Two days ago, the Jets signed wide receiver Eric Decker to a five years, $36.25m contract. Unlike most of the recent acquisitions by the Jets, Decker is pretty well known. However, I've been reviewing footage from his career so far to assess what he brings to the table.

The 6'3", 214-pound Decker - who turns 27 today - was a third round pick of the Denver Broncos who has been in the league for four years. After catching a total of 50 passes in his first two seasons, he has been one of the more productive receivers in the league over the past two seasons. He has had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a row, catching over 80 passes in each season and scoring a total of 24 touchdowns.

After the jump, observations from reviewing footage from Decker's career so far to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Eric Decker?

Decker went to college at Minnesota, where he developed into one of the top receivers in the country with 84 catches for over 1,000 yards as a junior. While this was going on, he was also drafted by two Major League Baseball teams. Unfortunately, in his senior season, he suffered a season ending foot injury, cutting another promising season short after eight games.

That injury prevented Decker from working out at the scouting combine or Minnesota's pro day in 2010, hurting his draft stock. The Broncos still took him in the third round, even though his foot injury continued to bother him into the season. Denver were relatively deep at wide receiver, affording them the luxury of bringing him along slowly. He would end up his rookie season with just six catches. In 2011, Decker would catch 44 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. The Broncos traded away their number one receiver, Brandon Lloyd, and reached the postseason with Tim Tebow at quarterback.

2012 signified the arrival of Peyton Manning and Decker's production took off. He caught 85 passes and scored 13 touchdowns in 2012 and then followed that up with 87 receptions and 11 touchdowns in 2013. He also set a career high with 1,288 receiving yards in 2013, over 200 more than in the previous season. He joins the Jets following a trip to the Super Bowl, where the Seahawks defeated the Broncos, holding him to one catch for six yards.

The numbers

Four seasons

62 games, 44 starts (plus six playoff games)

222 catches, 3,070 yards and 33 touchdowns (plus 14 catches for 195 yards in postseason)

61% catch rate

32 drops

One carry for one yard (and one for nine in postseason)

One pass attempt (incomplete)

13 tackles (seven on special teams, all in 2010)

Nine punt returns for 157 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown (plus four for 75 in postseason)

24 kickoff returns for a 25.3 yard average, including a long of 51 yards

Six fumbles, with three lost (two on special teams)

16 penalties (one on special teams)

Observations

Based on all the footage watched, here was what Decker brings to the table, divided into categories:

Measurables - Since Decker didn't work out before the draft, we don't have numbers for him, but he has very good size, his forty speed was estimated by NFL Draft Scout as 4.45 and he has certainly displayed good athleticism on the field. The only thing he did participate in at the combine (other than the weigh-in and interview process) was the Wonderlic test, where his score of 43 was the best of all players that year.

Usage - Decker is a full time player, who was in on almost 90% of the snaps last season with Denver for the 5th highest snap count for all NFL receivers during the regular season. Since they have Wes Welker, he doesn't need to line up in the slot very often. However, he still played 330 snaps in the slot in 2013 which was more than in the previous season. When lined up in the slot, he ended up catching 32 passes (at an 80% catch rate) for 350 yards and two touchdowns, so he was very productive there. The previous season he caught 23 of 25 targets when in the slot.

Decker also lined up five times in the backfield.

Deep threat - Decker caught 15 passes last year on balls thrown more than 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (for 509 yards and five touchdowns). That came on just 25 attempts for a 60% catch rate. By comparison, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes peaked at around 30% during their time here. Only one player (Desean Jackson) had more than 15 receptions on such throws, but his catch rate was less than 50%. Only two players with more than 10 such targets had a better catch rate than Decker. Of course, who was throwing the ball is a factor here (and something we'll revisit later on), but one of the two players with a better catch rate was Santonio Holmes (8 for 11) and Manning's overall percentage on such throws was just 46% so that doesn't completely explain his success.

For Decker, this did represent an significant improvement over his numbers for 2012, where he caught 34.8% of passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield. Not surprisingly, in 2011, it was even lower - 25.9%. Again, who was throwing him the ball is a factor here.

