Free agency is underway and the Jets have already signed a few guys that Jets fans might not know too much about. Over the next week or so (and throughout the free agent signing window), I'll be taking a closer look at each of the new signings and trying to assess what they can bring to the table for the Jets in 2013.

In case you missed it, I looked at Antonio Garay three days ago, Antwan Barnes two days ago and Mike Goodson yesterday. Today we move on to offensive lineman Willie Colon.

The 29-year old Colon is 6-3 and 315 pounds and has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers since they drafted him in the fourth round in 2006. He developed into a solid right tackle, but has been struggling with injuries over the past few years. In 2012, he moved inside to left guard and started 12 games. He looks set to compete for a starting role at one of the guard positions, with neither of last year's starters Matt Slauson or Brandon Moore expected to return.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking in detail at how well he performed last season, before considering what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

Who is Willie Colon?

Colon (pronounced like Cologne) is a local product who played guard at Hofstra. The Jets were apparently interested in drafting him in the late rounds in 2006, but despite not getting a combine invite, Colon was drafted in the fourth round by the Steelers.

In his rookie year, Colon did not get any playing time until the last two games of the year, where he started at right tackle. He was called for a taunting penalty, but didn't give up any sacks. In 2007, he started all 16 games at right tackle, giving up 10.5 sacks (per Stats LLC) and committing seven penalties, including five false starts.

2008 saw him develop into one of the Steelers' top linemen, as they would go on to win the Super Bowl with Colon starting all 19 games. According to PFF, Colon was their 7th best pass protecting tackle and 6th best run blocking tackle in 2008, although he was also penalized 16 times, pushing his overall grade down to 14th. Colon gave up seven sacks, but only 25 total pressures in the regular season.

In 2009, he played every snap and was even better in pass protection, giving up just six sacks and 15 total pressures to grade out as PFF's top pass protecting tackle in the NFL (and third best overall). His run blocking grade was not quite as good as in 2008, but still well above average. He also managed to cut down on the penalties but still had nine.

In June 2010, Colon suffered an Achilles tendon injury that would sideline him for the entire 2010 season. This left the Steelers with a dilemma, as his contract was set to expire. Now regarded as one of the best right tackles in the NFL, Colon was awarded a five-year, $29m contract. In 2011, he made his return, started one game - playing pretty well - and then suffered a torn triceps and ended up missing the remainder of the 2011 season as well.

This brings us to 2012, where Colon made the transition to left guard. He started the first 10 games of the year, before injuring his knee, limiting him to just one start over the last six games. Once again, he graded out positively in pass protection and for run blocking, but continued to have issues with penalties (12) as he gradually grew into his new role. Colon was set to earn $5.5m in 2013, but it was looking like the cap-strapped Steelers might still keep him. However, they eventually released him, reportedly without even attempting to restructure his deal and the Jets picked him up on a one-year deal worth $1.2m.

Let's review his performances last season before we summarize our observations to assess what he could bring to the table in 2013.

2012 Season

Week 1 – at Denver

This was a rough start for Colon. Playing against a good front seven, at altitude, in only your second game in 32 months is not ideal preparation to make your debut at a new position. He didn't help himself by false-starting twice.

They tested him early, running a stunt on his side which saw him drive the defensive tackle to the inside, but the end came underneath to make the sack. On a stunt later in the game, he just about read it in time and got enough of his man plus some help from the center coming over, to prevent a pressure. Colon had some issues in the running game - a couple of times he pulled right but couldn't create any kind of surge and the runner ran into his back and there were a couple of plays where he failed to sustain his block. There was one play in particular where it seemed like he is still adjusting to playing the guard position. At the snap, both Colon and left tackle Max Starks moved to their left and Colon's assignment was to block a linebacker. However, he didn't get far enough to the left before engaging with his man and therefore wasn't able to turn his man back to the inside. At the tackle position, you don't generally have as far to go before you set the edge.

Despite his struggles, Colon did otherwise handle his pass rushing responsibilities well. He also had a few good moments in the running game, sealing a linebacker to the inside, making a good lead block pulling to the right and peeling off a double team to make a second level block on three plays which netted 18 yards.

