Free agency is underway and the Jets have already signed a few guys that Jets fans might not know too much about. Over the next week or so (and throughout the free agent signing window), I'll be taking a closer look at each of the new signings and trying to assess what they can bring to the table for the Jets in 2013.

First up, I take a look at 6-3, 310-pound defensive tackle Antonio Garay. The 33-year old signed a one-year, minimum salary contract to join the Jets last week and looks set to help fill the void left by the departure of veterans Sione Po'uha and Mike DeVito on the defensive line.

Garay was a sixth round pick out of Boston College in 2003, but injuries slowed down his progress early in his career. However, by 2010, he was a key member of the San Diego Chargers organization.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking in detail at how well he performed last season, before considering what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

Who is Antonio Garay?

After attending high school in New Jersey, Garay - who is also a talented wrestler and comes from a family of athletes - ended up at Boston College, where he was drafted as a late round project by the Browns. He debuted in 2003, but didn't play at all in 2004 or 2005 after tearing his ACL. However, he made the Bears roster in 2006, only to suffer another horrific injury when he broke his leg and shattered his ankle on an illegal block against the Redskins in December 2007. That would have been enough to end most players' careers, but Garay persevered and eventually landed on the Jets' practice squad in 2009. At that stage, he'd been in the league five years, but had only played in 14 games and recorded 12 tackles.

Garay got to work with Rex Ryan and his coaching staff for a couple of months before the Chargers pounced, adding him to their active roster at the end of the 2009 season. He got on the field in a couple of late season games, but then really flashed his potential in the postseason - against Ryan's Jets. Garay was only on the field for 11 snaps, but three times managed to shed his blocker (twice Alan Faneca and once Nick Mangold) to stuff a run for a short gain (on a day when the Chargers gave up 169 yards on the ground). He also assisted on one other tackle. Although the Chargers lost, Garay's breakthrough performance had the Chargers organization excited about his potential and he would win the starting job at nose tackle the following season.

2010 would be the best season of his career by far. He started 15 games and racked up 48 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus named him as a second team All Pro as only Kyle Williams had a better overall grade than him. He ranked first in the NFL for DT pass rushing productivity, but also had the 5th best grade against the run. In 2011, he didn't quite have the same impact, registering just 2.5 sacks, but he did lead the San Diego defensive line in tackles with a career-high 57 and led the team in tackles for a loss with nine. He still ranked 4th in the league for DT pass rushing productivity and started 13 games.

In 2012, he suffered another ankle injury in August, not good news for a player who has suffered season ending injuries on five different occasions in his career. Although he was cleared to practice much earlier, he didn't play until week nine as the Chargers were getting good production out of Aubrayo Franklin and may have been trying to keep Garay fresh for later in the year. Garay played in eight of the last nine games, averaging just under 20 snaps per contest. Although he only had one sack, he again had better pass rushing productivity than every DT who rushed the passer at least 50 times, apart from one. He did have a negative grade against the run, but only just below neutral.

Garay was set to earn $5m in 2013, but was released and the Jets made their move for him last week. He's developed himself into a consistently productive pass rusher but can he still contribute against the run and what does he have left in the tank? I went back and looked at all 151 of his snaps from last season to get some insight.

2012 Season

Week 9 - v KC

His first snap of the season was a bit of a rude awakening, as a double team took him and drove him 5-6 yards off the line. However, the play only went for a short gain behind him. On another running play, he got some good penetration, but couldn't get off the block. In the fourth quarter, he had a QB hit as he got off his block just as the QB stepped up.

Week 10 - at TB

Garay got off to a good start in this one, bullrushing his man into the backfield to flush the quarterback out of the pocket. Later in the game, he did a good job of stretching a run out to the sideline.

Week 11 - at Denver

Garay did get called for an encroachment penalty in this one, but made up for it by helping to stuff a run at the point of attack and getting a pressure in the red zone by setting up his man to the outside and then executing a textbook swim move to beat him on the inside.

