On Friday, the Jets announced that they had claimed running back Daryl Richardson off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. Jets fans might not know too much about Richardson, so I'll be looking at game footage to try and determine what he brings to the table.

Richardson is a 24-year old former 7th round pick, who has accumulated 974 yards from scrimmage in two NFL seasons. He was a backup as a rookie but won a starting job in 2013. However, he was dealing with a toe injury that affected his performance and eventually cut his season short after eight games. Richardson was waived by the Rams last week, after they had drafted Tre Mason in the third round of the draft. With Richardson out, another rookie - Zac Stacy - had established himself as worthy of a full time role alongside Isaiah Pead, making Richardson surplus to requirements.

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

Who is Daryl Richardson?

The 5'10" 196-pound Richardson - a cousin of Jets wide receiver Clyde Gates - started to make a name for himself after transferring to Alibene Christian. He really started to get some draft buzz after an impressive performance at their pro day, where he ran a 4.47 forty yard dash and displayed a 40.5" vertical jump. Even more impressively, he had a 135" broad jump - more than any player at this year's scouting combine.

The Rams selected him in the 7th round and put him in a competition with his fellow rookie Pead to back up Steven Jackson. Richardson responded well, earning some good playing time from the start and eventually averaging 4.8 yards per carry and catching 24 passes. In 2013, the Rams let Jackson go and allowed Richardson and Pead to compete for a starting role. Richardson won the role, but struggled with a toe injury all year and was limited to eight appearances and 3.1 yards per carry.

Richardson was expected to compete with Pead, Mason and Stacy for a role in camp, but the Rams decided to let him go now instead.

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

The Numbers

Two seasons

16 games (three starts)

167 carries, 690 yards (4.1 ypc)

38 catches, 284 yards (7.5 ypc)

78% catch rate

Three career fumbles (two lost)

24 broken tackles, including eight as a receiver

One penalty committed

Four 20+ yard runs

Two 40+ yard runs

Two sacks, two hits and seven pressures surrendered in 67 pass block snaps

Note: Some stats from this article are exclusively provided by Pro Football Focus.

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2012 and 2013 seasons:

Usage - Richardson, as noted, did start three games. When not starting, he was always used in a rotational role rather than entering the game as a third down back. He did, however, see work in the two-minute offense at times. He was mostly employed in the backfield, only going into the slot or out wide a handful of times in each season.

Running Ability - When you watch highlights of Richardson, most of his bigger runs come when he uses his burst and acceleration to turn the corner on the outside. However, that burst can also get him to the second level on runs between the tackles. He doesn't have great size and won't break a ton of tackles, but he can make an effective side-step at the second level and seems to read his blocks well.

Although he has that speed to break a long run, I'd question whether he has true breakaway speed because of his lack of touchdowns and the fact that he was caught from behind on most of his longer runs. He did score once in a preseason game as a rookie and also found the end zone on a two-point conversion in his second NFL game.

Richardson doesn't have a lot of power, but on those runs where he can build up some momentum, he'll often finish the run by falling forward, especially when tackled by a defensive back.

Pass Protection - While he does lack ideal size, Richardson only gave up two sacks in pass protection in his first two seasons. He had one major issue as a rookie and that was that whenever he was to be targeted for a dump-off underneath, he often did a poor job of slowing down any blitzers, which meant that the quarterback didn't have time to get the ball to him. He seemed to have corrected that in his second year, but did still give up some pressure with a missed pick-up, a couple of plays where a pass rusher blew past him on the outside and by being rocked back off his spot by a blitzer a few times.

Receiving Threat - Like many of the players the Jets have targeted since Marty Mornhinweg's arrival, Richardson can do some damage if you get the ball to him in space. However, virtually all of his contributions come on dump-offs and checkdowns. There were two exceptions, one of which was in preseason. On one of those plays, he was initially covered in the flat, but then broke down the sideline when the quarterback rolled out to avoid pressure and gained 17. On the other, he basically ran a wheel route before AJ Hawk could get across and made a catch downfield for 24.

