Yesterday, the Jets signed future hall-of-fame defensive back Ed Reed to a veteran's minimum contract. Reed is obviously a well-known player, but there's plenty of intrigue over whether or not he's got anything left in the tank. He was released by the Houston Texans after they lost their seventh consecutive game for the first time in franchise history.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Reed's 2013 season to evaluate what he is still capable of bringing to the table.

Who is Ed Reed?

The 5'11" 205-pound Reed, now aged 35, was a two-time all-American at Miami and was a projected first round pick entering the 2002 draft. The Jets held the 22nd pick and desperately needed a safety, but opted instead to draft defensive end Bryan Thomas, whose stock had risen following a terrific performance at the scouting combine. Two picks later, the Baltimore Ravens selected Reed and the rest is history.

Reed is a nine time Pro Bowler with a defensive player of the year award (2004) and a Super Bowl ring (2012). He played 11 seasons with the Ravens but his contract expired at the end of last season. He signed a three year, $15m deal to play with the Houston Texans, but started just five games before he was released earlier this week. Reed underwent hip surgery during the offseason and missed most of training camp and the first two games of the season.

2013 Regular Season

Week 3 - at Baltimore

Reed got the start in Baltimore against his old team with the Texans losing in a blowout. He played most of the game in a deep safety role but was rested down the stretch. There weren't too many throws in his area, but that was partly attributable to them being dissuaded from throwing his way because he was lurking. He picked up a lot of direct coverage assignments, notably around the red zone where he was constantly in position. There was one throw in his direction, where he was in coverage support over by the pylon and closed to hit the receiver as the ball arrived (which was overthrown anyway). He made a couple of tackles, including one as he tracked across the field to force the runner out downfield after a 25-yard run and another downfield after a completed pass, where the receiver dragged him for five extra yards. The most important came as he made a touchdown saving tackle at the 10-yard line, just about getting enough of the receiver to force him to step out as he tried to juke Reed in the open field following a missed tackle by Brice McCain. He was mostly a non-factor in the running game because he was playing deep and not many runs made it to the second level.

Week 4 - Seattle

The Texans threw away the lead against Seattle and lost in overtime. Once again, no throws went in his direction, other than one that was tipped over the middle and just eluded him as he dove for a potential interception. He had three downfield tackles, but one of them was important as he just got enough of Russel Wilson's ankle in the open field to stop him short of the marker on 3rd and long and force a punt in overtime. On one other tackle, he pursued across the field to force the runner out for a six yard gain. He was blocked out of the play and to the ground on this spectacular run by Marshawn Lynch.

Week 5 - at SF

This game stands out because Reed was beaten for this 64-yard touchdown by Vernon Davis, which pretty much constitutes 90% of the case against Ed Reed being not washed up. However, it's pretty evident that this was a blown coverage. DJ Swearinger blitzes, Anquan Boldin runs an out route and Vernon Davis runs a go route. Both cornerbacks on that side (McCain and Kareem Jackson) follow Boldin out into the flat, leaving Davis open down the seam. Reed isn't blameless, because he takes a bad angle and gets beaten to the outside (which likely wouldn't have happened to the old Ed Reed). However, it's a clear blown coverage and Reed was scrambling to cover for someone else's mistake. Other than that play, Reed was in on a few downfield tackles and was blocked out of one running play down the field. There were two plays where he made a positive impact - one where he jumped a route, causing Colin Kaepernick to overthrow his intended receiver and another where he hit the receiver as the ball arrived on a play where Swearinger was responsible for the receiver in zone coverage. The receiver did hang on for a 13-yard gain though. Trailing 21-0 at the half, the Texans only used him on passing downs after half time.

Week 6 - Rams

The Texans held the Rams to 216 total yards in week six, but still somehow lost by 25 points. Reed started, but did not play in the last quarter and a half, as the Texans fell into a 24-6 hole. This was easily his most active game in run support so far, as he was in on a number of tackles, including two where he was in on the tackle in the hole to hold a run to a short gain inside the 10-yard line. PFF actually gave Reed "credit" for two missed tackles, but neither of these were particularly damaging. One came as he helped stack up a runner down the field and then let go of the pile to enable his teammates to finish the job. Another saw him come over from center field after a long pass was completed down the sideline, with the receiver hurdling over his diving tackle attempt, but on his way out of bounds anyway. The Rams actually were brave enough to test the deep middle once, but they picked their moment, doing it on a play where Reed covered the intermediate middle and Danieal Manning ran deep. The pass was overthrown. I would question whether Reed could have reacted better on this play, but I don't think the ultimate receiver was his responsibility.

