Throughout this month, I've been looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the regular season. Jets fans might not know too much about these players, so I'll be looking at NFL game footage to try and assess what they might be able to bring to the table.

Today we look at cornerback Ras-I Dowling. The 25-year old is 6'1" and 210 pounds and was a second round pick for the New England Patriots in 2011. However, he was released before the 2013 season after a series of injuries limited him over his first few years. The Jets signed him to their practice squad in October and signed him to a futures contract at the end of the season.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Dowling's career so far to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Ras-I Dowling?

Dowling was a great athlete in high school, playing defensive back, wide receiver and even some quarterback. He was recruited to Virginia where he was a second team all-ACC selection in 2009 and a preseason second team all-American in 2010. However, an ankle injury limited him to five games in his senior season. After he ran an unexpectedly-fast 4.40 at the scouting combine, many sources had him listed as a potential first round pick, but New England were able to take him with the first pick of the second round.

Despite missing the first three preseason games as a rookie, Dowling was an opening day starter at right cornerback. However, in week two, he suffered a hip injury in the first half, ending his season. In his second season, he started off as the third cornerback, playing on the outside in nickel packages on opening day. However, over the next five weeks, we was relegated to dime corner, playing in the slot and getting just 24 snaps in five games. In week seven (against the Jets) he had a much more significant role, but then suffered another season ending injury, this time to his thigh. He was released at the end of preseason in 2013 after another unspecified injury caused him to miss all four preseason games.

Let's look at his numbers from his career so far:

The Numbers

Two seasons

Nine games

Two starts

10 tackles, three missed tackles

One pass defensed

Coverage numbers: 10-16-123 yards

Completion percentage: 62.5%

Yards per attempt: 7.7

QB rating: 86.2

Four penalties

(Some statistics in this article are provided courtesy of Pro Football Focus.)

Now let's briefly recap his performance from 2011 and 2012:

2011 Preseason

Despite missing the first three games, Dowling played a significant role in the final preseason game against the Giants and won a starting job for the opener. He had three tackles and a quarterback hit. He did give up a couple of catches, one downfield as he stumbled when the receiver made his break to the outside and another on third and six when he was playing too far off. On one running play he showed good physicality by knocking his blocker on his backside to go and pursue the ball. There was also a play where the quarterback's initial option to his left was not open, so he looked towards Dowling's man. However, Dowling had made an effective jam at the line and was right up on the receiver, so the quarterback ran out of time and was sacked on a delayed blitz up the middle.

2011 Week One - at Miami

Miami wasted no time at all in going after Dowling, who was in man coverage on Brandon Marshall on the first play of the game. Chad Henne threw a quick-drop deep fade and Marshall was able to catch the slight underthrow for 25 coming back to the ball. Dowling was right with Marshall down the sideline, but didn't get his head turned around in time to anticipate the underthrow. They later targeted him again, hitting Devone Bess for 26 on a slant route where Dowling was too far off and then missed his tackle from behind. However, Dowling was targeted four more times and did not give up another catch.

On one play, they tried to hit Marshall at the goal line, but Dowling closed to hit him in the back as the ball arrived, forcing a drop. On another, they threw a fade to Brian Hartline on fourth and goal at the one and Dowling was draped all over him as a slight overthrow fell incomplete. Dowling again never got his head turned though. That was a big play because it would have cut the score to 31-24 but Tom Brady threw a 99-yard touchdown pass on the next snap to make it a 38-17 game.

Dowling did have one penalty, on a play where he let Hartline get an outside release and couldn't resist grabbing him. The throw in the other direction was completed anyway, so this was declined. He ended up with two tackles, including one on a play where he came off his man and chased the receiver out of bounds on a short pass. He also gave up an 11-yard catch on 2nd and 13, closing to make the tackle on the completion in front of him, but this was negated by a penalty.

