The Jets this week signed another veteran player when they signed safety Dawan Landry to a two-year, $3m deal.

The 30-year old, 6-1 220-pounder figures to fill one of the Jets' vacant starting safety roles, one of which resulted from the departure of his younger brother LaRon. The younger Landry started all 16 games for the Jets last year and went to the Pro Bowl, but signed with the Indianapolis Colts last month.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last season, to review what he can bring to the Jets, focusing in particular on any differences and/or similarities between him and his brother.

Who is Dawan Landry?

A high school quarterback, Landry went to college at Georgia Tech and was eventually drafted in the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens. There he earned a starting job as a rookie, playing the first three years of his career with Rex Ryan as his defensive coordinator.

After starting 30 games in his first two seasons, Landry suffered a potentially career-ending spinal concussion injury early in the 2008 season. However, since then he's been perfectly healthy and hasn't missed a game in four seasons. In fact, he's only missed 31 snaps, including just one last year.

Landry has a reputation as an in-the-box safety, which makes sense by virtue of the fact that he was paired with one of the best coverage safeties of all-time in Ed Reed. However, Ryan's system requires both his safeties to be able to play in coverage and Landry did flash some ball-hawking skills in the passing game early in his career, intercepting five passes twice in his first four seasons. Here is a nice highlight reel showing some of that playmaking ability (and some big hitting) on display in those first few years.

Landry played for five years with the Ravens, before signing a five-year, $27m deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He played two seasons with the Jaguars, who reportedly cut him due to his high salary and the fact they want to get younger at the position.

2012 Regular Season

Let's look in detail at Dawan's contributions during the 2012 season.

Week 1 - at Minnesota

In this game, Landry missed a tackle in the flat on a screen pass that led to a 20-yard gain. He also gave up two key catches - a 26-yarder to set up the game tying field goal and a 17-yarder to set up a field goal in overtime. Both of these came in zone coverage.

Week 2 - v Houston

In this game, he wasn't troubled in coverage and had 13 tackles. There was also one play that he blew up by taking out the lead blocker.

Week 3 - at Indianapolis

Landry made a couple of good plays against the run in this game and had his only pressure of the season, although Andrew Luck escaped and scrambled for a first down. He also got beaten for this short score.

Week 4 - v Cincinnati

Landry wasn't targeted at all in this game and had six tackles including one where he stuffed a run in the hole. He did slip on one running play, missing a tackle for a nine yard run.

Week 5 - v Chicago

In a blowout loss, he was targeted just once as Jay Cutler kept the play alive and Landry couldn't stay with the tight end as he scrambled. However, that first down was negated by a penalty. He did record nine tackles including one in the hole for a short gain.

Week 7 - at Oakland

In this game, he was beaten for a 17-yard gain on a post route by the under-appreciated Brandon Myers on a great throw by Carson Palmer. He also broke up a pass to Darren McFadden with a well-timed hit, although McFadden felt there should have been a flag.

Week 8 - at Green Bay

Landry gave up two short passes in this one but did make one good play against the run. He was called for a holding penalty as he hit the receiver as the ball arrived - except the ball never arrived because Aaron Rodgers had thrown a pump fake.

Week 9 - v Detroit

Landry was involved in a couple of big plays in this one, missing a couple of tackles and not getting over in time in coverage once. He also got beaten in man-to-man coverage for an 11-yard catch, although he was in pretty good position and the receiver made a diving grab.

Week 10 - v Indianapolis

Landry made some good plays in this one - a tackle in the hole, a touchdown saving tackle on third down at the goal line and a tackle in the flat on a well-read screen pass. He also added this, his only interception of the year. On the downside, he missed a tackle at the second level on a 19 yard end around, got frozen by a pump fake that allowed Andrew Luck to dive in at the pylon and got flagged for this extremely LaRon-esque hit on Luck.

