Welcome to Bent's Game Analysis, which is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

We're breaking down yesterday's win over the Falcons. Part one is here. In part two, we're focusing on the defense and special teams.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle.

I'd imagine most people were pleased with the defensive performance this week, but the Jets actually gave up 40 more yards than they did in the loss to the Titans last week. They also surrendered 26 first downs and allowed Matt Ryan to complete 80% of his passes, but most disappointingly of all, they seemed to lose the ability to tackle after half time, with 14 of their 16 missed tackles occurring after the interval. Fatigue played a noticeable role, perhaps contributing to those missed tackles in the second half.

The Falcons entered the game struggling in the red zone, but ended up scoring four touchdowns on five trips with the only failure coming when the clock ran out on them even though they had first and goal at the one. Maybe the red zone defense is something that the Jets need to shore up somewhat too.

However, for all their struggles stopping some of the Falcons' high-powered weapons, the Jets won matchups up front and made life difficult for the Falcons while also, at last, forcing a game-changing turnover and underlining their playmaking potential by almost forcing several others. While they gave up 363 yards, that was actually 35.5 yards below the Falcons' average entering the game.

Interior Line

In the trenches the Jets had their way with the Falcons for the most part. Unlike most of the previous games so far this season, several different Jets saw themselves double teamed, but that strategy didn't pay off for Atlanta as everyone else dominated when single-blocked.

Sheldon Richardson had a particularly interesting game, as he actually got off to a really bad start. He was driven off the line by a couple of double teams early on and then blocked out of a play where the Falcons converted in a short yardage situation. However, he was outstanding in the second quarter, exploding up the middle for a sack, blowing up a run with a tackle in the backfield and making the tackle on the Jets' goal line stand to end the half. In the second half, he went from strength to strength, swatting a pass, bullrushing Justin Blalock into Matt Ryan's lap and shedding a block to stuff another run. He did miss a couple of tackles though, although one was negated by a penalty.

Damon Harrison had to deal with a few double teams in this one, which of course frees up those around him to make plays. I marvel at his efforts to keep fighting to get off the block, which usually ended with him leveraging his way back into the path of the runner and limiting the yardage surrendered. There were two plays where he was driven off the line by a double team, but when single-blocked he made a positive impact as ever, including one play where he burst into the backfield to trip the runner for a loss. Harrison also got some good push as a pass rusher, getting in Ryan's face twice.

Behind Harrison, Kenrick Ellis continues to be extremely productive despite not playing much. In just 10 snaps, he blew up a run in the backfield, got crucial penetration on the Jets' stop at the goal line, stood up his man on another short yardage play and, perhaps most impressively of all, collapsed the pocket by bullrushing against a double team on third and one. Harrison is currently behind just Ndamakong Suh, Jurrell Casey and Gerald McCoy in PFF's NT/DT rankings, but Ellis is number two on a per play basis, behind just Jonathan Hankins of the Giants. If you combine Ellis and Harrison's grades, that beats Suh, Casey and McCoy's grade despite the fact they've combined to play at least 44 fewer snaps than each of them. In other words, the Jets can claim that they are getting the best nose tackle play in the NFL right now, especially against the run.

However, it was the star of their defense, and one of the main reasons the nose tackles are grading out so well, that without question shone brightest of all last night. Muhammad Wilkerson drew a holding penalty and had a strip sack, two pressures, two tackles in the backfield and two other tackles on plays that went for a short gain. If he could have just got a finger on that shovel pass to Jason Snelling, it would have been pretty much a perfect performance and on a big national stage, too. I can't get my head round how Jon Gruden kept saying he is going to be a star like he'll become even better than he is right now. Is that even possible?

Last but not least, Leger Douzable got the Jets their first turnover since opening day when he recovered a Ryan fumble forced by Wilkerson. Douzable also had one pressure, but did jump offside on another play.

