During the offseason, I’ll be looking back at certain aspects of the Jets’ season by analyzing data compiled from all nineteen games, rather than watching film. I will be tackling as many diverse topics as possible, but welcome your suggestions or requests in the comments.

Let's begin this week with a quote from the Head Coach:

The thing that is not noticed about Braylon is, I think he is the best blocker in football at the receiver position. Each week you watch (him), he’s knocking DBs down. (We mark him on) the bracket guy and (the bracket guy) is like, “What are you doing blocking me?” We take advantage of him. (Edwards) and Hines Ward are the two guys that really get after it probably better than anybody.


- Rex Ryan, January 2011

As Jets fans, we've all seen this. The imposing Edwards has five inches and 30 pounds on some defensive backs and can often be seen making dominating blocks downfield. However, while analyzing film this year, I noticed that Edwards often misses blocks too and he was heavily penalized during the year. Even more intriguingly, according to PFF's player ratings, he ranked 103rd out of 110 receivers in terms of blocking during the 2010 season.

So, is Edwards one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL or is he actually one of the worst? Without even doing any research, we can be pretty confident that the answer falls somewhere in between. There must be some truth to Rex Ryan's assessment, but equally if PFF have rated every player on every snap and over 90% of wide receivers ended up with a better grade than him then there must be some areas where he could improve or needs to be more consistent.

After the jump, I look at the data and try to pinpoint where Braylon might be underperforming or where his contributions may be being overlooked.

Making the Grade

Before we analyze Braylon's performance, it may be useful to briefly explain how PFF arrives at their grades. As you've probably heard, they rewatch every single play several times so that they can assign a grade to each player. Many players will simply get a 0.0 grade if they just do their job and their performance has little bearing on the success or failure of the play. However, if there is a broken tackle, somebody sheds a block, a pass is well thrown, caught or defensed or a lineman drives back his opposite number to affect the play, then positive and negative grades from -2.0 to 2.0 are distributed accordingly to the players involved. Note: a grade above 1.0 or below -1.0 on any given play is pretty rare.

In the context of wide receiver blocking, a 0.0 grade would be the norm, because most running plays either go up the middle or don't gain enough yards for downfield blocking to affect the success or failure of the play. However, by making a block at the line or downfield, a wide receiver can potentially earn himself a positive or negative grade. The success of the play also has an impact on the grade. For example, a great block to free up a runner for four yards on 3rd and short is typically going to get a better grade than a great block that springs a runner for six yards on 3rd and long.

Most importantly of all, every player is graded on the same criteria. So, once we've looked at Braylon's performance, it might not seem to be that bad. However, in terms of netting off positive blocks against blown blocks, most of the receivers in the league will have performed better, being judged on the same criteria. Edwards might have made more key blocks than a lot of less-talented blockers than him, but they could still have a better grade by more consistently doing their job and avoiding negatively graded plays. You may feel that Edwards should have received more credit for some of his downfield blocking, but then again the same could probably be said for everybody else, so that may not have tipped the overall balance in his favor very much.

Breaking Down Braylon's Blocking in 2010

Despite the fact that his overall ranking was so low, Edwards actually had more positively graded plays (eight) as a run blocker than negatively graded plays (seven). He also had two positively graded blocks on screen passes and no negative plays for screen blocking.

Let's look at the positive plays first:

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, early 2nd quarter. Edwards blocks Quentin Moses and LaDainian Tomlinson gains 21 yards

2. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards again blocks Moses and the run goes for seven yards, setting up 2nd and 3

3. Week 5 (v Minnesota) - 1st and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Edwards blocks Ben Leber to the ground, but the play just goes for a gain of one

4. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards blocks Cliff Avril and the run goes for five yards, setting up second and five

5. Week 11 (v Houston) - 3rd and five, middle of the second quarter. Screen pass goes for 26 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Troy Nolan

6. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early third quarter. End around to Brad Smith for a 53 yard TD, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Reggie Nelson

7. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, late first quarter. Run goes for 13 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Devin McCourty.

