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

Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back in the studio to give their instant reaction to the Jets' selection of quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

The guys welcome in SNY Draft expert Ralph Cirminiello to break down the positives and negatives of Darnold's game. Then, SNY Jets analyst Ray Lucas joins the show to give his two cents on the pick, and to discuss whether Darnold has the tools to be a great QB in the NFL.

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Sam Darnold talks Jets with SNY 00:02:03
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano talks to San Darnold after the QB was chosen by the New York Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

When this whole thing started, USC QB Sam Darnold was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick. He was the safest quarterback prospect that checked all the boxes. 

But the Browns decided to go with Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield. And the Giants steered clear of a quarterback, going with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley instead. 

So, when the Jets saw Darnold in their lap at No. 3, they called his name. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Maccagnan on Darnold selection 00:00:57
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses how the Jets landed on Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in Thursday's draft.

"I knew whatever happens happens. And it happens for a reason."

"I'm really excited about being with the Jets...really excited to meet my teammates and co

Tags: Sam Darnold
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SNY's Jets panel on Darnold pick 00:02:19
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and the SNY Jets crew react to the selection of QB Sam Darnold by the Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, they were convinced that the best quarterback in the draft likely wouldn't be available.

So this was quite a surprise.

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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

The Jets have the guy who they hope is their Quarterback of the Future. 

With the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Jets selected USC QB Sam Darnold -- who many experts had going No. 1 to the Browns. 

However, he slipped down to the Jets, and they jumped on the opportunity. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported last week that Darnold could be in consideration if the Browns or Giants didn't take him first. The assumption by most was that the pick would be between UCLA's Josh Rosen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield

Tags: Josh McCown, Scott Thompson
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Top QB prospect Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets traded up and got their guy: Sam Darnold is coming to New York. 

Darnold completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

Here are some of Darnold's best moments at USC.

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Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

With the 3rd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select USC QB Sam Darnold. 

Darnold, 20, completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

But how did the Jets' players react to the pick?

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Head to SNY on Facebook and Twitter to watch SNY's Draft Night Live tonight as soon as the Jets are on the clock with the No. 3 pick.

Jonas Schwartz, former NFL players and current SNY analysts Ray Lucas and Willie Colon, and SNY Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello will be giving analysis in advance of the pick and reaction after. 

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

Tune to SNY tonight at 7 for the Jets Nation Draft Day special, which will take you right up to when the Browns go on the clock with the No. 1 pick at the Draft at 8 p.m.!

The special will feture Jonas Schwartz, Ray Lucas, and Willie Colon from our SNY Studios, with Jeane Coakley reporting from the Jets Facility at Florham Park and Ralph Vacchiano from Dallas the site of this year's NFL Draft.

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Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)
Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)

The Jets will reportedly take UCLA QB Josh Rosen over USC QB Sam Darnold if both of them are available at No. 3, reports Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

In his Mini Mock Draft 5.0, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has Rosen going to the Jets.

Darnold had been expected to go No. 1 to the Browns, but recent reports have the Browns instead taking Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

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

At least one of USC QB Sam Darnold, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, and Wyoming QB Josh Allen will be on the board when the Jets select at No. 3 overall at the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

All three quarterbacks spoke with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano about the potential of playing for the Jets, with Rosen playfully jawing back at Vacchiano.

Click below to see...

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- After months of rumors, reports and lies -- a lot of lies -- here is my final best guess about how the first 10 picks of the 2018 NFL draft are going to play out on Thursday night.

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for nearly 50 years now. They've found a few candidates along the way, though none of them were great. And they've missed on many, many more.

Now Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a chance to change all that when he makes the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. When he made the bold and early move to trade up from 6 to 3, surrendering three second-round picks over the next two years to the Indianapolis Colts in the process, there was no doubt he had a Quarterback of the Future in mind.

But which one? Here's a look at how I expect the Jets' selection to play out...

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

There's a "mounting belief" among head coaches and general managers around the league that the Cleveland Browns will take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

A report Wednesday from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicated that the Browns could be deciding between Mayfield and Wyoming QB Josh Allen at No. 1.

The Browns had been linked most recently to USC QB Sam Darnold as their likely choice at No. 1, with Mayfield's name first thrown in the mix on Tuesday. Now, the Browns are reportedly "cooling" on Darnold...

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Nick Mangold talks career 00:04:53
After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Darnold talks Giants and Jets 00:01:27
Sam Darnold talks about meeting Eli Manning, his visits with the Giants and Jets and advice he received from fellow Trojan Mark Sanchez.

USC QB Sam Darnold didn't get to meet with Eli Manning during his visit with the Giants, but got to see plenty of Jets during his visit with them.

"I saw him from a distance and he was working, so I didn't want to bother him," Darnold said about Manning. "We had a chance to meet at the Manning Camp, which was awesome."

Regarding the Jets, Darnold said he got to see a bunch of players he was familiar with.

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UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to be taken early in the first round during the NFL Draft on Thursday night, had fun with reporters who were asking him on Wednesday about the potential of being selected by the Jets at No. 3 or Giants at No. 2.

"You're trying to catch me," Rosen playfully told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano when asked about the media spotlight in New York.

Rosen also discussed his visits to the Jets and Giants. Hear his full comments below...

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Willie Colon picks Josh Rosen 00:01:03
SNY Jets Analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will select quarterback Josh Rosen with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Former Jet and current SNY analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will tab UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NFL Draft in Dallas. 

