Earlier this week, the Jets signed free agent fullback/running back Lex Hilliard. Jets fans might not know too much about Hilliard, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Hilliard spent the preseason with the Vikings before being cut, after which he signed with the New England Patriots, although he didn't see much playing time in two games with them before being let go again. Prior to that, he had been with Tony Sparano's Miami Dolphins, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2008.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Hilliard's time in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Lex Hilliard?

While he is mainly considered as a fullback now, Hilliard was a tailback in college at Montana. There he rushed for over 4,000 yards - including over 1,300 in 2005 - and caught 57 passes. In 2006, he suffered an achilles injury and missed the entire season and although he bounced back with another 1,000 yard season in his senior year, that may have robbed him of some speed. He only ran a 4.66 at the combine, although he did post impressive numbers in the short shuttle (4.03), vertical jump (36.5 inches) and broad jump (over 10 feet), so clearly he had some explosiveness and agility. Miami drafted him in 2008 and he spent his rookie year on their practice squad.

In 2009, he saw some action on special teams but finally started seeing regular action towards the end of the season - then as a backup tailback. He had a breakout game in Week 16, catching nine passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another score. However, in 2010, he didn't play much, touching the ball just once on a three yard catch, but he did see regular action as a backup fullback and occasional halfback in 2011. When New England signed him in 2012, it was purely as a fullback, although he only played nine snaps in two games. It's assumed that's the role the Jets have in mind for him, but with their running backs struggling, maybe he can contribute at the tailback position too.

He is listed at 228 pounds so fits into that hybrid back mold that perhaps the Jets saw in Terrance Ganaway. He's not a 250 pounds pure blocking back like John Conner, but lacks the speed to be a conventional tailback. However, he should be able to run with some power and bring some versatility to the backfield.

The Numbers

Four seasons (plus one on Miami's practice squad)

50 games

Four starts, all in 2011

40 carries, 132 yards, two touchdowns (3.3 ypc)

26 catches, 210 yards, two touchdowns

93% catch rate

No drops or fumbles

One kick return for 14 yards

25 special teams tackles, including 14 in 2009 and nine in 2010, two missed tackles, one penalty (neutral zone)

One offensive penalty committed (false start)

Zero 20+ yard plays

One fumble recovery

One blocked punt recovery for a touchdown

Observations

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

Usage - As noted, Hilliard was mostly used as a tailback in 2009, but has been employed mostly as a fullback since 2010. While he isn't your classic lead-blocking fullback, Hilliard has been mostly used in that role over the last few years. The Dolphins under Sparano also occasionally used him in three back sets, typically in short yardage situations or the wildcat package. They would sometimes employ three backs with two fullbacks and one tailback in the backfield (and even employed the Wing T at one point). However, from that formation, either fullback was often an option to carry the ball too. In their wildcat package, they would often have Ronnie Brown taking the snap with a back either side of him. One would then run to the outside to make a block for Brown to follow and the other would go straight up the middle, sometimes getting the ball from Brown on the handoff. The Dolphins also employed him at times in a dual back set in passing situations, thereby giving one or both backs the option to stay in to pass block.

The most common assumption in the media is that Hilliard has been acquired to fill in temporarily for John Conner (and if he does well, maybe the possibility exists that they'll stick with Hilliard and get rid of Conner). That's probably true, but there's also a chance that adding Hilliard will bring about some versatility to the running game, perhaps with Conner in the game at the same time, or with Hilliard taking his place in certain packages, but Conner still operating as the main lead blocker. They could certainly run three back sets with both at fullback and I would suggest that Hilliard might be better equipped for some of those wildcat plays, because he should be more mobile in terms of getting to the outside. His versatility in general could be a positive thing for those packages and he'll obviously be familiar with the playbook, having played with Miami for the last few seasons.

Running Ability - The first thing that stands out about Hilliard's stats is his poor yards per carry average. However, this is somewhat misleading because he was used so much in short yardage situations. On the basis of all the footage I watched, I've calculated his success rate in short yardage situations to be 80%. That happens to be somewhere that the Jets have been struggling - to the point where they've been reluctant to even try running the ball in those situations. However, there were several examples of Hilliard driving the pile in short yardage situations, so he was able to get a first down even when there wasn't a hole. He even converted a short yardage situation earlier this year with the Pats, so although they hardly used him, clearly they saw his worth in that area.

