Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal. Johnson is a well-known player with whom most NFL fans will be familiar. However, it's still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He's a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Chris Johnson?

The 5'11" 203-pound Johnson wasn't a highly touted collegiate player as he was better known for his kick returning abilities until his senior year when he broke out with a 1,400 yard season. However, his 4.24 forty yard dash at the 2008 scouting combine definitely turned heads. Still, it was a surprise when the Titans selected him 24th in the draft, but many experts were left eating their words when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, leading them to the postseason.

In 2009, Johnson had an incredible season, rushing for over 2,000 yards at an average of 5.6 per carry and setting an NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season. While he hasn't approached those kind of numbers since then, Johnson has still rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons and hasn't missed a game in his entire six-year career. In 2013, he had career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage, but it emerged after the season that he'd played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. He still managed to rush for 1,077 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Let's look at Johnson's numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Six seasons

96 games

1,742 carries, 7.965 yards, 50 touchdowns (4.6 ypc)

272 catches, 2,003 yards, eight touchdowns

78% catch rate (including preseason games)

18 career fumbles (13 lost)

240 broken tackles, including 39 as a receiver

11 penalties committed

68 20+ yard runs

18 40+ yard runs

Seven sacks, seven hits and 41 hurries surrendered in 576 pass block snaps

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2013 season:

Usage - The first thing to note is that Johnson plays all three downs. The Titans would sometimes spell him for a series here and there, but there were three games where he missed less than 10 snaps overall (including one where he missed just two). In 2012 there had been five games where he missed five or fewer snaps. This, when coupled with the fact that he didn't miss any games yet in his career, and also that he was playing hurt last year, shows some impressive durability.

In terms of how he was used, Johnson was a tailback most of the time, as you'd expect. However, when the Titans would go five wide, he'd stay in the game and usually line up out wide. He had 50 snaps as a receiver out wide and a handful in the slot.

Running Ability - Johnson's track record speaks for itself, but the biggest question mark surrounding his move to the Jets is whether he's losing some of that breakaway ability that made his so productive in his early years. The numbers don't look great, with a yards per carry average of less than four for the first time in his career in 2013 and a long run of just 30 yards.

However, Johnson was still pretty dynamic in the open field; The Titans just struggled to get him into those situations very often. As evidence that he can still be a "home run hitter" I submit this 58-yard touchdown run from preseason:

...and this spectacular 66-yard catch and run from the regular season:

In addition, in 2012, Johnson broke three runs of 80 yards or longer, without which his yards per carry average would have been just 3.6 yards per carry, so in 2013 he was arguably more consistent in terms of picking up yardage.

There were some encouraging performances from midseason onwards that suggest Johnson still has some gas in the tank. Against the Rams, he broke several long runs on his way to 150 yards and two scores and it's also encouraging that he had one of his better games (127 yards and two scores) on the final day of the season. All told, Johnson averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the last 10 games. There was also a game against the Colts on Thursday night football where he ran for 70 yards and two scores in the first quarter (on eight carries) but then only managed 14 more yards on nine carries and a catch the rest of the way.

When at his best, Johnson has tremendous acceleration and makes good reads and sharp cuts. He also isn't afraid to lower his head to fight for tough yardage, especially near the goal line. However, at this stage of his career, it does seem like he needs a few extra inches of daylight to get up to speed.

Pass Protection - Since he plays every down, Johnson is obviously called upon to pass protect quite a lot. It's important that he's comfortable in that role and his pass protection numbers are not too bad. However, I'd definitely stop short of calling him any kind of specialist in that role and would question how much of an upgrade he'd be over the inconsistent Bilal Powell or the improving Chris Ivory in pass protection.

Johnson did make several missteps as a pass blocker and was more often than not used as a safety valve instead. On a couple of plays, he seemed a bit tentative when picking up the blitz, although maybe that was connected to him not having complete confidence in his bothersome knee.