Week 2 – v NY Jets

Colon was much more settled in week two, although at times they had simplified his pass protection responsibilities by getting him to make double team blocks and be ready to come off the block to pick up a delayed blitz or stunting lineman. This led to him surrendering no pressure. The Steelers pulled him a couple of times as the lead blocker with David Harris his target. On one play (which was actually negated by a penalty), he blocked Harris completely out of the play but then gave him a shove, which actually enabled Harris to get back to the ball carrier (who had cut back inside) down the field. On another, at the goal line, Harris actually did a good job of getting leverage to force the runner back inside, but then Colon was able to use his strength to drive Harris inside and into the potential tackler (Bart Scott). This enabled the runner to bounce outside and around Colon's block into the endzone. His most impressive block saw him one on one with Sione Po'uha who he drove and turned to create a seam. The only real negative play was one where he allowed Kenrick Ellis to split a double team to stuff a run as Starks peeled off. There was also one play where he broke up a fight between Ellis and Maurkice Pouncey.

Week 3 – at Oakland

I was reminded of something Vladimir Ducasse said about making the transition from tackle to guard. He suggested that the hardest adjustment is that if you get half-beaten, you don't have as much space to recover. That seemed to be relevant here, as Colon picked up two holding penalties on plays (one draw play, one pass) where his man was able to get upfield on him just by getting half a step to gain the leverage advantage. He also got into a fight with Tommy Kelly, but wasn't penalized.

In the running game, he made a good pulling kickout block on a defensive end and did a good job of holding his ground against Richard Seymour to create a hole for a key fourth and short conversion. There was one play where he again wasn't able to maintain outside leverage and let his man get off the block, although that did still gain five. He gave up one pressure on a play where he was able to stay in front of his man, although Ben Roethlisberger had to step back to get the throw off.

Week 5 – v Philadelphia

In this game, Colon committed four holding penalties, mostly in pass protection. However, he was terrific in the running game, making a series of pulling or driving blocks. One on series, he made good blocks on four consecutive running plays that netted 33 yards. The first saw him pull right and get to his man's outside shoulder to force him back inside. The next one saw him turn his man to the outside the set up a run up the middle. He then drove his man off the line, turning him around in the process. Finally, he again turned his man to the outside. Perhaps his best block saw him turn his man to the inside to create a seam for a 17 yard run.

In pass protection, he was bullrushed back into Roethlisberger twice, although he still stayed in front of his man. Three of his holds saw him beaten in pass protection though, one on a spin move and two as his man got upfield on him and turned the corner. His other hold came on a run up the middle that was bottled up. On that play he didn't do a good job of engaging with his man and then reached for him with a desperation grab.

Week 6 – at Tennessee

Once again, he was much better in pass protection this week, not giving up any pressure. He also had an effective game as a run blocker. In this game, he did a good job of using the pass rusher's momentum to drive him out of the play as the Steelers ran a draw. He also drove his man off the line and to the ground on another play and did a good job of using his strength to maintain leverage at the point of attack. On another play, he initially drove his man out of the play although he then let him spin off his block at the last moment to get in on the assist downfield. There was one play where he was stood up at the line and the run didn't go anywhere and another where his man got off his block to stuff a run for a short gain.

Week 7 – at Cincinnati

Another solid game here for Colon as a run blocker, as he made a clean pulling block on a linebacker to spring a 15-yard run and kept his man on the outside as a run went up the middle. Late in the game, he had two good second level blocks to help spring 14 and 32 yard runs. In pass protection, he did give up 1.5 sacks. Geno Atkins drove him back and threw him to the ground for a half sack, although the right tackle was also cleanly beaten so it probably would have been a sack anyway. The other sack he surrendered saw the Steelers shift protection over at the last minute so that the left tackle had to pick up a linebacker coming off the edge and Colon had to move laterally to pick up a defensive end. The end (Michael Johnson) did a good job of spinning off his block to make the sack as a bullrush on the left side left the quarterback with nowhere to go.

