Over the last month, I've been looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of last season. Jets fans might not know too much about some of these players, so I've been looking in detail at preseason and regular season footage to get an insight into their strengths and weaknesses. This series concludes today with a look at former Bears safety Brandon Hardin.

The 24-year old Hardin is listed at 6'3" and 217 pounds and was a third round pick in the 2012 draft. He has never played in an NFL regular season game, following some injury issues. However, he did play in six preseason games before the Bears released him in August. The Jets picked him up in January.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from the last two preseasons to evaluate some what Hardin brings to the table.

Who is Brandon Hardin?

Hardin had a productive college career, where he was actually a cornerback, but missed his entire senior season after injuring his shoulder and requiring surgery. He returned to action in the East West Shrine Game and then had a monster pro day with great numbers across the board, including a 4.43 forty. Had he not missed his senior year, most experts agreed he would have been a much more heralded prospect, but when the Bears selected him in the third round it was considered a reach.

The Bears immediately announced that they would be converting Hardin to safety and he was the second string free safety as the preseason got underway in his rookie year. However, he suffered a scary neck injury in the second game and was placed on injured reserve shortly after. In 2013, he was unable to climb any further up the depth chart in preseason, before a broken scapula in the last preseason game sealed his fate.

Let's look in detail at his six preseason appearances.

2012 Preseason

Week 1 - Denver

Hardin was only credited with one tackle in this game but was in on several others. The one tackle he got credit for was on a 20-yard completion down the sideline where the cornerback seemed to pass off the receiver to him, but he had to cover the deep middle.

His best play saw him range across the field to jump in front of a long pass down the left sideline. That could have been an interception but the ball bounced off his hands as he may have slightly mistimed his jump. On another play he closed well on the intended receiver running down the seam, but the pass was batted down by a linebacker.

There were three plays where if you were being harsh you could say he missed a tackle. The first of these saw the runner slip away from him inside the five only to be immediately tackled by someone else before gaining any more yardage. On the second he overpursued out to the sideline on a run to the outside and the running back cut back inside for another 5-10 yards. On the last one, he actually stopped the runner at the second level, but he was able to squirm free and fall forwards for a few extra yards.

There were a couple of moments of slight hesitancy, notably on these two touchdowns (here and here - Hardin is #35), literally for just a split second each time, but where without any hesitation he might have prevented the runner from breaking the plane each time.

On special teams, there was one play where he was initially employed as a vice, double teaming the gunner, but he ran downfield and then peeled off to get a good contact to slow up another player on the kicking team in the open field. However, he didn't finish the block and this player did still end up making the tackle. He was also employed as a punt protector, getting downfield first on one punt, but overpursuing to let the return man get upfield.

Week 2 - Washington

This was the game where Hardin suffered his scary neck injury. It came on a blown coverage where he reacted quickly to make a downfield tackle on a tight end to limit the yardage to 19, but lowered his head and injured his neck while making the hit.

Prior to that, he had only been in for a handful of plays. On one, he was in a good position in coverage downfield on an overthrown ball, but perhaps would have had a chance at an interception had he been able to locate the ball while it was in the air rather than focusing on the receiver the whole time.

2013 Preseason

Week 1 - at Carolina

Hardin played 26 snaps in this game, all in the second half. He had one downfield tackle, but did okay in coverage. He was in good position on one play where the quarterback threw wide, perhaps on purpose, as Hardin had the closest receiver covered. On another, the quarterback looked for Hardin's man on a hot route, but the receiver never looked back for the ball. Hardin reacted well, but should have intercepted this and probably would have scored. He dropped the ball that hit him right in the numbers. On another play, a pass was deflected but he was unable to react fast enough to have a shot at picking it off.

Week 2 - San Diego

Hardin played 25 snaps in this game, mostly in the third quarter. He played on the first series of the fourth quarter and returned for the last play of the game, which was a Hail Mary pass that was overthrown and he leapt up to bat safely out of the back of the end zone, although it obviously wasn't going to be caught anyway.

He got in on a couple of tackles in the running game, including one play where he came up from deep to avoid a pulling lineman and prevent a runner from turning the corner on an outside run, making the stop for a two yard gain.

