The odds aren't good that the Jets snap out of their funk and make a dramatic run at a playoff spot. But Winslow's comments certainly don't set the right tone in a locker room that features 30 players with three years or less of NFL experience.
This week wasn't the first time Winslow annoyed his employers. Winslow complained about his playing time in early October, right before he was suspended four games by the NFL for violating its PED policies. And after the 23-3 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, Winslow said the Jets' problems stemmed from practice -- which in turn led Ryan to remind reporters Monday that Winslow regularly misses at least one practice a week due to his chronic knee issues.
--In a span of three weeks, the Jets have gone from fighting for the playoffs to angling for draft position.
Of course, even at 5-7 and in the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Jets aren't yet eliminated from postseason contention. But given their inability to win most tiebreakers -- the Jets have lost to fellow second wild-card contenders Baltimore, Miami, Tennessee and Pittsburgh and are just 2-7 in the AFC -- the Jets almost certainly have to run the table in order to have even an outside shot at the playoffs.
And so, just like last year, all December is likely to determine for the Jets is where they draft in the spring. The Jets, one of six 5-7 teams in the NFL, are currently occupying the 11th slot in the draft -- two spots later than they drafted in April.
An unexpected playoff run would drop the Jets to at least 21st in the draft order. But with games coming up against the 4-8 Raiders and Browns, the Jets could surge well into the top 10 and flirt with the top five if their current downward spiral lasts the rest of the season -- especially since two of their four remaining games are against 4-8 teams: Oakland this weekend and Cleveland on Dec. 22.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- The number of three-game losing streaks the Jets have endured under head coach Rex Ryan. The Jets have had at least one three-game losing streak in every year under Ryan except 2010. However, the Jets have never lost four in a row during Ryan's tenure.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's a lot of things that are hidden that he does extremely well." -- Jets head coach Rex Ryan on safety Ed Reed, who has been burned twice in the last two weeks and whose teams this season are 0-10 when he plays.
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Nobody connected to the Jets had a good day last Sunday, when the Jets basically fell out of the wild card race with a 23-3 loss to the Dolphins. But no one had a worse day than general manager John Idzik, whose inaugural draft class contributed -- in all the wrong ways -- to yet another lopsided defeat.
Quarterback Geno Smith, the Jets' second-round pick, was 4-of-10 for 29 yards and an interception in the first half before he was pulled at halftime. Smith has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in his last six-and-a-half games.
Cornerback Dee Milliner, the first of the Jets' two first-round picks, was beaten repeatedly by slot receiver Brian Hartline in the first half before he missed a tackle on Mike Wallace's 28-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Milliner was subsequently benched as well, the third time he's been benched in the middle of a game.
Guard Brian Winters, a third-round pick, wasn't benched, but he probably should have been after surrendering two sacks. Winters has given up a mind-boggling 19 sacks in just eight starts.
Offensive linemen Oday Aboushi (fifth round) and Will Campbell (sixth round) didn't factor into the defeat. In fact, they haven't factored into a single game this year: The two players, both of whom looked like practice-squad candidates at best during training camp, made the final 53-man roster but have been inactive for all 12 games.
All caveats, of course, apply about how a draft cannot be properly evaluated for several years. But after three-quarters of a season, only two Idzik draft picks -- second first-rounder Sheldon Richardson, who is vying for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and seventh-rounder Tommy Bohanon, who has been solid as the Jets' starting fullback -- look even remotely ready to become long-term contributors. Such return on drafts will only lengthen the rebuilding process Idzik inherited in January and make it more likely that someone else is eventually tasked with the job.
--WR Darius Reynaud signed with the Jets on Tuesday. He will replace Josh Cribbs, who was placed on injured reserve in a corresponding move, as the Jets' kickoff and punt returner. Reynaud scored three special teams touchdowns last season for the Titans but was cut by Tennessee on Oct. 21 after struggling through the first six games of this year. In the season opener Sept. 8, he accidentally took a knee in the end zone after fielding a kickoff at the 1-yard line. A few weeks later, he fumbled a punt that was returned for a touchdown by the 49ers. Reynaud has averaged 22.5 yards per kickoff return and 9.7 yards per punt return in five NFL seasons. He has also played for the Vikings and Giants.