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Quarterback

We all knew that if Geno Smith was going to being taking snaps in October, the season must have taken a turn for the worst. However, that was the case again here, as the Jets struggled to move the ball all day and Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for the fourth quarter.

Could the team be about to go with Smith as the starter? They're saying no, for now, but if Fitzpatrick continues to struggle, that day can't be too far off. He started off by looking pretty sharp, but was benefiting from a soft defense from the Cardinals that was sitting back and allowing the offense to take what they gave them. Indeed, Fitzpatrick himself benefited from this on his last drive. Prior to the interception, he had padded his stats by completing 7-of-11 passes for 66 yards in the third quarter.

As soon as the Cardinals applied some pressure, Smith's old issues returned on a strip-sack as he was hesistant, didn't anticipate pressure off the edge and displayed woeful ball security. Shortly afterwards, he forced a throw into tight coverage and was intercepted. It's difficult to judge Smith too harshly on such a short performance, especially with the game already over, but he hardly did much to instil any confidence in his supporters.

Fitzpatrick seemed overly cautious with the ball, perhaps reluctant to risk throwing an interception. He missed on a bunch of passes where he threw the ball out of his receiver's reach, either too high or out in front of them. He made a few nice throws and did have to deal with some pressure, but was simply too inconsistent to keep the Jets in the game.

When the interception finally came, it was in the last minute of the third quarter and, typically, saw Fitzpatrick forcing a tight throw in the red zone after having moved the team downfield against a soft zone. 

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall told the media he was again responsible for this because he ran the wrong route. With the Cardinals in a zone defense, he allowed his man to step in front of him where he perhaps needed to run or settle down in front of the defender but I believe the key here was not Marshall himself being open, but instead running a route that would draw the safety out of the middle.

A review of the film shows that Fitzpatrick had an open Jalin Marshall at the back of the end zone on a post pattern, but forced the ball to the other Marshall instead because the safety was able to stay at home long enough to make that a tight window throw. A more horizontal drag or crossing route would have forced the safety to commit and ensured that one of the Marshalls was open but I can only speculate on what the play design was.

This goes beyond grading and evaluating individual throws now. The team seems to have lost faith in the guy who last year established himself as the kind of leader the team had been lacking. Unfortunately, I don't think the team has any faith in the alternatives either.

Running Backs

Should the Jets be regretting making a move for Matt Forté in the offseason? After missing most of preseason, Forté looked sharp for a couple of weeks but since then has elicited memories of late-season Thomas Jones. In case you're not sure, that isn't a good thing.

It's difficult to lament the loss of Chris Ivory when he's gained just 75 yards on 31 carries all season and is earning considerably more than Forté, but it's obvious the Jets need someone with exceptional burst or the ability to break tackles and right now Forté is providing neither. Was this inevitable or are they just paying the price for over-using him early? If it's the latter, then could he get his legs back if they opt to under-use him for a game or two - and I don't just mean abandoning the run because it's failing and you're getting blown out.

At least Bilal Powell does show some burst and break the occasional tackle. He picked up just 22 yards on six touches last night, but that included two first downs with a third being negated by a hold. Forté had the same yardage total on 10 touches - with no first downs - and also dropped two short passes.

Can we not get a look at Troymaine Pope? He's been active, but they never use him. While he might be raw and still learning the playbook, at least he has fresh legs and could provide a spark if they create a few packages for him. Even if he gets stuffed, at least that would give Forté a rest in between plays where, right now, he would probably only get stuffed himself.

Beyond that, I'm left scrambling for answers. Does the running game miss Tommy Bohanon, perhaps? Did I really just ask that?

Receivers & TE

The Jets definitely continue to miss Eric Decker, but now that his absence has been confirmed as permanent, the receiving corps suddenly looks like a weakness rather than something that can tread water until his return. At the same time, it forces some of the younger players to try and step up, so it will be interesting to see who does.

It seems the cat might be out of the bag in terms of Quincy Enunwa now, as the Jets were unable to get him into the game in the first half. Now a permanent starter that teams are aware of and game-planning for instead of the Jets' best-kept secret, it will be difficult for him to maintain his excellent production so far. Sure enough, he ended up having his least productive game of the year in terms of both receptions and yardage.

However, the fact his three receptions and 42 yards were his lowest output of the season speaks volumes as to how far he's come. Last year, he only achieved that yardage total three times and only had more than three catches six times. He made three nice catches in the second half, including two first downs.

