This week, Bent analyzes Week 5 performances by Todd Bowles and the coaching staff, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Forte and the running backs, Brandon Marshall and the wide receivers, Brandon Bostick and the tight ends, Nick Mangold and the offensive line, Marcus Williams and the defensive backs, the linebackers, defensive line and special teams.

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


Coaching Staff

Bent: Local fans might remember back in August when the New York Mets hit rock bottom, after which Terry Collins went on a rant to the media. The team responded by going on a successful run and unexpectedly making it to the postseason. Maybe that was influential in the run they made, or maybe it had no effect whatsoever and their upturn in fortunes was due to other factors. Either way, the message he sent was eerily similar to what Todd Bowles needs to be telling his team right now...

Collins accepted blame for some of the team's issues, but resolved to continue working towards getting things turned around, while also highlighting the individual responsibility that professional players have to keep working hard and show discipline, focus, camaraderie and pride in their performance. That isn't happening on the Jets and Bowles needs to adjust. He can't do it alone, though. It requires a buy-in from each of his players, especially the veteran leaders.


Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bent:Fitzpatrick actually put up pretty good numbers yesterday and, as I try to resist pouring cold water on that by nit-picking every little thing that he did wrong, it seems appropriate to acknowledge that this is a major step forward from his previous two performances... not that the bar was set very high, of course.

Nevertheless, there has to be concern that the offense essentially did nothing in the second half, punting on every possession -- other than the last one where they turned the ball over on downs. Part of that was no doubt because they lost Nick Mangold halfway through the third quarter, but it also perhaps suggests the team had an overly conservative approach in an effort to ensure Fitzpatrick didn't turn the ball over.

His numbers were good, but he was mostly just taking what the defense gave him. He also had a couple of plays where his accuracy prevented or reduced the yards after the catch and a few more where he forced the ball into coverage when he could have dumped it off. He didn't complete a pass 20 yards past the line of scrimmage all day, other than his touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall, which only travelled that far because it deflected into the air before Marshall was able to snatch it away from the defender. That sums up how the Jets weren't taking too many chances.

It seems like an odd approach to be so conservative given that Fitzpatrick has played one good game this year and it was the one where he threw downfield a lot and got into a nice rhythm, but I suppose the Jets are just too nervous that he'll throw too many interceptions if they play that way. I've just spent a couple of paragraphs talking about Fitzpatrick's limitations, which seems unfathomable considering the fact the Jets are paying him $12 million this year in order to avoid having to field a team that has a quarterback with limitations.

The opening drive seemed like it was probably scripted, which would explain why they operated out of a spread formation and threw a low-percentage pass on 3rd-and-1 when they got into the red zone. The drive stalled, which was one of 11 frustrating plays where they were one yard short of a first down. Three were fourth downs and they opted to kick each time with two punts and a field goal. Of the other eight, they ran for a first down three times and converted one on a pass, but also got stuffed twice on a run and a shovel pass and threw two incompletions. The Steelers, by contrast, went 3-for-4 in such situations, with the only failure being a wide open drop.

The decision to constantly kick on fourth and short - and they kicked twice more on 4th-and-2 - angered me greatly, not so much for the message that it sent or the effect it had on their chances to win, but because it reminded me that Gregg Easterbrook exists.


Matt Forte and the Running Backs

Bent: After the game plan had worked reasonably well in the first half, why did the Jets run the ball just five times for 12 yards in the second half - especially once the Steelers' best lineman, Cameron Heyward, was knocked out of the game due to injury? First of all, they struggled to sustain drives, which meant they didn't get as many chances to forgo running the ball as you'd expect in one half of football. Secondly, perhaps the Jets figured they would struggle to run the ball successfully after Mangold's injury. Finally, as the game slipped away, they obviously sought to get back into it by hurrying things up and focusing on the passing game...

Matt Forté had 49 yards at half time, but gained just four yards on three carries in the second half, though that first half number was inflated by a 28-yard run. There was another play where it looked like he had room to run on the outside, but couldn't turn the corner. The blocking was poor on the edge, which is another example of a slow-developing play where Forté seemed not to have the burst he had at the start of the year.

Once again, Bilal Powell provided a productive change of pace. He picked up 51 yards on 10 touches. Over half of that production came in the fourth quarter after the Jets fell two scores behind though. Powell's continued production in the passing game is nice, too, but I still feel like it makes one of Forté's best attributes redundant.


Brandon Marshall, Wide Receivers

Bent: When a leader steps up and vows to take action, it's always disappointing he fails to deliver. That's why I was disappointed in Brandon Marshall. Sure, Marshall caught eight passes for a season-high 114 yards and scored a touchdown for the second straight week, bailing out his quarterback in the process. Hey, he didn't twerk though!!! You promised, Brandon!