Week 7 - at KC

Houston lost this one 17-16 to the unbeaten Chiefs. Reed had several negative plays in this one, including a couple of missed tackles and an overpursuit on the edge. He almost blew up two of those plays. There were also two completions for first downs credited as targeted against him, one on a zone play where Anthony Fasano was left alone in zone coverage over the middle and made an 11-yard catch down to the one and another as Jamaal Charles took a dump-off pass underneath and Reed chased him out to the sideline but couldn't prevent him from just making it to the marker ahead of him. He was also fooled on this touchdown run, taken out of a play that went for a 43-yard gain when his own man was blocked into him at the second level and jumped offsides on 3rd and five (although the Chiefs picked up the first down anyway). This was easily his roughest game, although these were mostly minor mistakes. There were a couple of positives - he cut down the lead blocker on a goal line play, forcing the runner to cut back inside where he was stopped and also got upfield on a blitz which prevented Alex Smith from rolling all the way to the right and made the angle for his throw tougher, leading to an interception.

Week 9 - Indianapolis

Against the Colts, Reed did not start and played 32 snaps, mostly on passing downs. The Colts won by three after a late touchdown and then a missed field goal as time expired. Reed had two downfield tackles including one where he had to fight off a block to force Donald Brown out of bounds after a long run. He also made a couple of good plays in coverage, in good position on a play where Andrew Luck threw it at his receiver's feet and closing well on a dump-off underneath to Brown, which was ultimately dropped anyway, but Reed was there to make the tackle. His one negative was an unnecessary roughness call, but this appeared harsh as he hit an upright receiver from behind as the ball arrived to break up a pass.

Week 10 - at Arizona

Reed's final appearance as a Texan saw him play just 13 snaps. Those plays netted just 28 yards, which perhaps bodes well for his chances of making an early impact in a limited role. He was in on an assist on an 11 yard pass completion and also contributed to a turnover when Carson Palmer was looking his way, but hesitated with Reed in good position and was stripped from behind.

Conclusions:

(Note: I'm going to try and be as objective as possible, but am fully prepared to make the disclosure that Reed is perhaps my favorite non-Jets player of all time.)

Clearly the Jets aren't getting the Ed Reed of old. However, with his level of experience, scheme familiarity, ball skills and what athleticism he has left, can Reed represent any kind of upgrade for this current Jets roster? At the same time, will the intangibles he brings such as leadership, mentoring the younger defensive backs on the team and the added motivation brought about by his arrival make a positive impact?

On the face of it, you have a bunch of negative plays from a guy playing on a losing team. However, what can't be measured is how often he forced quarterbacks to look elsewhere by being - or just threatening to be - in a position to disrupt a pass in his area. Teams clearly avoided throwing his way and on a snap-by-snap basis, it looked like he picked up the right guy and stayed with him when required and covered ground and reacted well when in center field. Reed would agree with this assessment.  "I’ve been saying that the whole year because I’ve been criticized just terribly," Reed told reporters on Thursday.  "I only had about four or five balls [this year] in my vicinity, (my) direction."  It's not often that you hear about a red zone weapon on defense, but that's a place where what I saw from him stood out as being more reliable than what you'd typically see from this Jets secondary.

The notion that he looks slow out there is nonsense. Maybe he looks slow by his own standards, but he closes to the ball well, covers plenty of ground and changes direction as sharply as most safeties I've watched this year. He's certainly no worse than Dawan Landry and an easy upgrade over Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith in terms of range. If you're a step and a half faster than most safeties in the league and then you lose a step, then you've still got half a step to play with.

Some have suggested that he lost playing time because he was being outplayed by Shiloh Keo, but I don't think that's true either. Keo has twice as many missed tackles as Reed despite a similar number of snaps and was targeted seven times in the last four games with all seven completed for 76 yards. Keo got time because he is young and potentially a part of the Texans future, whereas it was apparent Reed was not.