What Hilliard doesn't bring as a runner is any breakaway ability. He has never had a 20-yard play (as a runner or a receiver) in the NFL. Having said that, he did have a 39-yard touchdown run in preseason in 2009. He does flash the ability to get to the second level though. On his first ever carry, on 3rd and 15, he broke two tackles and drove the pile downfield to pick up 18 and a first down. That remains the longest run of his career, although he averaged just 3.2 yards on the rest of his carries that year. He did have a respectable 2.9 yards per carry after contact though. Other than as a short yardage back, he's pretty limited as a runner, although he scored one touchdown on a Jet Sweep out of the wildcat formation. His other touchdown came as the Dolphins had first and goal from the eight yard line and just gave it to him three times until he scored (although, after it clearly looked like he broke the plane on second down, it actually looked like he didn't on third down). On just 40 career carries, he has broken nine tackles, although that may be a little misleading because only one of them came since the end of the 2009 season and his move to fullback.

Run Blocking - Conner's biggest problem since getting in the league has been that he is sometimes inconsistent with sustaining his blocks. Often that's a product of trying to "light up" a guy in the hole, which - with NFL players - often means they just bounce off you and make a play. Hilliard, being a little smaller also sometimes lets guys get off his blocks to make plays, but it's usually more to do with him getting overpowered or losing the leverage battle. However, his lack of size doesn't necessarily stop him from making conventional fullback blocks. I saw one play where he met a linebacker in the hole and drove him out of the play. He also handled Muhammad Wilkerson last season, to set up a huge lane for a 28-yard Steve Slaton run. As you'd expect, he does look better than Conner at getting out on the move to make a block in space, although he did sometime miss his target at the second level.

He's not a dominant blocker by any means, but he didn't seem to blow too many assignments and there were only a few plays where guys threw him aside to make plays - the worst of which was in his own end zone and led to a safety.

Pass Protection - Hilliard had some issues in pass protection in 2009, giving up two sacks, two hits and one pressure in 39 pass block sacks. Both sacks were by Lamarr Woodley in the last game of the regular season. He also got beaten for a hit that led to an interception. Since then, he's only given up two pressures and no sacks or hits in 38 pass blocking snaps. That may be a product of him becoming a fullback and perhaps improving his strength because on some of those 2009 plays, he was driven off his spot and didn't keep a strong base. Conner has never looked that good in pass protection, so Hilliard could be an upgrade here too.

Receiving Threat - As a receiver, Hilliard was useful as a safety valve out of the backfield. Looking at the footage, it was basically the same play over and over again - he ran a diagonal to the flat, then caught the ball and turned upfield. On a few occasions, he had the speed to beat the linebacker to the outside and turn it into a decent gain, although his longest play was only 18 yards (on two occasions). One of these came as the quarterback scrambled around on 3rd and 13 and he found a soft spot for a dump off, which he caught in stride to get the first down. He also had two touchdowns in consecutive games at the end of the 2009 season on the same dump-off play - one where he dived for the pylon and another where he was wide open for a walk-in score.

Hands - Another impressive stat that jumps out is that Hilliard caught 20 passes on 20 targets in 2009. Since then, he's caught six of eight. Having said that, all of these were dump-offs, as he has never been thrown to more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Still, that's a good sign of how reliable he is in the short passing game, which might be a good way to get Sanchez into a rhythm and create holes for the running game by stretching the defense. There was one play where he juggled the ball and was tackled for no gain, but otherwise, he was very sure handed. He also has zero fumbles in his NFL career.

Special Teams - Hilliard has been a good contributor on specials teams. He was productive as a tackler, especially in 2009 and 2010, and also contributed in other ways, for example as a blocker on the kick return unit and on the punt return unit where he scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in 2011.

Attitude - Hilliard seems to have a positive attitude, as summed up by this quote, which perhaps is the sort of positive example it makes sense to add to the team:

"I'll play whatever. It may have to be on special teams. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help the Miami Dolphins win."


(Obviously, replace "Miami Dolphins" with "New York Jets" within that quote).

I didn't see too many brain cramps and missed assignments by Hilliard, although there was a miscommunication on a draw play which indirectly led to Chad Henne's season ending injury last year and there was also one play where he recovered a muffed kickoff at the one and took a knee in the endzone, which should have been a safety, but he got lucky with the call.

