In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 9 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, Brandon MarshallBen Ijalana, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Jalin Marshall and the Wide Receivers, Leonard Willians, Julian Stanford and the Special Teams, among others...


Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty...

Bent: In many ways, Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance encapsulates perfectly what ails this Jets team. Aside from the two terrible interceptions, his performance was mostly okay. However, those interceptions are all that will be remembered from this game, as should be the case because they were more than enough to cancel out any positives he had.

The team as a whole has taken on the personality of its so-called leader, making plenty of good plays, winning matchups on a consistent basis and having small stretches of dominant play, only to see this all undone by the occasional dumb and avoidable mistake. By gifting Miami points, possession or the chance to extend a drive over and over again, the Jets threw away the chance of a third straight win and killed off the momentum of their season.

The first interception was clearly on Fitzpatrick, who failed to identify the defensive tackle dropping into coverage. By contrast, it's likely the second interception wasn't Fitzpatrick's fault. Once again that sums up the Jets perfectly, because it emphasizes how the issues with this team extend further than just him. It looked like he was expecting Brandon Marshall to break to the back pylon on the throw.

The wasteful turnover, on third down in the red zone, was reminiscent of the season finale in Buffalo last year. Just as in that game, if the Jets settled for a field goal, they probably would have had a chance to win the game with another field goal later on. Did you say to yourself "I bet he throws an interception here" as the ball was being snapped? I know I did.

And yet Fitzpatrick bounced back from that to fire a go-ahead touchdown pass with five minutes to go, only for the special teams unit to immediately hand back the lead on the ensuing kickoff. But nobody's going to remember that a few weeks from now.

By the way, I accidentally typed "Sanchez" instead of "Fitzpatrick" while writing that last paragraph. That can't be a good sign.

We've picked (no pun intended) apart enough games like this from Fitzpatrick this season, but a third quarter knee injury provided some intrigue in the form of Bryce Petty's first NFL appearance.

Petty entered the game with the Jets trailing, completed all of his passes, posted a 106.2 quarterback rating and led a scoring drive. I'm sure this will provide adequate ammunition for Petty supporters to call for him to take over for Fitzpatrick -- assuming Fitzpatrick's MRI doesn't leave the team with any choice in the matter.

Let's put his performance into perspective, though. Petty threw a couple of quick drop, single-read dump-offs at the line of scrimmage and the drive stalled inside the red zone. If that's all the Jets trust him to do right now, then they'll struggle to move the ball over a longer sample size.

I'm not averse to the idea of giving Petty his shot, though, especially now that any slim chance of resurrecting the season seems to have permanently slipped from the team's grasp. He came in and handled his assignments efficiently, regardless of the degree of difficulty, and it is an important step to finally have managed to get his feet wet at this level.

I remain concerned that installing him into the starting lineup too early could do more harm than good in terms of his longer term future, though. But perhaps this offensive staff will do a better job of finding creative ways to gradually expand the playbook on the fly once he gets his shot. It seems increasingly likely his day will come soon.

Offensive Line

Bent: When Ryan Clady wasn't included on the inactive list, it was assumed he must be healthy enough to start. However, Clady was obviously only kept active for emergency duties because Ben Ijalana started and played the whole game at left tackle. With Nick Mangold also out, it was apparent the Jets were going to be overmatched on the offensive line and that proved to be the case all day.

Early on, they tried double-teaming Ndamukong Suh, but that was largely ineffective. He simply walked a double-team from Brian Winters and Breno Giacomini into the backfield to blow up one early run. Later on, the Jets had some success by spreading the line out laterally to find some running lanes, which was the same approach they had success with against Miami last season. The Dolphins seemed to adjust well to this, though, and the running game grinded to a halt after halftime.

While there were a couple of well-blocked plays, the run blocking was extremely inconsistent across the board. Everyone made mistakes except from Dakota Dozier, whose excellent lane-opening block at the second level sprung Matt Forté for a first-half touchdown run on his only offensive snap. The starters also combined for four penalties, including two by Giacomini.

