This latest New York Jets drama would only be strange if it happened to another team. But at this point, we’ve come to expect this craziness from the Jets. NYC host for WFAN, Joe Benigno, claims Jets head coach Robert Saleh texted him a “litany of head coaches and what their record is without their quarterback.” According to Benigno, Saleh also wasn’t too kind when broaching the topic of placing Zach Wilson back in the starter’s role.
If any of this is true — and assuming the two had an off-the-record agreement about their exchange — it’s a total violation of trust on Benigno’s part, but ultimately, Saleh is the one to blame. Loose lips sink ships for a reason. The Jets’ boat was already doomed before this revelation, but Saleh being so candid, regardless of perceived confidentiality, is alarming. While Benigno seems wrong in every way, Saleh also sounds like a man who doesn’t care if he’s in New York long enough to see an Aaron Rodgers return.
Former Jets and Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason, who also works for WFAN, was not entertained by his colleague, essentially leaving his buddy Saleh out to dry. Since then, Esiason has had Benigno on his morning show, “Boomer & Gio,” and again called out his coworker over previous comments. Beningo began to backtrack, saying he misinterpreted what Saleh told him, but disagreed with Esiason that he “blowtorched” the coach.
All train-wreck franchises should be required to entertain, if nothing else. If you can’t win, at least be interesting off the field. Either Saleh goofed by confiding in Benigno or he’s at the point where he no longer cares. Everyone knows which friends they can tell confidential information to and not worry about it getting out. Apparently, Saleh had the radio host in the wrong group.
As funny as this episode in Jets history is, you can’t get caught up in these types of stories as an NFL head coach, especially when you’ve never had a winning season. It will cause some to wonder whether you’re the right one for this level of responsibility. Then again, maybe Saleh sees the writing on the wall and realizes it was never meant to be in NYC. It’s a funny story, but an all-around bad look for the Jets and their coach.