Edge Rushers

It was a disappointingly quiet performance by Quinton Coples in terms of impact plays, leading some to question how far along he is in his recovery from his ankle injury back in August. However, there were flashes from Coples, who definitely played his part in terms of drawing plenty of attention from blockers. Early in the game, he beat the right tackle handily with an inside move and the back had to come across and pick him up. That was important, because it established the threat and that led the Falcons to dedicate extra bodies towards stopping him at various times. Coples did get close to pressuring Ryan three times, only for Ryan to make a quick throw, and then on the one time he broke free and hit him, there was a penalty on the backend coverage. In the second half, he did look like he started to tire, playing 60 snaps overall.

Against the run, Coples came up big at the goal line, shooting a gap into the backfield to blow up the run on the last play of the half. He did come too far upfield on Jacquizz Rodgers' first touchdown run, although to some extent it's his assignment to get upfield and force the run back inside and there were bodies there, they just failed to make the play with Jaiquawn Jarrett getting initially blocked and then missing an arm tackle when he got off the block at the last moment and Darrin Walls overpursuing to the inside and losing contain.

One interesting factor this week was his role. Throughout preseason and, to an extent since he's made his return, Coples has been on the outside on rushing downs and inside on passing downs. However, when the Jets went to a four man front on passing downs, that was when Coples was usually rested with Richardson and Wilkerson (and sometimes Douzable) used inside. Coples played just six reps inside overall, which would usually be where he generates some of his pass rushing production.

Those who misunderstand his role within this defense will point to the fact that he was just standing on seven plays as a sign that the "transition" to "linebacker" is not being implemented, but he was the primary weakside rusher more than half of the time, just opting to put his hand in the dirt on most of those reps. He dropped into coverage just four times and there was a mix-up on one as he re-routed Tony Gonzalez at the snap and then dropped off underneath, but the fullback ran out uncovered to the flat for an easy first down. That may have been Antonio Cromartie's responsibility though, because he dropped off with the wide receiver who was already covered and then came up late to make the stop.

Antwan Barnes had an interesting performance, which sadly ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury. Newday's Kimberley Martin reports that she heard it was "just a tweak" although Rex Ryan said he didn't have an update yet, but it "didn't look good". If he's expected to be out for any length of time (and perhaps even if he isn't), I would anticipate that the Jets will bring back Ricky Sapp who was waived last week in a numbers move that was always likely to be temporary. Barnes was only credited with one pressure and no tackles, but actually got close three other times. His best highlight was definitely this though...

With Barnes hurt, the Jets turned to Garrett McIntyre who had three pressures in the fourth quarter, one on the outside, one on a stunt up the middle and one as he flushed the quarterback from the pocket.

Linebackers

David Harris and Demario Davis certainly filled up the stat sheet, with Harris' 14 tackles representing his best output since Thanksgiving Day in 2009 and Davis adding eight tackles of his own. However, neither graded out too well, in large part due to the success the Falcons had passing the ball over the middle. Harris and Davis gave up a combined 13 catches on 14 targets and had three penalties between them (and although #56 was called on two of these, it actually looked like all three should be on Harris). Harris also had three missed tackles, including one that led to a first down on a third and three play and, moreso than in recent weeks, was blocked out of a few plays including on both of Rodgers' touchdown runs. Davis was more disciplined as he didn't miss any tackles, but he was blocked out of one play that went for decent yardage by a pulling guard.

While they found themselves on the end of a lot of negative plays, there's no question that they each had a tough assignment, often having to deal with Tony Gonzalez (who has 22 catches for almost 250 yards in the last two weeks), but also having to pick up crossing routes from the Falcons' speedy receivers in zone coverage. With Matt Ryan in a nice rhythm and finding the gaps in the zone defense, they were always going to be on the wrong end of some plays. At the same time, there were plenty of positives with Harris making seven of his tackles close to the line of scrimmage, including one big hit in the flat for a loss. Davis shot a gap to make a tackle in the backfield, stuffed one other run and took out the lead blocker on a couple of plays that were stopped.

Cornerbacks

There's a lot of interest in Darrin Walls' performance this week. He didn't play too badly in coverage but he did make a mistake on Rodgers first touchdown run and also had a missed tackle on a cutback run that went for a solid gain.