Eric Decker continues to be missed. Thankfully, Quincy Enunwa made his presence felt when he caught a first down pass on the very first play. He ended up with 51 yards on four catches. Is it too soon to worry about what he's going to cost when his contract expires at the end of next season?

Meanwhile, rookie receivers Robbie Anderson and Charone Peake continue to be forced into action, but each had just one short catch and came up shy of the marker. Anderson was targeted unsuccessfully one other time on a deep ball.


Brandon Bostick and the Tight Ends

Bent: The big story this week is that the Jets finally completed a pass to a tight end, as Brandon Bostick caught a nine-yard pass early in the game. Newest Jet Austin Seferian-Jenkins did one better than Bostick, catching two passes for 17 yards, including one first down. The three tight ends (Bostick, Seferian-Jenkins and Kellen Davis) combined to spring Matt Forté for his longest run of the day, as they all lined up on the right side and each of them made their block to open a lane for him.

By the way, is Davis being phased out? He had 54 snaps in week one, 49 in week two, 32 in week three and only 23 in each of the past two weeks...


Nick Mangold and the Offensive Line

Bent: The last thing the Jets needed was Nick Mangold getting injured, even though it was almost lost in the shuffle with everything else that was going wrong Sunday. It remains to be seen if he will be out for an extended period, but Wesley Johnson is likely to be a significant downgrade. In this game, Mangold didn't play badly, but the offensive line still seemed out of sync. Johnson's worst mistake came on the final play, as he badly messed up on a fourth down screen pass that otherwise looked like it might have worked.

Unexpectedly, Ryan Clady is now officially the healthiest first-stringer on the offensive line. Clady was beaten on consecutive plays in pass protection in the first quarter, but then settled things down. He otherwise didn't allow any direct pressure until Jarvis Jones beat him for a hit on a late inside move, although he was called for a hold on a play where Fitzpatrick was sacked after pressure from Clady's side forced him to step up. Remember, he has a $10 million salary next year, so decisions will need to be made in terms of whether to retain, restructure or release him.

Now playing right tackle full time, Ben Ijalana was beaten for one sack. On the play, Fitzpatrick initially looked a little indecisive, but reviewing the film suggests it was a designed play out of a three-back set to fake a swing pass to Forté going left and then reverse course and throw a screen to Powell leaking out on the right side. It was nicely set up too, so it was unfortunate that Ijalana lost leverage on his man and Fitzpatrick couldn't get the throw off. Other than that play, Ijalana held up well and seems to be proving he can handle a full-time role.

Brian Winters was out, but the Jets didn't miss him too badly as Brent Qvale held up quite well in his place at right guard. When Winters returns, does he take back his job? And, if so, does Qvale get added back into a rotation with Ijalana?

James Carpenter seemed to struggle in the running game, which can't be attributed to not having Mangold next to him because they only ran the ball three times with Johnson in. On one early play he was blown up completely on a run stuff and later on overshot his target while pulling to the right.


Marcus Williams and the Defensive Backs

Bent: Steelers WR Sammie Coates blew by Marcus Williams and caught a deep ball for an easy touchdown, the third touchdown of 70 yards or more and fifth of 40 yards or more allowed by the Jets this season. Maybe Calvin Pryor should have been in a position to give him some deep support, maybe not. But, it's almost irrelevant because you a coverage screw-up can be pinned on almost everyone in yesterday's game...

The coverage was embarrassing all day, and a veteran quarterback - like Ben Roethlisberger - is always going to exploit it. He threw two other touchdowns where the receiver was all alone - once as Rontez Miles, Darron Lee and Erin Henderson all basically tried to cover the same assignment leaving Jesse James uncovered and once as Marcus Gilchrist collided with Pryor at the goal line with Williams too far off. These weren't isolated incidents, though, and it all seems to come down to communication.

Did the Jets miss Darrelle Revis? I'm not sure he would have made too much difference. With so many wide open receivers, Roethlisberger would have found someone open eventually anyway. And if the Jets opted to put Revis on Antonio Brown to try and roll safety support elsewhere, recent history suggests Roethlisberger would have had a lot of success simply going at that match-up.

Could the Jets be missing Antonio Cromartie more than anyone expected? Certainly not based on his level of play, as he struggled badly last year, but it makes you wonder when you consider the Jets have drastic communication issues despite the fact they have the same coaches, the same system and essentially the same group of players.

