In this week's BGA, Bent analyzes Week 8 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide Receivers, Breno Giacomini and the Offensive Line, Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson, the team's Defensive Line and Linebackers, and Brandon Marshall and the Special Teams, all which you can read here...


Coaching

Bent: Yesterday's game was perhaps more challenging for Todd Bowles than some anticipated as the Jets came out flat and were 13 points down at the half. Somehow, the team managed to turn things around after halftime and while it does little to remove the bitter taste of a miserable first half display, it keeps the overall momentum of the team's season headed in the right direction.

The halftime message to his team was an appropriate one, imploring the players to look within themselves and impose their will on the game in the second half. Making significant adjustments could have potentially backfired, while getting overly critical risks alienating players against each other and the staff and further fracturing a disenchanted locker room. The Jets played with more of an attitude, stuck to their gameplan and gradually took control of the game in the second half to come away with an ugly road win.

It was the right move for Bowles, who correctly identified that the Jets had the talent and a plan in place to outperform their winless opponent. However, the halftime deficit forced them to play with a small margin of error and a momentum swing at any point, even due to a freak play or a lucky bounce, would have put the Jets at risk of being Cleveland's first victim of the season.

This is not an approach the Jets can afford to fall back on because repeating the same message will soon fall on deaf ears. While it paid off yesterday, the outcome had as much to do with the Browns' flaws than it did the Jets' surplus of experienced and talented players. When things were going well, the Browns were rolling, but as soon as the Jets settled the ship, that took the crowd out of the game and the Browns crumbled at the slightest hint of adversity. That's emblematic of most teams that are winless at the halfway stage of the season.

The Jets had a couple of performances exactly like this one last season - on opening day against the Browns where they trailed 10-7 just before half time but rebounded to score 24 unanswered points and then in October against Washington when they trailed 13-10 at the half before again scoring 24 with no response. Yesterday's game saw them recovering from a deeper hole but again saw them figure it out and take complete control with 24 unanswered.

The thing about these ugly wins is that they are still wins. Clearly the Jets found some kind of winning formula in each of those three games, something they were able to bring to the table in the games that followed. Last year, they gradually built on that to the point where they were able to beat some stronger teams and end up with a winning record. Repeating that feat is the challenge facing Bowles now as he seeks to get the season back on track.

Quarterbacks

Bent: Ryan Fitzpatrick put together a statistically impressive line in the second half (13-of-20 for 198 yards and a score), but the Jets maintained a very conservative gameplan after his recent struggles continued in the first half.

As we know, Fitzpatrick typically is at his worse when his team is playing from behind, so it didn't help matters that they were down by a touchdown before he even took the field. The Jets couldn't get anything going offensively for most of the first half as Fitzpatrick completed just three of his 14 pass attempts.

While there were a couple of near-misses downfield and he was let down by a couple of drops, Fitzpatrick was inaccurate for much of the game, even on passes he completed. He also threw late to the outside on a few occasions, a tell-tale sign that his confidence is at a low ebb.

As the game progressed, it seemed like the lightbulb came on for Fitzpatrick as the game swung in the Jets' favour and his confidence grew. He started stepping confidently into throws and hitting his receivers in stride. It will be very interesting to see if he can carry that over into the next game, but the Jets' gameplans should probably remain tentative because an over-confident Fitzpatrick might be the worst Fitzpatrick of all.

The Jets put together four extended touchdown drives of 78 yards or longer, including three in a row to open the second half, leaning heavily on their running game and a short passing attack. The first of those four was in danger of stalling but Bilal Powell bailed the Jets out with a 35-yard touchdown run on third and long to provide their only points of the first half.

Of the four drives, only one was less than 12 plays. That was sparked by a 57-yard bomb to Quincy Enunwa as the Jets smartly decided to attack downfield having come close to connecting a few times earlier on. Enunwa was also responsible for Fitzpatrick's only touchdown pass, breaking four tackles inside the 10-yard line to get into the end zone.

Even with his solid second half, Fitzpatrick completed less than half of his pass attempts and had three passes that could have been intercepted, not including the three he had batted down at the line of scrimmage. He'll have to be more consistent in order to keep the Jets winning over the next few weeks, which he'll need to do to retain his job. However, it's encouraging that he's actually been picked off just once in the last four games.