Conclusions

This might be exactly what everybody says it is - a temporary move to replace an injured starter - but Hilliard may bring some things that the Jets currently lack and therefore end up making a positive contribution. He's not a great blocker, but might be more consistent than Conner. He's not a dynamic runner, but might be a better short yardage option than anyone on the roster. He might also give them a bit of backfield versatility that could allow them to run certain packages more effectively, including the wildcat. Indications are that he'll also provide a positive attitude and a good understanding of the playbook.

Let's hope he brings something...however long he's here.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' dismal 5-11 season left them heading into an offseason of uncertainty with a high draft pick and seemingly little hope. At the moment, there are far more questions about their plans and the future than there are acceptable answers.

But since you asked, I'll give it a shot anyway in the first offseason edition of my SNY Jets Twitter mailbag. Here is Part I:

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Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)
Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have signed linebacker Jeff Luc to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Luc, who has spent time with the Dolphins and most recently the Bengals, has also spent time as fullback.

In his four years in college at Florida State and Cincinnati, he recorded 200 total tackles.

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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he believes his production on the field should make him desirable to any team, despite his $7.5 million salary cap, he told WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show. 

Marshall, in the final year of his contract with the Jets, told the show that he is one of the top receivers in the game, and that he is in fact underpaid for what his statistics show. 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets and head coach Todd Bowles, after a tumultuous year of losing and locker room discontent, have "a lot to soul searching" to do going into next season, former Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon told The JetsBlog Podcast. 

Defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both had various off-field issues this season, which Colon said is a problem with both themselves as individuals and how the team has handled them.

"The problem with Sheldon and Mo, and I talk about them candidly because I know those guys, I respect them as individuals, Colon said. "But the biggest problem they have, they feel what they do off the field shouldn't matter about their play on the field. That's the lack of accountability and maturity."

Tags: Willie Colon
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Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets have hired defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, the team announced Wednesday.

Wilson, 34, was the Rams' DBs coach this past season.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Position coaches often fly under the radar, but don't ignore the impact of this one because Dennard Wilson has a big job ahead of him. He has to rebuild a Jets secondary that was a mess last season, and he'll have to do it either without Darrelle Revis or with Revis trying to transition from cornerback to safety.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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 (Michael Ainsworth/AP)
(Michael Ainsworth/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The Jets still don't know who their quarterback will be when the 2017 season begins, but the consensus inside their front office seems to be that whoever it is didn't finish the 2016 season on the roster. Their quarterback of the immediate future, at least, is likely to come from the outside.

Just who that will be is still unknown, and there are many options being considered, according to team sources. There is a lot of internal support for Mike Glennon, the 27-year-old Bucs backup who will become a free agent on March 9. But even if he emerges as the object of the Jets' desire, he could be prohibitively expensive. The Bills, Browns and 49ers all figure to be in the market for a quarterback. Maybe a few other teams, too, like the Bears.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Colon discusses Brown's video 00:02:42
Former Steeler Willie Colon rips Antonio Brown for being more worried about himself than the team after posting a video of Mike Tomlin.

Jets WR Brandon Marshall criticized Steelers WR Antoino Brown for the postgame locker room Facebook video that Brown posted following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City on Sunday.

"You would never see this in New England, right?" Marshall said on last night's episode of Showtime's Inside the NFL. "What it does is it keeps the New England Patriots on task. It keeps them marching in a single-file line: 'This is the New England way, and this is how we do things.' 

"You only have three or four minutes after the game to be with your teammates and really enjoy the moment or Band-Aid each other up. So that's precious time, and that time shouldn't be live-streamed for anyone to see."

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

Chicago Bears OLB coach Clint Hurtt will not join Todd Bowles and the New York Jets nearly a week and a half after they had reportedly reached an agreement, ESPN's Rich Cimini reports.

The Jets and Hurtt never reached an agreement after Hurtt reportedly declined an extension with the Bears, according to Cimini.

The Jets fired OLB coach Mark Collins, along with four other assistants, after the season.

Hurtt served as an assistant coach at Louisville, Miami and Florida International.

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New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Brian Winters would've been one of the better guards on the free agent market and he could've cashed in even bigger than the four-year, $29 million deal he got from the Jets. 

But instead of looking for more money and maybe a better situation, the 25-year-old Winters decided to stay put because he believes that, despite the misery of the Jets' 5-11 season, there are much better days for the franchise ahead.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Latest Update (Jan. 17)

12:15PM: Winters received a four-year, $29 million contract extension, including $15 million guaranteed, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN

The $15 million guaranteed is the tenth-largest guarantee for a guard.

