Earlier this week, the Jets signed offensive lineman JB (or Jeff) Shugarts to their active roster. Jets fans might not know too much about Shugarts, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

After spending preseason with Cleveland last year, the undrafted Shugarts spent part of last year on the Browns practice squad and, after being released, got added to the Bills practice squad where he remained until the last week of the regular season. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys but was released last week. He played his college football with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last preseason to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is JB Shugarts?

Shugarts stands an impressive 6-6 and is currently listed at 299 pounds, but weighed in at 308 at his Pro Day just over a year ago. He was a three year starter at right tackle with Ohio State, although some draft experts felt he projected better to guard at the NFL level. His athletic workout numbers are not very impressive (5.54 forty, 85-inch broad jump, 5.02 short shuttle) and he only did 17 bench press reps. He also had some shoulder and foot issues at college.

Having gone undrafted in 2012, he signed with the Cleveland Browns where he worked exclusively at tackle during preseason. He didn't make the final roster and ended up on their practice squad. After being released, he also spent two weeks on Buffalo's practice squad in December.

Ohio State are known for their zone blocking systems and the use of the stretch/zone run to the outside. This should mean he is familiar with the kinds of blocking schemes the Jets are expected to implement.

2012 Preseason

Shugarts got reps at both left and right tackle with the Browns in preseason last year. He was on the third unit so he didn't play much in the first three games but got to play in the entire second half of the fourth game with both teams resting their starters.

Week 1 – Lions

Entered the game at left tackle halfway through the fourth quarter (11 snaps) in the middle of a drive that had already reached the 30 yard line. The Browns would wind up scoring a touchdown …

- There was one running play where he made an ineffective kickout block and the run was bottled up for a short gain

- They ran a screen pass for 25 yards down to the goal line. Shugarts just about did enough to enable the quarterback to get the throw off, but was moving backwards as his man bullrushed

- Helped to set the edge on a double team block as the runner went around the left side for a short touchdown

- On another passing play, he was again moving backwards as his man bullrushed

- Got beaten outside as his man planted to the inside and then burst outside to beat him with speed. The left guard dropped back to pick his man up and prevent a pressure

- They ran a short yardage play behind him, but it got bottled up

This was a bit of a rude awakening for Shugarts, who clearly found it hard to adjust to the initial speed of the game. He struggled when bullrushed, was beaten badly on a speed rush and didn't make a positive impact in the running game. However, he avoided any serious mistakes and at least got that first game out of the way.

Week 2 – Packers

Entered the game at right tackle in the fourth quarter and the Browns drove 64 yards for a field goal that would prove to be their only possession in the quarter (14 snaps) …

- Shugarts made a couple of effective kick out blocks on the drive

- He peeled off a double team to make a block at the second level, but his man anticipated it and he wasn't able to make a clean block in space. His man got off the block to get in on the tackle

- Trying to make a block on the move, he was unable to sustain it cleanly and his man got in on the tackle after stretching the play out well

- On a short yardage play, he drove his man off the line and turned him to set up the conversion

- He also made a good block to set the edge

- They only passed twice on the drive and he handled his man each time, although the first one was a quick release and the second one saw the QB roll the other way

The Browns had some pretty good success running the ball behind Shugarts on this drive. Although he let a few guys get off his block - the most common deficiency I see in most rookie linemen - he had some positive blocks too and generally got a bit of a surge or at least held his ground. What's most impressive about this is that he was working against an established NFL player; Anthony Hargrove. Hargrove was getting additional reps because he was due to start an eight game suspension once the season began and Shugarts definitely got the better of him at the point of attack.

Week 3 – Eagles

Entered at left tackle in the fourth quarter, but the Browns failed to sustain either of the two drives he was in for (six snaps) …

- On the first play after he entered the game, the QB was intercepted by Cliff Harris (the former Jets player who was arrested during the offseason this year)

- On the next drive, his man got half a step to the outside and leveraged his way into the quarterback, hitting him after the throw

- On another play in pass protection, he was driven back but managed to stay in front to enable the pass to be thrown

- He was then tested with another bullrush, but this time although he starting moving backwards again, he was able to anchor himself and hold up in protection

- A safety came off the edge with a blitz and he did a good job of recognizing this as the Browns shifted their protection, but the safety ran around him easily for a pressure, exposing his poor lateral speed.

Shugarts was tested here in pass protection, but did show some signs that he was making some good adjustments, even though he was beaten a couple of times.

Week 4 – Bears

Played the entire second half at left tackle (24 snaps) ...

- Badly beaten for a sack (where the QB got absolutely nailed) on that same move he was beaten by in the first game - the pass rusher made a jab step to the inside to throw him off balance and then blew by him on the outside. You can actually see this play (and a couple of others from this game) if you go to 1:49 on this YouTube clip. Shugarts is #68.

