The Jets have made a lot of moves this offseason. Some were to shore up positions of need. Others were to upgrade units that were awful last season.
All of those transactions have consequences – positive and negative – for incumbent players. Some, like a young quarterback, will benefit from the weapons New York added. And then there are declining veterans and unproven youngsters whose roles could be jeopardized.
With more moves to come in the draft, here’s a look at the Jets’ biggest winners and losers from the offseason so far — not counting the newcomers.
Winner: Zach Wilson
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
This offseason has been all about Wilson. The Jets added guard Laken Tomlinson to the offensive line and signed two solid tight ends in C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. Keeping Braxton Berrios and Tevin Coleman are also small moves that should help Wilson’s development.
Loser: Greg Van Roten
Van Roten’s fate was sealed as soon as the Jets traded for Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff last season, but the Tomlinson signing effectively ended Van Roten’s tenure as a starter and, most likely, with the team. Van Roten will either be relegated to the bench again or become a cap causality as the 2022 season draws nearer.
Winner: George Fant
The Jets sang Fant’s praises following his stellar 2021 campaign, and he could even push Mekhi Becton to the right side of the offensive line after taking over for Becton in Week 1. The Jets didn’t sign any other starting-caliber tackles, which means either tackle spot is Fant’s to lose.
Loser: CB Brandin Echols
Echols enjoyed a lot of starts alongside Bryce Hall, but he’ll likely become a rotational cornerback in 2022 after New York signed D.J. Reed. Echols proved he can play well, but he has a lot of developing to do before he can become a full-fledged starter again.
Winner: DT Sheldon Rankins
Despite a down season, Rankins is poised to take over the role vacated by Foley Fatukasi. That is unless the Jets draft a replacement. Right now, Rankins should start alongside Quinnen Williams on the inside with Solomon Thomas and Nathan Shepherd behind them.
Winner: WR Denzel Mims
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
All of the noise surrounding the Jets’ pursuit of a veteran receiver doesn’t bode well for Mim’s future in New York. Yes, Gang Green has failed to land a star, but there’s also the draft. Either way, a new wideout will push Mims further down the depth chart — or out the door — after a disastrous 2021 season.