Over the course of the offseason, I’ll be posting a series of articles analyzing statistics and data rather than game film. I’ll also be revisiting last year’s offseason articles to see whether the conclusions drawn were indicative of what was actually going to happen during the season and using that information to try and determine what 2011’s data tells us about what might happen in 2012. However, before the new league year gets underway, I’m going to address some issues on the salary cap, draft picks, contracts and free agency side of things. In a few days, I’ll try and set out a realistic projection for what cap room the Jets are likely to have available once the new league year gets underway, but today I’m looking at the draft choices the Jets will have in the upcoming draft.

After the jump, I’ll list out all the picks initially held by the Jets, together with details of outstanding trades and potential compensatory picks.

As ever, if you want to jump in with questions, corrections or speculation, feel free to do so. I am also open to ideas for things you’d like me to cover over the course of the offseason.

Introduction

Here, according to WalterFootball.com are the picks that the Jets should hold in the upcoming draft:

1st Round – 16

2nd Round – 15 (47th overall)

3rd Round – 14 (76th overall)

4th Round – 13 (109th overall*)

5th Round – 19 (147th overall*)

6th Round – 18 (178th overall*)

7th Round – 17 (209th overall*)

However, this does not take into account the outcome of any conditionally traded draft picks or UFA compensatory picks. Therefore, let’s see how they will affect the Jets’ haul.

* Note: The overall position of picks from the fourth round onwards does not take into account compensatory picks at the end of the 3rd-to-7th rounds.

Conditionally Traded Picks

The Jets made three trades during the offseason for conditional draft picks. Let’s look at each of these individually:

Derrick Mason:

Mason was traded to Houston five weeks into the season for a conditional seventh round pick. The conditions were that, in order for the Jets to receive the pick, Mason would need to catch 33 passes over the last 11 games of the season. He ultimately got nowhere near this mark. Outcome: No pick owed to the Jets.

Dwight Lowery:

Lowery was traded to Jacksonville before the season began for a conditional sixth round pick. If he failed to meet the conditions, this would revert to a seventh rounder. Unfortunately, the conditions have not, to my knowledge, been officially announced. Based on what the Jets usually do, it could be based on (a) playing time, (b) the Jags re-signing Lowery when his contract expires or (c) some team-based goal. If it’s (a) that’s good news for the Jets, because he started several games for them before getting hurt. The Jags struggled in 2011, so (c) would be bad news. If it’s (b) or a combination of (a) and (b) that will depend what happens. Even if Lowery goes back to the Jags, they can perhaps get around the conditions by letting him hit free agency and then signing him immediately, as the Saints did with Jonathan Vilma. Outcome: At least a seventh rounder, possibly a sixth owed to the Jets.

Caleb Schlauderaff:

Schlauderaff was traded to the Jets for a conditional seventh rounder, although once again the trade conditions have not, to my knowledge, been released. If the conditions are not met, no pick is owed. If this is based on playing time, it’s unlikely the condition was met, because Schlauderaff played just 14 snaps. He is under contract for three years, but I suppose the condition could be something like he still has to be on the roster on the first day of the 2012 league year. Outcome: Either the Jets don’t owe a pick, or they owe a seventh rounder.

Taking the three trades together, the best case scenario is that they get an extra sixth rounder and the worst case scenario is that they get nothing because two seventh rounders will cancel each other out.

UFA Compensatory Picks

Note: UFA Compensatory Picks are different from the compensatory picks awarded when a team signs a restricted free agent or a franchised player to an offer sheet that isn’t matched. This is highly unlikely to apply to the Jets.

UFA Compensatory Picks are awarded to teams who lost a lot of free agents in the offseason. This is based on a secret formula that teams aren’t given, but the process has been going on long enough that we’ve got a pretty decent idea of how to project (assuming the NFL has not elected to change the formula, which is theoretically possible). Courtesy of the excellent AdamJT13, we now have enough information to make an informed estimate of the extra picks potentially due to the Jets.

First, here are some of the main rules:

- Teams can receive a maximum of four compensatory picks

- The maximum value of a compensatory pick is a third rounder

- Compensatory picks are added at the end of each round

- Only qualifying UFA losses count towards the calculation of how many picks are owed

- Qualifying UFA gains are offset against UFA losses and picks are only awarded to the extent that losses exceed gains

- To qualify, you must be an unrestricted free agent whose contract expired (or, in some cases, was voided) at the end of the previous season. RFA’s, even RFA’s that became UFA’s as a result of not being tendered do not qualify and neither do players who were cut, waived or released.