Receiving Threat - Johnson has always been a productive receiver, so he does have that ability which is certainly something Marty Mornhinweg offenses have looked to exploit in the past. We know that Mornhinweg strives to get his playmakers the ball in space, so that could be a good way of extra getting production out of Johnson. Johnson was one of the league leaders in yards after the catch last season, but his YAC per catch was higher than his overall yards per catch average which tells you that he was catching a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Despite his good numbers, Johnson is somewhat limited as a weapon in the passing game. In the past two seasons, he has caught just one pass more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, on this play where he was covered in the flat but broke off downfield on an improvised route as the quarterback bought some time. As you'd imagine, basically all of his production comes from screen passes and underneath dump-offs. However, as LaDainian Tomlinson showed in 2010, you can add an extra dimension to the offense (and help a young quarterback have some easy success to develop rhythm) just by doing that - and this is an area where Powell and Ivory have struggled to contribute.

Hands - With so many dump-off passes, it's not surprising that Johnson has a high catch rate and not too many drops. He dropped four passes last year and three the year before that. It was poor concentration that was to blame for most of these, as he does look comfortable catching these easy passes most of the time. I didn't find any examples of him making tough catches, but then again he wasn't called upon to do so.

Fumbles - Johnson's fumble rate isn't too bad. He had three last season, two as the ball was punched out as he hit the hole and one on a freak play where he got trapped in the backfield and tried to reverse his field and got nailed from behind. There were also one or two fumbled hand-offs which were attributed to the quarterback.

Short Yardage - Johnson isn't a power back, but does still have some success in short yardage situations, usually on the kind of one-cut zone plays that Mornhinweg also uses. As noted, though, he will fight and drive for extra yardage at times.

Special Teams - Johnson does not play on special teams. Despite being a good return man in college, he has had just one kick return for 17 yards and that was in his rookie season.

Instincts - Johnson shows good instincts as a runner and in downfield blocking situations, although there will be times where he has nowhere to go and dances around behind the line looking for a gap to emerge rather than just falling into the line to take what the defense gives him. The touchdown reception linked to above was a good veteran play showing good instincts in the passing game, but we didn't see much more of that kind of thing.

Attitude - There are some questions over Johnson's attitude although he has been saying all the right things since arriving. He held out over money and griped over his touches in the past, which could be an issue considering part of his contract is made up of yardage incentives. Other sources have queried his effort and said that he looks out for the big play, occasionally to the detriment of the overall gameplan, but who knows how accurate these reports are? From the footage, he seems like a popular teammate who gets fired up about making plays to help the team.

Injuries - As noted, Johnson hasn't missed a game yet in his NFL career, but does have major red flags over the condition of his knee. Still, he passed physicals with both the Jets and Titans and finished the 2013 season on a high, so hopefully that's something that won't hold him back come September.

You can't help thinking back to Curtis Martin, who gutted the way through the 2005 season with a knee injury and was on course for 1,000 yards or thereabouts when they shut him down with four games to go. In 2006, Martin wasn't ready in time for camp and was forced to retire. Sometimes, when running backs start to have issues, the downfall is swift and sudden. Martin was five years older than Johnson is now in 2006 though.

Conclusions

Johnson is a big name and while there may be fears over how much longer (if at all) he can perform at an elite level, the Jets are getting him on a reasonable level contract and won't be entirely reliant on him to carry the load.

From the footage, I was encouraged to see that Johnson still has the burst and open-field quickness he has relied upon to become one of the league's better backs. While he didn't break as many long gains, he does still possess the ability to get out to the second level and is dangerous when he does that.

Marty Mornhinweg's offense does require backs who can produce in the passing game and protect the quarterback and while I've said that Johnson might not be all he's advertised to be in those areas, his experience and competence in either role is valuable.

While Johnson will compete for a role and most likely end up splitting carries with Chris Ivory, the obvious comparison to look at is Tomlinson, who joined the Jets coming off a career-worst year and rejuvenated his career (improving his yards per carry average from 3.3 in his final season with the Chargers to 4.2 with the Jets). While the offensive line took a lot of the credit for that, this was the year where Matt Slauson was a first year starter and Damien Woody went down injured to be replaced by Wayne Hunter, so they were hardly at their best. I'd instead attribute Tomlinson's success to the fact he had a reduced workload and was able to remain fresh much deeper into the season. That's something that could benefit Johnson too.