Overall, he was targeted nine times and gave up six catches for 42 yards. While he did give up a 12 yard catch on third and three, four of these plays saw him close quickly to restrict the gain to between seven and nine yards. That actually benefited the Jets, who seemed to fare well in second and short situations all day long, often because the Falcons were tempted to run it and then unsuccessful in doing so, leading to a third down situation. The other catch he gave up saw him make a terrific play, closing to cut down Harry Douglas for a loss. He actually gave up two other catches, but both were negated by penalties, one on the Jets and one as his man pushed off.

It could have been a much better day for Walls, who stepped in front of a rare errant pass by Ryan and could have returned it the distance but dropped the potential pick. He had another two passes go off his hands, but these were tougher - one over the shoulder as Ryan was hit as he threw and one which was more of a well timed pass breakup on a throw to the end zone. Based on everything I've seen from him so far, Walls does not have very good hands. He also dropped an easy interception against the Chargers last season and dropped an easy pick six with the ball right in his hands when with the Falcons a couple of years ago.

Antonio Cromartie had quite the battle with Julio Jones in this one, but also had to play plenty of zone coverage, which he appeared to struggle with at times. Cromartie stayed with Jones on a deep ball, as Jones wanted a pass interference call because Cromartie had a hand on his shoulder as he tried to stay with him. Later on, Jones got a step on Cromartie deep, but Cromartie was able to recover well enough to disrupt the catch and the ball fell incomplete in the end zone. Then on a throw to the outside, Jones was ruled to have pushed off, but on the next play Jones beat him deep for a 46-yard one-handed catch, despite Cromartie's interference this time. He had a couple of missed tackles and was too far off on a couple of other catches, but he showed great hustle to make a touchdown saving tackle after Jones recovered Roddy White's fumble. Cromartie's best coverage play of the day saw him break up a pass in the end zone, but that was negated by a flag on Harris.

Off the bench, Kyle Wilson drew the Gonzalez assignment a few times, giving up a first down on 4th and one. He also got lucky on an earlier play near the goal line where Gonzalez ran the exact same route, but this time the pass was offline because Jarrett hit Ryan as he threw it. Each time, Wilson was right with Gonzalez, but couldn't prevent the fourth down catch and likely wouldn't have been able to do much about the potential touchdown pass either. Wilson also got lucky when a pass near the goal line was off Douglas' fingertips. Overall, he gave up four catches on six targets, but limited the damage to 22 yards with good tackling (although he did have one missed tackle). He was badly blocked out of the play at the second level on Rodgers' long touchdown run though.

Ellis Lankster was in for a few plays and gave up a catch to Gonzalez on a play where he covered him about as well as you could. On another play, Gonzalez got away with a push off and made another catch. Lankster's physical play does make him a viable option to cover tight ends in certain packages, but I'd still like to see him get more conventional reps than he is.

Safeties

One interesting wrinkle from this game was that Josh Bush got some significant playing time for the first time in his career. He was in for 25 snaps, having only previously played 20 snaps in his career. He made an immediate impact, jarring the ball loose downfield for what should have been the Jets' first turnover since week one, only for Dawan Landry to misfield it, tripping Davis over in the process. He gave up one first down and had a missed tackle, but did make a crucial touchdown saving tackle on a wide receiver screen at the goal line.

Rex Ryan said that Jarrett started this game for matchup reasons, but that Antonio Allen should return to the starting lineup this week. Jarrett bears no resemblence to the player who started for Philadelphia two years ago, making rookie mistakes all over the place and hardly any positive contributions. Here he had a forced fumble of his own, assisted on two tackles near the line and hit Ryan to disrupt his throw on a blitz up the middle in the red zone. In the second half, he did give up a couple of first downs because he was too far off in zone coverage and he failed to stop Rodgers on his first touchdown as mentioned above, but Jarrett is certainly making his presence felt out there with some big hitting and no major mistakes so far.

Allen still did play 16 snaps and had three tackles. His best moment on defense saw him make an open field tackle inside the five.

Finally, Landry had a bad missed tackle downfield on Rodgers' long touchdown run and was beaten for a touchdown in coverage. He did have one other missed tackle and gave up one other short catch on 2nd and 20. There were some positives though, as he was productive in the pass rush, pressuring Ryan four times off the same blindside blitz. He also helped Bush make the stop at the goal line. It would have been a better day for him if he secured that fumble recovery though.

