Yesterday, the Jets made their first external signings of the free agency signing period, picking up offensive tackle Breno Giacomini and wide receiver Eric Decker. Jets fans might not know much about Giacomini, so I've been looking in detail at footage from his career so far to assess what he might bring to the table. (I'll also cover Decker - along with anyone else they sign - in due course).

Giacomini was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 draft by the Green Bay Packers, but was only active for one game in two seasons. Seattle picked him up and in four years there he went from reserve to full-time starter. He started every game in 2012 and 12 games in 2013, including all three postseason wins. He missed seven games while recovering from knee surgery in the middle of the season.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last season to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Breno Giacomini?

The 28-year old Giacomini stands 6'7" and is listed at 318 pounds. Following a college career where he earned second team All-Big East honors at Louisville, he was drafted by the Packers and spent time on their active roster and practice squad. He was active for one game as a rookie, but did not play on offense.

The Seahawks signed Giacomini off the Packers' practice squad in 2010 and kept him on their active roster for a month before letting him go. He did not make an appearance for them, but was re-signed after the season and ended up starting eight games in 2011. A promising finish to the season had some people suggesting him as a candidate for the Jets' starting right tackle role in 2012, which had been manned by the struggling Wayne Hunter up to that point. However, the Seahawks smartly locked him up in February to prevent him from hitting the open market. Just as well, given the great right tackle famine of 2012.

In 2012, he struggled at first, but got better as the season went along, establishing himself as the full time starter on a team that went 11-5 and reached the second round of the playoffs. He remained as the starter in 2013, but missed seven games (weeks four to 10) after requiring a procedure on his knee. He returned in week 11 and the Seahawks won seven of their last nine games to win the Super Bowl.

What do the scouts and stats say?

According to PFF grades for the regular season, Giacomini basically had a neutral grade with a slightly positive pass blocking grade and a negative run blocking grade that cancelled that out. In the post season, his pass blocking grade improved, but his run blocking grade got worse. His grades were slightly better than they had been in 2012.

Football Outsiders metrics note that the Seahawks were the best team in the NFL at running off right tackle in 2012. In 2013, they dropped to 12th, but of course Giacomini missed half of the season. Unfortunately there are no weekly splits to examine if that explains the drop-off.

The Bleacher Report NFL 1000 Study, which we've been following on TJB and ranked Austin Howard 24th out of 35 right tackles has Giacomini in 20th. Their observations state that he "is a long-armed wall at right tackle" and lacks athleticism but understands leverage. Their conclusion on him (remembering that they felt Howard was bad, but improving) is as follows:

There aren’t many right tackles who could be described as more “average” than Giacomini. There aren’t a lot of physical attributes that separate him from other guys, and he doesn’t have exceptional athleticism. He displays a good base in pass protection and can win in the running game when engaged with a defender. There’s a lot to be said for simply being "average."

Observations

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

Usage - Giacomini has only ever played right tackle in the NFL.

Measurables - Giacomini is listed at 6'7" and 318, but was only 303 when he first came into the league, so he's obviously bulked up a bit. Despite what it says in the scouting report above, his arms are short - 32 and 1/8 inches puts him right down near the bottom according to the excellent mockdraftable.com database. By comparison, D'Brickashaw Ferguson's arms are 35.5 inches, despite the fact he's shorter than Giacomini. In terms of combine numbers, he does well in terms of the agility drills, but his bench press, 10 yard dash and vertical leap numbers were poor so he obviously needed to work at his strength and explosiveness when he entered the league.

Athletic Ability - Giacomini displays athleticism at times, getting out in front of screen passes, making blocks on the move and springing out of his stance to pick up outside rushers in certain protections. However, you get the sense it's more about effort and hustle with Giacomini, who doesn't make it look as effortless as someone like D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He can be slow to get out of his stance and struggles to recover at times.

Like most tackles, especially 6'7" ones, it seems to come down more to leverage and technique as to whether he overpowers his opponent or gets schooled.

