The New York Jets haven't been to the playoffs since 2010 and have finished in the cellar of the AFC East six of the past eight seasons.
Could Gang Green finally turn the corner after a decade of repeated rebuilds?
"I'm really expecting playoffs or bust," linebacker C.J. Mosley told Mark Inabinett of 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."
In coach Robert Saleh's first season, the Jets went 4-13. But Mosley's optimism comes from meshing the acquired talent with familiarity with the scheme.
"Last year, everyone was kind of learning the system and learning each other," Mosley 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 -- everybody having that confidence in what we're doing and being able to execute the plays."
In addition to the vets having another year in the system, Gang Green added corner Sauce Gardner, receiver Garrett Wilson and edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II in the first round of the draft. The infusion of young talent gives Saleh an enticing mix to grow.
Of course, we've seen the Jets' upside wither before.
Mosely signed in New York in 2019 after four Pro Bowls in five seasons with the Ravens as part of a new-era rebuild under then-coach Adam Gase. It did not go as planned. An injury wiped out his first season with the club, playing in just two games. Mosely then opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his 2021 return under Saleh, the linebacker showed he could be a difference-maker, netting 168 tackles (fourth-most in the NFL) with two sacks.
"It was fun," Mosley said. "Being out pretty much two years, it put a lot of things in perspective. 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.
"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."
After years stuck in the AFC East basement, it'd be a win for the Jets simply to climb the stairs to the main floor.