Disclaimer: All analysis was taken from the TV coverage, so at times it may have been hard to identify players or what was happening, because I was limited by their footage. However, I have tried to be as accurate as possible and apologize for any inaccuracies or omissions (which I am happy to correct).

Here comes this week’s in-depth analysis of the win over the Bills. If you have anything else you’d like me to comment upon, please leave your requests in the comments and I’ll do a follow-up post tomorrow.

After the jump, catch my analysis of Sunday’s game, including – but not limited to – comments on Vladimir Ducasse, Joe McKnight and Calvin Pace.

Strategy

It's an odd week to recap the game, because the game was essentially meaningless and the personnel used was vastly different to what we can expect from Saturday night's game. While it will be interesting to look at some of the personnel used, in order to determine whether they can (a) contribute on Saturday night and (b) contribute on a regular basis next season and beyond, the assessments we can make about the team following a game like this are limited.

Can we read anything at all into the strategy they employed to beat the Bills? Let's consider what happened.

They blitzed a lot more, but was this because they wanted to try out some new blitzes? Was it because they wanted to force the Colts to have to spend plenty of time preparing for some red herring blitz packages they have no intention of using? Did they want to challenge the defensive backs as much as possible, in hopes that someone would step up and earn a role on Saturday? Could it merely have been because sending a load of blitzes is what Rex enjoys most of all and always seems to do when the game doesn't matter? The answer is that we don't know, but probably a little bit of all of these.

They put Mark Sanchez in the game for the first series, but didn't let him throw. Was this because Sanchez' arm is actually going to benefit from not being used? Is it an attempt to make the Colts believe he can't throw and get them to prepare accordingly? Did they just want the offensive line to get their run blocking in synch for Saturday's game? Again, we don't know, but I don't see much benefit in tricking the Colts into thinking he's hurt if he isn't, because they'll know otherwise as soon as he throws one decent pass. The offensive line definitely needs to be in synch, but Damien Woody wasn't even playing (and is likely to on Saturday), so that doesn't make the preparation ideal. I actually think it's possible that they wanted Sanchez to be out there, but didn't want to let him throw because a mistake or two would have crushed any momentum he had heading into the postseason. Obviously, the risk of injury was a big factor too.

Other than that, it was mostly backups getting all the reps and the Jets ran the ball a lot more than usual, because they could. You'd think that they wouldn't have run anything that they intend to use in the Colts game and that the Colts wouldn't be reading too much into anything they were trying to run with backup personnel. Any offensive tendencies are already developed and if they intend to run any plays they haven't used yet, they will hope to catch the Colts out with these. It would make little sense to try these out with a completely different personnel group than would be playing in the postseason.

If I told you I had a good idea what the gameplan will be on Saturday, I'd be guessing. Even if I did, I doubt anything from Sunday's game would have contributed to that assessment.

One last thing: The Jets had exactly eleven men on the field for every single play. Rejoice!

Quarterback

It's difficult to make any kind of assessment about Mark Sanchez from Sunday, but he looked like he enjoyed himself on the sideline. Let's hope he can emulate last year and play his best football of the season in the playoffs.

Mark Brunell showed that he might be able to produce if called upon next week. Just like in the last week of preseason, he looked fully in control. Interestingly, with Brunell in there, they were using the "Kill" system to change plays at the line, which has been something that Sanchez has struggled with. It's almost as if Brian Schottenheimer was able to un-simplify the offense for him and let him show Sanchez how it should work. I don't know if he can make all the throws any more, unlike Sanchez, but he did make two great throws on his touchdown passes to Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards.

Kellen Clemens even found his way into the game, completing a first down to Joe McKnight and showing off his athleticism by running for a touchdown. That felt like it was some kind of reward for being a good soldier while he warmed the bench for the majority of the last two years.

Let's include Brad Smith here, because he was a Quarterback for 13 plays. Obviously, he did a great job running the option and handed it off on eight of the nine plays where he didn't run it himself. The one pass he did throw was a checkdown to Jeff Cumberland. I believe the first option may have been a deep throw down the field to Braylon Edwards. The 13 Seminole plays was a season high, but I again can't say whether this is part of the plan against Indianapolis, or if they were just giving them something extra to think about. Smith carried twice (for 13 and three yards) in the regular season game against the Colts, but did not have any carries in the AFC title game - which with Jones hobbled and Greene out, was probably a mistake.

