Florham Park, N.J. - It's been a rough few months for everyone within the New York Jets organization and the fans. Coming off a 10-6 season in 2015 - just one win shy of a postseason berth - expectations were never higher for the green and white. General manager Mike Maccagnan worked his magic and had an impressive draft combined with the return of core starters that succeeded the year before.
A treacherous schedule and several crippling mistakes plagued the Jets this year as they sit in last place in the AFC East and barring a miracle - the frustrating playoff drought will continue.
"For ourselves this year, there are some things we've done well, there are some things we've been a little inconsistent doing," Maccagnan said about the team's 3-7 record. "We do know where we want to be eventually. We are in year two of it, but we feel good about (the youth) heading forward."
After constructing a team last year that achieved the most wins since they last reached the playoffs in 2010, Maccaganan made several decisions that - in hindsight - changed the course of the 2016 regular season. On Wednesday, the man behind the scenes talked with the media and addressed several topics that many had questions about. One regarded the quarterback - Ryan Fitzpatrick.
"No. Honestly, I think Ryan, based on the season he had prior to this season, and he was very instrumental in a lot of our success in the 10-6 season," the general manager said on if he regrets bringing back Fitzpatrick.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick were in the highly dramatized and played out contractual stalemate during the summer. The quarterback wanted a large financial reward for his record-breaking 2015 campaign but New York was hesitant to offer a salary cap-altering contract to a journeyman.
Maccagnan was stuck between a rock and a hard place. His players wanted Fitzpatrick back because the chemistry thrived and a portion of the fan base wanted his return as well. So, the general manager blinked first and the two parties struck a deal worth $12 million. The multi-million dollar man is in danger of being benched for a third time this season and has eight touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
"I think everybody, and Ryan included, would probably say he holds himself to a fairly high standard. We all would like to have better success on the field as a team," said Maccagnan.
Up until the Jets elected to go with Geno Smith, there wasn't accountability. While the blame should not only be put on Fitzpatrick's shoulders, the veteran signal caller single-handedly cost his team games with 12 second half interceptions - many of those in the red zone. Fitzpatrick continued to start without putting up results. That's on the head coach and the front office because it should be a clear collective decision.
"(Todd Bowles and I) communicate all the time about players," said Maccagnan. "What I personally do, at the end, is I defer to him, because I do think it's the head coach's role and right to pick who he wants to start on game day."
Maccaganan said he would love to see the young players play - referring to Bryce Petty - but reverted back to the notion that all decisions were on the head coach. It's a difficult decision to make for Maccagnan and the coaching staff because they have to make sure a player like Petty is ready to a degree to set them up for success. The general manager believes in a process - success doesn't come overnight.
As the season progressively grows more unbearable for fans, more questions sparked around cornerback Darrelle Revis. More often than not, Revis has looked beaten. He has shown his age and mileage. Gone are the days when Revis was feared; offenses plan a game plan that allow quarterbacks to attack Revis' side of the field. The veteran corner is guaranteed $39 million - a figure that does not add up to the performance Revis has shown.
"We have high expectations for Darrelle, and all our players," said Maccagnan. "All those contract questions, basically what we do, like a lot of teams do, is you go through a season at the end, you sort of stop, look back, analyze, and then you make decisions going forward."
Asked if Revis would return in 2017, Maccagnan said: "We still have six games to play. I think we're more focused on going out there and being competitive every weekend for the rest of the season."
The entire roster is underperforming. The Jets entered the season with high expectations and evident talent - it just hasn't added up. Whether you fault Bowles or Maccagnan - the fact of the matter is - New York is sinking fast at 3-7.
Essentially, Maccagnan addressed certain issues in the Wednesday conference call but left the door open for many more answers after the season officially ends. He is proud of the efforts from Fitzpatrick, Revis, Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall but those efforts have not been good enough.
"I'm disappointed (in the record). I think we'd like to be better, but I'm going to focus more on some of the good things we've done and some of the positives going forward," Maccagnan said.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (email@example.com)