- Players signed after the end of the free agent signing period (usually the last week in June, but the lockout pushed this to the end of August in 2011) and players released before week 10 by their new teams do not qualify.

- The draft round value of the players appears to be mainly based on the annual value of their new contract, but playing time and postseason honors factor into things as well. For example, a player failing to have the required amount of playing time could become non-qualifying or a player with postseason honors might get bumped up to a higher round if they are on the bubble.

So, which of the Jets’ free agency signings and losses were qualifying and where does it leave them when netted out?

In terms of free agent gains, the good news is that the Jets don’t seem to have any qualifying gains which would otherwise be offset against their losses. Most of their free agent dollars were spent on re-signing players they already owned, which has no effect on the compensatory pick calculation. Those that they did sign before the end of the free agent signing period did not qualify because they were cut by their previous team before their contract expired (Strickland, Mason) or were not with a team at the end of the previous season (Burress).

In terms of losses, there were plenty, but not all of them were picked up and retained by another team. Therefore the likes of Pryce, Richardson, Laury, Clemens and Gholston do not qualify. Some of their players that got picked up were cut or traded by the Jets rather than seeing their contract expire. Therefore, Cotchery, Taylor, Lowery and Hartsock do not qualify. A couple were RFA’s that they decided not to tender, so Steve Weatherford and James Ihedigbo do not qualify. That seems to leave four that potentially qualify, which is the maximum number anyway, as noted above. Let’s look at each of these in detail.

Before we do, though, let’s refer back to Adam’s post for the approximate 2008 annual salary thresholds he used to accurately determine the appropriate draft round for each qualifying player:

7th Rounders – $0.9m to $2.7m

6th Rounders - $2.7m to $4m

5th Rounders - $4m to $5m

4th Rounders - $5m to $6.5m

3rd Rounders – Over $6.5m

These numbers applied back in 2008, when the salary cap was $116m and Adam was suggesting that the increase in these thresholds from year to year was more or less in line with the salary cap. Since the 2011 cap was $120.375m, we can apply a 3.8% increase to these figures and hope to be accurate, but the cap in 2009 was $129M, so it’s possible that the numbers would have been increased by more than that and then may not have been adjusted back down again for the reduction in the cap last year.

However, it’s probably an accurate enough starting point, so our thresholds kick in at $0.93m, $2.8m, $4.2m, $5.2m and $6.7m. So, let’s see where the Jets UFA losses fell:

Shaun Ellis:

Ellis got a one year deal for $4m, so he seems to have fallen just short of being a 5th rounder. However, he did play in 14 games, starting 10, so maybe that would be enough to push that up to a 5th rounder. Given that he played less than a third of the total snaps, I’d say this seems unlikely, but there’s no reason I can see that he shouldn’t fetch a sixth rounder.

Brad Smith:

Smith got a $15m, four year deal, so his average annual salary comes in at $3.75m. That puts him in the sixth round range and it seems unlikely he’ll be bumped up a level because he only played 44 more snaps than Ellis and started five fewer games. This looks certain to be a sixth rounder.

Drew Coleman:

Coleman got a three year, $7.4m deal. That puts his average at just below $2.5m, putting him just short of sixth round status. Maybe it’s close enough for him to get bumped up a level due to his playing time – 16 appearances, four starts, 49.4% snap count – but that was the maximum value for the deal, so the base salary might be lower anyway. This looks like a seventh rounder.

Braylon Edwards:

Edwards is an interesting case, because it’s possible he might not qualify, for a couple of reasons. First of all, his base salary was widely reported as just $1m which is pretty close to our estimated threshold. Secondly, he was released before the season ended. Finally, he did not play much. However, his salary was reported in some places as $1.6m, which leads me to believe he probably had a roster bonus early in the year. Also, he was released before the end of the year, but after week 10, which Adam suggests hasn’t stopped players from qualifying in the past. Finally, although he didn’t play much, I was surprised to see that he did play 22% of the snaps for the 49ers this year and Adam cites examples of players who have qualified despite having playing time of less than 20% in the past. All this leads me to conclude he’ll fetch them a seventh rounder, although had he met his incentives, the return would be greater.