He did show an ability to get behind the defense, often taking advantage of defensive players biting on play fakes or double moves, but certainly capable of getting a step on his man.

Blocking - Decker has had some good success with blocking since entering the league. His PFF grades for run blocking have been positive in each of his four seasons in the league for a cumulative grade of +8.9 for run blocking and +9.9 for overall blocking. He ranked third in the NFL in 2011 when the Broncos had a more run-oriented offense and 11th last season.

The film backs this up. Decker brings effort and technique, but most of all just an imposing presence. He crashed down on a linebacker or defensive back from the outside effectively on a few plays, including one where he had his target flinching even before he lowered the boom. He was also competent at setting the edge and driving the cornerback out of the play on the outside or downfield. There's shades of Braylon Edwards in terms of how they use him, but unlike Edwards, it's rare that he lets his target get off his block or misses the target altogether. He also avoided any holding or illegal block calls. Good blocking seems to have quietly been one of the attributes the Jets have been placed a premium on for their receivers since Marty Mornhinweg arrived. David Nelson, Josh Cribbs, Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim all showed promise here. Decker could well be better than all of them.

Routes - In 2013, Decker exhibited the ability to run all of the routes in the route tree, apart from a deep corner route. That might just be a Peyton Manning issue, because it seems that isn't a throw he's attempting very often at this stage of his career. There was a pretty even split between each of the different routes and the success he had running each. In terms of double moves, one route he used to good effect was a hitch and go, which saw him earn a couple of penalties and a first down.

On one play against the Saints, he ran a sharp in-out route that caused the cornerback to lose his balance and fall over, leading to an easy touchdown. He is also able to use his size over the middle and downfield to create natural separation.

Hands - Decker has averaged over 10 drops per game season over the last three year, which is obviously disappointing. However, we need to re-calibrate the scale slightly here, because usually when I'm scouting receivers the Jets have signed, they've been role players rather than targeted over 100 times per season. We know Decker can catch the ball, because he's done it over 200 times in three years. This shows he's capable of production that the Jets desperately need. However, it's still worth analyzing these drops in more detail.

Decker actually had five drops in the first four games and then only four in the last 18, so you could say he got over these issues. However, looking at the nature of the drops, nearly all of them came as he had a defender draped all over him or had to dive for the ball. Only two were concentration drops, both on quick screen passes to the slot. Even on these, the pass was inaccurate, one being too high and the other too low. His worst drop was not on a pass, but on an onside kick, where he let the ball go through his hands and the other team recovered. Overall, his six fumbles are hopefully not a major cause for concern because he's had over 260 touches.

When he does catch the ball, Decker usually catches it cleanly and has good technique in terms of staying inbounds, keeping low passes from hitting the turf and using his body to bring the ball in while tightly covered. He can go up and high point the ball, catch it in a crowd and make diving receptions. One in particular saw him make a juggling one-handed grab for a touchdown against the Chiefs. On the basis of all this, I'd stop short of saying he has great hands, but they're at least good.

Decker has a 61% catch rate for his career, which is reasonably good, but it's been much better over the last two years. The results are skewed by 2011 where he only had a 46% catch rate with Tebow and Orton throwing him the ball. His catch rate did fall in 2013, though, dropping from 70% in 2012 to 63%. Looking at the numbers initially, you might have expected that Decker's increased yards per catch average (2013: 14.7 and 2012: 12.6) and lower catch rate could be due to him getting more downfield targets. However, somewhat bizarrely, he actually had a higher catch rate on deep balls and also caught more short passes close to the line of scrimmage. Instead it was on intermediate throws where his percentage suffered.

Yards after the catch - Along with his downfield catch percentage, the one area of statistical improvement Decker showed in 2013 was in terms of yards after the catch. He improved from 310 yards after the catch to 440 and improved his YAC per reception by over a yard to 4.6. That accounts for part of the increase in average yards per catch, although it's still only middle of the pack on a league-wide basis.

