Dec 24, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee (35) runs with the ball as Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) pursues during the second half at New Era Field. The Dolphins beat the Bills 34-31 in overtime. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 24, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee (35) runs with the ball as Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) pursues during the second half at New Era Field. The Dolphins beat the Bills 34-31 in overtime. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

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It seems like a lifetime ago, but back in September the Jets went to Buffalo and won 37-31 behind a tremendous performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The teams seemed destined to head in opposite directions at that time and that proved to be the case, but it would be the Jets who fell into a slump, while Buffalo unexpectedly moved into postseason contention.

The Bills were ultimately eliminated last week, following an overtime loss to Miami, and the 4-11 Jets are basically going through the motions as the season nears its merciful end. With Rex Ryan having been fired Tuesday, the game offers an opportunity for interim coach Anthony Lynn to make a case for a full-time head coaching job.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what to watch out for.

Quarterbacks

Backup EJ Manuel has been announced as Sunday's starter having not previously been needed this year. Manuel, a former first-round pick now in his fourth season, has had a disappointing career, but arguably had his best NFL performance against the Jets three years ago.

The Bills might also use this stage as an opportunity for rookie Cardale Jones to see his first action. Tyrod Taylor, who had been starting all season, has been benched following Ryan's departure and will be inactive.

The Bills are facing an interesting decision with regard to Taylor, who signed a multi-year extension in preseason. With reports indicating there is no immediate intention to renegotiate his current deal, the Bills have the option to release Taylor before March, or remain committed to him for big money over the next few years. That's part of the reason he won't play because an injury would have left the Bills on the hook for significant guarantees.

Taylor's 2016 season didn't make that dilemma any more straightforward as his numbers were similar to last year's pretty much across the board. Had he suffered a Fitzpatrick-style regression or made the leap like Derek Carr has, it would have been a lot easier to make that decision. Unfortunately, his performance falls within that dreaded middle ground and the decision to bench him this week suggests that they are leaning towards letting him go.

Offensive Line

The Bills' line has been reasonably good this year, led by left guard Richie Incognito who is still the key to the Bills' running game. He has been their most consistent lineman this season, especially in the second half of the year. 

Another leader, left tackle Cordy Glenn, has been a bit banged up. He has missed several starts including the past two weeks and has been ruled out for tomorrow. Reserve Cyrus Kouandjio has had to replace Glenn a few times and will likely start tomorrow. He actually had a great game last week against Miami.

The right side of the offensive line has been a weakness for the Bills for a while and Jordan Mills has continued to struggle at tackle. Mills has given up a team-high eight sacks and almost twice as much pressure as any other Bills lineman. John Miller has developed into a more consistent player in his second season, though.

Starting center Eric Wood was placed on injured reserve but Ryan Groy has filled in admirably while starting the last six games in his place. The losses of Wood and Glenn have meant that they don't have much experience left on their bench.

Running Backs

LeSean McCoy is headed back to the Pro Bowl after an excellent season that has seen him rush for over 1,200 yards already, along with 49 pass receptions and 14 total touchdowns. All of those numbers are significantly better than his 2015 production, as he has done a good job of proving he still has some gas in the tank. 

Reserve Mike Gillislee has provided an excellent change of pace and breakaway threat. While McCoy is averaging a healthy 5.5 yards per carry, Gillislee is even better at 6.2 and has also contributed eight touchdowns, including one against the Jets. McCoy averaged fewer than four yards per carry in three of his first four games, including the Jets game, but has only been below that mark just twice since then.

Rookie Jonathan Williams and veteran Reggie Bush get occasional touches, but neither has done much so far this year. Bush has netted minus-three yards on 12 carries and could become the first NFL player to carry the ball more than 10 times in a season only to end up with negative yardage.

At fullback, veteran Jerome Felton's playing time has been increasing as the season endures. He's averaged over 40 snaps per game over the last two.

