Since the season ended, I've been charting a series of 2007 games, which - somewhat unexpectedly - gave me a different perspective on some of the issues affecting this current Jets team.

Today, I'll be reflecting on Brian Winters' rookie season by looking back to 2007, where the Jets had similar problems filling their left guard position.

Winters started the last 12 games of 2013 and struggled, although he did show some signs of improvement over the last month. Even though he felt he played well, even Winters himself admitted there was plenty of room for growth. After the jump, a look back at 2007 and what this might tell us about how far Winters has to go.

2007 Review

The Jets' apparent mishandling of the left guard position was a big story back in 2007. In retrospect, the 4-12 Jets probably wouldn't have been a playoff contender even with competent play from the left guard spot, but their efforts to fill the position on the cheap failed miserably. The cap-strapped Jets refused to give Pete Kendall a pay rise and - although their cap situation was much better in 2008, enabling them to sign Alan Faneca to shore up the position - the competition between several cheaper options did not go well.

In preseason, it looked like rookie Jacob Bender - a converted tackle - had won the job. The sixth round pick started the last two preseason games. However, on opening day, the Jets shocked everyone by announcing Bender as inactive - a healthy scratch - and putting Adrien Clarke, who had been playing with the second unit, in as the starter. Bender would make just two appearances that year, only seeing action on special teams. They would be his only two NFL games.

Clarke would go on to start the first 14 games and was the target of Wayne Hunter levels of vitriol from the Jets fanbase as he struggled each week. Clarke had started four games with the Eagles in 2005, but then missed all of the 2006 season after getting back surgery and signed a low-level deal with the Jets. He was finally benched for the last two games of the season and never played in the NFL again.

During Winters' struggles last season, I was asked several times if he was struggling as badly as Clarke did. Now that I've looked back on the 2007 season, we can make a comparison between the two.

Comparison between Clarke and Winters

In the end, Winters played 771 snaps in 2013 and Clarke played 776 in 2007*, so we have two equivalent sample sizes to make a direct comparison. (*These and other stats included in this article are exclusively provided by Pro Football Focus).

Pass Protection

Let's first consider pass protection numbers. Winters gave up a league high 10 sacks, six hits and 15 pressures. Clarke only surrendered four sacks, 10 hits and 14 pressures. That sounds like Winters did a lot worse than Clarke. Indeed, their pass protection grade (which takes into account not just the rate at which pressure was surrendered but also how badly beaten the player was when he did surrender pressure) was worse for Winters (-14.6) than for Clarke (-9.1).

However, let's add some context to these numbers. Winters was protecting a rookie, who struggled at times with blitz recognition and holding the ball too long in the pocket. Clarke was protecting Chad Pennington for half the time, a player who was excellent at making decisions and checking down when required. Of course, Clarke was also protecting Kellen Clemens for half the time, a less experienced player seeing regular action for the first time. However, can we make an argument that Clarke's job was easier?

When you look again at the numbers, Winters surrendered 31 total pressures and Clarke surrendered 28. That's not too far off. The main difference between these numbers was that a much higher percentage of those pressures for Winters resulted in sacks, which you could certainly attribute, at least in part, to the quarterback. We can even explore the time in the pocket numbers to account for this. Pennington's time to throw was 2.66 seconds and Clemens' was not that far behind at 2.77 seconds. Smith, on the other hand, threw the ball after 3.03 seconds on average. While that 3-to-4 tenths of a second might not sound like much, it could certainly be the difference between a sack and a hit/pressure on some plays. It's the difference between being in the middle of the pack and being right near the top in terms of that time to throw number.

In addition to the rate at which pressure was converted to sacks, we can also add context to the total amount of pressure each of them surrendered. Again from PFF's time in pocket numbers, we can see that over half (51.2%) of Pennington's throws were released before 2.5 seconds were up. This is not surprising, having watched the footage, because there were a lot of plays where Pennington released the pass almost immediately as he recognized a blitz off the edge. Pennington saw good success on these plays, which usually netted an easy 6-to-8 yard gain.

Perhaps surprisingly, Clemens threw within 2.5 seconds an even higher percentage of the time (53.5%) than Pennington. By contrast, Smith only threw within 2.5 seconds just 40.7% of the time. So, even though Winters and Clarke played an equivalent number of snaps, Winters had to sustain his block for longer more often than Clarke did, so we can say his job in pass protection was more difficult and the fact he gave up a few extra pressures might be attributable to this. We can also say that changes in the gameplan and improvements in the decision making and blitz recognition from the quarterback position could have a positive effect on his 2014 numbers in addition to any improvements he makes himself.

