There weren't many free agent signings for Gang Green this offseason, much to the dismay of fans and sports talk radio listeners, but the ones that finally happened were certainly flashy. The issue with the Jets, though, has always been one of identity, particularly on offense — Rex Ryan has been all over the map, from Tony Sparano to Marty Mornhinweg, and hasn't found anything that works. This team has gone through plenty of splashy springs before, always looking to skip a step or two on the road back to the postseason, plugging holes with all the wrong answers.
The Jets will certainly surround whoever their starting quarterback is (more on that in a minute) with some recognizable names. The team splurged on Eric Decker, who put up monster numbers with Peyton Manning at the controls and a silly amount of other weapons, but there won't be anything on the other side of the field to take attention away from him in New York.
Chris Johnson was an opportunistic grab after his acrimonious departure from the Titans, but he isn't the same as he once was — his "breakaway runs" (runs of 15 yards or more) have declined precipitously every year since that 2,000-yard campaign, down from 30 to just 14 in 2013 per Pro Football Focus, and those are the things he needs to be a worthwhile starter.
And finally, there's Michael Vick, a guy who no one seems to know what to make of. This much is clear, though: New York didn't bring him in to be a backup. Woody Johnson himself has claimed the team is in "win-now" mode, and New York seems to think that Vick might be the guy who can get them over the hump. If they do, they haven't seen him play recently.
The Michael Vick of 2013 was nothing remotely close to the Vick we've come to know, a guy who seemed incapable of making decisions confidently and couldn't find his accuracy to save his life. He's simply not a starting quarterback at this point, and though Geno Smith wasn't outstanding last season, he showed enough to have the chance to win the job for good. It's another move that smacks of desperation — as if this franchise can't convince itself to stay the course, any course.
Which is a shame, because their defense quietly turned into one of the best in the league last year, anchored by a dominant front four. Really, this team isn't too far away. There are only two obvious question marks on this roster: in the secondary (though Dee Milliner should continue to improve) and another offensive weapon (maybe Eric Ebron or Odell Beckham). That's not a bad spot to be in, considering cornerback and wide receiver are incredibly deep this year and the team will have a league-high 12 draft picks to work with. Now, all they have to do is get out of their own way.