Receivers

Sammy Watkins has missed half of the year due to injury and hasn't been close to 100 percent, even when he has been in the lineup. He's still been productive though, and leads the Bills with a 16.6 yards per catch average. However, the Bills have had a better record (4-4) when he doesn't play than they have had when he does (3-4). He's as close to full health as he's been all year right now, though, and is coming off a season-high 154-yard performance against Miami.

With Watkins out, the Bills' leading receiver had been tight end Charles Clay, who has caught 54 passes. Clay and backup Nick O'Leary have also made good contributions in the running game.

The leading wide receiver, in terms of statistical production, has been Robert Woods, but it was third receiver Marquise Goodwin who made the most noise in the first matchup, blowing by Darrelle Revis for a long touchdown.

The Bills have placed three ex-Jets receivers on injured reserve since the start of the season in Greg Salas, Walt Powell and Percy Harvin. Depth instead now comes from veterans Justin Hunter and Brandon Tate.

Defensive Line

Like Watkins, star defensive lineman Marcell Dareus has missed half of the year, this time through a combination of injuries and suspension. Again, the Bills are 4-4 without him and 3-4 when he plays. Dareus has been productive when in the lineup though, with solid play against the run and 3.5 sacks in just seven games.

Kyle Williams has remained healthy this year and been his usual self with outstanding play against the run, while compiling five sacks of his own. It's always a tough assignment for Nick Mangold to face either of these two, so Wesley Johnson will have his work cut out. Johnson did well at guard in relief of James Carpenter in the first game, though.

The other starter is third-round rookie Adolphus Washington who has been promising but unspectacular so far.

Corbin Bryant, who had been starting for Dareus, went onto injured reserve in October, but former Jet Leger Douzable has been seeing plenty of playing time all year. 

Linebackers

The biggest surprise for the Bills this year has been Lorenzo Alexander. Alexander was a young starter with the Cardinals in 2013 but suffered a season-ending injury early in the season and hadn't started a game since then. He's made the most of his opportunity with the Bills, as he is headed to the Pro Bowl after a season that has so far seen him generate 13 sacks.

Jerry Hughes was the Bills' best pass rusher last year, but this year he's only had a disappointing six sacks and has played poorly against the run. He's also committed 36 penalties in the past three years.

First-round rookie Shaq Lawson missed the start of the year through injury but has shown some mild promise since returning. He has two sacks so far. Fellow high draft pick Reggie Ragland has missed the entire season, though.

With no Ragland, the Bills starting linebackers have been Preston Brown and Zach Brown. The latter has had a good season with a team-leading 138 tackles and four sacks. As for Preston Brown, while he has struggled he hasn't been close to as bad as last year where he graded out as the worst linebacker in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

Veterans Ramon Humber and Brandon Spikes provide depth off the bench and might be needed as both Browns are listed as questionable.

Defensive Backs

The Bills' starting cornerbacks have done a decent job this year, although they've not been as good as they were in 2015. They'll likely relish a chance to pad their stats against the turnover-prone Jets. Stephon Gilmore leads the team with five interceptions, but he's been ruled out for tomorrow due to injury. Ronald Darby - who intercepted two passes in the first three games of his rookie season - has now gone 28 straight games without one.

Corey Graham has had a strong year at free safety, but his partner has changed several times during the year because of injuries. Youngster Jonathan Meeks is currently listed as the starter but the Bills have basically been operating out of one-safety personnel packages over the last few weeks.

In sub-packages, Nickell Robey-Coleman continues to get a lot of work in the slot, but Corey White has been getting more reps in recent weeks. Late-round rookie Kevon Seymour has also been getting some playing time. They should all see increased time with Gilmore out.

Special Teams

Former Jet Dan Carpenter is still the Bills' kicker. He's missed six field goals this year, including five from within 50 yards. He also started a fight on Saturday. The Bills got rid of their kickoff specialist at the start of December, so Carpenter has also been kicking off over the past few weeks.

Statistically, punter Colton Schmidt has been one of the worst punters in the league this year, albeit still slightly better than Jets rookie Lac Edwards. Schmidt has booted a league-leading 18 punts out of bounds.

In the return game, Tate has been the primary return man all year. He's yet to break a 50-yarder but is still 3rd in total punt return yardage with a 12.0 yards per return average. He's also seventh in kickoff return yardage.