Run Blocking -

The numbers in terms of running to his side are impressive, but it's worth noting that when Giacomini made his return from injury with six games to go last year, Marshawn Lynch didn't have a 100 yard gain in the rest of the regular season despite averaging over 18 carries per game and having had two in a row prior to Giacomini's return. You could explain that away by saying that Giacomini perhaps took some time to get back into the swing of things or that it messed with their chemistry. The Seahawks' line was in flux all year with nobody starting 16 games. Whatever the reason, this concern could be allayed by the fact that Lynch exploded for 140 yards against the Saints once the postseason got underway and then added 109 against the 49ers.

Giacomini does much of his best run blocking work in zone blocking packages. He was effective on kickout blocks and setting the edge, especially moving left on counter plays. He also can peel off a double team to the second level effectively and will push his man back when he locks onto them. The Seahawks do have non-zone plays in their playbook though. Giacomini made some good blocks while pulling left, pulling outside and trapping up the middle for cut blocks. These plays were rare though.

Some of his work was straight up nasty, blocking his man to the ground on several occasions. On one play in particular, he threw his man to the ground on a draw play, reminding me of Willie Colon. He also had a tendency to finish his blocks, which is always a good habit.

In terms of negatives, he sometimes got stood up at the line which meant that runs to his side were bottled up. Again, that's a leverage issue. On a few plays, he didn't get his pad level down and was driven back into the backfield, but that was rare.

Penalties are a concern too, so let's consider them separately.

Penalties -

Giacomini had 12 penalties in 18 games in 2012 and another seven in 12 games in 2013. The concern is that, much like Colon, he's not going to help the team if he's getting flagged all the time.

In 2012, he had three false starts, four unnecessary roughness penalties and five holding penalties. The good news is that he cut out the roughness penalties completely in 2013, perhaps showing signs of maturity and leadership. He had four false starts in 12 games in 2013, which perhaps isn't that bad when you consider how many personnel changes there were.

In terms of holding penalties in 2013, he was flagged for four although one was clearly called on the wrong player because he was double teaming with JR Sweezy and barely engaged as Sweezy dragged his man down. Of the other three, two came on key seal blocks on the backside where the play went for a huge gain (24 and 37 yards) and he was only just on the wrong side of the rules. One of these two was a really late flag and a bit dubious. The other just saw him unable to sustain his block quite long enough. The third hold was a ridiculous call. He made a great block, driving his man all the way over to the sideline and to the ground and they were wrestling on the floor nowhere near the action.

On this basis, I'm less concerned about penalties than I was based on the numbers alone, but obviously you have to factor in the Jets' propensity for getting shafted by questionable officiating and accept that his aggressiveness is going to cause some penalties to arise.

Pass Protection -

Despite his positive pass blocking grade from PFF, Giacomini was all the way down in 61st place for pass blocking efficiency for the regular season. Without even looking at the film, we can rationalize this because Russell Wilson spends more time scrambling around than any other quarterback. Clearly there would be more instances than usual of Giacomini's man registering a pressure long after most quarterbacks would already have got the ball out. With the way PFF's rankings work, you would receive a higher negative grade if beaten cleanly or badly. Obviously Giacomini didn't get beaten badly as often as some of the players who gave up equivalent amounts of pressure. That's a good sign.

Also a good sign: He gave up four sacks and only one quarterback hit. That's really good. Like, really good. Austin Howard only gave up two sacks, but he surrendered 15 hits. Of course, Wilson is elusive and adept at avoiding being hit, but it's not like Wilson never got hit. The rest of the Seahawks linemen, backs and tight ends (excluding Giacomini) combined to give up 23 hits, the same amount as the rest of the Jets (excluding Howard).

In addition, whether it's because the line gelled, he got past his injury or whatever, Giacomini's pass protection numbers really improved in the postseason. He gave up no sacks or hits and just four pressures in three games, giving him the third best postseason pass blocking efficiency in the NFL.

Again, the numbers are encouraging and when you look at the sacks he gave up, one of them was excusable. Brian Robison clearly got away with jumping offside and as Giacomini scrambled to recover, he got in front of his man to allow Wilson time to step up, but Wilson had nowhere to go because Sweezy was bullrushed into the backfield.