Offensive Line

Let's start with Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore, because they got the rest of the game off after starting and being on the field for the first 12 offensive plays (all runs). Both were pretty dominant, just as they were in the first meeting with Buffalo.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson played the whole game and was flawless in pass protection. Matt Slauson - contrary to some media reports that said he left the game injured - did play the whole game, as did Wayne Hunter, although both struggled. Slauson, who I had expected them to rest, gave up a sack and was not particularly effective in the running game and Hunter gave up a hit and a pressure and was penalized twice. He's actually held up pretty well in pass protection over these last few games, but Damien Woody should give the run blocking over the right side a boost. Hunter did post the best run blocking grade from any of the five games where he filled in at Right Tackle, but it was still lower than Woody posted in eight of the 11 games he completed this year and the Jets still only averaged 2.3 yards over Right Tackle (but 6.0 yards on all other runs).

Filling in for Mangold and Moore were Rob Turner, who was excellent, and Vladimir Ducasse, who was also, somewhat surprisingly, extremely effective. By now, you know what to expect from Turner, who gave up two pressures, but had easily the best run blocking grade on the team. He did a particularly good job of clearing a lane for Clemens' touchdown run and on a couple of occasions reacted well in the pocket to pick up somebody else's man.

Ducasse was a revelation. On his very first play, he pancaked Akin Ayodele at the second level and he got a consistent surge in short yardage situations, did a good job of finding a guy in space and was much better in terms of sustaining blocks, particularly against Marcus Stroud, who couldn't get off him on a number of occasions. Ducasse is clearly a physical specimen and is starting to find ways to use that size and strength to drive people off their spot. He still shows plenty of signs of rawness, however. After an excitingly dominant first couple of series that had me all but ready to make some kind of declarative proclaimation about his future, he regressed in the second quarter. On a couple of occasions, he blocked the wrong guy or nobody at all and Turner had to save him. On another, he let his guy get through him to blow up a play. He also couldn't find a guy to block at the second level once or twice. Despite this rocky second quarter, he regrouped for a mostly mistake-free second half. I'd caution that he was mostly given straightforward blocking assignments, including plenty of the one play he seemed to master in preseason, which involves him ignoring the defensive line and proceeding to the second level to try and make a block there. I'd also caution that the officiating crew seemed pretty reluctant to throw many flags and that there were at least a couple of instances where he might have been close to a hold. Positive signs though, especially the zero pressures.

Running Backs

Congratulations must go to Joe McKnight for working himself back into the position to get this opportunity, which he grasped with both hands. His 158 yards, including a healthy 2.8 yards per carry after contact was hard-earned. The fact that he carried the ball 32 times and still looked strong was just as encouraging as all the yards he racked up and the fact he has been contributing on special teams at least means he will be active, so they'll have an option if the other running backs are banged up, unlike in the last meeting with the Colts.

One play in particular excited me. On a third and short, the line got a decent surge and he could have easily plowed ahead for three and the first down. However, he saw some daylight and started to bounce the run to the outside, but as two Bills reacted to this, he immediately cut back inside them and broke to the second level for 18 yards. That jab-step cutback move almost faked those two guys out of their socks. This was particularly interesting, because I remember criticizing Shonn Greene for just taking the safe yards in an almost identical situation, but with no deep safety, in (I think) the Minnesota game.

Tony Richardson gamely filled in for nine snaps, but the real story at fullback was John Conner. Conner's blocking was pretty good, but he still has a tendency to try and blow up guys that will just bounce off him and still make the play, so he usually ends up with a negative grade. Having said that, his worst block of the day was probably in pass protection. As a runner, I think he looks like a solid option to give a couple of carries a game to once he is established as the full time fullback. He is starting to get a reputation as a bit of a fumbler, but hopefully this is unfounded - He didn't fumble at all in college (85 touches) and the one he had in preseason came on a freak play, where he would have been down, but his teammate had tripped him. On Sunday, his touchdown was almost a fumble, but hopefully that's a straightforward enough lesson for him to take on board in future.

