In a move you don’t usually see from 5-11 teams, the Jets gave contract extensions to head coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan ahead of the final game of the regular season.
The move may have been unusual, but it wasn’t greeted with much surprise. The bar for the 2017 Jets was set so low that even their modest win total was seen as a sign of a good job from Bowles and Maccagnan, especially with acting owner Christopher Johnson saying the duo would not be judged solely on the team’s record.
Johnson said early in the season that he wanted to see progress and obviously he saw what he wanted. With that hurdle cleared, the question for Johnson on Tuesday was whether 2018 will be judged differently.
“I have no mandate,” Johnson said, via NJ.com. “Believe me, I want to get to the playoffs. I want to build a team with Mike and Todd that can compete for the playoffs every year. That can’t happen fast enough. But there’s no mandate.”
The Jets have the sixth overall pick, two second-rounders and a lot of cap space to use to continue building that team. If they use those assets well, expectations will be considerably higher than they were last year and the perception of the job done by Bowles and Maccagnan will change with them whether there’s a playoff mandate or not.