Yesterday, the Jets signed free agent wide receiver Ben Obomanu. Jets fans might not know too much about Obomanu, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Obomanu is a 6-1, 205 pound receiver who was a 7th round pick out of Auburn in 2006. He has 4.45 speed and has caught 100 passes for 1,383 yards and seven touchdowns (including postseason games) in his career, the majority of which came in 2010 and 2011. He caught just four passes last year and missed the second half of the season with a wrist injury. He signed a one-year, minimum salary deal with the Jets per Jason at OTC.

After the jump, I review Obomanu's career and look in detail at footage from 2012 to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Ben Obomanu?

Obomanu was never an elite college player at Auburn, registering 97 catches and 18 touchdowns in four years. He never led the team in receiving yards, although he did lead them in receptions with a career-best 33 in his senior year. He ran a 4.45 at the 2006 scouting combine and showcased his athleticism with a 41 inch vertical and a 121 inch broad jump at his pro day as he would end up being drafted in the seventh round by the Seahawks.

After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Obomanu made his debut in 2007. He had what looked like it might be a breakout game in week three, catching four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. However, over the course of the rest of the regular season he didn't have another game with more than one catch, finishing with 12 catches on 29 targets. In the second round of the playoffs against the Packers, he had four catches for 63 yards and although the Seahawks lost, it gave them hope he was ready to step up in year two.

Unfortunately, he broke his collarbone in preseason and was placed on injured reserve missing the entire 2008 season. He didn't play much on offense in 2009 (just 64 snaps), but did carve a niche for himself on special teams, with 12 tackles. He ended up with just four catches and one lost fumble. In 2010, he finally got more of a chance, earning a starting role by week 11 and finishing with 30 catches and career highs for yards (494) and touchdowns (four), including a career-best 159-yard game against the Chiefs. He also had nine more catches in two postseason games. In 2011 he had another good year with a career high 37 catches and his second career 100-yard game.

2012 would prove to be a disappointing year as he caught just four passes and then suffered a wrist injury which saw him placed on injured reserve. He played 150 snaps in eight games and was targeted just eight times. The Seahawks were due to pay him $2.3m in 2013, so he became a cap casualty and joins the Jets who have roster spots up for grabs at the receiver positions, as well as a couple of injuries making front line reps available.

The Numbers

Five seasons (plus one spent on IR)

66 games

13 starts, of which seven were in 2011

87 catches, 1,209 yards, seven touchdowns (plus 13-174 in four postseason games)

13.9 yards per catch

57% catch rate

13 drops, of which eight were in 2011

Four carries for 41 yards (three first downs)

One fumble (lost) on offense, one fumble (not lost) on special teams

16 kick returns for 381 yards (23.8 average, 45 long)

29 special teams tackles, including 12 in 2009, two missed tackles, two penalties

Three offensive penalties committed

16 20+ yard plays and six 40+ yard plays

Let's look at footage from 2012 to get a sense of what he brought to the table last year before going into more detail about his abilities based on the highlights from earlier years.

2012 Preseason

Obomanu opened preseason as a starter, but missed the second and third preseason games with a minor injury and ultimately didn't make much of an impact with no catches on three targets and a five yard loss on his only touch (an end around). None of this was really his fault though - one pass was intercepted by linebacker Colin McCarthy who dropped into the passing lane and made a leaping catch, one was broken up on a back shoulder throw where the defender grabbed him before the ball arrived and should have been flagged and the other was also broken up as he was open near the goal line but the throw was made too late and the cornerback jumped the route. The end around wasn't his fault either, as he had nowhere to go. However, his failure to make an impact with the ongoing competition pushed him down the depth chart as there were reports that his drops issue from 2011 carried over into camp. Braylon Edwards would beat out Terrell Owens for the last spot with Obomanu's place on the team pretty safe due to his special teams contributions.

Week 1 - at Arizona

Obomanu was targeted just once in this game on a deep ball that was way overthrown. He didn't really get separation anyway. He did make an impact on special teams, making a good tackle in punt coverage despite being double teamed and also drawing a blatant holding penalty.

Week 2 - Dallas

Obomanu didn't make any impact in this game despite a season high 28 snaps. He did record a special teams tackle just before half time, falling on the punt returner for no gain following a muff.

