On Monday, the Jets signed free agent cornerback Aaron Berry to a two-year contract, having worked out Berry and three other cornerbacks last week (including Darrin Walls, who went onto the practice squad). Jets fans might not know too much about Berry, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Berry was a free agent, so assuming he received a standard deal with little or no guaranteed money, there is no requirement to keep him on the team for any length of time if he isn't working out. He was released by the Detroit Lions in preseason after getting arrested twice in one month on gun charges. While I won't be dedicating any time to that aspect of his character, it's apparent he has some baggage. However, he might have some talent too, so if he's now on the straight and narrow, then it's plausible the Jets might have found themselves a bargain. Berry was suspended for the first three weeks of the season, so only became available last week. However, it may take him some time to get into NFL shape, or at least into enough of a rhythm to contribute on gamedays at the NFL level.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Berry's first two seasons in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Aaron Berry?

Berry went to college at Pittsburgh and went undrafted following some injury concerns. He spent preseason in 2010 with the Detroit Lions and impressed so much that he ended up in the starting lineup (as a third corner) on opening day, although he would suffer a shoulder injury that day and miss the rest of the season. In 2011, he played a pretty big role with the Lions, starting three games and receiving significant reps in most of the others. Berry isn't big - listed at 5-11, 180 - but certainly has better size than Isaiah Trufant. He actually measured just 5-9 and three-eighths at his Pro Day, where he did post good numbers, including a 4.47 forty, 36-inch vertical, broad jump of over 10 feet and a sub-four second short shuttle.

Bassett asked Ty Schalter from Lions in Winter for some insight on twitter and Ty shared this:

Very physical outside man coverage guy. Isn't all-world, inconsistent downfield, but much better than people realize ... I often compared him to Cortland Finnegan before CF became everyone's new favorite Best Corner Ever last week (?!?)


Some pretty lofty praise there, so it does sound like he has some promise to at least be serviceable.

The first thing to note about Ty's comments is that he calls Berry an "outside man cover guy". Sure, enough, in 2011, he only played nine snaps (out of 478) in the slot. However, the Jets might need someone who can play in the slot, because when they go to a nickel package, they have preferred to use Wilson in that role, rather than Ellis Lankster, so they may not see Lankster as a slot option. The good news is that all of Berry's 2010 reps were in the slot. Having said that, he only played half of one game, so it's not like he has a ton of experience there.

Let's look at his numbers from his career so far:

The Numbers

Two seasons

13 games

Four starts

504 snaps

40 tackles (39 solo)

Two missed tackles

Coverage numbers: 35-for-56, 442 yards, one TD, one INT and six passes defensed

Completion percentage: 62.5%

Yards per attempt: 7.9

QB rating: 85.6

One special teams tackle

Four penalties (one holding, one neutral zone, one interference, one offsides on a kickoff)

2010 Season

As noted, Berry started the first game, but suffered a season ending shoulder injury during it. He was on the field for 26 snaps:

Week 1 - at Chicago

- On the very first play of his career, he lined up in the slot and came up to trip Matt Forte in the hole for a short gain, showing some run stopping ability.

- Later in the first quarter, on 3rd and 20, he intercepted a pass and returned it into Bears territory. This was an unconventional play, as he lined up opposite the slot receiver, but just dropped off into a zone and a throw across the middle was tipped into the air and then batted right to him by another defender. He showed some quickness on the return.

- On the first play of the second quarter, he made another good play against the run. Again he came across from the slot to stuff a run up the middle.

- Later on in the second quarter, he was targeted on a throw down the seam to Devin Aromashodu that went for a 21-yard gain. He again dropped off into what seemed like zone coverage and Aromashodu made the catch in behind him as the safeties were backed off too far, so that may not have been his fault.

- Finally, a few plays later, he was taken out of the play by a pulling lineman on a screen pass.

2011 Season

Week 1 – at Tampa Bay

- In kick coverage midway through the first quarter, he took a step too far to the inside, creating a seam, although he did show good speed to hustle back and get the angle on the return man, who was stopped at about the 30.

