Now that the season is over, I'll be writing analysis articles each week until the beginning of the league year and also during the period between the draft and training camp. I'll be breaking down some of the data from the 2012 season and revisiting some of the things I wrote about over the last two offseasons to see if any patterns identified at the time have continued or if any new patterns have developed.

In this week's BGA, I'm going to talk about special teams. Clearly 2012 was a disappointing season for this unit in Mike Westhoff's farewell season.

For additional perspective on special teams, listen to Corey and Bassett on this week's TJB Podcast here.

After the jump, I'm going to be looking at the personnel usage on special teams to give some insight into who were the key special teams contributors. I'll also look at production on the coverage units and assess how well Robert Malone punted in his first season with the Jets.

Introduction

Coach Westhoff's swansong was anything but the fairytale ending he no doubt anticipated when he made the decision to stay on for one more year last January. It's impossible to know how much of a factor he was, but conspiracy theorists will wonder whether his heart was in it. Maybe the team tuned him out, knowing he wouldn't be back next year. Maybe he saw things going downhill and couldn't motivate himself to get things turned around. Given Westhoff's exemplary reputation, that seems unlikely. People will also wonder if his replacement (Ben Kotwica) was involved in the coaching more than in the past and if that had a detrimental effect.

While this is a valid discussion, my sense all year was that they had so many injuries (including many under-the-radar low-profile absences) that this would have meant the special teams unit was in a permanent state of flux, constantly cycling guys into unfamiliar roles. It's a scary thought, but maybe if it weren't for Westhoff's coaching acumen, things could have been even worse.

In recent years, it's been almost a reflex action to describe any special teams breakdowns as "uncharacteristic", but last year it was extraordinary for the Jets to get through a whole game without some kind of blunder. There were too many to list: Blocked kicks, long returns, fumbles in the return game ... it seemed like every week there was a costly setback and not many big special teams plays of their own to offset against these.

In looking at the personnel, which was clearly weakened by all the injuries, it's worth considering who were the main participators on special teams in 2012 and if any of the key contributors will need to be replaced.

Usage

Using my own game charts and data from NFL.com, I compiled special teams participation details for each Jets player in 2012. This lists, as accurately as possible, how many plays they were on the field for.

Seven guys were on the field for more than 200 special teams plays. Two, Eric Smith (266) and Lex Hilliard (203) will almost certainly not be back next season. Three linebackers led the way - Demario Davis with 348, Nick Bellore with 317 and Garrett McIntyre with 296. Ellis Lanskter and Josh Bush were also out there for more than 200. It's not just backups that contribute though - David Harris was out there for 134 plays. Even Mike DeVito saw action on over 100 special teams plays, including some as an offensive lineman on the kicking unit.

Not everyone contributes. Key contributors that never saw the field on special teams included Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. Of course those last two only played a handful of games between them (and Holmes has occasionally returned kicks in the past). Most defensive regulars end up at least getting some reps with the field goal defense. On that unit, you would usually find most of the defensive starters will stay on the field. For most of the season the Jets rested LaRon Landry in these situations (although by the end of the year, he was covering kicks at times). On that unit, you might occasionally get someone making an effort to block the kick, but for some players these reps can constitute merely standing in position and watching the ball sail over your head. That's not quite as taxing as running full speed 50 yards or more downfield to cover a kick, so perhaps not all special teams contributions should be considered equal.

Within those units, there are some interesting points to note. The punting unit for example is an interesting one. The offensive line essentially consisted of long snapper Tanner Purdum and whichever backup linebackers were on the active roster (usually Bellore, McIntyre and Davis along with whoever was active out of Josh Mauga, Ricky Sapp or Marcus Dowtin). When Bellore caught that pass against the Colts, he was actually lined up at right tackle, but the Jets must have declared him eligible and ran with an unbalanced line.

Special teams participation can be valuable to lower paid players because it can make a big difference to their overall playing time percentage which factors into the calculation of their share of the Performance Based Pool. This is a $3.6m fund that each team distributes between all its players every March based on a complicated formula that rewards low-paid players who get plenty of playing time most of all. For a guy like Bush, who hardly played on defense, this could be worth over $60,000 to him, which for a guy only earning the minimum salary in each of his first four seasons is not an insignificant sum.

Production: Coverage Units

For the purposes of tracking special teams tackles, I have used data from PFF, which is notoriously more accurate than the official data from the NFL, where they've been known to credit players with the tackle who aren't even on the field.

The leading tackler on the coverage units this year was Davis, with 10 solo tackles (although if we're factoring in assists, Josh Bush had three of those to go along with eight solo tackles for a team-leading total of 11). Bellore was just behind Davis with nine solo tackles (and one assist). That actually represented a drop-off for Bellore, who had 15 solo tackles on special teams in 2011, which was good for third in the league.