You might actually expect Decker to do more in this area, given his returning experience and his combination of speed and size. It would be nice to think that he's improving in this area, but it probably has as much to do with the fact that they threw him more short passes. He did break eight tackles - twice as many as in 2012. Then again, five of those came in an early season game against the Raiders. The screen pass is something Decker added to his arsenal in 2013, though, catching nine of 11 for 61 yards as opposed to just one of two for seven yards in 2012.

One impressive aspect is his physicality. There were several plays where he drove a defender for extra yardage, especially when trying to get into the end zone. I'd definitely say there were more shades of Edwards here.

Intelligence - As noted above, Decker had a sparkling Wonderlic score and has a reputation for being very smart. Despite all the complex audibles at the line, Manning's offenses have a tendency to be pretty simplistic with good execution being the key rather than smoke and mirrors. The Broncos, like the Colts before them, don't vary formations too often and usually run variations on a series of similar looking plays. However, Decker's intelligence should enable him to get to grips with Marty Mornhinweg's arguably more complex system and the emphasis on good execution is a good habit to be bringing with him.

Instincts - Everything I saw suggested Decker's instincts are good. He just looks like he knows what he's doing out there when you watch him closely. In particular, his open field running seemed to show he had a knack for seeing the field and using his blockers.

Special Teams - Decker returned kickoffs and played on kick coverage units as a rookie, to good effect, but hasn't done that since early in 2011. He has returned some punts, including this 90-yarder for a touchdown in 2011. However, he has actually only returned eight other punts in his NFL career and since he'd become a full time starter, it seemed his special teams days were over.

That's until the Broncos went back to him during the postseason, where he had 66 yards on three good returns against the Chargers (and one other return for nine yards later in the postseason). I don't know if the Jets will risk him in that role, but he does have that ability and maybe they will consider it for important games, like they did with Antonio Cromartie on the kick return unit.

Demeanor - Decker isn't as demonstrative as many receivers, although he plays hard, fights for yardage and shows emotion - but not too much emotion - whenever he makes a mistake or a big play.

Attitude - Again, I've seen nothing to suggest Decker has a poor attitude and everything I read on the subject seems positive.

Injuries - Obviously Decker's foot was an issue when he entered the league. He tore ligaments and required surgery. He hasn't missed a regular season game since his rookie season though. He did, however, injure his knee in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, missing the second round game. In 2012, he was listed on the injury report just twice (thigh, ankle), but he was banged up quite a bit in 2013, listed as probable 10 times with shoulder, knee, ankle, thigh and toe injuries.

The possible downside

The major reservation everyone has about this deal - one allayed somewhat by the fact his salary falls well short of the $10-12m annual salary some projected he would command - is that it's expected Decker won't maintain the same level of production he managed with Peyton Manning as his quarterback. While he's reportedly determined to prove he wasn't a product of Manning, we've seen players like Deion Branch, Santonio Holmes and Alvin Harper move from a team with an elite quarterback to a team without one with the result being a significant drop in production.

Some will point to Decker's eight touchdowns in a run-oriented offense in 2011 as a sign that he can still produce without an elite quarterback to throw him the ball. Initially, I had thought you could dispel this theory pretty easily, because the Tebow-led option offense was so run oriented that the defense would usually have nine in the box. Therefore, Decker would only need to beat single coverage or could get behind the defense solely due to the element of surprise actually throwing the ball downfield provided, as was the case on this play in the game where Tebow famously only completed two passes but still led the Broncos to a win.

However, a closer look at the breakdowns and some of the footage from early in the 2011 season shows that Decker was more productive earlier in the season with the clearly non-elite Orton leading a more conventional attack. In the first four games, Decker scored two touchdowns twice and had a 100-yard game and three games with at least five catches. Extrapolating those four games over a whole season suggests he was on course for 80 catches and over 1,000 yards. Therefore, it's actually possible he was going to put up big numbers and Tebow's insertion into the lineup hurt his production - which, given how often they ran the ball, stands to reason.

