After hanging up the new calendar of the year, the New York Jets were staring at a blank slate; clean white pages and squares waiting to be filled with interviews, drafts, and redemption. One thing stood in their way, naturally. The New England Patriots.
The Jets had courted Bill Parcells for much of the 1986 season, of which the Patriots (his current employer) were furious about. In an effort to end-around Parcell’s contractual obligations to the Patriots, the Jets hired Bill Belichick, Parcell’s assistant, as coach, and hired Parcells as an advisor. The Patriots protested, pushing the NFL to punish the Jets by giving up their first found draft pick. The Jets avoided losing the first overall pick, but were indeed punished…having to give up a 3rd and 4th round pick in ’97, a second rounder in ’98, and a first rounder in ’99. February 11th, 1997 issued in the Parcels era, and the new front office began to take shape.
Looking forward into 2013, there are several early dates that Jets fans should be marking, or favoriting, on their calendars/smart phones.
- January 8th, 2013. The delayed press conference that has everyone talking about the Jets during the post season will finally come. Much should be revealed, as in Rex Ryan’s true job security, speculation on the new GM, and the direction of the Jets this offseason. I imagine this date has been circled in red by both the Jets fans and their detractors.
- January 15th, 2013. The deadline for underclassmen to petition for special eligibility for the 2013 NFL draft. The upcoming draft should begin to take shape this day as we’ll know if Luke Joeckel, Jarvis Jones, and Bjoern Werner will join the draft; strengthening the depth of the talent pool.
- February 20th, 2013. The NFL combines kick off at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN. Presumably the Jets front office will be filled and the team will be looking to see who makes the biggest splashes over the 6 day event.
- March 9th 2013. Negotiations with the agents of players who will be unrestricted free agents. The Jets need to do some work here, finding diamonds in the rough, so to speak. The Jets are above the salary cap and will be looking to likely cut ties with several current players to make room for negotiations. They will have to be under the salary cap by 4:00 PM EST.
- April 25th 2013. The NFL Draft will be the day that we see what direction the organization will go. Will Rex still be here to make this decision? That is to be revealed Tuesday. Will the new GM seek to follow in Tannenbaum’s footsteps and make a draft day splash? Or will he be content to sit back and see what comes to him. QB or no? Defense or Offense? Time will tell; this will be the true reveal of how the New York Jets will proceed.