Week 12 - v Baltimore

Garay was again called for a penalty - this time a neutral zone infraction - in this one, but otherwise had one of his most productive games of the year. Against the run, he got good penetration to stuff one run and blew up another one by beating his man on the inside and redirecting the runner to the outside where he was tackled for a loss. He did get kicked out and blocked to the ground on one play. As a pass rusher, he generated pressure several times. One came as he got a good initial punch and then turned the corner to hit the quarterback as he threw, two came on a bullrush - one seeing him flush the quarterback out of the pocket and the other ending with another hit as the quarterback stepped up - and the last one saw him drive upfield and then make an inside move on the left tackle.

Week 13 - v Cincinnati

He had one tackle in the Bengals game - and no pressures. He did make one good play where he stood up his man and got a good push to bottle up a run for a short gain, but he was driven off the line a couple of times and sealed on the inside on a short yardage run off the edge. He did get good penetration on one play, only for that to leave a gap behind him that the runner exploited.

Week 14 - at Pittsburgh

Did not play. (Healthy scratch).

Week 15 - v Panthers

Garay responded well to his week off with a performance that saw him make a season high four tackles and register a sack and a pressure. His sack saw him come off the edge and do a good job of containing Cam Newton as he stepped up and his pressure saw him chase Newton on the roll - although Newton did connect on a touchdown pass. He did stand up his man to bottle up two runs for short gains, but there was one play where he was knocked on his back and they ran for 13 yards right up the middle.

Week 16 - at NY Jets

Garay had a big influence on this game, which was where Greg McElroy ended up being sacked 11 times. Garay played a big part in two of the sacks, each time beating Nick Mangold with a bullrush that forced McElroy to try and escape, only to be sacked by someone coming off the edge. He also got outside leverage on Matt Slauson and drove him back into McElroy for a hit. He made a big impact in the running game too. On one play he beat Mangold to get into the backfield and although he missed his tackle, the runner had nowhere to go and was cut down for a loss. On another, he got Slauson off balance with a powerful initial thrust and then stuffed the run. Maybe his most impressive play saw him explode into the backfield to knock Konrad Reuland flying. Reuland was lead blocking from the fullback position on a Joe McKnight run to the edge. McKnight ended up one on one with a defender on the outside, but managed to spin out of his grasp behind the line of scrimmage to gain seven. Interestingly, Garay's productive day saw him make a slow start as he was initially at DE matched up with Austin Howard. Howard drove him off the line on a play that went for 12 and generally handled him well until he moved inside.

Week 17 - v Oakland

A quiet way to end the season for Garay, who had one tackle and no pressures. He was driven back on a run that was bounced to the outside and didn't make much of an impact in a game where many of the players may have been going through the motions.

Conclusions

Let's summarize my observations into categories:

Position

Garay played a variety of roles with the Chargers last year. Approximately half of his snaps were as a 3-4 defensive end with one-third as a nose tackle and the rest as a defensive tackle on a four man line. That differs somewhat from 2010 and 2011 where he played the nose approximately 80% of the time and played as a defensive end less than 10% of the time. In 2009, he didn't play the defensive end position at all with 36 of his 43 snaps coming as a nose tackle and the rest as a 4-3 defensive tackle.

What's interesting to note here is that, in the Jets game in particular, he did seem to have a better impact from that nose tackle position. So, while the ability to move about on the line is important, it's probably at the nose where he fits in best - which is just as well because that's likely where the Jets need him most.

Pass rush

Pass rushing is what Garay is best known for and he gets a constant surge as well as having an innate ability to get off blocks and after the quarterback. As you'd expect from any 310-pounder, he gets double-teamed a lot but even on plays where he was unable to get any pressure, it was not uncommon to see the defender starting to slide backwards as he got some traction. It's also worth noting that he wasn't necessarily put into the game in passing situations, so a lot of his production came on conventional first or second downs.

