If the New York Jets turn out to become playoff regulars one day, the 2022 NFL Draft could be the turning point.
Originally, they had two picks in the first round.
They got the fourth overall selection because of their 2021 win-loss record.
Meanwhile, the Jets owned the 10th overall pick as part of the Jamal Adams trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
New York used the fourth pick for cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, who is the 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Six picks later the Jets got wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who had 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final season with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Just when round one was nearing its end, the Jets traded with the Tennessee Titans for the 26th pick and selected Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson.
These players could become the building blocks for a successful run in a few seasons’ time.
More importantly, the Jets have them on lock after signing their rookie contracts.
Gardner, Wilson and Johnson all done. There won’t be any first-round contract disputes for training camp. https://t.co/zhNca5dcjS
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 18, 2022
Gardner signed a four-year, $38.7 million fully-guaranteed deal with a $25.3 million signing bonus.
That contract is higher than what fellow cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. ($34.6 million) got from the Houston Texans.
Meanwhile, Wilson agreed to a four-year, $20.55 million deal.
Finally, Johnson signed a four-year, $13 million contract.
Since all of them are first-round picks, the Jets also have the privilege to exercise a fifth-year option on them.
On To Training Camp For Gardner, Wilson, And Johnson
ESPN’s Rich Cimini made a good point by saying that having them under contract means that there will be no contract disputes.
Those negotiations could lead to players not attending training camp until a deal is done.
Signing their rookies early means that they can focus on learning the team’s system.
Being present in the entire training camp will also help expedite their development.