New York Jets fullback Julian Howsare (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets fullback Julian Howsare (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

In between now and training camp, I'm looking at some of the veterans on the Jets roster to assess what kind of contribution we might expect from them in 2016. We're going to shift gears and take a look at the practice squad in terms of who is eligible, how it will likely be made up and what we can learn from who was on there during the 2015 season.

Note: Pro Football Focus exclusively provides some stats from this article.

The basic rules

Most people should be familiar with how the practice squad system works: A group of players not signed to the active roster remains with the team and is able to practice with them during the week. However, the rules surrounding who is eligible and how long a player can remain on the practice squad are complicated.

Recent changes to the eligibility rules, introduced in 2014 and extended last month, have increased the number of players retaining practice squad eligibility and granted added flexibility to teams who want the opportunity to continue developing players.

Under the old rules, a player was only eligible to sign for a practice squad if he didn't have an accrued season. Players accrue a season by being on full pay status -- either the 53-man roster or injured reserve -- for six games in any season. The only exception to the above was players with an accrued season were still practice squad eligible if they had yet to be active in nine games in any regular season. It was also possible to use up all three years of practice squad eligibility if someone still hadn't accrued a season or been active in nine games in a season.

In 2014, the rules changed. The size of the practice squad was increased from eight to 10 and, while eligibility for the first eight spots remained as above, the two extra spots came under more relaxed rules in which anybody with two accrued seasons was still eligible, even if they had been active for more than nine games in either or both of their accrued seasons.

Last month, the NFL announced more rule changes. While the practice squad size was kept at 10, the league increased the number of spots that can be given to players with two accrued seasons from two to four. I.e., now only six of the 10 practice squad members need to meet the original criteria.

The main other rule to be aware of is that a player on a team's practice squad can be signed by any of the other 31 NFL teams at any point during the season, unless they are about to face that team within the next week. If that happens, the player must remain with his new team and on its active roster for at least three weeks, even if he gets injured. In practice, the original team will usually get first refusal in these situations, so if the player is about to be poached, teams usually get the opportunity to activate them themselves.

Players earn about $7,000 per week when on the practice squad, less than a third of what they'd get if on the active roster earning a minimum salary.

Who is eligible on the current Jets roster?

Looking at the Jets' current 90-man roster, it appears there are 56 players who are practice squad eligible and 34 who are not. However, by my calculations, 16 of those 56 won't qualify under the old criteria, so they will only be able to take up one of the four spots that come under the new rules.

Obviously, anyone without an accrued season will automatically qualify under the old rules. That would automatically include all rookies, of which there are 21 on the 90-man roster -- the seven draft picks and 14 undrafted free agents.

Another 14 players on the current roster are still treated as first-year players even though they are not rookies. That would mostly be players who were rookies last season but didn't get much of a chance to play, although it could also include players who have been in the league for longer than that but still not accrued a season. For example, Freddie Bishop went undrafted in 2013, but is treated as a first-year player because he still hasn't accrued an NFL season. Wes Saxton, Taiwan Jones and Deon Simon are among the other first year players on the roster.

Any second- or third-year players will automatically qualify under the "two-accrued-seasons" rule, but the Jets would be restricted to only four such players. Some of the players on this list would also qualify under the old rules if their accrued season(s) didn't see them on the active gameday roster at least nine times. I believe this applies to four of the 20 second- and third-year players on the Jets roster: Jarvis Harrison, Dion Bailey, Ronald Martin and Dakota Dozier. Therefore, these players could be placed on the practice squad without using one of the four spots reserved for players with up to two accrued seasons.

The other 16 players in that second- and third-year group will only be eligible under the new rules, so the Jets can only take four of the 10 practice squad members from this group. Jace Amaro, Dexter McDougle and Trevor Reilly, 2014 draftees, are among those who meet the criteria. Calvin Pryor does too, but it's obviously not realistic to expect him to end up on the practice squad, especially given his guaranteed salary for the next two years.

