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The Jets Are Officially Tanking the 2017 Season

New York said goodbye to David Harris and will reportedly do the same to Eric Decker. With only four players over 30 on the roster, the objective for next year is clear.

(AP Images)
(AP Images)

Let’s play a game: Jets receiver, TruTV host, or former drummer for the Strokes:

  • Anderson, Robby
  • Cannon, KD
  • Enunwa, Quincy
  • Foxx, Deshon
  • Hammond, Frankie
  • Hansen, Chad
  • Harper, Chris
  • Marks, Gabe
  • Marshall, Jalin
  • Peake, Charone
  • Stewart, ArDarius
  • Street, Devin
  • White, Myles

Please put your answers in the comments. We’ll tally the results and post them — on second thought, no, we won’t. I lied: Of those 13 names, all 13 are Jets receivers. Earlier Tuesday, that list also included Eric Decker, but everyone’s mom’s favorite player is now on the outs, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Decker, though, wasn’t the only veteran, capable Jet to be shown the door this week. A few hours before breaking that news, Schefter reported that New York was getting rid of middle linebacker David Harris, the man with the second-most tackles in franchise history:

Without Decker and Harris, the Jets roster has a grand total of four players in their 30s. As such, 37-year-old quarterback Josh McCown is the oldest player on the team by five years. But despite his half decade of seniority, there might not be a more symbolic player on Todd Bowles’s squad.

McCown is the human tank: His teams have a .353 winning percentage (a 79–145 record) over 14 NFL seasons, and the last two teams he started for both came away with the no. 1 pick in the following spring’s draft. As the Jets spent the offseason shedding veteran after veteran, they made clear that their goal in 2017, presumably, is to finish with the worst record in the league and then draft USC’s Sam Darnold or whoever wrestles the top-signal-caller belt from him in the fall. Starting McCown (or Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty, both of whom are reportedly being roundly outplayed by McCown at OTAs) should only further that objective.

The optics of both moves this week are unfortunate at best: Harris, a near universally beloved Jet, was blindsided by his release. And following that with a leak of the news about Decker, likely the team’s best and highest-profile remaining player, just compounds the PR hit.

With the departure of Harris, Tanner Purdum is now the longest-tenured Jet. He’s a long snapper, and I promise that name is not made up.