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.

In case you missed it, I looked at Antonio Garay yesterday. Today we move on to DE/OLB Antwan Barnes.

The 28-year old is 6-1 and 250-pounds and, like Antonio Garay, has been with the Chargers since 2009. He signed a three-year contract worth a possible $6m and looks set to compete for playing time on the outside following the departure of Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace.

Drafted in the fourth round out of Florida International, Barnes played two years with Rex Ryan's Baltimore Ravens before joining the Philadelphia Eagles and moving on to the Chargers.

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 Antwan Barnes?

Barnes played both as a defensive end and outside linebacker in college, where he set a school record for sacks, with 11 of his 22 career sacks coming in 2005. He rose up draft boards following a sparkling performance at the combine, where he ran a 4.43 forty and had 31 bench press reps, a 35-inch vertical and a broad jump of over 10 feet. The Ravens would eventually pick him in the fourth round.

Barnes made headlines almost instantly, as he was fined $12,500 for a vicious cheap shot on Eagles punter Sav Rocca in preseason. As a rookie he was primarily a special teamer, but did record 10 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He first gained some recognition by schooling Matt Light for a sack on Monday Night Football as the Ravens nearly knocked off the unbeaten Patriots in the game best remembered for Bart Scott throwing the penalty flag into the crowd, then added his second career sack against Miami a few weeks later.

In 2008, he played 13 games, but couldn't add to his sack totals, although he did manage to register five tackles, two QB hits and 11 pressures, as well as a pass defensed. 2009 began well for him, as he picked up his first career interception on this play, but it wasn't until later in the season that he started to see regular time, recording three more sacks. The Eagles traded a late round pick for him in 2010, but he didn't play much over the first few games and they ended up releasing him with just two tackles in two games to his name. San Diego picked him up and he has been there ever since, although the Jets did try and sign him two years ago. In 2010, he had 4.5 sacks and then in 2011 he earned more playing time, including five starts, when Shaun Phillips got hurt. Barnes would rack up a healthy 11 sacks and a career high 39 tackles.

In 2012, the Chargers brought Jarret Johnson and Melvin Ingram aboard, which with Phillips, Barnes and Larry English all already on the team created a bit of a log jam. With his playing time down, Barnes was still productive primarily in a sub-package role, but ended up with just three sacks and nine tackles, before being placed on injured reserve when he suffered a hamstring injury in week 13. Barnes averaged about 15 snaps per game, so let's look at what he did last season.

2012 Season

Week 1 - at Oakland

Barnes got his season off to a good start with a fumble recovery on this play. He would later add three pressures, showing an ability to get to the quarterback in a variety of ways. The first saw him make a quick step to the inside of the left tackle, the next saw him bullrush to push the left tackle back and flush the quarterback out of the pocket and the last saw him drive with a good initial thrust from the left side and then get around his man's outside shoulder.

Week 2 - v Tennessee

He didn't make much of an impact in week two as he saw action on just 10 snaps, recording one tackle.

Week 3 - at Atlanta

Barnes had two sacks and a pressure in this one, although one of the sacks was negated by a defensive penalty in the secondary. That one saw him blow by an attempted chip block by the slot receiver, who then stepped back and tripped the left tackle over so that Barnes could chase down Matt Ryan close to his own goal line. The one that did count saw him get inside leverage with a strong bullrush. He recorded a pressure on a play where he was initially blocked, but came off his man to the inside when Ryan stepped up in the pocket.

Week 4 - at KC

He saw more action in week four but didn't manage to generate any pressure. However, he made a good play against the run, setting the edge well and then coming off his block as the runner cut back inside to make a tackle for a loss.

Week 5 - at NO

In this game, Barnes saw a season high 31 snaps (in 2011, there were six games where he played more than 40). He got pressure on a number of occasions. First, he dipped his shoulder to the inside and then blew by the right tackle on the outside (although Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass on the play anyway). He then blew by the left tackle and chased Brees from behind as he rolled out to the right, hitting him as he threw a dump off for a short gain. Finally, he again got round the outside and Brees stepped up and rushed his throw, which was intercepted.

