You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Jets.
How likely do you think it is that Sam Darnold signs another contract with the Jets? He’s a California guy (who’s) been on a losing team that may keep losing. I suspect he’d rather be elsewhere and that he’s biding his time until he can leave. — Jonathan A.
I definitely don’t think Darnold is biding his time until he can leave, Jonathan. Darnold does not strike me as a guy who spends much time thinking about his next contract. I think he is focused on trying to improve and win this season.
As far as his next contract, Darnold has to first prove he deserves a long-term deal — he hasn’t done that yet. This is a big season for him in that regard, because he is eligible to get an extension after this year for the first time. If the Jets do decide to re-sign Darnold, it will come down to what it always does — the money. Losing can wear on players. I think it does play a role with Jamal Adams’ current unhappiness. But ultimately money usually wins out.
Are the Jets going to use some of their remaining cap money to address the edge rusher position by signing Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen or Markus Golden? — Curt Hines
I could see the Jets signing an edge-rusher on the cheap before training camp or early in camp. None of those guys you mentioned fit that price range. The Jets view their remaining cap money not as unused money this year but money they can push into next year when they may have a Darnold contract to do, and I think they were hoping a deal for Adams. So though fans may view the cap space as wasted dollars, the Jets’ front office views it as an investment in the future.
Obviously I want to keep Jamal Adams. He can be a cornerstone, but does his attitude reflect someone who wants to be a leader or will he eventually be a distraction to what we are trying to build? — Luis, New Yorker living in Belgium
Our first question from Belgium! You raise a good point, Luis. Adams has not handled this contract situation well this offseason. Adams deserves more money, but he would have been better served keeping all of the bickering with the team private. It is hard to see him walking back to the Jets and returning to his role as a leader of the team after saying he does not want to be on the team. If he does end up playing for the Jets this season, he will have to work to regain his role as a team leader.
Why isn’t anyone talking about CB Lamar Jackson, the 22-year-old from Nebraska, who may be this year’s sleeper signing? Some (mock drafts) had him slated to be (selected) as early as the 3rd round. — Tom Killeen
Tom, no one has seen Jackson play yet, including the Jets’ coaches. Undrafted free agents typically make noise during the spring in OTAs then in training camp. It’s impossible to know what Jackson’s chances of even making the team are right now. He could be a sleeper signing, as you said, or he could be gone before the season starts. It’s impossible to know right now.
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With the revamped offensive line, how effective can Le’Veon Bell be with his 1.5 seconds delay to find the right hole. And will Sam Darnold be able to roll out and throw on the run, as it appears to be a major strength for him? — Michael T Sklar
The line is revamped for sure, but is it better? That is going to be one of the major questions in 2020. If Joe Douglas’ revamping works, then I do think Bell can be effective and Darnold will stay upright. As for Darnold rolling out and throwing on the run: Yes, he is good at it, but other teams know that and will take it away. If teams have strong players on the edge, it is tough to roll out. That part is not as simple as just having a better line.
For me, an (Adams) trade would be a first- and third-rounder in 2021 and a first-rounder in 2022. Otherwise no deal. — Ric Riel
There is no chance the Jets will get two first-round picks for Adams.