Special Teams

This was definitely the best game so far on special teams, with Nick Folk's game winning field goal, long returns by Clyde Gates and Jeremy Kerley, each of which led to a touchdown and Allen's blocked punt on the first series which helped to set the tone. Aside from his perfect field goal kicking so far, Nick Folk added another five touchbacks to give him 17 on the year. In 2012, he had 12.

Give McIntyre credit too, because he had a crucial tackle following the blocked punt. That would have been a big blow if the Falcons managed to convert the first down off the rebound. He did have one missed tackle in coverage though. Konrad Reuland and Isaiah Trufant made the key blocks on the two big returns, although Reuland later had a missed tackle too. Nick Bellore did a solid job in coverage, with two tackles and Lankster forced a fair catch.

If I have one minor quibble, it's that Ryan Quigley had an underwhelming game as a punter. He'll have to improve quickly if he wants to quieten his quitics. Er, critics.

Conclusions

An exhilarating win for the Jets should be tempered by the fact that although it's the third game they've won this year, they nearly blew it in all of them. However, given the fact that this team wasn't even supposed to be competitive, they're already exceeding most people's expectations and it's clear that there is still some room for growth and some signs of life in those areas.

Up next is a home game against the winless Steelers, which I'll obviously be here to preview on Sunday morning. Naturally the Steelers have their issues so far this season, but they're no pushover and the Jets have shown that they can be inconsistent and shoot themselves in the foot, so they can't afford to take this one lightly.

If you have anything you'd like me to take a closer look at or any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section of either BGA post, tweet them to @Bent_Double or email bentdouble@gmail.com and I'll respond in BGA Extra on Wednesday.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)
Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan wouldn't say if Josh McCown will be the Jets' starting quarterback this season - that, he insisted, is a decision for coach Todd Bowles. But he did say that McCown can still be a good quarterback, even as he closes in on 38 years old.

"I know he's had some injuries this past season, but the season before he played and actually did some good things for Cleveland," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday. "I still think he has good football left in him. We do think he has the ability to play and perform if needed."

The Jets signed McCown to a one-year, $6 million contract last week, with another possible (but unlikely) $7 million in incentives. Maccagnan said that the 15-year vet - a journeyman now on his eighth NFL team - was under consideration from the start of free agency, even as the Jets sorted through all their other options.

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Should the Jets trade down? 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether or not the Jets should trade down so they can acquire more draft picks.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were so intent on acquiring more draft picks that just three weeks ago Mike Maccagnan insisted the Jets were "open for business every round."

Now it sounds like he means every round except the first.

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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One year after using a second-round pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he "potentially" could draft a quarterback again. And no, he insisted, that wouldn't mean he's admitting a mistake on Hackenberg.

It would just be another step in the long process of finding "the right quarterback for this team."

"I don't think taking a player at one position is a referendum on another player," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. "I think the goal is to put together best roster you can. Of course quarterback is a very, very important position in this process. But I wouldn't necessarily view it as a referendum."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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DeShone Kizer highlights 00:01:19
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL Draft prospect DeShone Kizer.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Only time will tell if the Jets are serious about taking a quarterback in the first-round of the draft, but in the meantime they certainly are doing their homework.

The latest proof of that is the NFL Network report that they've already held a private workout with DeShone Kizer, the Notre Dame quarterback considered to be one of the top three quarterback prospects in the draft. That explains why Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles skipped Notre Dame's Pro Day on Thursday and were both at Ohio State's Pro Day instead.

The Jets also have a private workout scheduled with North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who revealed that "secret" to reporters at his own Pro Day earlier this week. And while it's not known if the Jets plan to do the same with Clemson's DeShaun Watson, it seems likely that they will...

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's free-agent signing period is open, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates on what the Jets are doing with their own free agents and with free agents from other teams, and for updates on their available salary cap space and contract numbers.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Brian Bassett is joined by SNY Analyst and former New York Jet Willie Colon for an all-new podcast, as they cover all the angles of the Jets rebuild - including Josh McCown, the future at running back, the state of the defense, and whether or not Todd Bowles will be around to see it all through.

