The Jets made it to 8-8 in 2013 and while it seemed a respectable finish, the team will have plenty of draft picks and salary cap room to get better.  Beyond re-signing players like Austin Howard, Nick Folk and potentially even Calvin Pace, what other moves should the Jets consider for 2014?

1) Start the salary purge.Should he stay, Santonio will get a million dollar roster bonus if he is on the roster after March 13. That to go along with his $9.5 million cap figure. Tone's 2014 number offers $8.3 million in savings should he get cut before March 13th and a million less if the Jets pay that bonus.  Mark Sanchez's contract offers $8.2 million in savings, but look to see if the Jets don't try and trade him first ... there won't be a very good veteran quarterback market this season so the Jets might see what they can get from a team like the Seahawks or Rams.

Those two moves would put the Jets at about $38 million in cap room.  Cromartie is the wildcard, he offers the team and $9.5 million in savings should he get cut ... but what will the Jets do with him?  Reduce his cap figure to keep him?  Cut him outright?  No one seems to know yet.

2) Find a competent second receiver who can produce and pay that player accordingly (not like Santonio was)

I think the Jets would be wise to draft a receiver in the first two days of the draft.  This is a good class and there's a number of players who could come in and help jumpstart this Jets offense from day one.  Even so, the Jets will also need to consider their free agency options to round out the team's targets besides David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley.  This class might not have a Mike Wallace type receiver in it, but there are a number of decent players that the Jets can pay fair market value and expect to get some decent production from such a move.  The Seahawks 2011 signing of Sidney Rice is the sort of move that I envision ... but maybe for less money.  Rice got a five year $41 million deal from the Seahawks at time and Rice was injured during that year, but finished with the team's second-most yards all the same.

We won't dig in yet too much on the list of names, but there is a decent little class of free agents for the type of player whom the Jets might be in the market.  Established names like James Jones and Emmanuel Sanders might be nice choices, but there are a number of other options who might be compelling to the Jets.  Players like Golden Tate, Riley Cooper or Eric Decker might be of interest and might all not cost as much as others.  There's also some risky players like Jeremy Maclin (ACL injury) and Kenny Britt (hot mess) who could be available for not that much money at all. Almost anyone but Hakeem Nicks, please.

3) Find one longer term upgrade at Guard from either Winters/Colon?

We suspect that the Jets are going to try and push Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell into the "competition" for guard next summer, but we have serious concerns if that would be the sole plan.  The Jets would be wise to carry at least one veteran starter into the season, much like Willie Colon ended up being.  Colon was fine for the Jets in 2013 and while the Jets might bring him back as camp insurance in 2014, between him and rookie Brian Winters it was a rough go for the Jets.  If the Jets want to get better at the run and pass, they should consider upgrading one of the guard spots for 2014 with an outside talent.  The list of free agent guards doesn't look that impressive, but others might come available due to salary crunches on other teams or back even through the draft.

4) Now that the Jets will have some money, go after a luxury signing on defense at either safety and/or outside linebacker.

There are going to be some good safeties available this season and the Jets would be smart to explore their options in that area.  LaRon Landry softened the blow of losing Revis for the season in 2012 and while the Ed Reed experiment did end on a positive note, they needed a better coverage safety running the defense and doing so efficiently earlier in the season.  That would have saved the Jets quite a bit of heartache.

We liked what we saw from Antwan Barnes early in the season, but he's had some injuries to battle in the last few seasons so the Jets might want to consider adding a player at outside linebacker who can rush the passer.  While a Brian Orakpo type of talent might be nice, the player that the Jets would bring in need not be a Pro-Bowler, what with the stout defensive line to help the OLB get favorable matchups.

5) Invest in a third down running back and returner

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell have their strengths but the Jets need a more dynamic presence on third down.  Mike Goodson was supposed to be that player for the Jets in 2013, but now with a host of draft picks the Jets would be wise to find a player who could come in and work on returns as well as third downs.