Week 11 - at Houston

This was the game where the Jags built a big lead behind Chad Henne, only for the Texans to battle back and win 43-37 in overtime. After not being troubled in coverage the first time the teams met, Landry found himself chasing Andre Johnson around all day as the Texans attacked gaps in the Jags zone. There were two plays where Landry was at fault for biting on a play-fake, leading to 27 and 45 yard gains. Two more went for 23 and 19, with a 15-yard penalty tacked onto the second one for a hit on a defenseless receiver. There was also a short touchdown pass where Landry and a linebacker both ran with the outside receiver, leaving the tight end alone underneath. Landry did make one good stop at the goal line, but his day ended badly too, as he was unable to prevent Johnson's winning touchdown with this despairing dive at the 20.

Week 12 - v Tennessee

Landry had a much easier game this week, registering nine tackles. He did give up two first downs and got blocked out on a running play that went for 31, but he also made a good open field tackle on a third down dump-off pass to force a punt.

Week 13 - at Buffalo

Landry made a couple of good plays in this one, blowing up a run and reading and blowing up a screen pass in the flat. However, he did miss a couple of tackles and overpursued badly on a CJ Spiller touchdown run. The Bills also threw a touchdown pass to Scott Chandler between Landry and the other safety.

Week 14 - v New York Jets

Landry made a couple of excellent open field tackles on Mardy Gilyard and Konrad Reuland, one to force a punt and the other for a short gain. There was also a play where he was clearly picked and probably should have got an offensive pass interference call. He gave up one first down where he was too far off his man as Mark Sanchez rolled out and got driven back in the running game on two plays that netted 24 yards by Reuland and Vladimir Ducasse.

Week 15 - at Miami

Landry blew up one run in the hole to force a third and one and made an immediate tackle on a third down dump-off to force a punt. He was credited with giving up a 37-yard completion, but review of the film seemed to indicate this was the cornerback's fault. Landry was at fault when he missed a tackle downfield which turned a Reggie Bush 20-yard run into a 53-yard run though.

Week 16 - v New England

Landry was solid in this game, making a couple of good plays against the run. He did give up one first down catch in zone coverage that was negated and had a missed tackle, but it only cost them a couple of yards.

Week 17 - at Tennessee

Landry only gave up seven yards on three targets in this game, but that's misleading because he did get burned down the seam by Nate Washington, who then dropped the ball. He did make one good play in coverage, as he was in position to blow up a screen pass, forcing the quarterback to throw it at the receiver's feet. However, he got blocked off the line on a short touchdown run.

Comparison With LaRon Landry

Let's look at a few categories to compare Dawan with his brother, whose role he looks set to replace.

Measurables

LaRon, who was seven pounds lighter than Dawan entering the NFL, is now listed as five pounds heavier having bulked himself up significantly as he made the transition from a pure coverage safety to more of an in-the-box role (although it's fair to say that officially listed NFL weights are notoriously unreliable). LaRon was without question the better athlete, running an eye-popping 4.35 forty at the combine. Dawan's 4.6 forty is a reasonable time for a safety but obviously he lacks LaRon's range and closing speed. Having said that, LaRon's recent heel injuries may have slowed him down somewhat, so that perhaps narrows the gap despite the fact Dawan is now in his thirties.

Usage

As noted above, LaRon made a transition from pure coverage safety to more of an in-the-box role. To a lesser extent, Dawan has also been used in the box more and more over the past few years, as this chart (with data exclusively provided by PFF) illustrates:

As you can see, Dawan's percentage of time spent in the box (within eight yards of the line of scrimmage) has been on the rise over the last four years. Back in 2008 and 2009, you can see how LaRon was in the box less than Dawan ever was with Baltimore, but played in the box more and more as he bulked up over the next couple of years. However, as a function of the dual responsibilities for safeties in Rex Ryan's scheme, the amount he was in the box dropped back down to 40% in 2012. The good news is that Dawan has been preparing for just such a role over the last few years, by increasing his amount of time spent in the box up to just that kind of number. 2008's high percentage shows how Dawan also has experience of an even heavier in-the-box workload, although that was only one and a half games before his serious neck injury.

It's a common misconception that LaRon played more of a coverage role last year because Yeremiah Bell is more of an in-the-box safety. Bell was actually in the box a lot less than LaRon - just 26% of the time. We can expect whoever is paired with Dawan to operate more in coverage, but they will be interchangeable. In fact, Dawan's role could change from week to week if he was paired with someone like Josh Bush one week and then someone like Antonio Allen the next. Either way, he's going to play in the box and in coverage.