Bryce Petty is going to get his chance soon if Fitzpatrick falters, but the Petty era almost had to begin prematurely when Fitzpatrick took a big hit while trying to run for an early first down. It goes without saying that he will need to protect himself a lot better, otherwise any improvements he continues to make will be all for naught.

Running Backs

Bent: The Jets smartly relied on their running game to get them back into this contest while facing an opponent that has struggled to stop the run and, for the first time, the potential of a Powell and Matt Forté one-two punch was fully realized.

Between the pair of them, they rushed for 158 yards and three scores, with Forté grinding out the tough yards and Powell picking up big chunks of yardage on draw plays against pass defense personnel.

The Jets have had some issues in short yardage situations over the course of the season, but Forté converted on 4th-and-one, powering over for a four-yard touchdown to give the Jets their first lead at 21-20. Had the Browns stuffed that play, the outcome might have been very different. He would later power over for another short touchdown to pad the lead.

Most of Forté's yards - and one of his touchdowns - came from plays where he bounced the run to the outside as he continues to display good vision and patience most of the time.

Powell ended up with 76 yards on just six carries and also had a 17-yard run negated by a holding call. His 35-yard burst on third and long provided the Jets with their only first half points as Fitzpatrick smartly audibled to a draw play with the defense spread out. Powell would later add 20 yards on a cutback run.

At the halfway point of the season, Forté has rushed for 542 yards and six scores, but he's only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. Powell is averaging more than twice that at 7.1 per carry, but that's mainly due to the fact that Forté is mostly running into stacked boxes while Powell is entering the game in passing situations and running a lot of draw plays against pass defense personnel.

Could they switch roles for a game or two at some point, in order to cut back on some of the wear and tear for the veteran Forté? It's possible, although you'd expect Powell to see diminishing returns as his workload increased. You'd probably see Forté's yards per carry average take a leap forwards though. Based on their respective injury histories, the team probably favors Powell in a less demanding role due to Forté having superior durability, but Powell has carried the ball 15 times or more three times before, including a career best 149-yard performance in 2013.

Despite the conservative gameplan, the pair didn't get much done in the passing game as the Browns disrupted some screen pass attempts by getting in the passing lane. Each had a key play though, with Forté taking a side-armed dump-off by Fitzpatrick down to the two-yard line to set up his second score and Powell making a low grab on 3rd-and-short to extend the drive on which Enunwa's touchdown made it a one-possession game.

Receivers

Bent: Enunwa continues to spark the Jets, as his spectacular 24-yard touchdown catch saw him slip past four Browns defenders to get into the end zone. Enunwa led the Jets with 93 yards on four catches and remains on course for a potential thousand-yard season as he has 502 yards at the halfway stage. However, it wasn't Enunwa's most consistent performance, as he let three catchable balls hit the turf - not including the ball which he ripped away from a defender to save a turnover, but then couldn't hang onto for what could have been a long touchdown.

He might not be emulating last season's terrific production, but Brandon Marshall is making plays to help this team win over the last couple of weeks. He caught four passes for 68 yards, all in the second half, but also contributed with his blocking for the second week in a row. Marshall threw the key block on Powell's touchdown run but also made a couple more good blocks in the first half.

Maybe they were avoiding Joe Haden or maybe they wanted Fitzpatrick to avoid falling into the trap of forcing the ball to him, but whatever the reason, they barely looked for Marshall in the first half. Marshall almost came up with a deep throw where he had half a step on Haden late in the first quarter and then drew a flag for illegal contact on the next snap. Otherwise, he wasn't thrown to until the third quarter. In the second half, he was open over the middle for three first downs, including a 31-yard catch-and-run, and converted a third down on a back shoulder throw.

So, maybe Fitzpatrick needs to be forcing the ball to Marshall to be successful? Or maybe he was only able to force the ball to Marshall and enjoy second half success because they made a concerted effort not to do that in the first half. Either way, the Jets need to be careful about how much they involve him in the gameplan and they seemed to pick their spots well in the second half.

The Jets' youngsters continue to deliver in key moments as Robbie Anderson and Charone Peake each extended drives with clutch third down catches. Peake leapt up to high-point the ball on a long out in the first half, while Anderson managed to scoop a low throw off the turf to extend the Jets' go-ahead touchdown drive.

Peake wasn't otherwise targeted, but made a good contribution with a downfield block. Anderson had two other key catches - another low grab for a first down and a short third-down grab where he managed to get close enough to the first down marker to entice Bowles to go for it and score the go-ahead touchdown on fourth down.