Hands - Richardson doesn't look uncomfortable catching the ball, but has dropped five passes in two seasons. He had two drops in 2012 (one due to concentration) and three in 2013, but what's interesting about the drops in 2013 - especially in light of the comments above - was the fact that two of them didn't come from with him in the backfield. One was a crosser from the slot and the other was a shallow square-in (basically a screen pass) from out wide. His inexperience in these roles showed on those two plays but that was obviously something they'd worked on with him to improve his versatility. His other drop was a costly one though, as you can see here.

Fumbles - Richardson had three fumbles as a rookie - two as a runner and one as a receiver. Two of these were lost but the other bounced out of bounds. He did not fumble in year two. Two of the fumbles saw the ball stripped from his hands as he did a poor job of protecting it. The other was on a helmet-to-elbow bullseye by LaRon Landry, which I would say is easier to excuse. He did seem to protect the ball better in year two.

Short Yardage - Richardson won't be used in short yardage situations too often, but his burst can be an asset in such situations if you spread out the defense. He did have some short yardage conversions, but all of them saw him make a good cut or accelerate in the hole rather than use power.

Special Teams - Richardson doesn't have experience as a kick returner and didn't play on special teams at all so far in the NFL, although he has indicated that he would be willing to do so.

Instincts - Richardson does seem to make pretty good reads and the fact that a lot of those came on simple one-cut plays doesn't matter because it should fit in with how the Jets play. The fact his average yards per carry dropped so much in his second season can be at least partially attributed to his injuries and there were a lot of plays where he didn't have anywhere to go. He did show good instincts on that one play where he ran downfield for a catch, but in pass protection his decision making would often leave a lot to be desired. A few times, he had two blitzers coming at him and rather than picking up the first guy to do what he could to buy some time, he hesitated and ended up letting them both beat him on either side.

Injuries - As noted, Richardson was dealing with a turf toe injury throughout 2013, which reportedly limited his acceleration (perhaps his best asset) and his ability to plant and cut. In the second half of the season, he still practiced with the team right up to week 17 but was inactive on game days and ended up the year with a thigh injury, which may have been a cascade injury resulting from the toe. No surgery was planned for his toe as it was expected rest would fix the problem. He had been healthy in 2012.

Conclusions

Ordinarily when evaluating a player, I'll pay closest attention to the most recent game footage. However, as Richardson was dealing with an injury last season, it may be that the action from his rookie season will provide a more accurate approximation of Richardson's current capabilities. The Jets will be hoping that this is the case, especially given his better production in that season.

The thing that stands out is the drop-off in terms of yards per carry. In fact, Richardson - despite not being listed with any injuries - struggled at the end of his rookie season, so the reduction is even more pronounced if you compare his first 13 games (5.5 yards per carry) with that of his 11 games since then (2.8).

However, it's easy to get caught up in that and miss the fact that Richardson did make some strides in his second season. First of all, he set career highs in most snaps (62) and carries (20), displaying an ability to handle a starter's workload (although this was in the game where he first injured his toe). He also had a five catch game for the first time in his career, then had another the following week. He also caught a pass more than 10 yards downfield for the first time a regular season game, gaining 17. Prior to that, all his receptions were dump-offs or checkdowns. In addition, he didn't fumble, having done so three times as a rookie. Finally, he increased the percentage of time that he was trusted to stay in for pass protection (from 11% of all snaps or 18% of all pass plays as a rookie to 16% of all snaps or 26% of all pass plays).

With the Rams four deep at the position, it's perhaps not surprising to hear that Richardson was squeezed out, although comments made by the Rams' GM Les Snead in January do raise eyebrows:

“We're all better when we have competition. Daryl's the type of person, I do know this, when he was inactive he didn't like that. You do like the fact that he didn't like that. He's always said, ‘Hey, I want to start covering kicks and doing things like that.' He's trying to find his way back on the 46-man (game-day roster).”