Tight Ends and Receivers

The Jets didn't pass much this week, but it's still good to see zero dropped passes. They must carry that into this week if they are to play well enough to outscore the Colts. Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery got the majority of the reps and Cotchery caught three passes to lead the team, including a tough juggling effort on third down. Smith wasn't thrown to.

Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards were thrown to once each and both scored a touchdown. You can't ask for better production than that. Edwards also had a great block on Smith's 40 yard run on the first drive, shoving Drayton Florence off the field.

At tight end, Jeff Cumberland and Matt Mulligan got most of the reps. Cumberland did catch his first NFL pass, but struggled as a run blocker. Mulligan graded out positively as a run blocker, but false started once too. Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock played sparingly. As you'd expect Hartsock's blocking was better than Keller's and neither got a chance to run any routes.

Defensive Line

The defense was never really threatened by Buffalo, who had the same number of turnovers as first downs (six). They were held to 37 yards rushing on 18 carries, with 34 of those yards after contact, so the line did an outstanding job of getting penetration and closing running lanes. Mike DeVito was the only defensive line starter to play, and stood out with an excellent performance against the run. He did almost all of this as a nose tackle. I previously spoke to one of PFF's analysts, who is a Ravens fan, and he was predicting that nose tackle would be a role they'd eventually look to move DeVito into, because that's what they did with Kelly Gregg, and the pair have a similar build and skillset.

Rotating in with DeVito were three young guys who the Jets might be hoping will be the next Mike DeVito: Jarron Gilbert, Marcus Dixon and Vernon Gholston. Unfortunately, none of these three stood out. In a combined 47 pass rush attempts, none of them registered a pressure and they all graded negatively against the run. If I had to choose one, I'd say Gholston was the most impressive (or least unimpressive), on one play driving a double team into the quarterback and on another negotiating traffic to help stuff a run at the line. That's a shame, because - barring an unprecedented fourth contract renegotiation - he's the least likely of the three to be back. Dixon had a missed tackle, but did have three solo tackles to pace the trio. Gilbert's best play was a tackle in the backfield, but he was really just cleaning up the runner after Bart Scott blew the run up in the backfield leaving him nowhere to go. Although I felt Gholston was the best of the three, his PFF grade was the lowest, so it will be interesting to see which of the three are active on Saturday.

Sione Pouha was active, as was Trevor Pryce, but neither played on defense. Pouha was just used as a blocker on the placekicking unit.

Linebackers

The Jets did blitz more than in recent games, but the pass rushing output - three sacks, nine hits and two pressures - was still good to see. Calvin Pace had his best game of the year and his first game with multiple pressures since early October. He actually had zero tackles, but did record a sack, two hits (both leading directly to interceptions), two batted down passes and an interception of his own. Jason Taylor also had a strong game, with a sack, two hits and a pressure, although he did have one bad missed tackle. It was interesting that they decided to give these two so much playing time, while resting Bryan Thomas for most of the game. Thomas only played 13 snaps, all in the first half, and didn't have much of an impact. Pace had 18 pressures in the regular season last year and 17 in the postseason. Is it possible he could raise his game to those heights again?

On the inside, it was David Harris who was rested, from the middle of the second quarter onwards. Prior to that, he hadn't been too involved. Bart Scott played a bit more than Harris and did do well against the run, as well as adding a QB hit. In mop-up duty, Mauga looked pretty good, with a QB hit of his own and a tackle for a loss. Lance Laury's five defensive snaps were pretty unique - he had only one defensive snap in the previous three seasons. He immediately responded with a big QB hit on a delayed blitz and added a tackle on the next play. Finally, Jamaal Westerman saw some action for the first time since week three and had a pressure, two tackles and a fumble recovery.

Defensive Backs

The two starters at cornerback, Kyle Wilson and Marquice Cole, each had a big day. Wilson was almost flawless, giving up a Revisesque one catch for seven yards on four targets. Again, though, I'd caution that a different officiating crew might have flagged him because he was pretty physical on at least two of those incompletions. Cole had a monster day, with two picks, a pass defensed and a touchdown. He was targeted nine times and wasn't perfect, giving up four catches for 42 yards including one where Steve Johnson lost him on a comeback route for 16 and one where Naaman Roosevelt beat him for 14 on an out pattern. Could he stay with the likes of Blair White? I think he's probably earned a shot.