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Geno Smith, James Carpenter, Kellen Davis, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum, Wesley Johnson
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Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.  (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))
Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))

The Jets are expected to have interest in Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Glennon, 27, is an unrestricted free agent after playing behind Jamesis Winston the last two seasons in Tampa Bay.

As a starter, Glennon has a career record of 5-13.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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DNL pick'em: Divisional Round 00:04:27
The Daily News Live panel makes its prognostications on the NFL Divisional Round games this weekend.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at the two AFC divisional-round playoff games this weekend:

Houston Texans (10-7) at the New England Patriots (14-2)

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

Latest Update

11:27 p.m: Eric Studesville has decided to remain with the Broncos as the team's running back coach, according to Mike Klis of 9News.

Previous Reports

The Jets interviewed Studesville for their vacant offensive coordinator position, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.

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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Attracting a new offensive coordinator might not be easy for the Jets, writes Brian Costello in the NY Post.

"The view in league circles is the Jets are going to have a tough time convincing any candidate with options to take the job because of how they compare with other teams looking for an offensive coordinator," writes Costello.

Costello notes that there haven't been any reports or other indications that any candidate has turned down an interview request from the Jets, but says the job is viewed as unattractive due in part to head coach Todd Bowles' job security and the unsettled quarterback situation.

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by former New York Jets guard and current SNY Analyst Willie Colon for a deep dive into the Jets locker room. They talk about the best leaders on the current team, what to do about Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, the mindset of a player making a position change, and much more as a busy offseason for Gang Green gets going. 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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 (USA TODAY)
(USA TODAY)

The Jets have signed LB Frank Beltre to a reserve/future deal, the team announced Friday.

Beltre, 26, spent time with the Chargers in 2013 and Raiders in 2014, and played with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL from 2014 to 2016.

The Jets agreed to reserve/future deals with WR DeShon Foxx, FB Julian Howsare, and WR Myles White on Wednesday.

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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Coming off a miserable season, the Jets are in a difficult offseason position. They don't project to have much cap room, at least until they start cutting some high-priced players. And whatever cap room they do create might have to be spent on the quarterback they so obviously and desperately need.

And since they'll have to replace many of the players they cut, they may not have much room to re-sign their own players. The good news, though, is coming off a miserable, 5-11 season it's not like they have a lot of unrestricted free agents they absolutely can't live without.

There are a couple worth bringing back, though. Here's a look at their list of free agents, and how hard they might try to re-sign them...

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Kellen Davis, Marcus Williams, Mike Catapano, Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Leonard Williams was one of the few bright spots in the Jets' mostly dismal season. And now the 22-year-old defensive end is being rewarded for that with a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Williams, the youngest player to ever be voted by his Jets teammates as their MVP, was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad on Thursday as a replacement for injured Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack

Williams, who was voted a first alternate, had seven sacks for the Jets this season. For most of the season he was the best player on the Jets' disappointing defensive line...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

We've looked at some of the roster decisions facing the Jets as we head into the offseason over the past few weeks. Readers overwhelmingly voted to keep Eric DeckerNick Mangold and David Harris and to dump Darrelle Revis, but were torn on Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson. How about some of the other decisions facing the front office and coaching staff?

Of course young players like Leonard Williams and Darron Lee or players that performed well in 2016 like James Carpenter and Bilal Powell will return in 2017, but that about those whose performance was more disappointing?

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Deon Simon, Devin Smith, Eric Decker, Erin Henderson, James Carpenter, Leonard Williams, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson
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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall invited the Giants' wide receivers down to his house in Miami during Tuesday's episode of "Inside the NFL."

"I want to say thank you," Marshall said. "Thank you to the New York Giants wide receivers for taking all of the attention off of myself and my fellow Jets. I have a place in Miami...You guys are awesome. Thank you."

 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Should Jets draft Watson? 00:03:10
Willie Colon and Jon Hein argue about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick.

Willie Colon and Jon Hein talk about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick...


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

 

LB David Harris had 95 tackles in 15 games for the Jets this season, which was his 10th with the team.

The 32-year-old had just 0.5 sacks in 2016 after racking up 4.5 in 2015 and 6.0 in 2014.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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 (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
(Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Nick Mangold missed eight games due to ankle injuries this past season, last playing on Dec. 5 against the Colts.