Week 3 - at Oakland

In this game, Hardin only played in the fourth quarter but still saw action on 17 plays. He had two downfield tackles on 22 and 21 yard completions over the middle where he was playing deep. He was targeted once, for this touchdown. On the play, Hardin (still #35) got caught up in traffic on a rub route and didn't take a particularly good angle. Again, he could have helped himself by anticipating better here.

Week 4 - Cleveland

The final preseason game usually features backups, so you might expect Hardin (who started) to perform better in this one, but it was actually his worst game by some margin. Having said that, the Browns starters did do some of the damage, including on the first play of the game where they threw a 45-yard bomb to Josh Gordon. The cornerback passed Gordon off to Hardin downfield and Hardin didn't react fast enough as he initially went to cover the same slot receiver as the cornerback. On another early play, Hardin came up too fast and overpursued on a slant route, allowing Gordon to turn the corner upfield.

Hardin was used in direct coverage a lot more in this game and did not fare well. On one play he picked up a tight end running a post pattern and couldn't prevent a 21-yard completion. That was pretty tight coverage though and he almost got a finger on the ball. On another play, he was matched up with a receiver in the slot for the only time all preseason, but the outside receiver came underneath and Hardin failed to react to this in time, getting turned around and leaving him open for 12 over the middle.

As if this wasn't bad enough, there were also three plays where he didn't get over in time from center field, leading to two first downs and this touchdown. He wasn't in direct coverage on these plays, so it's hard to blame him for them, but they were plays where an elite player would perhaps be expected to break it up.

There were a couple of plays where he was in a better position, although the receiver slipped on one and the other was a bad overthrow. He injured himself late in the game, but might have been due to be a final cut anyway following this disappointing finish to the preseason.

Usage

There are many reports out there saying that Hardin was employed as a strong safety in Chicago. This is inaccurate. Hardin was employed as a deep safety, often single-high. In 2013, he was only in the box 14 times in 121 snaps and his role in 2012 was essentially the same.

Coverage skills

Any time you get a former cornerback moving into a safety role, that can be an advantage in coverage. However, Hardin was mostly employed in coverage support rather than in direct coverage.

Hardin did a disciplined job of keeping things in front of him, but there were times where he reacted a beat late or failed to anticipate something with the ball in the air. There were occasional flashes of him breaking well to the ball, but not many.

Athleticism

Hardin's measurables are incredible and obviously the reason he was drafted so high despite injury concerns. The Bears are apparently adopting a "maximum ceiling" approach to their draft strategy and this fits in with that. While there were instances where he showcased this athleticism (and he's an impressive physical specimen that looks more like a linebacker than a defensive back), he was so hesitant at times that this mitigated some of those gifts.

Physicality

One thing I noticed from Hardin was that there were a lot of plays where he came up but then pulled up short of getting in on the tackle. I know Jets fans in recent years have been frustrated at what they perceive to be "shying away from contact" by the likes of Kerry Rhodes and Antonio Cromartie and it's difficult to determine whether that's what this was or if Hardin was just being extremely disciplined in terms of keeping the play in front of him. I lean towards the latter, because there were a couple of plays where he did actually lay the lumber on a ball carrier that was held up in that situation although I expect there was some degree of uncertainty in his new position and over-cautiousness in terms of not wanting to make a mistake. It's possible he was tentative in certain situations due to some of his injuries, but most of the time he would break himself down as he arrived at the ball, which is certainly preferable to a safety coming up too fast and overpursuing (although he did do this once or twice).

As noted, he wasn't employed in direct coverage much, so I couldn't really comment on his physicality in coverage based on the footage viewed.

Run defense

As he wasn't in the box very often, Hardin didn't really contribute much as a run defender. He got in on a few tackles at the second level, but there was only one play where he came up and stopped a run. That was on an outside run where he came up from deep. He did run blitz a few times, but the run went the other way each time.

Tackling

This ties in with the last few sections, but Hardin didn't make a ton of tackles, nor did he miss too many bad ones. He had a few plays where he took a bad angle and overpursued, but not many instances of having a runner wrapped up and letting him get away. There were, however, a few times where he didn't quite make a clean stop, enabling the runner to fall forward and a few other times where he hesitated when going to make a tackle allowing costly yardage.

