This week, Bent analyzes Week 4 performances by Ryan FitzpatrickMatt Forte, Bilal Powell and the team's running backsBrandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide ReceiversBrian Winters and the Offensive LineCalvin Pryor and the Defensive BacksDarron Lee and the LinebackersLeonard Williams and the Defensive Line and Jeremy Ross and special teams.

To read each section, scroll down or jump to them by clicking the above topic...


Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bent: Fitzpatrick can play well. He did last year, especially down the stretch (final game meltdown in the Buffalo aside). Can he work his way out of this slump, though? And, having invested $12 million to bring him back, how much rope will the team give him?

The irony is that Fitzpatrick didn't play that badly for most of yesterday's game. He was reasonably accurate, made good decisions and got the Jets back into the game just before halftime with a great touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall. Once again, though, his stat-line looks a lot worse than it would have because the Jets were trailing and he was forced to take some chances. The second of his three interceptions bounced up off the hands of a receiver and the third one was another forced throw at a time when the Jets had no real option but to try and force things with time running out.

His first interception was the most crucial. With the Jets close to midfield and down by seven, Fitzpatrick went to the well one too many times. His pass was thrown up on the assumption that Marshall would win his match-up on the outside. That's not an unreasonable chance to take - he had done so on the previous snap and Fitzpatrick found him for a first down. There's not a lot Fitzpatrick can do about that, other than not taking that chance, but where would that leave the Jets offense in their ability to consistently create yardage?

In fact, if you look at what Fitzpatrick was seeing on each of the throws, there's basically no difference. Brandon Marshall isn't open, but Fitzpatrick throws to the same spot each time, trusting that Marshall would create the separation. He did on the first one, but lost on the second one.



The sad thing is that this probably works most of the time in practice against Darrelle Revis.  Unfortunately, it has a lower percentage chance against a much better cornerback - a totally alien concept as recently as a year ago.

It seems like forever ago that Fitzpatrick was lighting up the Bills for 370 yards and almost 40 points. Since then, the Bills have won two straight against probable playoff teams the Jets are floundering. Thinking back to that game, perhaps I can at least take some comfort that the Jets and Fitzpatrick are capable of figuring things out. It reminds me that it's not so bad. It's not so bad.


Matt Forte and Bilal Powell

The Jets' running game was a major disappointment in this game, even though they were facing an excellent front seven. Much of this had to do with the blocking, which we'll discuss below, but Forté was completely ineffective as runs seemed to be slow-developing and he lacked the burst he had displayed earlier in the season. It reminded me of watching Thomas Jones towards the end of every season. The Jets seemed to overuse Forté in the first couple of games and it might be catching up with the 30-year old already.

Powell had a productive day, generating 80 yards on 10 touches. Fitzpatrick picked up a couple of first downs by checking down to him underneath, something he didn't do enough of last week. Powell was lucky that his juggled catch didn't lead to a turnover, though.

Forté contributed a couple of catches in the passing game, including one for a first down, but if Powell is bringing those things to the table already then it makes the Jets a little one-dimensional. He also seemed to blow a blitz pick-up, although that might have been on the quarterback.

I'm beginning to wonder if the Jets are suffering from the lack of a power back on the current roster. Perhaps the plan was for Khiry Robinson to bring that to the table before he got hurt again.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Jets add someone like Karlos Williams during the week to address this. While that would make sense, it would be disappointing to see the team concede that they played the first month with a less than ideal situation and waited this long to rectify it.

The Jets experimented with back-up tight end Braedon Bowman in the fullback role this week. It wasn't something he looked entirely comfortable with, but he handled most of the assignments without making any obvious mistakes.


Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide Receivers

Bent: Marshall clearly relished his match-up with Richard Sherman and had a productive day with 89 yards and a touchdown on four catches. However, two passes thrown his way were intercepted - with a third overturned by the replay booth - and he didn't seem to be on the same page with Fitzpatrick a couple of times.

