Last night, the Jets and Rams completed a trade which sent disappointing and overpaid right tackle Wayne Hunter to the Rams for the arguably even more disappointing and overpaid right tackle Jason Smith.

Having reviewed several Rams games already this offseason for the Expendables series, Smith had been a guy who stood out as having had some struggles. Maybe a closer inspection of the film will reveal some promise, but we’ll get to that in due course. For the time being, I’ve been scratching my head over this one.

After the jump, I’ll be looking at salary cap issues associated with the move, weighing up some of the practical considerations that may have gone into the Jets’ though process in making this deal and providing detailed analysis of how Smith has played in the preseason, along with some numbers and analysis from his three years in the league so far.

Salary Cap Issues

Based on the information available about Smith’s contract (mostly from Brian McIntyre), we can determine the following about the two years remaining on the restructured monster contract he signed when he was drafted by the Rams with the second pick:

- His salary for 2012 is $4m, which is fully guaranteed

- He also has potential incentives of $1m based on playing time, wins and playoff success

- If he earns any of these incentives, they will count against the 2013 cap

- His contract will void if he plays over 31% of the snaps in 2012

- If his contract voids, the Jets could get a 2014 compensatory pick if anyone else signs him

- If his contract doesn’t void, he is set to earn $12m in 2013

- None of the money in 2013 is guaranteed, so he can be released with no cap implications

- His deal could also be restructured at that point

Since Wayne Hunter was due to earn $2.45m the Jets used up $1.55m of net 2012 cap room by making this move. The Jets also save $4m in 2013 and $3m in 2014, which have to be accounted for in their future cap charges, even though it was unlikely Hunter was ever going to earn these non-guaranteed sums. At the same time, this means we need to account for Smith’s $12m in next year’s cap calculation, although there’s no chance of him earning this. Ultimately, the Jets are $8m further over the 2013 cap than they already were, although their actual cap flexibility beyond 2013 is pretty much unaffected, other than the fact they have $1.55m less to potentially carry over. It might mean that more media members fall into the trap of believing the Jets are in cap hell, but they still should have the flexibility to keep the core together and retain flexibility.

Some questions arise. For example, some will be asking if using up this $1.55m leaves them with enough cap room to sign any other players. The Jets still have over $4m of cap room, but bear in mind that when you sign a player, you will also be removing another player from the roster. So, if you sign a guy for the minimum and remove a player from the roster who is also earning the minimum, then the cap cost is nothing. Minimum salaries do increase as players get older, but even if the Jets replaced an undrafted rookie with an older veteran, the net cap cost would only be a couple of hundred thousand dollars at most.

Also, the Jets have been pretty lucky with not having too many people land on injured reserve (which can eat into your cap room) so far this season, so perhaps they budgeted for a couple of million to cover them against that eventuality and now feel comfortable enough to spend that money and stay within budget.

Another question is why does Smith’s contract get voided when he reaches a certain playing time threshold? It looks like it’s been negotiated so that Smith had a chance to hit free agency in 2013, which would obviously give him all the leverage to get a contract extension from the Rams before the end of the 2012 season. If an injury had prevented him from reaching that threshold, then the fact his 2013 cap number is high would give him added protection and leverage. Obviously the expectation was that he’d be an elite player at that point of his career. Instead he’s been a disappointment and has already negotiated his salary down from $10m this year – receiving the guarantee in return.

Naturally, this means it is an effective contract year for Smith, which might have been one of the reasons the Jets made the deal.

Unless Smith proves to be an upgrade over Hunter, the deal doesn’t really make any sense from a contract perspective. One possible upside is that they could potentially get a compensatory pick in 2014 if Smith’s contract voids and then he gets picked up by another team (as suggested by Jason from NYJetsCap.com), but that wouldn’t be enough to justify making the deal.

What is clear is that Hunter’s confidence was so shot that his days with the Jets were numbered. Obviously the vitriol from the fans has been too much for him to take and the decision to allow him to remain on the team and collect a guaranteed salary for 2012 has come back to bite them. There were more than just financial considerations that went into that decision – principally a concern over how the locker room would react to him being cut or forced to reduce his pay and a desire to look like they do the right thing by their players, but also an assessment of the lack of potential replacements available. All those reasons made sense at the time and they obviously weren’t expecting things to go south so dramatically, but the end result is that that money was a sunk cost, because he was on his way out.