Kellen Davis made some contributions as a blocker but appeared to get hurt on Forté's first touchdown run. He seemed to grab his elbow at the end of that play and did not return, but the running game functioned just as well without him.

Brandon Bostick saw more action than Davis, even before he went down with the injury. He continues to get work at fullback as well as tight end and missed three or four blocks badly but also made some positive contributions including a good lead block and a short catch.

Offensive Line

Bent: The Jets made the interesting decision to plug Breno Giacomini back into the starting line-up for Ben Ijalana at right tackle. However, they seemed to be operating a rotation early on. In the third quarter, Giacomini suffered a finger injury, but he returned in the fourth quarter and the Jets reverted to a rotation down the stretch.

Ijalana was on the field for each of the last two touchdown drives, the only time he was in for two drives in a row, but it was actually Giacomini who was in the game on the first two touchdown drives.

I'm not sure it helped the lack of cohesion on the line in the early stages though. Giacomini showed some initial rust and was still struggling to move well enough laterally to prevent edge rushers from turning the corner on him as was the case for much of last season.

Those early struggles were summed up by this sack, where four pass rushers arrive at the quarterback simultaneously as each of them beats or drives back their blocker and James Carpenter had no idea who to help.



I felt sorry for Carpenter in the first half, as there were several plays where he executed his block really well, but someone else made a mistake so the run got blown up. Later on, his contributions had more of a direct impact, notably on the go-ahead touchdown. Carpenter had a couple of negatives, including giving up a pressure on a stunt and negating a third-down conversion with a holding penalty, but his run blocking performance was influential, especially with Nick Mangold out.

Mangold's replacement, Wesley Johnson, once again was just about good enough for the Jets' offense to function effectively. He was overmatched at the point of attack on a few plays and struggled on a couple of bull rushes in pass protection but made a couple of good second level blocks and made a good block on one of the Forté touchdown runs. Make no mistake though, despite the decent rushing stats with him in the game, a healthy Mangold will produce a significant upgrade.

After an impressive game last week, Brian Winters fared quite well again, although he let his man get off his block to make a few plays in the first half. He had some good run blocks in the second half and didn't get beaten in pass protection, although he was driven back into the pocket a couple of times.

Ryan Clady had two false starts and was again beaten a handful of times in pass protection, but was at least able to limit the amount of clean pressure this week. He was inconsistent in the running game too, albeit better in the second half, like everyone else.

I'm not sure what they will do with Ijalana and Giacomini going forward. Ijalana wasn't flawless in pass protection either, giving up a hit, and he messed up a couple of assignments to lead to a run being stuffed for a loss and another being stuffed at the goal line. He made a key block on a screen pass and a couple of good run blocks though.

In light of his struggles, Clady losing time to Ijalana could even be a consideration. Also, where will Brent Qvale fit in once he is ready to return?

For the second week in a row, the Jets employed Dakota Dozier liberally as an extra tight end and he made a good block on the go-ahead touchdown run. Brandon Shell also saw action on one short yardage play.

Defensive Line

Bent: The Jets did exactly what we suggested last week with their defensive line, rotating Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson into two spots on the defensive line and occasionally playing all three together as a three-man front.

This meant there was less work for nose tackle Steve McLendon, who was averaging about 45 snaps per game in the first six weeks, but that snap count has halved over the last two.

Early returns were not good, as the Browns marched downfield for a touchdown on their opening drive and led 20-7 at the half. However, it began to pay off down the stretch, as the Jets perhaps benefited from each of their three stars being fresher than usual in the fourth quarter.

The Browns were held to 68 yards rushing on 18 carries, including just 20 yards in the second half. In fact, almost half of those yards came on two plays, otherwise the Browns were only gaining about two yards per carry. The Jets now have the number one run defense in the NFL despite losing Damon Harrison in the offseason. They also generated a decent amount of pressure.

Perhaps the biggest play of the game came just before halftime with the Browns potentially about to take a seemingly unassailable 24-7 lead. Wilkerson burst into the backfield for a sack and the Browns eventually had to settle for a field goal.

What I liked most about the play was that Wilkerson looked angry afterwards, rather than being exuberant about having compiled an individual highlight. There have been times this year when players have celebrated big defensive plays while having played poorly overall a little too excitedly for my liking. That attitude perhaps helped make Bowles' halftime message effective.