The actual compensatory picks are usually announced in the third week of March or thereabouts.

EDIT: Since compiling this article, I’ve found another site that did a projection here. The good news is that their take basically agrees with my best case scenario.

Conclusions

Overall, the Jets currently have one pick in each round and, based on my projections, they will have several additional late round picks. I would suggest that they will get three seventh rounders and two sixth rounders, although the best case scenario might see one of the seventh rounders improved to a sixth (based on Lowery meeting his conditions) and it’s not inconceivable that Ellis could be worth a fifth rounder rather than a sixth. The worst case scenario might see Edwards not qualifying, Lowery only earning them a seventh and Schlauderaff costing them a pick. Even this would still net them two sixths and a seventh in addition to the picks they already have in each round.

These picks could come in useful, like when the Jets drafted Slauson in 2009 or could be packaged to move up in an earlier round and target someone specific. Maybe they could even trade one for a veteran player, although I doubt they would want to add a player with a high salary in this manner. No matter how accurate the projections, it figures to be a busy offseason.

We will of course update you once more concrete information is known.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

In ESPN Mel Kiper's first mock draft, the Jets select Alabam CB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Fitzpatrick is widely considered the best cornerback among this year's prospects, and Kiper even views him as the best secondary man who can also play safety. The Jets already have two stout safeties in rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye this season, but adding another dynamic player to the bunch would only enhance an already young defense that is on the verge of breaking out. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: While he had a versatile role at Alabama, with plenty of reps as a slot corner or as a linebacker in dime packages, the majority of Fitzpatrick's reps were at the safety position. He has played some cornerback in the past, but it's difficult to project whether he'd be able to step in on the outside and start from day-one.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

John Morton is out as the Jets' offensive coordinator due to irreconcilable differences of philosophy with Todd Bowles and a loss of too much faith from his players. The Jets players -- and Bowles -- clearly believed their offense should've been a lot better than it was.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were expected to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season - maybe one of the worst in NFL history. But under first-year offensive coordinator John Morton they did more offensively than anyone imagined.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Jets rookie S Jamal Adams was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team for the 2017 season. 

The Jets' 2017 first-rounder had a stellar rookie campaign, posting 83 combined tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and six passes defended. He did, however, fail to secure his first career interception this year. 

An LSU product, Adams thought he should have made the Pro Bowl this season, but vowed he would make it every season from here on out...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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The Jets and Doug Marrone 00:04:06
On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him.

On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him. 


New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

For well over a year now, the Jets' top priority has been clear: They must find a solution to be their franchise quarterback. After all, it's common knowledge that all the best teams are the ones with settled situations at the quarterback position.

This weekend, however, that narrative was flipped on its head. Matt Ryan lost to Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger got beaten by Blake Bortles and then, in dramatic fashion, Case Keenum beat Drew Brees. In all three cases, the team with the established signal-caller was upended by a team led by a relative novice.

They say defense wins championships, and three of the four teams left standing represent the NFL's best defenses. The one exception is in New England, where the Patriots are headed to yet another AFC championship game in spite of a defense that ranks in the bottom five. Even their win this week saw Tom Brady - the ultimate argument against needing a high pick to find your franchise quarterback - leading his team past a former top-two pick in Marcus Mariota.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The average ticket price for a Jets game is going down.

And for some, the lower price could be available for the 2019 season, too.

More than half of MetLife Stadium's ticket prices will decrease, with the rest of the building remaining flat. No prices will increase for 2018, when the Jets have the Packers, Vikings and Broncos among visiting teams. For fans who meet the renewal deadline of March 1 and enroll in an automatic payment plan, the team will give a price freeze for 2019, when the Steelers, Cowboys and Giants will be visitors for the Jets.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

Standing at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, Allen's arm strength backs up his height and weight. He is also good with his feet as his stature doesn't hinder his mobility. 

Josh McCown may have had a career year with the Jets, but he isn't the long term solution, and neither is Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg hasn't gotten a shot yet, but the Jets clearly don't see him as NFL ready. Allen could jump into the quarterback race this offseason, and come out on top ready for Week 1. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

This Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl II victory over the Balitmore Colts, 16-7, in Miami. 