8. Week 16 (at Chicago) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Run goes for 11 yards as Edwards makes a good block on Charles Tillman

9. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 3rd and 16, early first quarter. Brad Smith keeps for 40 yards, as Edwards drives back Leodis McKelvin on the outside and shoves him out of bounds

10. AFC Title Game (at Pittsburgh) - 3rd and two at the eight yard line. Edwards makes a good block on Ryan Clark, as Jerricho Cotchery gains six on a screen pass.

Those were the ten plays that earned Edwards a positive grade. Just over one every two weeks, although that isn't too bad for a wide receiver. If there were other plays you felt should have earned him a positive grade, bear in mind that under PFF's grading criteria, an equivalent block by somebody else would also not have received a positive grade.

Breaking down the ten plays, seven went for more than ten yards, although Edwards received credit for a downfield block rather than blocking a guy at the line or at the second level on four of those.

Let's now look at the seven plays which saw Edwards given a negative run blocking grade:

1. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 2nd and 7, late first quarter. Edwards missed his block on Chris Houston, who should have made the stop to force a third and long. He ultimately missed the tackle and the play went for a 12 yard gain, but Edwards still gets marked down

2. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards tried to cut block Ashlee Palmer, but Palmer hurdled him. Again, the damage was averted, as Damien Woody was able to pick him up, but the play went for a two yard gain to set up 2nd and eight

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Edwards tried to block Mario Williams, but got beaten and the play was blown up. A safety made the tackle for a one yard loss

4. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, early second quarter. Edwards got beaten by Patrick Chung and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

5. Week 14 (v Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards got beaten by Sean Smith and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

6. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 2nd and 6, early first quarter. Edwards got beaten by Arthur Moats and although Joe McKnight was able to turn the play into a five yard gain, this was because Wayne Hunter committed a holding penalty when McKnight was forced to cut back.

7. Wild Card Game (at Indianapolis) - 1st and Goal at the three. Edwards was called upon to make a key block on Pat Angerer from the slot. He missed the block and that redirected the runner into two tacklers at the goalline

It's interesting to note that he didn't actually have a negatively graded play until the eighth game of the year. This could be due to the fact that he was not as focused on his blocking in the second half of the season, although he was more reliable as a receiver. You might think that this shows that they started giving him tougher assignments at that point, but he actually lined up as a tight end 36 times all season and 26 of those were before the bye week. Only one of the seven negatively-graded plays was remotely successful and that was in spite of Edwards missing his block.

Paying the Penalty

One key factor in Edwards' blocking performances is his penalty count. Edwards was the most penalized wide receiver in the NFL this season, although only four of his penalties were in the act of run blocking. (His others were two false starts, one offensive pass interference, a taunting penalty and a running into the kicker penalty). Let's consider these plays individually, because they might show signs of Edwards being able to make some key blocks with slight refining of his technique or perhaps more favorable officiating.

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 2nd and three, late third quarter. Edwards was called for tripping on a play that went for six yards and a first down in the red zone. If you recall the play, Edwards kind of whiffed on his block and made contact with the defender by whipping his leg at him as he rolled over. The call was perhaps a bit dubious. Although I think the play would probably have gone for a first down if he didn't trip the defensive player, Edwards would probably otherwise have been graded negatively there.

2. Week 10 (at Cleveland) - 2nd and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Brad Smith runs for 25 out of the Seminole package, but Edwards is called for a hold. He seemed to turn his man but then held on for a split second too long. I don't know if the play would have worked without the hold, but it did look like if Edwards showed slightly better technique it could have been a key block and would certainly have received a positive grade.

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, middle of the second quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of two. It's difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

4. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of three. It's again difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

In terms of his PFF grade, these penalties won't have had an effect on his rating, because penalties are separately tracked. In fact, if you combined the run blocking and penalty grades, Braylon would be last in the league, although that isn't strictly fair, because not all of the penalties relate to run blocking, as noted above.

Just Doing His Job

So, on the whole, Edwards makes a strong contribution as a run blocker. If a play that receives neither a positive or negative grade is considered "just doing his job" then Edwards "just did his job" on all but 15 plays where he was employed as a run blocker. That was 464 plays in total, so Edwards can be said to have done his job 97% of the time. Of course, on many running plays, that doesn't involve much more than getting up out of your stance and walking back to the huddle, but it's still worth bearing in mind.