Oh...and this happened:

Week 8 – v Washington

Colon continued to grow into his new role and have an impact in the running game. He had two excellent "seal and peel" second level blocks here on two plays that netted 23 yards. One saw him drive the linebacker to the inside and the other saw him get just enough of his man on the move to allow the runner to get outside. What was striking about these blocks was that instead of just making the usual token double team block before peeling off, he really made an effort to hit the defensive tackle hard to knock them off balance. That's the kind of nastiness that makes a difference. He made a couple of other good blocks on plays that didn't gain much yardage but there were two plays where his man got the better of him - one as the defensive tackle won the leverage battle to force the runner to redirect and another where he didn't sustain his block on a run up the middle.

Week 9 – at NY Giants

This was another good game as Colon spearheaded the running game to 158 yards and a big win. Early in the game, he had a great interior kickout block on a defensive tackle to create a seam for a 17-yard run. He then drove his man to the inside to set up a five yard run on 2nd and three. On another play he made a pulling lead block and the runner initially had nowhere to go, but remained patient and then was able to bounce outside for 12 as Colon regrouped to seal his man to the inside. There were some plays where he didn't make his block and the run was bottled up, but overall he played a big part in the win, also managing to keep a clean slate in pass protection. Ironically, the biggest run of the game - a 33-yarder that iced the contest - came on one of Colon's least impressive plays. He lost inside leverage and his man came up into the hole to blow up the run, but then missed the tackle, letting the runner escape into the open field.

Week 10 – v Kansas City

Once again Colon had a big impact in the running game. Again he wasn't perfect, but had more positive than negative plays. His best block was a perfectly timed pulling block where he hit the linebacker in the hole to set up a 17-yard run.

Colon had another good game in pass protection, with the only pressure he surrendered being on an early release for a screen pass. On another play, he blocked his man in pass protection well and then sealed him to the inside as Roethlisberger took off on a 14-yard scramble, although he may have been lucky to get away with a hold. He definitely frustrated Dontari Poe in this game, as he appealed for a holding penalty on a number of occasions. However, Colon did get called for a hold early in the game as his man again got outside leverage and then compounded that by cursing the official to draw another flag. He also showed good hustle to recover a fumble.

Week 11 – v Baltimore

At that point of the season, Colon was again grading out among the league leaders at his position for pass protection and run blocking. However, he finished the year with two poor games. Not helping was the fact that he injured his knee on this play, which he implied was a cheap shot by Terrell Suggs:

That actually happened in the fourth quarter and although he finished the game and was active for the next three weeks, kept him off the field until week 14.

Despite the fact he graded out poorly, the Steelers still ran for 134 yards, almost 30 more than their average output at that stage of the season. He lost leverage a couple of times and didn't always sustain his blocks. The Ravens also exploited his lack of experience at the position as Suggs hit Roethlisberger after stunting underneath Colon and James Ihedigbo sacked him on an overload blitz where Colon blocked the same guy as the center, leaving Digs unblocked. He also had a holding penalty on a running play.

Week 14 – v San Diego

Colon had to have his knee drained a couple of times and his return to the lineup in week 14 only lasted 23 snaps as it was clear he was struggling with his lateral movement, giving up three pressures in pass protection (having only given up 11 total pressures in his first 10 games). He false started for the first time since the opener and let his man get off his block to make an assist on 3rd and short after initially having driven him back only to fall over.

Observations

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

Usage - As noted, Colon played guard in college. He also has experience as a defensive tackle. He played right tackle from 2006 to 2011 and moved to left guard for 2012. The Steelers do not run unbalanced line formations, so he hasn't played as an extra tight end or on the left side.

Athletic Ability - Colon is pretty good on the move, especially considering his size. However, his strength is his most impressive attribute. There were a lot of examples of plays where it looked like he was going to lose leverage, but managed not to with pure upper body strength. In fact, he sometimes relies on his athletic ability to make up for poor footwork or technique. That's not to suggest he's a bad technician, these were just plays where he was either slow to react or got thrown off balance by a defender. It might explain some of his penalties though.

Run Blocking - The book on Colon is that he has short arms and that probably contributes to him losing the leverage battle at times. However, his strength often enables him to overcome this. Colon had more and more success with the left guard staple blocks (pulling lead block to the right, seal-and-peel block at the second level) as the season went along and he really seemed to get more comfortable at the guard position. He doesn't always sustain his blocks and maybe isn't always dominant as a drive-blocker, but he definitely had more positive than negative blocks. The most impressive aspect of Colon's 2012 season as a run blocker is that he hardly ever allowed any penetration.