Moves

Despite his obvious size and athleticism, the most outstanding thing about Garay's game is his technique. He uses his hands superbly to get blockers off him with a variety of rip, swim and strike moves. That was something I noticed Muhammad Wilkerson improve dramatically with over the course of last season, so I wonder how much of that came from Garay's short time working with Ryan. It's not uncommon for defensive tackles with a wrestling background to do well because they understand the principles of leverage and Garay brings that to his game all the time, driving his man off balance and then using excellent hand-fighting skills to free himself at the appropriate moment. Even if Garay doesn't have much left in the tank, he can still be an asset if guys like Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison can learn these techniques from him.

Standing his ground

Garay was also double teamed a lot in the running game and did get blocked out of a few plays over the course of the season. Although he was blocked off the line of scrimmage a couple of times, it was only a couple of times. Most of the time, if he did get driven back initially, he was able to get off the block and get his momentum going in the direction of the ball carrier again.

Goal line

While the Chargers used him in short yardage situations, they didn't seem to use him in their goal line package. That might just be a case of resting him for those situations or even concern about putting a guy with a history of season-ending injuries into a pile-up situation.

System Familiarity

The Chargers generally play 3-4 but do mix in some 4-3 looks from time to time. This should prepare Garay well for the hybrid defense that Rex likes to employ. Obviously the couple of months he spent here in 2009 will be a useful experience too.

Batting passes

Interestingly, Garay didn't have a single batted ball in his four seasons with San Diego. If there's one criticism I can make about his pass rushing it's that he's so busy with his hand-fighting techniques that he sometimes misses an opportunity to get his hands up in the passing lane. However, since that's perhaps his best asset, I'd imagine his coaches are reluctant to get him to change that.

Athleticism

Garay is pretty light on his feet and displayed an ability to chase after the quarterback having flushed him from the pocket, or move laterally down the line to string a run out to the sideline. Every now and then he'll make a sensational highlight-reel worthy athletic play like the Reuland play mentioned above, the play in 2010 where he bullrushed ferociously, driving Jeff Linkenbach into Peyton Manning or the play in 2011 where he guessed the snap count and shot the gap into the backfield to tackle Tim Tebow just a split second after he received the snap.

Here's my favorite though - check out what he does to Brandon Moore on this play in 2011:

(Yes, BGA is introducing homemade GIFs this season!)

Sanchez did escape the rush and actually scrambled 25 yards on the play, but any time you have one of the best offensive guards in the league and they're getting chokeslammed by an opposing defensive lineman, that's something special.

Penalties

One thing that has hurt Garay's grades over the past few years has been penalties. Garay was called for 11 penalties over the past three years, including seven in 2011. However, six of those seven were encroachment, offsides or neutral zone infractions (and the other was defensive holding). Part of that could be something to do with the fact that I've noticed the Chargers often try to guess or figure out the opposing quarterback's cadence in an effort to get a head-start into the backfield, which is obviously going to cause a risk of some penalties.

Motor

While Garay pretty much always plays to the whistle, it's difficult to say how much playing time he has the stamina to handle. In 2012, he usually came off the bench late in the first quarter and rotated in and out from that point onwards. He's never been in a game for more than 65% of the snaps or 45 snaps total. Last year, his season highs were 38% and 26 snaps.

Demeanor

Garay is clearly a character on and off-the-field. There was one example of him getting into a shoving match after the whistle, but nothing too outstanding in terms of attitude or cockiness.

Overall

While Garay has a tough injury history, his story is an inspirational one. His health has actually been better than ever over the past few years. He was healthy throughout the period from 2009 to 2011 and although he missed the first half of last season, that seems to have been more of a lingering issue than anything serious or long term.

He seems to have good character and heads to New York with what seems like the right attitude and a determination to do well. He also should be a good role model for some of the younger players who would previously have looked up to Po'uha.

At his best Garay is (or was) an elite pass rusher for his position and a very good run stopper. Last season wasn't his best, but he still made a lot of positive contributions to the team and showed that he is more than capable of making an impact in a rotational role and being productive, especially as a pass rusher. If he can repeat those contributions, as well as providing a good example to some of the youngsters on the team, this could prove to be an excellent move.

