Joe Douglas takes ‘ownership’ of Jets roster failures with job on line in 2024

Joe Douglas is 27-56 in five years as the Jets’ general manager.

The team has not reached the playoffs or had a winning season.

Douglas is returning for a sixth season in 2024 and it is going to be playoffs or bust for the GM.

“We need to win,” Douglas said in his season-ending press conference Monday. “My record is not good enough and I know that and everything we do moving forward is to win and that is it, that is all that matters.”

The Jets went 7-10 for a second straight season and there are plenty of questions for Douglas about how he constructed the team’s roster.

For Douglas, he said the toughest thing is that the Jets did not handle adversity well in each of the last two years.

“Sitting here as a general manager, and for the last two years, having our team defined by not being able to overcome the adversity, that’s a tough thing, and that’s directly on me, and I take ownership of that,” Douglas said.

Jets GM Joe Douglas met with the media after the team finished 7-10 again. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Douglas took a huge swing in April when he made the trade with the Packers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The big swing did not work out when Rodgers went down four plays into the season.

The Jets ended up starting three other quarterbacks, including 2021 first-round pick Zach Wilson.

There were some positives from Wilson but ultimately he struggled.

Many Jets fans wondered why the team did not have a better backup plan than Wilson or sign a better backup after Rodgers went down.

Zach Wilson had an up-and-down season for the Jets once Aaron Rodgers went down. AP

“We went into the offseason with the plan of having Zach here with Aaron, it was going to be a great benefit,” Douglas said. “Zach had a great training camp, and we felt that we had a good plan in place. Obviously, things didn’t work, so hindsight’s always 20/20, so it’s easy to go back and say ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda,’ but what in our process was wrong, because you try to take all the information you have at hand and make the best decision you can make with that information, so what specifically didn’t work with that process, and making sure we don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Douglas said there is a “high probability” the Jets will have a veteran backup behind Rodgers in 2024.

The Jets are expected to try to trade Wilson in the offseason.

Douglas would only say they will do what is “right for the team.”

“Look, you guys know, if the phone rings, I’m going to pick it up, but I don’t have a crystal ball into what exactly is going to happen here in the future,” Douglas said.

The other main problem area with the Jets was the offensive line.

Injuries plagued that position for the second year in a row and made it difficult for the offense to function.

The Jets had 13 different starting offensive line combinations.

“I feel like I spent so much time trying to prevent the storm from actually coming when it comes to injuries,” Douglas said. “I think certain injuries are unpreventable. I feel like we’ve done a lot better job in terms of soft-tissue injuries, but I think candidly, one of the things I could have done better with the offensive line is keeping an extra offensive lineman.”

The signing of Dalvin Cook did not work out for the Jets. Getty Images

Douglas hit on a few other topics:

  • On using the franchise tag on free-agent edge-rusher Bryce Huff: “We’re not there yet, in terms of making any decision like that.”
  • On signing running back Dalvin Cook in August and why it did not work out: “Obviously, he didn’t have the production that I’m sure he wanted or any of us wanted, but again, that’s a little bit of a hindsight 20/20 thing because at the time when we signed Dalvin in August, we felt good about Breece [Hall] coming off the injury, but he hadn’t played. He hadn’t been in practice.
  • “So, we thought that was a great insurance plan to have in place and we felt like we were getting a Pro Bowl running back at an under-market price at the time for a Pro Bowl [running] back. So, in terms of the actual decision at the time, we felt like that was a real safe decision.”
  •  On why he believes Robert Saleh is the right coach to turn things around: “Robert is the right coach because he is the right man for the job. I love his energy, he is the right man for this job, I have zero doubts about that.”

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