"I think [GM Mike] Maccagnan is at the point where he's okay with a kid being an outward thinker -- that's the label, so to speak, with Rosen," Colon said Tuesday on The Jet Stream Podcast on SNY. "But I think he understands he's an extremely polished quarterback."

Along with Rosen, the Jets have been connected to Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and Peter Schrager of Fox Sports believes will be the Jets' pick. ...Click below to listen to the Jet Stream podcast with Colon, Schrager, and Jonas Schwartz...

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

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports would be "shocked" if the Jets pass on Baker Mayfield if he's available when they pick at No. 3 during Thursday's NFL Draft, he said during Tuesday's Jet Stream Podcast on SNY.

Schrager spoke of "glowing reports" he received from the dinner Mayfield had with team brass a few weeks ago, and thinks the Jets are all-in on Mayfield -- even if Sam Darnold is available at No. 3.

"Everything I've been listening to for the last two, three months has been that Baker Mayfield -- if he's on the board -- is going to be the pick for the Jets," Schrager said. "That might include Sam Darnold as well -- if Darnold somehow falls. I think that they have been in love with Mayfield for this entire time. I'd be shocked if they went with one of the other guys."

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are finally ready to see who the Jets select in this year's NFL Draft! Will it be Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen? To get their answer, they welcome the NFL Network's Peter Schrager to the show for his take on each quarterback, and discuss why Rosen is the guy and why Mayfield is mostly definitely not.

Click below to listen

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Jets' third-round options 00:05:01
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will take in the third round of the draft.

The bulk of the attention has been on who the Jets will do with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

It will be a quarterback. But which one? At least two of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen will be available when the Jets pick.

Lost in the shuffle a bit has been the fact that the Jets have a third round pick (72nd overall) as well. And SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello recently discussed who the Jets could take with that pick.

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Top QB prospect Baker Mayfield 00:01:01
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What is NFL Draft week without some drama over the No. 1 pick?

With reports circulating Monday that Wyoming QB Josh Allen is no longer in consideration for the Browns' No. 1 pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is "definitely" in the conversation. 

Schefter continues by saying the Browns may have their choice in mind for their first overall pick, and before that decision was made, Mayfield was a player in the mix.

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Nick Mangold retires from NFL 00:02:30
After spending eleven seasons with the Jets, Nick Mangold announces his retirement from the NFL.

Nick Mangold, who spent 11 seasons with the Jets, announced his retirement at the team's facility after signing a one-day contract on Tuesday. 

Tags: Nick Mangold
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:07
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses the team's strategy for its No. 3 overall pick with the draft just a few days away.

New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets own the third pick in this year's draft, their highest since 1996. How have they drafted in the first round over the past five years?

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

It's too early to tell how Adams' career will pan out, but the signs so far have been promising. He started every game in his rookie year as the Jets' secondary definitely played better than it had in 2016. On the field, Adams had his ups and downs, but he showed flashes of brilliance in a versatile role. Off the field, he's played a big part in the ongoing culture change that has galvanized the team and has also been a useful tool in player recruitment.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Damon Harrison, Darron Lee, Dee Milliner, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson
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Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

It will be an absolute stunner if the Jets don't take a quarterback after trading up to No. 3 in the NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday night in Dallas.

So, who will it be?

At least two out of the group of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen will be available for the Jets. 

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Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Browns' choices for their No. 1 pick seem to have come down to two choices just three days away from the NFL Draft: Sam Darnold or Josh Allen?

Yes, there is always the prospect of the Browns going with RB Saquon Barkley with their first overall selection, knowing they have the No. 4 pick later on. However, experts including SI's Peter King see Cleveland getting their quarterback first before addressing anywhere else. 

Recently, rumblings about Allen going No. 1 have gained some steam. But King's most trusted source says Allen is too much of a risk, and the Browns don't want to get another quarterback pick wrong.

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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

Broadway Joe loves Broadway Baker. Or at least that's what could be Baker Mayfield's nickname if the Jets were to select him with their No. 3 overall pick. 

Hall of Famer and former Jets QB Joe Namath loves what he has seen from Mayfield over the years of watching him play. He recently watched the Georgia-Oklahoma College Football Playoff matchup at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Eve, and after his daughter asked if he had seen anything like the back-and-forth bout, he responded saying he wouldn't want to be going up against Mayfield...


Everything you need to know about the Jets and No. 3 >> Read more

Vacc's Mini Mock Draft has Jets tabbing Mayfield >> Read more

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Jets have not stopped looking for help on their defensive line as they hosted numerous free-agent linemen on Monday. 

Former Bears DT Lamarr Houston and former Patriots DT Chris Jones were among those looking to impress the Jets. Houston split time with the Bears and Texans last season, totaling five sacks over 10 games. A former second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2010, Houston is entering his ninth season in the NFL this year. 

Jones played for the division-rival Patriots in 2013 and 2014, where he finished with nine sacks and 79 tackles over 28 career games. He most recently played for the 49ers in 2016, where he had 17 tackles over six games. He did not play for an NFL squad in 2017. 

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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially picked up DL Leonard Williams' fifth-year option, keeping Williams with the team through 2019 at least. 

Williams, 23, the sixth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, will make $14.2 million in 2019, assuming he's considered a defensive end. If they try to say he's a defensive tackle, the contract will be $11.4 million, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. The contract becomes fully guaranteed next March.

"It's definitely time to step up and take it to the next level," Williams said last week via Vacchiano. "That comes with a lot. It's just not my play on the field. It comes with my leadership, how I approach work, how much time I'm putting in outside of the mandatory hours into my craft, into my game."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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