Had they cut Hunter, they’d be on the hook for all of his $2.45m anyway, so the net cost of finding a replacement, even if they got a minimum salary guy, wouldn’t have been far short of the $4m they are going to be paying Smith. Could they have found a replacement for less than the $1.55m they ultimately lose out on? Some people had been suggesting that Gosder Cherilus could be a possible trade option, but he earns $2.3m, so if they cut Hunter and signed Cherilus, the Jets would be almost $1m worse off and down a draft pick or player. Cherilus wasn’t particularly good in 2011, but played well in 2010, so the Jets would be gambling that he’d see a return to form, which – for a player coming from a zone blocking system – might have taken some time.

When you look at it like this, the financial/asset risk behind getting Smith instead perhaps makes more sense. EDIT: It's subsequently been revealed that the Rams paid Smith a pre-trade bonus so that his salary for the year is exactly the same as what Hunter was set to earn, so a lot of the above analysis is now redundant. Ultimately the Jets are $1.55m better off than previously thought. It’s going to come down to what Smith can provide the Jets, though, so let’s start to think about that.

Who is Jason Smith?

When the Rams drafted Smith with the second pick of the 2009 draft, he was expected to become one of the league’s elite tackles. Three seasons into his career, he has been limited to 29 games by concussions, although he is understood to be healthy at the moment. This has obviously slowed his progress. Obviously he’s been a disappointment as the second pick, but his numbers when he has played are not too bad. The bigger issue is how much he’s reportedly struggling at the moment.

As a rookie, he played just three full games and half of four others but otherwise looked pretty promising. 2010 was his only full season and he played every snap. This season was blighted by inconsistency as he had a few really good games but more really bad ones. Although he graded out well below average he wasn’t right near the bottom of the league like Hunter was last year. In 2011, he lasted just five and a half games and was struggling. However, his last couple of performances were positive and he did only give up two sacks and two QB hits. So, on the basis of his three years in the league, he has been below average, but not one of the league’s worst tackles – which should make him an upgrade over Hunter…right?

Unfortunately, his return to the field this year has not been encouraging. Barry Richardson – a tackle who graded out considerably worse than Hunter last year – has basically won the starting job by default because Smith has been performing so poorly in camp. That’s not a good sign and Smith hasn’t been getting good reviews for his play.

I spoke to an analyst (Khaled Elsayed) from ProFootballFocus to see if he had any thoughts on the move. He said that Smith did look pretty good when he was a rookie, so he does have talent. It was more mental issues that seemed to affect his play and you never knew whether he’d have a good game or a bad game from week to week. He said that was the opposite of Wayne Hunter, who would string together some bad performances, then seem to find himself and start playing reasonably well for several weeks in a row, before losing it again and finding himself back in a rut.

This leads you to wonder whether it is effort that is holding Smith back. Rams fans are reportedly less than impressed with his attitude and he has a reputation for not wanting to learn new things. However, Khaled made the point that the Rams didn’t exactly help him by constantly changing his position from left tackle to right tackle and back again. He also notes that a lot of linemen have gone to St. Louis in recent years and got worse, so maybe the Jets have some confidence they can tap into some of his potential better than the Rams were able to.

Another factor is that Smith comes to the Jets who have plenty of other good players on their line, whereas the whole line was struggling when Smith was with the Rams. So, the line wasn’t blocking well as a unit and the chances of him getting any help were perhaps slim. Khaled suggests that the Jets probably expect Austin Howard to falter at some point, so while paying a $4m salary to a swing tackle seems excessive, they probably expect him to be starting eventually.

I’d also note that Smith’s struggles this preseason can perhaps be tempered by the fact that he is playing in a brand new scheme with an offensive coordinator (our old friend Brian Schottenheimer) whose system is notoriously difficult to pick up. That’s perhaps not the best thing for a player who apparently was already making mental mistakes. These mental errors and the fact that he suffered from changing positions remind me of Vladimir Ducasse’s struggles so far and Ducasse is responding really well to Sparano’s more straightforward scheme. That being the case, perhaps Smith is a better fit than we realized.