Blitzing

Hardin only blitzed once and only had one sack in his college career. However, his combination of speed and size (he's basically the same size as Rhodes) could mean he'd be good at this in a special packages role.

Ball skills

It doesn't seem like Hardin has very good hands. He dropped one easy interception and there were a few other plays where he might have been able to pick the ball off. Part of that was perhaps down to him failing to anticipate and react in time, though, rather than his ability to catch the ball. He did have one interception and eight passes defensed in two years at Oregon State. He did get his hands on a few balls and jumped a few routes, but could have done a better job of being alert to tipped or overthrown passes in his area.

Instincts

Since he was playing a new position, we should probably give Hardin a pass here, but there was a constant sense he was a beat slow to react and occasional confusion over what he should do in a given situation. It reminded me of Demario Davis' rookie season. If he could start to get more comfortable in his role, Hardin would start to make a lot more plays because he'd arrive half a step sooner.

Special teams

Hardin made some minor contributions on special teams. He was employed as a punt protector, on the punt rush unit, as a secondary vice when doubling a gunner and blocking on the kick return unit. He'll likely need to shine in these roles and also in kick coverage (where he had one assist as a tackler) to have a realistic shot at a roster spot.

Injuries

As noted, Hardin is yet another player who became available because of major injury concerns. Whether any of these will pan out remains to be seen, but there's potential upside in a lot of them. To recap, he missed 2011 after shoulder surgery, had a serious neck injury in 2012 and then broke his scapula last August.

Off-field issues

I could not find any details of any off-field issues for Hardin.

Conclusions:

Yes, of course, this is another long-shot that depends primarily on whether Hardin can get healthy. Even if he can, he still has to prove he can make the transition to safety.

While completing this analysis, I was reminded of Jaiquawn Jarrett, another high draft pick safety who also struggled before being released early in his second season. Since he did make the team and - other than that one play Jimmy Graham made on him - acquitted himself pretty well, that's an interesting re-read for context.

The Jets do have several promising safeties under 25 and may even add another in the draft next weekend, so competition is high. However, there are places up for grabs. The main thing Hardin brings to the table that none of the other safeties do is his size and speed combo.

Hardin did show inexperience at times, but wasn't constantly making bad mistakes. While it looks likely he'll end up as a story of unfulfilled promise, you can't blame the Jets for giving him one last shot.

That wraps up our look at the guys the Jets have added to the roster since the end of the season. We'll be back with some more analytical stuff after the draft, including articles on Dee Milliner and Quinton Coples.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets shed a group of veteran players this offseason, didn't make any big splashes in free agency, and the quarterback they brought in is a 37-year-old journeyman. Not surprisingly, the expectations for them this season couldn't be much lower.

Just don't try telling that to Todd Bowles.

Despite the look of his roster to outsiders, and the general perception that the Jets are beginning a total rebuilding job, the Jets head coach refused to downplay his team's chances heading into the 2017 season. He looks at the moves the Jets have made this offseason and believes they have given his team a chance to be competitive -- now.

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Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

PHOENIX - The Jets' new offensive coordinator, John Morton, has never run an NFL offense before, never called plays in the league, and he hasn't revealed yet what kind of scheme he will run. But none of that should worry anyone, according to one of his former bosses.

Saints coach Sean Payton promised you'll be "impressed."

"Listen he's been around (Jon) Gruden, (Jim) Harbaugh, myself," Payton said on Wednesday morning during the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings. "He's very meticulous. I think he's going to be outstanding."

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's free-agent signing period is open, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates on what the Jets are doing with their own free agents and with free agents from other teams, and for updates on their available salary cap space and contract numbers.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Weighing the Jets QB options 00:01:15
Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets' quarterback quandary after signing Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets' search for their quarterback of the future continued in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Jets had a group of scouts and coaches -- reportedly including new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates -- in attendance there on Tuesday for the University of North Carolina's Pro Day, where the star attraction was Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky. And they're interested enough in the 22-year-old that Trubisky told reporters the Jets have set up a private workout with him set for Thursday.