Week 6 - v Denver

Barnes was only on the field for seven snaps in this one, although he did make one good play, reacting well on a 3rd and 11 draw play to come off his block on the edge and make the tackle.

Week 8 - at Cleveland

In this game, he was only on the field for 12 snaps, but did make a couple of impact plays. He was able to hit the quarterback, coming off his man as the QB looked to escape pressure off the edge and he reacted well to blow up an attempted draw play on 3rd and long for no gain. There was also a short yardage play where they exploited him in the running game. This was well-designed, with the tight end coming back to block Barnes from the side to set the edge, something he obviously wasn't expecting.

Week 9 - v KC

Barnes got some good pressure in this one, although he also jumped offside on a key 3rd and five play. Again, he showed a variety of different ways of getting to the quarterback. First of all, he was standing up in the middle of the line and used his quickness to avoid the center on a blitz up the middle. Then he made an inside move from the right defensive end position - this pressure led to a pick six. Finally, he got to the quarterback cleanly on a well-exectuted stunt to the inside, but the quarterback was able to get rid of a quick throw.

Week 11 - at Denver

In Denver, he only saw action on six snaps, but did make an impact with a fumble recovery on a play where the halfback caught a pass and then the ball squirted out to Barnes. This might actually have been an interception rather than a fumble, but since the ball never hit the ground, the Broncos had no reason to challenge it.

Week 12 - v Baltimore

This was Barnes' most productive game of the year, with two sacks and a pressure. His first sack saw him size up the right tackle and get him on his heels, then just blow by him. His second saw him blow by the left tackle on the outside and strip the ball loose from Joe Flacco. There was one short yardage play where he was unable to set the edge. Again, this was a well designed play where the receiver motioned to his outside shoulder and then blocked him to the inside to prevent him from getting outside.

Week 13 - v Cincinnati

Barnes left the game early with a hamstring injury. In 14 snaps, the only thing of note he did was to commit a neutral zone infraction penalty. Barnes was then placed on injured reserve for the rest of the year.

Conclusions

Let's summarize my observations into categories:

Position

While Barnes is listed as a DE/OLB, he has played the majority of the time with his hand down (and made most of his better plays in that role). He only played 24 snaps from a standing position in 2012. However, he did play 203 snaps standing up in 2011 (out of 485 total). He played mostly on the right in 2012, although he did make some plays on the left. He played both sides in 2011.

His position in the Jets' system will most likely be Rush Linebacker, which is Terrell Suggs' role with Baltimore. Suggs also plays that position with his hand down the majority of the time and rarely drops into coverage, so Barnes would appear to be well equipped for this. He could also get some reps as a DE from a three-man front in pass rushing situations.

Pass rush

The best thing about Barnes' pass-rushing is his terrific production. He's been in the top 20 for pass rushing productivity at his position in each of the last five seasons, including 2nd and 3rd in the NFL in 2010 and 2011. Over those five years, he's generated 21.5 sacks, 15 hits and 80 QB pressures in just over 800 pass rush attempts. By way of a comparison, six Jets outside linebackers combined for just under 800 pass rush attempts last year and they generated nine sacks, 10 hits and 45 pressures between them.

Moves

Barnes is not really a technician like Garay, but he sure knows how to use his speed and size to get into the backfield. His best moves are straightforward drive ahead and then change direction type moves, whether that be via a dip of the shoulder, a jab-step or using leverage to create an angle and some separation. The bottom line is that he can win one-on-one matchups better than the Jets' starters at OLB throughout Ryan's tenure.

Run defense

Barnes didn't play against the run much in 2012 - about 20% of the time - but he did play the run almost 40% of the time in 2011, grading positively per PFF, so he has shown the capability to do that. Where Barnes does get caught out in the running game, it's usually by some kind of misdirection. On one play in 2011, he overpursued and got caught on the inside and the runner bounced the run to the edge. On another, he nailed the running back in the backfield, but the quarterback had kept the ball and was able to run for a first down to the outside. There were two examples noted above where he was in position to get outside leverage and set the edge on his man, only for another man to come down the line and surprise him by forcing him to the inside.