On those other 15 plays, he actually had more plays where he made a positive contribution, which suggests he is at least competent as a run blocker. This is especially true if - as Rex Ryan's quote at the beginning of the article suggests - Braylon was given assignments above and beyond those that a regular wideout might be granted. PFF's ratings wouldn't take that into account, since they are just a measure of how well you do your job. If you are given a tougher job to do, then that is a reflection on your ability, but you still need to perform well at it to be successful. It's up to analysts like myself to derive added meaning from any anomalies that this will throw up.

In that respect, the value isn't seen in terms of the 15 plays where he was positively or negatively graded, many of which were of the routine variety. Instead, it's hidden within the 97% that he "just did his job" because if he held his own in those situations and most other receivers wouldn't have been able to, then he is adding tremendous value to his team, in terms of them being able to run with passing personnel on the field and increasing the potential in terms of being flexible enough to run the no-huddle or call audibles to cash in on the versatility.

For fear of accidentally writing the conclusion before I've finished the research, let's take a step back at this stage. Edwards' run blocking performance doesn't seem so bad that 90% of the receivers in the league would grade out better, so why is that?

It's All Relative

You can watch every snap of every Jets game - multiple times, if you want to - and it gives you a pretty good idea of how well a player has played, but not necessarily how well they are playing in comparison to the rest of the league. For example, in 2009, I repeatedly wrote how Kerry Rhodes - despite all the criticism he was getting - wasn't actually playing that badly, on balance. However, even I was amazed to find that he ended up number two in PFF's rankings that year. That's where the value of PFF comes in, because instead of just knowing that your guy made X good plays and Y bad plays, you can see how that stacks up against the rest of the league. In Kerry's case, it was a down year for safeties, apparently. How about Braylon? Was this a banner year for run blocking wideouts or something?

Not exactly. In fact, only 22 of the receivers (one-fifth) with over 25% snap counts graded out positively for blocking. So what led to Braylon being so far down the list?

Remember, Braylon had eight positively-graded run blocks and two positively-graded screen blocks, but also had seven negatively-graded run blocks. Let's compare that to the benchmark for run blocking wide receivers: Hines Ward.

Ward has long since been regarded as one of the best blocking wideouts in the league, if not THE best and, unlike Edwards, this time his reputation IS backed up by his PFF grades. Consistently in the top three, he placed 1st again this year, if you include playoff games. How do his blocking numbers compare to those of Edwards?

The difference is quite striking. He had 26 positively-graded run blocks and five positively graded screen blocks, as opposed to 12 negatively-graded run blocks and just one negatively-graded screen block. Not only is he more consistent in terms of making more positive than negative blocks, but Ward also seems to get more opportunities to make (or fail to make) a key block.

Why could this be? One reason is that the Jets only run to the outside 21% of the time and the Steelers do 30% of the time (perhaps to capitalize on Ward's abilities). Also, Ward is in the slot more often than Edwards, so he is more likely to be directly involved in running plays. One key difference is that Ward had ten positively-graded blocks at the second level. Edwards had zero.

Clearly Ward - who had five positively-graded blocks in the Superbowl alone - is still an elite run blocker and Edwards eventually needs to show the same level of consistency.

Not everybody that was above Edwards in the rankings is as involved as Hines Ward in the running game. You need look no further than Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery, each of whom graded out better than Edwards in 2010. Holmes had just two positively-graded run blocks and two negatively-graded run blocks, as well as two positively-graded screen blocks and only one negatively-graded screen block. He was just a couple of places above Edwards, whereas Jerricho Cotchery only just graded negatively and actually had just one negatively-graded run block on the year. He had nine positively graded run blocks, but clearly the results of these plays were not good enough to garner him a positive grade.

Arrelious Benn was in a similar position to Cotchery. He had 13 positive blocks and only one negative one, but still found himself below Ward in the rankings. Terrence Copper (14 positive blocks, five negative) rounded out the top three. Copper and Benn are notable because they played less than half as many snaps as Ward, so may have ended up with a better grade if they played as much as him.

Just to complete the picture, at the bottom of the pile was another Steeler, Mike Wallace, who had four positive and eight negative blocks (including screen blocking).

