The Jets added three players to their active roster via waiver claims yesterday. Jets fans might not know much about these players, so I'm going to look at them in detail and investigate what they could bring to the table. The first of these is former Dolphins wideout and kick returner Clyde Gates.

Gates is perhaps the best known of the three players the Jets picked up. The speedster out of Alibene Christian was drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins last year and there was plenty of buzz surrounding his potential to help the team in his rookie season. In the end, he didn't produce much and the incoming coaching staff didn't take to him immediately. With limited preseason playing time he was unable to make it onto the final roster.

After the jump, we'll look at his performances from preseason (last year and this year) and the 2011 regular season.

2011 Preseason

Week One: Atlanta

Gates was used as the primary kick returner, got a couple of chances to return punts and got reps at receiver with the second unit. His two kick returns netted just 38 yards, but both came on short kicks, so he got out past the 20 each time, spinning out of a tackle for a few extra yards on the second one. On his first punt return he made a nice cut to get seven yards, but the play was negated by a penalty. He later misjudged the flight on a punt and almost muffed it, moving out of the way at the last minute as the ball bounced at the 15 and rolled inside the ten. As a receiver, he was targeted on two deep balls in the second quarter, burning his man by a step on the first one which was slightly overthrown. The second one was not even close. He made an impact in the third, catching a 17 yard pass on a 4th-and-7 post pattern with a defender draped all over him and then making a jumping catch at the back of the endzone for a six yard touchdown.

Week Two: Carolina

Gates didn't achieve much in this game with no catches on three targets, a rush for minus yardage, a kickoff return where he was nailed before he got back to the 20 and one punt return for ten yards. However, he did also draw a late hit penalty on that punt return after making the first man miss. On the rush, he actually did well to almost get back to the line of scrimmage because a defensive lineman penetrated deep into the backfield to blow the play up. Two of the incompletions came as he beat his man deep but the pass was overthrown. The third was a miscommunication where he ran deep but the quarterback threw to his back shoulder.

Game Three: Tampa Bay

Gates didn't return any kicks in this one, but was targeted six times. However, he caught just two passes for 15 yards. Of the four incompletions, one was just off his fingertips on a deep throw off a three step drop. The other three were inaccurate passes, although he was open on all three - one deep, one over the middle and one as he came back to the ball. His first catch went for six yards and a first down as he made a leaping catch and held on despite a big hit. The other saw him catch the ball on a quick hitch and turn upfield for nine yards. He also had a false start.

Game Four: Dallas

Gates didn't play much in this one, his roster spot already secured. He was thrown to twice - the first being ruled a lateral as he took the ball in the flat for a five yard run. The second one saw him finally catch a deep ball as he beat his man by a clear two steps for a 42 yard gain.

Summary

Gates caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, rushed twice for two yards, returned three kickoffs for 63 yards and two punts for 12 yards. He was actually targeted 14 times, although many of these were downfield throws where he was open but the throw was inaccurate. When that happens, you have to wonder about the accuracy of his route running, but it was definitely apparent he was drawing attention from the deep safety.

2011 Regular Season

As the season got underway, Gates started off as the primary kick returner. He held this job for most of the year. He returned punts in week three only and averaged just under 10 snaps per game as a receiver.

Week One: New England

As a kick returner, Gates ran one kick back out to near the 50 with a great burst of speed, but it was negated by a penalty. On one other kick return, he leapt through a gap to get out to the 25.

Week Two: Houston

Gates was targeted twice - dropping a pass on a quick slant (although he felt he had been held) and drawing a pass interference flag on a deep ball where he burned Kareem Jackson and the ball was just off his fingertips. As a kick returner, he exploited a big hole to make a 39-yard runback, but also got caught running laterally and stuffed at his own eight. He also returned three punts for 32 yards.

Week Three: Cleveland

In this game, he was targeted once, going deep against Joe Haden and making a leaping grab, but coming down well out of bounds. He also caused an illegal formation penalty by lining up in the wrong spot. As a kick return man, he made a cut and spun out of a tackle for 27 yards, but that one was called back. He did get to the outside on another kick and was knocked out of bounds at the 39 with a penalty added on.

Week Four: San Diego

Gates made his first career catch in this game, grabbing an eight yard pass on an out pattern for a first down. However, he also got stuffed at his own ten yard line on another kick return.

