The free agent period is just over a week away and the Jets have a large number of pending free agents yet not much cap room to re-sign most of their players. The likes of Dustin Keller and LaRon Landry are grabbing most of the attention as the team's marquee free agents, but both starting guards will also be free agents and the Jets will have some big decisions to make in terms of the future of the offensive line. After the jump, I'll go into the possibilities the Jets have, whether it's re-signing Moore and/or Slauson, looking for alternatives on the free agent market, giving current Jets a chance or looking towards the draft.

 

Pending Free Agents 

Matt Slauson

Slauson has started all 48 games for the Jets since taking over for Alan Faneca at left guard in 2010 and will hit the market as an unrestricted free agent. Slauson is the definition of a replacement level player, showing competence and durability as a starter between D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold though no where near the Pro Bowl level of the players he played in between. At 27 years old he's in the prime of his career and has chemistry playing between the offensive line's two cornerstones, but he is unlikely to get any better than he is now. Under Tannenbaum this past season the Jets were clearly anticipating the possibility of letting Slauson go, given the rotation at left guard that occurred during the past season with Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse. While nowhere near the top guard in the free agent pool, there will certainly be a market for a player like Slauson given his starting experience and durability and should the Jets wish to re-sign him they will almost surely face competition from teams looking to add a potential starter to their offensive line.

Probability of return: Low. Slauson is very much upgradable. While he wasn't exactly a weak link on the offensive line, he has more or less reached his ceiling and the Jets aren't in a position to re-sign him even as depth given the tight cap situation the Jets find themselves in. While he won't command a payday the likes of  Andy Levitre will, there will be a market for Slauson and the Jets are likely to be priced out of it. 

Brandon Moore

Moore has quietly been one of the best guards in the league over the past few seasons. He's spent his entire career as a member of the Jets and hasn't missed a start since becoming a starter in 2005. He'll be 33 years old in June and may soon see a decline in his performance, but there will certainly be a market for his services when he hits free agency regardless.

Probability of return: Moderate. A team looking for a quality stopgap at guard will have Brandon Moore in their sight and teams with a lot of cap room will be able to pay Moore a much better rate on a short term deal than the Jets will be able to. If the Jets prioritize re-signing Moore over other free agents they will have a decent chance to retain him, and there is the possibility that he may take a hometown discount so long as the Jets show him some respect with a decent deal. There is also the possibility however that John Idzik decides to put the focus on getting younger rather than investing precious cap room in an aging player like Moore. If significant cap space is used to successfully re-sign one of the team's key free agents like Dustin Keller or LaRon Landry, re-signing Moore at his market value becomes very unlikely. 

 

Current Jets

 

Vladimir Ducasse

When the Jets drafted Ducasse in the second round of the 2010 draft, Tannenbaum and Ryan expected too much of him too soon. Coming out of college he was a major project, but nonetheless he was expected to compete immediately to start at left guard with an eye to eventually kick out to right tackle. Three years later, Ducasse has yet to cement himself as a starter and is on the verge of being labeled a bust if he isn't one already. This past year he was clearly being groomed to start given his rotation at left guard with Matt Slauson, a move that was all but confirmed to be a front office directive during a media session with former offensive line coach David DeGuglielmo. With Tannenbaum no longer running the show however, it is unclear whether Ducasse will get a final opportunity to cement himself as a starter or whether John Idzik has other ideas.

Probability of starting: High. Matt Slauson is unlikely to return and the Jets won't be splashing cash in free agency for a quality starter like Andy Levitre, paving the way for Ducasse to have one final opportunity. He has yet to put it all together, but Ducasse does have very impressive raw talent and giving him an opportunity to hold down a starting position is the most efficient use of the resources the Jets have in what is going to be a transitional season. 

Caleb Schlauderaff  

The Jets acquired Schlauderaff from the Green Bay Packers in 2011 who traded him before his rookie season even officially went under way. Likely a Bill Callahan inspired acquisition, Schlauderaff could be a sleeper to compete for one of the guard spots if the guard position isn't prioritized in free agency.

Probability of starting: Low. Schlauderhaff is a sleeper to compete for a starting position, but expect the Jets to pursue a number of alternatives whether it be in free agency or through the draft.

 

Free Agents 

Geoff Schwartz, Minnesota Vikings

As reported by Tony Pauline, the Jets are expected to have interest in signing Schwartz as a cheap option to potentially start at guard. He started all 16 games for the Panthers in 2010 as both a right tackle and right guard, but after signing for the Vikings in 2011 missed that entire season with a hip injury. This past year he was a backup to Brandon Fusco in Minnesota and will be looking for an opportunity to start for another team once free agency begins. He's just 26 years old, versatile and performed well at guard for the Panthers when he was given the opportunity to start in 2010.

Probability of signing: High. Given the cap situation the Jets find themselves in and with a number of free agents that are a higher priority than last year's starting guards, Schwartz seems exactly like the type of player the Jets should target and the reported interest makes sense. He'll fit in with the Jets tight budget, has starting experience, is young, versatile and hungry for a starting opportunity. 

Donald Thomas, New England Patriots

Originally signing with New England as a backup, Thomas started seven games last season for New England due to injuries along the Patriots offensive line and played competently at both guard spots. He's unlikely to return to the Patriots as a team will likely give him a shot as a starter, and likely on a modest contract as well. At 27 years old, he'll be looking for a multiyear deal and could be a medium to long term option for the Jets if they choose to pursue him.