Brandon Marshall had the biggest play of the day, but ended up with just 70 yards on three catches. He also had a penalty and took responsibility for the Fitzpatrick interception. It's clearly been a tough year for him to take and he deserves credit for at least trying to keep everyone positive. How long can that last though?

The three rookies saw more targets than usual with Charone Peake surprisingly leading the team with five catches and in terms of how many targets he saw (10). He made a nice spin move to get to the marker on one play and had a clutch conversion on a slant route on another. That pattern of him being inconsistent with his physicality continued on the pass where Smith was intercepted though and there were two plays where he had his hands on the ball but couldn't complete the catch. All the same, he's definitely progressing.

Shame on the announcers for glorifying the hit on Peake that knocked him out of the game. That was a blatant helmet-to-facemask hit on a defenseless receiver and that bothers me - not because it cost the Jets a first down, but because it makes little sense to have rules designed for player safety being inconsistently applied. I already resent Jon Gruden for the fact that I repeatedly spend ages breaking down a play and discover something interesting only for him to then mention that during the TV broadcast anyway.

The pattern with Robbie Anderson has been the same as with Devin Smith last season. They're looking for him downfield and he's almost - but not quite - coming up with big plays. The one constant variable here is Fitzpatrick, but Anderson still had a chance to come up with that underthrown deep ball. He did make a career-high four short catches though, including one where he was able to bail out Fitzpatrick with a nice leaping grab.

As for Jalin Marshall, he was only in for a handful of plays when Peake - who seems to have moved ahead of him - was being evaluated for a head injury. He had one tough drop, but responded immediately with a nice first down conversion. He also seemed to be coming open on the pass where Fitzpatrick forced a throw to the other Marshall for an interception, as mentioned. 

Even with Austin Seferian-Jenkins inactive, the Jets continue to phase out Kellen Davis, who played less than 10 snaps. However, maybe that was performance related rather than planned in advance because he had a rough game. Davis was badly beaten as the Jets were stuffed for a loss on their first snap, then later false started and allowed his man to get off his block for another stop.

Brandon Bostick didn't play much either, but fared better than Davis as a blocker. He wasn't targeted though.

Offensive Line

With a non-existent running game and Fitzpatrick's struggles at least partially attributable to being forced to deal with pressure, it's difficult to give the offensive line much credit.

The Jets saw Brian Winters return at right guard and reverted to a rotation at right tackle with Ben Ijalana starting. However, Brent Qvale was injured in the first half and Ijalana went the rest of the way. 

So far, Ijalana has done a good job of limiting pressure from the right side, but when he does surrender pressure, it often seems to be at key moments. While partially attributable to coverage and Smith's hesitation, he surrendered a strip sack and also gave up the pressure that led to Fitzpatrick's interception. Other than that, he only gave up one pressure, on a spin move to the inside.

As you can see, on the interception, Ijalana is beaten upfield, but instead of moving his feet to try and stay in front of or regain leverage on his man, he simply shoves him upfield to try and slow his pursuit around the edge. It's semi-effective, but Fitzpatrick is still pressured into forcing his throw. This is something Ijalana does quite a lot and it's a habit which might be lazy and/or poor technique, but you could consider it to be the smart thing to do in situations where the defender gets half a step on you. If the quarterback steps up and throws that before the edge rusher can get to him - something you see repeatedly around the league - that's likely viewed as a well-executed block.

Ryan Clady, on the other hand, isn't giving up big plays, but he is surrendering constant pressure off the edge and against the bull rush. He also had a bad hold to negate a first down run. Part of Clady's issue - other than the obvious adjustment involved in blocking for someone who lacks the awareness and quick release of Peyton Manning - might be that he's being left on an island and that might be influenced by the man to his immediate right.  

James Carpenter executed well all day, but it's becoming more and more apparent that his lateral movement is compromised. He looked good on running plays where he could pull or drive and block someone straight ahead of him, but at the second level or in the open field on screens, he looked leaden-footed when trying to stay in front of his target. That must be affecting his pass protection, preventing him from being able to help Clady and likely causing him to require more help from his center Nick Mangold. It's not something that's been an issue in the past, so I have to conclude this is a by-product of being banged-up.

Mangold's effectiveness is always compromised when he has to help other players and that proved to be the case here, as he had a few low snaps and allowed his man into the backfield a few times. Left more to his own devices, Winters had mixed results in the running game but did get bull rushed a couple of times into the backfield and also had a holding penalty.

