It was a short but painful day for Jets QB Bryce Petty. (David Butler II)
It was a short but painful day for Jets QB Bryce Petty. (David Butler II)

In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 16 performances by Bryce Petty, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall and Juston Burris among others...


Quarterbacks

Bent: Even after such a one-sided loss, I'm still tasked with at least trying to find some things to be positive about. However, when we're talking about the quarterbacks, Saturday provided nothing whatsoever.

We were skeptical about whether Bryce Petty would even be able to stay out there in front of an injury-ravaged line, but actually an inability to protect himself has been more of an issue than the inexperience of the guys in front of him.
Petty's shoulder injury came as he tried to recover a fumble. Nothing about that was his fault and he was instinctively trying to save possession for his team. Having already been banged up due to the hit last week, this has to raise doubts over how many conventional hits he would have been able to endure, anyway. 

That's the downside of moxie; the competitiveness of the quarterback leads him to fight for every advantage, when sometimes the wise thing to do is to cut your losses and live to fight another day. Now there might not be another day for Petty, who will presumably be unable to suit up next week and a longshot to beat out whatever alternatives the Jets bring in next year.

For the short time that he lasted, Petty was poor, anyway. He was indecisive and inaccurate and the Patriots succeeded in confusing him with trap-style coverages. On one play he was probably going to be intercepted if he went to his first option so he hung onto the ball and ate a sack. That was pretty much the only positive thing he did all day. I'm sure he eventually would have settled down and done some good things, but if he didn't get hurt and continued to struggle that badly, the Jets might have been forced to replace him anyway.

So back came Ryan Fitzpatrick, a player I've taken to referring to as "The Bad Penny", which isn't directly referring to Chad Pennington, although that works too. Fitzpatrick should win this year's Comeback Player of the Year award based solely on volume rather than performance. I've lost count of the number of times we thought we'd seen the last of him only for him to be back again within a week or two.  

Fitzpatrick now looks set to start the last game, which is as improbable as it was when Mark Sanchez ended up starting the season finale against the Bills in 2012, despite having lost his starting role to Greg McElroy the previous week. Sanchez lost that last game 28-9 which is the kind of outcome you'd expect next week. He also returned the following season and was atop the depth chart in preseason before getting hurt. I'm not expecting history to repeat itself in that regard with Fitzpatrick.

In terms of Fitzpatrick's performance, it barely matters but an 8-for-21 with two interceptions stat line speaks for itself. His receivers didn't help him out much but even if they bailed him out a few times that would have only elevated his stat-line from terrible to not very good.

Should Christian Hackenberg get a chance to play now? For me, the answer hasn't changed: No. As I said recently, I don't want him anywhere near this mess and the worst thing that could happen now is that he plays in a meaningless game, is similarly unable to protect himself and suffers an injury that eats into his development time next season. That's not going to be a popular decision though - and it could lead to a miserable atmosphere in the season finale.

Running Backs 

Bent: Powell was having a nice first half as the Jets were gaining consistent yardage in the running game. However, durability has always been a concern with Powell and he lasted less than 2 1/2 games as the lead back before limping off the field with nine minutes left in the second quarter. Powell had gained 49 yards on nine carries to that point and was well on the way to his third big game in a row. However, after limping off, he carried just six more times for 11 yards.

Powell now has 973 yards from scrimmage on the season, which is a career high. If healthy, he should surpass 1,000 for the first time next week. He would need 98 rushing yards to surpass his career best total of 697 in 2013. That came on 176 carries though, whereas he has had just 109 so far this year, averaging 5.5 per carry. He showed more good burst and elusiveness early on Saturday.

Powell's 55 receptions on the year also represent a career high and he needs just 16 receiving yards to set another career mark. In this game he caught just two passes though and also gave up a sack in pass protection.

With Matt Forté out, Khiry Robinson's debut was set up to be one of the more interesting aspects of this game. In typical 2016 Jets fashion, his first touch saw him fumble the ball away, knocking Petty out of the game in the process.

Robinson was stuffed for a loss three times on his eight carries, but did flash some promise on a couple of plays. He ran over a defensive back on a first-down run to the outside, showed good burst on a pick-up of nine and displayed good effort to battle for positive yardage on another play.

The Jets apparently plan on keeping Robinson around next year because when they re-signed him, it was through 2017. You'll recall that he only signed a one-year deal first time around before waiving him due to a preseason injury. Maybe Robinson will get more touches in the final game to show what we can expect next season.

Finally, Brandon Wilds carried four times on the Jets' final drive, gaining 14 yards. He gained positive yardage on each of his carries but his longest gain was just six yards. The rookie should get more chances next week but will probably be regarded as a long shot to make next year's team.

Receivers

Bent: Last week, Brandon Marshall was asked about his lack of production in last week's Miami game, when he caught just one pass despite being targeted 11 times. His response was that he judges his own performance based on how the other receivers produce as a result of him producing favorable matchups.