Despite these errors, I never saw any evidence that teams were able to exploit him in the running game. He is quick to get off blocks and explode to the ball and seems to hold his ground and read plays pretty well. This enabled him to make plenty of positive plays in the running game too. He also a pretty consistent tackler, with just four missed tackles in the last three seasons.

Coverage

Barnes doesn't drop into coverage very often - approximately once per game over the last five years - but seems capable enough of dropping off into an area to mix up the pass rush looks. You can see that he did that on the fumble and interception videos linked above - and then showed good reactions to the loose ball each time. I've seen concerns expressed that he isn't capable of covering a tight end in a man-to-man assignment, but that's not really something I'd expect him ever to do. He's been targeted in coverage twice in his career, giving up one catch for nine yards.

System Familiarity

As with Garay, the similarities between the Chargers' system and that of the Jets should prepare him well for the Jets' system. However, instead of a couple of months on the practice squad, Barnes has three years of experience playing for Ryan in Baltimore at the beginning of his career, so this should definitely ensure a smooth transition.

Batting passes

Unlike Garay, Barnes does get his hands up on the pass rush. He's been credited with four passes defensed in his NFL career, all of which were either batted at the line or deflected in the passing lane.

Athleticism

Barnes' combine workout numbers are outstanding ... and remarkably similar to those of a guy named Bryan Thomas. However, unlike Thomas, he does display that kind of athleticism on the field - even as he enters his late-twenties. Granted, Thomas was a good 15 pounds and four inches bigger than Barnes, but he was a more pedestrian run-stopping specialist in comparison to the more dynamic Barnes.

Penalties

Barnes has committed 14 penalties in five years, including six in 2011. Most of these are offside or encroachment penalties and - as I mentioned in the context of Garay - it could be a product of the fact that the Chargers get their defensive linemen to try to figure out the snap count and gamble to try and get a jump at times.

Instincts

As noted above, there were a couple of plays in the running game where he was caught out, but he does seem to have good reactions and made some good reads in the running game. Scheme familiarity will help with this.

Motor

Barnes seems to play hard and is capable of handling starter reps. In 2011, he had three games in a row where he was on the field for more than 50 snaps and played well.

Demeanor

Barnes is an excitable player, as shown by his reactions to some of his big plays. This hurt the team in 2011 when he got himself ejected against the Raiders - see footage here. Like Garay and Willie Colon, this could be another player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, which might be just what this team needs.

Overall

Unlike the other players the Jets just acquired, Barnes is entering his prime and hasn't had many injury issues. Even though he was placed on injured reserve late in the season, I get the impression he could still have played, but the Chargers opted to deactivate him to give some reps to young players like Bront Bird and Andrew Gachkar.

One outside-the-box thought I had was that maybe they could develop him into an inside linebacker to play some reps in the JACK role alongside David Harris. This wouldn't necessarily require him to read-and-react as much as a traditional inside linebacker, since his primary objective could still be to attack the line of scrimmage and take out a designated lead blocker. Players like Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel have made such a transition in the past.

While his drop-off in playing time and total production last year is a concern, he still had four sacks (one negated) and likely would have amassed more in the Chargers' last five games, which featured some poor teams (including the Jets, who of course surrendered 11 sacks against them). Although his playing time dipped, his production as a pass rusher was still pretty good, although not as good as in 2010 and 2011 where he was producing at an elite level.

His role with the Jets will depend on how well he can perform against the run, but his performance in that discipline has been pretty consistent, with positive run defense grades for each of the last five years, albeit sometimes in a limited role. With the Jets expected to add at least one more outside linebacker, either via free agency or a high draft pick, Barnes looks set to contend for a starting role, but will certainly be expected to be productive in sub-packages.

There's no reason to believe he won't contribute, even if it's only as a designated pass rusher, but this is another move with upside. If he produce anywhere close to what he did in 2011, this could prove to be a bargain.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

GEICO SportsNite: Mangold 00:01:13
Nick Mangold officially retires after 11 seasons as a member of the New York Jets.

Nick Mangold officially retires after 11 seasons as a member of the New York Jets. 


Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports would be "shocked" if the Jets pass on Baker Mayfield if he's available when they pick at No. 3 during Thursday's NFL Draft, he said during Tuesday's Jet Stream Podcast on SNY.

