In the offseason, the Jets signed New England Patriot running back Curtis Martin to an offer sheet. The Patriots had offered Martin, their star running back, a tender deal that would net them a first-round pick and a third-round pick if a team signed him. Jets coach and general manager Bill Parcells, who had left New England two years prior and still harbored some bad blood with the team, offered Martin a very large contract that the Patriots were unwilling to match, further fueling the rivalry between the teams.
In addition, the Jets parted ways with veteran quarterback Neil O'Donnell after two seasons and signed another veteran, Vinny Testaverde, to serve as backup to Glenn Foley. Testaverde eventually succeeded Foley as the starter and led the Jets to their division title. On defense, New York added former Miami Dolphin linebacker Bryan Cox.