FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — If you thought the Jets were going to tank during the 2017 season, think again.
While the projections for the Jets were to win two or three games, Jets CEO/chairman Christopher Johnson said tanking wasn’t in his vocabulary.
“Nothing matters to me more than my integrity and I would never ask a coach or a player . . . to do anything that would reduce their own integrity, like tanking,” Johnson said Tuesday. “I told you I wanted to win every game and that was true. I don’t know if there are teams that are out there that actually do it. I can’t imagine ever feeling good about yourself after that.”
The tanking discussion occurred after the Jets purged the roster of high-priced veterans for younger players. With the 2018 NFL draft class supposedly strong at quarterback, the working thought was the Jets were trying to tank to get one.
But the Jets went 5-11, were competitive in several games they eventually lost, and would up with the No. 6 pick.
Johnson said he wanted to see progress with his 2017 team and he did, enough to warrant two-year contract extensions for coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.
With the new contracts, Johnson said he didn’t make it mandatory to reach the postseason in 2018.
“It’s always going to be about progress,” he said. “We can’t get there fast enough. I want to get to the playoffs. I want to get to the Super Bowl, I was serious about that. The desire to get to the Super Bowl before my brother [Woody Johnson] gets back here [after serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom for three years]. I would love for that to happen but there are no mandates. I think the fans are going to be happy with the way we move forward here. I can’t put a mandate on these guys.”