In terms of whether Johnson will benefit from the Jets offensive line being better than the Titans were last year, I wouldn't automatically assume that to be the case. The Titans are not a bad run blocking team and I'd put last year's Jets team on about the same level. However, if the Jets can get improved play from the left guard position, their line should improve substantially this year and that will give Johnson a good chance to have some success.

We'll return to looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the season with a look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes in a few days...

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Aug 1, 2016; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano instructs his team in drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Kluckhohn)
Aug 1, 2016; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano instructs his team in drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Kluckhohn)

Former Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano passed away unexpectedly on Monday at age 56. 

Sparano, who has been with the Vikings as their offensive line coach for the past two seasons, joined the Jets in 2012 to be the head of their offense. Before that, he spent three seasons as the Dolphins' head coach from 2008-11. 

Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf made a statement that paid homage to Sparano's energetic nature and passionate personality for the game of football.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets WR ArDarius Stewart is facing a two-game suspension for a violation of the performance enhancing drugs policy, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com

The 24-year-old Stewart, who the Jets selected in the third round in the 2017 Draft, started two games last season. He reeled in six catches for 82 yards and rushed seven times for 27 yards.

Stewart projects as a depth piece for the Jets, behind Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor, and Chad Hansen...

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Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; General overall view of Camping World Stadium during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the 2018 Pro Bowl between the AFC and the NFC. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; General overall view of Camping World Stadium during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the 2018 Pro Bowl between the AFC and the NFC. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL and NFLPA have reached a 'standstill agreement' on the league's revised anthem policy, the two sides announced in a joint statement. 

The NFL announced earlier this offseason that required players to stand if they were to leave the locker room for the national anthem. The two sides will continue to talk, though no new rules will be issued in the imminent future.

"The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue," the statement read. "In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing."

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Bilal Powell (29) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Bilal Powell (29) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we broke down the quarterback battle, which is sure to headline training camp this year for the Jets. Let's break down the other battles for starting roles and consider the candidates at each spot.

Running back - Bilal Powell v Isaiah Crowell

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Leggett, Lorenzo Mauldin, Morris Claiborne, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor
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What is Revis' legacy? 00:01:09
Daily News Live panelist Sal Licata discusses why fans should question Darrelle Revis' legacy after a poor second stint with the Jets.

Revis Island is no more. Jets great Darrelle Revis is retiring after an 11-year career, including eight years spent with New York (2007-2012, 2015-2016).

The league's top corner during his prime, the 33-year-old Revis said "my passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term 'shutdown corner' which was nearly on the verge of extinction."

Revis had 25 interceptions during his Jets career, and 29 overall. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Danny Abriano
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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The new NFL season is almost here, and the Jets are preparing for it at training camp next week.

The team released their training camp schedule on Wednesday with four dates that the public are allowed to spectate. Those dates are July 29 and Aug. 18-19 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center as well as the Green & White scrimmage at Rutgers University on Aug. 4. 

Gang Green will also be shipping down to Richmond, VA for joint practice sessions with the Washington Redskins on Aug. 12-14. Camp will break after the MetLife Bowl against the Giants in Week 3 of preseason games. 

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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)

Gang Green is one of the top teams in the NFL making green.

According to Forbes, the Jets are valued at $2.75 billion, making them the eighth-most valuable NFL franchise in 2018. They also come in at 21st overall in the world. 

The Jets, though, saw the biggest fall on the top 50 list. They moved down eight spots from last year's rankings.

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Will Le'Veon Bell be a Jet? 00:00:54
Jon Hein breaks down why current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will not be a New York Jet come the 2019 NFL season.

On Loud Mouths, Jon Hein breaks down why current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will not be a New York Jet come the 2019 NFL season.

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 conclude with a look at the defensive line position.