Week Two - v San Diego

Dowling was targeted once here, with Malcolm Floyd coming down with a 23-yard catch in a crowd. From watching the film, it seems harsh to mark down Dowling on this play as he had safety support deep and seemed to pass Floyd off. He had one tackle and made another in run support downfield on a negated run. He was injured before halftime on a play where he was not involved in the action.

2012 Preseason

Dowling made a couple of starts in preseason in 2012 and ended up with 11 tackles and a pass defensed. In the first game against the Saints, he made a couple of good plays, preventing Chris Ivory from bouncing a run outside and coming up to wrench the ball away from a running back underneath to cause an incompletion. In the next game, he didn't get exploited in coverage but was in on a few tackles, including one on special teams. He did struggle to get off a block on one screen pass, but did force the receiver outside and eventually made the tackle. The third game saw him give up a 10 yard catch as he was playing off but closed into tight coverage and almost deflected the pass. He also assisted on a tackle in the flat. Finally, in the fourth game, he came off his man to make a good tackle on a tight end underneath then had another open field tackle in the two minute drill. He gave up a couple of short catches underneath where he was in tight coverage.

2012 Week One - at Tennessee

In this game, Dowling was targeted four times and gave up four catches. However, they only totaled 30 yards. On the longest of these Dowling was playing press coverage. He jammed the receiver, giving up an inside release and disrupting his route, but the quarterback was able to adjust and hit him in stride going across the middle and Dowling's missed tackle led to a 17 yard gain. He gave up another 12 on a 2nd and 17 play where he bailed at the snap and was giving up the easy yardage underneath. Another was just a four yard dump off in front of him. The last one was a great play by Dowling as the Titans were backed up near their goal line and tried to run a wide receiver screen. Dowling anticipated well and closed quickly before the slot receiver could block him to wrap him up the ball carrier and bring him down in the end zone. The receiver got forward progress, so it wasn't a safety, but the play lost three yards.

Dowling had four tackles in all and was also flagged for defensive pass interference on a play where the receiver made an inside break and Dowling grabbed him from behind at the marker.

Week Two - Week Six

Dowling didn't see any action at all on defense in week two and was used sparingly over the next four games. The most action he saw was 10 snaps against the Broncos in week five. In week three, he played just four snaps and did give up a first down catch but it was negated by a penalty. On the play, he was playing in the slot and the tight end ran faked an out-route and then circled back inside, although Dowling was all over him as the ball arrived. In week four, he played five snaps and targeted once, making the tackle for a short gain on a screen pass, although the runner did slip. In the Denver game, he gave up a seven yard pass on second and 10, keeping the play in front of him and making the immediate tackle. He also assisted on a tackle downfield. He played just five snaps in week six and was not targeted.

Week Seven - v New York Jets

In this game, Dowling was given a more substantial role, but then suffered a season ending injury after having played 22 snaps. He was called for two penalties and had a costly missed tackle, but did make a couple of nice plays in coverage. The only catch he gave up was on a third down play where he was keying Dustin Keller across the field and looked to have him wrapped up short of a first down, only for Keller to slip his tackle and dive for the marker. His first penalty was also on Keller as he was playing very physical coverage and did appear to grab him slightly as he made his break on a throw down the middle. He also made contact as the ball arrived. The second was meaningless, as it was away from the ball on a play that went for a first down anyway. This looked dubious as he was called for holding Stephen Hill at the line.

Dowling did a good job on two throws to Chaz Schilens. One, on third down, saw him do a good job of making contact within five yards and then disrupting the in-route by getting his hand in ahead of the throw. The other was on a throw to the end zone as he was draped all over the receiver's back on a quick slant.

Here's my observations from watching the footage, divided into categories:

Usage

Dowling mostly played at right cornerback in the regular season action he saw, other than in the 2012 season where he was relegated to a slot role in dime sets. He has also played plenty of left cornerback in preseason action.

Coverage skills

Dowling is a physical corner and seemed to be in tight coverage most of the time, even on plays where he gave up a catch. He seemed to make strides from year one to year two in terms of getting his head turned around. When playing off coverage, he would sometimes leave too much of a cushion, but not as often as - or to the same extent as - most young players. There were no real examples of him being badly beaten, which is impressive.