With Eric Decker and Jalin Marshall out, Fitzpatrick avoided the temptation to continue to force the ball to his top target and did spread the ball around a bit. This saw mixed results.

Enunwa had another productive game with six catches for 60 yards. Having entered the season with 22 career catches, he has 23 already through four games and is just seven yards shy of being on track for a 1,000-yard season. I'm seeing new things from Enunwa every week and this week, his route running was on point with a break to the outside and a whip-out for two early catches. He also drew a penalty for another first down and continues to show improved hands.

Forced into a bigger role, Robbie Anderson was a major disappointment, dropping a few passes, including one that ended up being intercepted. Despite these struggles, Anderson definitely got some downfield separation. He could have had a 100-yard day if Fitzpatrick didn't over and underthrow him on two makeable deep balls. He made a nice low grab for a first down, but didn't come close to making anyone forget about Decker.

Fitzpatrick obviously lacks chemistry with Anderson and might develop that over time. If he does, then they could start connecting on some of these deep balls and the offense will function that much more efficiently. Of course, we were saying exactly the same things about Devin Smith last year and that never materialized. If anyone is holding out hope for Smith to return from the PUP list and lift this group, a lack of chemistry with Fitzpatrick isn't going to be any less of an issue this year with Smith either.

Charone Peake surpassed expectations in his first significant action. He caught three passes and, although none went for a first down, he showed off some good hands and a nice open-field move. His fumble recovery and touchdown showed good alertness but was really just a fluke, albeit a nice confidence booster for him. It's the kind of fluke which would have been a momentum-changer had it happened earlier in the game, but at 17 down in the fourth quarter was about as useless of a lucky bounce as you could ever get. In fact, based on the law of averages, this probably just means we're less likely to see the Jets get a useful lucky bounce any time soon.

Blocking from the tight end position was disappointing once again. Kellen Davis was called for a hold and struggled to sustain blocks all day, while Brandon Bostick got blown up on a pulling block that led to a run being stuffed in the backfield. Bowman showed an ability to get down the seam on one play, but let himself down when he dropped Fitzpatrick's pass under duress.


Brian Winters and the Offensive Line

Bent: If ever there was a moment that could be a microcosm for what characterizes this team, Winters would provide it. Down 7-3 and driving close to midfield, the Jets failed to gain any yardage on first down. Winters decided to show that the Jets were going to stand up to their opposition with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Michael Bennett.  That set the Jets back 15 yards, stalling the drive and leading to a punt, after which the Seahawks drove down and scored to increase the lead to 11. Also, it knocked Winters out of the game, as he somehow managed to concuss himself with his statement-making actions.

That statement? Just wait around and we'll knock ourselves out.

The offensive line was out of sync all day long, both before and after Winters head-butted his way to the trainer's table. The running game in particular went nowhere as the Jets failed to generate any kind of surge at the point of attack and couldn't prevent the Seahawks linebackers from running free to plug what lanes there were.

With Winters out, the Jets opted to employ Brent Qvale as the right guard. That's interesting because when James Carpenter was hurt earlier in the Bills game, they used Wesley Johnson as the left guard. Qvale had started at right tackle, but was once again rotating on a series-by-series basis with Ben Ijalana.

Qvale had made a couple of good run blocks at tackle, but - for the first time - was exposed in pass protection when he got beaten badly around the outside for what should have been a sack. After moving inside he looked okay on a few running plays but his man was able to leverage his way into a running lane to stuff one run. In pass protection, Bennett bull rushed him back into the quarterback to generate pressure a couple of times.

Ijalana again was mostly solid, albeit without too many impact blocks. On one play, he doubled down on the defensive tackle, leaving the defensive end unblocked to hit Fitzpatrick. That might be on Fitzpatrick again, though. Other than that, his only real mistake was late in the game when he got beaten for a strip-sack. That ended up having a positive result because Peake recovered Fitzpatrick's fumble and ran it in for a score.