Does Size Matter?

One theory I had was that perhaps the likes of Ward might be more likely to get a positive grade on a play because they are blocking somebody of a similar size, whereas Edwards is often bigger than the guy he is blocking and therefore it tends to look more effortless.

I've decided to throw out that theory, though, because guys like Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall were near the top of the ratings. That doesn't mean that size is important though, because guys like Danny Amendola and Eddie Royal were also near the top.

In any case, it's clear from the plays that I broke down earlier that Edwards was often charged with blocking a guy of equivalent size or bigger.

2009 and 2008

So, is Edwards capable of being a more consistent blocker? It would certainly appear so, based on the two seasons prior to this one. In 2009, he still graded out negatively, but was much higher up the list, near the middle of the pack. Back in 2008, playing for the Browns, he may have been one of the league's worst receivers overall, thanks to his 19 dropped catches, but he actually graded out positively and in the top 25 for his blocking. Maybe he had easier blocking assignments in those days, though. Note: He also had seven penalties in 2009 and 11 in 2008.

Conclusions

Based on this research, I'd suggest that Braylon Edwards is capable of being an elite blocker, although he does tend to have the occasional lapse in either judgment, technique or focus. If he can improve in these areas in the same manner as he seems to have corrected his issues in terms of catching the ball, then there's every chance he could become an even more dynamic and productive player over the next few seasons.

Although his PFF rating was poor, that can perhaps be explained away by the fact he was given tougher assignments than many of his peers. While it does underscore how he must become more consistent, I don't feel that his bottom-ten ranking truly reflects his ability and contribution.

Was Rex Ryan jumping the gun slightly to call him the best in the league? Of course he was. Then again, talking up his guys is not out of character for Rex and if it motivates Edwards to continue to take pride in his blocking, then that can only be a good thing...if Edwards remains a Jet, of course.

Note: Exclusive data provided by ProFootballFocus.com have been used in the compiling of this analysis. This information is not available to the general public, so we are grateful to have been granted exclusive access. Off-season subscriptions are still available at their website and you can follow them on twitter (@profootbalfocus) where one of their analysts is always happy to respond quickly to any questions you might have.
Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Read More

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

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Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson says head coach Todd Bowles has been more strict than in the past, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. 

Bowles has been left with a young team following the Jets' roster purge that including veterans like C Nick Mangold and LB David Harris. With his job possibly in jeopardy, he has been putting emphasis on working harder.

"It's completely different from the last couple years," Richardson said at minicamp. "A lot more strict now. We weren't loose [in the past], but it's a lot more strict now. It's even more enforced than what it has been in the past."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson
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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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan for his alleged role in a nightclub attack that took place on April 2, according to TMZ Sports.

Mauldin, who is also being sued in civil court, was not arrested or charged after the incident. The Jets said earlier this month that they're aware of the lawsuit but had no further comment.

An NFL spokesman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that the league is looking into the incident. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former Jets LB David Harris has agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots worth $6.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Patriots offered Harris more than the Jets offered him earlier this month prior to his release, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Harris visited with the Patriots on Wednesday after speaking with head coach Bill Belichick (and coaches from five other teams) earlier this week, notes Florio.

Tags: David Harris
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Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)
Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)

The Jets were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last year, finishing the season wtih just 27 sacks, and only 5.5 of them coming from the team's outside linebackers.

Todd Bowles brought in former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene as New York's new linebackers coach, and Greene has already expressed optimism towards his young group of players.

"The sky's the limit for all my kids," Greene told Daniel Popper of the Daily News. "I'm teaching my kids technique and fundamentals not based on athletic ability and skill. It's based on physicality. It's based on drive and desire and want-to and being a student of the game. ... All my kids can really be as good they want to be."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

The Jets have signed former Bears WR Marquess Wilson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Wilson only played in three games last season as he was on the IR with a broken foot. He is a big target, standing at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and will add some competition before training camp begins.

In four seasons with the Bears, Wilson played in 31 games, hauling in 56 receptions for 777 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets new running backs coach, Stump Mitchell, believes RB Bilal Powell has Pro Bowl ability, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Mitchell has been impressed with Powell since joining the Jets this season, and he thinks if he didn't have to share time with another back, he has would attain Pro Bowl status. 