We're into conspiracy theories now, but what if last year's group was close-knit and team-oriented and Cromartie's personality and approach to practice was a major factor in that? While his on-field play was disappointing, could he have been a glue guy, without whom the team has developed bad habits and struggled to get on the same page? I'm wildly scrambling for answers, because the regression of this unit and some of its individual components make no sense.

In terms of direct coverage, Williams was in position a couple of times, but dropped a possible interception and after earlier getting burned was susceptible to hitch routes and back shoulder throws for the rest of the game. Buster Skrine seemed to fall asleep on a play where the Jets jumped offside, giving up a first down and he and Miles were each penalized in coverage. Gilchrist and Pryor's confounding and disappointing season continues too.

Pryor continues to look slow at times and I'm still wondering if he's not not healthy because there's a definite difference in him since last year. The coaches have noticed, apparently, since Miles has been taking more and more of his reps. Miles made some good stops, but I don't know if he's a viable option to replace Pryor, because he's also been prone to errors at times.

With Revis out, two young reserves - rookie Juston Burris and former Patriot Darryl Roberts - saw significant action, but didn't seem to be involved in the blown coverages, which were almost all attributable to players who were here last year. Burris gave up a couple of first downs on the last touchdown drive. Roberts, making his first appearance as a Jet, only gave up two first downs, but he has Coates to thank for that, since he had four drops with Roberts covering him. Roberts also had a bad missed tackle, but did break up one pass in the end zone. That could easily have been pass interference, though.


Linebackers

Bent: David Harris was actually having a good game in the first half, but things soon unravelled once he departed with a hamstring injury. Three plays later, the Steelers took the lead for good, as they would outscore the Jets 24-0 after Harris' departure. The offense went in the tank after that point too. Was this the bizarro-world version of when Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt in Oakland and the Jets defense seemed so distracted by this that they fell apart?

Despite only playing half a game, Harris was credited with six tackles, including a couple of run stuffs, and a pass defensed. Erin Henderson led the team with eight tackles, but both he and Lee were picked on a lot in coverage as neither proved capable of covering Le'Veon Bell underneath.

After some recent struggles, Lee didn't play much early on. While that might be because the Jets were simply playing more base to match with the Steelers' personnel, it could also be a sign that the team doesn't trust him as much as Henderson yet and some of the coverage mix-ups show why. Lee had one defensive penalty, but stuffed two runs close to the line and was credited with one pressure.

If Harris is out next week, it will be interesting to see how the Henderson-Lee tandem is employed next week. An alternative might be to use Bruce Carter in Harris' mike role. He played a few snaps yesterday.

Once again, the outside linebackers didn't contribute much. In fact, they had zero tackles between them officially, although Jordan Jenkins had a big hit on Bell on the outside, only to see that negated as he was dubiously called for illegal hands to the face. He and Lorenzo Mauldin had one pressure each but Mike Catapano and Josh Martin barely played.


Defensive Line

Bent: The Jets only finally got to Ben Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter, when Leonard Williams wrapped him up from behind and forced the ball loose for Sheldon Richardson to recover. Williams continues to be the only player actually sacking the quarterback on a regular basis, which underlines how the team is mostly generating pressure on the interior rather than off the edge. In this game, the pocket was constantly on the verge of collapsing, but Roethlisberger had the composure to stay settled with the walls closing in and pick off easy opportunities to advance the ball down the field.

Muhammad Wilkerson hasn't produced much this year, and he's not getting many chances to attack the interior. Playing almost exclusively on the edge and on the field for every snap but one, Wilkerson stuffed a couple of runs and  seemed to make more plays in coverage than in the pass rush as he deflected a screen pass and made a tackle on a tight end to force a 3rd-and-short. There are fans and media suggesting he's simply not equipped to produce on the edge, but that's nonsense because he played there for most of last year.

From this game, it was clear Wilkerson had additional responsibilities in terms of containing the pocket and denying passing lanes as he kept dropping off and hanging back. He was also used to chip tight ends and receivers, which limited how quickly he could apply pressure on Roethlisberger. The Coates touchdown is a perfect example of this, as he chips two receivers to slow them down and still gets into Roethlisberger's face up the middle, but too late to prevent the clean throw.



The Jets are obviously desperate to help out their struggling secondary, but if they put so much on Wilkerson's plate that he's not making an impact in the trenches, that's counter-productive.

Nose tackles Steve McLendon and Deon Simon contributed well in the running game again, as the Jets held Bell to just 66 yards on 20 carries and stopped DeAngelo Williams for no gain on his only carry. McLendon was controlled at the line a few times, but got in on three run stuffs and Simon combined with Jarvis Jenkins on a stop for no gain. Jenkins had one other run stuff, but then jumped offside on the next play.


