The news that Jim Leonhard's collision with Patrick Turner caused a broken leg that will sideline him for the rest of the season has no doubt thrown Rex Ryan's plans for the upcoming game against New England into chaos. It also raises questions about how the Jets will perform at the safety position and who is going to step up to fill the void.

I've been breaking down Jets footage all season long and although we cannot say for certain how the Jets will perform without him - mainly because he's only missed six snaps all year (all in goalline situations) - there are certainly a few things that can give us some idea.

Join me after the jump for some in-depth analysis.

Eric Smith

Although Smith had started the previous game, he was the one named as Leonhard's replacement by the team this week. (Clearly Brodney Pool is going to return to the starting lineup.) The team had already lauded Smith's communication skills and the Jets immediately reaped the benefits of those on Thursday night with a much more organized display than they had produced over the previous few weeks, especially in zone coverage. Smith will definitely be the one to take over Leonhard's crucially important role of organizing the secondary.

In terms of role, it's not like Smith (or Pool) will be thrown into a situation they haven't already faced this year. Although both have primarily been deep safeties, they have each spent plenty of time in the box. The one major adjustment is that when they played together it was always in a three-safety alignment, with Leonhard there too.

Smith is a better tackler than Leonhard, but is less reliable in coverage. However, he is much bigger than Leonhard, so at least he does not have as much of a size mismatch against tight ends. While Smith's skillset would seem to suit the strong safety role, I wouldn't be surprised to see him deep, so that he is in a better position to read the offense.

One thing that I've often thought about Smith is that when he is pressed into full time action, he often performs well, whereas in a role-playing situation, he struggles. It's as if he benefits from being aware of his role from the start and is able to prepare fully and get into the rhythm of the game faster. I had absolutely nothing to back this up, but when you think back to when he has started in the past - At the start of 2008, before he was concussed in the collision with Boldin, when Kerry Rhodes was benched last year, at the start of this year when Pool was out and last week, after Pool was benched - he always seems to perform well.

So, I did a little sleuthing and the results are quite striking. Smith has played more than 50 snaps a game five times and in those five games he has performed at a very high level compared to when he plays less than that:

Run defense

* More than 50 snaps - 32 solo tackles (6.4 per game), no missed tackles, PFF rating +6.9

* Less than 50 snaps - 40 solo tackles (1.2 per game), nine missed tackles, PFF rating -2.5

Pass coverage

* More than 50 snaps - 9-for-15, 84 yards, no touchdowns. QB rating 75.4, PFF rating +0.3, no 20 yard plays given up

* Less than 50 snaps - 23-for-40, 314 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions. QB rating 86.9, PFF rating -13.5, four 20 yard plays given up

Pass rush

* More than 50 snaps - Three pressures in 15 pass rush attempts, PFF rating +0.3

* Less than 50 snaps - 15 pressures in 150 pass rush attempts, PFF rating -9.4

Overall

PFF rating in games where he played more than 50 snaps is +7.5 and when he plays less than 50 snaps is -28.7

Maybe it's a small sample size right now but, so far, the numbers suggest that Smith is a very poor backup safety, but a very good starter. Maybe this indicates he is capable of stepping up.

Searching for flaws in the model

What happens if he starts, but then ends up with fewer than 50 snaps because he doesn't perform well enough to stay out there? The only recent example of that was in the first New England game this year. Smith was seemingly benched after 36 snaps, just before halftime, because he should have been deep when Randy Moss beat Revis for a score. However, that particular game still stands up to scrutiny, again suggesting he performed better than normal due to the fact he started. He had two tackles, no missed tackles, a pressure and gave up no receptions for a PFF rating of +0.2 (which would have been higher had he not been docked 0.9 points for his "helmet" to "helmet" penalty on Wes Welker.)

Also, why make 50 snaps the cut off point? I decided to look at whether there was any correlation between number of snaps and performance. If you look at the five games where he played between 40 and 50 snaps, his performance is not as good as when he plays more than 50, but it is still better than normal (and arguably better than Jim Leonhard has been this year). In those five games, his PFF rating was -3.5, so not quite as bad as the -25.2 total rating for the 24 games with less than 40 snaps, especially when you factor in the additional snaps. He had 14 tackles in those five games, with two missed tackles, and opposing QB's went 5-10-59 against him, with one TD and one interception (a 62.1 rating).

Brodney Pool

Leonhard's injury thrusts Brodney Pool back into the limelight, after the team suggested he was struggling to get to grips with where he needed to be and was the source of some of their defensive breakdowns in recent weeks. In the first game against the Patriots, Pool replaced Smith at halftime and his superior cover skills proved useful, helping the Jets to shut out New England in the second half. After his benching for last week's game, he still saw plenty of action in three-safety alignments and - much like the other two safeties - performed well. The coaching staff suggested that taking certain things "off his plate" seemed to have helped him out.