When Carpenter went down with an injury, it was Dakota Dozier, not Qvale or Wesley Johnson, who replaced him. That was right before half time and Dozier barely held up in pass protection before Carpenter was able to return for the second half. Dozier - active for the fourth time this year - played his first offensive snap of the year, as the Jets can't seem to decide who their third-best guard is. It's probably Winters.

Pass Rush

I was looking forward to seeing what the approach would be in this game after the Jets - desperate to give as much help as possible to their beleaguered secondary - hardly ever blitzed in the Pittsburgh game. That was such a failure that it was inevitable they'd cook up some creative blitz packages in this game. So it proved, but - predictably - the secondary couldn't hold up and the Cardinals were easily able to counter with quick passes much of the time.

This did generate more pressure from the line, though, with Muhammad Wilkerson generating four pressures, including two hits, and also deflecting two passes at the line.  Sheldon Richardson added three pressures and Leonard Williams knocked Carson Palmer down twice. They still didn't register a sack though.

It seemed like the Jets were making a concerted effort to give Wilkerson and Richardson some reps inside. They did this in a variety of ways, including using Steve McLendon as a 3-4 end or Williams as an edge rusher - which was how he got one of his pressures. They had begun the game in a 3-4 look but this backfired when the Cardinals had some success with short passes and outside runs.

Clearly things haven't gone to plan with the linebacker group this year. Mike Catapano, Jordan Jenkins and Erin Henderson have all missed time in earlier games, David Harris was unavailable for this one and Darron Lee went down last night with a nasty looking ankle injury.

These absences have clearly contributed to the Jets being able to play less 3-4 than they intended entering the year. It's also necessitated them using Richardson as an outside linebacker. This was something they vowed not to do this year but they've seemingly had little choice. Even yesterday, as they made an effort to use him on the interior, he ended up playing more snaps standing up than in any other game so far this year. 

One other adjustment the Jets tried to make was using one of their inside linebackers on the edge and dropping their rush linebacker to the inside. Lee and Bruce Carter each saw some reps on the outside with Richardson or Catapano at inside linebacker. I don't think that's what Richardson had in mind when he was told he'd play inside more this year.

Other than the linemen, several pressures were generated by the players who blitzed, although Calvin Pryor was the only player with more than one. Carter and Jordan Jenkins each had a hit on Palmer.  

Catapano and Lorenzo Mauldin each got to the quarterback on blitzes up the middle, but didn't have any tangible success rushing off the edge with Mauldin only getting close once. Of the three outside linebackers, Jenkins was again the most impressive and saw more playing time than Mauldin and Catapano combined. 

Deon Simon and Jarvis Jenkins both saw time off the bench, but didn't generate any pressure and, in fact, have just one pressure between them all year. 

Run Defense

What happened to the run defense? The Jets entered the game with the second-best run defense in the league, although part of that is presumably because their pass defense has been so bad. In this game, Gruden wondered why the Cardinals were continuing to run the ball, but they ended up with 171 yards and three scores so it paid off. 

Having said that, on 35 running plays, the Cardinals had 20 plays that were stopped for a gain of two yards or less, so the defensive line was doing a solid job of bottling up runs most of the time. The exception was on the first drive of the second half, where the Cardinals drove downfield to turn a manageable 14-3 game into a 21-3 blowout. On that drive, they had six straight carries that went for five or more yards, although one was negated by a penalty.

While some of the yardage was attributable to mistakes in the back seven, you can't attribute all of it to that and, while they combined to make a lot of stops, the defensive linemen were occasionally controlled at the point of attack. That might be due to their efforts to employ a traditional nose tackle less often.

As noted, Richardson was employed as a linebacker despite the fact he apparently added weight during the offseason to enable him to play on the line more. That was evident on two end-arounds and a short pass where he was too slow to prevent the runner from getting to the edge. The decision to employ him at inside linebacker also cost the Jets on the long David Johnson touchdown as Richardson run-blitzed up the middle and the run was bounced to the edge. 

There was a lot more to that play though. Let's look at it in more detail:

via GIPHY

The first thing to note is Lee on the edge. That's a blatant holding penalty that was not called, which changes the whole complexion of the game. 

Next up, Henderson - the inside linebacker on the left side of the formation - gets across to fill the lane as Richardon run-blitzes, but gets schooled by a spectacular open-field move by Johnson. The problems don't stop there though.

