Every now and then, Bent's Game Analysis likes to branch out and investigate CBA or salary cap issues in depth. In light of the fact that some of the 2011 first rounders have started to receive long-term contract extensions, we're going to assess what this means for Muhammad Wilkerson.

A couple of days ago, Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson became the first of the players selected in the first round of the 2011 draft to receive a contract extension. Under the new CBA rules, it was not permitted to extend these players until after their third season in the league. Peterson was reported to have received a five-year extension worth $70m and with $48m in guarantees. Then, yesterday, came the first signs that the floodgates might open for the elite players from that class, when Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith received an extension that was reported by some sources as a mind-boggling $110m, eight-year deal with $40m in guarantees.

This is obviously going to get people talking about when Wilkerson will get his extension and what it might look like.

Let's get one important thing out of the way before the jump, though. There is no controversy, no threat of a holdout and no signs that Wilkerson is disgruntled or that anything of that nature on the horizon. No matter how hard the media try to manufacture something that isn't there, that's clearly not an issue right now, so this article merely addresses the financial impact of the deals made so far.

After the jump, we reveal how those contracts, as usual, are not quite as big as the initially-reported numbers would lead you to believe and try to assess where this leaves Wilkerson in terms of the timing, size and structure of his pending contract extension.

Introduction

Before we start, a quick recap of the current landscape for 2011 first round picks. These were the first draftees to have their rookie deals come under the new CBA, which puts significant restrictions on the types of clauses you can include, when you can restructure the deals and how they can be structured. Until the end of the 2013 season, teams were not permitted to restructure or extend any of these deals, but now that we're past that date, teams are under pressure to extend players like JJ Watt, whose current salary isn't really commensurate with his production and impact.

Unless someone selected in the first round of that draft has been a disappointment, it was a no-brainer for teams to exercise the team option available to them at the end of that third season. That adds a fifth year to the player's contract, keeping them under team control through 2015, with an option to franchise them still existing at the end of the deal. The salary in that fifth season is based on an average of the top salaries at each player's position with top ten picks seeing their salary based on the average of the top 10 but picks 11-32 based on the top 25, excluding the top two.

Media speculation was that in most cases this will mean teams will try and keep the player on their original deal as long as possible, especially in light of the fact these average salaries were potentially going to be lower than previously expected. However, while that might happen in a few cases, it's more likely that teams just use this as leverage to get an extension inked at the appropriate time. For some teams, that time is now, whereas for others it will be next year. Teams and players were well aware of the fifth team option at the time the rules were introduced and when the first contracts were signed, so those teams that have exercised options likely won't have surprised anyone and would have limited effect on the contractual expectations of all involved parties.

Reviewing the Peterson deal

As noted, Peterson's deal was reported as a five-year extenstion, worth $70m and with $48m in potential guarantees. However, PFT got the details and the most important thing to note is that the extension is effectively bolted onto the end of his existing contract, so Peterson remains under contract for seven years, during which time he is due to earn approximately $82m.

So, yes, the extension is worth $14m per year in new money (and he actually got $10,000 per year over that amount so he could claim to be the highest paid), but the effect is that he'll be earning under $12m a year.

The main reason this distinction has to be made is because the team is using the leverage having him under control for a few more years provides them with to keep the total contract value down. Peterson does receive his signing bonus (just over $15m) now - and $3m counts against the current cap - but otherwise his salaries for the next two years would basically be the same. I assume the salary they're giving him for 2015 is a rough approximation of what they expect the average of the top ten salaries will be at that point. ($11.6m sounds about right).

You need to be able to differentiate between new money and total contract value to cut through the propaganda where people with agendas can massage the figures to make it look like a good deal for the team and a bad deal for the player or vice versa. As an example, when David Harris signed for $9m per year, people compared that to Patrick Willis, who had signed a $53m deal over seven years. However, Willis had two years and $3m left on his contract when he signed that deal so really it was $10m per year in new money. At the same time, Harris had played his contract right to the end, so he was only really set to earn $7.4m per year over a five year period.

The final point is in respect of guarantees. The $48m doesn't constitute full guarantees, at least at the outset. Obviously the $15m signing bonus is fully guaranteed and his 2014 salary was already guaranteed. Beyond that, his 2015, 2016 and 2017 salaries are guaranteed for injury only and will become fully guaranteed as he reaches the beginning of each season. It looks like his workout bonuses have been included in the guarantees as well.