Bonus links - the guys from Turn on the Jets also took an in-depth look at Garay and PFF wrote this glowing tribute in 2011.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

As expected, the Jets have been extremely busy in free agency as the lead into the NFL Draft. And when late April comes around, New York has great position at No. 3 to add another immediate impact player for next season. 

But with that high draft pick and the Jets already settled in the quarterback department, GM Mike Maccagnan will certainly be listening to phone calls to potentially make a trade to move down. 

The Jets will likely be looking for a defensive playmaker with that third overall selection, and though players like DE Josh Allen and DE Nick Bosa are in the conversation in the Top 3, there are still plenty more elite prospects to choose from. But, if all signs point to the Cardinals selecting QB Kyler Murray first overall, the Jets would likely keep that No. 3 pick to get either Allen or Bosa.

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have only six picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and with so many holes on their roster, they'll need to use them wisely. It's still early, but here's a look at how those six picks could go:

First Round (No. 3 overall): DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Tags: Chris Herndon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) calls a play during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) calls a play during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Jets have found their backup quarterback as QB Trevor Siemian signed a one-year deal with the team, his agent Mike McCartney confirming via Twitter. Siemian's deal has a $2 million base salary that could reach $3 million with incentives.

With veteran QB Josh McCown still undecided as to whether he wants to play next season, the Jets brought in an experience backup for Sam Darnold now in Siemian to fill out the depth chart. Davis Webb, who was acquired off waivers when the Giants cut him last year, is also under contract for the 2019 season.

The 27-year-old wanted a change of scenery as the Vikings were interested in bringing him back for another season to sit behind Kirk Cousins. However, he is now joining Gang Green and provides the Jets with more than just a serviceable option in case something happens to Darnold. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With their quarterback situation in shambles, the Redskins are "sniffing around" about trading up in the NFL Draft, reports Jason La Canfora of NFL.com

La Canfora speculates that the play for the Redskins could be to trade from No. 15 to get the Jets' pick at No. 3. That would allow them to jump ahead of the Giants at No. 6 and snatch Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins from them (if he is indeed who the Giants are targeting).

Aside from the Giants and Redskins as candidates who could try to deal with the Jets for No. 3, La Canfora mentions the Broncos and Jaguars, but doubts either would do it.

Tags: Eli Manning, Danny Abriano
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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

For the first time in a long time, Le'Veon Bell is truly happy.

The new Jets running back, who signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $35 million guaranteed, is ready for a fresh new start in New York while leaving behind some ugly memories in Pittsburgh where he chose to sit out the entire 2019 season.

But it was more than just about the money for Bell.

While he previously detailed the roller-coaster of the last year he had negotiating with the Steelers, the 27-year-old opened up a little more about his experience in Pittsburgh on the field and in the locker room during an interview with Sports Illustrated -- particularly how the organization compares with the Jets, from whom he immediately felt a different vibe than he never had with the Steelers. 

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

Jets new RB Le'Veon Bell was under tons of scrutiny last season for holding out from the Steelers, and declining to sign his franchise tag to play in 2018. But that wasn't his initial plan as he headed into the season. 

In an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler this weekend, Bell said he had every intention to return to Steelers camp during the Week 7 bye. But it looks like Bell actually wanted to return to the team after Week 1 following an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated.

"At first I was literally thinking like, 'I don't want to play camp and OTAs' because of the hurt in my body and I'm like, 'I'm not playing,'" Bell told Sports Illustrated's Jenny Vrentas. "When Week 1 comes, I'm going to come, but the things that kind of led up to Week 1, I starting thinking, 'I'm not going to play Week 1.' After even Week 1, it started to build up and it's not making me feel comfortable."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) smiles during warm up before game against New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) smiles during warm up before game against New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

While the Jets have been busy this offseason, there are still some areas they must address, such as a backup quarterback to Sam Darnold

While Josh McCown is still undecided on a return for next season, the Jets plan to meet with free agent quarterback Trevor Siemian on Wednesday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

Siemian, 27, spent last season as the backup with the Minnesota Vikings behind Kirk Cousins after he was traded there a year ago by the Broncos.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

With Le'Veon Bell a new centerpiece in the Jets' offense, the organization brought back two familiar faces to strengthen their blocking schemes Tuesday. 