Marcus Gilchrist is badly at fault as he comes up far too fast and gets caught inside, Darrelle Revis can't get off a block from Larry Fitzgerald, whose blocking stood out all day, and Buster Skrine loses outside contain as he misses the tackle on the edge

How badly did the Jets miss Harris on this play? Not only were two players out of position due to him not being there, but also Henderson failed to make a play Harris perhaps would have made and the run fit wasn't ideal so there may have been a communication issue.

It will be a real shame if Lee's injury keeps him out for an extended time. If the wheels are going to fall off, at least that would mean that the team has scope to let young players learn from their mistakes. Until he got hurt, this was shaping up to be his best game so far, as he was disciplined and made a couple of plays. He may be better as the mike and therefore not ideally suited towards playing with Harris in the short term. He also perhaps benefited from the Jets not playing as much zone in the back end.

Henderson struggled, as he was constantly blocked out of plays at the second level. Carter saw a lot of playing time on defense for the first time and was in on a couple of stops.

Coverage

One silver lining from last night's game was that the Jets didn't have any major defensive breakdowns in the secondary. In fact, the longest pass they gave up all day was just 14 yards. However, it's difficult to draw too many positives from a performance where the team struggled to get off the field.

Skrine made a nice break-up but otherwise had a complete nightmare. Jerome Boger's officiating crew victimized Skrine all day long, calling him for four penalties, at least a couple of which were extremely dubious. Skrine was trying to play physical coverage, but that proved impossible with how the game was being officiated. Later on in the game, the team obviously instructed him to play off instead and he gave up three consecutive identical plays where the receiver stopped and caught a back shoulder throw.

Skrine has had issues with penalties in the past, but seemed to have fixed that to some degree. Since the NFL tightened up their rules in 2014, he had 20 penalties in the first 20 games, but only five in the last 17 games prior to yesterday night's game.

Revis was flagged once too and surrendered a couple of first downs. He was also blocked out of a couple of plays downfield and would have given up a touchdown if not for Wilkerson rescuing him by batting down the pass at the line.

Marcus Williams held up quite well, although he almost gave up a deep catch inside the 10, just about managing to prise the ball loose. He also had a big contribution as a pass rusher, jumping into Palmer's face to prevent a screen pass as he came unblocked off the edge. That play looked like it was going places.

Pryor - much like Lee - showed more discipline this week. Again, perhaps not playing zone was a key factor here. He made some plays in coverage and did well overall. He wasn't perfect though, as he was badly caught inside on an end-around.

Other than his bad mistake on the long touchdown, Gilchrist played quite well too, making one nice play in coverage.

Darryl Roberts drew some praise after his last performance, but I wasn't really convinced because he was let off the hook a few times by Sammie Coates' unreliable hands. In this game, he only played briefly but got beaten for a first down, a touchdown and a pass interference call. He also seemed to be responsible for a 12 men on the field penalty.

Rontez Miles and Antonio Allen played briefly off the bench, but did not contribute much.

Surprisingly, despite Harris being absent, the linebackers were hardly targeted in coverage. Carter gave up one easy first down though and was also late to react on a quick pass to the flat, leading to another first down.

Overall, the lack of big plays is a minor positive, but the inability of the secondary to prevent quick and easy throws when blitzing remains a concern. It's not helped by their inability to play physical man-to-man coverage without drawing a flag, though.

Special teams

Once again, the Jets' renovated special teams unit didn't get many chances to influence the game, positively or otherwise. Only one field goal was attempted by either team, with Nick Folk's 39-yarder accounting for the only Jets' points. In the return game, every kick-off - by both teams - went for a touchback. Jalin Marshall also opted to fair catch four of the Cardinals five punts with the other one being downed.   Only when the Jets were punting did anything worth discussing happen.

Lac Edwards had a disappointing game with a few short kicks including one that was shanked out of bounds. His one good punt was basically meaningless as he landed the ball inside the 10 with just seconds remaining in the first half.

It's worth pointing out that Tanner Purdum had an uncharacteristically poor game though, with Edwards having to reach for four less-than-perfect snaps in the first half alone. The snap was to his right on the one he shanked - also to the right.

That's the trouble with a struggling team. Even if you manage to fix some of the issues you've been having, you can't guarantee that the things you could usually rely on week-in and week-out won't have an off-day and end up costing you anyway.