Reviewing the Tyron Smith deal

As noted, Smith was reported to have received an eight-year deal and $110m. However, Jason from OTC has the actual details here. The most important distinction to make here is that the $110m includes the money he was already due to receive over the last two years of his deal. In addition, the eight years are bolted onto the end of these two years. So...he is actually getting $110m but over ten years.

So, in new money, he's getting $98m over eight years. Even that's somewhat misleading though, because the last two years have high salaries totalling over $27m and include zero guarantees. So, it's essentially a much-more-in-line-with-the-current-market $70m extension over six years. Of course, by 2022 (wow!) inflation and rising salary caps generally could make those final two years reasonable, if Smith's level of play is still considered elite into his thirties. Note: Smith will be 30 in 2020, which is also the year that the current CBA expires.

You don't often get deals longer than six years these days, because bonus money can only be prorated for six years under the current rules. Therefore, it is probably a good gamble for the Cowboys to tack those extra two years onto the end of the deal where there are no comparables. Dallas is a rare case of a team where the agents will want the deal to look as big as possible, but also the Cowboys owner will relish letting everyone know he's writing a nine-figure sum in his checkbook without blinking.

That $70m compares favorably with the extension the Jets gave to D'Brickashaw Ferguson which was worth a maximum of $73.6m over six years, but really was worth $60m. However, since this was signed four and a half years ago, that's just a sign of how the top end of the tackle market has moved. You may recall that the Ferguson deal was bashed by Team Revis (via PFT) because of the lack of "fully guaranteed" money, but the rolling guarantees structure is something adopted commonly these days, including in the Peterson deal above. Again, Ferguson got his extension with two years remaining on his deal but it didn't kick in until the last year of the deal.

Smith's deal does have full guarantees in the first two years (which is actually the last year of his existing deal and the first year of the eight-year extension), but when added to his signing bonus, these still only comprise $22m rather than the reported $40m. The difference is attributable, it would seem, to his already-guaranteed 2014 salary, workout bonuses and his 2016 salary which is another rolling guarantee.

The key to these deals and pretty much every big money deal that has been signed recently is that they do allow the teams to use the leverage of the years remaining on the deal to keep the contract value down. As Jets fans, we need to remove ourselves from the mindset of the advisors for Darrelle Revis (and to a lesser extent Leon Washington) whereby those players expected to have their existing deal torn up and a new deal starting from that point.

Such deals are extremely rare at this point, but Revis used the threat of a holdout - something which has been somewhat mitigated by the more stringent anti-holdout measures in the new CBA - to leverage this situation a couple of times. His four-year extension in 2010 came with three years remaining on his deal. So, basically, it was a one-year extension for $25m in new money. On this occasion, his advisors could not afford to portray the contract in that light because Revis had actually painted himself into a corner by telling New York media that he wouldn't be seeking $20m per year because that was "ridiculous".

The deal Smith signed is somewhat reminiscent of the deal Revis reportedly turned down in 2010. He was reported by Newsday's Bob Glauber to have received an offer for 10 years and $122m (obviously including the three years and $21m remaining on his deal). That would have enabled the deal to be described as a $100m extension and $14.4m per year in new money. Revis and his team turned down the deal on the basis that there was no full guarantees, despite the fact the Jets claimed to be flexible on structure. In the modern market, these kind of deals are being made with elite players with Revis merely the exception that proves the rule.

Watt's on the horizon?

A lot of people are anticipating that the Jets will either (a) want to wait until JJ Watt gets his extension, so that his deal can set the market, or (b) want to rush to get the deal done before Watt gets his extension, so that his deal doesn't drive prices upwards.

The speculation about the possible size of his deal is widespread, ranging from OTC's projection that he gets a short term $14.5m per year extension to Spotrac's suggestion that his true value is $23m per year and Joel Corry's suggestion that even this is undervalued.

Ultimately, I've got a sneaking suspicion that Watt might have shot himself in the foot with his recent comments about how dedicated he is to being the best player he can be and the Texans might just insist on him playing out his deal and then franchise him and let some other team do the negotiation for them, pocketing two first round picks if they decide not to match. Either way, I don't think the Jets should let the Watt situation dictate their thinking in respect of Wilkerson.