Special Teams

Bent: The special teams unit made an impact play for the first time in a few weeks when they reacted well to a fake field goal by the Steelers. Rontez Miles brought down the holder in the backfield to force a turnover on downs after excellent pressure up the middle from Josh Martin.

They blew it on a couple of other chances to put the Steelers under pressure though, as Lac Edwards expertly landed two punts inside the five yard line, only for Marcus Williams and Juston Burris to fail to down them before they bounced into the end zone. Statistically, it was a rough day for Edwards, who had one short kick and then outkicked his coverage on two punts that were returned for 33 and 18 yards by Antonio Brown.

On the first of those, Edwards' kick had Brown backpedalling but he had too much room as it seemed to be Burris that was most guilty of getting out of his lane. Williams overpursued and Kellen Davis lost outside contain on the second long return.

Burris compounded a rough performance by getting burned by the gunner on a play where Jeremy Ross might have had a chance to return a punt but was forced to take a fair catch. Ross must have been frustrated, as the only chance he got to return a kick all day saw him bottled up at the 20 on a kick-off and it sounds like Jalin Marshall is close to returning.

In coverage, Calvin Pryor led the Jets with two tackles, both downfield after Brown had broken into the open field.  Bruce Carter and Mike Catapano also combined to make a stop at the 20 on one kick-off. The rest of Nick Folk's kick-offs were touchbacks and he also made both his field goals and one extra point. After a rocky opening day, Folk has now made 17 kicks in a row, including 10 field goals.

Here's an interesting special teams note to close on. With Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold and David Harris all injured by the time the fourth quarter began, the only healthy players left on the Jets roster who were with the team before 2011 are Folk and Tanner Purdum.  That means Purdum and Folk are the only ones left to have suited up for the Jets in a postseason game.

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Dec 10, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 10, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Steelers will not be placing the transition tag on Le'Veon Bell -- making him an unrestricted free agent -- GM Kevin Colbert told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

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

Now, armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make Bell one of their top targets. But they could be facing an uphill climb if they do.

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

A lot of people sure seem certain that the Giants are going to take Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the sixth pick of the NFL Draft - or at least one of the franchise quarterbacks to become Eli Manning's heir apparent.

But there are still more than two months left and even the Giants don't know for sure what they're doing just yet. Picking something other than a quarterback is absolutely still an option.

So what happens if that's what they do? It could shake up the Top 10 a bit. Here's a look at one possible scenario:

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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in. We continue today with a look at the 2019 safety class.

Jets Needs: Safety

When the Jets used their first two picks on safeties in 2017, that made it unlikely the safety position would be considered a draft priority for the next few years, especially since Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye had such impressive rookie seasons. However, while Adams went from strength to strength in 2018, Maye had multiple injury issues, missing 10 starts.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks
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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Jets appear ready to make a strong bid for running back Le'Veon Bell as soon as the NFL free-agent market opens on March 13.

One problem, though: Bell might not actually be a free agent.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly considering placing the "transition tag" on the 27-year-old running back, which would certainly complicate the Jets' pursuit of Bell. The Steelers have from now until March 5 to make that decision on a tag that is expected to be about $14.5 million for a one-year deal. And "all indications are (they) still intend to do that," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

If they do use it, though, that doesn't mean he's off the market. In fact, several NFL sources believe the Steelers will tag Bell with the intention of trading him. Obviously it would be easier for the Jets if Bell were an unrestricted free agent and they could simply use some of their projected $95 million in salary cap room to shower him with money. But they'd still have other options to get him.

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

Disgruntled Steelers WR Antonio Brown met with team owner Art Rooney on Tuesday, tweeting after that both sides agreed a trade made the most sense:

"Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I'll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin"

While the Steelers agreed to work on a trade, they have not given permission for Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to speak with interested teams, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Already boasting a ton of cap space, the Jets now have even more room to work with. 

The Jets announced Tuesday that they're not picking up contract options on safety Terrence Brooks, DT Mike Pennel and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

The 26-year-old Brooks just completed the first season of a two-year deal. His option was for $200,000 and he was due $1.6 million in 2019, so the move clears $1.8 million of cap space for the Jets. Brooks appeared in 31 of a possible 32 games for the Jets over the last two seasons, starting once. 

Tags: Terrence Brooks
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Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

Jets Needs: Tight ends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

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

So much for that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The high praise continues to come in for Sam Darnold. 

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

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

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

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

A mixture of connections

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

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

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

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

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

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

The recognitions keep pouring in for Jamal Adams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

1. Arizona Cardinals - DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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