It now looks like the Jets will be the ones to benefit from that competitiveness, if anyone. For Richardson to win a role would be a tall order, especially after the Jets signed Chris Johnson to add to a position where they already have solid contributors in Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. However, with Mike Goodson's legal status still up in the air, there could be a fourth spot up for grabs and throwing another capable player with upside into the mix can only be a good thing.

Tags: bentdouble, NYJets, Bent Double

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets' first round pick, S Jamal Adams, has already impressed his new teammates, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. 

The Jets were exuberant when Adams fell to their No. 6 slot in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was the player the wanted most. Participating at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Adams has shown his teammates, like CB Morris Claiborne, why the front office was so high on him.

"The things he has done so far?" Claiborne said. "He's unbelievable...He's been out here playing lights out. Picking up the defense, checking to different things, knowing what he wants to check to. He's having fun doing it, too. His spirit is awesome. He's having fun doing what he knows how to do, and that's football." 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Demario Davis
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

The Jets' new linebackers coach, Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, is looking to instill more aggression and power in his players, especially LB Lorenzo Mauldin.

The 25-year-old has shown spurts of potential in two seasons with the Jets, but his 2.5 sacks last season isn't the production they had expected. Greene intends to change that, and he told NJ.com's Darryl Slater why he uses this specific approach to his coaching. 

"Everybody at this level has skill, correct?" Greene said. "They'rea ll athletic, and agility and dexterity and all that stuff. Well, what separates people initially is their physical level of play. That's always our first step, is we have to play more physical than whoever is in front of us, because we're all athletic." 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson

Projected backups: Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

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Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson says head coach Todd Bowles has been more strict than in the past, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. 

Bowles has been left with a young team following the Jets' roster purge that including veterans like C Nick Mangold and LB David Harris. With his job possibly in jeopardy, he has been putting emphasis on working harder.

"It's completely different from the last couple years," Richardson said at minicamp. "A lot more strict now. We weren't loose [in the past], but it's a lot more strict now. It's even more enforced than what it has been in the past."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan for his alleged role in a nightclub attack that took place on April 2, according to TMZ Sports.

Mauldin, who is also being sued in civil court, was not arrested or charged after the incident. The Jets said earlier this month that they're aware of the lawsuit but had no further comment.

An NFL spokesman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that the league is looking into the incident. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former Jets LB David Harris has agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots worth $6.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Patriots offered Harris more than the Jets offered him earlier this month prior to his release, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Harris visited with the Patriots on Wednesday after speaking with head coach Bill Belichick (and coaches from five other teams) earlier this week, notes Florio.

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Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)
Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)

The Jets were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last year, finishing the season wtih just 27 sacks, and only 5.5 of them coming from the team's outside linebackers.

Todd Bowles brought in former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene as New York's new linebackers coach, and Greene has already expressed optimism towards his young group of players.

"The sky's the limit for all my kids," Greene told Daniel Popper of the Daily News. "I'm teaching my kids technique and fundamentals not based on athletic ability and skill. It's based on physicality. It's based on drive and desire and want-to and being a student of the game. ... All my kids can really be as good they want to be."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

The Jets have signed former Bears WR Marquess Wilson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Wilson only played in three games last season as he was on the IR with a broken foot. He is a big target, standing at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and will add some competition before training camp begins.

In four seasons with the Bears, Wilson played in 31 games, hauling in 56 receptions for 777 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets new running backs coach, Stump Mitchell, believes RB Bilal Powell has Pro Bowl ability, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Mitchell has been impressed with Powell since joining the Jets this season, and he thinks if he didn't have to share time with another back, he has would attain Pro Bowl status. 

"Bilal is a Pro Bowl back if he was playing by himself, make no doubt about that," Mitchell said at minicamp.

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin

Projected Backups: Dylan Donahue, Josh Martin

Tags: Deion Barnes, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets minicamp 00:02:24
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson
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Former Jets LB Larry Grantham dies at age 78: Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets' only Super Bowl team in 1969, died on Tuesday at the age of 78. Apart from being a Super Bowl Champion, Grantham has been enshrined in the Jets Ring of Honor as well. 