For someone with a supposedly booming leg, should we be concerned that Edwards hasn't had a gross average of 44 yards or above in any game since opening day? Perhaps not, because at least he's getting enough hang time that the short kicks aren't getting returned.

In this game, Juston Burris - who didn't see any time on defense - did a good job of getting downfield in coverage. He made one terrific tackle after blowing past the vice on the outside and blew up another punt even though he missed the tackle. On another play he drew an illegal block in the back penalty, one of two penalties he drew on the day.

Peake also did a good job of getting downfield and blew up a punt return for a loss. He was well-blocked on another play though.

Even with the Jets getting downfield well, one of the punts was close to being broken for a big return, but Bruce Carter made a solid open field tackle after four players (Burris, Miles, Henderson and Josh Martin) overpursued.

Final thoughts

Mercifully, the Jets finally made it through the tough part of their schedule. They now face a slate of games against the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins and Rams which seem winnable and could enable them to get their season back on track before their first meeting with the Patriots.

Unfortunately, those four games aren't actually as easy as they once seemed. The Ravens were 3-0 to start with and even though they've lost three in a row, all three were games they could and probably should have won. The Rams also had three wins in a row, including two against teams that beat the Jets, and could easily be 4-2. Even Miami just beat the Steelers and the Browns might still be the Browns, but perhaps they are due or something.

Moreover, the Jets don't look capable of competing with anyone right now, let alone beating them. It's difficult to remember a season where things looked so bleak at such an early point. Even in 2014, where they also began 1-5, there was a sense that they'd been unlucky in some games against good teams and might be on the brink of a turnaround.

Hopefully I'm overreacting, but things don't look too promising right now.

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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase may be the Jets' new interim general manager, but he insisted that he did not engineer a power play to get the job and push Mike Maccagnan out the door.

In his first comments since Maccagnan was fired last week, Gase quickly dismissed the idea the notion that he had anything to do with that decision. "I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle," Gase said.

"Whoever is hired is going to have the same role (Maccagnan had) -- control of the roster, control of the 53," Gase said. "I will coach the team. That's what I'm going to do. Nothing has changed with that structure."

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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Adam Gase continues to part ways with Mike Maccagnan draft picks as Jets interim GM. 

After trading Darron Lee last week and signing putner Matt Darr earlier on Monday, the Jets decided to waive tight end Jordan Leggett, according to ESPN's Field Yates.  

Leggett, 24, was a fifth-round draft pick in 2017 who struggled to stay on the field -- missing all of 2017 with a knee injury -- but played in 15 games last year but had just 14 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. 

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Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Rumors have been 'flying' within league circles that the Jets could make a run at Peyton Manning to fill their vacant GM role, according to Mike Florio of PFT. But it doesn't seem like any run at him would be successful.

Manning as the next Jets GM is "unrealistic" and being an NFL GM is "not a job he seems to want" said a source close to Manning told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Hiring the 43-year-old Manning to be the Jets' new GM would certainly be an outside the box move. The legendary QB retired after the 2015 season, and does not have any official front office experience. 

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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The firing of Mike Maccagnan last week, just weeks after he ran the draft, and months after he spent $120 million in free agency and helped hire the new head coach, may go down as one of the strangest, craziest moments in the star-crossed history of the Jets.

But that would seem like nothing if they soon decide to trade the recently signed Le'Veon Bell.

They won't, of course. At least they probably won't. One team source texted a flat "No" when asked about the possibility by SNY over the weekend. But the wacky idea still gained some traction over the weekend as many tried to predict what's next for the Jets and their interim GM/head coach Adam Gase. The rumor that Gase would soon trade Bell grew like wildfire when former ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton said in a radio interview on Friday, "I could absolutely see the Jets trading (Bell) before the start of the season."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 24, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Dolphins punter Matt Darr (4) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Aug 24, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Dolphins punter Matt Darr (4) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Adam Gase is beginning to bring in some familiar faces in his role as Jets interim GM. 

The Jets announced on Monday that they signed punter Matt Darr to their 90-man roster. 

Darr, 26, was the Dolphins' punter in 2016 when Gase began his tenure in Miami but was waived in September 2017. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills late last season and appeared in five games.

Tags: Lachlan Edwards
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Looking back on the Jets week 00:02:22
It was a memorable week for the Jets that included firing Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and reports that Gase didn't want to sign Le'Veon Bell.