At safety, Dwight Lowery was the recipient of perhaps the easiest interception in NFL history. That capped a solid performance, though, where he also had two tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass defensed. He only gave up one catch for four yards. Brodney Pool was not thrown at, but did make some solid open field tackles and had a QB hit on one of his two pass rush attempts. The other pass rush attempt came as he was in a three point stance as a down lineman again. Not surprisingly, he was turned back on that one.

In terms of backups, Drew Coleman gave up four catches for a team high 64 yards, on just five targets. He somewhat atoned for this with a strip sack. One of the passes went for 33 yards after he also missed a tackle, but this ended up being a turnover after Emanuel Cook forced a fumble. Cook also added another hit on Brian Brohm. Finally, 28-year old rookie Isaiah Trufant saw action on ten snaps, mostly as a blitzer on passing downs. He did have two special teams tackles.

Once again, Darrelle Revis wasn't thrown at. Sure, he didn't play, but still...

Special Teams

There's not too much to say about special teams this week. Cole downed another Weatherford punt inside the five and Cook looks to be a solid option as a possible gunner in future. Folk's kickoffs were pretty short, but the Bills started at the 27 yard line on average, which is perfectly acceptable. Cotchery and McKnight each had a nice return, although Cotchery also misjudged one punt and slipped over on another return. Although I am somewhat glossing over special teams, the Jets must not as it could prove to be the difference on Saturday. Interestingly, the Colts do not have a 20-yard punt return or a 40-yard kickoff return so far this season. Let's hope that continues.

PFF Analysis

This week, I again contributed to the game recap article for ProFootballFocus.com (which also gives you a sneak preview of some of their player ratings). It hasn't been posted yet, but look out for it tomorrow. Here’s a sample quote:

In what ultimately amounted to a pretty meaningless game, the Jets rested most of their starters and were still able to blow out the Bills for the second time this season ... The Jets dominated the battle in the trenches and took advantage of six turnovers from a Bills team that looked like it couldn't wait for the season to end. They now head to Indianapolis for a postseason rematch on Saturday night ... Although this game probably means more in terms of next season than next week, it will be interesting to see if any of the Jets' little-used reserves that flashed during this game will get a chance to contribute in the postseason.

TJB readers can obtain full access to PFF’s premium stats for $63 this season. The discount available has been increased to 30%. E-mail me ( bentdouble@gmail.com ) to obtain a code to enable you to get the discount.

Conclusions

Last season, the Jets ended the year with a blowout victory over an AFC rival, scoring almost forty points and not allowing any points defensively. Critics were unimpressed, saying that their opponent had nothing to play for, but the Jets rode the momentum from that game for the next two games (and almost half of the next one). Are the Jets equipped for a similar run or did the Pats blowout a month ago serve notice that they are still not capable of going all the way? This weekend, we find out. It isn't going to be easy, but hopefully, this is where the fun begins.

I'd like to close this week with a mention for the guys at theganggreen.com's Jets forum, who I understand have been linking to my BGA articles throughout the season. Thanks for sharing this and I don't even mind that everyone keeps inadvertently giving WhiteShoeWillie all the credit for these! Thanks also for your comments and feedback, because I learn as much from the responses of other Jets fans as I do from re-watching the games and it always helps me improve what I get out of the review process. Naturally that applies for any TJB readers commenting here too.

As mentioned above, if you have anything you’d like me to comment upon in more detail, please let me know in the comments.
Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next stop for David Harris figures to be the Jets' Ring of Honor.

Harris, who spent 10 years as the anchor of the Jets defense before he was released last year, announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday afternoon. The 34-year-old inside linebacker ended his 11-year career through a short statement released by his agent on Twitter, less than three weeks after reaching the first Super Bowl of his career with the New England Patriots - although he wasn't activated for the game.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have seen Sheldon Richardon, Damon Harrison, and Quinton Coples depart within the past few seasons. With the departure of Muhammad Wilkerson thought to be imminent, they suddenly find themselves in a position where they lack depth on the defensive interior.

