable?

Martin: I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Bryce Petty later this season — maybe after the bye week. Granted, that depends on how well Geno plays going forward. But if he struggles like Ryan Fitzpatrick did, why not let Petty get a turn?

@NYCKING: Trade deadline around corner if Jets could trade 1 player for day 2 or 3 pick in 17 draft who would it be?

Martin: Despite what they’ve said publicly, the Jets tried -- and failed -- to trade Muhammad Wilkerson in the offseason. No other teams were willing to give them the compensation they were looking for. So if I’m them, I’d look to trade Sheldon Richardson (unfortunately). Richardson is not only talented, but he’s versatile and he gives maximum effort on every play. I’ve also had people tell me the Jets should look to trade Brandon Marshall, but I would only do that if they can get good value for him. Terrible drafts between 2010-14 have crippled the organization’s roster depth. Now, the Jets are in desperate need of picks.

@SpottyBlackman: As a young Black sports writer, are you concerned about media coverage of athletes of color in this market?

Martin: As a reporter, I’m always concerned about objectivity and fairness, regardless of the market. Sure, there are examples of fans, writers, draft experts, etc., using double-standards when discussing and criticizing athletes of different races or backgrounds. And as a black female sports writer, that concerns me.

@Hardknock_Jets: Honest question. Why is there so much vitriol towards Geno from the general media??

Martin: I can only speak for the work that I do, and I don’t treat Geno any differently than I do Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. I will say that Geno has, at times, put himself in a position to be criticized or questioned based on his own behavior: the picture of his private parts that made the rounds on the internet, cursing at a fan after a loss, missing a team meeting because he got confused by the West Coast time difference, the $600 debt with IK Enemkpali that resulted in “The Punch.” (In the aftermath of the locker-room incident with IK, players said both were at fault.)

With that said, it’s one thing to question a player’s actions. But criticisms should never be personal.

@JPWaxer: How do we fix this O Line for 2017??

Martin: I don’t envy Maccagnan on this one. While most fans have been focused on defensive issues and poor quarterback play, the O-line’s inconsistency has been a problem. Breno Giacomini has been sidelined with a back injury and there’s a good chance the Jets will cut him in the offseason to clear cap space. The team replaced ironman left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson with Ryan Clady in the offseason. But will Clady be back in 2017? Not at a $10 million salary. Not to mention much-improved right guard Brian Winters will be a free agent next year, and Nick Mangold, 31, will be a year older. Mangold, their longtime and durable center, could end up being a salary cap casualty as well (cutting him would save the Jets $9 million). And because of poor drafting in recent years (See: Vladimir Ducasse, Robert T. Griffin, Will Campbell, Oday Aboushi and Jarvis Harrison), the quality depth on the O-line has been an issue. And you can’t fix that problem overnight.

@sportstalksal: My wife said she will leave me if I take her to one more jets game should I take her this week?

Martin: It’s not worth it, bro. My advice: Go to the movies instead.

Keep up with #AskKMart and @KMart_LI on Twitter all season for more Jets news.


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