The Jets fired Mike Maccagnan, replaced him on an interim basis with Adam Gase (who is acting as the head coach and the GM), and began their search for a new GM. Oh, there was also some Le'Veon Bell drama. 

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Nov 18, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts Colts former quarterback Peyton Manning walks the sidelines before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas J. Russo)
Nov 18, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts Colts former quarterback Peyton Manning walks the sidelines before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas J. Russo)

The Jets sent shockwaves through the NFL when they fired GM Mike Maccagnan earlier this week. Could their hire to replace him result in similar shockwaves?

"Rumors are flying" within league circles that the Jets could make a run at Peyton Manning to fill their vacant GM role, reports Mike Florio of PFT, who adds that Manning has "periodically" been connected to open front office positions throughout the NFL.

Hiring the 43-year-old Manning to be the Jets' new GM would certainly be an outside the box move. The legendary QB retired after the 2015 season, and does not have any official front office experience...

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Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Having been named as the interim general manager on Wednesday, Adam Gase wasted no time before making his first splash. Later that same day, the Jets announced that former first-round linebacker Darron Lee had been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a sixth-round pick in next year's draft.

There's been plenty of speculation as to whether Lee's roster status was a bone of contention in the rift between Gase and the outgoing general manager Mike Maccagnan and how much input defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had in the decision. However, rumors had been rife that the Jets were likely to part ways with Lee ever since they signed CJ Mosley in free agency.

Whatever the reasons behind the move, the Jets must now plan ahead for a 2019 campaign without Lee on the team. Let's investigate what his role would have been had he remained with the team and how the team will approach replacing his contributions.

Tags: Darron Lee
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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)

The reported rift between Jets head coach Adam Gase and former GM Mike Maccagnan apparently came to a head during the NFL Draft. 

According to Manish Mehta of the Daily News, the relationship between Gase and Maccagnan became tense in the lead up to the draft when the new Jets head coach was not given the opportunity to have his voice heard in pre-draft meetings. 

Maccagnan did not want Gase to adversely sway his scouts' evaluations, a philosophy he held with Todd Bowles as well. 

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Damon Harrison (94) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber)
Damon Harrison (94) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets recently announced they have signed 16 undrafted free agents. While most of them are longshots, inevitably a few are likely to make an impact on the main roster, as we discussed during the week. How likely is this, though? Let's review the top 10 best undrafted players from the past 25 seasons.

Remember, this only covers players who entered the league since 1994, so great players such as Bruce Harper, Pat Leahy, Victor Green and Bill Baird aren't included.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Robby Anderson, Rontez Miles
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Contrary to reports that Adam Gase did not want Le'Veon Bell on the Jets because the running back would cost too much, the two are apparently enjoying a happy marriage thus far. 

According to Brian Costello of The Post, Gase and Bell have been in "constant contact" since the offseason training program began last month even though Bell chose not to report. 

The two have spoken twice since the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday with both conversations being positive.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Tannenbaum weighs in on Jets 00:01:36
Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum joined SNY to talk about the Jets firing Mike Maccagnan and what that means for Adam Gase and the Jets.

Mike Tannenbaum knows what it's like to be a Jets general manager who gets fired, as Mike Maccagnan was on Wednesday. He also knows Jets interim GM and head coach Adam Gase, working with the former Dolphins head coach as Miami's executive vice president of football operations. 

Tannenbaum spoke with SNY's Jonas Schwartz to discuss the strange timing of the Maccagnan firing, whether squabbles with the head coach and GM are unusual for this time of year and whether Gase will face a credibility problem.

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New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, center, poses for a picture with owner Christopher Johnson, left, and general manager Mike Maccagnan pose for a picture during a news conference in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, center, poses for a picture with owner Christopher Johnson, left, and general manager Mike Maccagnan pose for a picture during a news conference in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While much of the attention on the Jets' bombshell firing of GM Mike Maccagnan has been on the perceived dysfunction in the organization, the focus of the team will be to look ahead. Although Adam Gase is already in place as the interim GM - and already made one controversial splash with the Darron Lee trade - you would expect the Jets to move quickly to fill the role with a permanent alternative.

If there's one silver lining to the curious timing of yesterday's move, it's that the Jets won't face competition from any other teams for any potential candidate to replace Maccagnan.

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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Robby Anderson didn't want things to turn out this way.