The Jets currently are slated to pick sixth in the upcoming NFL draft and Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson are the only quarterbacks most NFL scouts and talent evaluators consider to be potential Top 10 picks. Some don't think any of the quarterbacks are Top 10 worthy, which means they could be available if the Jets decide to trade down.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Loud Mouths: Is Bowles the guy? 00:06:24
Marc Malusis, Jon Hein and Willie Colon talk about whether Todd Bowles is the right man for the job.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets weren't just bad last season, they were downright dysfunctional at times. Todd Bowles knows it. Everybody knows it. And the Jets coach expects that to change.

Just don't expect him to drop the hammer on his players, or tighten the rules on what at times appeared to be his loosely-run ship. Bowles, as a former player, understands that stuff happens. And he doesn't plan on taking control with some draconian approach.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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PHOENIX - Todd Bowles came to the Jets as a defensive guru, but he plans on making the struggling Jets offense his project this year.

The third-year Jets head head coach promised that he will be "heavily more involved" in all aspects of the offense this season during an hour-long interview at the annual AFC Coaches Breakfast on Tuesday. He didn't say his decision had anything to do with the fact the offense ranked 26th in the NFL last season, or that he'll be breaking in a new offensive coordinator in John Morton.

He said it's all just part of his "evolution" as a head coach...

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Do the Jets need Hackenberg? 00:04:25
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether the Jets should settle for Christian Hackenberg as their starter or target a QB in the draft.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - Todd Bowles has declared he will hold an "open competition" at quarterback this summer between the three quarterbacks on his roster, and maybe even a fourth one from the draft. He did not promise veteran Josh McCown the job when the Jets signed him, and he wouldn't say his experience gives him any edge.

All of them will have an equal shot to be the Jets' Opening Day starter. And that's the right approach. It's also the only thing the Jets coach could do.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets have signed OL Jonotthan Harrison to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday. 

Harrison, 25, played in 13 games for the Colts last season, including four starts.

He played 31 of 32 games for the Colts from 2014 to 2015, starting 19.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson is in Arizona for the NFL owners meetings, along with his brother Christopher, according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

The Jets owner declined to talk to reporters on Sunday.

Woody Johnson has long been expected to be named the ambassador to the United Kingdom in President Donald Trump's administration, although the president has not yet formally announced the appointment.

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Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)
Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan wouldn't say if Josh McCown will be the Jets' starting quarterback this season - that, he insisted, is a decision for coach Todd Bowles. But he did say that McCown can still be a good quarterback, even as he closes in on 38 years old.

"I know he's had some injuries this past season, but the season before he played and actually did some good things for Cleveland," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday. "I still think he has good football left in him. We do think he has the ability to play and perform if needed."

The Jets signed McCown to a one-year, $6 million contract last week, with another possible (but unlikely) $7 million in incentives. Maccagnan said that the 15-year vet - a journeyman now on his eighth NFL team - was under consideration from the start of free agency, even as the Jets sorted through all their other options.

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Should the Jets trade down? 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether or not the Jets should trade down so they can acquire more draft picks.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were so intent on acquiring more draft picks that just three weeks ago Mike Maccagnan insisted the Jets were "open for business every round."

Now it sounds like he means every round except the first.

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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One year after using a second-round pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he "potentially" could draft a quarterback again. And no, he insisted, that wouldn't mean he's admitting a mistake on Hackenberg.

It would just be another step in the long process of finding "the right quarterback for this team."

"I don't think taking a player at one position is a referendum on another player," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. "I think the goal is to put together best roster you can. Of course quarterback is a very, very important position in this process. But I wouldn't necessarily view it as a referendum."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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DeShone Kizer highlights 00:01:19
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL Draft prospect DeShone Kizer.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Only time will tell if the Jets are serious about taking a quarterback in the first-round of the draft, but in the meantime they certainly are doing their homework.

The latest proof of that is the NFL Network report that they've already held a private workout with DeShone Kizer, the Notre Dame quarterback considered to be one of the top three quarterback prospects in the draft. That explains why Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles skipped Notre Dame's Pro Day on Thursday and were both at Ohio State's Pro Day instead.

The Jets also have a private workout scheduled with North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who revealed that "secret" to reporters at his own Pro Day earlier this week. And while it's not known if the Jets plan to do the same with Clemson's DeShaun Watson, it seems likely that they will...