Perhaps when Breno Giacomini comes back, the Jets offense will improve because there will be more strip-sacks that Peake can run in for touchdowns.

Carpenter's performance was disappointing and left me wondering if he's still struggling with that calf injury suffered in the Bills game. He only had a couple of positive run blocks, but was called for a hold, whiffed at the point of attack on a run blown up for a loss and failed to complete his block a few other times.

Nick Mangold isn't making many mistakes at center, but he's been unable to have the kind of impact you'd usually expect from him over the past few games as the players around him keep changing. He seems to be getting stood up at the point of attack more than usual and I wonder if that's due to having to keep half an eye on each of the guys either side of him.

Surprisingly, the injury-prone Ryan Clady has been the only other mainstay with Mangold. He had a few nice run blocks, but was called for a hold and did get beaten a few times in pass protection.

I wonder if the Jets will consider bringing in Willie Colon should Winters' concussion be something that could cause him to lose time.


Calvin Pryor and the Defensive Backs

Bent: Head coach Todd Bowles is obviously frustrated with the Jets' continual coverage breakdowns. It's not even as if what he's trying to do is that complicated; the back seven simply don't seem to be on the same page in terms of their communication. It seems amazing that the communication was being praised as a strength last year, especially considering the personnel hasn't really changed.

For the second straight week, Pryor had a confounding performance. Mental mistakes, missed tackles and bad angles - all aspects of his game that he appeared to have fixed in his second season - were all prevalent.

Tanner McEvoy ran completely uncovered down the field for the easiest of touchdowns after having been passed off to Pryor manning the deep middle. Marcus Gilchrist, who was covering the slot on a few occasions when Buster Skrine or Darrelle Revis were temporarily sidelined was the player originally matched up with McAvoy and was obviously not positioned deep to set the defense as he usually would. Pryor's momentum was taking him away from McAvoy and then he lost his balance and fell over.

Pryor was also burned for a big first down, took a bad angle covering a crossing route, overpursued on a receiver screen and was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Ironically, Pryor had one of the plays of the day, ranging right across the field to blow up CJ Spiller in the backfield with a big hit on a short pass. Being constantly out of position all day is perhaps more concerning in light of this one play where he got it right. Will he make even more mistakes, gambling to try and emulate this kind of moment?

For many of the coverage breakdowns, there wasn't an obvious culprit, though.

You'll never see an easier first down than this one, as the linebackers part like the red sea and safety Rontez Miles is far too deep to be expected to account for the back.



On a similar play, Skrine blitzed, along with both inside linebackers, and Sheldon Richardson dropped into coverage with Lorenzo Mauldin.  Tight end Jimmy Graham was totally unaccounted for underneath and picked up an easy first down.

Clearly the Jets don't have much faith in their players to hold up in man-to-man coverages and that's why they're mixing in a lot of zone looks. However, these communication breakdowns are gifting easy first downs and touchdowns to opposing offenses while the Jets' own offense struggles to move the chains.

Revis wasn't badly beaten this week, although there was one first down play where his man picked up a first down on another coverage mix-up involving Gilchrist. Revis made a good open field tackle on the other catch he gave up.

Skrine got hurt a couple of times and gave up a couple of plays on receiver screens. He blew up one screen nicely though and was effective as a blitzer with a sack and a couple of unblocked pressures.

Marcus Williams gave up a first down to Graham on a tough one-handed catch and was also unable to get across to prevent Christine Michael from scoring on a pass to the flat, although it may not have been his responsibility.

Aside from his possible culpability in some of the coverage screw-ups, Gilchrist was also beaten for a first down over the middle. He made a nice play on the outside in run support though.

Reserves Juston Burris and Miles both saw plenty of action with others banged up and seemed to hold up well. Antonio Allen didn't play this week. It's concerning that Pryor's dip in form has coincided with Allen's return. You may recall that the pair were benched together following reports that Pryor had missed multiple team meetings during his rookie year. Could Allen's return have impacted on Pryor's focus somehow?