2012 Preseason

So, let’s look at Jason Smith’s three appearances so far this preseason. Remember, he hasn’t received positive reviews for these displays, but perhaps we’ve rationalized some of the possible reasons for this above. We might even see some positive signs. Mostly, I’ll be looking for differences between Smith and Hunter, as well as any obvious weaknesses in his game.

Week One – Indianapolis

Smith entered the game late in the first quarter. He didn’t look too bad in run blocking early on, although he did allow the DE to spin away from this block on the edge and assist on a tackle in the backfield. He bounced back from that to pull to the outside and make a good block to set up a nine yard run over the right side. His worst moment saw his man (Jerry Hughes) blow by him completely untouched for an easy sack on third down in the red zone. Hughes almost jumped offsides and this might have factored into how slowly Smith got into his stance. On the last series, Smith moved his feet well as he tried to make a reach block going to the left, but ended up knocked onto his back because he lost his balance. He was also beaten easily by an outside speed rush, but the pass rusher took too wide of an angle and the quarterback was able to get off a quick throw.

On the whole, Smith didn’t look too bad in this one, although the sack was particularly embarrassing. He definitely performed better than Richardson, who got destroyed on a couple of plays. You can see the athleticism and technically he doesn’t look as bad as advertised – definitely more polished than Howard. His footwork seems pretty good and he was able to counter some pass rushing moves well. I would note that – despite the fact Brian Schottenheimer is not renowned for doing so – he did get some help in the form of double teams and chip blocks.

Week Two – Kansas City

The offense didn’t look as good with the second unit in, but that wasn’t necessarily Smith’s fault. He had a couple of minor issues in the running game - a missed cut block, letting his man get off his block to get in on the tackle – but overall didn’t do too badly. They ran behind him for a short touchdown and he held his block well on another touchdown run. His worst moment saw another old friend, Ropati Pitoitua, beat him cleanly on the inside, although Potty missed the tackle and the runner bounced to the outside and picked up a first down. In pass protection, the nearest he came to giving up a pressure was when he was driven back into the quarterback, who took off and scrambled for a first down. Pressure was also coming from the other side on the play, otherwise he’d have had time to step up and throw.

Once again, Smith didn’t fare too badly in this one, although you might expect him to flash more dominance against backups. They did give him some help on the inside in pass protection, but the fact he didn’t give up any pressure is encouraging.

Week Three – Dallas

One thing I noticed from this game was a play where Smith took his man and drove him well out of the play, but the runner got stuffed in the backfield because someone else screwed up. Something like this happened a handful of times over the course of the three games. This is where you can start to wonder whether pairing him with some more talented and consistent players could turn that kind of play into a key block that sparks a successful run – or where if he does make a mistake, there might still be room for the runner to get back to the line of scrimmage rather than being swarmed under.

Smith did have some issues in this one. He reacted to an inside move, but then the pass rusher span to the outside and got away from him for what should have been a sack (but he missed the tackle). Also, he was tossed aside by Marcus Spears who stuffed a running play up the middle. His best moment was probably a driving run block, where he initially double teamed a defensive lineman and then drove him to the second level.

Overall Observations

While Smith didn’t play well enough against backups to stand out as someone who should definitely be a starter, at no point in any the three games was he overmatched like Hunter was against the Giants starters. In fact, he was also more consistent and did more positive things than Howard has this preseason.

I noticed the athleticism and strength that made Smith an elite prospect in the first place and he played extremely hard. He finishes his blocks and plays to the whistle, on several occasions doing the sort of thing you’d never normally notice like driving a pass rusher well out of the play once the pass had already been released so he had no chance to chase down the receiver. I did notice he ended up on the floor quite a lot, suggesting his technique wasn’t always perfect and also the concentration lapses he is known for were also apparent.