In addition, a potentially promising pipeline of young depth hasn't really materialized. Deon Simon and Claude Pelon couldn't crack the rotation, and spent most of the year on the practice squad, while Lawrence Thomas became a full back. Leonard Williams will be back, but his 2017 season was arguably just as disappointing as Wilkerson's, and he might find that teams can more readily gameplan around him if he's not surrounded with the same kind of talent...

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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Daily News Live: NFL Combine 00:03:50
The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Lamar Jackson are among the top prospects.

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Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Jets start their sales pitch to Kirk Cousins, he's going to want to know about more than just the size of their check. He's going to want to know, among other things, how they plan to protect him.

That's a project they can get started on right now.

The Jets should begin by re-signing center Wesley Johnson before the free-agent market opens on March 14, and solidify what was a young and better-than-you-think offensive line last season. Together with right guard Brian Winters and right tackle Brandon Shell, it would give the Jets a strong young corps on the line to build around. And with two solid veterans on the left side -- tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard James Carpenter -- it's a line that could actually be pretty good.

Tags: Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft. 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center. 

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Cousins 00:02:18
The Jets hope to be in the mix to land highly touted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins in order to provide stability at the QB position.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The entire Jets offseason will be played out in the shadow of Kirk Cousins -- the biggest name on the free-agent market, and the franchise quarterback they so desperately need. And that's even true right now, as the NFL's 15-day "franchise tag" window opens on Tuesday.

The Jets aren't likely to use the tag, but the Washington Redskins are reportedly considering using it on Cousins.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The offensive line was a huge disappointment for the Jets in 2017, especially on the interior. In 2016, Wesley Johnson started eight games for the injured Nick Mangold, and the line didn't seem to suffer too badly. However, he struggled throughout the 2017 season after moving into the full-time starter role.

Guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter also failed to play as well as they had in 2016, although that may partly have been caused by Johnson struggling on their inside shoulder.   Injuries were also an issue here, with Winters in particular playing most of the season hurt, and eventually requiring surgery on an abdominal issue.

Dakota Dozier's performances in relief of Winters over the past few years have some people wondering if it was really wise to give Winters a big money extension, when Dozier doesn't appear to be much of a downgrade. However, he's out of contract now, so the Jets may need to replenish their depth.

Tags: Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold
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Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets exercised their options on two defensive starters on Tuesday, ensuring that defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin will both be back for the 2018 season.

The Jets were facing a deadline of Tuesday on both players, but the decision likely wasn't difficult, especially with the team likely to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason. McLendon is due a salary of $3.125 million this year and has a salary cap number of $4.25 million. Martin is due a salary of $1.8 million, with a cap number of $2.1 million.

The moves come one day after the Jets declined their 2018 option on tackle Ben Ijalana, making him an unrestricted free agent...

Tags: Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?

According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract. 

King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets made offensive tackle Ben Ijalana a free agent on Monday after they failed to exercise his player option.

New York did not exercise Ijalana's $500,000 option bonus that would have activated his $4.5 million base salary for the 2018 season. By doing so, the Jets will save a total of $4.6 million.

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCowwas the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season. 

This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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In 2017, the Jets' running game struggles probably had more to do with the offensive line being overmatched than the performance of the backs.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets reportedly turned down a Cincinnati Bengals trade proposal that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to New York last season, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Cincinnati, according to Cimini, called the Jets organization at the start of free agency and offered McCarron in a trade, however the Jets turned it down to focus on free agency. It is unclear what Cincinnati requested in the deal.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets started over last offseason and actually built themselves a nice core of talent. They have many young, inexpensive players they can build around this spring.

They certainly have the tools to build around them - perhaps as much as $100 million in cap room, the sixth overall pick in the draft, and some extra picks too. And that's good, because even though the Jets exceeded expectations last season, they were still 5-11, and have plenty of holes to fill.

Now, as they get ready to begin Phase 2 of their rebuilding project, here's a look at their biggest needs.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.

They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Juston Burris, Morris Claiborne
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield

The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone. 

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.

"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement...

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have been a team whose defense has been built around their interior linemen for a long time, but Muhammad Wilkerson's anticipated departure could be an opportunity to reinvent themselves by finding a difference-maker who can create constant pressure off the edge.