The Jets had more success through the air, but really struggled in pass protection. Early on, the plan seemed to be for one of the guards to help Wesley Johnson engage Suh cleanly, then peel off to try and help out one of the tackles. They both needed the help, as each was beaten several times off the edge. Giacomini's lateral footspeed was no match for Cameron Wake, who beat him easily around the outside for two strip sacks, while Ijalana got beaten for several pressures.

There was plenty of interior pressure too, though. James Carpenter gave up more pressure than he has all season because he was struggling to cope with bull rushes. Johnson got beaten for the hit that knocked Fitzpatrick out of the game and Suh burned Winters for a big sack to force the Jets to punt with four minutes to go. That proved to be their last chance.

There's worse news next week, as the Rams' defensive line is even better than Miami's. For all the talk over the quarterback position, if Clady and Mangold are both out again, whoever is at quarterback will be defying the odds if he lasts the whole game.

Quarterbacks

Bent: Forté had a solid statline with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, 63 of those yards came on two runs where he broke into the open field untouched and he otherwise didn't have a run longer than six yards. He also didn't catch a pass.

While he showed good burst on his touchdown run and made a nice cut at the second level on his other long run, Forté and the running game carried no kind of threat into the second half. After carrying the ball twice on the first two plays of the third quarter, Forté carried the ball just three more times the rest of the way, for 10 yards.

With the Jets playing from behind and moving the ball with modest success through the air, Bilal Powell saw more of the workload and touches in the second half. His 10 touches accounted for 51 yards but just two first downs -- both on short passes. He also fielded a downfield lateral from Fitzpatrick on a fun play reminiscent of Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin on the game-winning drive in a memorable 2001 win over the Colts.

In his Jets debut, CJ Spiller saw some action on offense but did not get any touches. Interestingly, they only used him as a wide receiver.

Receivers

Bent: Brandon Marshall zigged when Fitzpatrick expected him to zag on the second of his two interceptions. If Marshall ran the wrong route there, it's at least the third time this year that's happened, with an interception being the inevitable outcome each time.

Marshall led the Jets with six catches - including a spectacular one-handed snag -- and also drew three defensive penalties. However, he was shut out in the fourth quarter when the Jets needed him most.

Once again, the youngsters continue to show flashes, perhaps representing the main bright spot to be taken from this destined-to-be-lost season. This week, Jalin Marshall stepped into a bigger role from the start, leading the Jets in receiving yards and scoring what - for about 20 seconds - looked like it was going to be the winning touchdown. Marshall also made a nice falling grab, broke a couple of tackles on a nice catch-and-run and made a great block at the second level.

Charone Peake got the start, but saw his playing time and opportunities reduced this week after having been limited in practice during the week. He contributed one first down by drawing a hold on third down, though.

Robby Anderson still seems the closest of the three to becoming a breakout star. Only the slightest contact on his shoulder saw him ruled down by contact, denying him a 40-yard touchdown after a spectacular leaping grab on third down. He could have had another touchdown had Fitzpatrick not overthrown him deep when he had a step on his man. Anderson had one other first down catch and has four games in a row with at least three catches.

Disappointingly, Quincy Enunwa hasn't shown the same kind of consistent production over the last month. His 25-yard catch over the middle in the fourth quarter was his only reception of the game and actually the only time he was thrown to after halftime. In the first half he was shut out, although he drew one penalty flag and almost came up with one catch down the seam.

The Jets ran 12 plays inside the red zone before they finally scored a touchdown. There's no question they miss Eric Decker there more than anywhere, especially since it makes Marshall being the primary target all the more obvious. However, on two third down incompletions inside the 10, it looked like Austin Seferian-Jenkins was wide open.

While he might conceivably provide a decent red zone threat, Seferian-Jenkins had a really poor game as a run blocker. With the much-maligned Kellen Davis out, some fans were hopeful the running game wouldn't suffer too much. But the downgrade was immediately apparent. On 2nd-and-short at the five yard line on the opening drive, he was driven into the backfield and the run was blown up for a loss. He also had two bad whiffs at the second level, including one in another key short yardage situation.