There's one other reservation you could have about this deal and that's the fact that the Jets have never really had any success from signing a free agent receiver coming from another team. Looking back over some of their past free agent mishaps, fans don't have fond memories of the likes of Art Monk, Jeff Graham, Justin McCareins and Derrick Mason. McCareins was actually traded for rather than a free agent signing, but fits in here because - like the others - he was a number two at best and the Jets were essentially just hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. The Decker signing is different from each of these though.

Monk was signed by the Jets long after his production had started to wane. He had two seasons with fewer than 50 catches after having averaged 74 in his previous four. Derrick Mason was also well past his prime. Although Mason had caught at least 60 passes and missed only a handful of games over the previous 10 seasons, he was 37 and not expected to be a starter. As it turned out, his downfall was much faster than Monk's and the Jets traded him away after a month of the regular season.

McCareins didn't have a bad first season with the Jets, but was too mistake prone to establish himself as a number one and he soon fell out of favor. This is again different to Decker because rather than being in his prime and establishing a high level of production, McCareins had just had one decent year and the Jets were hoping he would continue to emerge.

The closest comparison is Graham. He was 27 and coming off an 82 catch, 1,300 yard season (with the previous year not being too far behind). The thing about the Graham move is that while it is remembered as a disaster, there was a remarkable paucity of talent on those Rich Kotite teams and Graham's production wasn't actually that bad, he just wasn't able to single-handedly provide the veteran impact they needed. The Jets will be hoping that Decker will function as an integral part of the offense rather than being forced to try and carry it.

(Bonus Link: Here's an excellent article that touches on similar themes to those discussed above, reaching a similar conclusion.)

Conclusions

From what I've seen of Decker, he displayed the ability to do pretty much whatever you'd hope to see out of a receiver. He has size, speed, hands and route running ability, which he uses to produce in a variety of different plays. You've heard of quarterbacks that can "make all the throws"? I'd liken Decker to a wide receiver version of that - he can "run all the routes" and "make all the catches". The challenge is the same though - can he be consistent enough to continue making these contributions each week? Of course, a lot of that is going to come down to whoever is tasked with getting him the ball. Presumably this will be Geno Smith, at least in the short term and the hope will be that rather than Decker being brought down by Smith's inadequacies, he's going to help him to overcome them.

It remains difficult to project how close Decker can come to matching the kind of production he's managed over the past two seasons, but even if he falls short there's still a good chance he'll provide a significant upgrade over the next few years to hopefully justify the financial outlay.

Some stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

TE Mychal Rivera has agreed to terms with the Jaguars, reports Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

Rivera visted the Jets on Monday, according to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports.

Rivera caught 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown in 13 games with Oakland last season. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Brian Bassett is joined by SNY Analyst and former New York Jet Willie Colon for an all-new podcast, as they cover all the angles of the Jets rebuild - including Josh McCown, the future at running back, the state of the defense, and whether or not Todd Bowles will be around to see it all through.

Click below to listen!

 

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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson took to Instagram to refute a recent report that he is out of shape. 

In a video posted to his Instagram story, Wilkerson is seen running on a treadmill while sarcastically responding about his conditioning. 

"They say I'm fat and out of shape," he said. "Ha-ha. Keep sleeping on me. I'm telling you."

Wilkerson was referencing an article by the Daily News' Manish Mehta from last week. In the piece, Mehta quotes unnamed scouts who said the 27-year-old looked out of shape when he attended the Temple Pro Day in Philadelphia.

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Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)

Mel Kiper's third Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Kiper notes that if the Jets are going to go with Josh McCownBryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback, they are going to need someone to catch passes, and at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, Howard is Kiper's top-ranked pass-catcher. While his numbers were not staggering at Alabama, Howard "has all of the athletic attributes of a top-tier player, though, and he was one of the most impressive prospects at the combine."

Howard caught 45 passes for 595 yards and three touchdowns last season. In his four years at Alabama, the 22-year old accumulated 114 receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns.

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's free-agent signing period is open, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates on what the Jets are doing with their own free agents and with free agents from other teams, and for updates on their available salary cap space and contract numbers.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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DNL on new Jets quarterback 00:02:51
The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown. 