- Was beaten again on the outside and the QB was flushed from the pocket

- Made an excellent kickout block on a run that ended up going for 64 yards as he drove his man off the line and out of the play. The run was actually bottled up between the tackles but the runner cutback the other way to gain the big yardage, so Shugarts' contribution wasn't integral to the success of the play

- The QB was flushed from the pocket as he was beaten again, this time on the inside

- He tried to push his man upfield where there was a back ready to double team, but the pass rusher split the double and again flushed the quarterback

Although he gave up some pressure during this game, Shugarts seemed to get more comfortable as the game went on and seemed to be handling most of his man's moves towards the end, almost as if he needed to see them a few times before he had them scouted. It was another interesting matchup with Cheta Okougwu who was 2011's Mr. Irrelevant and did see some time on the Bears defense towards the end of last season. While Okougwu got the better of him as a pass rusher, Shugarts had the edge in the running game.

Observations

Based on all the footage I watched, here was my take on what Shugarts brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - As noted, he played both left and right tackle.

Athletic Ability - Shugarts' athleticism didn't really stand out in any of these games and, as noted, he doesn't have great workout numbers. His lateral mobility let him down at times, so I can see why scouts might project him to work at guard.

Run Blocking - As ever with young players, Shugarts biggest problem is that he doesn't always manage to sustain his block. NFL players are just too good at shedding a block or leveraging themselves into the direction of the ball carrier. Having said that, they had pretty good success running behind him and he did make some good kickout and edge setting blocks. Overall, I'd say he graded out positively as a run blocker on balance. Whether he has the athleticism to play tackle in a Mornhinweg offense is another matter.

Pass Protection - Shugarts definitely got embarrassed on a few occasions here. Ultimately he gave up one sack, one hit and a handful of pressures in 55 snaps, which isn't great, especially when they ran the ball a fair amount. However, he was facing some legitimate NFL level players at times, despite being on the third unit. He seemed to be in the right place, but just underestimated the speed or strength of his opponent at times. I was impressed with how he battled and seemed to make improvements rather than getting beaten by the same move more than once though. What I did not see was any team attempting to stunt or overload and how he would handle that.

Attitude - There wasn't too much I could read into here. He didn't have any penalties or do anything demonstrative on the field and it looked like he was trying really hard. He does have an arrest for "possession of drug paraphernalia" in his past though, although he passed a drug test and was let off.

Conclusions

It seems almost certain that Shugarts is unlikely to challenge for a roster spot this year. However, as we've seen with Austin Howard, players can improve leaps and bounds while on a practice squad, so Shugarts might be more advanced than the player I saw in these games. Admittedly, the fact he was recently cut by the Cowboys does not bode so well though.

I can unequivocally state that Shugarts played better than some of the second and third string linemen the Jets have had through their doors over the past few years, so if he gets a chance for some reps in preseason, it will be interesting to see what kind of progress he has made.

As noted, I can see why some scouts think he could be a better fit at guard and maybe that will be a long-term project the Jets will consider. However, he wasn't too bad at tackle and showed some flashes of ability and also that he is capable of learning, improving and making adjustments, so it's up to him to demonstrate that in camp if he wants to stay in the system.

Up next: Leger Douzable, the defensive tackle signed by the Jets yesterday. We'll get his BGA out of the way tomorrow.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Daily News Live: Mike Westhoff 00:03:54
Mike Westhoff joins Daily News Live to discuss the notion of the Jets tanking and Todd Bowles' job security prior to Jets camp on Thursday.

If you Googled 'New York Jets owner' early Thursday afternoon, it wasn't Woody Johnson who came up. Instead, it was New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Click below to see the image

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The Jets have claimed RB/KR Marcus Murphy off waivers, reports Brian Costello of the NY Post.

The Saints waived Murphy earlier this week.

Murphy, 25, played in 16 games for the Saints between 2015 and 2016 while being used mostly on special teams.

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Bill Cowher on set for the Thursday Night Football before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Bill Cowher on set for the Thursday Night Football before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Former NFL head coach and current CBS analyst Bill Cowher believes Jets coach Todd Bowles has a tough challenge ahead this season. 

After going 5-11 this year, the Jets have lost key pieces on both sides of the ball, and Cowher says this will only make things harder for New York's third-year head coach. 

"The biggest challenge for Todd is to create a culture of winning because I think until you win the close games, until you win back-to-back, there's constantly going to be that one point in the game where you say, 'Oh boy, here we go again,'" Cowher said, according to Newsday.

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

At this point, the entire Jets roster, season and future can be summed up with one big question mark. No one seems to know - or at least fully understand -- exactly what they're doing and whether whatever plans they have can actually work.

So I know you've got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part II...