Pass Protection - Colon's pass protection numbers were solid after his move to guard. He ended up with the 18th best Pass Blocking Efficiency rating among NFL guards. Not bad considering it was his first season in that role. A lot of the pressure he gave up came in a situation where he had to pick up another player due to a stunt or overload or from bullrushes where he stayed in front of his man so it was rare for his man to get by him one-on-one for a pressure (although admittedly he did resort to holding to prevent that on a number of occasions).

Scheme Familiarity

Although the Steelers were known for their man-blocking scheme in the Alan Faneca era, they have been incorporating some zone read stuff in their system since 2007 (and are actually talking about a shift towards more zone blocking in 2013, which may be one of the reasons Colon was let go). Colon joins a team that figures to be playing the West Coast Offense, although Marty Mornhinweg recently indicated that they will run multiple schemes. Under Todd Haley (who ironically almost joined the Jets last year before accepting the Steelers offensive coordinator job), the Steelers did introduce some West Coast elements to their offense although they still threw downfield a lot. All of that should mean that last year was good preparation for Colon to come in and pick up the Jets system, which is expected to be heavily West Coast Offense-influenced and with plenty of zone/stretch run blocking.

Instincts - Considering he was playing a position he hadn't played since college (seven years ago) Colon did seem to handle situations where he had to react to a blitz or something reasonably well, although he was caught out by a few exotic pass rush schemes.

Attitude - Much like the other three signings, Colon has a fiery attitude and comes to the Jets with what he calls a "big-ass chip" on his shoulder. There were several examples of him getting into fights (including one in Steelers camp) and the Vontaze Burfict incident shown above is something Steelers fans loved him for:

"I was hungry and tired of losing on the road," Colon said, referring to the Steelers’ 0-3 start away from home. "If I’ve got to start a fight to get this team going, I’ve got no problem doing it. … For me, if I have to be the bully, I have no problem doing it."

Conclusions

Colon was an outstanding right tackle, but his injuries have really hurt the Steelers over the last few seasons. Even last year, as soon as he got hurt, Starks went downhill, which can't be a coincidence. After two years with just one appearance, it's encouraging that he managed to start 11 games last year. The knee injury was nothing serious and he played some good games, so it seems like he has put the effects of the heel and arm injuries behind him, although they may be part of the reason he moved inside. These things do add up over time and the Jets probably can't count on him being healthy all year.

The other concern about Colon is penalties. He has 44 in 62 starts. It does seem like he's cut down on the false starts - he had 15 from 2007 to 2009 but only three last year, two of which were in the opener (his first game at the guard position). However, his seven accepted holding penalties last year were a career high. Mind you, only two of those came after the fourth game of the year, so it seems like he made the adjustment there - although I would caution that there were several plays where a hold could have been called or was appealed for by a defender.

The most positive thing about Colon is that he seemed to get better as the season went on, suggesting that he was getting comfortable at the guard position and growing nicely into the role. That could make this a potential high-upside move. He got better in pass protection, had more of a direct impact in the running game and cut back on the penalties as the season went on. The season did end on a sour note with two rough performances, but there were other reasons for those - mostly injury related.

If Colon can stay healthy and play as well as he did last year, then he should be a good starter for the Jets at guard. (The possibility of using him at tackle in an emergency is a bonus). However, that's far from certain so the Jets would be smart to add more depth on the interior, unless they're higher on Ducasse and Caleb Schlauderaff than any of us realize. If he is healthy then he could even surpass last year's performance because a lot of his struggles last year were attributable to learning a new position and I don't see him as the finished article yet, even though he's still capable of making an impact.

This looks like another low-risk move with potentially high rewards. It will be interesting if the Jets continue to target players that fit this description.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets shed a group of veteran players this offseason, didn't make any big splashes in free agency, and the quarterback they brought in is a 37-year-old journeyman. Not surprisingly, the expectations for them this season couldn't be much lower.

Just don't try telling that to Todd Bowles.