The 32-year-old Mangold has a cap hit of $9.075 million next season, after which he is eligible for free agency.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

University of North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky has declared for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Manish Mehta of the Daily News reported in December that the Jets are believed to have a strong interest in Trubisky. 

"They got their eyes set on the North Carolina quarterback," a rival scout told Mehta. "The Jets are all over this kid. All over him. They'll probably deny it if you ask, but they love that kid. That's their guy. They're not going to get him though, because I think that kid is going to get over-drafted."

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New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Cornerback Darrelle Revis finished off the 2016 season with 53 combined tackles but had just one turnover (an interception), which came in the final week of the regular season. 

All year, the 31-year-old corner dealt with questions about his inconsistent play and effort. He has three years left under his current deal and would not become an unrestricted free agent until 2020, when he is 34. 

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett kick off 2017 with a "now what?" podcast after a horrible season. They react to the Woody Johnson and Mike Maccagnan media gatherings, examine the recent coach departures, and take an early look at how the Jets can properly re-build their franchise.


Subscribe to the podcast here!


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Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets will sign CFL linebacker Frank Beltre to a reserve/futures contract, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.

Beltre, originally an undrafted free agent out of Towson University, spent brief tenures with the Chargers and Raiders before heading to the CFL in 2014. 

He had 19 tackles and three sacks in nine games with Calgary this past season. 


Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)
Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)

Jets coach Todd Bowles is hiring former Bears assistant Clint Hurtt to coach the outside linebackers, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News

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Sheldon Richardson had 62 tackles 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

He also engaged in a locker room feud with WR Brandon Marshall.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Brandon Marshall had 59 receptions for 788 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

Dealing with hip and shoulder injuries for most of the season, his production was down from his record-setting 2015 campaign, when he reeled in 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Before 2015, the 32-year-old Marshall had recorded double-digit touchdowns three times before in his career -- twice with the Bears (2012 and 2013), and once with the Broncos (2009).

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:16
Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss their disappointing 2016 season and looking forward to 2017.

Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Christian Hackenberg, the Jets second-round draft choice last year, "will never make it", an unidentified Jets starter told the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The comment came a week after a Jets source told ESPN that Hackenberg, taken with the 51st overall pick out of Penn State, couldn't "throw the ball into the ocean."

General manager Mike Maccagnan, who was retained along with coach Todd Bowles by Jets owner Woody Johnson, will be under intense pressure to fix the QB situation during the offseason.

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 (Bill Wippert/AP)
(Bill Wippert/AP)

Eric Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns this past season, with his season ending after Week 3 due to a rotator cuff injury that required surgery.

Before undergoing the rotator cuff surgery, the 29-year-old Decker also had surgery on his hip, and it's unclear whether he'll be 100 percent for the start of next season.

Decker joined the Jets before the 2014 season, when he had 74 catches for 962 yards and five touchdowns. In 2015, he had 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Tags: Eric Decker
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Chip Kelly a fit with Jets? 00:00:46
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein debate whether or not Chip Kelly would be a good fit with the Jets on their offensive staff.

The Eagles have denied the Jets' request to interview QB coach John DeFilippo for their offensive coordinator vacancy, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

DeFilippo finished his first season as Eagles QB coach following one year as the Browns' offensive coordinator and three years as the Raiders' QB coach.

DeFilippo worked with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in 2016, as the former No. 2 pick threw for 3,782 yards (most among rookies), 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions (tied for ninth in the league).

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles
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 (William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )
(William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said he was disappointed with the team's 5-11 finish this season, and wouldn't put a timetable on when they would be a perennial contender.

"We're obviously not happy with our record. But I do think we made some progress [with the youth]," Maccagnan told reporters while alluding to players such as OL Brandon Shell and CB Juston Burris. "We have some pieces we feel good about."

Maccagnan said he felt comfortable signing Ryan Fitzpatrick this past offseason, noting that all options -- internal and external -- will be on the table for 2017 at quarterback.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson
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Woody Johnson on keeping Bowles 00:02:36
Jets owner Woody Johnson discusses the Jets' disappointing season, his decision to keep Todd Bowles and the team's future plans.

Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed confidence in head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan while speaking with reporters on Thursday.

"They will get this done, in my opinion," Johnson said about Bowles and Maccagnan.

"I have confidence in Todd Bowles," Johnson added. "I'm still very much in his corner. ...I think he's going to get better. I'm happy to have him and Mike. ...they have a plan to make the team better. They have a way to judge accountability and judge performance."