It’s very difficult to fairly evaluate backups playing against backups when comparing them with starters playing against starters. Richardson had more negative issues than Smith did, for example, but if their roles were reversed, I’m sure Smith would have struggled more and Richardson might have been more dominant. He definitely performed considerably better than Stephon Heyer, Robert Griffin and Hunter did as the second string tackle across from Howard in each of the last three games.

Howard’s confidence is high at the moment and he looks set to start the opener. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smith challenging for the starting role, especially if Howard has some struggles. That is practically inevitable with the pass rushers they are facing early on in the year.

Conclusions

I went to bed last night really scratching my head over this move. Normally when you make one of these deals where both players will probably benefit from a change of scenery, you don’t really have anything to lose, but in this case the Jets have surrendered some cap flexibility. Clearly the Jets must feel comfortable with this, but we’ll have to hope it doesn’t come back to bite them. EDIT: As noted above, the Jets didn't surrender any cap flexibility after all and this was a cap-neutral swap of two guys needing a change of scenery.

I was concerned that Smith does not represent any kind of upgrade over Hunter based on the reports of his preseason play, but a look back to his record when he has played suggests he has it in him to be better and a closer look at his performance in preseason suggests he isn’t playing that badly. If he can respond well to a simpler system and benefit from being surrounded by better players in a contract year, then this is a move that could pay off. I’m not sure what the plan is for 2013, but for now, I don’t think the Jets have planned that far ahead.

After Austin Howard’s performance last week, I feel a lot more comfortable about the Jets’ ability to scheme around any perceived weakness at the right tackle position. After reviewing the film, I’m not completely confident in Smith’s ability to live up to his salary, but some of the factors involved in his struggles with the Rams give me a small amount of hope. With any luck, he could provide solid cover for Howard and the Jets will not be in trouble if he ends up starting. Consider me cautiously pessimistic but by no means completely resigned to failure.

Welcome aboard, Jason. Let’s see you earn your salary.

Bonus Link: When the Jets signed Aaron Maybin back in 2011, I scouted him for BGA here and found myself rationalizing the move in much the same way. Go back and read what I wrote at the time because (ignoring the financial side of things) I feel much the same way after reviewing the film on Smith.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Many people around the NFL consider this to be one of the hardest first rounds to project in years. That's at least partly due to the uncertainty about where the quarterbacks will go, but also because of deep top tier of talent (perhaps 10 or 11 picks deep) and because many scouts don't see much of a difference between players ranked in the 10-15 range and those they rank down near 25-32.

After consulting with many NFL sources and experts (and my own imagination), here is my final answer on the first round: My SNY Mock Draft 3.0. I feel pretty good that the Cleveland Browns will indeed make the first overall selection. Other than that … no guarantees and I reserve the right to change my mind:

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Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A New York Jets helmet on the bench displays a sticker with the number 90 in memory of former New York Jet Dennis Byrd who was killed in a car accident last week. The Jets face the Baltimore Ravens today at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are wearing Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A New York Jets helmet on the bench displays a sticker with the number 90 in memory of former New York Jet Dennis Byrd who was killed in a car accident last week. The Jets face the Baltimore Ravens today at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are wearing Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Jets waived unning back Brandon Burks, wide receiver Darius Jennings, long snapper Josh Latham, linebacker Jeff Luc and defensive lineman Julien Obioha on Wednesday, ESPN.com's Richi Cimini reports.

 

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The Road to the NFL Draft 00:03:29
SNY shares the stories of three paths to the NFL Draft: Miami's David Njoku, Ohio State's Curtis Samuel and Anthony Cioffi from Rutgers.

SNY shares the stories of three paths to the NFL Draft: Miami's David Njoku, Ohio State's Curtis Samuel and Anthony Cioffi from Rutgers.

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Jets eye DE, QB in late rounds 00:04:51
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss which players the Jets could choose in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

They are coming off a miserable 5-11 season, released many of their most recognizable players, and they are beginning what looks like a complete rebuilding job.

So yes, the Jets need pretty much everything.