Early in the season, Pool was used almost exclusively as a deep free safety. He has good range and ball instincts, so performed reasonably well in that role. However, when Jim Leonhard started to get picked on in man-to-man situations, they experimented with using Pool in the box. Again, he did reasonably well at this, but since then the Jets have increasingly been using their safeties in zone coverages and this seemed to be where he was struggling. This perhaps suggests that if the Jets are going to play zone, Pool should be in the box and if they are going to play man, he should be deep. It is possible for the safeties to be interchangeable, but they would need to be careful about making this too obvious, because even if you switch them at the last moment, this can still tip your hand, which Tom Brady will be capable of exploiting.

If you read the comments from an anonymous GM earlier in the year, you'd have been forgiven for thinking that Brodney Pool is a hard-hitting playmaker. As a result, he has been viewed by many as a bit of a disappointment. However, as I noted at the time, that report was nonsensical, because Pool is a rangey, athletic safety with good size, but has never been known for his tackling. In fact, some of you may recall Jets 2005 draft pick Andre Maddox declaring that he was better than Pool, because "He can't tackle". What the Jets need Pool to be is a disciplined centerfielder with range and instincts, that will keep mistakes to a minimum. In other words, a poor man's version of what Kerry Rhodes would have been, if he listened to his coaches.

Kerry Rhodes

While we're on the subject of Kerry Rhodes, I was going to do an "Expendables" update this week, but Wordpress "ate" three hours worth of work and I ran out of time. However, my research into Rhodes revealed some interesting factors.

Last year, I repeatedly stated (and was often berated for doing so) that, despite his obvious flaws, Rhodes had performed well all season. This was because he hadn't made many mistakes or given up many big plays, so - even when you factored in his apparent lack of impact plays - his performance put him among the better safeties in the league (albeit in a down year for safety play league-wide).

We all know how Rhodes wanted to be placed in a role where he could showcase his playmaking ability more and how he wasn't keen to perform the thankless task of roaming centerfield, despite the fact he was the only Jet equipped to do so with such efficiency and that it was the most productive use of his abilities. Rhodes made the mistake of listening to "twiticisms" about his lack of impact plays, perhaps fuelled by his talk during the off-season. As a result, he started gambling and making mistakes, for example missing tackles by going for a big hit rather than wrapping his man up or gambling underneath and vacating deep centerfield on Ted Ginn's touchdown catch. This landed him on the bench, after which he returned to the team, played more disciplined football and was able to let some impact plays come to him rather than trying to make something happen and risking a costly error.

So, now he's with the Cardinals and is still being mostly employed in centerfield. Moreso, in fact, than when he was with the Jets. Early in the season, Rhodes did make some huge plays - a game clinching interception, fumble returns for touchdowns in consecutive weeks - and everyone in Arizona seemed more than happy with his impact. However, to go along with those big plays, he was also giving up big plays too.

Last year, Rhodes missed only five tackles (in 19 games), so even though he was often seen to be shying away from contact, he was at least keeping the ball carrier in front of him. This year, he's already missed eleven tackles, including a few particularly costly ones. Overall in coverage, he's been okay, but not quite as good as last year. He got beaten for a touchdown (something which didn't happen last year) and gave up a 53 yard pass play a few weeks ago (again not something that happened last year). QB's have a 69.8 rating when throwing his way, compared with 59.7 last year.

He has been a more productive tackler (61 tackles already, after just 71 in 19 games last year), but a lot of that is down to the fact that Arizona's run defense is nowhere near as good as the Jets, so runners are getting to the second level more. He's also had some strange moments - getting ejected for touching an official and fumbling the ball at the goalline for a touchback. Now it seems the impact plays have dried up too. Rhodes has two interceptions and no sacks. A few weeks ago, I was saying that Rhodes was going to get his first Pro Bowl appearance in the worst season of his career, but now, I'm not sure that he will make it.

Anyway, where I am going with all this, to bring it back to the original topic, is that the Jets might not necessarily be much better off had they retained Kerry Rhodes. Ignoring the impact his contract would have on their efforts to retain all their free agents this offseason, I was concerned that Rhodes' coverage skills were going to be hard to replace (and I was right). However, my bigger concern would be that they retained him and he played with poor discipline as he did at times last season. If that was going to be the case - and the Jets are the only people who could make a sensible judgement on the basis of his attitude - then they would be better off without the distraction. We will never know whether he would have fallen into line, but if his performance in Arizona suggests that he would have been gambling to try and make impact plays and giving up big plays as a result, then - even with Leonhard's injury - they might be better off for having traded him. Especially if Pool, who they wouldn't otherwise have signed, can fill in adequately.