Johnson said there's no mandate for the Jets to make the playoffs next season, noting that mandates don't work, but added that he's "in the game of winning."

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The Jets worked out Olympic sprinter and projected wide receiver Tre Houston on Thursday, a source told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News.

Houston, who worked out with the Chiefs last week, was also given a physical by the Jets.

The 26-year-old Houston is a native of Bermuda.


 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets have signed former Assumption College long snapper Zach Triner to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

Triner got a tryout with the Houston Texans last spring, but did not make the team.

The Jets brought Triner in for a workout in early December.


Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)
Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)

Latest Update (Jan. 4)

The Jets have signed K Ross Martin to a reserve/future contract for 2017, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Martin connected on four of his six field goal attempts during the preseason. The Jets cut him on Aug. 28.

Previous reports (Jan. 2)

The Jets have signed five players to reserve/future contracts for 2017, the team announced Monday afternoon.

All five players were signed to the team's practice squad in December, while two of them originally signed with New York following the 2016 NFL Draft.

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NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Jets C Kevin Mawae is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, the NFL announced Tuesday night during its Gold Jacket Finalists special on the NFL Network.

After beginning his career in Seattle, Mawae arrived in New York in 1998 and spent the next eight seasons with the Jets. During those eight years, Mawae made six Pro Bowls and was a five-time First Team All-Pro.

The center finished his career in Tennessee, making another two Pro Bowls and being named First Team All-Pro twice more.

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Does Marshall deserve blame? 00:02:37
Daily News Live analyzes the recent remarks made by wide receiver Brandon Marshall about the Jets disappointing 2016 season.

Brandon Marshall made his scheduled appearance on Showtime's Inside the NFL following the conclusion of the Jets' 2016 season on Tuesday night.

Among the topics Marshall addressed were when he first saw the season begin to slip away, experiencing the other side of the New York media, his relationship with Sheldon Richardson and what he learned from this season.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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Jets season report cards 00:04:52
The Jets Extra Point panel grades the Jets on their performance on both sides of the ball this season.

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The words came from his heart and the intent was to inspire, even if the sincerity and the message was often lost on some of his teammates. That was the problem Brandon Marshall faced this season. He wanted to unite his teammates. He divided them instead.

It's not that the Jets' locker room problems were his fault -- not by a longshot -- but there's no doubt the veteran receiver was in the center of it for much of the miserable, 5-11 season. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kevin Hoffman)
(Kevin Hoffman)

Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey announced his retirement on Tuesday.

"I informed Coach Bowles prior to the 2016 season that I would retire after this season," Gailey said in a statement. "I thought it was best to tell him early, so that he could begin to think about how he would move the team forward on offense. While we did not have the season we all wanted to have, I think there are some great people here at the Jets and in the New York/New Jersey area. I wish them all the best moving forward."

Gailey, who turns 65 years old on Thursday, served as the OC for the Jets from 2015-16.

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Jets fire five assistant coaches 00:03:24
Daily News Live dissects the Jets' decision to fire five assistant coaches following a 5-11 season.

Latest Update

1:30PM: QBs coach Kevin Patullo, RBs coach Marcel Shipp, DL coach Pepper Johnson, OLBs coach Mark Collins, and DBs coach Joe Danna will not return to the team in 2017, the Jets announced Tuesday afternoon.

All five assistants have been on Bowles' staff for the past two years.

"I appreciate all of their hard work and commitment and wish them the best," Bowles said.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Kelley L Cox (USA Today))
(Kelley L Cox (USA Today))

In addition to six games against their AFC East rivals, the Jets will face the entire AFC West and NFC South, the Browns, and the Jaguars...



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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J - Head coach Todd Bowles may be back for another season with the Jets, but it looks like one of his coordinators -- and possibly both of them -- might not be back with him.

The jobs of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers are in jeopardy and will be discussed when Bowles meets with Jets management and his coaching staff this week, according to a team source. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Bryce Petty, Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' future? 00:01:59
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano touch on various Jets topics including Todd Bowles job security, and the team's lack of chemistry in 2016.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg still hasn't taken a snap as the Jets quarterback, but he handled his first media firestorm without flinching at all.

The still unused second-rounder brushed off an ESPN report from Sunday that quoted an anonymous Jets coach saying Hackenberg regressed during his "redshirt" season and was so inaccurate that he "couldn't hit the ocean." Todd Bowles insisted that assessment was "not at all" true.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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