Finally, assuming any player in his fourth (or higher) season would not qualify by virtue of having more than two accrued seasons. However, it is theoretically possible to qualify under the old rules as long as they weren't on the active gameday roster nine times in any accrued seasons. This appears to catch Ben Ijalana, who is still practice squad eligible despite being headed into his sixth season, but everyone else with at least three accrued seasons is ineligible.

There's always a strong possibility that someone not currently on the roster will end up being added to the practice squad after cut down day and plenty of scope to add players from off the street over the course of the season.

Last year's practice squad

The Jets had a total of 23 different players on last year's practice squad, 10 of whom were rookies. Fourteen of those 23, including six of the rookies, are still with the team and on the current 90-man roster.

Over the past few years the Jets have done a lot less tinkering with the practice squad than they did while Mike Tannenbaum was the general manager. John Idzik only signed a total of 29 players to the practice squad in 2013 and 2014, while back in 2011 and 2012, Tannenbaum signed a total of 60, albeit that several of those were players went onto and off the squad a few times. While Mike Maccagnan's activity last year was higher than Idzik's, several additions were short-term, late-season auditions, so his approach doesn't have much in common with Tannenbaum, who of course operated with smaller eight-man squads.

Despite the relative lack of activity, there was actually only one player who remained on the practice squad all year: Rookie defensive lineman Deion Barnes. That said, there were several players who spent most of the year on the squad. Simon and Harrison started off on the active roster, then spent the rest of the year on the practice squad when the team needed their spot. Jones, Saxton and Julian Howsare also spent most of the year on there. Jones was activated for the final game, Saxton was activated for one game in Week 4 before being added back and Howsare had a three-week gap when he was released but then reinstated. Martin also spent half the year on the practice squad and the other half on the active roster.

A few of the players were added late in the season, presumably just to get a look at them with a view to signing them to a futures deal after the season. From that group, Julian Stanford and Brandon Bostick are still with the team. Titus Davis, who had already had a stint on the practice squad earlier in the season, is another such player.

The Jets made good use of the extension to the rules in order to place players on the practice squad that wouldn't otherwise have qualified. They did this with Daryl Richardson and Matt Simms in 2014, and Mike Catapano and Kenbrell Thompkins -- each of whom eventually made their way onto the active roster -- in 2015.

Who are good candidates for the 2016 practice squad?

The extension to the new rules this year affords the Jets a wider selection of players from which to choose. With that in mind, there typically seem to be three types of players you would want to fill out your practice squad with.

First, anyone who almost made the roster as a reserve is useful to keep around in case an injury creates the need for the Jets to fill in on the active roster. Johnson is a good example of this from last year's team. Secondly, a team will look to retain anyone who is a developmental prospect. This could be either because they have technical or physical limitations they need to work on to realize their potential or because they are learning a new position. Howsare, having transitioned to full back, and Barnes, who needed to add some strength, are good examples from last year. Finally, they might look to fill out the squad with some professional players with strong character, simply because they can rely upon them to work hard and do a good job on the scout team.

From the potential fill-in category, there might be a defensive back such as Bailey or McDougle if the team can't find room for them on the active roster. It might also be a good place to stash a receiver, perhaps one that can also return kicks and brings some upside like Jalin Marshall or Chandler Worthy. Offensive line reinforcements are also useful to have, so a player like Dozier or Johnson could also find his way onto here.

In terms of players with developmental potential, it's best to to be careful about who is placed on the practice squad because if there's a high-profile player with potential, then another team could poach them. In such situations, the team might instead opt to preserve their rights by stashing them on the roster as a healthy scratch all year as the Jets did with Dozier in 2014, or at least keep them on there until the early season player movement settles down, as they did with Harrison and Simon last year.

With that in mind, the Jets likely wouldn't risk putting someone like Christian Hackenberg or -- if he shows promise -- Brandon Shell on the practice squad. However, it could be a good spot for one of their undrafted rookie defensive linemen or their only undrafted rookie offensive lineman, Kyle Friend. Other interesting potential development options include Bryce Petty, Tom Hackett and converted-tight end Jason Vander Laan.

Bishop would also be a good candidate and remaining on the practice squad would earn him approximately double what he would have earned if he stayed in the CFL, so that's a worthwhile and achievable target for him to shoot for that would justify his decision to leave Canada to try and earn an NFL job.