Coverage

Speaking of coverage, let's consider that next.

Long time readers of BGA will know that I am always skeptical of coverage numbers (and ratings in general) for safeties, so I'm going to do my best to look beyond the numbers. However, let's first look at the 2012 coverage numbers in isolation:

Yards per Target: LaRon 10.2 // Dawan 8.5

Yards per Coverage Snap: LaRon 0.92 // Dawan 0.66

Completion Percentage: Laron 59% // Dawan 68%

They both gave up 30 catches, but Dawan gave those up in fewer targets. However, more damage was done on the catches given up by LaRon, so Dawan's efficiency is slightly better.

My first observation is that Dawan surrendered a much higher completion percentage, but was targeted less often. Unfortunately, the numbers alone don't tell us whether this is (a) because Dawan was in position more often so they didn't attempt to throw his way as much, (b) because Dawan was in coverage support rather than directly covering a potential receiver more often than LaRon was or (c) maybe just because the Jags had worse talent in their defensive backfield than the Jets so it was easier to find a wide open alternative. It could be any of these, or a combination thereof and the numbers alone don't tell us one way or another.

I'd also caution that if you look at coverage grades on PFF these include tackles on passing plays, so if you missed a tackle or forced a fumble or something, you'd receive a positive or negative coverage grade despite the fact that it's not really evaluating how well the safety performed at stopping his man catching the ball or being in the right position. I mention this just as an example of how misleading those numbers can be because a sure tackler who is below average in coverage will typically end up with a better "coverage" grade than someone who misses a lot of tackles but is above average at covering receivers.

There's an even bigger reservation I have than these and that's the fact that it is notoriously difficult to evaluate whether or not a safety was in the right place on any given play if you don't know the assignments on any given play. Teams use a similar rating system to PFF, but they can grade their own players more accurately because they have this knowledge.

So, how can I go beyond the numbers to try and assess how good they are in coverage? Other than what we already know - their numbers were similar, LaRon is faster and covers more ground and Dawan tends to gamble less often to keep plays in front of him - I did make some observations about the Jaguars defensive scheme compared to that of the Jets.

What I noticed was that their cornerbacks played a lot of zone. Cornerbacks would cover receivers close to the line and then pass them off to the safeties if they continued downfield. They seemed to do this more than the Jets do, which led to Dawan ending up with a receiver in his area that he then had to pick up. On many of the catches he gave up, the pass was thrown at the perfect moment so that Dawan was too far off his man as the cornerback passed his man off to Landry. I'd say this takes pressure off the cornerbacks and puts more of an onus on the safeties in coverage. It might also be one explanation for Derek Cox's sparkling coverage numbers in 2011 (league lowest numbers for completion percentage - 32.1% - and QB rating - 44.5 - on throws into his coverage).

A look at the plays on which LaRon and Dawan were directly matched up with a player at the snap (out wide or in the slot) shows that there was not much difference between how often they were required to do this. LaRon did it 122 times, Dawan 107. (Although theoretically, on some of these plays, Landry might have played zone so he'd have been passing off his man to someone behind him too.)

All of this would suggest that Dawan was targeted less not because he was in direct coverage less, but because he wasn't often the player whose guy was open. That should bode well, especially in a scheme where there could be less of an onus on the safeties to be in direct coverage down the field.

When he was in direct coverage, Dawan did get beaten a few times for catches, but wasn't often burned for a big gain like LaRon was on Thanksgiving against Julian Edelman for example (I won't link to this one). These were more of the getting beaten by a step and the quarterback making a perfect pass variety.

For their careers, Dawan actually has twice as many (12) interceptions as LaRon. However, nine of these were before 2010, as were 20 of his 30 career pass breakups. One thing you'll have picked up from that highlight video earlier on is that Landry threw and received a lot of lateral passes, mostly with Ed Reed on the other end. Here is a play where he scored on a lateral in 2010.

Run defense

Over the courses of their careers, LaRon has been the slightly more productive tackler, by a margin of 6.0 to 5.7 per game. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean he was making all those tackles in the running game. In fact, Dawan made more tackles than any other NFL safety on running plays in 2012.