Click below to listen!

 

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after sending a large contingent to North Carolina to watch quarterback Mitch Trubisky at his Pro Day, the Jets rolled out their big guns for the Pro Day at Ohio State.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles were both in attendance at the Buckeyes Pro Day, according to reports out of Columbus, Ohio, along with representatives of every other NFL team -- including Giants scouting director Marc Ross. Maccagnan and Bowles were surely taking a close look at cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker -- two strong candidates for the Jets to take with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

And for what it's worth, they chose a trip to Columbus over a trip to South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame was holding its Pro Day on Thursday. The star of the Fighting Irish showcase was another quarterback -- DeShone Kizer -- who could go in the first round (though likely not as high as 6)...

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

WR Quinton Patton has signed with the Jets, the team annnounced Thursday.

He had visited with the team this past weekend.

Last season, Patton recorded 37 catches for 408 yards with the 49ers.

Tags: Charone Peake, Quincy Enunwa
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Jamal Adams highlights 00:01:05
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of LSU safety Jamal Adams.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Now that the big-money part of NFL free agency is over, teams have begun increasingly focusing on the NFL draft, and their first-round targets are becoming a little clearer. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27:

1.) S Jamal Adams, LSU - From the beginning, I've been focused on a cornerback for the Jets in this spot and Marshon Lattimore sure is a possibility (see below). But after free agency, it's clear that safety is the Jets' biggest unfulfilled need. No, they didn't do big things at corner either, but they have young players they liked and they added some potential in Morris Claiborne. At safety, though, they don't have much after striking out on Tony Jefferson in free agency. Calvin Pryor is in the last year of his contract and Marcus Gilchrist could be a salary cap casualty after the season. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams is the best at his position in the draft and could be the leader of the Jets' secondary for years. (Last report: 2)...

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Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

TE Mychal Rivera has agreed to terms with the Jaguars, reports Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

Rivera visted the Jets on Monday, according to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports.

Rivera caught 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown in 13 games with Oakland last season. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson took to Instagram to refute a recent report that he is out of shape. 

In a video posted to his Instagram story, Wilkerson is seen running on a treadmill while sarcastically responding about his conditioning. 

"They say I'm fat and out of shape," he said. "Ha-ha. Keep sleeping on me. I'm telling you."

Wilkerson was referencing an article by the Daily News' Manish Mehta from last week. In the piece, Mehta quotes unnamed scouts who said the 27-year-old looked out of shape when he attended the Temple Pro Day in Philadelphia.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)

Mel Kiper's third Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Kiper notes that if the Jets are going to go with Josh McCownBryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback, they are going to need someone to catch passes, and at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, Howard is Kiper's top-ranked pass-catcher. While his numbers were not staggering at Alabama, Howard "has all of the athletic attributes of a top-tier player, though, and he was one of the most impressive prospects at the combine."

Howard caught 45 passes for 595 yards and three touchdowns last season. In his four years at Alabama, the 22-year old accumulated 114 receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns.

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DNL on new Jets quarterback 00:02:51
The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown. 

 


Weighing the Jets QB options 00:01:15
Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets' quarterback quandary after signing Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets' search for their quarterback of the future continued in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Jets had a group of scouts and coaches -- reportedly including new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates -- in attendance there on Tuesday for the University of North Carolina's Pro Day, where the star attraction was Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky. And they're interested enough in the 22-year-old that Trubisky told reporters the Jets have set up a private workout with him, too.

The Jets currently are slated to pick sixth in the upcoming NFL draft and Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson are the only quarterbacks most NFL scouts and talent evaluators consider to be potential Top 10 picks. Some don't think any of the quarterbacks are Top 10 worthy, which means they could be available if the Jets decide to trade down.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Josh McCown 00:01:28
Taylor Rooks talks with SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Josh McCown is not the New York Jets' quarterback of the future, but neither were any of the other quarterbacks available on the free-agent market. There was no ideal answer to the Jets' biggest question.

But McCown is the perfect player to get them closer to the answers they need.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The No. 1 priority for the Jets heading into this offseason was unquestionably to find a quarterback. Nothing else came close. Without a quarterback, nothing else really mattered. The Jets were desperate.