On the other three, one saw him allow Charles Johnson too much separation so he could leverage outside for a strip-sack, perhaps exploiting those short arms. The announcers criticized Wilson here for not sensing the pressure and checking down to a wide open Robert Turbin in the flat. Another saw him fail to get outside quick enough to stop a speed rush from Jason Babin who had lined up extra wide. He adjusted after that and it didn't happen again. The last one came about because he missed a cut block.

Ultimately, the sacks he gave up weren't that bad, especially considering there were so few of them, but there were a few more moments where he was badly beaten and Wilson's elusiveness prevented a sack. Only a couple though.

At times, Giacomini was susceptible to a jab step move getting him off balance at the snap and then was unable to recover. Both Johnson and Chris Long got him with this. Also, as with in the running game, he was driven back a few times, although he did manage to stay in front of his man and re-anchor before his man could get to Wilson.

The Seahawks did give Giacomini some help in terms of chip blocks against some of the better pass rushers, but they left extra blockers in less than the Jets did overall.

Attitude -

As already noted, Giacomini gives a great effort and plays to (and beyond) the whistle. The fact he cut out the unnecessary roughness penalties is encouraging and, in fact, in 2013 he twice drew 15-yard penalties because he got hit and didn't retaliate. One led to an ejection and negated a key sack. This article discusses his efforts to play smart during 2013 in light of his penalty numbers.

Injuries -

As noted, he had the knee issue in 2013. This was described as a fairly minor procedure that should have kept him out for weeks rather than months. Prior to that, he's been listed on the injury report just three times, all for different minor ailments that lasted only a week.

Scheme Familiarity -

I already wrote about how the Jets are following the Seahawks blueprint during Super Bowl week and this could represent another step in that direction. The Seahawks use all the same kind of running plays that Marty Mornhinweg did last year, but with a higher emphasis on the zone blocking packages. Had the Jets retained Austin Howard at their price, that might have continued, but now they have Giacomini, who is smaller and experienced in a zone blocking role perhaps there will be more of a shift towards that. It might even play into their thinking as they seek to fill the right guard spot.

Conclusions

As noted above, John Idzik would be familiar with Giacomini and the fact they moved quickly to pick him up once it became apparent they couldn't meet Austin Howard's asking price is a good sign. We may never know what the Jets were prepared to offer Howard and we're still waiting for confirmation on Giacomini's contract, but I assume it was less.

I'm comfortable with Giacomini as a starter level player and, having watched the footage, I like him. He has some minor holes in his game, but is a good run blocker and reliable in pass protection. While he wasn't always consistent, I was most encouraged by the fact that most of his worst plays weren't that bad. I'd hope he is potentially capable of holding down the right tackle position for the next couple of years until a younger candidate emerges.

It's a shame to see Howard go, but in a strange way I'm delighted to see a guy the Jets developed get a big money deal elsewhere and I wouldn't have given him the deal that he got from the Raiders. We wish Austin the best, but also are pleased to welcome Breno to the Jets!

Up next: Eric Decker, followed by whoever the Jets sign after that...

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets inside linebacker Darron Lee (Ron Schwane/AP)
New York Jets inside linebacker Darron Lee (Ron Schwane/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue with a look at the inside linebacker position.

Probable roster locks

The initial plan for the inside linebacker position is clear: Darron Lee and Avery Williamson will start, barring injury. Beyond that, all bets are off, as everyone else will compete for the backup roles and to be employed as special teams contributors.

Tags: Darron Lee
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets WR Robby Anderson now has both of his legal issues behind him. 

Anderson received six months of "non-reporting probation" stemming from his arrest on reckless driving charges from January, reports Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. The expectation, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, had been that the issue would be resolved before training camp in July. 

While he won't face any more legal ramifications, the incident is still under review by the NFL under their Personal Conduct Policy.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 2 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins...

The return of Quincy Enunwa and a better-than-you-think receiving corps

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Chad Hansen is looking to impact the Jets more in his second season, which is why he linked up with his former college quarterback who had great success in his second year.

Rams QB Jared Goff and Hansen played together at Cal, and they both spent time in Southern California working together in preparation for next year. Goff, who had a shaky rookie season, shined in his second year as he led his team to a NFC West division title. 