- Into the second quarter, he lined up on the outside, but the Bucs motioned the receivers and bunched them together in an effort to confuse the Lions on 3rd down. Berry backed off and Preston Parker ran a corner pattern and got a step for 18 yards on an accurately delivered pass to the sideline.

- Late in the half, with the Bucs needing to go 80 yards in 1:16, his man came back for the ball and made a diving catch downfield for 14. Berry made a rookie mistake here, allowing the receiver to roll out of bounds before he touched him.

- He made up for it with nine seconds left and the Bucs at the 13 yard line, breaking up a pass in the end zone, forcing them to settle for a field goal. However, this was a terrible missed call by the officials as he never looked back for the ball and drove his shoulder into the receiver's chest well before the ball arrived.

- Into the fourth quarter, he made an aggressive play to come and tackle the receiver in the flat, but missed the tackle and allowed him to pick up the first down.

- A few plays later, he gave up another 13 yard catch on an out pattern. He was 10 yards off his man at the snap and gave him far too much cushion.

- Two plays later, he was playing press coverage at the line, got contact to slow him and drove him out towards the sideline, staying with him stride for stride as the pass never had a chance of being completed. That was excellent, physical coverage, although the receiver once again was appealing for a flag.

- With 1:40 to go, the Bucs – down 14 – had 4th and three at the five. Berry was in single coverage on his man, backed off to the goal line at the snap and the Bucs targeted him for a touchdown, on an inside route to the back of the end zone. Again, Berry didn’t do a good job of getting his head turned around. Overall, he was victimized eight times for 77 yards on ten targets.

- The Bucs did get the ball back, but were forced to attempt a crazy multi-lateral play in the final seconds. Berry himself iced the win by falling on a wayward toss at his 42.

Week 2 – v Kansas City

- Early in the second quarter, he came off the edge as the Chiefs ran a draw play on 3rd and six. Although he missed the tackle, it forced the runner inside and he came up a yard shy.

- On the next drive, he made a great read on 3rd and three and came off his man to prevent Dexter McCluster from getting outside on a screen pass, then closed well to tackle him for a one yard loss as he tried to turn upfield.

- In the second half, there was one play where Dwayne Bowe beat him for a first down on 3rd and 8. Berry had help to the inside, so was playing outside technique and Bowe ran a good route with a sharp inside cut to get Berry on his back.

In Week 3, Berry only played 15 snaps and was targeted once (an incompletion). He did not play in week 4.

Week 5 – v Chicago

- In the fourth quarter, Berry was a bit over-aggressive with his jam in press coverage and was called for a hold, negating a sack.

- Two plays later, he gave too much cushion to Johnny Knox, who cut off his route downfield and made a sideline catch for 13.

- Later on the same drive, Matt Forte lined up out wide and made a diving catch on a similar route. This time Berry closed on the ball a bit better, but it was still just out of his reach.

- A few more plays later, he broke well on the ball as Dane Sanzenbacher cut his route to the inside and broke up the pass superbly. Chicago, down 11, had to settle for a field goal.

- In the last minute with Detroit once again up by 11, he backed right off his man to give up an easy seven yard catch, but closed quickly to push his man out of bounds.

In Week 6, against the 49ers, he played 21 snaps and was again just targeted once, on an incompletion. This was on a throw to the pylon where Michael Crabtree was ruled to have come down out of bounds. Berry was in press coverage and was again pretty physical down the field and could have been called for pass interference because he had two hands on the receiver as the ball was in the air, although Crabtree kind of pushed him off at the same time. After a review, the play stood, but Berry was perhaps lucky that it wasn’t a touchdown or a penalty.

Week 7 – v Atlanta

- On an early 3rd and two, he jumped a route on a quick throw to the inside and almost picked the ball off. As he jumped in front of Harry Douglas, there was contact before the ball arrived, but on this occasion, Berry was driving on the ball and probably entitled to that space.