 


Weighing the Jets QB options 00:01:15
Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets' quarterback quandary after signing Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets' search for their quarterback of the future continued in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Jets had a group of scouts and coaches -- reportedly including new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates -- in attendance there on Tuesday for the University of North Carolina's Pro Day, where the star attraction was Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky. And they're interested enough in the 22-year-old that Trubisky told reporters the Jets have set up a private workout with him, too.

The Jets currently are slated to pick sixth in the upcoming NFL draft and Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson are the only quarterbacks most NFL scouts and talent evaluators consider to be potential Top 10 picks. Some don't think any of the quarterbacks are Top 10 worthy, which means they could be available if the Jets decide to trade down.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Josh McCown 00:01:28
Taylor Rooks talks with SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Josh McCown is not the New York Jets' quarterback of the future, but neither were any of the other quarterbacks available on the free-agent market. There was no ideal answer to the Jets' biggest question.

But McCown is the perfect player to get them closer to the answers they need.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The No. 1 priority for the Jets heading into this offseason was unquestionably to find a quarterback. Nothing else came close. Without a quarterback, nothing else really mattered. The Jets were desperate.

Or so we all thought.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)
(Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)

Writer/director Spike Lee said it's "fishy" that free agent QB Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, mentioning the Jets among the teams that could use Kaepernick.

"The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In."

Lee, who recently had brunch with Kaepernick, added that Kaepernick being unsigned "stinks to the high heavens."

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent quarterback Chase Daniel will visit with the Jets on Monday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Last Monday, Daniel asked the Eagles for his release after they traded for veteran QB Nick Foles.

The 30-year-old backup quarterback visited with the Saints over the weekend, but left New Orleans without a deal.

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:00:53
After reports that QB Josh McCown left his visit with the Jets without a contract, Ray Lucas discusses if signing the veteran is a fit.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' latest search for their quarterback of the future could be nearing a temporary conclusion. And if it is, they'll have yet another short-term answer to the franchise's biggest problem.

Josh McCown, a 37-year-old journeyman free agent, continued his visit with the Jets for a second day on Saturday, according to an NFL source. The two sides are serious enough about each other that they've discussed contract parameters, the source said. Indications were that his visit was going very well.

That seems to position McCown as the leader of the dwindling pack of Jets' quarterback options. The Jets are also interested in former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, according to a source, and though he was expected to be brought in for a visit that has not happened yet. A team source confirmed the Jets have no interest in ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and beyond that the market is extremely thin.

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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton (11) runs past New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton (11) runs past New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent WR Quinton Patton met with the Jets on Saturday, the team announced. 

Last season, Patton recorded 37 catches for 408 yards with the 49ers. 

The 2013 fourth-round pick has 73 career catches for 880 yards. 

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CB Morris Claiborne has signed with the Jets, the team announced. 

It will be a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to multiple reports.

The 27-year-old Claiborne had 26 tackles and one interception in seven games last season for the Cowboys.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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On the latest edition of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former Jets QB Geno Smith sits down with Taylor to discuss his time with the Jets and his decision to join the Giants.

"I will always kind of have that regret because I wanted to do so many things for that franchise.....I'm not a quitter, I don't like to lose and I don't like to give up on things. Sometimes in business you have to go your separate ways."

Click below to listen...

 

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Free agent QB Josh McCown will visit the Jets on Friday and Saturday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

McCown, 37, recently visited with the Cowboys.

He completed 90 passes for 165 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in five games last season for the Browns...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Smart or Disappointing 00:02:19
Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing off season

Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing offseason.

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Jets making right moves in FA? 00:03:37
The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.

The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.


 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets claimed defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers in February, only to let him go a month later. Now they are bringing him back again.

The 25-year-old Pennel has signed a one-year deal with the Jets, his agent, Andy Simms, confirmed on Twitter. The former Green Bay Packer will be in the mix this summer to make the team on the Jets' crowded defensive line.

Pennel was once seen as a promising player. The 6-4, 332-pounder even started five games with the Packers in 2015. But his career took a bad turn last season when he was suspended twice -- for the first four games and then the last four games -- for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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Let me get you started with the questions, because I know the big one that's on everybody's mind:

Q: What are the Jets going to do at quarterback?

