The New York Jets are counting on a lot of young players to develop into stars in the coming months and that starts on offense for the team. There is a lot of pressure on New York to improve in the upcoming season and it all begins on offense as Geno Smith enters a critical year as the starting quarterback. However, with the emergence of younger players, veterans suddenly fall on the chopping block.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, rookie Devin Smith is expected to be a big contributor for the Jets this season. The second-round pick was somewhat of a steal for the Jets as the Ohio State star came in with plenty of hype. Cimini writes that Smith stands a good chance at getting a starting nod as offensive coordinator Chan Gailey favors a four-receiver system more times than not. That would mean Smith gets the start alongside Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Kerley.
Leonard Williams could also be an emerging star for the Jets as the first-round pick has already impressed the coaching staff through OTAs and minicamp. The defensive end got in plenty of extra work as Muhammad Wilkerson held out for a new contract and could be a major factor as to why that veteran does not stick around for the Jets. According to the New York Post, the Jets have no plans on trading Wilkerson despite his contract demands this offseason, but they also have no plans to offer a new deal soon. If Williams emerges as a star alongside Sheldon Richardson, Wilkerson could end up being the odd man out at the end of the year. It is expected that the defensive end will command a big contract in free agency and the Jets might not feel a need to meet him there.
The last big question mark is Smith and whether or not he is the franchise quarterback he was expected to be. Smith is skating on thin ice this season. If he fails to really take the leap the Jets will be forced to move on. They traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick to give them short-term insurance and drafted Bryce Petty as a project player. The pressure is on Smith.
Cimini makes the case of quarterback trades in 2016. If Smith really does not look like the real deal, ESPN's John Clayton makes the case that New York trades for Colin Kaepernick in the coming year. Drew Brees could also be an option depending on what happens with his contract in New Orleans. These ideas are a year off for the Jets, but the team would be wise to keep it in the back of their minds as they watch Smith develop.