- Later in the first, he gave up a first down to Roddy White on 3rd and 12, as he gave him too much of a cushion and wasn’t able to close fast enough with White catching the ball in stride and diving beyond the marker.

- Into the fourth quarter, the Falcons had 4th and two and the Lions – down by four – may have expected the Falcons to try and draw them offside and then call a timeout, but they snapped the ball and White lost Berry on the outside. However, Berry recovered well and when White made a jumping catch, he forced him out of bounds before he could get both feet down. Unfortunately, this good play was negated by a penalty.

- With four minutes to go, the Falcons still led by seven and Berry read an attempted bubble screen superbly to avoid the block, close on the receiver and make the tackle at the line of scrimmage. Detroit got the ball back, but their comeback bid fell short.

Week 8 – at Denver

- This was the game in the middle of Tim Tebow’s run, where the Broncos got blown out. Obviously with the Broncos running the ball a lot, Berry wasn’t tested much but did have a play in the second quarter where he confidently sat on the receivers route and easily jumped the route to break up a pass.

- In the third quarter, he did have one play where Eddie Royal beat him for a would-be first down, but he dropped the pass as Berry put him under close pressure.

Week 10 – at Chicago

- After the bye week, Berry was beaten by Earl Bennett for a first down on 3rd and 12. This was a zone coverage and he was too far off down the middle.

- At the end of the second quarter, he made a good play on special teams, bringing the return man down short of the 20.

- He was targeted one other time for a short gain of seven.

Week 12 – v Green Bay

- After missing out in week 11, Berry started his only three games of the season over the next few weeks

- Aaron Rodgers went after Berry on the first play, for 15 yards to Jordy Nelson, who once again came back for the ball with Berry playing too far off.

- In the third quarter, on a dump off to the flat, Berry came up from the secondary to make the tackle, but overpursued and got beaten to the outside for a 14-yard gain.

- Entering the fourth, Greg Jennings beat him downfield for a 31-yard gain. Berry lined up a couple of yards off the line and ran alongside him instead of trying to make a jam. He ran stride for stride, but never looked back for the ball and Jennings was able to make an easy jumping catch on a timing pattern.

- Lined up at left corner for a change, Berry jammed Randall Cobb at the line and stayed with him as he ran down the sideline and Rodgers threw him a low pass at the goal line. Cobb dropped the pass. Berry was right with Cobb, but again had his hands all over him as the ball arrived. The good news was that this time he did get his head turned round eventually, but that was only because Rodgers delayed the initial throw.

- With 11 seconds to go, the Lions tried an onside kick, but Berry was flagged for being offside.

Week 13 – at New Orleans

- Early on in the game, Brees targeted Berry with the same downfield curl route that he’d been playing too far off on a lot of the time. On this play, he had inside safety support, so was playing outside technique. The receiver came back to the ball, but Berry timed his hit from behind to break up the pass.

- On the first play of the second quarter, Berry gave up his longest pass of the regular season, a 38-yarder. As with the Rodgers completion to Jennings, Brees lofted the throw downfield and Robert Meachem ran under it. Berry slowed him momentarily with a jam at the line and was right with him in tight coverage, but once again didn’t get his head turned around and this enabled Meachem to get enough separation by leaning into him as the ball was about to arrive.

- He made a good play in run support a few plays later, avoiding a block from the wide receiver who lined up close to the left side of the line and assisting on a tackle for a one-yard gain.

- On the next play, he was targeted for an 18-yard catch to Marques Colston. However, this was a zone coverage and he wasn’t really out of position because there was a receiver on his outside, so that may have been someone else’s fault.

- Late in the half, Colston gained 13 more. This was another curl route downfield with Berry playing off, although it again looked like a zone coverage and he perhaps should have had better help from the inside.

- Late in the game, with Detroit trailing by 14, he gave up another first down to Meachem who ran an out route with Berry playing off him at left cornerback. Over these two games, his only full-length starts in the NFL, he gave up nine catches on 14 targets, for 161 yards.

