It’s a notion that’s been bandied about all offseason: The New York Jets are in the tank for 2017.
After cutting bait on a laundry list of proven veterans — Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Nick Folk, David Harris and Eric Decker — Gang Green now “boasts” the ugliest roster league-wide.
The hope held by long-range-thinking Jets fans is that a rough campaign in 2017 will hand New York the top pick in next year’s draft — and the chance to choose whichever quarterback the franchise covets from a promising list of prospects.
Running back Matt Forte, though, doesn’t buy a word of it.
“It’s a good thing we don’t operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks,” Forte said Wednesday, per NJ.com. “What we think as a team, that’s what’s going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we’re going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it.”
Forte admitted that he was “surprised” to watch the talented, pass-catching Decker cut free this week, but he still sees promise in what’s left in the locker room.
“In the league, it’s not about the team that has the most talent on the roster,” Forte said. “It’s about the guys who have a brotherhood together. They play on the field, not next to each other. They play for each other. That’s the kind of culture that we’ve been creating throughout the offseason here.”
Forte is doing the front office a favor by spinning pretty words to describe the train wreck ahead in New York. Jets fans might someday look back and laud the strategy at play, but this year’s dance through the regular season promises to be a brutal one.