Wilkerson came up big again later on when his pressure set up an interception to set up the clinching field goal. He also got in on a couple of run stuffs. Overall, Wilkerson may still be struggling with injuries as he hasn't been putting together the consistently dominant performances we're used to seeing from him, but he was the pick of the Jets' linemen yesterday.

Richardson was held without a tackle, which might get a lot of attention given how it's been assumed he'd automatically ramp up his production once he moved back onto the line. However, he was mostly rushing the passer, so he didn't get many opportunities to make tackles against the run. In that role, he had four pressures.

It's possible Richardson might take time to adjust to playing full time on the line again, assuming they persevere with that. He was uncharacteristically driven off a few times, missed a tackle in the backfield and false-started with the Browns backed up to their goal line. For the game as a whole, Richardson was standing up on just two plays, so the team wasn't tempted to use him as a linebacker even with all the injuries there.

Williams didn't have much production either, although he was in on two run stuffs including one for a loss, got close to Josh McCown a couple of times and made an open-field tackle to force a field goal attempt.

Back-ups Deon Simon and Jarvis Jenkins saw brief action, with Jenkins getting in on a run stuff and penetrating well to flush the quarterback from the pocket. Simon was blocked out of the middle on Isaiah Crowell's touchdown run though.

Linebackers

Bent: The Jets had to rely on Julian Stanford to start again and, while he made a few plays, the Browns were successfully able to exploit him on a number of occasions.

Stanford was beaten a few times in coverage, caught inside a couple of times and also overpursued a few times in the open field. He was credited with a tackle for loss and made a good stop in the flat, but the Jets will be better off once Darron Lee or Bruce Carter is able to take over this role.

David Harris was also caught out of position a few times, both in the running game and in coverage. He made a couple of plays in coverage and stuffed a run at the goal line late though. Harris has played his best football this year when Erin Henderson was alongside him, so Lee or Carter returning to the starting line-up might not help him that much.

As you'll recall, last week I expressed concern about the ability of Lorenzo Mauldin to hold up against the run in a full time role, but that wasn't as much of an issue this week. Mauldin actually played over 60 snaps - easily a career high and more than any of the linemen. On one play, he did a good job of getting upfield on Joe Thomas to force the run back inside. However, for the most part, the Jets schemed around this, getting Mauldin to crash inside with one of the inside linebackers - usually Stanford - peeling outside to contain the edge. Rex Ryan used a similar scheme against the run at times while with the Jets. This was mostly effective other than on one play where Stanford still got caught inside because he allowed a pulling lineman to get outside leverage on him.

With Mauldin and Mike Catapano freed up to take the majority of the edge rushing reps, they were able to pressure McCown several times between them. Officially, they had four quarterback hits, three of them credited to Mauldin. Each also got in on a run stop and Mauldin also added an interception on a nice diving play.

Jordan Jenkins continues to provide solid but unspectacular play in his rookie year. He was in on a tackle in the flat and had one pressure, but what's more valuable is that he isn't making many mistakes.

Victor Ochi was the only other front seven player to see any time on defense but did not record a tackle or generate a pressure.

Defensive Backs

Bent: One pattern that carried over from last week was that the defensive backs made some big plays in the second half to help secure the win as Marcus Gilchrist intercepted another pass and Calvin Pryor had a hit in coverage to lead to another interception.

Gilchrist almost had another interception earlier on, but was late getting over in coverage on one play and also had a missed tackle. Pryor had some good plays, including a third down tackle and a pass broken up with a hit, but was badly beaten on one play where he committed pass interference in the end zone.

With Buster Skrine out, Marcus Williams was forced into a starting role and, as usually seems to be the case, a bigger workload exposed Williams' weaknesses.

Williams was beaten for two scores and a first down, was completely lost on a deep completion where he appeared to be in position to break up the pass and his effort on the play below left a lot to be desired.



Maybe Darrelle Revis isn't breaking down after all. He set a career-high with a team-leading nine tackles! Of course that's mainly due to him making the tackle after getting beaten for a catch though. Terrelle Pryor had over 100 yards by half time, although the Jets shut him out other than his last minute two-pointer in the last minute. Revis made some solid tackles and deflected a pass late in the game but also got lucky on a couple of incompletions and had a missed tackle on third down.