Or so we all thought.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)
(Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)

Writer/director Spike Lee said it's "fishy" that free agent QB Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, mentioning the Jets among the teams that could use Kaepernick.

"The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In."

Lee, who recently had brunch with Kaepernick, added that Kaepernick being unsigned "stinks to the high heavens."

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent quarterback Chase Daniel will visit with the Jets on Monday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Last Monday, Daniel asked the Eagles for his release after they traded for veteran QB Nick Foles.

The 30-year-old backup quarterback visited with the Saints over the weekend, but left New Orleans without a deal.

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:00:53
After reports that QB Josh McCown left his visit with the Jets without a contract, Ray Lucas discusses if signing the veteran is a fit.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' latest search for their quarterback of the future could be nearing a temporary conclusion. And if it is, they'll have yet another short-term answer to the franchise's biggest problem.

Josh McCown, a 37-year-old journeyman free agent, continued his visit with the Jets for a second day on Saturday, according to an NFL source. The two sides are serious enough about each other that they've discussed contract parameters, the source said. Indications were that his visit was going very well.

That seems to position McCown as the leader of the dwindling pack of Jets' quarterback options. The Jets are also interested in former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, according to a source, and though he was expected to be brought in for a visit that has not happened yet. A team source confirmed the Jets have no interest in ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and beyond that the market is extremely thin.

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CB Morris Claiborne has signed with the Jets, the team announced. 

It will be a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to multiple reports.

The 27-year-old Claiborne had 26 tackles and one interception in seven games last season for the Cowboys.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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On the latest edition of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former Jets QB Geno Smith sits down with Taylor to discuss his time with the Jets and his decision to join the Giants.

"I will always kind of have that regret because I wanted to do so many things for that franchise.....I'm not a quitter, I don't like to lose and I don't like to give up on things. Sometimes in business you have to go your separate ways."

Click below to listen...

 

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Free agent QB Josh McCown will visit the Jets on Friday and Saturday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

McCown, 37, recently visited with the Cowboys.

He completed 90 passes for 165 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in five games last season for the Browns...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Smart or Disappointing 00:02:19
Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing off season

Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing offseason.

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Jets making right moves in FA? 00:03:37
The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.

The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.


 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets claimed defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers in February, only to let him go a month later. Now they are bringing him back again.

The 25-year-old Pennel has signed a one-year deal with the Jets, his agent, Andy Simms, confirmed on Twitter. The former Green Bay Packer will be in the mix this summer to make the team on the Jets' crowded defensive line.

Pennel was once seen as a promising player. The 6-4, 332-pounder even started five games with the Packers in 2015. But his career took a bad turn last season when he was suspended twice -- for the first four games and then the last four games -- for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Let me get you started with the questions, because I know the big one that's on everybody's mind:

Q: What are the Jets going to do at quarterback?

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa's breakout year was another example of how the former sixth-round pick has exceeded expectations. And in the NFL, young players get compensated for doing that.

To no one's surprise, the 24-year old receiver led the Jets in performance-based compensation from the NFL for the second straight season, pocketing another $327,637 for his 58-catch, 857-yard season. The annual bonus distribution is a way for the NFL and NFL Players Association to make sure that lower-salaried players are compensated for excellent performances, without counting against a team's salary cap.

In 2015, Enunwa pocketed nearly $300,000 in performance-based pay, giving him about $625,000 in bonuses for the last two seasons. His salaries for those two seasons were slightly more than $850,000 combined, so his bonuses equated to about 74 percent of his base pay...

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended by the NFL for two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the team announced. 

Late last September, Seferian-Jenkins was arrested for a DUI charge and was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three days later, the Jets claimed him off waivers. 

In seven games with the Jets, he recorded 10 catches for 110 yards. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed all charges against former Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

According to reports, Revis' childhood friend appeared before the judge with his attorney and said he pulled the accusers off Revis and punched them.

Pittsburgh police charged Revis with four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy/aggravated assault and one count misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats for the incident that took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 12.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are looking for a versatile third running back and kick returner and had made an offer to Travaris Cadet, but he has chosen to remain with the Saints, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Cadet was also weighing an offer from the Bills.