If there's one negative I could pick out, it's that Reed often appeared to shy away from contact. However, for a deep safety who is often the last line of defense, that could perhaps be excused as playing conservatively and keeping things in front of him rather than risk making a mistake, much like Kerry Rhodes used to do. He did have a few missed tackles downfield, but these did not cost them much yardage, so they didn't come about by him being reckless. He also had a few at the line of scrimmage, which is when a safety might have more of an aggressive mindset in an effort to make a stop.

As many people have said, this deal reminds them of when the Jets claimed Trevor Pryce from the Ravens back in 2010 and Pryce helped propel the Jets into the playoffs. In fact, I'm on record as saying they never would have made it without him. The circumstances are slightly different in that Pryce was released by the Ravens who had every intention of bringing him back, but just needed a roster spot temporarily and didn't expect he'd get claimed. In many ways, the signing has more in common with when the Jets signed Ty Law. No, not the first time, but when they re-signed him out of the blue on November 10th, 2008, at a time when the Jets looked likely to make the postseason. That didn't work out too well, but perhaps this one has a better chance of panning out.

As noted above, I am a big Ed Reed fan, so I am rooting for this to work, but I didn't see it as a move that had to be made. Landry and Antonio Allen were doing a fine job and Jaiquawn Jarrett and Josh Bush haven't let anyone down when called upon either. The potential downside of this move is therefore low - unless Reed plays poorly and still gets time over any of the above players.

Ultimately, this should be fun to watch unfold. If Reed's presence dissuades any quarterbacks from throwing in his direction, that plays into the hands of Rex Ryan's defense, perhaps moreso than any other team in the league.

Welcome to the Jets (at long last), Ed!

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were expected to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season - maybe one of the worst in NFL history. But under first-year offensive coordinator John Morton they did more offensively than anyone imagined.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, 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)

Jets rookie S Jamal Adams was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team for the 2017 season. 

The Jets' 2017 first-rounder had a stellar rookie campaign, posting 83 combined tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and six passes defended. He did, however, fail to secure his first career interception this year. 

An LSU product, Adams thought he should have made the Pro Bowl this season, but vowed he would make it every season from here on out...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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The Jets and Doug Marrone 00:04:06
On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him.

On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him. 


New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

For well over a year now, the Jets' top priority has been clear: They must find a solution to be their franchise quarterback. After all, it's common knowledge that all the best teams are the ones with settled situations at the quarterback position.

This weekend, however, that narrative was flipped on its head. Matt Ryan lost to Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger got beaten by Blake Bortles and then, in dramatic fashion, Case Keenum beat Drew Brees. In all three cases, the team with the established signal-caller was upended by a team led by a relative novice.

They say defense wins championships, and three of the four teams left standing represent the NFL's best defenses. The one exception is in New England, where the Patriots are headed to yet another AFC championship game in spite of a defense that ranks in the bottom five. Even their win this week saw Tom Brady - the ultimate argument against needing a high pick to find your franchise quarterback - leading his team past a former top-two pick in Marcus Mariota.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The average ticket price for a Jets game is going down.

And for some, the lower price could be available for the 2019 season, too.

More than half of MetLife Stadium's ticket prices will decrease, with the rest of the building remaining flat. No prices will increase for 2018, when the Jets have the Packers, Vikings and Broncos among visiting teams. For fans who meet the renewal deadline of March 1 and enroll in an automatic payment plan, the team will give a price freeze for 2019, when the Steelers, Cowboys and Giants will be visitors for the Jets.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

Standing at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, Allen's arm strength backs up his height and weight. He is also good with his feet as his stature doesn't hinder his mobility. 

Josh McCown may have had a career year with the Jets, but he isn't the long term solution, and neither is Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg hasn't gotten a shot yet, but the Jets clearly don't see him as NFL ready. Allen could jump into the quarterback race this offseason, and come out on top ready for Week 1. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

This Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl II victory over the Balitmore Colts, 16-7, in Miami. 

That championship still stands as the franchise's only Super Bowl win, and the last time the team has made it to the title game. 

"Broadway" Joe Namath led the Jets in the Orange Bowl, and helped New York become the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl. 

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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

The Jets and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will continue contract negotiations after the 25-year-old tight end reportedly rejected a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Seferian-Jenkins said he hopes he and New York could reach a deal before he hits free agency and would "absolutely" want to return.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

The Jets will reportedly be interested in quarterback Kirk Cousins when free agency begins in March, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Cousins, 29, is expected to be a hot commodity in the offseason assuming the Washington Redskins don't franchise tag him for a third straight year. 