One more thing to take into account with regard to Watt and Wilkerson is that they were not top ten picks, so their option year salary is going to be less than for Smith and Peterson, thereby giving the Jets and Texans a little extra leverage.

Conclusions

While these recent deals might have had some eye-popping numbers to make us wonder what Wilkerson might be worth, digger deeper there's some good news. While Wilkerson's eventual deal will almost certainly produce some shocking baseline numbers, these deals suggest that at least teams are structuring these deals to take into account the remaining years on the deal.

Both Peterson and Smith are interesting cases who cannot really claim to be the best at their position, but are in the upper echelon and still young enough to continue to improve. Wilkerson is at least that good and arguably better - although the fact he is yet to make a pro bowl and has the lower salary in year five hurts his bargaining position a little. He's also difficult to find a comparison for because he plays both as a tackle and defensive end.

These new deals are right at the top end for their respective positions, but at least they are not driving those prices upwards, which is another good sign. In fact, Jason wrote today how Smith's deal doesn't really make him the highest paid.

In a lot of these cases, the additional cap room required upfront has been extremely low. The Jets have the luxury of plenty of cap space remaining in the current year, so may opt to increase salaries in 2014 or 2015 rather than pay a big signing bonus (or, better still, pay it as a roster bonus so Wilkerson doesn't have to wait for his game checks to reap the rewards). However, I wonder if the team will be reluctant to do this given how they were burned by Revis claiming he was underpaid twice based on his current year salary/cap number without accounting for his frontloaded deal. As you can roll money forwards with no limits, it might be better for the Jets to make a deal with a similar structure to these recent ones and draw on their current surplus cap room over the next few years as Wilkerson's cap charges rise, eating into their current year surpluses.

As noted, it's difficult to pin a value on Wilkerson, but I've been suggesting 75% of whatever Watt might get as a reasonable ballpark figure. On the basis of the OTC and Spotrac projections, this would put him on a deal of somewhere between $10.5m and $17m per year. If we split the difference and call it a five year, $13.75m deal that would work out as just under $11m per year over the next seven years, assuming they take into account the existing two years on his deal.

Looking around the league, that seems reasonable based on the values of some other top contracts. Calais Campbell got a five-year extension for $11m per year, as did Gerald McCoy. Haloti Ngata and Ndamukong Suh both had deals with an average value of over $12m but less than $13m. Remember, these are the values of their extensions and don't account for the years remaining on their existing deal when signed. The only defensive linemen in the league with average contract values over $13m are Mario Williams (who clearly seems to be established as an outlier) and Greg Hardy (who was franchised).

On the basis of these deals, it would be very difficult to push the value of Wilkerson's deal above $13m and even if it was at that level, less than $11m per year over the next seven years is affordable, especially with the cap surplus they already have. Taking into account Wilkerson's reputation, production and attitude, I'd say he can make a convincing argument that he deserves the same kind of money as Campbell and McCoy, perhaps with a small inflationary bump, but likely not more than that. Maybe a deal like that given to Chris Long (just over $12m per year) is a realistic target.

With other deals happening that are being structured in a way that would seem to suit the Jets, a deal could in theory be completed any time. Now the challenge is for the two sides to come to some kind of agreement that works for both sides. Let's hope that happens behind the scenes.

Previously: Salary Cap Update: If a storm is brewing, will Mo be high and dry? [TJB

Tags: avsny, bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

Daily News Live: Hack Attack 00:02:52
As the Jets get ready for their second preseason game, the panel discusses if a good game from Hackenberg can win him the starting job.

 

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In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

 

 

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

While New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles did name a starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he is expected to give Josh McCown more playing time.

McCown, who did not get receive any reps at Thursday's practice when the Jets did game-plan prep, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, played the opening drive last week in New York's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, but Christian Hackenberg then played the following eight possessions.

Bowles said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes, but left the door open to it by saying, "we'll discuss it."

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New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin tweaked his back and sat out practice Thursday, leaving him uncertain for the preseason game at Detroit on Saturday night.

Mauldin had been dealing with a back issue earlier during training camp, but returned to the field Wednesday. Coach Todd Bowles said the third-year linebacker was inside receiving treatment during practice Thursday.

Bowles added that he was unsure how long Mauldin would be sidelined, but said that he would likely not play against the Lions.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Detroit Lions, Lorenzo Mauldin, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
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