A 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, Cadet -- who visited with the Jets this past weekend -- has spent most of his five NFL seasons with the Saints. He had 40 catches and four receiving touchdowns for New Orleans last year, where new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton was the receiving coach...

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Dont'a Hightower returns to Pats 00:02:26
The Daily News Live team talks about Dont'a Hightower's decision to re-sign with the defending-champion Patriots rather than the Jets.

Free agent LB Dont'a Hightower has returned to the Patriots, signing a four-year, $43.5 million deal that includes a $19 million signing bonus.

The 27-year-old All-Pro visited the Jets on Monday and the Steelers on Tuesday. 

There were reports that New York was among the highest bidders for Hightower's services, reportedly offering him more than $12 million per year.

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 (Daniel Powers (USA Today))
(Daniel Powers (USA Today))

Update: 

The Jets have offered free agent LB Dont'a Hightower more than $12 million per year, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.

Jason La Confora reported yesterday that the Jets had offered the most money for Hightower. La Confora said that the 27-year-old was not inclined to take New York's offer.

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 (Steven Senne/AP)
(Steven Senne/AP)

In today's Jets mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano weighs in on the quarterback situation, the possibility of tanking, and the Jets' potential pitch to Dont'a Hightower...


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Is it worth the #Jets going after a Brock Osweiler or Chase Daniel if other teams are on the hook for their salaries? -- @MiniHulk5

If you mean that's because their prices will be lower, I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, Osweiler and Daniel are already making money this season from their old teams, so perhaps they'd be willing to take less from their new one. But really, how high is their value going to be anyway? Right now I only count four teams without a starting quarterback - the Jets, Browns, Texans, and 49ers. The Texans are probably going to get Tony Romo and the other two are drafting 1-2 in April...

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Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Looking to bolster their rushing attack - which might be especially important if they end up with an inexperienced quarterback - the Jets are bringing in fullback Zach Line for a free-agent visit.

The 26-year-old Line, who played the last four seasons for the Vikings, is expected to arrive in Florham Park, N.J., on Wednesday. He had been the Vikings' primary fullback the last two seasons. In 2016, the Vikings had the NFL's worst rushing attack, though that was largely due to the absence of running back Adrian Peterson. In 2015, they ranked fourth in the league as Peterson rushed for 1,485 yards.

The Jets did not have a true fullback on their roster last season, though they still ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9.  (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Howard Jones, a defensive end who can play linebacker in a 3-4 defense and who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will make a free-agent visit to the Jets on Friday, an NFL source confirmed.

The visit, reported by ESPN, will be a chance for the Jets to check on his rehabilitation from a torn ACL that limited him to just eight games last season. In 2015, before he got hurt, he showed a lot of promise with five sacks in 12 games, including five starts. He had two sacks that season in his NFL debut.

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The free-agent market has thinned out a bit, but the Jets still have plenty of holes to fill. Yes, they still need a quarterback. But they have many other needs, too.

The good news is they still have a decent amount of salary-cap space and there is still help available. Here's a look at some of the non-quarterbacks still on the market who could be a fit:

CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys) - The former sixth-overall pick (2012), he was long considered a bust before he began to finally play up to expectations last season - right up until he injured his groin. He's still only 27 and as the Jets begin a youth movement in the secondary it might be worth giving him a chance to prove his start last season wasn't a fluke. They'd need to move fast, though, since word is he could soon end up with the Ravens.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Patriots still tormenting Jets 00:02:49
The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.

The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.


Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a new podcast, and for the Jets, it's been a few weeks of out with the old, and in with the…well, not much. The guys say goodbye to Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, and Nick Folk, and look ahead to what comes next as the Jets look to re-build around QB TBD.

Click below to listen!

 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets don't seem to be in any hurry to figure out their starting quarterback for 2017 and they are "considering all options," according to a source. At the moment there are many. None of them are great.

But Jay Cutler does appear to be up near the top of their list.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)
Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Updates (Mar. 13)

4:25 p.m.: The Jets concluded their visit with free agent LB Dont'a Hightower on Monday afternoon.