Okay. So, let's judge his performance yesterday based on that criteria…

When Marshall limped off with a hip problem late in the third quarter, the other wide receivers on the team had combined for zero catches. Even more damning; Devin Smith, Quincy Enunwa and Charone Peake each had a big downfield catch, totalling 77 yards, after Marshall's departure.

I'm not going to dwell too much on the rift between Marshall and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, but it goes all the way back to Week 3 when the pair apparently had to be separated on the sideline during the fourth quarter of the loss to the Chiefs. With frustrations boiling over, it's difficult for Marshall to justify himself as a team leader when he lays another egg in a week where he was discussing the possibility of joining the Patriots next season with the media.  
During the broadcast, CBS announcers Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts suggested that the Jets will be assessing Marshall's performance during the offseason and that perhaps he would be back if they feel his decreased production is mostly injured-related. However, there were already concerns over Marshall's durability during the offseason. If they think injuries have limited his production once again, then why bring him back and pay him a huge salary in a rebuilding year? Even if they think his leadership is valuable, it's obviously rubbing some people the wrong way and he's increasingly likely to get hurt again.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure why anyone would assume the Patriots would be interested either.

Funnily enough, even though I referred to him laying an egg, Marshall actually led the Jets in receiving, albeit with just two catches for 28 yards. What was really disappointing was that Robby Anderson was completely shut out. Anderson had been producing consistently since he started seeing regular playing time. Satrday, he was unable to come up with a deep ball down the field and, not for the first time, was outmuscled at the point of the catch on an interception. 

In addition to his one catch, Enunwa also contributed a first down run as they handed it off to him on a fly sweep and added some good blocks. However, four other passes - all of them thrown too high - were off his hands, one of them being intercepted.

Peake had a big catch and run on fourth down but also juggled and dropped another downfield pass.

Smith looked sharp in making his first catch of the year down the middle, but there were shades of his rookie year on two other catchable targets that he was unable to bring in, including one in the end zone.

At tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins also dropped a Fitzpatrick pass in the end zone but had one catch on a low throw down the middle. He only actually played four snaps before leaving with an injury. Brandon Bostick dropped his only target, albeit on another inaccurate throw, and had a couple of bad missed blocks, including the one that led to Robinson's fumble. Eric Tomlinson had a handful of impact blocks in the running game although he failed to sustain his block a few times. If he can continue to work on his consistency, he could be a difference maker next year.

Offensive Line 

Bent: Having lost yet another starter, it was assumed the offensive line would fall apart, but that neglects the fact that the line was never particularly good to start with so each loss hasn't actually downgraded the unit that much.

Once again, the line held up quite well and, while the starting line-up will need to be overhauled next year, they actually seem to be building some encouraging depth.

Brandon Shell played the whole game at right tackle while Dakota Dozier and Brent Qvale platooned at right guard. All three are under contract next year and it's encouraging that the line held up with all three thrown into the mix.

Of the three, Qvale was the least effective, struggling to hold up at the point of attack a few times and allowing his man to shed his block to stuff a run once. However, he avoided any serious mistakes and didn't give up any pressure in pass protection. He has established himself as a player who can fill in at both guard and tackle.

Shell played well for the second week in a row, once again not surrendering any pressure in pass protection. He had plenty of help, though. In the running game, he made some impact blocks, displaying some power at the point of attack, but there were a couple of plays where his man got off his block to get in on a tackle. His biggest negative was a face-mask penalty following a turnover.

Dozier did a fine job in his first career start. He was beaten just once in pass protection and did a good job of blocking on the move and at the point of attack in the running game. After a bad start where he tried to make a pulling block and ended up getting in the running back's way, he settled down nicely and performed well. One thing that was apparent was that Dozier seems to have cleaned up his technique, as in preseason action he has had a tendency to be sloppy even on those plays where he was able to make an effective block.

Wesley Johnson had a mistake-free first half at center, other than one play where he got the snap count wrong leading to a false start penalty. In the second half he had a missed block on a short-yardage play and failed to sustain a couple of blocks at the second level. Overall, he did a good job of limiting penetration and didn't allow any pressure in pass protection.  

James Carpenter had a quiet game, but made a couple of good blocks at the point of attack in the second half. He gave up a quarterback hit on a play where he clearly thought the interior rusher would be picked up by Johnson and was unable to react in time.

Finally, Ben Ijalana was beaten for a sack but only had a few other plays where he was beaten in pass protection. He contributed one good downhill block in the running game. The assumption is that left tackle is more difficult to play than right tackle, so it's difficult to know how he would have fared if he'd been able to stay on the right. Maybe being able to limit any struggles on the left side is a sign he could be a much more consistent player once he moves back to right tackle. Ijalana was the only lineman from yesterday who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Defensive Line

As mentioned, I'm not planning to dwell too much on the Richardson/Marshall spat, but it is worth noting that Richardson seemed to display more explosiveness and effort in this game than he has most of the time this year. He was in on a handful of run stuffs, including one for a loss, and had a hit on Tom Brady.