New York re-signed offensive lineman Bren Qvale and tight end Eric Tomlinson, who primarily operates as a blocking tight end in the offense. The team also confirmed the signing of tight end Daniel Brown

Tomlinson ended last season on injured reserve after he dropped a weight on his foot. Before that, he made 12 starts and appeared in 15 games, and served as a special teams contributor. He first joined the Jets in 2016 and has played in 36 games total with 16 catches for 193 yards and one career touchdown. 

Tags: Brent Qvale, Eric Tomlinson
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Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton celebrates with tight end Daniel Brown after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Soldier Field. (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton celebrates with tight end Daniel Brown after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Soldier Field. (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Bears and Ravens tight end Daniel Brown to a contract, according to his agent.

Brown, 26, played in 14 games last season but did not record a completion on offense. He spent most of his time on special teams.

Since debuting with Baltimore in 2015, Brown has 35 catches for 317 yards and one touchdown.

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New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ryan Fitzpatrick's renaissance behind center will bring him back to the AFC East. 

The QB signed a two-year, $11-million deal with Miami on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and other reports. Fitzpatrick quarterbacked the Jets for two seasons in 2015 and 2016 before heading to Tampa Bay for two years. 

His new contract, though, gives him the chance to face his old team twice a year. It will be his third go-around in the division; he played four seasons in Buffalo. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the Le'Veon Bell signing received the most attention, the biggest financial outlay for the Jets this offseason was the C.J. Mosley deal. The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker signed a five-year contract worth up to $85 million. Will it prove to be worth it though?

There's no doubting Mosley's talent, as he's been a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in four of his five seasons. The Ravens went to the postseason twice in those five years with Mosley anchoring their defense, including an AFC North division title win in 2018. He has nine interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career, so he should provide some impact plays.

The Jets are most likely to employ Mosley as the middle linebacker in Gregg Williams' new system. In fact, there's a good chance Williams may have identified Mosley as an ideal central cog to install his scheme around. Ideally, he would have had Anthony Barr as well, but that move obviously fell apart at the 11th hour. Another clue as to how important the Jets saw having a player of Mosley's caliber on the team comes from the size of his contract.

Tags: C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell
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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)

New Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had every intention of returning to the Steelers during their Week 7 bye to sign his franchise tender, hit the field several weeks later and play out the rest of the season, believing he had no other choice if he wanted an accrued season in order to hit free agency this year.

But in an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Bell revealed that he learned from social media that he didn't need to play at all to hit free agency as long as the Steelers didn't tag him again. Once he confirmed that with his agent, his goal to remain off the field the whole season to preserve his health for more guaranteed money was back in play.

"That was the biggest mix-up the whole time," Bell told Fowler. "I thought I had to sit out until Week 10 or else they can tag me again. Around before the bye week, that's when I found out I didn't have to play."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Oct 29, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Oct 29, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

With the recent flurry of big-name signings, the first major move of the offseason is perhaps being overlooked.  

The Jets acquired two-time Pro Bowl guard Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders in exchange for a day three pick swap. Here's why that move could end up being the most important one the Jets have made this offseason. 

A change in attitude

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'Machado Kid' joins BNNY 00:00:56
Jacob Carpenter went viral with his take on why he didn't want Manny Machado on the Yankees. Watch more Yankees and Jets takes on BNNY.

Nearly one month later, Jacob Carpenter's mind hasn't changed.

The "Machado Kid" who went viral in SNY's video of his reaction to Manny Machado signing with the Padres is still glad that the star infielder didn't end up with the Yankees.

"I'm definitely happy that Machado did not sign," Carpenter said while he was an in-studio guest on Baseball Night in New York.

Tags: Manny Machado
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets put their faith in Mike Maccagnan on the day in December when they fired coach Todd Bowles. Ownership was making it clear it believed in the general manager's plan and vision. Christopher Johnson had faith that Maccagnan could carry it out.