Athleticism

Pre-draft scouting reports on Dowling suggested he would excel more in a zone-based or Tampa 2 style scheme because he lacked elite speed, but his 4.40 forty yard dash at the combine raised some eyebrows. His recovery speed, thought to be a weakness, does seem to be pretty good and he can run with his man well on the intermediate and underneath routes. Interestingly, rather than run with his man on a go-route, there were times when Dowling would pass his man off to a deep safety and pick up a safety value underneath or in the flat instead. That's obviously a scheme-based decision from the Patriots to play zone, but I'd say it has more to do with the coverage abilities of their deep safety (Devin McCourty, a converted corner) than being specifically designed to mask any deficiencies in Dowling's ability to run stride for stride.

Physicality

With excellent size - he's basically the same as or bigger than every safety on the Jets roster apart from Brandon Hardin - Dowling can be extremely physical and is often, albeit not always, employed in press coverage. He does a good job of disrupting routes and getting a jam at the line, but occasionally risks a flag by being a bit too hands-on. He didn't do too much in terms of tackle numbers, but certainly didn't shy away from contact.

Run defense

Operating mainly on the outside unless it was a passing down, there weren't many chances for Dowling to get involved in run support. He did make a few downfield tackles on longer runs. There was one play where he got in on a tackle on a run up the middle, but the runner was able to push the pile for a short yardage conversion.

Tackling

Dowling did miss a couple of tackles, but these were really due to being a step behind his receiver in coverage rather than poor technique. Where he did make tackles, he seemed to be relatively solid with two of the more impressive ones seeing him stop a tight end in his tracks in the open field and wrapping up Ivory on the edge and hauling him to the ground, nearly causing a fumble. He did seem to take good angles.

Blitzing

Dowling has never blitzed in an NFL regular season game and only had one sack in four years in college. However, he did blitz once from left cornerback in a preseason game, hitting the quarterback unblocked off the edge and forcing a deliberate throw away out of bounds. With his size and speed, he could be useful in such situations in some of Rex Ryan's blitz packages.

Ball skills

Dowling did manage to get his hands on a couple of balls in the footage I watched and helped disrupt a couple of passes with good timing. In college, he showed an ability to pick off passes, with eight in his first three seasons, but he doesn't have an interception at any level since 2009.

Instincts

Dowling's instincts were something that were identified as one of his main strengths in pre-draft scouting reports. He showed evidence of that here, coming off his man when appropriate to make a tackle or jump on another route. I didn't see any examples of him blowing an assignment.

Demeanor

I wouldn't say Dowling was especially demonstrative, but did get fired up when he made a play and did protest when flagged, which is of course the Patriot Way.

Special teams

Dowling didn't make many special teams contributions. In one preseason game he did chase across the field to force a runner out of bounds at the 25 in kickoff coverage and in another he recovered a fumble by Julian Edelman while operating as the vice on the punt return unit. However, that didn't ultimately matter because Edelman had been interfered with - by a gunner who had blown by Dowling in the first place. With his injury history, the Jets might shy away from using him on special teams altogether.

Injuries

This is the key, as Dowling missed most of his senior year with an ankle injury, suffered season ending hip and thigh injuries in 2011 and 2012 and then got hurt again in camp in 2013 with what I believe was a leg injury, but the Patriots never disclosed details.

Off-field issues

I can't find any reports of off-field issues for Dowling.

Conclusions:

Once again, this comes down to whether Dowling can get himself healthy, which frankly - given his recent history - doesn't seem very likely.

However, if that does happen, Dowling actually might have more upside than any of these recent reclamation projects the Jets have signed. New England have thrown a lot of resources at the cornerback position in the past few years, trying to find a decent mix, so it's not necessarily a reflection on his ability levels that Bill Belichick and his staff lost patience with his inability to stay on the field. The Patriots have jettisoned defensive backs in the past that have gone on to display competence elsewhere, including Darius Butler - a 2009 second rounder who has done a solid job with the Colts over the past two years following a year with the Panthers.