Conclusions

While it's obviously far too early to project who will be viable practice squad candidates, it's still interesting to look at some recent trends to get some idea of what the team's approach might be in 2016.

The importance of the practice squad is something that can be both understated and overstated at times. Nevertheless, there are usually some contributors each season that had spent time there. In addition to Thompkins and Catapano, the likes of Brent Qvale, Rontez Miles and Marcus Williams have all spent time on the practice squad over the past couple of seasons, but went on to contribute for the Jets last season.

Heading into the 2016 season, I'm sure Maccagnan will make productive use of the practice squad. If used correctly, it enables you to effectively extend the active roster by a few spots and retain the rights of some promising players that you can continue to develop until they're ready to contribute.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Bryce Petty, Calvin Pryor, Dakota Dozier, Deon Simon, Dexter McDougle, Jace Amaro, Jarvis Harrison, Julian Howsare, Mike Catapano, Ronald Martin, T.J. Barnes, Taiwan Jones, Trevor Reilly, Wes Saxton
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Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in.

We begin today with a look at the 2019 tight end class.

Jets Needs: Tight ends

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets need all the help they can get as they try to quickly rebuild in one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. So they sure could use the pick near the top of the second round that they gave to the Indianapolis Colts.

Not that the Jets would do it any differently, of course. Dealing that pick (and two others) put them in position to draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the most important piece in their rebuilding puzzle and the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for 50 years. So there are no regrets, no hindsight and no wishing they still had two selections in the first 34 picks.

The Jets do still have two picks in the first two days, though. The NFL Draft is 2 1/2 months away and they'll have to get through the combine, the Pro Days and interviews before their draft board settles down. But here's an early look at what the Jets might do on Days 1 and 2:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Earlier this week, the Buffalo Bills announced they had signed former Jets center Spencer Long. The Jets had reportedly held out some hope of bringing Long back on a reduced salary having released him last week.

Now that Long is no longer an option, who could the Jets' starting center be in 2019?

Tags: Dakota Dozier
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made his choice on Dec. 30 when he fired Todd Bowles, but not Mike Maccagnan. It was a signal that he believed in his general manager, bought into his vision, and wasn't concerned about his spotty record.

And though Johnson insisted he would never give anyone a playoff mandate ("Absolutely not," he said), the message from his actions are perfectly clear: This is Maccagnan's roster, Adam Gase is Maccagnan's coach, and this is the offseason Maccagnan has to turn the Jets from laughingstocks into a winner.

In other words, as one of the most important offseasons in Jets' history begins, the pressure on Maccagnan is high.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are sitting in a sweet spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. They hold a high pick (No. 3) in a draft that isn't thought of as quarterback rich. That means any team that wants a quarterback should want to move up to get their first choice, rather than wait and settle for seconds.

And the Jets are just the type of team that should be very interested in trading down.

For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Last week, the Jets decided to let C Spencer Long go, as they declined to pay his $3.5 million roster bonus. They were, however, considering bringing him back at a reduced rate for the 2019-20 season, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

So much for that. 

The Bills, an AFC East rival, signed Long to a three-year deal, as he was a free agent once the Jets parted ways with him. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Long's deal is worth $13 million that could reach a max $15 million with incentives...

Tags: Spencer Long
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Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has made it pretty clear: He wants out of Pittsburgh. 

The disgruntled Pro Bowl receiver, who was found guilty for reckless driving Tuesday morning after failing to show up to court, tweeted that he is moving on. 

"Thank you Steeler Nation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward.......#NewDemands," he wrote. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

As the Jets consider how to improve their deficient pass rush, one of the biggest names set to become available might not make it to free agency.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who works for CBS Sports, told the Seattle Times he believes the Seahawks will use the franchise tag on Frank Clark. The 25-year-old edge rusher recorded a career-high 13 sacks for Seattle in 2018, and according to Pro Football Focus, Clark had 69 quarterback pressures.