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Despite the uncertainty the Jets face this season at many positions, Matt Forte believes this year's team will have better environment in the locker room. 

This offseason, the Jets have seen Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Ryan Fitzpatrick, among others, leave for other teams. 

"It's a detriment to a team if you have guys that are selfish and only want to get their job done for a certain reason instead of the main reason, being for all of us to get our job done to win," Forte said, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Tags: Matt Forte
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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants safety Duke Ihenacho believes the rival Cowboys completely botched the situation with Lucky Whitehead, who was recently cut and claimed off waivers by the Jets. 

Whitehead, 25, had been involved last week in an apparent case of mistaken identity, where he was initially implicated for shoplifting. Ihenacho took to Twitter to lash out at the Cowboys for getting rid of the innocent player. 

Tags: Dallas Cowboys
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Loud Mouths: Ralph Vacchiano 00:05:05
SNY's NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths to play a round of Boom or Bust on the upcoming NFL season.

 (Brad Rempel)
(Brad Rempel)

The Jets have claimed former Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead off waivers and cut WR Devin Street, the team announced Wednesday.

Whitehead, 25, had been involved last week in an apparent case of mistaken identity, where he was initially implicated for shoplifting.


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

On the surface this seems like an odd and unnecessary move for a rebuilding Jets team. Yes, Whitehead was apparently an innocent victim of mistaken identity in his recent "arrest." But the Cowboys decision to cut him anyway for an alleged pattern of bad behavior should raise plenty of red flags...

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

At this point, the entire Jets roster, season and future can be summed up with one big question mark. No one seems to know - or at least fully understand -- exactly what they're doing and whether whatever plans they have can actually work.

So I know you've got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part I...

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Davis on camp 00:01:56
Jets linebacker Demario Davis speaks with Michelle Yu about training camp opening up this weekend.

Jets linebacker Demario Davis speaks with Michelle Yu about training camp opening up this weekend.

Tags: Demario Davis
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 (Orlando Jorge Ramirez)
(Orlando Jorge Ramirez)

Former Chargers G Orlando Franklin had a visit with the Jets today, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Franklin, 29, was released from the Chargers after they drafted Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

He signed a five-year, $36.5 million contract with the Chargers in 2015. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The word that defined the Jets during the offseason was "rebuilding" - unless, of course, you were Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. To him, it was all about "competition". And with a roster in flux, he certainly has created a lot of that.

Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen, and depends on the talent he has assembled. He will have plenty of training camp position battles to watch, though.

Here's a quick look at the Top 5..

Tags: Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Buster Skrine, Christian Hackenberg, Jalin Marshall, Juston Burris, Lorenzo Mauldin, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Even though they didn't pick a wide receiver in the first six rounds, a trio of rookie wideouts made significant contributions for the Jets in 2016. Charone Peake, who was selected in the seventh round, combined with undrafted rookies Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall to register 75 catches for 935 yards and four touchdowns.

Preseason Stats: Jalin Marshall: 9-94, Charone Peake: 10-103-TD, Robby Anderson: 13-264-3TD.

Tags: Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

It's hard to pick out the most important players on a team that has such low expectations. In the case of the Jets, tomorrow matters more than today, and the most important players now might not be part of their long-term future.

Or to put it another way: Who is more important - Josh McCown or Christian Hackenberg? A resurgence by McCown could cause the Jets to surprise some people. But is that more important than Hackenberg proving whether he can be the Jets' quarterback of the future?

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The evidence is hard to refute. They jettisoned almost every recognizable veteran they had. They didn't add any significant free agents. The veteran quarterback they added is a 38-year-old journeyman. The Jets were 5-11 last season, and it's hard to argue this year won't be worse.

So yes, it sure does look like the Jets are "tanking" this season, with their eyes on the top of next year's quarterback-rich draft. They're not, of course. Tanking is almost impossible to do effectively, especially in the NFL. But they are doing a bit of scorched-Earth rebuilding and know they are in for a long, losing season.

There'll be a lot of short-term pain. And intentional or not, for the long run that's not so bad...

Tags: Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)
Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams, the Jets' top draft pick and one of the cornerstones of their rebuilding project, agreed to terms on his rookie contract on Thursday night and is expected to be at training camp on time when it opens in eight days.

The agreement, announced by agents on Twitter and confirmed by the Jets on Friday, is projected to be worth about $22.2 million over four years with a signing bonus of approximately $14.3 million. The money is fully guaranteed for the No. 6 overall pick out of LSU. As with all first-round picks, Adams' deal also includes a team option for the fifth year.

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New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When safety Jamal Adams agreed to his rookie contract Thursday, the Jets finally locked up all nine of their draft picks. And that's good; given the state of their roster, they're probably going to need all of them.