For the record, while you might expect Clarke's pass protection numbers to be better when he was protecting Pennington that when he was protecting Clemens, that couldn't be further from the truth. He played seven games in front of each, but with Pennington in there, Clarke gave up four sacks, 10 hits and nine pressures. However, with Clemens in there, he only gave up five pressures (with no hits or sacks). Maybe this means the quarterback doesn't have as much of an effect as suggested above, but then again, Clemens was getting rid of the ball quickly even more often than Pennington.

Another interesting comparison to make is the fact that Winters was between the veteran Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, whereas Clarke was in-between the same two players while they were in just their second season. While neither would receive pro bowl recognition that year (Mangold was a pro bowler for the first time the following year and Ferguson the year after that), you could conceivably make an argument that they were closer to their peak in either 2007 or 2013. Let's call it a wash.

For each of them, there was an improvement later in the season. Winters gave up just one sack, two hits and three pressures over the last four games. In fact, he only gave up one pressure in the last two games. Clarke gave up no sacks and just two hits and one pressure over his last five games. There was one key reason behind that, but we'll address that later on. It's obviously encouraging that Winters had better numbers in the final month, but I don't think it's a coincidence that this was where Smith started to make better decisions in the pocket too, often taking off at the first sign of pressure.

Penalties

In 2007, Clarke had just two penalties, whereas Winters had seven in 2013. Maybe some of the penalties on Winters are again attributable to him having to hold his block for a longer time than necessary, but two of the seven were false starts. One was actually a penalty for ineligible receiver downfield where you could definitely attribute that to Smith getting rid of the ball too late. The rest were holding penalties. This is definitely an area Winters will look to improve upon, especially with Breno Giacomini and Willie Colon - each of whom gets flagged a lot - expected to man the right side of the line.

Run blocking

Having watched the footage, it was obvious that both players really struggled. Clarke is bigger and less mobile, but their usage within the two schemes was pretty similar.

According to PFF ratings, the grade was again worse for Winters (-17.4) than for Clarke (-11.1). What I would say about Clarke is that he seemed to have more positive moments where he did put it all together earlier in the year. Winters finally started to do that in the last few games. Clarke had a couple of impressive blocks in the week 13 blowout win over Miami, including one where Leon Washington took a direct snap and ran for an 18-yard score after Clarke had driven his man out of the play to create a huge lane.

There's not much more to say here, though. Both were very inconsistent, with Winters perhaps being the reason a play failed more often than Clarke was because he had better talent around him.

The rotation system

As noted above, Clarke saw real improvements in his pass protection numbers towards the end of the year. His run blocking also improved, in similar fashion. The major difference in those final five games was that Clarke started splitting time with Will Montgomery. Montgomery did a pretty decent job, getting between a third and a half of the available reps over the next five weeks. He'd go on to start the last two games and become a full-time starter for Washington. The more interesting aspect is the effect splitting reps had on Clarke.

As noted above, Winters actually graded out worse than Clarke in terms of run and pass blocking (although we've discussed some of the possible reasons for this). However, had Clarke continued to play the way he did in those first nine games, he was actually on course to be worse than Winters.

This begs the question: Would Winters have played with more consistency if he had split reps rather than being relied upon to play full time? As I noted a few years ago, when Vladimir Ducasse split reps with Matt Slauson in 2012, the offense didn't miss a beat and even performed marginally better in the running game. However, Ducasse's performance in 2013 perhaps showed he wasn't ready for a full-time role.

We know that some offensive line coaches don't like rotation schemes, presumably because they think it prevents the line from gelling as quickly as you'd like. However, when players are struggling, it would seem that there is a benefit to this in terms of enabling each player to focus on a smaller workload, remain focused and fresh and maybe even receive feedback or advice during those series where they have been taken out. You could also perhaps suggest that changing the guards around every now and again could make it more difficult for defensive linemen to figure out the best way to beat them. It also provides motivation by creating a direct competition and giving one of them an opportunity to outshine the other and re-earn a full-time role.

I said it at the time, but I think a rotation scheme could have been a positive for both Winters and Ducasse. The hope is that Winters will benefit in the long run from the time he saw in 2013 (and let's not forget he had a preseason ankle injury to set him back), but maybe if he was making positive contributions sooner, this would have had a positive effect confidence-wise.

Conclusions

It certainly makes for an interesting comparison to investigate the differences and similarities between these two. While it doesn't bode well that Clarke was out of the league after the 2007 season, it's clear there were some important reasons why Winters struggled in similar fashion, not least of which being that he was a rookie learning a new position.

In terms of other recent young linemen who had poor seasons but then ended the season on an upward curve, there are several examples of players who did not continue that momentum into the next season. Jason Pinkston couldn't lock down a starting job, Will Rackley had another bad season and was released, Levi Brown got injured twice and Bobby Massie didn't start the following year and is battling for a starting role this year. However, I would say that the experience Winters gained - even though he did struggle - puts him in a better situation to start in year two than someone like Matt Slauson, who barely played at all as a rookie.