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Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

The Jets stuck to their word when it came to Kareem Hunt

The troubled 23-year-old running back signed with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the team announced. He will join the Browns on a one-year deal and become a restricted free agent when the contract expires, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Hunt was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List after the Chiefs released him mid-way through last season after a video surfaced of the running back assaulting a woman in a Cleveland-area hotel last February. 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The high praise continues to come in for Sam Darnold. 

Despite a rocky rookie season for the Jets quarterback, the expectations for Darnold's future are still sky-high, with the latest bit of optimism coming from former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis

The former shutdown corner told TMZ last week that Darnold has what it takes to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl since 1969. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Sam Darnold
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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets finally announced their coaching staff for 2019 on Friday and, although many of the hires had already been rumored, there were still a few surprises. Let's weigh up some of the more interesting aspects of this new staff.

A mixture of connections

Although this has been introduced as Adam Gase's staff, a few coaches that have no direct connection to Gase were hired. However, in these instances there are connections that lie elsewhere.

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Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Bob Cooter was among 11 assistants new Jets head coach Adam Gase hired as part of his staff on Friday.

Cooter, who previously spent time as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, will be New York's running backs coach.

Shawn Jefferson will be an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, as he previously coached players like Calvin Johnson and Jarvis Landry.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets organizations don't like each other very much, which happens when teams share a stadium and a city. The Jets have long had an inferiority complex from feeling like New York's little brother. The Giants have never hid their feelings of superiority when it comes to the Jets.

So neither franchise has ever been inclined to do anything that might even appear to help out the other, which is a huge part of the reason why the two have never made a trade.

It might be time they get over those issues and their egos, though. Because a trade of draft picks between the Giants and Jets this year makes a whole lot of sense.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The recognitions keep pouring in for Jamal Adams.

After making the Pro Bowl and being named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, the 23-year-old Jets safety was revealed Thursday as the No. 20 player on Pro Football Focus' list of the Top 101 players from the 2018 NFL season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

To fit Gregg Williams' new 4-3 defensive scheme, the Jets will pick a defensive end, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts.

In his second mock draft, McShay believes the Jets will draft Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 3 pick, predicting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa goes No. 1 to Arizona and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen goes No. 2 to San Francisco.

"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract, so defensive end is a need for Gang Green," McShay wrote. "Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears as if the Jets want Leonard Williams to be a part of their future, at least for 2019. 

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets do not have any plans to trade the 24-year-old defensive end as he enters his fifth-year option. 

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano also reports a trade is unlikely and that the team is not actively pursuing one.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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We are very excited to announce that we have a new commenting platform that we'll be launching on Thursday.

SNY has partnered with Spot.IM to bring you a more dynamic commenting experience across our web site. In the process, we migrated your current Livefyre user accounts and hundreds of thousands of comments to the new system.

The look is slightly different than before and we've added some great, new features. You'll still be able to publish comments and follow conversations in real time. You'll continue to benefit from threaded conversations. And if you have notifications settings enabled, you'll receive emails alerting you when others reply to one of your comments or mention you.

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Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

It was the first Super Bowl that people outside the state of Nevada could bet on, and New Jersey was among them. But it wasn't a profitable Sunday for the state. 

According to the Associated Press, sportsbooks operator in New Jersey saw $34.9 million in wagers, but they lost $4.6 million after having to pay out $39.5 million to winners. That means there were a lot of Patriots fans in New Jersey, who beat the Rams 13-3 with a -2.5 spread. 

Despite the pay backs, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US which runs three total sportsbooks in New Jersey, saw the day as a success. He said Sunday "was by far our biggest day ever in New Jersey in terms of handle. It was really good."

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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Jets are letting Spencer Long go, but they may try to bring him back.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that the Jets are declining to pay Long's $3.5 million roster bonus, which will make the center a free agent. The move clears $6.5 million in cap space and leaves no dead money.

While the Jets are interested in bringing back Long at a reduced cost, Vacchiano reports he might first sift through the market to see if he can get more money.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months until the NFL Draft, which means draft boards are only in their early stages and there is much scouting left to be done. Only a blurry picture has emerged of what the Top 10 looks like. It will come into focus after the scouting combine in late February and the Pro Days throughout March.

With both the Giants and Jets picking in the Top 10, though - again - it's never too early to take a peek at what the Top 10 might look like...

