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Keidel: It Will Be Two Entirely Different Offseasons For Jets, Giants

By Jason Keidel
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Despite both of our NFL clubs residing in the same state and occupying the same building, you cannot not find two more different demeanors than you glean from the New York Jets and New York Giants.

But clashing countenance aside, the days after the Super Bowl are often the solemn moments when we take stock of our favorite football teams, and perhaps project into the next season.

If Jets fans weren't feeling forlorn enough, they had to watch in abject sorrow as Tom Brady won another championship. And there's nothing to suggest the chasm between the two teams will do anything but grow.

And if you'd like a real Rolaids feeling six months before training camp opens, just Google, "Jets salary cap 2017." You'll gawk at some somber numbers before you even get to click on a link. (A deeper look into has nearly identical numbers.)

Total Liabilities: $175,799,625

Salary Cap: $168,371,487

That curious use of "liabilities." Or coincidence, as no term better applies to Gang Green or their fans than the idea of a liability, or luggage. The Jets are already over the cap and have no quarterback, tight end, or secondary to speak of.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick duped us with his electric first season under center, a poor fourth-quarter throw from going 11-5 and making the 2015 playoffs. Yours truly led the charge to retain the "Amish Rifle," with images of a long green carpet to another playoff run. Shame on me, on us. You don't become a great quarterback a decade deep into your career.

Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall
Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets (credit: Getty Images)

Brandon Marshall is on the wrong side of 30, as Eric Decker, who is coming off two bad injuries, will be next month. The Jets will desperately seek a high-end halfback, even if they already have one in Bilal Powell. For whatever reason, the team doesn't believe in him, despite his tangible production every time he gets the ball. Revis Island is no longer the most exclusive real estate in NYC, as each game gets us visually, painfully, and exponentially closer to the end. Other than the defensive line, the Jets are not locked in anywhere. And they're already in the red before they even open their checkbook.

Do a similar search for the New York Football Giants.

Total Liabilities $146,110,314

Salary Cap $169,800,000

Confirm with Spotrac and the top number is closer to $144 million. So the Giants, who had a way better record and season, an inverted Jets mark of 11-5, also have their nostrils well above the salary cap swamp.

While the Texans surrendered the fewest yards per game, and the Patriots yielded the fewest points per game, many would agree that the Giants had the best overall defense in the game.

The Giants need to tweak their offensive line, improve their running game, and, like the Jets, also need to ad some heft at tight end. Indeed, the G-Men haven't had anyone of note at the position since Jeremy Shockey. But, unlike Gang Green, they have some quid to toss around.

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Project one more year, and the Giants cap number plunges to $113 million. And this is all after they dropped nine-figures on high-end free agents Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, and Olivier Vernon.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants
Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

With Eli Manning on the back-nine of his career, perhaps a year past his prime, his granite family genetics and pristine injury history suggest he can play at least another three years at his current level. The club has to cultivate a better plan than drop back and glare at Odell Beckham, Jr. But Sterling Shepard should be a perfect No. 2. And if they can pluck a tight end from the draft and Victor Cruz remains serviceable, there's no reason the Giants won't be markedly better in 2017 than they were in 2016.

The Jets, however, are already a hot mess. There's a growing chorus among the media and masses over the head coach. Despite his stellar maiden campaign, Todd Bowles is already squirming on the hot seat after this woeful 5-11 season. Maybe Ben McAdoo doesn't remind anyone of Tom Landry, but 11 wins out the gate buys a rookie head coach considerable latitude.

Bowles is leading a delicate franchise after a disastrous season, with an epic void at the most important position in sports (quarterback). It's not his fault that the Jets haven't had a Hall of Fame QB in 45 years, or even a franchise one in the last 20. But if he doesn't get one soon -- assuming Christian Hackenberg is already a failure -- he may soon find himself toiling next to another former HC of the NYJ in the TV booth: Rex Ryan.

Stop me if you've heard this before. But the skies are quite blue for Big Blue, while there are storm clouds hovering over Gang Green, as usual.

Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel

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