Hansen wants the same success as his former teammate in his second season, and he thinks he can do so in any role with the Jets. 

Tags: Chad Hansen, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 1 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins, which will be followed by Part 2 on Thursday...

The rise of Sam Darnold

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who comes in at No. 9.

Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley tops the list, which was released by the DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets have brought in a dizzying number of players. In addition to their six draft picks and several undrafted free agents, the Jets have acquired 24 veterans since the league year began. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

24. PK Nick Rose - Rose was brought in as competition at the placekicker position but was replaced four weeks later before he even got a chance to practice with the team.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We start with a look at the running back position.

Probable roster locks

Anything is possible, but the expectation heading to camp is that Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell will assume the top two spots. Powell is the incumbent veteran and a Todd Bowles favorite, so he's certainly expected to at least begin camp as the No. 1.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
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Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Redskins will have joint practices from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 ahead of their preseason game on Aug. 16, and Washington's defense seems to be ready to go after current Jet wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown called out Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with New York after one year with the Redskins, by saying other members of Washington's defense "have it out for him."

"That's going to be something right there," Brown said on "Inside the Locker Room" on Team 980, according to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now ... [head coach] Jay [Gruden] ain't here to protect you anymore."

Tags: Washington Redskins
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Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets S Jamal Adams has never liked to lose, and his father -- former NFL RB George Adams -- gave the perfect anecdote to explain why. 

"As a G.A. Giant, we didnt' lose," George told The Post's Steve Serby as he referenced Jamal's Pop Warner days. "I gave the ball to J., he got the first down, and they came out and measured and then they said, 'No, no, no. We gotta remeasure.' So they didn't give us a first down, so they got the ball and they scored and we lost.

"He cried like a baby. So what I told him, I said, 'That's life. That's football. You're gonna get some people to say one thing and it's another, but the thing is, I'm teaching you how to lose.' And that really just didn't set with him, because he just don't like losing."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Scott Thompson
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Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)
Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)

This offseason, the Jets signed QB Teddy Bridgewater, drafted QB Sam Darnold and re-signed QB Josh McCown. Regardless of who gets to be the starting quarterback, they're going to need someone to throw to. 

WR Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March, certainly believes he can be that guy, after having 'minor' ankle surgery recently.

"Right now I'm healthy and I'm ready to get back to form and have a dominant year," Pryor said...

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General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr., who was just arrested for suspicion of burglary last week, has even bigger problems with the law in his latest arrest. 

Winslow was arrested on Thursday and faces two counts of forcible rap, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure. 

It is unknown whether or not Winslow's arrest last Thursday corresponds to this arrest...

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New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Derrick Jones was considered a bit of a long-term project when the Jets selected him with their final pick in 2017's draft. He's a terrific athletic with excellent size and length, but was considered raw having spent much of his collegiate career as a wide receiver, starting just eight games in total. The Jets carried him on their active roster all year, but he only suited up for three games and didn't get any defensive reps.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Robby Anderson
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A lot will change between mid-June and September 10th, the day of the Jets season opener, but if they were to play that week one game against the Lions tomorrow, Todd Bowles knows who his starting quarterback would be: Josh McCown. 

Bowles also confirmed that Teddy Bridgewater is the current backup, leaving rookie Sam Darnold as the third-string. But all three will have ample time during training camp to change his mind, when "a lot of things count."

"Josh will start come training camp and we will see what happens at the end of training camp," Bowles said after minicamp...

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg visited the Patriots on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Patriots currently have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and rookie seventh-round pick Danny Etling. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots aren't expected to sign Hackenberg, though he remains an option going forward...

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Elijah McGuire the new LT? 00:01:58
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell saying that Elijah McGuire could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson.

Entering his second season in the league, Elijah McGuire is expected to make an impact on the Jets in 2018.

The running back had 377 rushing yards in 2017 but those within the organization see something more in the 24-year-old-- they see one of the best running backs ever: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He has the skillset to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity," Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell said...

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

If there is one player Jets S Jamal Adams would like to emulate in his career, it would certainly be one of the best to ever play the safety position. 

