The people in charge of deciding which colors illuminate the Empire State Building should light the grand spire that juts into the Manhattan sky green for the rest of the week in honor of the Jets.
It might be a while before any blue is beamed from the top of the city’s most iconic building in honor of the Giants.
You would have to have been locked in a dark closet without wi-fi for the last 48 hours not to have noticed a seismic shift has taken place in the New York football landscape this week.
Even without a game having been played, the Jets look like they’re well into the process of taking over the city.
Because, by all appearances, the Jets and their general manager, Mike Maccagnan, look like they have a clear and decisive plan, while it’s difficult to ascertain if the Giants and their general manager, Dave Gettleman, have any plan at all.
In a New York football world where the Giants (usually for good reason) always seem to get the benefit of the doubt while the Jets always are ripe for ridicule (even when it’s sometimes not deserved), the winds have changed of late.
Early Wednesday morning, just a few short hours after Gettleman and the Giants traded away their best player, receiver Odell Beckham Jr., to the Browns for what doesn’t feel like enough of a haul in return, Maccagnan and the Jets agreed to terms to land their most important free-agent piece, running back Le’Veon Bell.
This comes after the Giants inexplicably let safety Landon Collins, arguably their best defensive player, flee via free agency — to sign with the NFC East-rival Redskins, no less, for added insult.
The Jets, with their agreement to sign Bell, even overcame a devastating disappointment Tuesday when Anthony Barr, the pass rusher they coveted, rescinded his verbal agreement — entered into Monday — to sign with them after the Vikings sweetened the pot to retain him.
It was a dizzying turn of events that, at least for the moment, has removed the second-class-citizen label from the Jets and placed it around the collective necks of the Giants. Suddenly, the Jets are the only New York football team with a franchise quarterback in place and hopes to win entering 2019 and beyond, and the Giants appear to be roaming lost in the wilderness.
This isn’t about only Beckham and Bell, though the Jets landed Bell for about $2 million less per year than the $15-plus million he was seeking. This is about the big picture, which looks a lot brighter if you’re a Jets fan than it does if you support the Giants.
The Jets have begun to address their defense with the signing of former Ravens four-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley to a five-year, $85 million contract.
Sure, the Giants have the sixth, 17th and 37th overall picks in April’s NFL draft, but they still have Eli Manning at quarterback and, with Beckham having been traded and the defense having gotten worse with Collins gone, you have to wonder: What’s the point?
Gettleman will have to hit four grand slams in one inning at the draft for the Giants to be merely competitive in ’19.
It all points to a Jets takeover of the city, which is something that’s rarely happened over the years.
You have to go back to the Joe Namath years to find the Jets competitive and the Giants mediocre. From 1967 to 1969, the Jets went 29-12-1 and won their only Super Bowl while the Giants were 20-22 with no playoff berths.
More recently, whenever the Jets have had pockets of success, the Giants also have been competitive.
In 1981, during the “Sack Exchange’’ era, the Jets went 10-5-1 and went to the playoffs, but the Giants were 9-7 and also in the postseason. During Ken O’Brien’s success, the Jets went 11-5 in 1985 and 10-6 in 1986, making the playoffs and the Giants went 10-6 in ’85 and 14-2 and won the Super Bowl in 1986.
When the Jets went 9-7 and made the playoffs under Eric Mangini in 2008, the Giants went 12-4 and were also in the playoffs. When Rex Ryan’s Jets went to consecutive AFC Championship Games in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the Giants went 8-8 and 10-6.
By the look of the events, not only in the past 48 hours but with the drafting of quarterback Sam Darnold last year, the Jets look like they’ve set themselves up for a true New York takeover.
Right now, marvelous running back Saquan Barkley looks like all the Giants have going for them. So get ready to see a lot more green than blue around the city, whether it be from Darnold and Bell jerseys or illuminating the Empire State Building.