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.

This week, I'm going to look at the punter situation for the Jets. How good was Steve Weatherford last year? How bad was he in the playoffs? Should they bring him back or not?

I'll be trying to look beyond the traditional punter statistics to analyze his performance and compare it with recent Jets and some of the other punters around the league. More after the jump.

Once again, this article has used data exclusively provided to us from the guys at PFF. Our thanks, as ever, go out to them.

Introduction

By sheer coincidence, PFF also published what is apparently their first ever article exclusively about punters this week. Fortunately for me, it contains the following nugget, which serves as a useful starting point:

One example of [someone whose performance exceeded their traditional stats] is Steve Weatherford of the New York Jets. He was 23rd in the league with 42.4 yards per punt in 2010 but he was PFF’s No. 5 rated punter with a +13.4 overall grade. He led the league by pinning the opponent within the 20 yard line 42 times. That was half of his 84 punts, a percentage that also led the league.


What PFF is saying is that basically Weatherford scores well because of his directional punting. There's no sense in booming a 50 yard punt through the endzone because the resulting touchback will result in a 30 yard net. You'd actually be better off with a 31 yard punt, as long as there was no return.

I've actually been considering ways to statistically represent punting performance, taking into account whether the punter put the ball through the end zone or outkicked his coverage. Obviously net average achieves this to an extent, but a punter who kicks from inside the opposition's half is likely to find his net average limited. Therefore, I've been looking at ways to express punt efficiency as a percentage.

A New Stat: ANPP

Adjusted Net Punt Percentage (ANPP) is the statistic I've invented to evaluate punters statistically. Each net punt can expressed as a percentage of the amount of yards to the opposition endzone. Therefore, if you are at the 50 yard line and the punt is downed at the five, that's 90%. If the punt went for a touchback, that would only be 60%. If the punt was returned to the 40, then that would only be 20%. You could have a negative percentage for an individual punt, but the overall numbers for a season will give a good indication of the punter's performance.

The reason why it's Adjusted Net Punt Percentage rather than just Net Punt Percentage is that I've limited the maximum expected yards to 65 yards. If I didn't do that, then a 45 yard net punt from the ten yard line (not bad) would only score the same as a 25 yard punt from the 50 yard line (awful). Now it will score the same as a 35 yard punt from the 50 (70%). This ensures the result is a percentage of a reasonable maximum. Of course, this could lead to a single punt percentage of over 100% but all that means is that the expected maximum has been exceeded.

Naturally, all fake punts and blocked punts have been excluded from the data.

The ANPP stat seems to work as follows:

- Less than 60% is poor. Examples of a 60% punt would be a 30 yard net punt from the 50 or a 39 yard net punt from inside your own 35. Anyone who is averaging less than 60% is not even managing to do this every time and should see their job in jeopardy.

- More than 70% is elite. Examples of a 70% punt would be a 35 yard net punt from the 50 or a 46 yard net punt from inside your own 35. If you are exceeeding 70% that means you are doing better than this on average and will have one of the highest ratings in the league.

- Everything in between gives us a scale on which we can judge punters around the league. Someone at 61% will be one of the weakest punters in the league, whereas someone at 69% would be one of the best in the NFL and someone at 65% will be in the middle of the pack. That's how narrow the gap is between elite and not good enough.

Road Testing the New Stat

Let's look at two guys from either end of the scale to check that this statistic works before we analyze Weatherford and other recent Jet punters.

Shane Lecher is widely regarded as the NFL's best punter. He had a comfortable lead atop PFF's rankings and I can personally vouch for him, having seen every Raiders game for the last few years. In 2010, Lechler's ANPP was 68%, right at the top end of the elite scale. He was actually at a phenomenal 76% after six games, but he was hurt by some long returns in the middle part of the season, due to his propensity to outkick his coverage. Otherwise, he was consistently clocking in the high sixties and above.

At the other end of the scale, we have Matt Dodge. The Giants rookie suffered significant growing pains during the year, including several costly errors, one of which saw DeSean Jackson score the winning touchdown in a crucial matchup in December. Dodge wasn't actually PFF's worst rated punter - it was Chicago's Brad Maynard, by a mile - but since his struggles were more high profile, we'll consider Dodge.

For 2010, Dodge posted an ANPP of 58%. He was actually at 61% with five games to go, but had an ANPP of less than 60% in four of his last five games to drop below the Mendoza line. Maybe Dodge gets a pass because he is young, but he will definitely need to show some improvement in camp otherwise the Giants will replace him with someone more experienced. Dodge did have an ANPP of over 65% in six of 16 games, so he isn't a total lost cause.

The scale does seem to work, anyway. So, remember, low sixties = bad, high sixties = good. Now armed with that, let's look back at the Jets over the last three years, starting with 2008.

Jets Analysis - 2008 to 2010

The incumbent starter entering the 2008 season was Australian Ben Graham. Graham had been "discovered" by Eric Mangini, but actually made his Jets debut in 2005 while Mangini was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots. Graham was entering his fourth season with the Jets, a refreshing change for a team that had used six different punters between 2001 and 2004, but despite showing plenty of promise, he was also prone to bouts of inconsistency. They had given him a Matt Dodge-style pass due to his inexperience, but he was on pretty thin ice after failing to replicate his preseason prowess in any of his first three seasons in the NFL.

Graham's season got off to a rocky start, as he shanked a couple of punts in the home opener against the Patriots. These errors were particularly costly as Matt Cassel was able to lead New England to a 19-10 win. At the bye week (week five), Graham had an ANPP of just 58%. Consulting the chart, this suggests his job was in jeopardy and, sure enough, he was replaced with Reggie Hodges. Hodges was slightly more reliable than Graham, but still only managed an ANPP of 61% over the remainder of the season. Hodges only surpassed 70% in two of his 12 games, and they were both games in which he only punted once. It was obvious that the Jets needed to upgrade.