That championship still stands as the franchise's only Super Bowl win, and the last time the team has made it to the title game. 

"Broadway" Joe Namath led the Jets in the Orange Bowl, and helped New York become the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl. 

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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

The Jets and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will continue contract negotiations after the 25-year-old tight end reportedly rejected a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Seferian-Jenkins said he hopes he and New York could reach a deal before he hits free agency and would "absolutely" want to return.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

The Jets will reportedly be interested in quarterback Kirk Cousins when free agency begins in March, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Cousins, 29, is expected to be a hot commodity in the offseason assuming the Washington Redskins don't franchise tag him for a third straight year. 

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Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets signed RB Jeremy Langford to a reserve/future contract, the club announced Wednesday.

Langford, 26, was the Bears' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University. He appeared in 28 games -- five starts -- in his two seasons with Chicago, rushing for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

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 (Jay Biggerstaff)
(Jay Biggerstaff)

Last week, we discussed the possibility of the Jets targeting Kirk Cousins if he hits the open market.

However, the various pros and cons connected with such a move would become moot if Cousins doesn't hit the open market. A less-attractive alternative more likely to be available is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Could he be someone the Jets are monitoring?

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New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton will remain with the team amid speculation that he was being considered for the Raiders' offensive coordinator job. 

 

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Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)
Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)

Jets CB Rashard Robinson was arrested in December after police found him in possession of edible marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With the offseason ahead, one position on which some people may be divided is the Jets' receiving corps. Do the Jets need to upgrade, merely add some depth or are they essentially set at the position?

During the offseason last year, the Jets' receiving corps was ranked as the worst in the NFL - and this was before Eric Decker was released and Quincy Enunwa and Quinton Patton suffered season-ending injuries.

However, once the season got underway, the Jets fared better than expected in the passing game, making it difficult to know how they'll approach this position with so many other needs.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Chad Hansen, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had his career revitalized this season, which is why he wants to stay with the team that gave him his second chance. 

The Jets took a shot on Seferian-Jenkins, who was caught up in off-the-field drama before he joined the team. He repayed them with his best year in the NFL, and he wants to continue being an asset in their offensive scheme. He is currently a restricted free agent with the Jets being the only team allowed to negotiate his terms. 

Seferian-Jenkins is hoping he gets a deal done with the Jets, and doesn't have to start contacting other teams.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

In The Post's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming's Josh Allen with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The Jets have yet to see Christian Hackenberg on the field, and Bryce Petty wasn't the answer after Josh McCown went down with a season-ending injury. In turn, the Jets take Allen -- a 6-foot-5, 233 pounder who can let it fly. For his size, Allen is extremely mobile as well.

Allen didn't have the best of seasons with the Cowboys as he battled injuries. He finished with just 1,812 yards, a 56.3 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. But in his sophomore season, Allen totaled 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Allen would be another quarterback to add to the Jets' competition this offseason. The Jets have not made it clear whether or not McCown will return for another season in Green and White, which is why Allen enters the mix to vie for the starting role. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for the final episode of the season as the guys welcome WFAN radio personality and huge Jets fan Joe Benigno to the show for his take on the 2017 Jets. It gets heated as Colon and Benigno debate the warrants of Todd Bowles' coaching ability, and if he deserved to be retained after another losing season.

Click below to listen

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Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Plenty of attention this year has been on the Jets positioning themselves to potentially select their quarterback of the future in the draft. With the sixth pick in hand and the consensus top five QB prospects all having thrown their name into the hat for April's draft, they seem to be well-placed to make this happen. However, could another viable option soon become available?

It's rare for a top quarterback to hit the open market, but it's not impossible that it could happen with Kirk Cousins. Washington currently controls his rights, but they'll have to decide whether to franchise him again, sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market.

While the latter of those options might seem the least likely for a player who was third in the league in passing yards in 2016, his numbers regressed this year and the team ended up with a losing record. So far, in three years as a full-time starter, Cousins has started just one postseason game -- a 17-point loss to the Packers 12 months ago...

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty said he hopes he returns to New York during the offseason despite the odds he wouldn't be the starting quarterback in 2018.