Schrager spoke of "glowing reports" he received from the dinner Mayfield had with team brass a few weeks ago, and thinks the Jets are all-in on Mayfield -- even if Sam Darnold is available at No. 3.

"Everything I've been listening to for the last two, three months has been that Baker Mayfield -- if he's on the board -- is going to be the pick for the Jets," Schrager said. "That might include Sam Darnold as well -- if Darnold somehow falls. I think that they have been in love with Mayfield for this entire time. I'd be shocked if they went with one of the other guys."

Read More

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are finally ready to see who the Jets select in this year's NFL Draft! Will it be Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen? To get their answer, they welcome the NFL Network's Peter Schrager to the show for his take on each quarterback, and discuss why Rosen is the guy and why Mayfield is mostly definitely not.

Click below to listen

Read More

Jets' third-round options 00:05:01
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will take in the third round of the draft.

The bulk of the attention has been on who the Jets will do with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

It will be a quarterback. But which one? At least two of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen will be available when the Jets pick.

Lost in the shuffle a bit has been the fact that the Jets have a third round pick (72nd overall) as well. And SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello recently discussed who the Jets could take with that pick.

Read More

Top QB prospect Baker Mayfield 00:01:01
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What is NFL Draft week without some drama over the No. 1 pick?

With reports circulating Monday that Wyoming QB Josh Allen is no longer in consideration for the Browns' No. 1 pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is "definitely" in the conversation. 

Schefter continues by saying the Browns may have their choice in mind for their first overall pick, and before that decision was made, Mayfield was a player in the mix.

Read More

Nick Mangold retires from NFL 00:02:30
After spending eleven seasons with the Jets, Nick Mangold announces his retirement from the NFL.

Nick Mangold, who spent 11 seasons with the Jets, announced his retirement at the team's facility after signing a one-day contract on Tuesday. 

Tags: Nick Mangold
Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:07
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses the team's strategy for its No. 3 overall pick with the draft just a few days away.

New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets own the third pick in this year's draft, their highest since 1996. How have they drafted in the first round over the past five years?

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

It's too early to tell how Adams' career will pan out, but the signs so far have been promising. He started every game in his rookie year as the Jets' secondary definitely played better than it had in 2016. On the field, Adams had his ups and downs, but he showed flashes of brilliance in a versatile role. Off the field, he's played a big part in the ongoing culture change that has galvanized the team and has also been a useful tool in player recruitment.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Damon Harrison, Darron Lee, Dee Milliner, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson
Read More

Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

It will be an absolute stunner if the Jets don't take a quarterback after trading up to No. 3 in the NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday night in Dallas.

So, who will it be?

At least two out of the group of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen will be available for the Jets. 

Read More

Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Browns' choices for their No. 1 pick seem to have come down to two choices just three days away from the NFL Draft: Sam Darnold or Josh Allen?

Yes, there is always the prospect of the Browns going with RB Saquon Barkley with their first overall selection, knowing they have the No. 4 pick later on. However, experts including SI's Peter King see Cleveland getting their quarterback first before addressing anywhere else. 

Recently, rumblings about Allen going No. 1 have gained some steam. But King's most trusted source says Allen is too much of a risk, and the Browns don't want to get another quarterback pick wrong.

Read More

 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

Broadway Joe loves Broadway Baker. Or at least that's what could be Baker Mayfield's nickname if the Jets were to select him with their No. 3 overall pick. 

Hall of Famer and former Jets QB Joe Namath loves what he has seen from Mayfield over the years of watching him play. He recently watched the Georgia-Oklahoma College Football Playoff matchup at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Eve, and after his daughter asked if he had seen anything like the back-and-forth bout, he responded saying he wouldn't want to be going up against Mayfield...


Everything you need to know about the Jets and No. 3 >> Read more

Vacc's Mini Mock Draft has Jets tabbing Mayfield >> Read more

Read More

 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Jets have not stopped looking for help on their defensive line as they hosted numerous free-agent linemen on Monday. 