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Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets signed RB Jeremy Langford to a reserve/future contract, the club announced Wednesday.

Langford, 26, was the Bears' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University. He appeared in 28 games -- five starts -- in his two seasons with Chicago, rushing for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

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 (Jay Biggerstaff)
(Jay Biggerstaff)

Last week, we discussed the possibility of the Jets targeting Kirk Cousins if he hits the open market.

However, the various pros and cons connected with such a move would become moot if Cousins doesn't hit the open market. A less-attractive alternative more likely to be available is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Could he be someone the Jets are monitoring?

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New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton will remain with the team amid speculation that he was being considered for the Raiders' offensive coordinator job. 

 

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Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)
Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)

Jets CB Rashard Robinson was arrested in December after police found him in possession of edible marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With the offseason ahead, one position on which some people may be divided is the Jets' receiving corps. Do the Jets need to upgrade, merely add some depth or are they essentially set at the position?

During the offseason last year, the Jets' receiving corps was ranked as the worst in the NFL - and this was before Eric Decker was released and Quincy Enunwa and Quinton Patton suffered season-ending injuries.

However, once the season got underway, the Jets fared better than expected in the passing game, making it difficult to know how they'll approach this position with so many other needs.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Chad Hansen, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had his career revitalized this season, which is why he wants to stay with the team that gave him his second chance. 

The Jets took a shot on Seferian-Jenkins, who was caught up in off-the-field drama before he joined the team. He repayed them with his best year in the NFL, and he wants to continue being an asset in their offensive scheme. He is currently a restricted free agent with the Jets being the only team allowed to negotiate his terms. 

Seferian-Jenkins is hoping he gets a deal done with the Jets, and doesn't have to start contacting other teams.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

In The Post's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming's Josh Allen with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The Jets have yet to see Christian Hackenberg on the field, and Bryce Petty wasn't the answer after Josh McCown went down with a season-ending injury. In turn, the Jets take Allen -- a 6-foot-5, 233 pounder who can let it fly. For his size, Allen is extremely mobile as well.

Allen didn't have the best of seasons with the Cowboys as he battled injuries. He finished with just 1,812 yards, a 56.3 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. But in his sophomore season, Allen totaled 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Allen would be another quarterback to add to the Jets' competition this offseason. The Jets have not made it clear whether or not McCown will return for another season in Green and White, which is why Allen enters the mix to vie for the starting role. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for the final episode of the season as the guys welcome WFAN radio personality and huge Jets fan Joe Benigno to the show for his take on the 2017 Jets. It gets heated as Colon and Benigno debate the warrants of Todd Bowles' coaching ability, and if he deserved to be retained after another losing season.

Click below to listen

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Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Plenty of attention this year has been on the Jets positioning themselves to potentially select their quarterback of the future in the draft. With the sixth pick in hand and the consensus top five QB prospects all having thrown their name into the hat for April's draft, they seem to be well-placed to make this happen. However, could another viable option soon become available?

It's rare for a top quarterback to hit the open market, but it's not impossible that it could happen with Kirk Cousins. Washington currently controls his rights, but they'll have to decide whether to franchise him again, sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market.

While the latter of those options might seem the least likely for a player who was third in the league in passing yards in 2016, his numbers regressed this year and the team ended up with a losing record. So far, in three years as a full-time starter, Cousins has started just one postseason game -- a 17-point loss to the Packers 12 months ago...

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty said he hopes he returns to New York during the offseason despite the odds he wouldn't be the starting quarterback in 2018.

"I try not to put too much thought into things that I can't control," Petty said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "Hopefully it's here. I want to be here. But if it's not, that's okay too. It's a business. Everybody understands that."

Petty, who went 0-3 in the final three games of the season as Josh McCown's replacement, will be entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and would have a cap hit of $843,425 next season. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Eighteen years ago today, January 4, Bill Belichick resigned from his one day stint as head coach of the Jets. Before January closed that year, Belichick took the head coaching job with the Patriots. There still has been no resignation, nor firing, from that job. 

Belichick and the Patriots have been the NFL's pillar of excellence in his tenure in New England. Belichick and Tom Brady, taken in Belichick's first draft a few months later, have won five Super Bowls together and appeared in seven. 