On one play, he mowed over the left guard in pass protection and on another he shot a gap so quickly that he almost disrupted the handoff. I don't think we've seen that kind of play from him since last year.

After the Snapchat fiasco last week, there was some suggestion that Richardson might again be benched for the first quarter. However, he was out there from the start. What nobody seems to have noticed, though, is that he was essentially benched for the fourth quarter instead. They did send him out there for one goal-line play and once on special teams, but he was removed from the main rotation and I am pretty sure that's connected with last week's indiscretion.

One positive this week was that Muhammad Wilkerson busted into the backfield for a strip-sack, which was the first impact play he's made in a while. Wilkerson had a couple more pressures and was in a few plays in the running game including a tackle for loss but continues to have mixed results at the point of attack.  


Last week, a story in the New York Post suggested Wilkerson's struggles are mainly related to injuries and Jets fans will be hoping that's the case because a healthy Wilkerson getting back to his best next year would automatically provide a bigger upgrade than any personnel move they could hope to make. He was generating almost three times as much pressure last season, for example. The Post also described Saturday's performance as his "best game of the season", but I don't really agree with that because he was holding up at the point of attack with much better consistency earlier on in the year.  

Leonard Williams was also in on multiple run stuffs, although he was handled at the point of attack a few times. Other than one play early in the game, he didn't get close to Brady in the pass rush. Once again, they moved him around and gave him plenty of reps coming off the edge. Shouldn't we be worried about that, considering the effect playing on the edge seems to have had on the effectiveness of Richardson, Wilkerson and Quinton Coples in recent years?

An interesting statistical anomaly this week saw Williams, Richardson and Wilkerson combining for an impressive 22 tackles, but only four solo tackles. For context, the three entered this game with 155 combined tackles (11 per game), 64 percent of which were solo tackles. With so many assisted tackles, that suggests they were rallying to the ball but not necessarily stuffing runs themselves.  

It's difficult to know what to read into that but it seemed to work because LaGarrette Blount was held to 50 yards on 20 carries and the Patriots averaged less than three yards per carry as a team. Maybe it's something to do with the Patriots' scheme or just something to do with the official scorer.

Deon Simon had been doing well in an increased role due to Steve McLendon's injury, but he was well-handled at the point of attack in this game, including on a short yardage touchdown. He was able to draw a flag on a good bull rush though. Later on in the game he stuffed a run and bottled up another run, but it was a less impressive performance that we'd seen over the past few weeks from the youngster.

Finally, Anthony Johnson was in for a few plays and almost had a sack, but allowed Brady to escape and complete a throw downfield.

Linebackers 

Bent: The Jets did less rotation in the linebacking corps than they have all season with only four players seeing action. On the outside, Freddie Bishop and Jordan Jenkins got the start and were employed basically in a full-time role. However, they disappointingly recorded just one pressure each.  

Jenkins at least got close a handful of times as he was able to turn the corner around the edge but the pass was thrown too quickly. He was in on a few plays against the run and in coverage, but was also cut to the ground leading to a first-down run.

Bishop got blocked out of a few running plays on the edge, missed a tackle and was involved in a blown coverage that led to a big gain.  

Darron Lee had one of his better games so far as he was in on four plays close to the line of scrimmage, including one for a loss. He wasn't perfect, though, as he was blocked out of too many plays at the second level and missed a couple of tackles. He also gave up a first down in coverage, but was impressive in pursuit and when closing to the football.

David Harris was also blocked out of some plays at the second level and got beaten over the top for a touchdown in coverage. He was in on a few stops near the line and had a sack wiped out because of a penalty.

Defensive Backs

Bent: One of the positive things to take from this display was the performance of rookie cornerback Juston Burris. There were several plays where he was targeted but managed to break up the pass or otherwise disrupt the play, leading to an incompletion. Despite these successes, Burris was called for a hold and burned deep on a play that led to the safety getting flagged. He was also beaten for a touchdown, although he was remonstrating with teammates after the play, so that might not have been his fault.

While the performance was encouraging, Burris was extremely physical and arguably could have been flagged a few more times, especially considering it was a match-up with New England. A less-forgiving officiating crew would have flagged him at least three times and the performance would be viewed in a completely different light. If Jerome Boger's crew was working the game, he might have ended up with five or six penalties.

Calvin Pryor played hard, coming up fast to slow up the runner in the backfield four times, although he was unable to make the play himself on any of those occasions. He was in on a couple of run stops and contributed some pressure as an unblocked blitzer.