The most distressing drop-off came from Eric Smith, who - as noted above - is still a consistent participator on special teams but is a guy who I've been saying for a while hasn't been having the same kind of impact on special teams as he did a few years ago. In 2009, Smith had 16 special teams solo tackles. That dropped to 12 in 2010, six in 2011 and last year he had just two tackles, one of which wasn't until the last game of the season. However, going by some of the comments made when he was released last week, people still consider him to be a key contributor on special teams. I'd suggest this is nowhere near the kind of loss people are suggesting.

In terms of potential replacements for Smith, Bush and Antonio Allen combined for 14 total tackles on just 13 more special teams plays than it took Smith to compile two, so hopefully the Jets are in good shape in terms of the special teams contributions from their safety position - even if they bring in (or back) a veteran that will play almost exclusively on defense.

Punting

Regular BGA readers will be well aware of my ANPP punting metric which analyzes punter performance more accurately than any standard punting statistics (or combinations thereof) by expressing each punt as a percentage of an expected maximum, which should account for good directional punting and how often a punter outkicks his coverage. For details on the calculation go here but essentially what you need to know is that 70 is considered elite, 60 is considered not good enough to retain your job and every punter's expected ANPP should fall somewhere on that scale (with 65 being about average).

First we consider the raw punting statistics and can note that Malone set a Jets franchise record with a 45.8 yard net. (Staggeringly, despite being a franchise record, this was only good for 19th in the league). His net average, however, was just 39.4, which is below average. That suggests that his directional punting and return mitigation was below par, although a low net can also be a product of the fact that a lot of drives stall near midfield, so there may have been a lot of good punts which can still have a negative effect on net average.

He was 12th in the league for most return yards allowed, slightly below average, and didn't have a good ratio of kicks inside the 20 compared with touchbacks (just under 4:1). However, several other punters, including Shane Lechler and Mat McBriar had an even worse ratio and ex-Jet Steve Weatherford (considered one of the best directional punters in the league) was only just ahead of him at just over 4:1. He also posted the second best punt of the year in terms of hang time, but was one of only four punters in the league to have more than one punt blocked. We'll see how these numbers combine to give us his ANPP for the year in a few paragraphs.

First, for perspective, let's go back over some recent ANPP numbers:

Ben Graham 2008 - 58% (lost job)

Reggie Hodges 2008 - 61%

Steve Weatherford 2009 - 64%

Steve Weatherford 2010 - 68% (but only 55% in the postseason)

TJ Conley 2011 - 66%

Having worked out the numbers for Malone, his 2012 season ended up with him at 66.5%. This represents a slight upgrade over TJ Conley last season and is slightly better than Steve Weatherford's average in his two seasons here.

In fact, with a couple of games to go, his numbers were even better, but he allowed Michael Spurlock to return one for a touchdown and put his last two kicks of the year in the end zone. Entering Week 16, he was actually at 68.5% which would have represented the best punting performance by a Jets kicker since I've been tracking these numbers had he sustained it over the last two games.

Kicking

Nick Folk is an unrestricted free agent and rumor has it that the Jets could be set to pursue someone cheaper. He hasn't done a bad job with the Jets and never really cost them any games, but has always been streaky as a field goal kicker and isn't very good at kicking off.

His kicking off wasn't bad in 2011, as the Jets' opponents started at the 20.7 yard line, 6th in the league for anyone with more than 50 kickoffs. However, his numbers - of course partially due to the coverage units - regressed in 2012, as the average start line was 21.5 (which is below average) and he had five fewer touchbacks than in 2011, ending up with the fewest touchbacks of any kicker with more than 50 kickoffs.

As for his field goal kicking, his overall success rate has been acceptable, but there has been a trend since the end of the 2008 season. Since then, he has made a phenomenal 45 of 49 field goals in Weeks 1-7, but only 43 of 70 (just 61%) in Week 8 or after. That wasn't a trend in the early part of his career - he made 13 of 13 after week 7 in 2008 - but it has been ever since his hip surgery that offseason. Maybe the cold weather is a factor - over the last three years, he makes 97% of his field goals when the temperature is above 60 degrees, but only 65% when it is below that.

To be fair to Folk, two of those missed kicks in 2012 were blocked and some were long range kicks, but it's still not an encouraging pattern and one the team is no doubt aware of.

Return Game

Jeremy Kerley smashed the NFL's all-time fair catch record, which is a sign of his tentativeness when fielding punts. He constantly seemed to field punts that seemed destined to bounce into the end zone, left punts that needed to be fielded and waved for a fair catch when it appeared he had room to run. After a season that began in such promising fashion for him following a touchdown return in the opener against the Bills, he made too many handling errors and seemed to lose all confidence. That, coupled with his emergence as an offensive threat last year, should mean the Jets look to replace him next year.

Another guy who could get a bigger role on offense next year is Joe McKnight. However, if he does continue to return kicks, then he has put up some impressive numbers. The Jets' official site reported that McKnight's two-year kick return average of 29.4 yards per runback was the best in the NFL since Gale Sayers in 1965/66. Should he make the team, Royce Adams (who was the number five cornerback in camp until he tore up his knee) is one potential option to return kicks if the Jets do decide to increase McKnight's role on offense (or even defense!)