The Jets haven't really had an elite edge rusher since John Abraham, who was traded before the 2006 draft. They've tried drafting one high (Vernon Gholston), converting an interior lineman into one (Quinton Coples), and bringing in an established veteran (Jason Taylor). But none of these have been successful. None of their low-cost free agents, reclamation projects, or later draft picks have stepped up either.

Tags: Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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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

The Jets are in position to be the kings of free agency, with potentially more salary cap room to spend than any team except for the Cleveland Browns. They are already projected to have about $75 million in salary cap space, and that's if they don't make another move.

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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.

But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brent Qvale, Chandler Catanzaro, Dakota Dozier, Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There are always plenty of receiver prospects who make an immediate impact as a rookie, even in the later rounds. However, the Jets haven't had much success in recent years despite selecting seven wideouts in the last four drafts.

While four of those seven are under contract for 2018 and a fifth -- restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa -- also figures to be back, the Jets got just 15 catches of production from that group in 2017.

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Daily News Live: Jimmy Garoppolo 00:03:54
The Daily News Live crew discusses the impact Jimmy Garoppolo's new contract will have on the deal Kirk Cousins will want.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jimmy Garoppolo just became the NFL's highest paid player, even though he's only started seven NFL games and thrown 12 touchdown passes in four seasons. He reportedly agreed to a monster, five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers -- a record average of $27.5 million per season. That record will be very short-lived.

It's a simple fact of the NFL that the price of franchise quarterbacks only goes up, and in less than five weeks another one will be on the open market. And when Kirk Cousins officially becomes free on March 14 you can bet his deal will eclipse what Garoppolo just got...

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

In NFL.com's latest mock draft, Chad Reuter forecasted the first three rounds for all teams. With the Jets first selection at no. 6 overall, Reuter has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

The Jets take Allen over Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who fell to the Cardinals at no. 15. USC QB Sam Darnold went no. 1 to the Browns and UCLA QB Josh Rosen went no. 2 to the Giants.

Allen threw for 3,202 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his sophomore season. However, his production dropped this season to 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also suffered a shoulder injury, and was forced to miss the final two regular-season games this year...

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.

However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)
Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Chiefs have released former Jet Darrelle Revis, the team announced. 

Revis, 32, would have been owed a $10 million contract guarantee if he was still on the roster on March 18. He was signed by Chiefs in November, playing five games, including two starts. 

After the Chiefs' season ended, Revis admitted he wasn't at his best.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Kacy Rodgers never got a chance to play in the NFL before he turned to coaching. But now he might be able to give his son the shot that he never had.

The Jets will be signing Kacy Rodgers II, the son of their current defensive coordinator, according to his agent, David Canter. Rodgers II will join the Jets for their offseason program, at least, after two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Rodgers II is a 6-2, 208-pound defensive back out of the University of Miami. In 2014 he was a tryout player at the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp, but didn't stick. He then signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and spent a year on their practice squad before joining the Roughriders...

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Former Jets C Nick Mangold was thinking about starting his political career, and running in his local GOP primary, according to Politico's Matt Friedman.

However, Mangold said Thursday that he will not be running.

Mangold would've been running to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who represents the 11th District of New Jersey. Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas has spoken with Mangold, and he appears to be serious about running for the position.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After saying he wouldn't join the Jets for $60 million, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, a pending free agent, told TMZ exactly what it would take to secure his services.

"A hundred Ms," Bell said, referring to $100 million. "Hey, listen to me: I play running back, but they've got to respect me like I am, man." 

Bell, 25, responded to a fan's tweet last week asking what amount of money it would take for him to join the Jets.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another year has come and gone without the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Even the Philadelphia Eagles now have ended their forever Super Bowl drought. If you're counting, that's 49 straight Super Bowls that have been played without the Jets.

Can the 50th time be their charm?

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two years ago, the Jets drafted Darron Lee with their first pick, hoping to shore up one of their inside linebacker positions for the foreseeable future. Over the course of his first two seasons, he's been up and down, but he has retained an every-down role.

Last year, he struggled initially, then played the best football of his career in the middle of the season, only to regress down the stretch. However, there are no indications that the Jets intend to move on from Lee.

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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