There certainly will be plenty of opportunities for all the draftees on this young and rebuilding team, and maybe even a few undrafted free agents too. The Jets will enter camp next Friday with an open mind at almost every position, both for this year and in the future. Almost all jobs will be somewhat up for grabs.

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JRSportBrief: McCown & the Jets 00:01:36
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR explains why Josh McCown just needs to hold down the fort for the Jets.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown gave his new team a vote of confidence in an interview with ESPN's First Take on Thursday, highlighting the positives he has seen from both veterans and newcomers alike.

"There's still some guys there that are pros," McCown said. "When you watch how a guy like Matt Forte comes in and does his job every day, Mo Wilkerson had a great spring, came in and worked hard, and our rookies coming along, Jamal Adams so impressive coming in as a rookie out of LSU, a high draft pick."

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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Darron Lee had his ups and downs after being the Jets' first round pick last season, but the team seems compelled to proceed with the plan to build around him as one of the cornerstones of the defense. Entering his first season, everyone knew that Lee was a terrific athlete, but he still had to prove he had the instincts to play inside linebacker in a pro-style defense.

Preseason Stats: Four games, no starts, seven tackles, one sack

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

According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the NFL is still reviewing an incident invovling Jets' LB Darron Lee and DE Leonard Williams from early June, reports ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

The incident occured at Governors Ball Music Festival on Randalls Island in June where Lee had to be restrained by Williams after getting into an argument with a woman. An eye witness video showed Williams getting in between his teammate, and eventually, carrying him away from the argument.

Jets' head coach Todd Bowles later indentified the woman as Lee's girlfriend, and noted that the team will not be disciplining the linebacker. However, he thinks he needs to take caution in the future. 

"You don't want that stuff to happen, obviously," Bowles said earlier on the situation. "With social media going on these days, they've got to take better care of themselves. Darron understands that. I just know, from the past, any time you go to a concert, there's going to be trouble around, just as an ex-player and as a coach. When you go to a concert, a lot of things can happen. You have to be very mindful and very aware of where you are, and your surroundings -- and handle yourself better and keep yourself out of trouble."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected specialists: Chandler Catanzaro (K), Lachlan Edwards (P), Tanner Purdum (LS), Jalin Marshall (KR/PR)

Key contributors: Rontez Miles, Josh Martin, Dylan Donahue, Juston Burris, Charone Peake

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dexter McDougle, Jalin Marshall, Juston Burris, Loc Edwards, Nick Folk, Quincy Enunwa, Ronald Martin, Rontez Miles, Tanner Purdum
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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking with the New York Post, Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said he would not be surprised if the Jets have another struggling, losing season in 2017. 

"It's hard to argue [with] that," Enunwa said, "when everybody else sees all the stuff that's going on."

This offseason, the Jets have cut ties with many players, including receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Despite the possibility of another tough year ahead, Enunwa believes the players will still play hard when the season begins. 

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets QB Chad Pennington believes head coach Todd Bowles deserves the chance to turn the team around, per Brett Bonder of NY Daily News. 

If the Jets are to tank this sesaon, Pennington doesn't think it will be fair to put the blame on Bowles as he thinks he is the right guy for the job.

"My one hope for the Jets is that they give coach Bowles a chance to right the ship, don't pull everything away from him and then make him the reason why they're getting rid of him because of the lack of success," Pennington said. "He is the right guy, I think he showed that in his first year, last year wan an anomaly and this year you can see, wow, what a task he has."

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Former Jets WR Brandon Marshall said he requested his release because he couldn't deal with the Jets not having a chance this season, per ESPN's Eric Cimini. 

Marshall was on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show Thursday where he admitted his former team wasn't going to have a good 2017 season, and he didn't want to be a part of it.

"I wouldn't have made it through an entire season, knowing we didn't have a chance," Marshall said. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

USC QB Sam Darnold said last week's report that he might remain in school instead of entering the 2018 NFL Draft did not come from him, but remained vague about his future.

"I don't really have many thoughts about that," the potential No. 1 pick said during an appearance on ESPN's "The Fix". "I don't think any team should tank their season because of me. I'm just taking this every day, one day at a time. That's all I can do."

"I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead of my future," he said. "But I'm really just taking it one day at a time."

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After a solid rookie season, Jordan Jenkins is hoping to thrive in a full-time role in 2017. The 23-year old has spent part of his offseason back in Georgia, working on his pass rush techniques with pass rush guru Chuck Smith.

Preseason Stats: Two games, two starts, four tackles, no sacks, two quarterback hits.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Projected Starters: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Projected Back-ups: Rontez Miles

On the bubble: Shamarko Thomas, Ronald Martin, Doug Middleton, Corey White

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Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh took to Twitter to take some playful jabs at the Jets and their fans, but not before Jets defensive Muhammad Wilkerson chimed in.

Tags: Justin Pugh, Muhammad Wilkerson
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