Week 3 - Green Bay

Obomanu made his first catch of the season in this game on an eight yarder over the middle. He was targeted two other times, one on an out pattern where he was open but the throw wasn't wide enough and the defensive back got his fingertips to it and the other on a play where the quarterback basically threw the ball away to avoid pressure. Again he flashed on special teams, assisting on a tackle in punt coverage and downing a punt at the one. He did miss a block that allowed Sam Shields to come off the edge to stuff a run though.

Week 4 - at St. Louis

Obomanu's only contributions in this game were as a blocker. He had a couple of good second level blocks, including this one from the slot to spring Marshawn Lynch for a touchdown. However, he also failed to sustain a block on the outside, allowing his man to prevent the Seahawks from converting on a short yardage play and had another play where he allowed his man to get downhill to bottle up a run.

Week 5 - at Carolina

Obomanu made a nice play in this one, as he got the ball on an end around and found himself one on one against Charles Johnson in space. He put a move on Johnson and gained 11, but it would have been more if he didn't slip. He also had a holding penalty to negate an 11-yard run by Lynch, although this was a pretty bad call and looked to be a solid downfield block.

Week 6 - New England

Obomanu was targeted once in this game, but it was a low percentage play as they threw a jump ball down the middle on 3rd and 20 and Tavon Wilson broke it up. He also let Devin McCourty get off his block on a 3rd and five to make the stop for no gain.

Week 7 - at San Francisco

Obomanu finally got some decent looks in this game, catching three passes for 50 yards. His first catch was this 36-yarder as he made the catch down the seam and ran for additional yardage, only to slip again. His next catch was a swing pass that went for a two yard loss because of a bad block by Golden Tate. Finally, he caught this 16-yarder down the seam, but came up just short of the marker on 4th and 17, enabling the 49ers to run out the clock. He was targeted one other time, on a third down sticks play, but the throw was made late and too high. He did have one good block, coming from out wide to block down on the safety and enable Robert Turbin to get outside for a nice gain.

Week 8 - Detroit

Obomanu's last appearance of the season was highlighted by another good block to lead to this long touchdown by Lynch. The only real impact he made other than that was to recover a kickoff that was muffed by Leon Washington in the last minute.

Observations

Based on all the other footage I watched, here was my take on what Obomanu brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - Obomanu plays on the outside the majority of the time (about 75%) but has been used in the slot too. In 2012, he was in the slot for 50 snaps.

Deep threat - Obomanu is a true deep threat, unlike Chaz Schilens who was portrayed as a deep threat by the media last year due to his speed, despite the fact he'd only caught one long pass in the NFL and had always operated as a possession receiver. Obomanu can get separation down the field, as evidenced by the fact that 13 of his 66 receptions in 2010 and 2011 came on passes more than 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He's even had success against some good corners. I have several clips to illustrate this: Here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Blocking - As shown by a couple of the plays from 2012 linked to above, Obomanu has the ability to make some good blocks. It doesn't always hold true but often when a receiver plays a lot of special teams, they also fare well as a blocker because they're more used to physical play and hard work. He isn't perfect as a blocker, but is certainly willing and seems to do a good job of finding a man in space and sustaining his block by typical wide receiver standards.

Routes - Obomanu seems to be a decent route runner and is able to get separation downfield and in short-to-intermediate areas. He perhaps doesn't run the crispest of routes at times, but that's common among speedy players that don't need to have perfect technique to get open and I didn't see him run the wrong route or any signs of laziness. One place Obomanu's route running skills have been displayed is in the red zone. Look at the various ways he gets open on these touchdowns: Here, here, here, here and here. Red zone production could be somewhere the Jets need some help, especially with Dustin Keller's departure.

Hands - As noted elsewhere, Obomanu had a bad year for drops in 2011, with eight in 56 targets. That gave him the eighth worst drop rate in the NFL for receivers with a 25% snap count or higher. However, over the rest of his career, he's dropped just five balls on 97 targets. That's a drop rate only two receivers with more than 100 targets bettered last year, Anquan Boldin and Roddy White, so hopefully 2011 was an aberration. Looking at the footage, he doesn't look like the most natural pass catcher, but does catch the ball with his hands rather than his body. Having said that, there weren't many examples I saw of him making a spectacular catch, although he did go up to get the ball well on a few of the long passes linked above.