Former Steelers S Troy Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member, changed how safeties were perceived in the NFL. Polamalu wasn't just a ballhawk as his position was normally asked to do, but he was relentless on the blitz as well as run defense. 

Adams says it was Polamalu's smarts along with his physicality that makes him his role model now that he is in the NFL...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This offseason, Jets WR Robby Anderson has been battling numerous legal issues. He has been arrested twice in nine months, but the Jets have had his back throughout this process. 

That doesn't mean the NFL will. 

Anderson, who has one of his two legal cases still in the works, knows the NFL has the jurisdiction to suspend him for his run-ins with the police...

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Darnold impresses at Jets camp 00:03:04
Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates breaks down the performance of rookie QB Sam Darnold at the team's minicamp on Wednesday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold may be a rookie, but his new team isn't treating him like one. 

The No. 3 overall pick hasn't been eased into his new role with the Jets, but rather, the team is throwing everything they can at him. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said the entire playbook has been thrown his way during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. 

The reason? Bates says that's how you see what Darnold can truly handle.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn't get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players' Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy...

Tags: Josh McCown
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Over the last few weeks, we've been looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Jeremy Clark spent virtually the entire 2017 on the injured list, which was something the Jets must have anticipated when they drafted him. Clark was recovering from a torn ACL when the Jets selected him in the sixth round, presumably on the basis that he'd have gone much sooner had he been healthy. He was unable to practice at training camp and his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year. However, the Jets were able to activate him at the end of the year and he made his NFL debut in the season finale.

Preseason Stats: Did not play.
Regular Season Stats: One game played.
Projected Role: Back-up cornerback.

Tags: Jeremy Clark
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday.

Hackenberg was traded last month for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 -- a pick the Raiders will now get to keep. 

"I was disappointed in not really giving Christian the opportunity to go to camp," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN. "We felt like we needed to add a couple defensive linemen. We ran out of numbers, and that's not good at that position heading into camp."

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Sam Darnold on adjustments 00:00:32
Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold explains the challenges he's facing while making the adjustment to calling plays in the huddle in the NFL.

Jets QB Sam Darnold on Tuesday shed light on the learning curve he has experienced during his transition to the NFL.

"It hasn't been super easy to adjust but it's all the same plays," Darnold said on the first day of the Jets' mandatory minicamp. "It's just getting used to the different terminology... being able to picture the play in my head when it's called makes it easier to call it in the huddle."

Darnold, the Jets' first round pick this year, earned roughly 20 first-team reps, according to Newsday. QB Josh McCown led the pack with around 20 first-team reps, while Teddy Bridgewater also had a handful of first-team snaps.

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Jets QB's throwing deep 00:00:33
See Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown throwing darts to their receivers at New York Jets minicamp on Tuesday.

Check back here for highlights from the Jets' first day of mandatory minicamp...


The first day of the Jets' three-day mandatory minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, and rookie QB Sam Darnold continues to get some reps with the first-team offense. Throughout the day, Darnold bounced around the depth chart by taking most of his reps with the third team to go along with his few throws with the first team. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Last Thursday in San Diego, California, ex-Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a mobile-home park, reports NBC San Diego's Rafael Avitabile.

A burglary call was made at around 2:30 p.m. by a neighbor in the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

According to Winslow's publicist, Denise White, "An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home." Winslow was later arrested and charged with first-degree burglary as well as being held on $50,000 bail. 

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Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)

Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today. 

Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.

He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do. 

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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Elijah McGuire had what looked like being a breakout performance against the Jaguars in Week 4, when he racked up 131 yards on 12 touches, including a spectacular 69-yard touchdown run. However, that breakout never fully materialized as he struggled to produce much over the rest of the year, other than the occasional flash. Will he be able to earn a more significant role in 2018?

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Wesley Johnson
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Dylan Donahue will be hoping to bounce back after a rookie season that was cut short by injury and an offseason which saw him dealing with off-field issues. The coaching staff has been high on his potential, but he didn't really get much of a chance to deliver on that yet.

Preseason stats: Three games, four tackles, 0.5 sacks
Regular-season stats: Four games, five tackles
Projected role: Situational pass rusher

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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