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GEICO SportsNite: NFL Draft 00:01:05
Jets GM Mike Maccagnan discusses the final days of preparation leading up to the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One last look at the top players on the board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick on April 27:

1.CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - He has been in the No. 1 spot on this board almost from the beginning because of his skill and because he seems likely to be there at 6. The Chicago Bears seem to like him at 3 and there's a chance the Tennessee Titans will take him at 5, but both teams seem to have other priorities. If he gets through to the Jets, it will be hard to pass up this 6-foot, 193-pounder who could give them the shut-down cornerback they haven't had since Darrelle Revis was still Darrelle Revis. (Last report: 1)...

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Jets or Giants draft QB first? 00:03:14
Daily News Live predicts which New York football team is more likely to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Daily News Live predicts which New York football team is more likely to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Who should the Jets pick at six? 00:05:25
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After not doing a Mock Draft in about a decade, I've now done two versions in less than three weeks - with a third (and final) version still to come. So with eight days to go until the draft, here's my SNY Mock Draft, version 2.0. The information comes from NFL sources, draft experts, and in some cases my own mind:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets Draft 00:02:39
Jeane Coakley and Willie Colon discuss if the Jets should take a TE, the QB situation and the offensive line ahead of Thursday's draft.

Boom or Bust: Jabrill Peppers 00:01:50
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis debate if the Jets would be smart to use their first-round pick to select Michigan's Jabrill Peppers.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After initially being "open for business" with the sixth pick of the draft and admitting a desire to trade down, Mike Maccagnan seemed to close up shop on Monday. Now the Jets GM says "We feel pretty good at 6 right now."

And they should, because if the sudden frenzy over the quarterbacks in this draft is more than just a smokescreen, the Jets will end up with a better player at 6 than they previously believed.

For the longest time it didn't look like any quarterback would go in the first five picks of the NFL draft. The scouting world was down on all of the top quarterbacks in the draft and few believed any were worthy of even a Top 10 pick. The idea that any of them could end up as the top pick seemed crazy -- as crazy as the idea that two could go in the Top 10...

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has spent a lot of time this offseason looking at the quarterbacks in this draft. But that isn't necessarily unusual. In fact, he said, the Jets "feel pretty good" about the quarterbacks they already have.

"We have the two young guys (Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty) and we like both of them in terms of ability and potential," the Jets GM said during his pre-draft press briefing on Monday. "We feel pretty good about the guys we have."

That hasn't stopped him from looking, of course, and at least considering the possibility of the Jets drafting a quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick. They have scouted the top quarterbacks in the draft heavily this offseason and many believe the Jets will take one in that spot...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Calvin Pryor, Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants, Jets eye tight ends 00:05:01
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss whether the Giants or Jets will select a tight end in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss whether the Giants or Jets will select a tight end in the NFL Draft.

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Who should the Jets pick at six? 00:05:25
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. 

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Daily News Live: New York Jets 00:03:45
Daily News Live considers all of the Jets' options regarding the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Daily News Live considers all of the Jets' options regarding the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft.


New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills)

The less the rest of the nation has to see the Jets, the better.

That seemed to be the thinking of the NFL and its partner networks as they made up the 2017 schedule. The Jets, coming off a 5-11 season and heading for a year that doesn't appear to be promising, are scheduled to play only one game in prime time on national TV - a league-mandated Thursday night game that every team must have.

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

The Jets will open the 2017 season in Buffalo against the Bills and close it in New England against the Patriots.

The Jets will also face the Raiders in Oakland in Week 2 and host the L.A. Chargers in Week 16...

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Njoku discusses the NFL draft 00:05:15
Miami tight end David Njoku discusses his senior season and how he is handling the pressure that comes with being a top draft pick.

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on what the Jets have done during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. The signing period will continue through the NFL draft and right up until the start of training camp in July, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

The Jets will meet with Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore on Tuesday, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Gareon Conley, another CB from Ohio State, will visit the Jets on Tuesday as well.

Lattimore, 20, became a starter for the Buckeyes this past season, and was given First Team All-Big Ten honors.

The 6'0", 194-pounder redshirted during his first season at Ohio State in 2014 and was limited to just seven games in 2015 due to hamstring issues.