One final thought: Does anyone agree with me that - even before this injury happened - Darren Sharper probably would have been a pretty good offseason pickup for this team?

The third safety

Pool and Smith have each had plenty of reps at both safety positions. However, the effect of late-season injuries is often felt further down the depth chart. Last season, when Lito Sheppard, Bart Scott and Donald Strickland got hurt against the Colts, it meant that Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery and James Ihedigbo were all forced to play almost the whole game. All three have been up and down, but on the whole are solid role-playing backups for this team and will hopefully continue to be so. However, when forced to start, they can be exposed. A similar situation arose earlier this year with Darrelle Revis and Kyle Wilson/Drew Coleman, which the Jets were fortunate enough to overcome.

With any luck, the Jets will not lose too much from having Smith and Pool as their starting safeties. If they can iron out any communication issues and keep the breakdowns to a minimum, whether that requires a scheme simplification or not, hopefully the Jets defense will still be able to play at an elite level. The next question, however, is what they will do when they go to their three safety alignments.

Although he's coming off a concussion, many people are hoping Dwight Lowery will be able to step into that role. Although a lot of people are suggesting the Jets could "convert him to safety", this is a change that has already taken place. Third safety is exactly the role Lowery had when Pool was out earlier in the season. Against Baltimore, he was in on 23 snaps, all of them at safety. All but three of his season high 37 snaps against the Pats in week two were as a safety. While Revis was hurt, he filled in at cornerback, but then returned to his role as the third safety against Minnesota and since then has filled in at both safety and slot corner as and when required. He got plenty of playing time against the Packers, because they went to a spread formation, for example.

So - if he's declared fully healthy - Lowery is equipped to fill in as the third safety and his ball skills should serve him well. If Lowery can't go, or if there's another injury to a safety, what other options do they have?

One option is to go corner-heavy. For the Pats game, if the first three Rex v Belichick matchups are anything to go by, the Jets will have at least five DB's on the field at all times and sometimes as many as seven. Even though Randy Moss is gone, the Patriots do still have a pass-first offense, so I don't expect that to change. Maybe they could go with four corners and two safeties, which would mean extra playing time for Drew Coleman and either Kyle Wilson or Marquice Cole.

The other option - if we ignore the possibility of signing somebody off the street like Hank Poteat - is to use James Ihedigbo more. Ihedigbo has carved out a nice role for himself as a special teamer, pass rusher and run blitzer, but when pressed into service as a replacement for the injured Bart Scott in the AFC Title game last year, he looked a little lost, particularly in coverage. Largely based on this game, the feeling is that Ihedigbo will struggle if used as a conventional safety.

However, that's the only extended action we have to go on. Who can say whether he has made improvements since last year? He has certainly been playing more and although he is usually employed in those same run blitzing and pass rushing situations, that is not always the case and his comfort level has undoubtedly grown.

Again, it's a ridiculously small sample size, but Ihedigbo has been employed in coverage 27 times this year and only given up one catch. He is being used in coverage more than last year, where he didn't drop into coverage more than once in a game until week 13. So, they can still use him coming off the edge and drop him into coverage from time to time, seemingly without other teams being able to exploit him, at least so far.

Conclusions

Jim Leonhard was not having a particularly good season so, on the face of it, this shouldn't be an insurmountable loss. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't have been much worse because Leonhard had been playing solid football over the last month, the zone defense which was presumably going to be an important weapon against Brady and the Patriots had just started to look solid and they were just in the process of finalizing their preparations for the biggest game of the year so far, many of which involved Leonhard's input significantly. Toss in the fact that Brodney Pool's form had not been good and it's no wonder Rex Ryan looked a little shaken on Friday afternoon.

However, this is a team that has won games without Jenkins, Ellis, Pace, Revis, Sanchez, Cotchery and Holmes under the current regime. Add Leonhard to that group and maybe it would be the straw that broke the camel's back. Unfortunately for the Patriots, other than Jenkins, the others will all be there on Monday night, along with the rest of the Jets roster, which will be hungry to make Leonhard's absence seem like an afterthought. Beyond Monday, who knows? Right now, who cares?

Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

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

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

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

Latest Update (Jan. 17)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

Latest Update

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

Previous Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

So, should he stay or should he go?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, should he stay or should he go?

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


Subscribe to the podcast here!


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

So, should he stay or should he go?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

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

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

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


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

Latest Update (Jan. 4)

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

Previous reports (Jan. 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey announced his retirement on Tuesday.

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

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

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

Latest Update

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

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

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

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

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



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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

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

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

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