Former Bears DT Lamarr Houston and former Patriots DT Chris Jones were among those looking to impress the Jets. Houston split time with the Bears and Texans last season, totaling five sacks over 10 games. A former second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2010, Houston is entering his ninth season in the NFL this year. 

Jones played for the division-rival Patriots in 2013 and 2014, where he finished with nine sacks and 79 tackles over 28 career games. He most recently played for the 49ers in 2016, where he had 17 tackles over six games. He did not play for an NFL squad in 2017. 

Read More

New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially picked up DL Leonard Williams' fifth-year option, keeping Williams with the team through 2019 at least. 

Williams, 23, the sixth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, will make $14.2 million in 2019, assuming he's considered a defensive end. If they try to say he's a defensive tackle, the contract will be $11.4 million, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. The contract becomes fully guaranteed next March.

"It's definitely time to step up and take it to the next level," Williams said last week via Vacchiano. "That comes with a lot. It's just not my play on the field. It comes with my leadership, how I approach work, how much time I'm putting in outside of the mandatory hours into my craft, into my game."

Tags: Leonard Williams
Read More

Who will the Jets select #3? 00:05:13
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will select third overall in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In less than a week, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan will make the most important draft pick of his tenure with the team, the one that surely will define his legacy.

No pressure, right?

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. With the visits ending earlier this week, let's take a final look at a selection of the players New York brought in.

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Nickerson is a four-year starter who was a constant standout on the Tulane defense. During his career, he recorded 16 interceptions, broke up another 31 passes and scored two defensive touchdowns. He turned heads at the scouting combine when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash.

Read More

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are ready to open their present that is the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. The guys discuss the possibility of the Jets trading up, yet again, and the crazy idea of selecting a non-QB (can someone say Bradley Chubb) with the 3rd overall selection. Plus, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky calls in to give his insight into the top four quarterbacks.

Click below to listen

Read More

 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Jets will open the 2018 season in Detroit against the Lions on Monday night football, and finish things in Week 17 on the road against the Patriots.

Their entire 2018 schedule has been confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and is below...

Read More

Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former QB Dan Orlovsky thinks the Jets are targeting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick in the Draft, and one of the reasons is very specific.

Orlovsky, who played under Kyle Shanahan, noted that Jets OC Jeremy Bates is from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. And that one of the traits Shanahan loved about John Elway is that he would screw his back foot into the ground when he threw -- adding that Bates loves that trait in quarterbacks as well. 

"There's one guy in the Draft who has that trait," Orlovsky said earlier this week on SNY's Jet Stream podcast. "And it's Baker Mayfield. He does the same thing when he throws. And I just think that those coaches fall in love with traits of guys that remind them of players that they had success with in the past. I think that they're looking at Baker Mayfield and going 'that's our guy.'"

Read More

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

Read More

Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has the Jets taking Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future at No. 3. 

Many experts believe Darnold could be the first overall pick by the Browns, and if he doesn't land with Cleveland, then the Giants would scoop him up at No. 2. However, with Josh Allen as Breer's No. 1 pick and the Giants electing to go with Saquon Barkley over a quarterback, Darnold drops in the Jets' lap. 

So, there is no need for the Jets to choose between Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield...

Read More

Mangold's Hall of Fame chances 00:04:59
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate over Nick Mangold's chances at making the Hall of Fame and the Devils' chances at beating the Lightning.

After a year out of football, No. 74 is officially hanging up the cleats. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: On the lists of favorite players and all-time greats, you'll rarely find a center. They're buried in the trenches, often noticed only when a bad snap happens or a defensive tackle breaks through.

The same was probably true for Nick Mangold during his 11 NFL seasons - rarely noticed from the outside and incredibly underappreciated game to game. Yet somehow he still emerged from his long career as a fan favorite. And he definitely emerged as one of the Jets' all-time greats.

Tags: Nick Mangold
Read More

New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear he had no worries about the state of the Jets' defensive line heading into the offseason. Sure, they've lost a lot of talent in recent years, trading Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammad Wilkerson and not re-signing Damon Harrison.

But they still have Leonard Williams, the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, and despite a down season last year, the Jets have huge expectations for him.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

Read More

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

Read More

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

Read More

 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

Read More

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

Read More

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

Read More