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He usually keeps things close to the vest . . .
Jets GM Joe Douglas is always very careful with his words publicly, especially when it comes to a potential trade or contract situation.
Like at the NFL Owner’s Meeting in Phoenix in late March when he was asked about the Aaron Rodgers trade talks with Green Bay:
Q: Is it your impression it’s going to get done, it’s just a matter of when?
Douglas: We are going to have to let this process play out. Obviously, we are not exactly where we need to be at this time, but we are going to let this process play out, and ultimately we do feel good about where we’re at.
Q: Is that (13th) pick off the table – is that non-negotiable in this trade?
Douglas: Look, I’m not going to get into any specifics on what picks were talked about but ultimately we’re not where we need to be right now.
Those are the kind of answers you expect from Douglas when talking about ongoing talks with a player or another team.
So it was a little surprising to some what he said last week at an event for WFAN Radio when asked about Rodgers, Douglas said, “He’s gonna be here.”
That was in response to WFAN’s Boomer Esiason who was interviewing Douglas on stage at the event.
This was a little surprising coming from Douglas.
Somewhat out of character, at least publicly.
Look, it might not impact the negotiations at all, but some might argue it couldn’t help.
At the owner’s meeting, Robert Saleh said to reporters, “I can’t help you” when questioned about Rodgers.
So it was a surprise to see it go from the conservative position they took at the owner’s meeting, to what Douglas said at the WFAN event.
While it wasn’t a formal press briefing and there were no cameras there, as we all know, cell phone cameras are everywhere these days, so you knew somebody would record Esiason and Douglas’ short chat on stage and release it.
Look, you could argue Douglas is the best GM the Jets have ever had. He’s improved their roster a great deal. Some would argue he missed on a QB picked second overall so that greatly mars his record.
I don’t agree. There are more hits than misses with first-round quarterbacks. Last year Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold were backing up an undrafted free agent in Carolina. Marcus Mariota is now on his fifth team, and Carson Wentz is looking for a new team. Jameis Winston is the backup in New Orleans, as is Mitch Trubisky in Pittsburgh. I could go on all day.
And I suspect this year we could be adding to the list.
It’s so hard to figure out whether guys coming from simple college systems, where they lit up weak college defense, can handle much more complex NFL offensive playbooks, and dissect much more complex opposing defensive schemes.
So I won’t destroy Douglas for that pick, and plus, Wilson isn’t finished. He is only 23 and they will try to fix his footwork. We will see how that turns out.
But Douglas’ comment at the WFAN event was certainly a departure from his regular public persona. Did it hurt the Jets’ bargaining position a tad? Who knows?
April 13, 2023
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