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.

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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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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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