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Motivated Muhammad Wilkerson 00:02:29
The DNL crew discusses Muhammad Wilkerson's arrival at the Jets' Florham Park facility after coming off a disappointing 2016 season.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the first time in three years, Muhammad Wilkerson showed up for the start of the New York Jets' offseason training program.

The big defensive lineman was pictured at the Jets facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, on Monday morning, as the team officially kicked off its voluntary workouts. Last year, Wilkerson declined to participate because he wasn't happy with being tagged as the Jets "franchise player." He skipped them in 2015 as he hoped to pressure the Jets to give him a new deal.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Christian Hackenberg, David Harris, Eric Decker, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

In addition to meeting with Miami tight end David Njoku on Monday, the New York Jets also met with Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and NC State safety Josh Jones, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The Jets, who own the No. 6 pick in next week's NFL Draft, have given no indication as to which player they might pick, as a sample of 30-plus mock drafts has New York picking between eight players, ranging from quarterbacks to cornerbacks.

Foster, who recorded five sacks and 115 total tackles in his senior season with Alabama in 2016, is a 6-foot, 229-pound linebacker who did not participate in the NFL combine.

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 (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
(Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

CB Marcus Williams has signed his free agent tender with the Jets, the team announced Monday.

Williams, who has spent the last three seasons with the Jets, has eight interceptions over the last two seasons. 

Tags: Marcus Williams
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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The only consensus among the mock drafters on whom the Jets will take at No. 6 is that there is no consensus -- and that's unusual for such a high pick this late in the process.

But with only 10 days to go until the first round of the NFL draft begins, the picks in 32 mock drafts examined by SNY are split fairly evenly among eight players. The belief seems to be that the Jets will use the pick to fix their secondary (50 percent of the mock drafts have them going corner or safety), though some still believe they'll take a quarterback (32 percent).

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Tight end David Njoku highlights 00:01:34
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku.

The New York Jets will meet with Miami tight end David Njoku on Monday after his previously scheduled meeting with thwe Giants was canceled, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

After having a formal interview with the Giants at February's NFL Combine, Njoku was scheduled to meet with the Giants for a second time on Monday, according to The Record's Art Stapleton. Instead, the New Jersey native will meet with the Jets. 

The 20-year-old Njoku, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, had 43 catches and eight touchdowns for the Hurricanes last season.

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California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets will meet with former California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb this week, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Webb, 22, threw for 4,295 yards, 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his senior season with Cal. In his four-year college career, which includes three seasons at Texas Tech, he threw for 9,852 yards, 83 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

Webb, a 6-foot-5, 229-pound quarterback, has drawn comparisons to Brock Osweiler, according to his NFL.com draft profile page.

"He obviously is going to need coaching after being in those offenses at Texas Tech and Cal," one AFC scout told NFL.com. "I think he has enough between the ears to unlearn some of his bad habits and start to get things right. I see another Nick Foles if you give him time to develop."

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Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley intercepts the ball intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley intercepts the ball intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets will meet with former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley this week, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Conley, whom Scouts Inc. rates as the No. 21 prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, totaled four interceptions and eight passes defensed in 13 games with the Buckeyes last season.

A 6-foot, 195-pound junior, Conley ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, had a 37-inch vertical leap and recorded a 6.68-second three-cone drill time at the NFL combine.

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 (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
(Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets have terminated the contract of LB Julian Stanford.

In 2016, Stanford notched 15 solo tackles and assisted with 7 more across 9 games. He did not record a sack or interception. His lone season with the Jets, which began on the practice squad, ended when an ankle injury landed him on injured reserve.

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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Jets CB Nick Marshall has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL's performance enhancing substances policy, the league announced Friday.

Marshall is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by Jets and NFL Draft writer Jeff Lloyd as Draft Season is in full swing, and this week they take a close look at the offensive options in the draft, even if they don't love what they see.

Click below to listen!

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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

The Jets are bringing in North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky for a visit today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.

Trubisky is widely regarded as the top quarterback prospect in this year's NFL Draft.