Darron Lee and the Linebackers

Bent: David Harris seemed to struggle last week and I wondered if Erin Henderson being out was a factor. Henderson returned this week and Harris played better, so there might be something to that. He was exposed in coverage a few times though, including on some miscommunications as mentioned earlier. He was burned down the seam on an overthrow and Spiller beat him for a touchdown over the middle. On that touchdown, Russell Wilson was able to thread the needle as Lee took a couple of steps in the wrong direction to open up a passing lane.



You'll recall Lee discussing the fact his teammates were warning him against "taking the cheese" in training camp. That's something he needs to be reminded of because he bit on a play fake to give up a big first down and, on the above play, he is baited into opening up the angle for the throw by Wilson's move to the right.

Lee was called for a hold and gave up a couple of big plays in coverage against Jimmy Graham, although he was in a good position on each and it had to be a perfect pass each time. He made some positive contributions with a couple of run stuffs and a play in coverage, but his missteps in coverage and with getting picked off at the second level in the running game probably ensure Henderson should remain as the starter for now.

Henderson played a decent game against the run, blowing up a couple of runs including one where he made a tackle for a loss. Unfortunately, though, I don't know if he's much of an upgrade over Lee in coverage, if at all, even with his superior experience and comfort level.

All offseason, the Jets seemed to be setting up to play more 3-4, but they've sought to keep their best players on the field with consistent use of four man fronts since the season got underway. They even reverted to using Richardson as an outside linebacker when they did use some 3-4 packages.

Unfortunately, that doesn't reflect well on their outside linebackers.  Deion Barnes and Freddie Bishop, who the staff raved about earlier this summer didn't even make the team, Mike Catapano didn't see any time for the second game in a row and Mauldin played just six snaps.

Only Jordan Jenkins saw considerable action and he made one good play to set the edge and string out a run for a loss. He almost made another play in the backfield, but missed the tackle. He again wasn't employed as an edge rusher though, blitzing just three times.

Mauldin had one quarterback hit, although it came after he was initially blocked off and Wilson extended the play.


Leonard Williams and the Defensive Line

Bent: Williams made another big splash, as the Jets defensive line got the better of their match-up with Seattle's offensive line, albeit that this didn't prevent Wilson from throwing for over 300 yards and three scores. Williams used a swim move to explode off a block for a sack, his fourth of the year. He's making more impact plays, as projected, and continues to penetrate consistently against the run, although he was blocked off the line a few times.

Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both generated plenty of pressure in the pass rush, with Richardson doing most of his damage in the first half and Wilkerson dominant in the second half, following a quiet first half. Both made good contributions in the running game too, although each had a missed tackle and Wilkerson lost contain on an outside run.

For Wilkerson in particular it must have been frustrating for him to pressure Wilson then turn around to see the ball floating towards a completely uncovered receiver. That happened at least three times. He took things into his own hands at one point, dropping into the flat to help blow up a receiver screen.

Nose tackle Steve McLendon continues to blow up a lot of plays with penetration, although he was dominated at the point of attack a couple of times too. All four starters were officially credited with one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss.

Deon Simon continues to see his reps trending upwards. Could he challenge McLendon for a starting role by the end of the year? He stuffed one run and shed a block well to almost stuff another, only to then miss the tackle. They did handle him at the point of attack once though.

Jarvis Jenkins played just a handful of snaps. If the Jets fall out of contention, I wonder if they would give consideration to cutting him before the trading deadline so that he doesn't count as a qualifying UFA for compensatory pick purposes. As things stand, the Jets won't get any compensatory picks, but if they released Jenkins and he didn't qualify, this could potentially earn them a fourth round pick.

Will the current regime still be around to benefit from such a forward-thinking move, though?