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Brian Bassett is joined by SNY Analyst and former New York Jet Willie Colon for an all-new podcast, as they cover all the angles of the Jets rebuild - including Josh McCown, the future at running back, the state of the defense, and whether or not Todd Bowles will be around to see it all through.

Click below to listen!

 

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after sending a large contingent to North Carolina to watch quarterback Mitch Trubisky at his Pro Day, the Jets rolled out their big guns for the Pro Day at Ohio State.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles were both in attendance at the Buckeyes Pro Day, according to reports out of Columbus, Ohio, along with representatives of every other NFL team -- including Giants scouting director Marc Ross. Maccagnan and Bowles were surely taking a close look at cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker -- two strong candidates for the Jets to take with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

And for what it's worth, they chose a trip to Columbus over a trip to South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame was holding its Pro Day on Thursday. The star of the Fighting Irish showcase was another quarterback -- DeShone Kizer -- who could go in the first round (though likely not as high as 6)...

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

WR Quinton Patton has signed with the Jets, the team annnounced Thursday.

He had visited with the team this past weekend.

Last season, Patton recorded 37 catches for 408 yards with the 49ers.

Tags: Charone Peake, Quincy Enunwa
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Jamal Adams highlights 00:01:05
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of LSU safety Jamal Adams.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Now that the big-money part of NFL free agency is over, teams have begun increasingly focusing on the NFL draft, and their first-round targets are becoming a little clearer. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27:

1.) S Jamal Adams, LSU - From the beginning, I've been focused on a cornerback for the Jets in this spot and Marshon Lattimore sure is a possibility (see below). But after free agency, it's clear that safety is the Jets' biggest unfulfilled need. No, they didn't do big things at corner either, but they have young players they liked and they added some potential in Morris Claiborne. At safety, though, they don't have much after striking out on Tony Jefferson in free agency. Calvin Pryor is in the last year of his contract and Marcus Gilchrist could be a salary cap casualty after the season. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams is the best at his position in the draft and could be the leader of the Jets' secondary for years. (Last report: 2)...

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Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

TE Mychal Rivera has agreed to terms with the Jaguars, reports Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

Rivera visted the Jets on Monday, according to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports.

Rivera caught 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown in 13 games with Oakland last season. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson took to Instagram to refute a recent report that he is out of shape. 

In a video posted to his Instagram story, Wilkerson is seen running on a treadmill while sarcastically responding about his conditioning. 

"They say I'm fat and out of shape," he said. "Ha-ha. Keep sleeping on me. I'm telling you."

Wilkerson was referencing an article by the Daily News' Manish Mehta from last week. In the piece, Mehta quotes unnamed scouts who said the 27-year-old looked out of shape when he attended the Temple Pro Day in Philadelphia.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)

Mel Kiper's third Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Kiper notes that if the Jets are going to go with Josh McCownBryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback, they are going to need someone to catch passes, and at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, Howard is Kiper's top-ranked pass-catcher. While his numbers were not staggering at Alabama, Howard "has all of the athletic attributes of a top-tier player, though, and he was one of the most impressive prospects at the combine."

Howard caught 45 passes for 595 yards and three touchdowns last season. In his four years at Alabama, the 22-year old accumulated 114 receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns.

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DNL on new Jets quarterback 00:02:51
The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown. 

 


GEICO SportsNite: Josh McCown 00:01:28
Taylor Rooks talks with SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Josh McCown is not the New York Jets' quarterback of the future, but neither were any of the other quarterbacks available on the free-agent market. There was no ideal answer to the Jets' biggest question.

But McCown is the perfect player to get them closer to the answers they need.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The No. 1 priority for the Jets heading into this offseason was unquestionably to find a quarterback. Nothing else came close. Without a quarterback, nothing else really mattered. The Jets were desperate.

Or so we all thought.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)
(Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)

Writer/director Spike Lee said it's "fishy" that free agent QB Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, mentioning the Jets among the teams that could use Kaepernick.

"The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In."

Lee, who recently had brunch with Kaepernick, added that Kaepernick being unsigned "stinks to the high heavens."