"I try not to put too much thought into things that I can't control," Petty said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "Hopefully it's here. I want to be here. But if it's not, that's okay too. It's a business. Everybody understands that."

Petty, who went 0-3 in the final three games of the season as Josh McCown's replacement, will be entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and would have a cap hit of $843,425 next season. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Eighteen years ago today, January 4, Bill Belichick resigned from his one day stint as head coach of the Jets. Before January closed that year, Belichick took the head coaching job with the Patriots. There still has been no resignation, nor firing, from that job. 

Belichick and the Patriots have been the NFL's pillar of excellence in his tenure in New England. Belichick and Tom Brady, taken in Belichick's first draft a few months later, have won five Super Bowls together and appeared in seven. 

The Jets, meanwhile, have two AFC Championship appearances to point to in that time span. 

Oh, what could have been. 

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Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)
Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Now that the season is over, the Jets find themselves in a familiar spot with the opportunity to add a difference-maker in the draft. With the standings finalized, the Jets now know that they'll be picking sixth for the third time in the last four years as general manager Mike Maccagnan has been presented with a golden opportunity to find some cornerstone pieces to build a young nucleus.

Priority number one remains the same: The team must find a franchise quarterback. This year's class initially looked like a strong one with USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Josh Allen of Wyoming headlining the class. Over the course of the season, though, apparent weaknesses for each of the top three prospects' were laid bare. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:01
SNY's Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss how he intends to approach free agency in the offseason.

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

Quarterbacks Josh Rosen of UCLA and Sam Darnold of USC declared themselves eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

The duo are considered the two best collegiate QBs in the draft and are expected to be the first two quarterbacks taken, perhaps with the top two picks by the Cleveland Browns and Giants, who draft 1-2.

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

Although the NFL Draft is still more than three months away, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has already begun contemplating what he'll do on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That may include moving up from the Jets' current spot of No. 6 overall.

"Yeah, I would say it would actually pertain to any player you felt extremely strong about, too," Maccagnan said on ESPN Radio Wednesday. "But we've moved back a little bit in the draft and there have been situations I've tried to move up in the draft. But I would say the simple answer to that question is 'yes' and if that was a player we felt very strongly about, we would have no qualms about potentially trying to go and get him."

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The end-of-season press conferences earlier this week predictably contained a lot of platitudes about Christian Hackenberg. A common refrain was that the book on Hackenberg is not closed and that the team still considers him to have shown improvement toward realizing his potential.

There is understandable skepticism as to whether the Jets still believe Hackenberg has a future, with some believing the team is reluctant to admit they made a mistake when they drafted the 22-year old with the 50th overall pick two years ago. Jets fans are even more skeptical, with Hackenberg seen as an object of ridicule in some circles...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:13
Jeane Coakley chats with Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who discusses how pleased he was with the team during his first season as owner.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who is running the team while his brother, Woody, is serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, spoke with SNY on Tuesday about his first year at the helm. 

"This is -- and I didn't realize this going in -- this is the best job in the world," Johnson said. "It's be the most extraordinary stretch of my life."

Johnson said it was his decision alone to extend the contracts of head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan, who are now under contract through 2020.

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 (Tommy Gilligan)
(Tommy Gilligan)

The Jets will select SMU WR Courtland Sutton with the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, predicts the Sporting News in their first Mock Draft of 2018.

The Mock, by Eric Galko, has the Broncos selecting Washington DT Vita Vea with the No. 5 pick, and the Bucs taking NC State DE Bradley Chubb with the No. 7 pick.

"The Jets are in play for Baker Mayfield and are one of the teams that could covet Lamar Jackson early in the draft," Galko writes. "But outside of quarterback, they need to upgrade at receiver. Adding Sutton to pair with Robby Anderson should make for an easier job for Josh McCown and/or their quarterback of the future."

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What is the Jets' future? 00:05:55
The DNL panel discusses how Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will move toward their ideal vision for the Jets after a surprising 2017.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson said the progress he saw from the team this season played a part in offering two-year extensions to head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Johnson added that the decision to extend Bowles -- which he made earlier this season -- and Maccagnan was his, and that he didn't run it by his brother, Woody. 

"I did see progress," Johnson said. "I was more than happy to extend both Mike and Todd. ...I like the idea of some stability and going from year to year doesn't seem right."

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