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

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Quincy Enunwa's breakout year was another example of how the former sixth-round pick has exceeded expectations. And in the NFL, young players get compensated for doing that.

To no one's surprise, the 24-year old receiver led the Jets in performance-based compensation from the NFL for the second straight season, pocketing another $327,637 for his 58-catch, 857-yard season. The annual bonus distribution is a way for the NFL and NFL Players Association to make sure that lower-salaried players are compensated for excellent performances, without counting against a team's salary cap.

In 2015, Enunwa pocketed nearly $300,000 in performance-based pay, giving him about $625,000 in bonuses for the last two seasons. His salaries for those two seasons were slightly more than $850,000 combined, so his bonuses equated to about 74 percent of his base pay...

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended by the NFL for two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the team announced. 

Late last September, Seferian-Jenkins was arrested for a DUI charge and was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three days later, the Jets claimed him off waivers. 

In seven games with the Jets, he recorded 10 catches for 110 yards. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed all charges against former Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

According to reports, Revis' childhood friend appeared before the judge with his attorney and said he pulled the accusers off Revis and punched them.

Pittsburgh police charged Revis with four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy/aggravated assault and one count misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats for the incident that took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 12.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are looking for a versatile third running back and kick returner and had made an offer to Travaris Cadet, but he has chosen to remain with the Saints, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Cadet was also weighing an offer from the Bills.

A 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, Cadet -- who visited with the Jets this past weekend -- has spent most of his five NFL seasons with the Saints. He had 40 catches and four receiving touchdowns for New Orleans last year, where new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton was the receiving coach...

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Dont'a Hightower returns to Pats 00:02:26
The Daily News Live team talks about Dont'a Hightower's decision to re-sign with the defending-champion Patriots rather than the Jets.

Free agent LB Dont'a Hightower has returned to the Patriots, signing a four-year, $43.5 million deal that includes a $19 million signing bonus.

The 27-year-old All-Pro visited the Jets on Monday and the Steelers on Tuesday. 

There were reports that New York was among the highest bidders for Hightower's services, reportedly offering him more than $12 million per year.

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 (Daniel Powers (USA Today))
(Daniel Powers (USA Today))

Update: 

The Jets have offered free agent LB Dont'a Hightower more than $12 million per year, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.

Jason La Confora reported yesterday that the Jets had offered the most money for Hightower. La Confora said that the 27-year-old was not inclined to take New York's offer.

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 (Steven Senne/AP)
(Steven Senne/AP)

In today's Jets mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano weighs in on the quarterback situation, the possibility of tanking, and the Jets' potential pitch to Dont'a Hightower...


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Is it worth the #Jets going after a Brock Osweiler or Chase Daniel if other teams are on the hook for their salaries? -- @MiniHulk5

If you mean that's because their prices will be lower, I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, Osweiler and Daniel are already making money this season from their old teams, so perhaps they'd be willing to take less from their new one. But really, how high is their value going to be anyway? Right now I only count four teams without a starting quarterback - the Jets, Browns, Texans, and 49ers. The Texans are probably going to get Tony Romo and the other two are drafting 1-2 in April...

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Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Looking to bolster their rushing attack - which might be especially important if they end up with an inexperienced quarterback - the Jets are bringing in fullback Zach Line for a free-agent visit.

The 26-year-old Line, who played the last four seasons for the Vikings, is expected to arrive in Florham Park, N.J., on Wednesday. He had been the Vikings' primary fullback the last two seasons. In 2016, the Vikings had the NFL's worst rushing attack, though that was largely due to the absence of running back Adrian Peterson. In 2015, they ranked fourth in the league as Peterson rushed for 1,485 yards.

The Jets did not have a true fullback on their roster last season, though they still ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9.  (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Howard Jones, a defensive end who can play linebacker in a 3-4 defense and who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will make a free-agent visit to the Jets on Friday, an NFL source confirmed.