Probable roster locks

The Jets are counting on Leonard Williams to bounce back from a disappointing and injury-plagued 2017 campaign and also to adopt more of a leadership role now Muhammad Wilkerson is gone. Williams will be looking to ramp up his statistical production as he was less dominant last season and has only recorded three sacks in his last 25 games.

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon
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Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)
Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets announced they signed safety Brandon Bryant on Monday.

Bryant, a 5-foot-11, 207-pound defensive back who played in 37 games at Mississippi State, was not selected in the NFL's supplemental draft last week.

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New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)
New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)

The Jets are releasing oft-injured WR Devin Smith, who they selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2015.

During his Jets tenure, Smith played in just 14 of a possible 48 games, with 10 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown.

He said earlier this offseason that he hoped he was ready to make an impact after suffering ACL injuries. 

Tags: Devin Smith
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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets quarterback position is always closely scrutinized, with controversies dreamed up even when the team is adamant none should exist. If the team says it's an open competition, everyone suspects they'll hand the job to their favorite. When they say their choice gives them the best chance to win, nobody agrees. Even if they name a starter and give him all the starter reps, the tendency is for everyone to assume they must be lying.

This year is different though. There's a real competition, drawing justified attention on a local and national level because it's completely wide open.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo thinks Jets rookie Sam Darnold has potential to be a "special" quarterback, but said he didn't like his throwing mechanics.

"I think the kid the Jets drafted has a lot of magic in his game,'' McAdoo told the New York Post's Paul Schwartz. "I think he's special. He's obviously a talented guy, he can make plays with his feet. I'd just have a hard time drafting a guy in the first round where you don't necessarily like the way he throws."

Darnold, who played two seasons at USC, threw for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions with five fumbles as a sophomore in 2016. Last season, he threw for more yards (3,787), but fewer touchdowns (26) and more interceptions (12) and fumbles (seven). The turnovers, McAdoo believes, had a negative impact on his perspective.

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Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 today with a look at the cornerback position.

Probable Roster Locks

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)
Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)

The Jets are expected to sign Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Bryant, 22, worked out for about half the teams in the league in June, but wasn't selected during Wednesday's Supplemental Draft.

Off the field, Bryant was charged with a DUI in January of 2017. But his potential was too much for the Jets to pass up...

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Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 11th, with a realistic possibility of multiple players being selected for the first time in years.

Could the Jets be considering making a selection? And could they target Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, who is potentially the best Supplemental Draft prospect ever?

The Supplemental Draft accommodates players who did not enter the draft. Such players have usually been rendered ineligible to play college football in the following season due to off-field or academic issues and, as such, teams are often reluctant to give up a pick. The last player selected was Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, who the Rams picked in the fifth round three years. Battle has yet to play in an NFL game.

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Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

EA Sports released its highly-anticipated Madden NFL 19 ratings on Tuesday, and Jets fans won't be happy to see where their team landed on the list. 

Gang Green came in dead last among all 32 NFL teams with a 72 overall rating. The ratings do change based off team performance throughout the year. 

The highest-rated player on the team is S Jamal Adams, who is coming off a stellar rookie season. He has an 86 overall rating, which is 11th among qualifying safeties. Wide receiver Robby Anderson and DE Leonard Williams both have 84 overall ratings while Jermaine Kearse (83) and Steve McClendon (83) round out the top five. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 tight ends.

Probable roster locks

It's tempting to suggest that there are no tight ends currently on the Jets roster whose spot is safe. However, Jets coaches give the impression that Eric Tomlinson's blocking is a major asset that the other tight ends on the roster would struggle to replicate. Tomlinson helped his chances of earning a starting role by flashing an ability to leak out and make an occasional big play in the passing game, but should remain on the roster as a blocking specialist in any case.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier, Jordan Leggett, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Josh McCown knows he's not New York's long-term solution under center, but he believes No. 3 pick Sam Darnold is rightfully the heir.

"With Sam, we have the right guy," McCown said on an interview with Sirius XM over the weekend. "He's wired the right way, he loves the game, he asks the right questions and he's willing to work … That's the foundation, you have to have that," McCown said.