"Bilal is a Pro Bowl back if he was playing by himself, make no doubt about that," Mitchell said at minicamp.

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin

Projected Backups: Dylan Donahue, Josh Martin

Tags: Deion Barnes, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets minicamp 00:02:24
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson
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Former Jets LB Larry Grantham dies at age 78: Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets' only Super Bowl team in 1969, died on Tuesday at the age of 78. Apart from being a Super Bowl Champion, Grantham has been enshrined in the Jets Ring of Honor as well. 

Elsewhere in New York sports the Mets dropped a slugfest to the Dodgers, the Yankees lose their top prospect to injury, and the NBA draft is just two days away. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Jets' roster purge and commitment to begin rebuilding this season earned them a "C+" offseason grade, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

As the offseason is normally used to rebuild rosters, the Jets tore theirs down thanks to move made by owner Woody Johnson. Among the roster cuts were LB David Harris and WR Eric Decker, which saved the Jets almost $14 million in payroll alone. C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis were also part of the 11 veterans the Jets go rid of this offseason. 

Cimini said the grade should be worse considering the Jets now have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but looking at the big picture, the Jets are acknowledging their rebuild and will have $80 million to work with next offseason.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starter: Matt Forte

Projected Backups: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
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GEICO SportsNite: Larry Grantham 00:00:26
Michelle Yu reports on the passing of former Jets linebacker Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets Ring of Honor, who was 78 years old.

The Jets announced former LB Larry Grantham, a Ring of Honor member and Super Bowl III champion, has died at age 78.

Grantham opted to join the AFL's New York Titans despite being drafted in the NFL by the Baltimore Colts in 1960. The Titans became the Jets in 1963, and Grantham would stay with them until his retirement in 1972. 

He was the starting linebacker for the Jets' Super Bowl III championship team where he called all the plays on defense. Grantham played in 175 career games, and was a five-time AFL All-Star and a five-time all-NFL selection. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets receivers 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa to discuss his expectations for himself and the young receivers for the upcoming season.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa after the conclusion of Jets minicamp to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  (Bill Wippert/AP)
Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is now a Tennessee Titan after agreeing to a deal on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Jacob deGrom homers, the Yankees drop their sixth straight, Bradley Wright-Phillips scores twice and the Rangers, Islanders and Devils announce their protected players list ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft. 

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Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Decker, 30, played 33 games with the Jets over the past three seasons, totaling 163 catches, 2,183 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Decker had appeared healthy entering organized team activities in May after he missed 13 games last season due to rotator cuff and hip injuries.

New York released him last Monday when they were unable to find a trading partner. The Jets will face a $1.5 million cap hit this year and next after releasing Decker.

Tags: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

RB Matt Forte says the Jets aren't tanking the season, despite the fact that they've cut the majority of their veteran players this offseason.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said, according to The Record. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

The Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have cut Brandon MarshallEric DeckerDavid HarrisDarrelle RevisNick MangoldNick Folk, and Breno Giacomini since the season ended. They also declined their option on Ryan Clady.

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's really quite an accomplishment for the Jets to come off a disappointing and perhaps disastrous 5-11 season and find a way to get worse. But they did it. They purged their roster of most of their veterans and replaced them with untested, unknown players. They're playing the long game, even though their short term looks rather bleak.

Who knows if they're "tanking" with their eyes on a top draft pick next season? Maybe they're just acknowledging the need to experience short-term pain for long-term gain. Whatever it is, there isn't a lot of hope for the 2017 season. Their eyes are on 2018, or perhaps beyond.

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Rookie Marcus Maye on minicamp 00:01:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

The Jets selected Maye in the second round of Apri's NFL Draft.

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Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Thursday there is no frontrunner for the srarting quarterback job. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees lose in extra innings, Juan Lagares is injurede in a Mets loss and the Giants ink their first-round pick. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:10
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.

Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.


 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wants to stay with the team for the rest of his caeer, but is not open to giving a hometown discount. 

The Jets, who finished 5-11 last season, are entering a rebuilding phase. But Richardson wants to be a part of it.