Probability of signing: Moderately Low. Thomas won't be signing an enormous deal, but he'll likely command a starter level salary and if the Jets are looking to throw decent money at a guard they'll likely just as soon invest it in Matt Slauson or Brandon Moore. 

Kevin Boothe, New York Giants

A Giant since 2007, Kevin Boothe has seen sporadic starting periods for the Giants during his tenure with the blue side of New York, culminating in a 2012 season where he started all sixteen games for the first time in his career. At age 29 going on 30, Boothe would be nothing more than a stopgap but brings solid run blocking ability to the table and is a well disciplined player, being called for just one false start last season.

Probability of signing: Moderate. Boothe won't be an expensive signing, and the Jets could be an attractive option for him given he's both a New York native and has spent the majority of his career residing in the area. 

Chad Rinehart, Buffalo Bills

Starting most of the year for the Bills in 2011, Chad Rinehart played pretty well but ultimately ended up as a backup entering 2012 behind Andy Levitre and Keith Urbik. He entered the starting lineup once more this past season once Urbik sustained injury early in the season, but Rinehart ended up on injured reserve soon after. He'll be 28 when the season starts and will be looking for a starting opportunity, and he could be a solid option for the Jets if the ankle injury that sidelined him this past year has completely healed.

Probability of signing: Moderate. Rinehart could be a solid medium term option if the Jets can get him on a modest salary. He'll be looking for a starting opportunity come free agency and it's something the Jets could offer him. Given his injury and lack of consistent starting experience, the Jets may also be able to get him on a one year "prove it" deal also. 

 

The Draft: Possibilities in the First Two Rounds

Chance Warmack, Alabama

In a draft class that experts are calling weak in the top end, if there is one truly elite prospect for his position it's Chance Warmack from Alabama. Typically unheard of for a guard, Warmack is a top five player on most draft boards and getting shouts as a potential top ten pick. Drafting a guard at ninth overall would be a reach in most drafts, but Warmack would be the exception to the rule and would be able to slide in immediately. From day one he would almost certainly be an upgrade over Matt Slauson.

Probability of drafting: Moderate. The collective groan of Jets fans would be palpable if the Jets passed on a top pass rusher if available with the ninth pick, but given the possibility of the top ten seeing an early run on pass rushing prospects the Jets may not get the value they want if the right player isn't available. If such a scenario occurs, the Jets would have to give Warmack serious consideration. Trading down would be the alternative, but in this draft there aren't many players that teams would be willing to trade up for. 

Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

As rare as it is to see a draft where a guard has a legitimate first round grade, it's even more rare to see a draft with two. Jonathan Cooper is not the celebrated elite prospect that Warmack is, but some experts feel there is not a whole lot of difference between the two and Cooper also projects as an immediate starter on the NFL level.

Probability of drafting: Low. Cooper is a legitimate first round prospect and would instantly upgrade the Jets offensive line, but in terms of value he will not be worth the ninth pick and he's not going to be available in the second round. He would certainly be an option if the Jets move down in the first round, but as the draft isn't strong on the top end the Jets aren't going to have many potential trade partners to move down. 

Larry Warford, Kentucky

Warford is in the top 32 on some draft boards and thus may sneak into the first round, making it possible for the first round of the draft to see three guards taken. Warford is a classic mauler, weighing in at over 330 pounds and would compete for a starting spot if not earn it outright should the Jets draft him.

Probability of drafting: Moderate. Warford if available in the second round may be the ideal combination of value and need for the Jets. Other positions may be prioritized in the first two rounds, but if the Jets don't successfully land potential starters at guard in free agency nor draft Warmack in the first round Warford becomes a player to look out for. 

Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

Declaring for the draft as a center, Frederick also is being looked at as a guard prospect and is regarded as a prospect that could go as early as the beginning of the second round. As a Wisconsin offensive lineman, Frederick has a strong college pedigree following in the footsteps of Peter Konz, Kevin Zeitler and Gabe Carimi.

Probability of drafting: Low. Most draft boards consider Frederick to be a mid-to-late second round pick, and is a more natural center prospect than guard prospect. He shouldn't be ruled out completely for the Jets in the second round, but there will probably be better value available in the early second round, possibly even at guard if Warford is also available. 

Barrett Jones, Alabama

Jones is the classic technician in the interior, not possessing an imposing body frame but showcasing excellent technique and understanding of the game. Jones is an incredibly versatile prospect, playing center his senior season but also starting over 20 games as a guard over his college career and as a junior won the Outland Trophy for his excellent performance as a left tackle. Due to foot surgery, he hasn't been able to work out physically for any NFL franchises and won't be able to at all for the entire draft process which may hurt his draft stock.

Probability of drafting: Moderate. The opinion on where Barrett Jones will be drafted varies, with some experts feeling he could go as early the beginning of the second round with others feeling he'll be a late second round or early third round pick. If he is indeed available for the Jets in the third round, he would certainly be one of the top options on the Jets draft board, particularly if the first two rounds go by without the Jets drafting an interior lineman. 

Tags: NYJets, Editorial Aside

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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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)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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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)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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