The Jets traded three second-round picks to move up three spots from No. 6 to No. 3, where the USC quarterback ultimately fell to them. Darnold has impressed several people early on, including offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who said Darnold has handled everything the team has thrown at him so far. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)
Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)

President Donald Trump, who last season referred to NFL players who kneel in protest during the anthem as "sons of bitches," wondered aloud Thursday if the league's new policy is worse than the old one. Trump also bashed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and claimed ratings are down in part because of "the flag."

"If you don't respect the flag or you don't like the country or whatever it is just go into the locker room," Trump said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "Just go into the locker room. I think in many respects that's worse. Isn't that worse than having them not standing?"

Under the new anthem policy, all team and league personnel on the field must "stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or a similar location off the field until its conclusion...

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 today with a look at the edge defenders.

Probable Roster Locks

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets QB Sam Darnold was the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft but is the fourth best rookie quarterback according to EA Sports' Madden 19. 

Darnold's rating is a 75, good enough to make the top five of rookie quarterbacks. He's ahead of Bills QB Josh Allen (74), but is trailing Cardinals' QB Josh Rosen (78), Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (79) and Browns QB Baker Mayfield (81). 

Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick of this year's draft while Allen was No. 7, Rosen was No. 10 and Jackson No. 32. 

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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 QB Sam Darnold is still getting accustomed to the hustle and bustle of New York City. The West Coast kid does, however, have some favorites in the Big Apple. 

When it comes to baseball, Darnold will always show love to his LA Dodgers. But, if he had to choose between New York's teams -- the Mets and Yankees -- he would stay in the National League. 

"I'm a Dodgers fan, so it's kinda tough," Darnold said in an NFL video. "But Mets, definitely Mets."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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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)

It is a feat many try, but fail to succeed. And no, it isn't climbing Mount Everest. 

However, the stakes seem to be as high as the infamous mountain for the Jets' latest offensive coordinator in Jeremy Bates. The job security for his newest title in the Jets' organization is one of high volatility. 

Going back to Brian Schottenheimer last season before he was fired in 2011, the Jets have had six offensive coordinators in eight years. But Bates is ready to change the narrative. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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 today with a look at the offensive linemen.

Probable Roster Locks: 

Tags: Wesley Johnson
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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

How many single-season leaders across all major categories can you name for the Jets? Click below to test your knowledge in the quiz.

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

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

Probable Roster Locks

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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)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets made six draft picks and have brought in 10 undrafted free agents. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

Only official rookies qualify for this list. While you would need a certain level of playing time to lose your rookie status in baseball, the NFL determines rookie status solely by when you were drafted. Therefore, cornerbacks Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark and Xavier Coleman, who all saw brief action even though they only played three defensive snaps between them, are no longer rookies.

Even a Ben Simmons-style rookie who didn't see any action in his rookie season doesn't count as a rookie under NFL rules, so that rules out offensive lineman Ben Braden - who spent the year on the Jets' practice squad - and kicker Taylor Bertolet, who the Jets' site erroneously lists as a rookie even though he played for the Rams in preseason last year.

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New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)
New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)

To all NFL Fans, they would say their team's faithful are the best in the league. However, Dr. Michael Lewis of Emory's Goizueta Business School created a statistical model to calculate exactly which fan base is the best in the NFL.

Lewis' model has three different factors that go into the calculation. First, there is "Fan Equity" that calculates how much fans spend on their team, both in tickets and apparel. Next, there is "Social Equity" which totals fans following their team on social media, and that is followed by "Road Equity" which calculates fans traveling with their team on the road. 

Based off Lewis' model, the Jets come in a No. 15 on the list of the 32 NFL teams. 

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles made a cameo on the Netflix series Luke Cage, about a man with super strength and unbreakable skin that was caused by a sabotaged experiment.

In the episode, Cage works out for Bowles, with the often-reserved coach saying "Let's see what you're made of Cage. Let's go" 

Click below to watch...

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