"A lot of guys just want to go jump on a bandwagon," Richardson told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News earlier this week. "Older guys. Later in their career, it's easy to go jump into a good situation. It's a free market, so by all means, do your thing. But me personally, I like to make history, not be a part of it."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insinuated the team's starting QB is job still up for grabs, noting Thursday that there is currently no frontrunner.

The Jets, who are expected to turn to Josh McCown as their starter, have also been giving reps to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

McCown, 37, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million this offseason.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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New York Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis (56) comes away with a fumble recovery during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Steven Ryan)
New York Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis (56) comes away with a fumble recovery during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Steven Ryan)

Jets linebacker Demario Davis took a $2.7 million pay cut in order to help facilitate the trade that brought him back to New York, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

Davis, who was set to earn $3.7 million in the final year of his contract, will now make $1 million this season. This includes a $100,000 signing bonus and a $900,000 base salary. He can also earn $1.225 million in incentives. 

Davis re-structured his contract at the time of the June 1 trade. 

Tags: Demario Davis
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 (Julio Cortez/AP)
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said he was impressed with Christian Hackenberg's passing in minicamp. 

Elsewhere, Yankees lose and Mets win their respective rubber games and Joe Girardi would have no problem with Aaron Judge in the Home Run Derby.

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GEICO SportsNite: New York Jets 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest from the New York Jets training facility as Quincy Enunwa talks about his new role in the offense.

 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite evidence to the contrary, Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates has been impressed with Christian Hackenberg's passing in minicamp, according to Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News. 

Bates, who previously coached the team's quarterbacks in 2005, likes the precision of Hackenberg's passes thus far at camp. 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson, who struggled in 2016, said he's ready to rebound this season.

"I want to pretty much have one of my best years ever," Wilkerson said Wednesday, according to the NY Post. "I plan on being dominant."

The 27-year-old Wilkerson, who signed a five-year deal worth $86 million before last season, had 4.5 sacks, 58 tackles, and one forced fumble in 15 games. He had ammassed 12.0 sacks in 2015.

Wilkerson said the leg he broke during the final game in 2015 was strong enough to play on last season, but that it impacted his performance. And he bristled at those who suggested he was mailing it in.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets QB Christian Hackenberg has been making lots of awful throws this spring -- first during OTAs and again on Tuesday when minicamp began.

A few of the team's beat writers tweeted during OTAs that Hackenberg had been hitting those on the sidelines with errant throws. On Tuesday at minicamp, one of those throws was filmed...

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown (15), Christian Hackenberg (5) and Bryce Petty (9) work out during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown (15), Christian Hackenberg (5) and Bryce Petty (9) work out during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Josh McCown is still standing in front of Christian Hackenberg for the starting quarterback role. 

Elsewhere, Odell Beckham Jr. speaks, and the Yankees and Mets both have their respective win streaks snapped. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:02
Darron Lee, Lorenzo Mauldin and Leonard Williams are surprised by the Jets' decision to release David Harris and Eric Decker.

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It doesn't seem to make any sense that the Jets are rebuilding and going with young players at every position, but they will almost certainly be led by a 38-year-old quarterback. Everywhere else, the Jets purged their roster of veterans so the young players could get an unimpeded opportunity.

Yet McCown, who has no viable future with the Jets beyond this season, still stands in second-year pro Christian Hackenberg's way.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets quarterback Josh McCown said he has been working with younger quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty in the team's mandatory minicamp this week.

The veteran 37-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the Jets this off-season, said Hackenberg and Petty have often asked him questions as they continue to learn the quarterback position.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wasn't afraid to voice his disapproval of the Jets cutting veteran LB David Harris, per Manish Mehta of NY Daily News. 

Jets owner, Woody Johnson, made the call to cut Harris as he looks to shed payroll for the upcoming season. Upon hearing the news, Richardson said what many were most likely thinking. 

"It shocked the s--t out of me," Richardson said. "It is a business. But after a while it don't become a business. Dave wasn't (greedy). I know him, so I know he would have taken something (a fair and reasonable pay cut). I know he wasn't busting nobody over there. He don't want to play for free, either."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Former Jets WR Kenbrell Thompkins is among 12 players trying out for the Jets at minicamp Monday, per AP's Dennis Waszak. Jr.