Reports from last summer suggest that Dowling was working with the first unit and many of the New England coaches wanted him to start opposite Aqib Talib and ahead of Alfonzo Dennard last year, only for his injury to shunt him back down the depth chart and ultimately off the roster. The fact that the Jets have had him in their system for over six months means that they should have a good idea about his physical condition and the chances of him remaining healthy.

From the footage I watched, I'd say Dowling was impressive but perhaps more from a potential standpoint than in terms of the actual results he had. One of the most intriguing things was that he showed some clear improvements from year one to year two (and may have made further strides in his third year if the reports about him being a potential starter are accurate).

It's too soon to close the book on Dowling's career, as he clearly has the potential to be a starter-level player at the NFL level. Whether the Jets will be the ones that benefit from him finally being able to remain healthy and regain the impetus in his career development remains to be seen, but this is at the very least a nice piece they've added into the mix.

We'll wrap up this series next weekend with a look at safety Brandon Hardin, a 2012 third round pick signed by the Jets in January.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Only time will tell if the Jets are serious about taking a quarterback in the first-round of the draft, but in the meantime they certainly are doing their homework.

The latest proof of that is the NFL Network report that they've already held a private workout with DeShone Kizer, the Notre Dame quarterback considered to be one of the top three quarterback prospects in the draft. That explains why Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles skipped Notre Dame's Pro Day on Thursday and were both at Ohio State's Pro Day instead.

The Jets also have a private workout scheduled with North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who revealed that "secret" to reporters at his own Pro Day earlier this week. And while it's not known if the Jets plan to do the same with Clemson's DeShaun Watson, it seems likely that they will...

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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

Click below to listen!

 

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after sending a large contingent to North Carolina to watch quarterback Mitch Trubisky at his Pro Day, the Jets rolled out their big guns for the Pro Day at Ohio State.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles were both in attendance at the Buckeyes Pro Day, according to reports out of Columbus, Ohio, along with representatives of every other NFL team -- including Giants scouting director Marc Ross. Maccagnan and Bowles were surely taking a close look at cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker -- two strong candidates for the Jets to take with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

And for what it's worth, they chose a trip to Columbus over a trip to South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame was holding its Pro Day on Thursday. The star of the Fighting Irish showcase was another quarterback -- DeShone Kizer -- who could go in the first round (though likely not as high as 6)...

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

WR Quinton Patton has signed with the Jets, the team annnounced Thursday.

He had visited with the team this past weekend.

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

Tags: Charone Peake, Quincy Enunwa
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Jamal Adams highlights 00:01:05
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of LSU safety Jamal Adams.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Now that the big-money part of NFL free agency is over, teams have begun increasingly focusing on the NFL draft, and their first-round targets are becoming a little clearer. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27:

1.) S Jamal Adams, LSU - From the beginning, I've been focused on a cornerback for the Jets in this spot and Marshon Lattimore sure is a possibility (see below). But after free agency, it's clear that safety is the Jets' biggest unfulfilled need. No, they didn't do big things at corner either, but they have young players they liked and they added some potential in Morris Claiborne. At safety, though, they don't have much after striking out on Tony Jefferson in free agency. Calvin Pryor is in the last year of his contract and Marcus Gilchrist could be a salary cap casualty after the season. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams is the best at his position in the draft and could be the leader of the Jets' secondary for years. (Last report: 2)...

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

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

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

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

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson took to Instagram to refute a recent report that he is out of shape. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

Or so we all thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to listen...

 

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

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

McCown, 37, recently visited with the Cowboys.

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

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

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

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

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


 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

Cadet was also weighing an offer from the Bills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: 

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

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

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

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


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

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

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

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

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

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


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

Click below to listen!

 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Latest Updates (Mar. 13)

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

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

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


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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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 (Andrew Weber)
(Andrew Weber)

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

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

He made $760,000 in 2016...

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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