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The Jets hold the longest active playoff-drought in the NFL, a streak that CJ Mosley expects to end this season.
“I’m really expecting playoffs or bust,” Mosley told AL.com. “Obviously, that’s my goal every year, but I think it’s something that’s a realistic goal for our entire team and our coaches.”
Gang Green finished 4-13 in 2021, last in the AFC East – a position in which the Jets have finished in five out of the last six seasons. The disappointing season was the team’s first crusade under head coach Robert Saleh, who came to the Jets following Adam Gase’s firing. With Saleh in his second year at the helm, Mosley believes the Jets are far more comfortable with his scheme than a year ago.
“Last year, everyone was kind of learning the system and learning each other,” he said. “This year, coming into the offseason, you can tell guys already know it, and we’re two steps ahead of where we were last year as far as being in the playbook. We know what we have to do, guys are comfortable and now it’s all about going out there and making plays and executing, so I think that’s going to be the biggest step for us this year.”
Mosley signed with the Jets in 2019 on a five-year, $85-million contract but was immediately sidelined with injury two games into his debut season. The four-time Pro Bowler later opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.
“Being out pretty much two years, it put a lot of things in perspective,” Mosley said. “Everybody’s human, so when you’re out that long of a time, a lot of things run in your head about how long you want to play, you’re getting older, who’s the next guy, those type of things. But at the end of the day, I had to come out here by myself and put in the hard work, and it paid off this past season.”
Mosley’s hard work evidently paid off last season. In his 2021 return, he amassed a team-high 168 tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles. However, the 30-year-old believes there are still areas he can improve.
“[I’m] just looking forward to stepping up to another level as far as being a player and a leader and try to get us to the Promised Land,” Mosley said.
Mosley will now have a plethora of young weapons to help him get there. The Jets drafted four dynamic plug-in starters this year in cornerback Sauce Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, defensive end Jermaine Johnson and running back Breece Hall.
The playoffs may be a stretch goal, but the pieces are falling into place to at least move out of the ACF East basement.