Despite the look of his roster to outsiders, and the general perception that the Jets are beginning a total rebuilding job, the Jets head coach refused to downplay his team's chances heading into the 2017 season. He looks at the moves the Jets have made this offseason and believes they have given his team a chance to be competitive -- now.

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Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

PHOENIX - The Jets' new offensive coordinator, John Morton, has never run an NFL offense before, never called plays in the league, and he hasn't revealed yet what kind of scheme he will run. But none of that should worry anyone, according to one of his former bosses.

Saints coach Sean Payton promised you'll be "impressed."

"Listen he's been around (Jon) Gruden, (Jim) Harbaugh, myself," Payton said on Wednesday morning during the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings. "He's very meticulous. I think he's going to be outstanding."

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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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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 set for Thursday.

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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Loud Mouths: Is Bowles the guy? 00:06:24
Marc Malusis, Jon Hein and Willie Colon talk about whether Todd Bowles is the right man for the job.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets weren't just bad last season, they were downright dysfunctional at times. Todd Bowles knows it. Everybody knows it. And the Jets coach expects that to change.

Just don't expect him to drop the hammer on his players, or tighten the rules on what at times appeared to be his loosely-run ship. Bowles, as a former player, understands that stuff happens. And he doesn't plan on taking control with some draconian approach.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - Todd Bowles came to the Jets as a defensive guru, but he plans on making the struggling Jets offense his project this year.

The third-year Jets head head coach promised that he will be "heavily more involved" in all aspects of the offense this season during an hour-long interview at the annual AFC Coaches Breakfast on Tuesday. He didn't say his decision had anything to do with the fact the offense ranked 26th in the NFL last season, or that he'll be breaking in a new offensive coordinator in John Morton.

He said it's all just part of his "evolution" as a head coach...

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Do the Jets need Hackenberg? 00:04:25
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether the Jets should settle for Christian Hackenberg as their starter or target a QB in the draft.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - Todd Bowles has declared he will hold an "open competition" at quarterback this summer between the three quarterbacks on his roster, and maybe even a fourth one from the draft. He did not promise veteran Josh McCown the job when the Jets signed him, and he wouldn't say his experience gives him any edge.

All of them will have an equal shot to be the Jets' Opening Day starter. And that's the right approach. It's also the only thing the Jets coach could do.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets have signed OL Jonotthan Harrison to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday. 

Harrison, 25, played in 13 games for the Colts last season, including four starts.

He played 31 of 32 games for the Colts from 2014 to 2015, starting 19.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson is in Arizona for the NFL owners meetings, along with his brother Christopher, according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

The Jets owner declined to talk to reporters on Sunday.

Woody Johnson has long been expected to be named the ambassador to the United Kingdom in President Donald Trump's administration, although the president has not yet formally announced the appointment.

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Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)
Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan wouldn't say if Josh McCown will be the Jets' starting quarterback this season - that, he insisted, is a decision for coach Todd Bowles. But he did say that McCown can still be a good quarterback, even as he closes in on 38 years old.

"I know he's had some injuries this past season, but the season before he played and actually did some good things for Cleveland," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday. "I still think he has good football left in him. We do think he has the ability to play and perform if needed."

The Jets signed McCown to a one-year, $6 million contract last week, with another possible (but unlikely) $7 million in incentives. Maccagnan said that the 15-year vet - a journeyman now on his eighth NFL team - was under consideration from the start of free agency, even as the Jets sorted through all their other options.

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Should the Jets trade down? 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether or not the Jets should trade down so they can acquire more draft picks.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were so intent on acquiring more draft picks that just three weeks ago Mike Maccagnan insisted the Jets were "open for business every round."

Now it sounds like he means every round except the first.

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One year after using a second-round pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he "potentially" could draft a quarterback again. And no, he insisted, that wouldn't mean he's admitting a mistake on Hackenberg.

It would just be another step in the long process of finding "the right quarterback for this team."

"I don't think taking a player at one position is a referendum on another player," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. "I think the goal is to put together best roster you can. Of course quarterback is a very, very important position in this process. But I wouldn't necessarily view it as a referendum."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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DeShone Kizer highlights 00:01:19
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL Draft prospect DeShone Kizer.

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 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. 

 


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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