So armed with nearly $100 million in salary cap space as they headed into free agency, Maccagnan headed into one of the most crucial offseasons this star-crossed franchise has ever had. He needed to win big. He needed some splashy signings.

And he certainly didn't disappoint.

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New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin enters the stadium for the Professional Football HOF enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin enters the stadium for the Professional Football HOF enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Le'Veon Bell said one of the reasons he joined the Jets was because he idolized Hall of Famer Curtis Martin growing up.

And Martin believes Bell has what it takes to follow him to Canton.

"For a guy like Le'Veon, it's not about, 'Can he make it to the Hall of Fame?' ... He's like an Adrian Peterson-like guy. Those guys, they don't have to play 12, 13, 14 years to make it to the Hall of Fame if they just work hard and take care of business now," Martin said, according to the New York Post's Steve Serby.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Why Le'Veon Bell chose Jets 00:01:05
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell explains why deep down he wanted to choose the Jets. Jamal Adams' excellent recruiting also helped.

When Le'Veon Bell entered free agency this offseason, he always had the Jets on his list of desired teams. And once GM Mike Maccagnan came calling with the right offer, he knew he had to pull the trigger. 

"The Jets (were) just kind of the team I had in the back of my mind where I wanted to go," Bell told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano over a conference call after the Jets made the signing official Thursday night.

But the numbers Bell agreed to came under heavy scrutiny. The Steelers offered him a five-year, $70 million deal, but after sitting out a year to keep his body fresh and hopefully increase his value on the market, he agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets...

Tags: Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro makes a field goal as punter Lac Edwards holds the ball during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro makes a field goal as punter Lac Edwards holds the ball during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets re-signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro to replace Pro Bowler Jason Myers, the team announced Friday.

Catanzaro, 28, was 16-for-20 on field goals and 30-for-35 on extra points in 13 games with the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. He was 0-for-3 between 40 and 49 yards but made all three of his attempts from at least 50 yards.

With New York in 2017, Catanzaro made 25 of 30 field goals and converted all 29 extra points. He was 12-for-17 in the 40-yard range and 2-for-2 from beyond 50.

Tags: Chandler Catanzaro, Jason Myers
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Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)

Anthony Barr got cold feet right after the engagement.

He told his agent he would take a deal with the Jets but had immediate regrets. After a quick panic he decided to call off the wedding.

"It wasn't necessarily physically ill. It wasn't the middle of the night. It was more so when I hung up the phone after saying, 'Yeah, I can do New York.' My stomach dropped, I kind of got some cold sweats," Barr told NFL Network on Thursday

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Dec 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) reacts after an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Dec 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) reacts after an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Jets and cornerback Brian Poole have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, according to multiple reports.

The 26-year-old joins the Jets after spending three seasons with the Falcons, who did not tender the restricted free agent. Poole should replace Buster Skrine as the Jets' slot corner after Skrine signed with Chicago

Tags: Buster Skrine
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Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Before free agency even officially began, the Jets had handed out $173 million worth of contracts on four new players, and that went with another $51.7 million in deals to bring back four of their own. They even tried to hand out another $100 million or so in contracts, before edge-rusher Anthony Barr changed his mind and center Matt Paradis signed somewhere else.

So the Jets have been busy, and there's no doubt that with the additions of running back Le'Veon Bell, linebacker C.J. Mosley and receiver Jamison Crowder, they are better than they were a few days ago.

But they're not done yet. They still have some cap room to spend and some holes to fill. Lucky for them, NFL free agency is still really only beginning and there are a bunch of good players left to sign:

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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

It doesn't seem as if linebacker C.J. Mosley will be pulling an Anthony Barr.

Though the Jets have yet to officially announce the signing of Mosley -- they finally announced the Le'Veon Bell signing Thursday evening -- Mosley was at the Jets' training facility in Florham Park on Thursday as he shared a picture on his Instagram story with "New beginnings!" written on it.

Tags: CJ Mosley
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The numeric details of Le'Veon Bell's four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets were released on Thursday, and it is safe to say New York got themselves a great deal for one of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL. 