Thompkins, who didn't play in the league last year, spent the 2015 season with the Jets. He played in seven games, hauling in 17 receptions for 165 yards. 

Other notables on the list are former Jaguars RB Denard Robinson, veteran WR Dexter McCluster, and RB Bobby Rainey, who spent time with the Giants last season. 

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (16) runs the ball during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (16) runs the ball during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay)

Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson is trying out with the Jets at minicamp this week, Robinson's agency announced on Twitter Tuesday morning.

Robinson carried the ball 41 times for 144 yards last season, appearing in 14 games for the Jaguars.

In four seasons in the NFL, Robinson has rushed the ball 263 times for 1,058 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, with five touchdowns. The 26-year old back has added 47 receptions for 310 yards, all during the last three years.

The former Michigan quarterback had a tryout with the Bears last month, but left without a contract.

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New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs on the field for the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs on the field for the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

After failing to find a trade partner, the Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker on Monday. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees and Mets continued their winning streaks, and made selections in the MLB Draft, 

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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams celebrates with defensive end Sheldon Richardson after Richardson's tackle against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams celebrates with defensive end Sheldon Richardson after Richardson's tackle against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon

Projected backups: Sheldon Richardson, Lawrence Thomas, Deon Simon

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:34
New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins discusses his role in the Jets offense and his mindset heading into camp.

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker on Monday after they were unable to find a team as a trading partner.

"We think very highly of Eric. Our focus right now is seeing our young players, how they do," GM Mike Maccagnan said earlier this week in a press release.

New York had reportedly discussed trading Decker to the Baltimore Ravens among other teams, however were unable to eat enough of Decker's $8.75 million cap hit for 2017 to make the numbers work, according to SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano.

Tags: Eric Decker
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Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Todman returns a kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Todman returns a kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets are expected to sign running back and kick returner Jordan Todman to a contract, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Todman, 27, recorded 59 rushing yards on nine attempts in 16 games last season for the Indianapolis Colts. As a kick returner, he totaled 16 returns for 478 yards, including a 99-yard return for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in Week 9.

A sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Todman played 33 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2012 to 2014 and played 11 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. 

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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The old battle cry from venters that "You can't tell the players without a scorecard" has never felt more appropriate than it does now, heading into the Jets' full-team minicamp. So many familiar names and faces are gone. Really, almost every familiar name and face is gone.

The Jets might want to consider handing out nametags, too.

For better or for worse - and yes, it's likely for worse - the Jets get their first, full look at the purged roster that GM Mike Maccagnan has assembled when their three-day minicamp kicks off on Tuesday morning. They have so much work to do - work that likely won't be completed until 2018, or perhaps later - and so many questions to answer.

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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starter: Josh McCown

Projected back-ups: Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

The Jets have announced they have waived LB Randell Johnson.

A seventh-round pick by the Bills in 2014, Johnson didn't record a stat with the Jets last season, only playing in a single game. 

Johnson played two seasons with the Bills, recording five total tackles and one fumble recovery in 15 games. 

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 (Mike Dinovo (USA Today))
(Mike Dinovo (USA Today))

Recently-retired QB Jay Cutler said he 'balked' at the potential of signing quickly with the Jets this offseason before the team signed Josh McCown.

Cutler was contacted by the Jets soon after being released by the Bears but wasn't ready to make up his mind on his next move.

"I kind of balked at that because I didn't really want to jump into anything," Cutler told Adam Schefter of ESPN earlier this week. "Whether they would've offered me a contract or that it would've worked out, I have no idea. That's something the Jets know more than I know."

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Spencer Paysinger heads onto the field before a game against the San Diego Chargers. (AP)
Spencer Paysinger heads onto the field before a game against the San Diego Chargers. (AP)

The Jets have signed former Giants and Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysingerthe team announced Friday morning.

Paysinger spent the last two years with the Dolphins, appearing in 29 games (three starts) and recording 83 tackles. 

The 6-foot-2, 249 pound Paysinger joined the Giants as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons in New York, and was a part of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team.

In his six NFL seasons, Paysinger has played in 91 games (17 starts) and has racked up 157 tackles on defense and 70 more on special teams.

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