Conclusions

It's difficult to tell where last year's special teams unit fell apart. Even if my theory is correct that all the forced chopping and changing had an adverse effect, that still makes it difficult to assess how good this special teams unit could be when fully healthy and we have no idea how well the new coordinator will fare as Westhoff's replacement.

It's therefore difficult to draw too many overriding conclusions for this article, but hopefully you learned a few things you did not realize about those oft-overlooked units in this article. Feel free to expand the discussion in the comments to anything special teams related.

I'll be back next weekend with something else. I've got several articles in the works, but if there's anything you'd like me to investigate or revisit, let me know in the comments.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

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

It hasn't been the start LB Lorenzo Mauldin wanted for his NFL career. 

The former 2015 third-rounder had two inconsistent seasons to begin his time with the Jets, and last season wasn't much better with season-ending surgery to repair his back. 

So, entering 2018 with just one year left on his rookie contract, Mauldin knows what he is playing for at this point. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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 (Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray)
(Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray)

When the Jets drafted QB Sam Darnold, it appeared inevitable that their former second-rounder, QB Christian Hackenberg, was the odd man out with four quarterbacks on the roster. 

That is why Jets fans probably weren't surprised to hear Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders Monday for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft pick. And they also shouldn't be surprised to hear head coach Todd Bowles' reasoning on the matter as well.

"We have three quarterbacks. Obviously, we drafted Sam in the first. We like Teddy (Bridgewater). We like Josh (McCown). We just had one too many to get all of them reps, so we held him out today just because we had things in the works in case something happened," Bowles said after the team's first OTA on Tuesday. "So we just wanted to go with the three quarterbacks that we have and let these guys battle it out."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Thompson
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Daily News Live: NFL's new rule 00:04:34
The Daily News Live panel discusses the NFL owners' new national anthem policy and Jets owner Christopher Johnson's plan to resist it.

In the wake of the NFL's new national anthem policy, which requires all team and league personnel on the field "to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem" or stay in the locker room or another inside area until the anthem is completed, Jets owner Christopher Johnson said he would pay any fines the team gets if it happens.

In the new policy, which the NFLPA immediately fired back at, it says those who violate the policy will receive "appropriate discipline" from the commissioner. 

"I do not like imposing any club-specific rules," Johnson told Bob Glauber of Newsday. "If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we're all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don't want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won't. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that's just something I'll have to bear."

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL announced a new national anthem policy on Wednesday, requiring all team and league personnel on the field "to stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem."

That policy, which stemmed from many players kneeling in protest last season for social justice reasons, was immediately challenged by the NFLPA, which issued a statement saying it would "review the new 'policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."

In its statement, the NFLPA says the NFL "chose to not consult the union" while developing the new policy, and said that the vote by NFL club CEOs "contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL's Management Council John Mara about the principles, values, and patriotism of our League."

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

When the Jets claimed former Patriots offensive tackle Antonio Garcia last week, it was one of the more interesting moves off the offseason. Garcia was selected with the 85th overall pick in the third round of last year's draft, but the Patriots have opted to give up on him already after a challenging rookie season.

For the Jets, it's a low-risk move to pick up a player with untapped potential, and could prove to be great value as he will remain on his rookie deal for three more years. If the move doesn't work out, the Jets won't owe Garcia any money or bear any kind of a cap hit, so they have little to lose.

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Bowles talks Hackenberg 00:00:32
Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks about Christian Hackenberg being traded to the Raiders, and why the QB struggled with the Jets.

The Jets have traded QB Christian Hackenberg to the Raiders for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019, head coach Todd Bowles announced on Tuesday. 

"We did everything we could," Bowles said about working with Hackenberg. "Sometimes it just doesn't work out."

Bowles added that Hackenberg was held out of OTAs on purpose on Tuesday in case a deal involving him was reached. Hackenberg had been lost in the shuffle in the Jets' QB logjam, with Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater ahead of him on the depth chart. 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Darnold in action at Jets OTAs 00:00:37
Check out Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Quincy Enunwa and more in action at Jets OTAs on Tuesday in Florham Park.

The Jets took the field in Florham Park on Tuesday to kick off their first OTA session leading up to training camp in June. 

Of course, the biggest storyline heading into the new year for Gang Green is what will Sam Darnold's role be in his rookie season. Here he is already getting work in as practice begins.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE VIDEO

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Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
		  (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Jets WR Terrelle Pryor was one of the most notable players missing at the team's first OTA on Tuesday, and it wasn't because he didn't want to show up. 

Pryor, who had ankle surgery last November, has reportedly suffered another ankle injury this offseason, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 28-year-old converted receiver played in just nine games last season with the Redskins before a season-ending ankle injury ruined his one-year, "prove it" deal in Washington. He signed another with the Jets this offseason worth $4.5 million.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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