Looking at the drops he made in 2011, one was a concentration drop and the rest came under the category of non-routine catches that went off his fingertips, were thrown slightly behind him or went through his hands as he jumped for ball. One was an attempted one-hander and another saw him lose the ball as the defender hit him, knocking him out. Also, three of the drops came in the last game of the year, so he only had five in the first 15 games. In college, he had one high-profile drop to cause his team to lose to Eli Manning's Ole Miss, but none of his NFL drops have been as bad as that one.

Yards after the catch - This is an area where you might expect Obomanu to be outstanding, given his speed. However, in 2011, he averaged just 3.7 yards after the catch per reception, well below average. In 2010, he was a much better 5.8 YAC/reception, good for 11th best in the league. However, 50 of those yards came on an 87-yard touchdown where there was a coverage breakdown and he ran untouched to the end zone. If you exclude that play, it drops to 4.7 YAC/reception and down to 40th in the league. In terms of breaking tackles to make extra yardage, he had 11 broken tackles on 66 catches in 2010 and 2011. By way of comparison, Jeremey Kerley had seven on 56 catches last year, so that stacks up reasonably well. Kerley averaged 5.4 YAC/reception. Here is one play where he caught a short pass and ran for extra yardage.

Special Teams - This is one area where Obomanu was really impressive. The Jets already have a decent pair of gunners in Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant - and Joe McKnight is perhaps even better, although the Jets seem reluctant to use him in that role. Based on the footage here, Obomanu would seem to be an upgrade. He consistently did an excellent job of getting past the vice to get downfield and didn't allow the return man to elude him when he got down there. He's also returned kicks before, with his longest being a 45-yarder and his average a reasonable 23.8 in 16 attempts. He was working on kick returns at OTA's yesterday, so might be in the mix there.

Demeanor - In doing my due diligence on Obomanu, I found no details of any off-field issues and watching him on the field, he wasn't particularly demonstrative or excitable. He did show noticeable frustration at himself on a couple of his drops, though, but nothing too significant.

Conclusions

On the face of it, adding a guy that caught just four passes last year and was freely available at the end of May does little to inspire confidence. However, watching the footage of Obomanu was pretty encouraging and he does seem to have something to offer as a third or fourth option. Failing that, he also has the ability to be a solid special teams contributor (although I felt the same way about Mardy Gilyard).

Obomanu can be a good deep threat (and I once again reiterate that although the media said the same thing about Chaz Schilens, it's actually true this time), can contribute with his shiftiness in the red zone and isn't a bad blocker. All-in-all not a bad fallback option to have for depth purposes when some of the contenders for roster spots are unproven.

Whether the move was made with a view to him being a major contributor or just because the Jets were desperate for usable bodies in camp with most of their veterans out remains to be seen, but Obomanu clearly has some talent so could turn some heads in this competition for playing time.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Jets start their sales pitch to Kirk Cousins, he's going to want to know about more than just the size of their check. He's going to want to know, among other things, how they plan to protect him.

That's a project they can get started on right now.

The Jets should begin by re-signing center Wesley Johnson before the free-agent market opens on March 14, and solidify what was a young and better-than-you-think offensive line last season. Together with right guard Brian Winters and right tackle Brandon Shell, it would give the Jets a strong young corps on the line to build around. And with two solid veterans on the left side -- tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard James Carpenter -- it's a line that could actually be pretty good.

Tags: Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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)

In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft. 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center. 

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Cousins 00:02:18
The Jets hope to be in the mix to land highly touted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins in order to provide stability at the QB position.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The entire Jets offseason will be played out in the shadow of Kirk Cousins -- the biggest name on the free-agent market, and the franchise quarterback they so desperately need. And that's even true right now, as the NFL's 15-day "franchise tag" window opens on Tuesday.

The Jets aren't likely to use the tag, but the Washington Redskins are reportedly considering using it on Cousins.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The offensive line was a huge disappointment for the Jets in 2017, especially on the interior. In 2016, Wesley Johnson started eight games for the injured Nick Mangold, and the line didn't seem to suffer too badly. However, he struggled throughout the 2017 season after moving into the full-time starter role.

Guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter also failed to play as well as they had in 2016, although that may partly have been caused by Johnson struggling on their inside shoulder.   Injuries were also an issue here, with Winters in particular playing most of the season hurt, and eventually requiring surgery on an abdominal issue.

Dakota Dozier's performances in relief of Winters over the past few years have some people wondering if it was really wise to give Winters a big money extension, when Dozier doesn't appear to be much of a downgrade. However, he's out of contract now, so the Jets may need to replenish their depth.

Tags: Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold
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Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets exercised their options on two defensive starters on Tuesday, ensuring that defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin will both be back for the 2018 season.

The Jets were facing a deadline of Tuesday on both players, but the decision likely wasn't difficult, especially with the team likely to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason. McLendon is due a salary of $3.125 million this year and has a salary cap number of $4.25 million. Martin is due a salary of $1.8 million, with a cap number of $2.1 million.

The moves come one day after the Jets declined their 2018 option on tackle Ben Ijalana, making him an unrestricted free agent...

Tags: Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?

According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract. 

King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014. 

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New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets made offensive tackle Ben Ijalana a free agent on Monday after they failed to exercise his player option.

New York did not exercise Ijalana's $500,000 option bonus that would have activated his $4.5 million base salary for the 2018 season. By doing so, the Jets will save a total of $4.6 million.

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCowwas the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season. 

This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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In 2017, the Jets' running game struggles probably had more to do with the offensive line being overmatched than the performance of the backs.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets reportedly turned down a Cincinnati Bengals trade proposal that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to New York last season, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Cincinnati, according to Cimini, called the Jets organization at the start of free agency and offered McCarron in a trade, however the Jets turned it down to focus on free agency. It is unclear what Cincinnati requested in the deal.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets started over last offseason and actually built themselves a nice core of talent. They have many young, inexpensive players they can build around this spring.

They certainly have the tools to build around them - perhaps as much as $100 million in cap room, the sixth overall pick in the draft, and some extra picks too. And that's good, because even though the Jets exceeded expectations last season, they were still 5-11, and have plenty of holes to fill.

Now, as they get ready to begin Phase 2 of their rebuilding project, here's a look at their biggest needs.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.

They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Juston Burris, Morris Claiborne
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield

The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone. 

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.

"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement...

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have been a team whose defense has been built around their interior linemen for a long time, but Muhammad Wilkerson's anticipated departure could be an opportunity to reinvent themselves by finding a difference-maker who can create constant pressure off the edge.

The Jets haven't really had an elite edge rusher since John Abraham, who was traded before the 2006 draft. They've tried drafting one high (Vernon Gholston), converting an interior lineman into one (Quinton Coples), and bringing in an established veteran (Jason Taylor). But none of these have been successful. None of their low-cost free agents, reclamation projects, or later draft picks have stepped up either.

Tags: Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are in position to be the kings of free agency, with potentially more salary cap room to spend than any team except for the Cleveland Browns. They are already projected to have about $75 million in salary cap space, and that's if they don't make another move.

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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.

But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brent Qvale, Chandler Catanzaro, Dakota Dozier, Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There are always plenty of receiver prospects who make an immediate impact as a rookie, even in the later rounds. However, the Jets haven't had much success in recent years despite selecting seven wideouts in the last four drafts.

While four of those seven are under contract for 2018 and a fifth -- restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa -- also figures to be back, the Jets got just 15 catches of production from that group in 2017.

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Daily News Live: Jimmy Garoppolo 00:03:54
The Daily News Live crew discusses the impact Jimmy Garoppolo's new contract will have on the deal Kirk Cousins will want.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jimmy Garoppolo just became the NFL's highest paid player, even though he's only started seven NFL games and thrown 12 touchdown passes in four seasons. He reportedly agreed to a monster, five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers -- a record average of $27.5 million per season. That record will be very short-lived.

It's a simple fact of the NFL that the price of franchise quarterbacks only goes up, and in less than five weeks another one will be on the open market. And when Kirk Cousins officially becomes free on March 14 you can bet his deal will eclipse what Garoppolo just got...

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

In NFL.com's latest mock draft, Chad Reuter forecasted the first three rounds for all teams. With the Jets first selection at no. 6 overall, Reuter has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

The Jets take Allen over Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who fell to the Cardinals at no. 15. USC QB Sam Darnold went no. 1 to the Browns and UCLA QB Josh Rosen went no. 2 to the Giants.