Brandon Bostick made a good block on Forté's touchdown run, but allowed another run to be bottled up and wasn't targeted all day. In fact, the only pass to a tight end all day was Fitzpatrick's first interception.

Defensive Line

Bent: I was immediately concerned when the Jets' starting defense took the field without Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson and continued to leave them on the bench throughout the first quarter. Richardson's previous off-field transgressions are well-publicized, but we shouldn't forget Wilkerson was suspended for the first quarter of the Giants game last year for missing a team meeting. I expect an explanation for their absence will present itself in due course, so I won't dwell on it too much for the time being. But it's a worrisome sign.

The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their only full drive of the first quarter, with the Jets' offense mitigating the potential damage by controlling most of the clock with two scoring drives of their own. The defensive line wasn't really to blame for any of the yardage on that drive anyway - and when Wilkerson and Richardson re-entered the game, the next drive also ended in a touchdown for the Dolphins.

You'd hope two things would've happened that would have led to these apparent team-imposed suspensions actually working out well for the team. First, once entering the game, you'd have expected each player to be particularly hungry and motivated to perform well to make up for the fact they let the team down. Second, you'd have expected them to play better down the stretch due to being fresher than usual. However, neither of these things happened.

As noted, Miami marched down and scored on their first drive with the pair back in the game, although that was the last touchdown they'd score on offense all day. The defense certainly improved once Richardson and Wilkerson hit their stride, generating as much pressure as they have all year and stifling Miami's red-hot running game for most of the day with contributions from both.

Down the stretch, however, the pressures and run stuffs dried up and the Dolphins were able to ice the game. Wilkerson in particular found himself sealed off on the edge of the line three or four times down the stretch, although it happened to Richardson once too. That would usually never happen to either of them. Richardson was in on a lot of plays but let himself down with two costly penalties.

Leonard Williams has been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, but this might have been his best game of the year. Officially, he had two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss but that doesn't tell the whole story. Williams was disruptive all day as a pass rusher, generating pressure on several other plays. He also blew up several running plays with penetration and was in on a handful of run stuffs.

Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jenkins were in the starting lineup, but Jenkins didn't play much after the first quarter. McLendon was credited with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble on the first defensive snap of the game, but otherwise didn't contribute much.

Despite Wilkerson and Richardson being absent in the first quarter, Deon Simon saw action on just one short yardage snap.

Linebackers

Bent: With Darron Lee and Bruce Carter still out, Julian Stanford continues to be forced into a full time role. For the second straight week, the opposition was able to exploit him and he made a series of mistakes to extend drives.

If you watched the game, you'll be acutely aware of his four missed tackles and two penalties, many of which came on third down. However, just as costly were the plays where he was caught out of position. Twice in coverage, a receiver that would have been his responsibility was left wide open and twice in the running game, he seemed to vacate his lane, leading to a big run.

Stanford was on the practice squad until a couple of weeks ago, so he's being forced into a role which appears beyond him. When 10 defensive players do their job but one makes a mistake that leads to the play being successful anyway, that can be demoralizing for a defense.

Either Lee or Carter returning would make a difference, but with Lee being a rookie and Carter also being prone to missed assignments at times, that's unlikely to completely resolve matters. Until that time, teams are going to continue to look to isolate Stanford and take advantage of his inexperience.

David Harris had a quiet game, with none of his five tackles made within four yards of the line of scrimmage. That perhaps emphasizes how it was Stanford they were running at or targeting in coverage. Harris was blocked out at the second level on one big run, which looked like an obvious hold. Miami also seemed to get away with a series of holds at the point of attack during the game.

Harris was close to a major game-changing play when he recovered an apparent lateral pass and took it down inside the Miami five-yard line. It's probably correct that the play was too close to overturn but it looked like a lateral to me and perhaps wouldn't have been overturned if called that way on the field either, so the Dolphins caught a break. Timeouts are important, but perhaps a challenge was worth it there. As it turns out, the Jets got the ball back and scored anyway, so that decision didn't cost them the game.