The wide receiver didn't want to be tendered as a restricted free agent because he wanted to commit his future to the Jets. But the team placed a second-round tender on Anderson in February, and on Thursday Anderson signed that tender, which is worth about $3.1 million.

April 19 was the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets. Anderson didn't sign one, so he was left to either hold out for a better deal or sign the tender.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli shown on the sideline of the game against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Ravens 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli shown on the sideline of the game against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Ravens 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Falcons announced on Thursday that their assistant GM Scott Pioli has stepped down from his role with the team. 

In turn, another name is added to the Jets' GM search. 

Pioli held the role with the Falcons since 2014, but his time in football spans all the way back to 1992 when he would drive 90 minutes to Giants training camp to help out then-defensive coordinator Bill Belichick. When Belichick moved onto the Browns as their head coach, he brought on Pioli as a pro personnel assistant, and it wouldn't be the only time he followed the coach.

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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets are shaking things up in their front office in an odd turn of events on Wednesday.

Despite allowing him to make the team's offseason moves, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson told GM Mike Maccagnan that his days with the team were over. Vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger was also let go by the team. 

So, while new head coach Adam Gase will assume the role of interim GM, the search for Maccagnan's replacement is on. But it appears the Jets are not just searching for a new GM, but others to add to their team brass before the new season...

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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Jets became a news hub on Wednesday, as multiple stories surfaced from the firing of GM Mike Maccagnan to CEO Christopher Johnson explaining why he made that call after allowing Maccagnan to make the team's offseason moves. 

But there was also the report that new head coach Adam Gase and Maccagnan were at a disagreement with the signing of Le'Veon Bell. While it was viewed by many that the Jets got a good deal with a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Gase didn't like that amount of money for the versatile back. 

In fact, Gase didn't want that type of money going to any running back to begin with. He also isn't a fan for the massive five-year, $85 million deal CJ Mosley received from Gang Green, either. His $51 million guaranteed is the largest amount ever for a linebacker. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Looks like new interim GM Adam Gase is already making moves. 

The Jets have parted ways with LB Darron Lee, trading him to the Chiefs for a 2020 sixth-round pick in return, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed on Wednesday night.This has been an expected move for the Jets since CJ Mosley signed his massive five-year, $85 million deal with Gang Green this offseason.

Lee, a former first-round pick out of Ohio State, hadn't lived up to his expectations with the Jets since coming to the team in 2016. His rookie season saw just 13 games (nine starts), where he totaled 70 combined tackles, three quarterback hits, and one sack...

Tags: Darron Lee, Scott Thompson
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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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Mike Maccagnan was announced at the Jets general manager in January 2015, after he beat out a handful of candidates, including current Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier. After the disastrous outcome of using a search firm to find their previous general manager (John Idzik), the Jets' decision to hire Maccagnan came largely from the recommendation of the experienced pairing of Charlie Casserly and Ron Wolf.

Early results for Maccagnan were good. Having been hired alongside Todd Bowles, Maccagnan made a couple of splashes and some shrewd moves, putting the team in position to make the postseason until they choked the opportunity away in the season finale in Buffalo.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Christian Hackenberg, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Johnson talks about Maccagnan 00:01:09
The Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday. Team Chairman and CEO explained why it was necessary.

Before this crucial offseason began for the Jets, GM Mike Maccagnan knew he was on the hot seat. That is why we saw him shell out roughly $191 million to land some of the top free agents on the market with RB Le'Veon Bell leading the pack. 

Then, came the NFL Draft. Though the Jets didn't have a lot of capital this season, they still had the No. 3 overall pick. Maccagnan wasn't shy in saying the pick was up for sale, but they would keep it in their pocket and select possibly the safest pick in the class in Alabama DT Quinnen Williams -- a player that is going to be at the top of Defensive Rookie of the Year ballots to start the season. 

Through his free-agent pickups and a solid draft class, it looked like Maccagnan was on the right path to turning around not only the franchise, but thoughts about his job security...

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Adam Gase has barely been introduced to New York yet, beyond a couple of short press conferences and some mean-spirited memes. He hasn't had a chance to lose a game yet. The heat on his seat hasn't even been turned on.

But it will be very shortly, once the ashes settle from the firing of Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, because like it or not, fair or not, and true or not, it sure looks like Gase's fingerprints are all over this shocking move. Whether it was a power play or good, old-fashioned irreconcilable differences, Gase won and Maccagnan lost.

Which means this Jets mess is Gase's now.

