March 3 (UPI) -- INDIANAPOLIS -- It's official: the New York Jets are in rebuilding mode.
The Jets, fresh off a disappointing 5-11 season, began paring down the payroll, roster and expectations for 2017 in the days leading up to the NFL Combine in early March, when future Ring of Honor -- and Pro Football Hall of Fame -- candidates Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis were the biggest names among the six players cut by the club.
In releasing -- or announcing their intent to release -- Mangold, Revis, Ryan Clady, Nick Folk, Breno Giacomini and Erin Henderson -- the Jets cut $38.5 million worth of talent from their roster.
It would be foreboding enough for the Jets' 2017 prospects if those were the extent of the pruning. But wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson are candidates to be released or traded.
In addition, erstwhile starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick became a free agent the week after the Super Bowl and will not return.
Add it all up and the 2017 season will be the rebuilding project Woody Johnson has never embraced or overseen as the owner. While the Jets have yet to reach a Super Bowl under Johnson, they have also not strung together back-to-back losing seasons.
"We don't have the names that we had in the past," Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Thursday during his Combine press conference. "But that doesn't mean we won't have the players."
The Jets will surely field a 53-man roster next season, but it probably won't be one that will Bowles' job security as he enters a virtual make-or-break season.
Bowles is in the third year of a four-year deal, but most NFL owners either extend a head coach or fire him before he enters a lame-duck season. What kind of bargaining power will Bowles have if the piecemeal Jets meet (or fall short of) expectations?
"I'm not afraid of the unknown," Bowles said Thursday.
Good thing, because that's where he and the Jets are headed.
--Former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis gave the Jets an excuse to release him Feb. 16, when he was arrested and charged with four felonies in connection to an altercation in Pittsburgh several days earlier.
As it turned out, though, Revis' on-field performance the previous several months coupled with his high salary, provided all the reasoning the Jets needed to cut the potential Hall of Famer.
Revis was roasted regularly last season, when he collected only one interception. He was due to make $15 million next season, although he will get $6 million as a parting gift of sorts thanks to the terms of the five-year, $70 million contract he signed in March 2015.
"The business side of it ... had a lot to do with it as well," head coach Todd Bowles said during his NFL Combine press conference Thursday morning.
Bowles said he didn't think the Jets made a mistake in re-pursuing Revis, who played his first six NFL seasons with the club before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the spring of 2013.
"I think it was a good call at the time," Bowles said. "Obviously, he didn't play as well this year. Neither did anybody else. But he's a good football player."
One the Jets were not willing to see at safety.
Revis spoke last season about making a late-career transition, a la Charles Woodson and Rod Woodson, but the Jets never seemed to give it much consideration, especially after a season in which Revis appeared averse to contact.
"It came up in conversation," Bowles said. "Trying to move a guy and project a guy from a corner to a safety with that kind of salary is kind of tough, too."
--While Derrelle Revis' badly declining play and history of contentious contract negotiations lent a certain air of detached inevitability to his release.
However, that wasn't the case with center Nick Mangold, whose 11-year Jets tenure came to an abrupt end when he announced his release via Twitter on Feb. 25.
Mangold was the lynchpin of a sturdy offensive line and a popular presence inside and outside the locker room, even as the rigors of a career in the trenches began to pile up over the last several years. He missed only two games in his first eight seasons but was sidelined for 10 games the last three years, including eight games this season, when he battled a severe high ankle sprain.
Owner Woody Johnson took the unusual step of issuing a statement about Mangold in which he lauded Mangold's " ... superior skill and unmatched toughness" while declaring he " ... will always be a Jet."
Just not now. On Thursday, Mangold posted a picture of a stunned-looking muscular man -- possibly him -- on an amusement park ride with the caption: "THE MOMENT IT SINKS IN THAT YOU WERE CUT WHILE AT DISNEY WORLD."
--Todd Bowles completed his coaching staff Feb. 28, when the Jets hired former All-Pro defensive tackle La'Roi Glover as an assistant defensive line coach. Glover, who collected 83.5 sacks during a 13-year playing career, spent the last seven seasons with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams as the organization's director of player engagement.
Glover is the 10th newcomer to the staff.
The biggest names amongst the recent hires are offensive coordinator John Morton, who was hired to replace the "retired" Chan Gailey, and Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, who succeeded the fired Mark Collins as outside linebackers coach.
The other newcomers on the Jets' coaching staff are Joe Giacobbe (assistant strength and conditioning), Mick Lombardi (offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks), Stump Mitchell (running backs), Robert Nunn (defensive lie), Jason Vrable (offensive assistant) and Dennard Wilson (defensive backs).