The Jets return game was not up to their normal standards in 2013.  Clyde Gates, Mike Goodson and Josh Cribbs all suffered season-ending injuries and while that was unfortunate, the Jets will need to consider finding a player who can add value to the team in that fashion through the draft. The Jets need to find another Leon Washington type player to come in and help this team on third downs.  Mike Goodson was a holdover option in 2013 and might be allowed to compete for a spot in 2014, but the Jets need to consider getting younger at that critical position for a team with a young quarterback where field position counts.

There's plenty more moves that could and should be made, like adding a tight end and taking a look at available corners (should they cut Cro) but that was our five.  

Add yours in the comments!

Tags: NYJets, Brian Bassett

Bowles on quarterback situation 00:00:47
Jets head coach Todd Bowles gives an update on the teams' quarterback competition at this point in the preseason.

 

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The Jets released RB Jordan Todman and signed RB Jahad Thomas on Wednesday, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The Jets acquired Thomas after the Cowboys waived him earlier in the week. The rookie, from Elizabeth, N.J., went undrafted after playing college football at Temple. He had 953 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year.

Todman, who has spent time on six NFL teams, served primarily as a kick returner for the Colts in 2016. He received nine carries for 59 yards last season, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. In the Jets' first preseason game against the Titans, he carried the ball eight times for 20 yards but had just one carry in the team's second game.

The Jets' backfield already includes Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire.

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon welcome some very special guests. Former Jets special teams coach and current SNY Analyst Mike Westhoff joins the show to talk about the preseason matchup against the Giants, the development of the team's defense, and his thoughts on Christian Hackenberg.

Later, former Jets lineman Damien Woody calls in to help break down the offense, discuss how a good line can help a young quarterback, and to chat about the anthem protest issue in the NFL.

Click below to listen!

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 (Raj Mehta)
(Raj Mehta)

The Jets announced they waived WR Marquess Wilson, and signed TE Brandon Barnes.

Wilson had missed time at Jets camp due to a hip injury, and he wasn't able to play in the team's latest preseason matchup against the Lions on Saturday. 

A seventh-round pick by the Bears in 2013, Wilson hauled in 56 receptions for 777 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons with Chicago. He signed with the Jets in June after becoming a free agent. 

Tags: Marquess Wilson
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GEICO SportsNite: Forte returns 00:01:47
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets practice where running back Matt Forte returned for the first time since July 31.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Forte's hamstring is feeling healthy and he's ready for some game action.

The New York Jets running back practiced fully on Tuesday for the first time in more than three weeks and insists he'll be ready to play in the regular-season opener.

"No doubt," said Forte, who was sidelined since July 31 with a hamstring injury that limited him to only individual drills the last several days. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan ignored speculation to draft Saints RB Alvin Kamara as he didn't want to take the risk, reports NY Daily News' Manish Mehta

Kamara is turning heads as the rookie has shown out in his two preseason games with the Saints so far this year. Mehta says the Jets wanted to make a push to draft Kamara this year, but Maccagnan decided to stay where they were on the draft board as he viewed Kamara as too much of a risk.

The Jets drafted WR ArDarius Stewart at No. 79 overall in the third round, but now they are seeing what they could have possibly gotten with Kamara in their backfield. The 5-foot-10, 194 pound back has totaled 118 yards and a touchdown on just 10 touches in two preseason games. 

Kamara is shaping up to be a difference maker if he can continue the pace he is on, and the Jets could certainly have used his talents. However, head coach Todd Bowles believes there are playmakers already on his roster...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles believes his team will perform better than anyone is expecting them to this season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

Bowles spoke to Mike Francesa on WFAN radio at camp Monday, and gave the Jets' fan base an encouraging message. 

"I would tell them that we're not going to be a terrible team," Bowles said. "We're going to come out there and fight, and blood, sweat and tears will go out to the city and our fans, and we're going to win more games than everybody ever expected."

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Jeane Coakley on Jets camp 00:01:55
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where Todd Bowles wants more consistency and hopes to name a starting quarterback soon.

 

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans 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; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he will "probably" name a starting quarterback next Monday.

Bowles said on Monday that he wants to first watch film of Saturday's game against the Giants before making an announcement. The Jets will conclude their preseason schedule with a matchup against the Eagles at home on August 31.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson has passed on the duties of team chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, the team announced on Monday.

The anticipated move came after Woody Johnson was sworn in as US Ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland on Monday.  