Week 14 – v Minnesota

- In this game, Berry injured his arm pretty early on, missing the rest of the regular season.

- In the first quarter, he was lined up on the outside and should have had an interception when Christian Ponder overthrew the receiver in the slot, but he dropped it on a diving attempt.

- Early in the second quarter, Berry’s injury occurred. He actually made a great play, tripping Percy Harvin up for no gain with an arm tackle as he tried to bounced outside.

Wild Card – at New Orleans

- Berry’s return to the line-up for this big game saw him heavily involved.

- On a play in the second quarter, he was a bit over-eager at the snap and called for a neutral zone infraction. On the next play, he was beaten by Colston for a 22-yard gain. Colston got behind him, but this again looked like a zone coverage.

- Later on, on the same drive, Meachem beat him for a nine yard catch out at the sideline on 2nd and 10. This was absolutely perfect blanket coverage from Berry, who even got a hand on the pass, but somehow Meachem still caught it with his feet inbounds.

- The Saints drive continued, as they looked to tie the score before halftime. However, they had to settle for a field goal. Berry made another key play, batting a pass away as Brees scrambled and tried to loft the ball to Jimmy Graham at the back of the end zone. However, the replay showed that he should probably have intercepted it.

- In the third quarter, he made a great play against the run, as he wasn’t fooled on an end around to Darren Sproles and pulled him down in the backfield.

- Early in the fourth, he made another good play against the run, coming off the edge unblocked and combining with a teammate to stop Pierre Thomas in the hole for two.

- On third and two later on the same drive, Jimmy Graham lined up on the left and Brees threw a quick pass to him. Graham pushed off (no call) and reached back for the ball, but Berry stood his ground and knocked the ball out of Graham’s hands as he tried to secure the catch.

- A few plays later, Berry dropped another possible interception. He seemed to have pretty good coverage downfield on Colston, but Brees underthrew it badly under pressure and Berry reacted fastest. However, his diving attempt saw the ball go right through his hands.

- The drive ended with a 17-yard touchdown run by Sproles. Berry was easily blocked downfield by Devery Henderson and didn’t seem to make much of an effort to get off the block at the five yard line.

- With just under four minutes to go, Meachem – who you’ll recall beat him for a 38-yard gain in the regular season – beat him for 41, setting up the clinching touchdown. Berry, on the left side again, was in pretty tight coverage and made the tackle at the goal line, but Meachem comfortably made the catch with Berry, playing outside technique, on his back. Berry looked like he was expecting help on the inside, but Brees froze the safety with a pump fake.

- On the Saints last possession, they ran a pump and go, Berry was called for pass interference, surprisingly for the first time in his NFL career. He had his hands all over the receiver downfield, but that had been the case on several other plays over the course of the season.

Conclusions: Berry definitely lives up to the billing of a physical corner. He seemed pretty comfortable on the big stage of playing in a postseason game and wasn't really picked on or embarrassed badly even on the big plays he gave up over the course of his two seasons in the league. It's not difficult to draw some very straightforward conclusions about his strengths and weaknesses based on the footage:

- The first thing that stood out was a negative and that's the fact that there were several plays where he just didn't get his head turned around. That's a criticism that's justifiably been thrown at Kyle Wilson since he's been in the league. In Berry's defense, he actually seemed to improve in this area over the course of the 2011 season, so we'll have to wait and see if that's something he'll continue to struggle with at times.

- Berry is very physical, almost to the point of being too physical. There were several plays where the pass was incomplete and the receiver wanted a flag and certainly a couple where I'd expect a flag to be thrown more often than not. Physicality is a good thing, but I'd be worried that he could become a bit of a penalty machine if given significant playing time, even though he was lucky not to have been hit with too many penalties so far in his career.

- There were several plays where Berry gave up too much of a cushion. Obviously it's good that receivers aren't getting behind him and maybe in some cases it was by design, or he was a victim of his teammate not giving him help at the right time, but that's something that elite quarterbacks will always be able to exploit at this level.