The Jets, meanwhile, have two AFC Championship appearances to point to in that time span. 

Oh, what could have been. 

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Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)
Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Now that the season is over, the Jets find themselves in a familiar spot with the opportunity to add a difference-maker in the draft. With the standings finalized, the Jets now know that they'll be picking sixth for the third time in the last four years as general manager Mike Maccagnan has been presented with a golden opportunity to find some cornerstone pieces to build a young nucleus.

Priority number one remains the same: The team must find a franchise quarterback. This year's class initially looked like a strong one with USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Josh Allen of Wyoming headlining the class. Over the course of the season, though, apparent weaknesses for each of the top three prospects' were laid bare. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:01
SNY's Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss how he intends to approach free agency in the offseason.

Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Quarterbacks Josh Rosen of UCLA and Sam Darnold of USC declared themselves eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

The duo are considered the two best collegiate QBs in the draft and are expected to be the first two quarterbacks taken, perhaps with the top two picks by the Cleveland Browns and Giants, who draft 1-2.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Although the NFL Draft is still more than three months away, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has already begun contemplating what he'll do on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That may include moving up from the Jets' current spot of No. 6 overall.

"Yeah, I would say it would actually pertain to any player you felt extremely strong about, too," Maccagnan said on ESPN Radio Wednesday. "But we've moved back a little bit in the draft and there have been situations I've tried to move up in the draft. But I would say the simple answer to that question is 'yes' and if that was a player we felt very strongly about, we would have no qualms about potentially trying to go and get him."

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of 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) looks to pass during the first half of 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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The end-of-season press conferences earlier this week predictably contained a lot of platitudes about Christian Hackenberg. A common refrain was that the book on Hackenberg is not closed and that the team still considers him to have shown improvement toward realizing his potential.

There is understandable skepticism as to whether the Jets still believe Hackenberg has a future, with some believing the team is reluctant to admit they made a mistake when they drafted the 22-year old with the 50th overall pick two years ago. Jets fans are even more skeptical, with Hackenberg seen as an object of ridicule in some circles...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:13
Jeane Coakley chats with Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who discusses how pleased he was with the team during his first season as owner.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who is running the team while his brother, Woody, is serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, spoke with SNY on Tuesday about his first year at the helm. 

"This is -- and I didn't realize this going in -- this is the best job in the world," Johnson said. "It's be the most extraordinary stretch of my life."

Johnson said it was his decision alone to extend the contracts of head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan, who are now under contract through 2020.

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 (Tommy Gilligan)
(Tommy Gilligan)

The Jets will select SMU WR Courtland Sutton with the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, predicts the Sporting News in their first Mock Draft of 2018.

The Mock, by Eric Galko, has the Broncos selecting Washington DT Vita Vea with the No. 5 pick, and the Bucs taking NC State DE Bradley Chubb with the No. 7 pick.

"The Jets are in play for Baker Mayfield and are one of the teams that could covet Lamar Jackson early in the draft," Galko writes. "But outside of quarterback, they need to upgrade at receiver. Adding Sutton to pair with Robby Anderson should make for an easier job for Josh McCown and/or their quarterback of the future."

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What is the Jets' future? 00:05:55
The DNL panel discusses how Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will move toward their ideal vision for the Jets after a surprising 2017.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson said the progress he saw from the team this season played a part in offering two-year extensions to head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Johnson added that the decision to extend Bowles -- which he made earlier this season -- and Maccagnan was his, and that he didn't run it by his brother, Woody. 

"I did see progress," Johnson said. "I was more than happy to extend both Mike and Todd. ...I like the idea of some stability and going from year to year doesn't seem right."

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Maccagnan on Hack and cap 00:01:32
New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan talks about the future of QB Christian Hackenberg and the team's plans for NFL free agency.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said on Tuesday that he's "excited" about the amount of salary cap space the team has to spend this offseason, suggesting they plan to be very active.

The Jets went 5-11 this year for a second-straight season, but Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles -- who have been overseeing the rebuild -- were rewarded with two-year contract extensions that run through 2020.

However, Maccagnan is not yet setting high expectations for 2018.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets, who finished the season 5-11, will have the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which begins on April 28 at  AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

New York is slated to pick after the Broncos and before the Buccaneers.

The Draft is expected to be quarterback-rich, with Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) among the players who could be available.

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