Rontez Miles made some nice contributions this week in a relief role. He made a good tackle in the flat and was able to prevent a completion on a throw to Gary Barnidge in the end zone.

Rookie Juston Burris didn't fare so well off the bench. He gave up a catch on third down and missed the tackle badly, so he wasn't used again. Darryl Roberts fared a little better with a couple of plays in coverage and a tackle in the flat. He was beaten on a first down and a two-point conversion though and was also lucky not to get flagged on a pass break-up.

Special teams

Bent: The special teams unit executed well when it counted, with Brandon Marshall comfortably recovering an onside kick to ice the win. The Jets also got a boost from their special teams when punter Lac Edwards pinned Cleveland down at the one-yard line with an excellent boot in the fourth quarter, expertly downed by Burris.

Edwards had another rough game though, with a couple more bad punts. On one of those, he nearly fumbled the snap, which was wide. Tanner Purdum is usually one of the most reliable long-snappers around, but he's been extremely shaky over the past few weeks.

Also shaky was Jalin Marshall, who only played a couple of snaps on offense but it didn't seem to help his focus on special teams. Marshall made a couple of questionable decisions in terms of whether or not to field punts and almost fumbled once before being seemingly benched for Nick Marshall. Burris and Ochi each missed blocks in the return game, which didn't help matters.

Nick Folk did a solid job in the kicking game, nailing all five kicks and getting a touchback on all but two of his kickoffs. Neither of the two that were returned went past the 20 with Josh Martin in on each of the tackles. He has very quietly moved into a tie for the NFL lead with 10 total special teams tackles.

Miles was also in on a tackle in coverage, despite the fact the officials missed an illegal block in the back on him. Peake and Taiwan Jones were also credited with special teams tackles.

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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)

As the Steelers search for a trade partner for Antonio Brown, they have set some loose boundaries. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers will not trade Brown within the AFC North, nor to the New England Patriots, if possible. Ideally, the Steelers would like to send Brown to the NFC and get him out of the conference altogether. 

GM Kevin Colbert said on Wednesday he would not totally rule any team out, but would be judicious in the process. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams and Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins sack Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams and Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins sack Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Gregg Williams has a history of coaching an aggressive, 4-3 defense, which he has been expected to bring to the Jets even though they've run a 3-4 scheme for years. That would mean not only a philosophical change, but some big personnel changes, too.

But what if Williams doesn't change the scheme at all?

Apparently, he won't be changing the Jets' base alignment, according to a report in the New York Post. Several NFL agents have speculated that's the way the Jets were leaning in conversations with SNY over the last few weeks, but the Post said the decision has been made.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks the field before the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks the field before the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostitution in Jupiter, Florida, in a human trafficking investigation.

Kraft was among 25 people charged by Jupiter Police in a seven-month investigation, police said Friday.

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Some of the best movies ever -- including some of the best sports movies ever -- have been filmed in and/or take place in New York. Here is our ranking of the 10 best...

10. Above The Rim (1994)

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Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary runs for a first down during the second quarter against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary runs for a first down during the second quarter against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to review some of the top draft prospects at each position to assess some potential candidates in whom the Jets may show interest. We continue with a look at the 2019 running back class.

Jets needs: Running backs

Whether or not the Jets will draft a running back in 2019 will heavily depend on how free agency plays out. The Jets are widely expected to be in the mix for Le'Veon Bell, and if they end up signing him, the running back position is unlikely to be a priority. Some pundits have suggested the Jets could target a less expensive back like Tevin Coleman instead.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Isaiah Crowell
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It was an interesting hire to say the least when the Jets brought on Joe Vitt for next season. Yes, he may be head coach Adam Gase's father-in-law, but teaming up with Gregg Williams once again seemed like a problem waiting to happen. 

For those of you who don't know why, here's a little context: Willams, the Jets' new defensive coordinator, and Vitt, a senior defensive assistant working with the outside linebackers, were the two faces of the infamous "BountyGate" with the Saints from 2009-2011. After a bad departure following their suspension from the league, it was an educated guess that these two defensive minds wouldn't be on the same staff again. 

However, according to the Daily News' Manish Mehta, Williams and Vitt ended their feud years ago. In fact, when it was clear Gase's former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was going to walk back in 2016, Vitt suggested Williams to his son-in-law. Williams went on to fill the Browns' same vacancy. 

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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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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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