In coverage, Humber and Meeks have been their most productive tackles, with Alexander surprisingly not far behind despite his important role on defense.


I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: BGA, Buffalo Bills

 (Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray)
(Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray)

When the Jets drafted QB Sam Darnold, it appeared inevitable that their former second-rounder, QB Christian Hackenberg, was the odd man out with four quarterbacks on the roster. 

That is why Jets fans probably weren't surprised to hear Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders Monday for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft pick. And they also shouldn't be surprised to hear head coach Todd Bowles' reasoning on the matter as well.

"We have three quarterbacks. Obviously, we drafted Sam in the first. We like Teddy (Bridgewater). We like Josh (McCown). We just had one too many to get all of them reps, so we held him out today just because we had things in the works in case something happened," Bowles said after the team's first OTA on Tuesday. "So we just wanted to go with the three quarterbacks that we have and let these guys battle it out."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Thompson
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Daily News Live: NFL's new rule 00:04:34
The Daily News Live panel discusses the NFL owners' new national anthem policy and Jets owner Christopher Johnson's plan to resist it.

In the wake of the NFL's new national anthem policy, which requires all team and league personnel on the field "to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem" or stay in the locker room or another inside area until the anthem is completed, Jets owner Christopher Johnson said he would pay any fines the team gets if it happens.

In the new policy, which the NFLPA immediately fired back at, it says those who violate the policy will receive "appropriate discipline" from the commissioner. 

"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules," Johnson told Bob Glauber of Newsday. "If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we're all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don't want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won't. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear."

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL announced a new national anthem policy on Wednesday, requiring all team and league personnel on the field "to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem."

That policy, which stemmed from many players kneeling in protest last season for social justice reasons, was immediately challenged by the NFLPA, which issued a statement saying it would "review the new 'policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."

In its statement, the NFLPA says the NFL "chose to not consult the union" while developing the new policy, and said that the vote by NFL club CEOs "contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL's Management Council John Mara about the principles, values, and patriotism of our League."

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

When the Jets claimed former Patriots offensive tackle Antonio Garcia last week, it was one of the more interesting moves off the offseason. Garcia was selected with the 85th overall pick in the third round of last year's draft, but the Patriots have opted to give up on him already after a challenging rookie season.

For the Jets, it's a low-risk move to pick up a player with untapped potential, and could prove to be great value as he will remain on his rookie deal for three more years. If the move doesn't work out, the Jets won't owe Garcia any money or bear any kind of a cap hit, so they have little to lose.

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Bowles talks Hackenberg 00:00:32
Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks about Christian Hackenberg being traded to the Raiders, and why the QB struggled with the Jets.

The Jets have traded QB Christian Hackenberg to the Raiders for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019, head coach Todd Bowles announced on Tuesday. 

"We did everything we could," Bowles said about working with Hackenberg. "Sometimes it just doesn't work out."

Bowles added that Hackenberg was held out of OTAs on purpose on Tuesday in case a deal involving him was reached. Hackenberg had been lost in the shuffle in the Jets' QB logjam, with Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater ahead of him on the depth chart. 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Darnold in action at Jets OTAs 00:00:37
Check out Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Quincy Enunwa and more in action at Jets OTAs on Tuesday in Florham Park.

The Jets took the field in Florham Park on Tuesday to kick off their first OTA session leading up to training camp in June. 

Of course, the biggest storyline heading into the new year for Gang Green is what will Sam Darnold's role be in his rookie season. Here he is already getting work in as practice begins.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE VIDEO

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Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
		  (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Jets WR Terrelle Pryor was one of the most notable players missing at the team's first OTA on Tuesday, and it wasn't because he didn't want to show up. 

Pryor, who had ankle surgery last November, has reportedly suffered another ankle injury this offseason, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 28-year-old converted receiver played in just nine games last season with the Redskins before a season-ending ankle injury ruined his one-year, "prove it" deal in Washington. He signed another with the Jets this offseason worth $4.5 million.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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