Winters has to improve in 2014, because if he doesn't, it's not going to be difficult to find someone who can do a better job. While he might have had a longer leash last year, I don't think there's much chance the Jets will risk having one player submarine the entire unit once again.

To wrap up this series, I'll be doing one more article focusing on a few interesting things from that 2007 season. However, we're almost ready to move on to the next series, where - over the next few weeks - I'll be looking in great detail at double teams and their effect upon productivity.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next stop for David Harris figures to be the Jets' Ring of Honor.

Harris, who spent 10 years as the anchor of the Jets defense before he was released last year, announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday afternoon. The 34-year-old inside linebacker ended his 11-year career through a short statement released by his agent on Twitter, less than three weeks after reaching the first Super Bowl of his career with the New England Patriots - although he wasn't activated for the game.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have seen Sheldon Richardon, Damon Harrison, and Quinton Coples depart within the past few seasons. With the departure of Muhammad Wilkerson thought to be imminent, they suddenly find themselves in a position where they lack depth on the defensive interior.

In addition, a potentially promising pipeline of young depth hasn't really materialized. Deon Simon and Claude Pelon couldn't crack the rotation, and spent most of the year on the practice squad, while Lawrence Thomas became a full back. Leonard Williams will be back, but his 2017 season was arguably just as disappointing as Wilkerson's, and he might find that teams can more readily gameplan around him if he's not surrounded with the same kind of talent...

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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Daily News Live: NFL Combine 00:03:50
The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Lamar Jackson are among the top prospects.

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Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Jets start their sales pitch to Kirk Cousins, he's going to want to know about more than just the size of their check. He's going to want to know, among other things, how they plan to protect him.

That's a project they can get started on right now.

The Jets should begin by re-signing center Wesley Johnson before the free-agent market opens on March 14, and solidify what was a young and better-than-you-think offensive line last season. Together with right guard Brian Winters and right tackle Brandon Shell, it would give the Jets a strong young corps on the line to build around. And with two solid veterans on the left side -- tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard James Carpenter -- it's a line that could actually be pretty good.

Tags: Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft. 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center. 

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Cousins 00:02:18
The Jets hope to be in the mix to land highly touted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins in order to provide stability at the QB position.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The entire Jets offseason will be played out in the shadow of Kirk Cousins -- the biggest name on the free-agent market, and the franchise quarterback they so desperately need. And that's even true right now, as the NFL's 15-day "franchise tag" window opens on Tuesday.

The Jets aren't likely to use the tag, but the Washington Redskins are reportedly considering using it on Cousins.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The offensive line was a huge disappointment for the Jets in 2017, especially on the interior. In 2016, Wesley Johnson started eight games for the injured Nick Mangold, and the line didn't seem to suffer too badly. However, he struggled throughout the 2017 season after moving into the full-time starter role.

Guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter also failed to play as well as they had in 2016, although that may partly have been caused by Johnson struggling on their inside shoulder.   Injuries were also an issue here, with Winters in particular playing most of the season hurt, and eventually requiring surgery on an abdominal issue.

Dakota Dozier's performances in relief of Winters over the past few years have some people wondering if it was really wise to give Winters a big money extension, when Dozier doesn't appear to be much of a downgrade. However, he's out of contract now, so the Jets may need to replenish their depth.

Tags: Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold
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Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets exercised their options on two defensive starters on Tuesday, ensuring that defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin will both be back for the 2018 season.

The Jets were facing a deadline of Tuesday on both players, but the decision likely wasn't difficult, especially with the team likely to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason. McLendon is due a salary of $3.125 million this year and has a salary cap number of $4.25 million. Martin is due a salary of $1.8 million, with a cap number of $2.1 million.

The moves come one day after the Jets declined their 2018 option on tackle Ben Ijalana, making him an unrestricted free agent...

Tags: Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?

According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract. 

King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets made offensive tackle Ben Ijalana a free agent on Monday after they failed to exercise his player option.

New York did not exercise Ijalana's $500,000 option bonus that would have activated his $4.5 million base salary for the 2018 season. By doing so, the Jets will save a total of $4.6 million.

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCowwas the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season. 

This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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In 2017, the Jets' running game struggles probably had more to do with the offensive line being overmatched than the performance of the backs.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets reportedly turned down a Cincinnati Bengals trade proposal that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to New York last season, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Cincinnati, according to Cimini, called the Jets organization at the start of free agency and offered McCarron in a trade, however the Jets turned it down to focus on free agency. It is unclear what Cincinnati requested in the deal.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets started over last offseason and actually built themselves a nice core of talent. They have many young, inexpensive players they can build around this spring.

