5 bold predictions for the Jets' 2024 offseason

The Jets swung for the fences in 2023, pulling off a blockbuster trade for future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers that had some analysts calling them a Super Bowl contender in the preseason. Rodgers’ torn Achilles tendon four plays into the regular season destroyed Gang Green's plans and they soon dropped out of contention after a 4-3 start.

There’s no question that Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas have to win in 2024 if they’re to keep their jobs beyond this year, so the organization will no doubt be looking to make some more big splashes.

Some of the upcoming moves are obvious: New York is widely expected to revisit a possible trade for Rodgers’ former teammate wide receiver Davante Adams, for example. However, let’s see if we can make some more guesses about the kind of moves they might end up making.

With that in mind, here are some bold predictions for the Jets this offseason...

1. Bryce Huff won’t be back, but the Jets won’t immediately use Will McDonald to replace him

Huff had a terrific season in 2023, earning himself tens of millions of dollars by proving himself capable of holding his own against a run, maintaining his high-pressure rates with a larger workload and turning pressures into sacks. However, he’s heading into free agency where there should be a market for him and he’s already said that he isn’t planning on giving any kind of hometown discount.

Huff might be viewed as someone who can produce even more with an even bigger role and that’s not something the Jets can offer him because they like to rotate their linemen.

If McDonald, the 2023 first-round pick, was ready to step up into Huff’s role, that would be an ideal scenario. His role will increase and the Jets will hope his year two growth mirrors that of Jermaine Johnson. However, don’t be surprised to see the Jets invest in a veteran as a short-term hedge. Someone like Leonard Floyd or Josh Uche could be affordable but still capable of producing in a rotational role.

New York Jets defensive end Bryce Huff (47) celebrates a sack against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium

2. Trevor Siemian will be back, but as the number three quarterback

It wouldn’t be a bold prediction to say that the Jets will invest in a veteran backup this season, or that Zach Wilson won’t be back. Douglas essentially confirmed the former in his postseason presser and it was easy to read between the lines after Saleh’s comments on Wilson after the last game. The Jets learned their lesson from the aftermath of Rodgers’ injury and aren’t going to risk finding themselves in the same situation in 2024.

Look for the Jets to lock up Siemian for the 2024 season before free agency gets underway; a move that will initially alarm some fans who will wrongly assume that’s all the Jets are planning to do at the position.

3. The Jets will revisit some of the moves they failed to pull off last year

The Jets brought in several players who had histories with Rodgers in 2023 and may do the same this year by attempting to trade for Adams or someone like Rasul Douglas. However, the Jets were limited in who they could target because the trade wasn’t completed until late April when all of the best free agents were off the market. This year, Rodgers has a chance to recruit from a much wider pool of available players and the Jets will hope he can attract either some big names or some bargain acquisitions.

Despite failing to sign them last year, don’t be surprised to see them go back to players like Odell Beckham, Calais Campbell and Fletcher Cox in 2024, assuming none of those players opt to retire.

4. There will be coaching changes after all

The Jets already confirmed that there won’t be any coaching changes for 2024 unless someone on their staff is picked up by another team for a bigger role. However, don’t expect the Jets to keep everything the same on offense.

When they hired Nathaniel Hackett, the Jets didn’t know they would be adding Rodgers, and then once the season began, they had no idea they’d be playing most of it without him. This time, they have more time to put a plan in place, so expect to hear that some roles and perhaps the chain of command have been restructured to streamline things.

The Jets could even go a step further and look to evolve Hackett’s scheme by bringing in an experienced coach with a different philosophy into the mix in either a consultant or assistant role. This would allow them to add different dimensions to the offense rather than just having a West Coast offense that most of the league is familiar with and has a good idea of how to defend.

5. The offensive line will be addressed long before the draft

The Jets were widely expected to select one of the top offensive linemen in the draft until they won three of their last five and ended up in a position where the best two tackles are expected to be off the board. So, do they now reach for the next best prospect?

The Jets may be reluctant to have a rookie protecting Rodgers’ blindside and learning on the job anyway, so look for them to acquire at least one veteran starter before the draft. Mike Onwenu, Jonah Williams and Jermaine Eluemenor are among the viable options who will be free agents. While they may still select a tackle, the Jets won’t go into the draft with a hole there.

Also, in addressing this position, don’t be surprised if the Jets bring in reinforcements at guard with a longer-term plan of Alijah Vera-Tucker starting at tackle.