Their contribution in this area is pretty similar. They can both come up into the box and blow up a play and don't get blocked out of plays too often. Dawan usually reads plays pretty well based on what I saw from him last season, but he is prone to the occasional mistake. Witness how he takes a poor angle here and overpursues leading to a CJ Spiller touchdown.

Tackling

Missed tackles are another area where stats can sometimes be misleading. Dawan had 10 missed tackles in 2012, which no doubt hurts his run defense grade. However, because he was so productive, he was actually the 9th most efficient tackling safety in the league (again per PFF). He won't have got credit for a positive play on many of the tackles that occurred downfield, but the fact he does that at a high percentage when compared to other players has value that the statistics don't take into account. Look at it this way. If Dawan was in position to make 100 downfield tackles and missed 10, he'd likely end up with a worse run defense grade than someone who only got in position to make 50 tackles and missed eight. Had that second player been on a defense where runners got to the second level more often, his contribution would have been a lot worse.

Dawan's ninth best tackle efficiency in 2012 was no fluke - he was 7th in 2010 and 22nd in 2011 - so he is a reliable tackler despite the high missed tackle numbers - 37 in four seasons. That does compare favorably with LaRon, who despite missing half of 2010 and half of 2011 missed 38 in four seasons.

Pass Rushing

Both players have 5.5 sacks in their careers, but Dawan got three of his in his rookie season and LaRon has always been a much more productive pass rusher in terms of pressure generated. Having said that, LaRon didn't register a sack with the Jets last season, so maybe teams are more prepared for a safety blitz against teams like the Jets and Ravens with their exotic blitz packages than they would be against a team like the Redskins, where LaRon was more productive. The Jags rarely rush their DBs - Dawan did it just 17 times last year, getting just one hurry.

Discipline

As you'll have seen from some of the plays highlighted above, Dawan does have a streak of recklessness in him. The good news is that he will still bring some of that presence over the middle that fans appreciated from LaRon, but the bad news is that Dawan may from time to time make a mistake or give away a penalty like his brother. Having said that, I'd go along with the prevailing notion that Dawan is slightly less reckless than LaRon and the footage I saw together with some of his numbers bear this out. For the record, they each had eight penalties called on them over the last four seasons, but LaRon did of course play 16 fewer games than Dawan.

Special Teams

Like LaRon, Dawan hardly plays on special teams any more - not unusual for a 30-year old safety. I mention it here for completeness, but don't expect much of a contribution in this area.

Conclusions:

I was really enthused by the Dawan Landry signing, which I thought would represent good value on the basis that Dawan would bring many of the same things to the table as his brother, but for a fraction of the price. Dawan might not be quite as good as LaRon, but he's almost as good and the slight downgrade is worth it when you're also saving $2m this year (based on last year's salary for LaRon) or $4.5m per year over the next two (based on his current contract). Hopefully, Dawan also represents less of an injury risk too - and should pick up the scheme faster than his brother did, by virtue of his three years of experience playing Rex Ryan's system in Baltimore.

Having said that, watching footage of a slightly worse version of LaRon Landry - a player I felt was overrated last year anyway - was a little depressing in places. However, in the days running up to the Dawan signing, I had started to think that maybe the Jets would have been better off if they had just paid the $6m to retain LaRon after all, so getting Dawan for a fraction of the price was definitely a move I endorse. He's a definite upgrade, a solid veteran presence and someone who can help the younger players.

My hope is that Dawan will be a better scheme fit than LaRon as he will play with more discipline which is something this defense lacked at times in 2012. Couple that with the fact he's good value and a good bet to stay healthy and this is a move I am extremely hopeful will pay dividends.

Unless the Jets make any other signings in the lead-up to the draft, I will return to looking at some of the long shots at the other end of the roster.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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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)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

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

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets 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 running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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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)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets 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 tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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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)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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GEICO SportsNite: Sam Darnold 00:03:53
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the impressions of Sam Darnold at the Jets minicamp and Jeane Coakley speaks with Todd Bowles about the young QB.

Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass 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 quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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