Jeremy Ross and special teams

Bent: Special teams were a major non-factor for both teams this week. The teams combined for three field goals and neither team had a significant kick or punt return.

Having prioritized special teams this offseason with some of their roster moves and decisions in final cuts it must be depressing to lose a game where the special teams have no impact whatsoever - especially after a game where one special teams blunder at the wrong time essentially turned a manageable deficit into an unassailable one.

With Jalin Marshall out, Jeremy Ross returned … to the line-up. He didn't do much returning in the game though. He got out to the 22 on his only kick return and fair-caught all four punts, including one inside the 10, which he seemed to acknowledge was a mistake. Ross has been a productive return man in the past, so he should do fine in Marshall's absence. I wonder if he'll get any reps ahead of the rookies on offense.

Nick Folk made his only field goal and had one kick-off returned to the 22, one touchback and a couple of squib kicks.

In coverage, Bruce Carter made a good tackle on the kick-off and Marcus Williams and Juston Burris combined to blow up a punt return superbly. Josh Martin seemed to get close to blocking a punt on a couple of occasions.

Rookie Lach Edwards landed three punts inside the 20 and managed to get good air under a punt from his own goal line in the face of some pressure. His performance was statistically unremarkable though.

Four weeks in, how is Edwards doing? The official stats say that his gross average is slightly less than Ryan Quigley's was last year, but his net average is slightly better. That could just be due to superior coverage though. Then again, the superior coverage might be a result of better placement and hang time from Edwards.

An alternative measurement of punter performance is the ANPP metric, something I created to measure punter performance by taking into account expected distance based on field position. On that scale, 60% is very poor and 70% is elite. Edwards is currently just below 68% so he seems to be doing pretty well at the moment. For more on how ANPP is calculated, click here.

Tags: BGA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

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

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

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

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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

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

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

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

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

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

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

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

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

Can the 50th time be their charm?

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

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

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

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)
Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)

In his latest mock draft, Todd McShay changed his pick for the Jets, and has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

McShay originally had New York taking LSU DE Arden Key. However, he had a change of heart as the Jets desperately need to find their franchise quarterback. But he warns not to forget about free agency, where GM Mike Maccagnan will have about $100 million to go after high-profile QB Kirk Cousins.

"Yes, it's a running theme -- this is another landing spot for Cousins," McShay writes. "If the Jets don't sign him in free agency, Allen makes a lot of sense if Mayfield is off the board. There is a significant drop-off in talent after the first four QBs in this draft, so the Jets need to make sure they grab one here. Allen had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, showing off his arm and his mobility. There are still concerns about his accuracy and ability to make multidimensional throws consistently, but all the tools are there. And he has the prototypical QB build (6-foot-4 7/8, 237 pounds)."

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 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Philadelphia Eagles would be absolutely crazy to get rid of Nick Foles now after he slayed the mighty Patriots, and was rightfully named the Super Bowl MVP. Yes, they have Carson Wentz, a legitimate MVP candidate, before he got hurt. And yes, Foles will likely be Wentz's backup again next season.

But didn't Foles just prove to everyone how valuable a backup quarterback on a contender really is?

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

In last year's draft, the Jets used their first two picks on safeties, and Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye started every game alongside one another in the secondary. Those starting roles seem settled for the next few years, but the Jets like to operate out of packages with three and even four safeties, so Todd Bowles may be keen to add some depth.

Last year, Rontez Miles and Terrance Brooks each saw regular playing time, often playing together as the Jets used a four-safety dime package in passing situations. Also, Doug Middleton, who missed the season due to injury, was expected to contribute. All three are now out of contract though, so the Jets may look to fortify their depth in the draft.

While it seems unlikely the Jets would select another safety with their top pick, Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick is a possible consideration due to his versatility. Could Fitzpatrick be like Jalen Ramsey -- a hybrid cornerback/safety who has developed into one of the league's better cornerbacks?

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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