Week Six: Jets

Following the bye week, Gates was once again stuffed inside his own 20, this time at the 14. His role reduced over the next few weeks and he wasn't significantly involved.

Week Ten: Washington

Something I wasn't expecting to see here - some good blocking from Gates, as he made a cut block from the slot to enable Brandon Marshall to pick up 15 on a wide receiver screen. He also added 30 yards on a kick return as he fought for a few extra yards at the end of the play.

Week 12: Dallas

More good blocking here, as he engaged with a cornerback on a downfield block and drove him out of the play, enabling Reggie Bush to gain 14 yards to the outside. Gates also caught an 11 yard pass as the defender gave him a big cushion on an out pattern on 1st and 20. He added a 32 yard kick return where he initially hesitated, but still got to the outside.

Week 13: Oakland

In the highlight of Gates' career so far, he returned a kickoff 77 yards with a great burst through two gaps, although he did benefit from what looked like it could have been an illegal block in the back. He was pushed out of bounds inside the 25. Gates also got the ball on an end around, making a good cut and spinning out of a tackle to pick up four yards.

Weeks 14 to 17

Gates had one decent kick return over each of the next three weeks, breaking a tackle on one (27 yards), driving tacklers for a few extra yards on another (30 yards) and breaking into the open field only to get tripped by a kicker on the last one (33 yards). However, in week 16 he was also stuffed inside his 20 once and in the last game it happened again as the Jets got him down at the 11.

Summary

After showing all that preseason promise, Gates had a disappointing year, production-wise, with just two catches for 19 yards on ten targets (including 0-for-5 on passes beyond 20 yards). However, he did average a creditable 24.8 yards per kickoff return, despite showing some questionable decision making.

2012 Preseason

The preseason did not begin well for Gates. Amidst questions about whether the new coaching staff liked him, he fell down the depth chart and didn't play in the first game. He did get some time in the last three games and was quoted as saying he felt confident he'd be on the roster because he'd had a good camp, only to be waived a couple of days later.

Week Two: Carolina

Gates was targeted three times in the third quarter. The first two were incomplete as he juggled the ball at the sideline on an out pattern and the timing was completely off on the second one. The third saw him create some positive yardage as he was interfered with when he easily beat the defender deep. In the fourth quarter, he caught his first pass on a quick throw to him on the outside as he broke a tackle and cut back to the middle for nine yards.

Week Three: Atlanta

In this game, Gates had a 17 yard catch and an 11 yard run in the second half. The catch saw him stop his route and make the catch, then run for some extra yards, while he had loads of room on the end around. He was targeted twice earlier on, making a leaping grab on a deep ball but coming down out of bounds on one and breaking up a potential pick-six on the other as the defender jumped the route on a throw out to the flat.

Week Four: Dallas

In his last chance to make a case, Gates didn't get many opportunities to prove himself. He was targeted once in the first half, but the ball was low and underthrown downfield. In the fourth quarter, he did catch a pass on a play where he lined up at fullback on the right side and leaked out into the flat on the left. That gained seven yards.

Summary:

With limited opportunities to perform, Gates caught three passes for 33 yards on eight targets and rushed once for 11 yards.

Conclusions

The inevitable comparison people will make is to David Clowney. Gates, almost exactly the same height and weight, is a deep threat who seems prone to mistakes, is raw as a route runner and may have minor character concerns. Like Clowney, he might not have an ideal attitude or build for a special teams role other than as a kick returner, although as least he has some experience of returning kicks at the NFL level, which Clowney did not. Another underrated aspect of Clowney's game was his blocking and there were a few flashes of that from Gates here.

One thing I'm wondering about is if this is a very short term move with Joe McKnight's status up in the air for week one. Did the Jets bring Gates in to return kickoffs until McKnight gets back and nothing more?

While he showed some signs of mental errors in the return game, Gates was still pretty productive and could thrive running behind Mike Westhoff's blocking schemes.

However, Tony Sparano is obviously very familiar with him, so I'd expect they have bigger plans for him than just returning kicks. As a receiver, over the course of the two preseasons and one regular season, Gates caught just 10 of 34 passes. While a high percentage of these were deep balls, so you would expect a low success rate, that's below 30%. Having said that, on a number of these he was wide open and the throw was just inaccurate. Maybe Mark Sanchez would have more success connecting with him down the field. He was definitely able to beat starter-level players deep, so could stretch the field just with the threat of getting deep.