Rontez Miles had a productive day, with a team-leading 12 tackles, but he seemed to be involved in a few miscommunications that led to blown coverages. One of those was on the touchdown Burris allowed, which saw him trying to communicate with Pryor before the snap which left no safety in the middle of the field with Burris playing outside leverage. Miles was beaten for one touchdown in man coverage and got lucky on two other plays where he was beaten but there was an overthrow and a drop. He also missed a tackle.

Darrelle Revis didn't have much to do, but still had a missed tackle, a hold to negate a sack and a blown coverage that should have led to an easy touchdown. He also gave up an easy conversion on third-and-short because he was playing too far off. He made one good play in run support. On the other side, Buster Skrine fared better. While he gave up three first downs, he was in good position on four incompletions, including one that he broke up with a hit. He also made a good play in run support.

Doug Middleton continues to get some valuable experience off the bench, but gave up a couple of first downs in zone coverage and was flagged for pass interference on a throw over the top.
 

Special teams

Bent: Nick Folk provided the Jets with their only points with his 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but should the Jets have been kicking a field goal when down by 41? While I understand the desire not to be shut out, I can guarantee than most Jets fans would have preferred another shot at the end zone with the ball down at the 11-yard line. Bowles does himself no favors with such moves.  

If it's early in the second half and you're being blown out and want something positive to give yourself something to build on, then perhaps you kick a field goal in that situation, but so late in the game it just comes across as waving the white flag and trying to save face in unsatisfactory fashion. "At least we didn't get shut out" is arguably a weaker statement that "At least we didn't stop trying to score."

Folk had already missed a chip shot, his sixth missed field goal against the Patriots in his career, more than he's had against any other team.

Rookie punter Lac Edwards was again unimpressive, especially on one early low drive, but at least he managed to have his first 45-yard net punt in a long time. He can thank the coverage for that. Punt coverage was pretty solid, with the likes of Smith, Miles and Peake making contributions.

Nick Marshall didn't have much success in the return game this week and then, when he finally got out past the 25 on one runback, the Jets opted to accept a penalty and force a re-kick, which he promptly dropped and ended up getting stuffed inside his own 15-yard line. He also didn't do much on punt returns, albeit mostly due to poor execution from those in the vice role.

Enunwa was back for one kickoff which he also dropped, forcing him to take a knee in the end zone. He's returned one kick in his career, for 54 yards earlier this year.

On the whole, the Jets looked to upgrade their special teams personnel with more experienced core special teamers during the offseason but it hasn't worked. While injuries have been a factor, the inability of this unit to be an upgrade over Bobby April's sorry 2016 outfit is disappointing. Perhaps the issue is that they don't place enough importance on this aspect during practice?
 

Final thoughts

Bent: It's difficult to find many bright spots after a performance like this, even though the likes of Shell, Burris and Dozier might have helped their case for a larger role next season. However, there is one major positive and that's the fact that this awful season is nearly over.

It's been a rough year; one where everything that could go wrong has done so. Yesterday's loss was a new low, with the only silver lining being that the rest of America has long since lost interest in the Jets so didn't notice or care.

In many ways, a humiliating loss like this can be a healthy thing, because it means there's little chance the powers-that-be will overlook any deficiencies within the team and try to paper over any cracks with a temporary solution.

Looking back, there's four games this year where the Jets probably should have won and blew it. Ironically, fans should now be thankful they lost those four, for two reasons. First of all, if the Jets had been 8-6 entering yesterday's game - which was theoretically possible, as improbable as it sounds - then yesterday's loss would have been a lot more damaging and painful.

Secondly, while I'm not of the mind that I want the team to lose each week for draft positioning, I don't mind looking back on those losses and being glad they happened in hindsight because a 7-9 or 8-8 record would be a lot less likely to produce the kind of difference maker this roster desperately needs in next year's draft.

Next week's game could be ugly because the fans have little desire to see any more of Fitzpatrick at quarterback and will be likely to express their displeasure at some of the other underachieving veterans this season. That's if they bother to show up…

 

Tags: BGA

With the Jets holding the no. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there's a chance Saquon Barkley falls to them. The electric running back would welcome that possibility as a boyhood Jets fan. 

As all Jets fans understand and admit, there have been more than enough tough times while being a fan of the team. He jokes that if Jets GM Mike Maccagnan asks what he could do for the team, he might be a bit shy in his answer due to his fandom.

"I'll probably be a little more shy 'cause I was a Jets fan growing up, a true, true Jets fan," Barkley said...

Read More

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
Read More

 (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
Read More

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.

Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

 (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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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.

Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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...

Read More

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...

Read More

 (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
Read More

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.

Read More

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
Read More

 (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.

Read More

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...

Read More

 (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...

Read More

 (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.

Read More

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
Read More

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...

Read More

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
Read More

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.

 

Read More

 (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
Read More