Allen threw for 3,202 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his sophomore season. However, his production dropped this season to 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also suffered a shoulder injury, and was forced to miss the final two regular-season games this year...

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.

However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)
Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Chiefs have released former Jet Darrelle Revis, the team announced. 

Revis, 32, would have been owed a $10 million contract guarantee if he was still on the roster on March 18. He was signed by Chiefs in November, playing five games, including two starts. 

After the Chiefs' season ended, Revis admitted he wasn't at his best.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Kacy Rodgers never got a chance to play in the NFL before he turned to coaching. But now he might be able to give his son the shot that he never had.

The Jets will be signing Kacy Rodgers II, the son of their current defensive coordinator, according to his agent, David Canter. Rodgers II will join the Jets for their offseason program, at least, after two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Rodgers II is a 6-2, 208-pound defensive back out of the University of Miami. In 2014 he was a tryout player at the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp, but didn't stick. He then signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and spent a year on their practice squad before joining the Roughriders...

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Former Jets C Nick Mangold was thinking about starting his political career, and running in his local GOP primary, according to Politico's Matt Friedman.

However, Mangold said Thursday that he will not be running.

Mangold would've been running to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who represents the 11th District of New Jersey. Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas has spoken with Mangold, and he appears to be serious about running for the position.

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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After saying he wouldn't join the Jets for $60 million, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, a pending free agent, told TMZ exactly what it would take to secure his services.

"A hundred Ms," Bell said, referring to $100 million. "Hey, listen to me: I play running back, but they've got to respect me like I am, man." 

Bell, 25, responded to a fan's tweet last week asking what amount of money it would take for him to join the Jets.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another year has come and gone without the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Even the Philadelphia Eagles now have ended their forever Super Bowl drought. If you're counting, that's 49 straight Super Bowls that have been played without the Jets.

Can the 50th time be their charm?

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two years ago, the Jets drafted Darron Lee with their first pick, hoping to shore up one of their inside linebacker positions for the foreseeable future. Over the course of his first two seasons, he's been up and down, but he has retained an every-down role.

Last year, he struggled initially, then played the best football of his career in the middle of the season, only to regress down the stretch. However, there are no indications that the Jets intend to move on from Lee.

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)
Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)

In his latest mock draft, Todd McShay changed his pick for the Jets, and has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

McShay originally had New York taking LSU DE Arden Key. However, he had a change of heart as the Jets desperately need to find their franchise quarterback. But he warns not to forget about free agency, where GM Mike Maccagnan will have about $100 million to go after high-profile QB Kirk Cousins.

"Yes, it's a running theme -- this is another landing spot for Cousins," McShay writes. "If the Jets don't sign him in free agency, Allen makes a lot of sense if Mayfield is off the board. There is a significant drop-off in talent after the first four QBs in this draft, so the Jets need to make sure they grab one here. Allen had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, showing off his arm and his mobility. There are still concerns about his accuracy and ability to make multidimensional throws consistently, but all the tools are there. And he has the prototypical QB build (6-foot-4 7/8, 237 pounds)."

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 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Philadelphia Eagles would be absolutely crazy to get rid of Nick Foles now after he slayed the mighty Patriots, and was rightfully named the Super Bowl MVP. Yes, they have Carson Wentz, a legitimate MVP candidate, before he got hurt. And yes, Foles will likely be Wentz's backup again next season.

But didn't Foles just prove to everyone how valuable a backup quarterback on a contender really is?

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

In last year's draft, the Jets used their first two picks on safeties, and Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye started every game alongside one another in the secondary. Those starting roles seem settled for the next few years, but the Jets like to operate out of packages with three and even four safeties, so Todd Bowles may be keen to add some depth.

Last year, Rontez Miles and Terrance Brooks each saw regular playing time, often playing together as the Jets used a four-safety dime package in passing situations. Also, Doug Middleton, who missed the season due to injury, was expected to contribute. All three are now out of contract though, so the Jets may look to fortify their depth in the draft.

While it seems unlikely the Jets would select another safety with their top pick, Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick is a possible consideration due to his versatility. Could Fitzpatrick be like Jalen Ramsey -- a hybrid cornerback/safety who has developed into one of the league's better cornerbacks?

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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