The Jets have made their interest in Trubisky known over the last month. New York sent a large contingent of scouts for the quarterback's pro day, and followed it up with a private workout in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Center Wesley Johnson has signed his restricted free agent tender for $2.75 million to return to the Jets, according to multiple reports

Johnson started the final four games with the Jets last year when Nick Mangold was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. 

During his three seasons with the Jets, Johnson has started in nine games, with eight of those coming in 2016. 

 

Tags: Wesley Johnson

QB Pat Mahomes highlights 00:01:22
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes II.

Latest Update (April 12)

10:00AM: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes is visiting with the Jets today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Mahomes would have hired Jeremy Bates to be his private QB coach this offseason, but was unable to once the Jets hired Bates as the team's QB coach, Schefter added. The two have mutual respect for each other.

With the draft 15 days away, the Jets are reportedly looking hard at the quarterbacks available.

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Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets held a workout with former Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

Knight, 23, threw for 2,432 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games with the Aggies last year.

In three prior seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, Knight threw for 3,424 yards, 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Jets will play three preseason games at MetLife Stadium this year.

New York will open its preseason slate at home against the Tennessee Titans between Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, then face the Detroit Lions on the road in Week 2, played between Aug. 17 and Aug. 21.

The Jets will be the road team when they face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in Week 3, played between Aug. 24 and Aug. 28, then end their preseason schedule at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 31.

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GEICO SportsNite: Willie Colon 00:01:32
Willie Colon calls it quits for his career in the NFL and hosted a retirement party Friday attended by friends and teammates.

 (Seth Wenig/AP)
(Seth Wenig/AP)

The Jets added free agent cornerback John Ojo on Friday. The 6'3, 205 lb former Edmonton Eskimo has spent the past three years in the Canadian Football League.

His CFL run was highlighted by a 41 tackle, five interception season in 2015. 

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett deliver a new podcast, as they dive into the potential trade market for Sheldon Richardson (if there is one), and start prospecting for new Jets recruits as the NFL Draft approaches.

Click below to listen!

 

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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Malik Hooker highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Ohio State safety and NFL Draft prospect Malik Hooker.

Ohio State S Malik Hooker and Missouri DE Charles Harris are among the defensive Draft prospects the Jets will visit with on Thursday and Friday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The Jets have the sixth overall selection in the Draft, which takes place April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

Hooker was a First Team All-Big Ten selection this past season.

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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

The Jets have signed TE Brian Parker, the team announced Thursday.

Parker, who played in nine games for the Chiefs in 2015 (making one reception), initially signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

I don't remember doing a mock draft any time in the last 20 or so years (though I did find internet evidence of one in 2010). I'm still interpreting my record in all the other years to be perfect -- no misses. But, as they say, "No guts, no glory". It's time to put that streak on the line with my first Mock Draft for SNY. It won't be my last, either. I'll be revising this up until Draft Week. So keep checking back. This is simply version 1.0:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Yeah, they need a quarterback, but he's the best player in the draft and they have a decent young QB on the roster. Plus they have the No. 12 pick (so stay tuned).

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
They need a quarterback too, but they have a new coach and GM on long-term deals. They can wait until there's a better QB crop.

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Should Jets trade for Sherman? 00:01:57
Dan Graca and Jon Hein discuss if the Jets should make a trade for Richard Sherman.

Dan Graca and Jon Hein discuss if the Jets should make a trade for Seahawks CB Richard Sherman.

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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Leonard Fournette, the star running back at LSU and a possible target for the Jets with the sixth pick of the draft, weighed a surprising 240 at the NFL scouting combine in early March, he blamed it on drinking way too much water.

Apparently, all that water weight is now gone.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Former Jets center Nick Mangold is making his first known free-agent visit to meet with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, according to a report.

The 33-year-old, who was released by the Jets in February, was expected to arrive in Baltimore late Tuesday night, according to ESPN. The Ravens traded their starting center, Jeremy Zuttah, to the San Francisco 49ers last month but did not bring in a replacement.

They do have two in-house candidates - John Urschel and Ryan Jensen, both of whom are 25. If healthy, the 33-year-old Mangold could conceivably compete for that job, or at least provide a veteran mentor to help the young centers.

Tags: Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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