2009's preseason saw the Jets trying out Hodges, rookie TJ Conley, AJ Trapasso, Glenn Pakulak and Ken Parrish before they finally settled on Weatherford following his release from Jacksonville. Weatherford did prove to be an upgrade at punter, posting an ANPP of 66% over the first ten games. However, he didn't have as strong of a finish to the season and saw his ANPP for the year drop to 64%. This still represents an upgrade from poor in 2008 to slightly below average in 2009.

Weatherford also brought a knack for running fake punts to the table, as the Jets went four-for-four, although only two of them saw Weatherford involved in the play as a runner.

In 2010, Weatherford brought ShakeWeights to camp for everybody and maybe that contributed to him winning the job again over Conley. Weatherford got off to a tremendous start by landing four of his six punts inside the 20 in the home opener for an outstanding ANPP of 80%, the highest by any Jet over the three year period analyzed. By comparison, Brandon Fields' incredible performance against the Jets in Week 14 last year, where he boomed punt after punt from deep in Miami territory only netted him an ANPP of 77%.

From there, Weatherford continued to have a solid season, only posting an ANPP of less than 60% twice, although one was in a horrible performance in New England, which helped dig the hole from which the Jets ultimately lost by 42. His ANPP for the regular season was 68% - the same as for Lechler. Quite simply, Weatherford had an excellent regular season, (ill-fated fake punt against Green Bay aside).

Interestingly, Hodges and Graham are still in the league and were 14th and 12th respectively in terms of gross average. Despite only being 23rd in that category, Weatherford had a better net average than both as they were both ranked outside the top ten by PFF. This suggests that those teams had inferior offenses to the Jets and had to kick from their own end of the field more often.

Postseason Analysis

Unfortunately, Weatherford's excellent regular season did not translate to the postseason. Having only put the ball in the endzone four times in 84 regular season punts, his directional punting skills deserted him and five of his 15 postseason punts rolled into the endzone. This left him with a horrible ANPP of 55%.

You may be wondering if ANPP numbers drop in the postseason, either due to the added pressure or perhaps because of the cold. While the cold may have affected Weatherford - his best game was indoors against the Colts - the postseason rankings would tend to suggest that even if there is a slight drop, it wouldn't be close to significant enough to excuse Weatherford's struggles:

ANPP Rankings - 2010 Postseason

- Morstead 81%

- Koch 73%

- Colquitt 69%

- Mesko 66%

- Masthay 65%

- Koenen 64%

- Kapinos, Rocca, Maynard 63%

- McAfee 59%

- Weatherford 55%

- Ryan 53%

Obviously these comprise some small sample sizes, including Morstead, who only punted four times, but the combined result of all postseason punting was an ANPP of 62% and nine of the 12 punters actually exceeded that number.

So, the question becomes whether Weatherford is unable to cope well enough with pressure situations. A look back to the 2009 playoff would suggest that this might not be an issue, because he posted an ANPP of 67%. However, the perception can't have been helped by the fact he had to miss a game with an irregular heartbeat. Although Jay Feely's stand-in performance was hailed as heroic, his ANPP was only 50% which underlines how much not having their regular punter available hurt them.

Will He Be Back?

In a chat on ESPNNY earlier this month, Rich Cimini stated the following in response to a question about Weatherford:

I'd say the chances of him returning are remote. I mean, they decided in early March not to give him an RFA tender; that was a pretty telling indication right there.


However, Weatherford was only paid $630,000 in 2010 and the minimum RFA tender in 2011 should be approximately $1.3m. While he improved in 2010, it's difficult to say that he did enough to earn a 100% pay rise, especially when he's not the kind of player to command much outside interest. The Jets, for whom money figures to be tight this year, probably expect to be able to bring him back for much less than that. According to Sports Illustrated, the average punter salary is approximately $850,000 and while Shane Lechler signed a $4m a year contract, this is far from the norm.

Other Options

Other than perhaps making a trade or a waiver wire pickup, the Jets have one other option on their current roster and it's a guy who has already had two shots at making the Jets roster. For TJ Conley, perhaps the third time's a charm. Conley averaged 47.4 yards per punt in his senior year at Idaho, but has been released after the Jets' first preseason game in each of the last two seasons.

In those two preseason games, Conley actually posted an ANPP of 67% which doesn't seem too bad, but if memory serves, I believe he shanked a punt which took a lucky roll and ended up being a 50-yarder. With such a small sample size, events like that are the one limitation of the ANPP statistic. Had it been a 30-yard net, his ANPP drops to 59%, so it's perhaps little wonder that he was cut.

Conclusions

While I will never be a believer in using stats alone to inform football decisions or opinions, the ANPP statistic I devised does seem to be a useful way of combining the most important numbers for a punter. On the basis of his ANPP numbers for 2010, Steve Weatherford had a great year, but his postseason performance obviously left a lot to be desired.

Despite his postseason struggles, Weatherford's performance last year was good enough that they should definitely try and bring him back, assuming the price is right. Fans of this team should know all too well how difficult it is to find a decent punter.

TJ Conley will get another chance and his upside is perhaps greater than Weatherford's. However, he will need to perform with more consistency than he has in the last two camps, otherwise he will find himself beaten out by the more experienced Weatherford once again.

As ever, I am looking for ideas to cover in a future BGA, so please let me have your suggestions in the comments.

Tags: BGA, Main Page, 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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