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent quarterback Chase Daniel will visit with the Jets on Monday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Last Monday, Daniel asked the Eagles for his release after they traded for veteran QB Nick Foles.

The 30-year-old backup quarterback visited with the Saints over the weekend, but left New Orleans without a deal.

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:00:53
After reports that QB Josh McCown left his visit with the Jets without a contract, Ray Lucas discusses if signing the veteran is a fit.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' latest search for their quarterback of the future could be nearing a temporary conclusion. And if it is, they'll have yet another short-term answer to the franchise's biggest problem.

Josh McCown, a 37-year-old journeyman free agent, continued his visit with the Jets for a second day on Saturday, according to an NFL source. The two sides are serious enough about each other that they've discussed contract parameters, the source said. Indications were that his visit was going very well.

That seems to position McCown as the leader of the dwindling pack of Jets' quarterback options. The Jets are also interested in former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, according to a source, and though he was expected to be brought in for a visit that has not happened yet. A team source confirmed the Jets have no interest in ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and beyond that the market is extremely thin.

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CB Morris Claiborne has signed with the Jets, the team announced. 

It will be a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to multiple reports.

The 27-year-old Claiborne had 26 tackles and one interception in seven games last season for the Cowboys.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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On the latest edition of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former Jets QB Geno Smith sits down with Taylor to discuss his time with the Jets and his decision to join the Giants.

"I will always kind of have that regret because I wanted to do so many things for that franchise.....I'm not a quitter, I don't like to lose and I don't like to give up on things. Sometimes in business you have to go your separate ways."

Click below to listen...

 

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Free agent QB Josh McCown will visit the Jets on Friday and Saturday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

McCown, 37, recently visited with the Cowboys.

He completed 90 passes for 165 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in five games last season for the Browns...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Smart or Disappointing 00:02:19
Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing off season

Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing offseason.

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Jets making right moves in FA? 00:03:37
The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.

The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.


 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets claimed defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers in February, only to let him go a month later. Now they are bringing him back again.

The 25-year-old Pennel has signed a one-year deal with the Jets, his agent, Andy Simms, confirmed on Twitter. The former Green Bay Packer will be in the mix this summer to make the team on the Jets' crowded defensive line.

Pennel was once seen as a promising player. The 6-4, 332-pounder even started five games with the Packers in 2015. But his career took a bad turn last season when he was suspended twice -- for the first four games and then the last four games -- for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Let me get you started with the questions, because I know the big one that's on everybody's mind:

Q: What are the Jets going to do at quarterback?

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa's breakout year was another example of how the former sixth-round pick has exceeded expectations. And in the NFL, young players get compensated for doing that.

To no one's surprise, the 24-year old receiver led the Jets in performance-based compensation from the NFL for the second straight season, pocketing another $327,637 for his 58-catch, 857-yard season. The annual bonus distribution is a way for the NFL and NFL Players Association to make sure that lower-salaried players are compensated for excellent performances, without counting against a team's salary cap.

In 2015, Enunwa pocketed nearly $300,000 in performance-based pay, giving him about $625,000 in bonuses for the last two seasons. His salaries for those two seasons were slightly more than $850,000 combined, so his bonuses equated to about 74 percent of his base pay...

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended by the NFL for two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the team announced. 

Late last September, Seferian-Jenkins was arrested for a DUI charge and was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three days later, the Jets claimed him off waivers. 

In seven games with the Jets, he recorded 10 catches for 110 yards. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed all charges against former Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

According to reports, Revis' childhood friend appeared before the judge with his attorney and said he pulled the accusers off Revis and punched them.

Pittsburgh police charged Revis with four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy/aggravated assault and one count misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats for the incident that took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 12.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are looking for a versatile third running back and kick returner and had made an offer to Travaris Cadet, but he has chosen to remain with the Saints, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Cadet was also weighing an offer from the Bills.

A 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, Cadet -- who visited with the Jets this past weekend -- has spent most of his five NFL seasons with the Saints. He had 40 catches and four receiving touchdowns for New Orleans last year, where new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton was the receiving coach...

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Dont'a Hightower returns to Pats 00:02:26
The Daily News Live team talks about Dont'a Hightower's decision to re-sign with the defending-champion Patriots rather than the Jets.