Another positive is that Lorenzo Mauldin has emerged nicely over the past three weeks. The Jets are definitely better off since Richardson has moved back onto the line, freeing up reps for their outside linebackers. Mauldin was officially credited with half a sack and two other quarterback hits but also created pressure on a couple more plays. After having just seven total pressures in the first six games, Mauldin has 15 in the last three.

Even more encouraging than his ability to create pressure was that Mauldin made some nice plays against the run, shooting gaps to get in on a couple of run stuffs and driving his man upfield on the outside to force another run back inside, shedding the block to get in on the stop. However, the Jets used the same defensive scheme as last week on a couple of plays where Mauldin crashed inside and Stanford peeled outside to contain the edge. Miami anticipated this and had some success cutting back and running directly into the teeth of this stunt.

Mike Catapano and Jordan Jenkins were each exploited in coverage, with Catapano giving up a 20-yard gain on a wheel route and Jenkins beaten outside for a short touchdown pass. Jenkins had a chance to redeem himself but dropped an easy interception with Miami in the red zone, which easily could have been a pick six. He had a couple of pressures and was in on a couple of stops in the backfield, though.

Josh Martin was also credited with a half sack, making a good inside move. He and Catapano only played eight snaps combined.

Defensive Backs

Bent: Despite losing Marcus Williams early in the game, the secondary actually had one of their best games, holding Ryan Tannehill to less than 150 yards passing. In fact, over 100 of those yards came against the linebackers.

Despite his recent struggles, Darrelle Revis wasn't targeted all day. I wonder if Miami suspected that his comments during the week - where he essentially admitted he isn't very good anymore - were an effort to dupe them into challenging him. Then again, perhaps Revis anticipated this response and it was an audacious triple-bluff that prevented him from being isolated in coverage.

Considering the mostly-manufactured conflab about his lack of effort on a few plays over the past few weeks, I was surprised to see Revis approaching a couple of tackle attempts tentatively and conservatively in the first half, but that's probably a good thing. When people started saying the same things about Kerry Rhodes, he started going for big hits and gambling for impact plays and it did not end well.

Buster Skrine returned to the lineup and did well in coverage. The only first down catch he gave up was negated by off-setting penalties. However, he did make a couple of mistakes in the open field.

Darryl Roberts stepped in for Williams and gave up a couple of first downs -- one on an easy quick slant where he was playing too far off and another as he badly missed an open field tackle in the flat. On another play, he made a good tackle in the flat and he also did well to force a run back inside on the edge. However, he got lucky on one overthrow where the receiver had a step on him deep.

Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor held up quite well at safety. Gilchrist broke up one pass, as all three targets thrown his way were incomplete. Pryor was also in good position on three third down incompletions, breaking up the last one with a hit on the receiver. Pryor also made a couple of plays in run support, including one where he knifed into the backfield to make a tackle for loss.

Rontez Miles and Antonio Allen saw brief action at safety, with Miles making a good open field tackle on one play in coverage. Juston Burris didn't play again, though, and his reps have dried up, as he's played just three snaps in the last four games.

While it was a solid performance overall by the secondary, it was infuriating early on when the Jets handed the Dolphins two first downs with personal fouls. I have some sympathy for Skrine because Jarvis Landry was clearly the instigator of the incident that led to his penalty, but you still can't afford to lose your cool like that. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Pryor, who cancelled out a nice play by dancing around unnecessarily and drawing a taunting flag.

You want the team to be fired up and playing with energy, but when they're struggling, the approach has to be more business-like, mature and disciplined. Act like you've done it before because incidents like that are pathetic, embarrassing, selfish and, frankly, can sometimes make you hard to root for.

Special teams

Bent: For a change, special teams were a big story this week, with the Dolphins scoring the winning touchdown on a kickoff return, not long after they had a special teams blunder that almost gifted the game to the Jets. There was also a punt return touchdown negated by a penalty and a return game muff.

The Dolphins looked dangerous on kick returns all day so it was pretty risky to lay the ball up and play contain rather than trying to boot a touchback each time. However, after Allen was flagged for offside, Nick Folk had to kick from five yards deeper, leading to the long touchdown return.