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Reaction to Maccagnan firing 00:00:41
Ralph Vacchiano dives into the Mike Maccagnan firing by the Jets. He argues that the timing was off.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The last two years, Mike Maccagnan has worked hard to right the Jets' ship. Piece by piece he's dismantled the previous mess and distanced the organization from its past.

And for a moment, it looked like the Jets had finally left the big top for the big time.

Then, on Wednesday morning, CEO Christopher Johnson fired Maccagnan along with his top assistant, Brian Heimerdinger, and elevated his brand new head coach to interim general manager, and it sure seemed like the "same old Jets" routine was back on.

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Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

With the Jets firing GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday and inserting Adam Gase as the acting GM, the team will begin their search for its GM "immediately," Christopher Johnson said in a statement.

And with that search underway, Eagles VP of Player Personnel Joe Douglas has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Maccagnan, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Here are five things to know about Douglas...

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

It appears that Mike Maccagnan and Adam Gase had different views on Le'Veon Bell.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gase didn't like the amount of money Maccagnan gave to the running back, who sat out all of last year. Maccagnan, who was fired on Wednesday, signed the former Steeler to a four-year, $52.5 million deal.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Jets fire GM Mike Maccagnan 00:02:08
New York Jets fire GM Mike Maccagnan and name head coach Adam Gase as the interim GM. The Athletic's Connor Hughes breaks down the move.

The Jets have fired GM Mike Maccagnan as GM, effective immediately, the team announced Wednesday, with Adam Gase taking over as acting GM. 

The announcement was made by chariman and CEO Christopher Johnson.

"This morning, I informed Mike that he was being relieved of his duties as General Manager of the team, effective immediately," Johnson said in a statement. "Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months. However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets. I will start a search for our new General Manager immediately. In the interim, Coach Gase will be the acting General Manager. I would like to thank Mike for his time and efforts during his tenure, and I wish only the best for him and his wife Betty."

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Ray Lucas on Jets firing GM 00:00:34
New York Jets fire GM Mike Maccagnan. SNY analyst and former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas sounds off on how the Jets handled the situation.

Shortly after the Jets' shocking dismissal of GM Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday, Darron Lee tweeted what can be construed as a happy reaction.

Click below to see...

Tags: Darron Lee
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Sep 29, 2018; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Greg Dortch (3) runs in for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Rice Owls at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Sep 29, 2018; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Greg Dortch (3) runs in for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Rice Owls at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, the Jets announced they had signed 16 undrafted rookies to their roster. Those 16 attended the rookie orientation over the weekend, along with the six draft picks, and will take the field for organized team activities next week.

NFL teams can usually count on getting some level of contributions from their undrafted free agents, and sometimes you can find a real diamond in the rough. For example, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay went to the Pro Bowl last year and JC Jackson played a big role for the Super Bowl champion Patriots, starting five games.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Geno Smith (3) throws on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Geno Smith (3) throws on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Former Jets and Giants quarterback Geno Smith will have yet another new team this season. 

The 28-year-old quarterback is expected to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan. 

Smith, who was drafted in the second round by the Jets in 2013, joins Paxton Lynch as the potential backup options for Russell Wilson in Seattle. 

Tags: Geno Smith
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Sep 22, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) celebrates during the first quarter of a game against Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports (Bryan Lynn)
Sep 22, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) celebrates during the first quarter of a game against Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports (Bryan Lynn)

The Jets have signed third round draft pick Jachai Polite, whose selection last month was overshadowed by his disastrous performance on and off the field at the NFL Combine. 

During the Combine, Polite performed poorly across the board and took issue with questions teams were asking him -- publicly complaining to reporters that teams were "bashing" him for bad plays on film.

After the Draft, the 21-year-old Polite said the Combine performance was all on him.

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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson (30) in action against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Rashard Robinson (30) in action against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

While the Jets were welcoming their draft class during the start of Rookie Orientation on Friday, they also made a couple roster moves that saw a few players walk into free agency. 

Most notably was CB Rashard Robinson, who the Jets traded a fifth-round pick for with the 49ers back in 2017. He was a fourth-rounder back in 2016 to San Francisco, and the team was hoping he would alleviate their secondary woes when injuries struck that season. 

That wasn't the case, though, as Robinson struggled to end the year with Gang Green. And not much came of his first full season last year, as 10 games saw only one start with eight tackles and one fumble recovery to show for it. 

Tags: Rashard Robinson
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