The visit, reported by ESPN, will be a chance for the Jets to check on his rehabilitation from a torn ACL that limited him to just eight games last season. In 2015, before he got hurt, he showed a lot of promise with five sacks in 12 games, including five starts. He had two sacks that season in his NFL debut.

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The free-agent market has thinned out a bit, but the Jets still have plenty of holes to fill. Yes, they still need a quarterback. But they have many other needs, too.

The good news is they still have a decent amount of salary-cap space and there is still help available. Here's a look at some of the non-quarterbacks still on the market who could be a fit:

CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys) - The former sixth-overall pick (2012), he was long considered a bust before he began to finally play up to expectations last season - right up until he injured his groin. He's still only 27 and as the Jets begin a youth movement in the secondary it might be worth giving him a chance to prove his start last season wasn't a fluke. They'd need to move fast, though, since word is he could soon end up with the Ravens.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Patriots still tormenting Jets 00:02:49
The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.

The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.


Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a new podcast, and for the Jets, it's been a few weeks of out with the old, and in with the…well, not much. The guys say goodbye to Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, and Nick Folk, and look ahead to what comes next as the Jets look to re-build around QB TBD.

Click below to listen!

 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets don't seem to be in any hurry to figure out their starting quarterback for 2017 and they are "considering all options," according to a source. At the moment there are many. None of them are great.

But Jay Cutler does appear to be up near the top of their list.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)
Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Updates (Mar. 13)

4:25 p.m.: The Jets concluded their visit with free agent LB Dont'a Hightower on Monday afternoon.

11:10 a.m.: After visiting the Jets, Hightower is scheduled to visit the Steelers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

 

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Cutler to NY? 00:02:51
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the latest on the New York Jets and Giants in free agency.

The Jets have called to express interest in free agent QB Jay Cutler, who was released by the Bears last week, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Cutler, 33, completed 81 of 137 passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in five games last season for the Bears while dealing with two separate injuries.

He threw for 3,659 yards in 2015 to go along with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets sat on the sidelines during the first few days of the NFL's free-agent frenzy, choosing to avoid some of the crazy contracts being thrown around. But they have done some spending, re-signing a few of their own players and bringing in a new left tackle and a new kicker.

So what's next? Well, the biggest question of all still hangs over the Jets since they don't yet know who their starting quarterback will be in 2017. Pretty much every other question pales in comparison to that one, and they don't appear much closer to answering it right now.

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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Jets still haven't ruled out bringing Geno Smith back to compete for their starting quarterback job next season. But the Giants may be taking a shot at him first.

Smith, the former Jets second-round pick, is making a free agent visit across town to the Giants on Saturday afternoon, an NFL source confirmed. The Giants are in the market for a backup to Eli Manning, with both Josh Johnson and Ryan Nassib currently unrestricted free agents.

A big part of the visit, according to one source, is so the Giants can get a sense for where the 26-year-old Smith is in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last October in his lone start last season with the Jets. In a recent interview with NFL Network, Smith said he was on track to be ready for the start of training camp in July, but likely wouldn't be ready for football activities before that.

Tags: Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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Kelvin Beachum started 15 games last season for Jacksonville (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)
Kelvin Beachum started 15 games last season for Jacksonville (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY: The Jets are still searching for a quarterback, but now they have someone who can protect his blindside.

Taking their first dip in this year's free-agent pool, the Jets signed former Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum on Friday night. He figures to immediately become the starter on the left side, taking the place of the Ryan Clady/Ben Ijalana combo the Jets used last season.

The Jets also filled two other key vacancies on Friday night when they signed former Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who replaces the recently released Nick Folk, and they re-signed long-snapper Tanner Purdum.

Beachum (6 foot 3, 308 pounds) was the big get for the Jets. A former seventh-round pick of the Steelers, he was on his way to becoming one of the best left tackles in the NFL before he tore his ACL during the 2015 season. He proved his recovery, though, by starting 15 games at left tackle for the Jaguars last year.

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Jets outlook for 2017 00:03:24
The Daily News Live panel wonders if the Jets have already given up on the 2017 season given the current makeup of the team.

