That’s the ticket

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Was it an oversight or a calculated move?

Talking about the Jets featuring Sam Darnold prominently on their ticket page on their official website.

“Does the Jets’ ticket department know something other’s don’t?” tweeted ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Why would they do this when it looks like they are picking Zach Wilson with the second pick, and possibly trading Darnold.

Well it’s possible those pictures have been there a while. There are two Darnold photos on that page, along with shots of Quinnen Williams and Marcus Maye. None of the new free agent additions are on that page, which leads me to believe those photos have been there for a while.

And now that Schefter has pointed this out, it clearly would be a mistake to remove Darnold. What is the old expression: “The cover up is worse.”

If you took it down now, they would be making it look like Darnold, who is currently on the team, and the incumbent starting QB, is a goner.

The Jets are clearly open to listening to offers for Darnold, and possibly trading him, but THEY WILL NOT GIVE HIM AWAY. In other words, trade him for a low draft pick. A second-round pick seems to be the going rate. That is what I heard from a source about what they could get from the Carolina Panthers for Darnold.

But it’s really hard to believe, unless you are a hard-core conspiracy theorist, that having photos on the ticket page of their website, is a statement that they are keeping him, and not picking Wilson.

Some think perhaps Joe Douglas wanted that picture,there to drive up the value, by making teams think they are seriously thinking of keeping him.

But I have a hard believing Douglas would use Darnold as a pawn like that. Douglas doesn’t seem wired that way.

However, it does point to something else they might need to work on.

If you are going to build a really strong football culture, there is more too it than just signing and drafting players wired the right way.

It involves everything A-to-Z in the building.

“There isn’t anything that goes on in that building that Bill Belichick doesn’t know about,” said one former New England employee about the Patriots.

The same would apply to a guy like Nick Saban at Alabama.

And that includes everything on the team’s website.

Remember before free agency, I mentioned a story on their website with this headline – “S Marcus Maye is Jets’ top-rated free agent, according to Pro Football Talk.”

Why would the team website hype up a free agent’s value while the team was negotiating with his agent at the time? And let’s not forget, the player’s agent trashed the Jets on Twitter for not meeting his client’s demands.

Culture encompasses everything.

Team Website Headline – “Bleacher Report Gives Jets an ‘A-” in free agency.”

Not important to culture. The Jets have a lot off work to do, coming off a 2-14 season that earned them the second pick in the draft. Who cares about what a fan website thinks of their off-season class? Don’t give guys in that class the wrong idea by writing about how impressive their group is. We will find out when the games start in the fall if this free agent class is any good. Don’t give them any ideas that will give them big heads. They’ve proven nothing in Florham Park yet.

Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh, who desperately want to fix the Jets’ football culture, need to be cognizant of everything going on, not just acquiring the right players, contribute to culture. Perhaps they are totally aware, but just have too much on their plate right now with free agency in the draft to focus on other stuff.

But when it comes to a football culture everything matters, including who is pictured on your ticket page.

April 2, 2021

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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