This is a move for a player with undoubted upside, but whose career seems to have stalled at the moment. If he gets a shot, he could be the source of some chunk plays this season, but it seems clear his game needs a little refining.

I'll be back with a look at Konrad Reuland and Isaako Aaitui later.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

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."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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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.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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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. 

Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
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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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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

After the Jets missed out on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency this offseason, the team almost had more cap space than they knew what to do with. 

They gave some of that money to QB Teddy Bridgewater, but they handed the most to CB Trumaine Johnson, who inked a big five-year, $73 million contract with the Jets. 

Johnson played for the Rams his entire career but was free to leave this offseason after the team acquired Aqib Talib, Sam Shields and  Marcus Peters. As the top corner on the market, he had options. But he chose to sign with the Jets to win games...

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are continuing to try and impact the community, as Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, along with QB Josh McCown, LT Kelvin Beachum and former Jets LB Demario Davis, sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for bail reform.

The letter was not only addressed to Cuomo, but also to the speaker of the house and the senate president. It brings up several points that the Jets hope lawmakers will take into account.

 

Some of the points raised are...

Tags: Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)

With two NFL seasons in the books, Jets LB Jordan Jenkins knows what he needs to do to set himself apart in his third year: finish sacks. 

Jenkins was always known as a great run stopper, using his speed to scale sideline to sideline. However, the pass rush has been an element of his game that has been inconsistent. 

In his rookie season, Jenkins totaled 2.5 sacks while accumulating three in 2017. It might be progress, but those numbers don't jump off the page. That is why Jenkins is ready to set himself apart this season by making sure to get the quarterback to the ground, and ultimately, show people how dominant he can really be on the field.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Free agent S JJ Wilcox took a flight to New Jersey on Tuesday night, confirmed SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and the Jets' signing of Wilcox became official on Wednesday, with the Jets waiving LB Freddie Bishop

Wilcox flew to New Jersey just hours after rejecting the 49ers at the last minute, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. One source told Schefter that Wilcox "flipped" after he was at the 49ers' offices to sign with them, and wanted to instead play for the Jets under head coach Todd Bowles.

Another source told Schefter that "he got stage fright." 

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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

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.

What the Jets' coaching staff will hope to see from tight end Jordan Leggett this season hasn't really changed from a year ago, because he didn't get a chance to suit up during the season. He's therefore not had a chance to showcase his blocking, route-running or pass catching skills, other than in preseason.

Preseason Stats: Three games, five catches for 40 yards.
Regular Season Stats: Zero games played.
Projected Role: Reserve tight end.

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Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs between New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) and outside linebacker Erin Henderson (58) during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports  (Mark Konezny)
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs between New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) and outside linebacker Erin Henderson (58) during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)

Jets S Rontez Miles is expected to miss three-to-four months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, confirms SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Along with Miles, the current safeties on the Jets' roster are Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Terrence Brooks, and Doug Middleton

Miles, 29, came off the bench in 13 games for the Jets last season after appearing in all 16 games (including four starts) for them in 2016.

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets LB Jordan Jenkins was among the many athletes displeased with President Donald Trump's decision to disinvite the Eagles from visiting the White House to acknowledge their Super Bowl victory this past season. 

Jenkins spoke after the Jets' OTA on Tuesday, and said he isn't sure if President Trump felt disrespected. But it still wasn't the right thing to do because the visit could have been more than just an acknowledge of the victory. 

"In my mind, I think it's immature when you do something like that," Jenkins told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "That's an immature thing to do...

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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)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Jets have created plenty of big headlines this offseason, but the news hasn't always been so good. Over the past year alone, four Jets players have been arrested a total of six times, three for driving while intoxicated. That's a terrible look for the Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles regime.

But it's not a sign that their disciplinary process is faulty -- at least not according to Bowles. In fact, the Jets coach insisted on Tuesday that despite the rash of arrests "Our disciplinary process is fine."

"There's nothing wrong with the disciplinary process," Bowles said. "The arrests are going to happen and you deal with them as they come."

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Sam Darnold throws deep at OTAs 00:00:12
Check out Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold celebrating his 21st birthday by throwing a beautiful bomb at OTAs today!

Jets QB Sam Darnold's 21st birthday was on Tuesday, and he celebrated by throwing bombs to his teammates at OTAs. 

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