Elsewhere in New York sports the Mets dropped a slugfest to the Dodgers, the Yankees lose their top prospect to injury, and the NBA draft is just two days away. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Jets' roster purge and commitment to begin rebuilding this season earned them a "C+" offseason grade, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

As the offseason is normally used to rebuild rosters, the Jets tore theirs down thanks to move made by owner Woody Johnson. Among the roster cuts were LB David Harris and WR Eric Decker, which saved the Jets almost $14 million in payroll alone. C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis were also part of the 11 veterans the Jets go rid of this offseason. 

Cimini said the grade should be worse considering the Jets now have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but looking at the big picture, the Jets are acknowledging their rebuild and will have $80 million to work with next offseason.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starter: Matt Forte

Projected Backups: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
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GEICO SportsNite: Larry Grantham 00:00:26
Michelle Yu reports on the passing of former Jets linebacker Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets Ring of Honor, who was 78 years old.

The Jets announced former LB Larry Grantham, a Ring of Honor member and Super Bowl III champion, has died at age 78.

Grantham opted to join the AFL's New York Titans despite being drafted in the NFL by the Baltimore Colts in 1960. The Titans became the Jets in 1963, and Grantham would stay with them until his retirement in 1972. 

He was the starting linebacker for the Jets' Super Bowl III championship team where he called all the plays on defense. Grantham played in 175 career games, and was a five-time AFL All-Star and a five-time all-NFL selection. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets receivers 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa to discuss his expectations for himself and the young receivers for the upcoming season.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa after the conclusion of Jets minicamp to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

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Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  (Bill Wippert/AP)
Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is now a Tennessee Titan after agreeing to a deal on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Jacob deGrom homers, the Yankees drop their sixth straight, Bradley Wright-Phillips scores twice and the Rangers, Islanders and Devils announce their protected players list ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft. 

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Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Decker, 30, played 33 games with the Jets over the past three seasons, totaling 163 catches, 2,183 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Decker had appeared healthy entering organized team activities in May after he missed 13 games last season due to rotator cuff and hip injuries.

New York released him last Monday when they were unable to find a trading partner. The Jets will face a $1.5 million cap hit this year and next after releasing Decker.

Tags: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

RB Matt Forte says the Jets aren't tanking the season, despite the fact that they've cut the majority of their veteran players this offseason.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said, according to The Record. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

The Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have cut Brandon MarshallEric DeckerDavid HarrisDarrelle RevisNick MangoldNick Folk, and Breno Giacomini since the season ended. They also declined their option on Ryan Clady.

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's really quite an accomplishment for the Jets to come off a disappointing and perhaps disastrous 5-11 season and find a way to get worse. But they did it. They purged their roster of most of their veterans and replaced them with untested, unknown players. They're playing the long game, even though their short term looks rather bleak.

Who knows if they're "tanking" with their eyes on a top draft pick next season? Maybe they're just acknowledging the need to experience short-term pain for long-term gain. Whatever it is, there isn't a lot of hope for the 2017 season. Their eyes are on 2018, or perhaps beyond.

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Rookie Marcus Maye on minicamp 00:01:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

The Jets selected Maye in the second round of Apri's NFL Draft.

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Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Thursday there is no frontrunner for the srarting quarterback job. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees lose in extra innings, Juan Lagares is injurede in a Mets loss and the Giants ink their first-round pick. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:10
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.

Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.


 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wants to stay with the team for the rest of his caeer, but is not open to giving a hometown discount. 

The Jets, who finished 5-11 last season, are entering a rebuilding phase. But Richardson wants to be a part of it.

"A lot of guys just want to go jump on a bandwagon," Richardson told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News earlier this week. "Older guys. Later in their career, it's easy to go jump into a good situation. It's a free market, so by all means, do your thing. But me personally, I like to make history, not be a part of it."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insinuated the team's starting QB is job still up for grabs, noting Thursday that there is currently no frontrunner.

The Jets, who are expected to turn to Josh McCown as their starter, have also been giving reps to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

McCown, 37, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million this offseason.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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