Maccagnan's seat warming up? 00:02:42
Jon Hein and Dan Graca discuss if Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan should be on the hot seat as the Jets enter free agency.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

The first few hours of the NFL's free-agent frenzy didn't clear up the Jets' quarterback question, but the landscape changed a bit and may have increased their options. Jay Cutler, as expected, is now available. And Brock Osweiler, unexpectedly, is available too.

So what are the Jets doing and who are they looking at, and do they have any idea who their quarterback will be in 2017?

Here's a look at their current options, just a few hours after the market opened with the Jets standing relatively still:

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Jets lack of free agent activity 00:03:06
Jon Hein and Dan Graca debate just how depressing the first day of free agency has been for the New York Jets and their fan base.

Free agent RB Benny Cunningham  met with the Jets on Friday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports.

The 26-year-old appeared in 11 games last season with the Rams, rushing 21 times for 101 yards.

Cunningham signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and has spent his entire career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles franchise.

Since debuting in 2013, he's carried the ball 171 times for 748 yards and four touchdowns in 57 career games with the Rams.

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Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) fumbles the ball after being sacked by New York Jets linebacker Corey Lemonier (44) and New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) fumbles the ball after being sacked by New York Jets linebacker Corey Lemonier (44) and New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets have re-signed LB Corey Lemonier, the team announced Thursday night.

The 25-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Lions on Dec. 26 and appeared in New York's Week 17 game against the Bills.

Lemonier has appeared in 51 career games since he was selected by the 49ers in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft.

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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Josh Martin (95) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Mark J. Rebilas)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Josh Martin (95) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Mark J. Rebilas)

The Jets have re-signed LB/ST Josh Martin to a two-year, $4.3 million deal, the team announced Thursday night.

The fourth-year pro played in a career-high 15 games for New York last season, primarily on special teams.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

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On Guard with Willie Colon 00:04:08
Willie Colon joins DNL to discuss the Giants acquisition of Brandon Marshall and the Jets quarterback situation as free agency begins.

Willie Colon joins DNL to discuss the Giants acquisition of Brandon Marshall and the Jets quarterback situation as free agency begins.


GEICO SportsNite: Darrelle Revis 00:04:54
The Jets informed Darrelle Revis of his impending release next week amid issues off the field and declining performance on the field.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Darrelle Revis' long and sometimes stormy tenure with the Jets has officially come to an end.

The Jets released the 31-year-old on Thursday, on the first day of the NFL's new league year. It was "100 percent" a football decision, according to a team source, and not at all related to his recent legal troubles in Pittsburgh.

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 (Andrew Weber)
(Andrew Weber)

The Jets have re-signed LT/RT Ben Ijalana to a two-year deal worth $11 million, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Ijalana, 27, played in all 16 games for the Jets last season.

He made $760,000 in 2016...

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Jets Nation: Free Agency Special 00:03:24
In a special Free Agency edition of Jets Nation the panel discuss if they were surprised by any of the Jets' recent free agent moves.

SNY had full coverage of the opening of NFL Free Agency at 4PM on Thursday with a special Jets Nation: Free Agency Special.

Jeane Coakley hosted with former Jets Ray Lucas and Willie Colon and longtime Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff. Ralph Vacchiano was around providing the latest news and notes as the Jets looked to reshape their roster.
 

 

 

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The Jets have released RB Khiry Robinson, the team announced Thursday.

Robinson, 27, signed with the Jets last March after missing the end of the 2015 season due to a broken leg. 

He reinjured the leg during a preseason game against the Eagles and was waived/injured on Sept. 4. Robinson re-signed with the Jets on Dec. 7 but reinjured the leg against the Patriots in Week 16.

Tags: Khiry Robinson
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

League executives are not high on the idea of signing CB Darrelle Revisreports Manish Mehta in the NY Daily News.

Revis, 31, was released by the Jets last week. It was a move Jets head coach Todd Bowles said had to do strictly with football, and not Revis' recent arrest.

"Have you seen his tape?" one general manager told Mehta. "I wouldn't let him play for me for free."

"Revis is done," another front office executive told Mehta. "You respect the body of work throughout his career, but all good things come to an end." 

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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