Earlier this month, Woody Johnson was confirmed by the Senate to serve in the role.

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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Jets fans took to Twitter after Sunday night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones to jokingly suggest the Night King should be their quarterback.

Warning: Episode spoilers below!

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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The NFL has cleared Jets players Darron Lee and Leonard Williams of any violations of league rules after an investigation into an incident at a New York music festival in June turned up a lack of evidence.

The incident involved Williams dragging Lee away from what Jets coach Todd Bowles later described as "an argument with his girlfriend" during the Governors Ball on Randalls Island. The argument and the aftermath were caught on video and posted to social media.

The Twitter user who posted the video said the woman was "shaken and in tears" after the incident. The user also described Lee as "aggressive" and claimed the Jets linebacker "started to manhandle" the woman, "grabbed" her, and "started dragging her away."

Upon announcing that the league's investigation was closed, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email "Following a review, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that there was a violation of the personal conduct policy."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is close to getting a five-year contract extension to remain in his position atop the league, according to multiple reports.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Goodell will earn close to what he is during his current contract, which is set to end in 2019. Goodell has presided over the NFL since 2006 since he took over for Paul Tagliabue. The extension would keep him on as commissioner until 2024.

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

After losing some veterans on the offensive line, the Jets are looking for some answers and reliability in the trenches as they march toward the regular season. 

The offense struggled as a whole in Saturday's loss at the Lions, producing just 85 rushing yards and six total points. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg only went 2-of-6 for 14 yards in the first half. Head coach Todd Bowles attributes that to some issues on the line. 

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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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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

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 one of the top performers in the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions, cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Who is he?

Tags: Dexter McDougle
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Remember all that progress that Christian Hackenberg appeared to make in the Jets' preseason opener? Well, by Week 2 it was gone.

Hackenberg, getting a surprise start over veteran Josh McCown, gave an ugly and unproductive performance in the Jets 16-6 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. He was a miserable 2 of 6 for 14 yards, with both completions coming on dump-offs to running back Bilal Powell. In a full half of action he led the Jets to just two first downs and a total of 43 yards.

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Christian Hackenberg could only complete two passes, the Jets' defense failed to contain Matthew Stafford, and the Lions beat the Jets, 16-6, in the second preseason game.

Hackenberg was sacked twice and completed two of his six passes. During the Jets' opening drive, Hackenberg fumbled after he was hit by Detroit's Cornelius Washington, but the Jets recovered. Bryce Petty completed 15 of his 24 passes for 160 yards and threw an interception for the Jets, who were 4-for-13 on third down.

Myles White led the Jets in receiving with three catches for 43 yards, while Jordan Leggett hauled in two catches for 40 yards. Bilil Powell carried the ball nine times for 32 yards as the Jets were unable to get much going in the running game.

Darron Lee and Morris Clairbone had five tackles to lead the Jets on defense, while Demario Davis, Josh Martin, and Corey Lemonier each had a sack. >> Box score

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has become more of a vocal leader this season as he has taken it upon himself to fill that void in the locker room.

Linebacker David Harris was the voice in the Jets' locker room for years. Now that he is gone, Wilkerson is the next man in line and he is embracing the new role. 

"I've been here for a long time now," Wilkerson told The Post's Brian Costello, "I always looked up to older guys who are no longer here. I stepped into the footsteps into being a leader. I wasn't vocal [before], but I've always been a leader on this team. David Harris isn't here anymore, so I took it upon myself to speak up more and get out of my comfort zone." 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets are undefeated, which at the moment is insignificant. But really, given all the predictions of doom and gloom, some people probably thought they wouldn't even end up with one preseason win.

They did, but it wasn't pretty (7-3 over the Tennessee Titans at home last Saturday), and they barely answered any of the many, many major question marks surrounding their season and long-term future. Maybe their game in Detroit against the Lions on Saturday night will provide a few more clues about the direction they're headed.

In the meantime, here are five things worth watching at Ford Field tonight:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Dylan Donahue, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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.

 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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JRSportBrief: NFL work stoppage? 00:01:54
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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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."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Detroit Lions, Josh McCown
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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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Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
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."

Tags: Darron Lee
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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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