- He did give up some catches in zone coverage, but on the whole I'd say that his positioning was generally good. It's always difficult to attribute blame when a receiver finds a gap in a zone, but I didn't see any obvious missed assignments from him.

- Berry showed a willingness to help out in run support, making a couple of nice plays. He only missed two tackles, which is a sign that he's a pretty sure tackler, and wasn't taken out of many plays by blockers.

- On special teams, Berry didn't make much of an impact with only one positive play and one where he made up for his initial mistake with good hustle standing out. With his athletic ability, you'd think he could contribute well in this area, but maybe his build isn't ideal.

- In terms of ball skills, Berry seems to have pretty good timing and closing speed and when he gets there, he did break up or deflect some passes. However, based on his NFL career so far, he can't catch, as he has dropped several possible interceptions. He did pick off one pass, but it was abnormally easy.

- Berry's physical play translated well to him playing press coverage. In this week's BGA, I noted how Antonio Cromartie finally seems to be heeding his coaches' advice to play more physically at the line and get his hands on his opponents. Berry does a good job of this, usually slowing his man at least temporarily at the jam. He was penalized once, but I don't think I ever saw him give up a completely clean release.

- One nitpick I have about Kyle Wilson is that he has a tendency to celebrate incomplete passes, even when he was beaten and got a bit lucky. Berry's demeanor is somewhat similar to this at times. He did also seem really frustrated when he gave up a first down in zone coverage, so at least he seems passionate, which might be something this team needs.

- Obviously, given his lack of size and the number of games he's missed so far, durability may also be a concern.

- Finally, I noted that even when giving up receptions, Berry was usually in pretty tight coverage. His numbers for yards after the catch confirm this. In 2011, he was third in the entire NFL, giving up just 2.0 yards per catch. As a point of reference, Cromartie was 5th with 2.7. Only Keenan Lewis and William Middleton did better, but neither played as much as or gave up as many catches as Berry.

In watching this footage, I was trying not to fall into the trap of comparing him with Darrelle Revis, which would only ever make him look inadequate. Instead I was trying to make a direct comparison with what we saw from Wilson on Sunday. On the basis of his performance last year, there's no reason why Berry shouldn't be able to push Wilson for time, as long as he (a) gets his head screwed on, (b) gets in shape and (c) learns the playbook. While I still have reservations about him avoiding getting flagged all the time on key plays, this is a move that should have a lot of upside for the Jets. Let's hope he is ready to make the most of this opportunity.

Tags: avsny, bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

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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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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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)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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GEICO SportsNite: Sam Darnold 00:03:53
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the impressions of Sam Darnold at the Jets minicamp and Jeane Coakley speaks with Todd Bowles about the young QB.

Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass 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 quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold fumbled the first snap of team drills on his first two days in a Jets uniform, and he fumbled five snaps overall. That was eye-opening because he had some fumbling issues at USC that were a cause for concern for some.

But get over it. It was the first two days of an NFL career that likely will last more than a decade and he was working with a tryout center who's NFL career will likely be over by Sunday afternoon. In the bigger picture, there was a lot to like about the Jets' 20-year-old franchise quarterback who looked poised, accurate and showed off a strong arm throughout the weekend...

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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)

It's not Sam Darnold, but it's a start: Jets sixth-round draft pick RB Trenton Cannon signs his rookie deal, the first of the team's draft picks to do so. 

Cannon, who played his college ball at Virginia State, led the CIAA (Division II) in rushing after posting 1,638 yards on 212 attempts (148.9 per game). He also scored 17 touchdowns, which led his Trojan team. 

"I'm feeling good, just settling on in," said Cannon, via Jets official site. "Right now I'm getting into the playbook, learning the plays."

Cannon adds running back depth to Gang Green, who lost Matt Forte to retirement. He joins a running backs room that is led by Bilal Powell and sophomore Elijah McGuire

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets today announced that they had signed seven undrafted free agents, so let's take a look into what each of them brings to the table...

FB Dimitri Flowers

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