No, the Jets aren’t tanking, but they are going to be terrible for a while

The New York Jets are not tanking.

They aren’t secretly hoping to lose the most games in the NFL, or flirt with 0-16. They aren’t counting down the days until the 2018 draft. They aren’t covertly coveting future compensatory draft picks and pretending that somehow equates to success. They won’t be donning tank tops for training camp (rim shot!).

They are, most definitely, transitioning away from a veteran-heavy, middling team, to a much more youthful, cheaper roster. And it’s going to be ugly and uncomfortable for a while, especially taking place in one of the world’s sports and entertainment hubs. It’s going to elicit plenty of hearty responses from fans and media alike. It won’t be easy and it will be messy, but if done correctly it could result in a legitimate window into sustained winning by 2019. It must include the acquisition of a franchise quarterback through some means — unless Christian Hackenberg defies the odds and makes substantial strides this season — and it will require a new core of locker room leaders to emerge with the likes of David Harris and Nick Mangold among those exiled in this much-needed purge.

Difficult, yes. But impossible, it is not.

Before we run rampant with talk of “tanking,” let’s examine how the Jets got here in the first place, because context

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