Jets owner Woody Johnson met with reporters on Thursday to look back on the 2022 season and look ahead at what’s to come. And while he said the Jets don’t have a playoff mandate in place for the 2023 season, he made it clear that the team will look to add a veteran quarterback to put them back in the playoff mix.
Johnson told reporters that while he believes the Jets’ roster is “loaded,” he sees the quarterback position as “the missing piece” and is “absolutely” open to the team pursuing a veteran signal-caller, given the team’s cap space situation.
He also admitted that the 2022 season was a “tough” year for former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, though he still believes in Wilson’s ability to develop.
“Zach had a tough year, there’s no denying that,” Johnson said. “I still have confidence that I’ve seen some kernels of real talent there … the confidence level, whatever it was, went down. So that was certainly frustrating for him.
Johnson also echoed the sentiment of now-former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, saying Wilson would have benefited from sitting behind a veteran starter. The problem was that the Jets didn't have a veteran on the roster during training camp. The Jets eventually traded for Joe Flacco, but not until late October of Wilson’s rookie season.
Meanwhile, Johnson said that he doesn’t believe in mandates, and while he’d like that to change considering the Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl in 54 years, he said that there is no definitive mandate in place to make the playoffs in 2023 when it comes to the job status of general manager Joe Douglas or head coach Robert Saleh.
The Jets started the 2022 season 7-4, and the playoffs were very much in play for a young team that was maturing faster than most expected. A six-game losing streak ended up derailing the season, but it’s clear that Johnson has high hopes for what this Jets roster can achieve next season, even if there’s no playoff mandate in place.