11:10 a.m.: After visiting the Jets, Hightower is scheduled to visit the Steelers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

 

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Cutler to NY? 00:02:51
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the latest on the New York Jets and Giants in free agency.

The Jets have called to express interest in free agent QB Jay Cutler, who was released by the Bears last week, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Cutler, 33, completed 81 of 137 passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in five games last season for the Bears while dealing with two separate injuries.

He threw for 3,659 yards in 2015 to go along with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets sat on the sidelines during the first few days of the NFL's free-agent frenzy, choosing to avoid some of the crazy contracts being thrown around. But they have done some spending, re-signing a few of their own players and bringing in a new left tackle and a new kicker.

So what's next? Well, the biggest question of all still hangs over the Jets since they don't yet know who their starting quarterback will be in 2017. Pretty much every other question pales in comparison to that one, and they don't appear much closer to answering it right now.

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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Jets still haven't ruled out bringing Geno Smith back to compete for their starting quarterback job next season. But the Giants may be taking a shot at him first.

Smith, the former Jets second-round pick, is making a free agent visit across town to the Giants on Saturday afternoon, an NFL source confirmed. The Giants are in the market for a backup to Eli Manning, with both Josh Johnson and Ryan Nassib currently unrestricted free agents.

A big part of the visit, according to one source, is so the Giants can get a sense for where the 26-year-old Smith is in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last October in his lone start last season with the Jets. In a recent interview with NFL Network, Smith said he was on track to be ready for the start of training camp in July, but likely wouldn't be ready for football activities before that.

Tags: Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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Kelvin Beachum started 15 games last season for Jacksonville (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)
Kelvin Beachum started 15 games last season for Jacksonville (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY: The Jets are still searching for a quarterback, but now they have someone who can protect his blindside.

Taking their first dip in this year's free-agent pool, the Jets signed former Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum on Friday night. He figures to immediately become the starter on the left side, taking the place of the Ryan Clady/Ben Ijalana combo the Jets used last season.

The Jets also filled two other key vacancies on Friday night when they signed former Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who replaces the recently released Nick Folk, and they re-signed long-snapper Tanner Purdum.

Beachum (6 foot 3, 308 pounds) was the big get for the Jets. A former seventh-round pick of the Steelers, he was on his way to becoming one of the best left tackles in the NFL before he tore his ACL during the 2015 season. He proved his recovery, though, by starting 15 games at left tackle for the Jaguars last year.

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Jets outlook for 2017 00:03:24
The Daily News Live panel wonders if the Jets have already given up on the 2017 season given the current makeup of the team.

Maccagnan's seat warming up? 00:02:42
Jon Hein and Dan Graca discuss if Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan should be on the hot seat as the Jets enter free agency.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

The first few hours of the NFL's free-agent frenzy didn't clear up the Jets' quarterback question, but the landscape changed a bit and may have increased their options. Jay Cutler, as expected, is now available. And Brock Osweiler, unexpectedly, is available too.

So what are the Jets doing and who are they looking at, and do they have any idea who their quarterback will be in 2017?

Here's a look at their current options, just a few hours after the market opened with the Jets standing relatively still:

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Jets lack of free agent activity 00:03:06
Jon Hein and Dan Graca debate just how depressing the first day of free agency has been for the New York Jets and their fan base.

Free agent RB Benny Cunningham  met with the Jets on Friday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports.

The 26-year-old appeared in 11 games last season with the Rams, rushing 21 times for 101 yards.

Cunningham signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and has spent his entire career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles franchise.

Since debuting in 2013, he's carried the ball 171 times for 748 yards and four touchdowns in 57 career games with the Rams.

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Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) fumbles the ball after being sacked by New York Jets linebacker Corey Lemonier (44) and New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) fumbles the ball after being sacked by New York Jets linebacker Corey Lemonier (44) and New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets have re-signed LB Corey Lemonier, the team announced Thursday night.

The 25-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Lions on Dec. 26 and appeared in New York's Week 17 game against the Bills.

Lemonier has appeared in 51 career games since he was selected by the 49ers in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft.

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