1. Arizona Cardinals - DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams has not been shy about his recruiting efforts for Le'Veon Bell, going as far as having lunch with the running back's agent last week. 

The Pro Bowl safety has said he's tried to contact Bell himself but has not been able to reach through. 

Well, it appears Adams has gotten Bell's attention now. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's offseason is now underway it's going to be one of the most important in the history of the Jets' franchise. They have a new coach, they have a franchise quarterback, and they have about $100 million in salary cap room to spend on a relatively barren roster.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan can turn things around quickly. Or he could turn the Jets into an even bigger mess.

He's already begun making his plans to reshape the roster for the 2019 season, of course, and beginning Monday he can start to put that plan into action. The big day for the Jets will be the start of NFL free agency on March 13, but there will be plenty of cuts, restructured contracts and other maneuvers in the next few weeks as they get ready.

Tags: Brian Winters, Isaiah Crowell, Jamal Adams, Jermaine Kearse, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa
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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

Sony Michel scored the tie-breaking touchdown with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history, on Sunday.

Michel's 2-yard rush capped a five-play, 69-yard drive orchestrated by Tom Brady to break a 3-3 tie.

Julian Edelman totaled 10 catches for 141 yards, while Brady threw for 262 yards and an interception for his sixth championship in his career. Stephen Gostkowski's 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining made it a two-possession game.

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Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

Armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make free agent RB Le'Veon Bell one of their top targets. But the Steelers are still considering doing something that could throw a wrench into things for the Jets and any other interested team.

After Bell sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, the Steelers are still considering using the transition tag on him for the 2019 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

If the Steelers place the transition tag on Bell, it would give them the opportunity to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team...

.

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NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Kevin Mawae thought his might be the year... and he was right.

The legendary Jets center was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

"It's unreal, surreal right now," he said from The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. "We're in the green room right now, getting ready for the start of the awards show. I'm just so excited."

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AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams doesn't just hope to recruit football stars to New York.

Adams believes the Knicks will land three big-name NBA superstars: Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and Anthony Davis.

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GSN previews Super Bowl LIII 00:01:21
With Super Bowl LIII upon us, Ray Lucas and Ralph Vacchiano discuss how the Patriots will exploit Aaron Donald and Rams pass rush to win.

SNY's Jets analyst Ray Lucas and SNY's Jets beat reporter Ralph Vacchiano preview Super Bowl LIII ahead of the big game. 

Lucas details which Rams' pass rusher Bill Belichick will target. Vacchiano explains how the Patriots will completely eliminate Los Angeles' defensive line. 

What tactics do head coach Sean McVay and the Rams have up their sleeves to try and win their first Lombardi trophy since 2000?

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NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sometime on Saturday, Kevin Mawae, a long-time fixture at center for the Jets, will learn whether he's finally been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It'll be tough, since there are three other offensive linemen on the list of 15 finalists. But if he does get the call, the honor would be overdue.

He's not the only former Jet or Giant for whom that honor is overdue, of course. Nor is he the only one who figures to be enshrined someday soon.

Here's a look at five New York football icons who deserve their spot in Canton, and the chances of whether they'll ever actually get their bust:

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have the second-best odds among AFC East teams to win Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

The Jets are at 90/1 odds to win next season's Super Bowl, according to Bet DSI Sportsbook.

It's no surprise the Patriots have the best odds among AFC East teams at 8/1. The Bills are 100/1 odds, while the Dolphins are at 300/1 odds. The Rams are the NFL favorites for next season at 15/2 odds.

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All aboard for Le'veon Bell 00:01:08
Ralph Vacchiano argues the Jets are able and will have to spend a lot of money to sign big-name free agents this offseason.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams is doing his best to sell the Jets to the free agent class of 2019, talking with agents, recruiting players on social media, and making a few calls to friends. It's good that the Jets have such a passionate ambassador.

Just don't expect his sales job to work.

Here's the truth about NFL free agency: There are only two things that matter to players on the market -- money (lots of it) and a chance to win a ring. Now the Jets do have plenty of money to spend and could be the high bidders on just about any player they desire.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Ralph Vacchiano
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