Breaking it down, Bell will earn $14.5 million for the 2019 season, but will only count for a $8.5 million cap hit because of the $2 million from his signing bonus and $4.5 million roster bonus to go along with a $2 million base salary. His two-year total, then, comes to $26 million with $11.5 million coming his way while being a $13.5 million cap hit. 

There is a potential out of his contract in 2021, and it would only be a $4 million cap hit. But, to keep Bell from potentially sitting out again, the Jets implimented two $3 million training camp reporting bonuses in 2021 and 2022, which comes after the $35 million in guaranteed money has been shelled out. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Kirk Cousins infamously spurned the Jets last offseason to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

But he's happy his former college teammate, Le'Veon Bell, is playing with New York.

Bell, who agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets, tweeted how he's happy to be in green and white again, just like his Michigan State days. And Cousins made sure to salute his former teammate.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets released running back Isaiah Crowell on Thursday, just days after they reached an agreement with free agent Le'Veon Bell, the team announced.

The Jets save $3 million in cap space by cutting Crowell, however Crowell's contract counts for $2 million in dead cap space for 2019.

The 26-year-old Crowell, who signed a three-year, $12 million with New York last offseason, totaled 685 rushing yards, 152 receiving yards and six rushing touchdowns in 13 games last year.

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Isaiah Crowell, Le'Veon Bell
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Dec 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is sacked by New York Jets nose tackle Steve McLendon (99) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Fluharty)
Dec 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is sacked by New York Jets nose tackle Steve McLendon (99) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Fluharty)

As they've added a bunch of potential game-changing external free agents, the Jets have also been bringing back plenty of their own. The latest is nose tackle Steve McLendon.

The Jets announced the deal with the 33-year-old McLendon, who will receive a one-year deal worth $2.5 million that can max out at $3.5 million, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

McLendon, who has been with the Jets since 2016, has played in all 16 games each of the last two seasons. In 2018, he started 14 games and had 34 total tackles.

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Gameplan for Le'Veon Bell 00:00:59
The Jets got Le'Veon Bell as a big piece for Sam Darnold. With a lot of mileage on him from Pittsburgh, will NY have Bell on a snap count?

Le'Veon Bell made his decision to come to the Jets late Tuesday night, as GM Mike Maccagnan got the man he wanted. Bell is expected to be a major impact for the offense, even with a full year of sitting out in 2018. 

But how should the Jets deploy them? Bell got a heavy workload while in Pittsburgh, but the Jets may not want to use him the same way to make sure his body and performance hold up through the four-year contract. 

The SNY Jets Crew discusses how Bell will impact the Jets this season, and if a "pitch count" is warranted for head coach Adam Gase to use...

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New York Jets kicker Jason Myers kicks a field goal during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets kicker Jason Myers kicks a field goal during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Two special-teams Pro Bowlers won't be returning to the Jets this year. 

Jason Myers, who made the Pro Bowl in 2018, posted a thank you message to Jets fans Wednesday afternoon, and SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that Myers indeed isn't expected to return to the Jets. Additionally, the Jets are not expected to re-sign return specialist Andre Roberts, according to the Daily News.

Tags: Andre Roberts, Jason Myers
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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa (DL25) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa (DL25) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Before the Odell Beckham Jr. trade madness and the Jets finally landing Le'Veon Bell on Tuesday night, the 49ers made a trade of their own for DE/OLB Dee Ford

And with that trade, the Jets may have just won the Nick Bosa sweepstakes.

Bosa is arguably the best defensive end in an NFL Draft class that is stacked with many talented edge rushers. He is certainly on the Jets' radar to take at No. 3 overall, but the 49ers -- like many others -- have him on their big board as well. And San Francisco owns the pick before New York, so they could grab Bosa before the Jets have the chance...

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets have been one of the big winners of NFL free agency, following up a bunch of solid moves with the franchise-shifting signing of running back Le'Veon Bell.

And Vegas has noticed.

The Jets' odds to win Super Bowl LIV jumped from 100/1 to 50/1 after news of the Bell signing broke, per BetOnline. 

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