Free agent LB Dont'a Hightower has returned to the Patriots, signing a four-year, $43.5 million deal that includes a $19 million signing bonus.

The 27-year-old All-Pro visited the Jets on Monday and the Steelers on Tuesday. 

There were reports that New York was among the highest bidders for Hightower's services, reportedly offering him more than $12 million per year.

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 (Daniel Powers (USA Today))
(Daniel Powers (USA Today))

Update: 

The Jets have offered free agent LB Dont'a Hightower more than $12 million per year, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.

Jason La Confora reported yesterday that the Jets had offered the most money for Hightower. La Confora said that the 27-year-old was not inclined to take New York's offer.

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 (Steven Senne/AP)
(Steven Senne/AP)

In today's Jets mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano weighs in on the quarterback situation, the possibility of tanking, and the Jets' potential pitch to Dont'a Hightower...


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Is it worth the #Jets going after a Brock Osweiler or Chase Daniel if other teams are on the hook for their salaries? -- @MiniHulk5

If you mean that's because their prices will be lower, I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, Osweiler and Daniel are already making money this season from their old teams, so perhaps they'd be willing to take less from their new one. But really, how high is their value going to be anyway? Right now I only count four teams without a starting quarterback - the Jets, Browns, Texans, and 49ers. The Texans are probably going to get Tony Romo and the other two are drafting 1-2 in April...

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Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Looking to bolster their rushing attack - which might be especially important if they end up with an inexperienced quarterback - the Jets are bringing in fullback Zach Line for a free-agent visit.

The 26-year-old Line, who played the last four seasons for the Vikings, is expected to arrive in Florham Park, N.J., on Wednesday. He had been the Vikings' primary fullback the last two seasons. In 2016, the Vikings had the NFL's worst rushing attack, though that was largely due to the absence of running back Adrian Peterson. In 2015, they ranked fourth in the league as Peterson rushed for 1,485 yards.

The Jets did not have a true fullback on their roster last season, though they still ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9.  (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Howard Jones, a defensive end who can play linebacker in a 3-4 defense and who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will make a free-agent visit to the Jets on Friday, an NFL source confirmed.

The visit, reported by ESPN, will be a chance for the Jets to check on his rehabilitation from a torn ACL that limited him to just eight games last season. In 2015, before he got hurt, he showed a lot of promise with five sacks in 12 games, including five starts. He had two sacks that season in his NFL debut.

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The free-agent market has thinned out a bit, but the Jets still have plenty of holes to fill. Yes, they still need a quarterback. But they have many other needs, too.

The good news is they still have a decent amount of salary-cap space and there is still help available. Here's a look at some of the non-quarterbacks still on the market who could be a fit:

CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys) - The former sixth-overall pick (2012), he was long considered a bust before he began to finally play up to expectations last season - right up until he injured his groin. He's still only 27 and as the Jets begin a youth movement in the secondary it might be worth giving him a chance to prove his start last season wasn't a fluke. They'd need to move fast, though, since word is he could soon end up with the Ravens.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Patriots still tormenting Jets 00:02:49
The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.

The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.


Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a new podcast, and for the Jets, it's been a few weeks of out with the old, and in with the…well, not much. The guys say goodbye to Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, and Nick Folk, and look ahead to what comes next as the Jets look to re-build around QB TBD.

Click below to listen!

 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets don't seem to be in any hurry to figure out their starting quarterback for 2017 and they are "considering all options," according to a source. At the moment there are many. None of them are great.

But Jay Cutler does appear to be up near the top of their list.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)
Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Updates (Mar. 13)

4:25 p.m.: The Jets concluded their visit with free agent LB Dont'a Hightower on Monday afternoon.

11:10 a.m.: After visiting the Jets, Hightower is scheduled to visit the Steelers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

 

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Cutler to NY? 00:02:51
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the latest on the New York Jets and Giants in free agency.

The Jets have called to express interest in free agent QB Jay Cutler, who was released by the Bears last week, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Cutler, 33, completed 81 of 137 passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in five games last season for the Bears while dealing with two separate injuries.

He threw for 3,659 yards in 2015 to go along with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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