That penalty - which was unequivocally a bad call - negated a kickoff that the Jets had managed to blow up inside the 20 yard line despite Jakeem Grant breaking six tackles. Would Miami have won the game if the original kickoff had stood? After the first two touchdown drives, only one of their seven drives covered more than 30 yards, so the above perhaps seems unlikely.

What happened to the coverage units that looked much better earlier in the year than those of last year? Personnel-wise, I believe Carter, Lee, Davis and Marcus Williams were the only core special teamers missing. That shouldn't make a massive difference, especially since Carter is the only one of those I'd regard as especially good on special teams. However, it was his replacement - Taiwan Jones - who got drawn slightly out of his lane and missed the key tackle. Behind him, Skrine - deputizing for Williams - picked the wrong lane to fill and was unable to make a saving tackle.



Part of the issue, which becomes particularly apparent when forced to introduce a couple of new players due to injury, is a lack of live game reps because returns are so rare these days. That's the case on the punt unit too, which means there's a downside to having a punter who specializes in getting good hangtime to limit the chance of a return.

When such a punter kicks it too far, the coverage units are less organized and perhaps less prepared to actually cover than they ideally would be. That's what happened on Lac Edwards' second quarter punt that was returned for a long touchdown by Grant. Ironically, that was negated by a penalty which Allen himself drew by being blocked in the back.

Overall, the Jets missed nine tackles on just five returns, with Catapano and Peake guilty on the negated punt return and Pryor managing to miss two on one kick return. More damage could have been done if not for good open field plays by Miles and Nick Marshall. Peake also had a penalty on special teams, as did Ijalana.

Edwards is really struggling right now. Perhaps nervous about kicking the ball too far, he had two other punts that were too high and short, netting just 35 and 33 yards. Compounding matters, long- snapper Tanner Purdum still seems to be firing bullseyes with a lot less accuracy than he has in the past.

Jalin Marshall continues to have his own issues in the return game, as he muffed an easy fair catch and was lucky to recover the ball deep in Jets territory. He made 10 yards on his only punt return of the day, but was replaced on kickoffs by Spiller, who looked pretty slow and didn't get past the 25 on either of his return attempts.

Spiller made one big play on special teams, blowing up the punter after his fumble to set the Jets up for the go-ahead score. Somehow it seems fitting that the special teams threw that lead away, though.

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Dakota Dozier, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, James Carpenter, Jordan Jenkins, Kellen Davis, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson

With the Jets holding the no. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there's a chance Saquon Barkley falls to them. The electric running back would welcome that possibility as a boyhood Jets fan. 

As all Jets fans understand and admit, there have been more than enough tough times while being a fan of the team. He jokes that if Jets GM Mike Maccagnan asks what he could do for the team, he might be a bit shy in his answer due to his fandom.

"I'll probably be a little more shy 'cause I was a Jets fan growing up, a true, true Jets fan," Barkley said...

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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next stop for David Harris figures to be the Jets' Ring of Honor.

Harris, who spent 10 years as the anchor of the Jets defense before he was released last year, announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday afternoon. The 34-year-old inside linebacker ended his 11-year career through a short statement released by his agent on Twitter, less than three weeks after reaching the first Super Bowl of his career with the New England Patriots - although he wasn't activated for the game.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have seen Sheldon Richardon, Damon Harrison, and Quinton Coples depart within the past few seasons. With the departure of Muhammad Wilkerson thought to be imminent, they suddenly find themselves in a position where they lack depth on the defensive interior.

In addition, a potentially promising pipeline of young depth hasn't really materialized. Deon Simon and Claude Pelon couldn't crack the rotation, and spent most of the year on the practice squad, while Lawrence Thomas became a full back. Leonard Williams will be back, but his 2017 season was arguably just as disappointing as Wilkerson's, and he might find that teams can more readily gameplan around him if he's not surrounded with the same kind of talent...

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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Daily News Live: NFL Combine 00:03:50
The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Lamar Jackson are among the top prospects.

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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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