Skepticism and Uncertainty Surround a Rebuilding Jets Team with Many New Faces

A rebuild is in full effect, and that means there are likely to be some rough days ahead.

Marshall saw that coming and asked the Jets to cut him during the off-season so he could sign with a contender. Now a wide receiver with the Giants, he said during a recent radio interview that while the Jets were doing the right thing for the long run, he couldn’t imagine making it through a season with them “knowing that we didn’t have a chance.”

Running back Matt Forte said of Marshall: “It doesn’t matter. He’s not here. He hasn’t been here the whole off-season. So he doesn’t know what chance we have or anyone has. That’s Brandon speaking on Brandon.”

But Marshall is hardly alone in his assessment of the Jets. Many who bet have set an over/under for Jets victories at five, and taking the under has become an increasingly attractive proposition.


Quarterback Josh McCown signed a one-year contract with the Jets in the off-season.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

A significant reason is the lack of clarity at the quarterback position. Josh McCown, who has played for seven other N.F.L. teams, is favored to emerge from a ho-hum competition that includes Bryce Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, and Christian Hackenberg, a second-rounder last year.

McCown, 38, signed a one-year, $6 million contract in the off-season to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick, drawn by the prospect of being the starter and more definitive plans to be a mentor to the other quarterbacks. Petty mostly struggled in limited opportunities last year. Hackenberg, deemed a project as a rookie, never took the field.

The Jets will spend the summer evaluating whether Petty or Hackenberg can establish himself as a starter. For now, McCown fully expects to be under center when the regular season begins in Buffalo on Sept. 10.

“That’s the goal and why I came here, is to play,” McCown said. “I’ve gone a number of different places and just been the backup, but the opportunity to compete and play and continue to grow and build my process and grow as a player, I don’t think that can ever end.”

McCown was unsure how the Jets will split the snaps among the quarterbacks during training camp, but he worked primarily with the first-team offense during off-season workouts.

“We’ll see how they go,” McCown said. “We’ll take the reps, and whenever they call our names, we’ll go out there and be ready to go. That’s my mind-set.”

Linebacker Demario Davis and McCown played together with the Cleveland Browns last year, and Davis called the quarterback “one of the most legit human beings I’ve ever met.” He added that a young team could benefit from McCown’s leadership.

Davis said he sees many similarities between the Jets and last year’s Browns, who went 1-15 with a young, inexperienced roster, and he knows that many people outside the team’s practice facility have a dismal outlook for the Jets this season.

“You really kind of have to block out the noise,” Davis said. “It’s very early. You’ve got to put in the work. It’s training camp, Day 1. You’ve got a long road ahead of you.”


Guard Brian Winters doesn’t expect any limitations after having rotator cuff surgery in the off-season. … Offensive tackle Ben Ijalana said he might be “a little limited” at the start of camp after having arthroscopic surgery on a knee about seven weeks ago. … The rookie cornerback Jeremy Clark, a sixth-round draft pick from Michigan, was placed on the active/nonfootball injury list. He had knee surgery last fall.

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