They certainly have the tools to build around them - perhaps as much as $100 million in cap room, the sixth overall pick in the draft, and some extra picks too. And that's good, because even though the Jets exceeded expectations last season, they were still 5-11, and have plenty of holes to fill.

Now, as they get ready to begin Phase 2 of their rebuilding project, here's a look at their biggest needs.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.

They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Juston Burris, Morris Claiborne
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield

The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone. 

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.

"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement...

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have been a team whose defense has been built around their interior linemen for a long time, but Muhammad Wilkerson's anticipated departure could be an opportunity to reinvent themselves by finding a difference-maker who can create constant pressure off the edge.

The Jets haven't really had an elite edge rusher since John Abraham, who was traded before the 2006 draft. They've tried drafting one high (Vernon Gholston), converting an interior lineman into one (Quinton Coples), and bringing in an established veteran (Jason Taylor). But none of these have been successful. None of their low-cost free agents, reclamation projects, or later draft picks have stepped up either.

Tags: Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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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)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are in position to be the kings of free agency, with potentially more salary cap room to spend than any team except for the Cleveland Browns. They are already projected to have about $75 million in salary cap space, and that's if they don't make another move.

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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.

But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brent Qvale, Chandler Catanzaro, Dakota Dozier, Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There are always plenty of receiver prospects who make an immediate impact as a rookie, even in the later rounds. However, the Jets haven't had much success in recent years despite selecting seven wideouts in the last four drafts.

While four of those seven are under contract for 2018 and a fifth -- restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa -- also figures to be back, the Jets got just 15 catches of production from that group in 2017.

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Daily News Live: Jimmy Garoppolo 00:03:54
The Daily News Live crew discusses the impact Jimmy Garoppolo's new contract will have on the deal Kirk Cousins will want.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jimmy Garoppolo just became the NFL's highest paid player, even though he's only started seven NFL games and thrown 12 touchdown passes in four seasons. He reportedly agreed to a monster, five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers -- a record average of $27.5 million per season. That record will be very short-lived.

It's a simple fact of the NFL that the price of franchise quarterbacks only goes up, and in less than five weeks another one will be on the open market. And when Kirk Cousins officially becomes free on March 14 you can bet his deal will eclipse what Garoppolo just got...

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

In NFL.com's latest mock draft, Chad Reuter forecasted the first three rounds for all teams. With the Jets first selection at no. 6 overall, Reuter has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

The Jets take Allen over Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who fell to the Cardinals at no. 15. USC QB Sam Darnold went no. 1 to the Browns and UCLA QB Josh Rosen went no. 2 to the Giants.

Allen threw for 3,202 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his sophomore season. However, his production dropped this season to 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also suffered a shoulder injury, and was forced to miss the final two regular-season games this year...

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.

However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)
Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Chiefs have released former Jet Darrelle Revis, the team announced. 

Revis, 32, would have been owed a $10 million contract guarantee if he was still on the roster on March 18. He was signed by Chiefs in November, playing five games, including two starts. 

After the Chiefs' season ended, Revis admitted he wasn't at his best.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Kacy Rodgers never got a chance to play in the NFL before he turned to coaching. But now he might be able to give his son the shot that he never had.

The Jets will be signing Kacy Rodgers II, the son of their current defensive coordinator, according to his agent, David Canter. Rodgers II will join the Jets for their offseason program, at least, after two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Rodgers II is a 6-2, 208-pound defensive back out of the University of Miami. In 2014 he was a tryout player at the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp, but didn't stick. He then signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and spent a year on their practice squad before joining the Roughriders...

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Former Jets C Nick Mangold was thinking about starting his political career, and running in his local GOP primary, according to Politico's Matt Friedman.

However, Mangold said Thursday that he will not be running.

Mangold would've been running to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who represents the 11th District of New Jersey. Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas has spoken with Mangold, and he appears to be serious about running for the position.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After saying he wouldn't join the Jets for $60 million, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, a pending free agent, told TMZ exactly what it would take to secure his services.

"A hundred Ms," Bell said, referring to $100 million. "Hey, listen to me: I play running back, but they've got to respect me like I am, man." 

Bell, 25, responded to a fan's tweet last week asking what amount of money it would take for him to join the Jets.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another year has come and gone without the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Even the Philadelphia Eagles now have ended their forever Super Bowl drought. If you're counting, that's 49 straight Super Bowls that have been played without the Jets.

Can the 50th time be their charm?

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two years ago, the Jets drafted Darron Lee with their first pick, hoping to shore up one of their inside linebacker positions for the foreseeable future. Over the course of his first two seasons, he's been up and down, but he has retained an every-down role.

Last year, he struggled initially, then played the best football of his career in the middle of the season, only to regress down the stretch. However, there are no indications that the Jets intend to move on from Lee.

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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