Some news and notes around free agency (with some Jets sensibilities) to get the day started.

Double-down -- The Daily News speculates Wednesday that because Jeremy Maclin has been signed by the Eagles, the Jets are all the more interested in Sanders. I see the point, but am calling foul. The key here is that Emmanuel Sanders and Jeremy Maclin are two very different types of receivers capable of vastly different types of production. Yes, the Patriots were interested in Sanders last year ... but for what role in a pass heavy offense? If the Jets had interest in a player like Maclin, instead of projecting greater expectations on Sanders, better to begin courting a player like Golden Tate or James Jones.

Stay at home -- Speaking of James Jones, the veteran receiver would like to stay in Green Bay, but with a crowded roster at receiver we understand why the Packers might not re-sign the 29-year-old. All the same, Jones has worked through his issues with the dropsies and will likely be a moderate priced receiver who can deliver in the right offense. Jones was on the NFL Network's Around the League and talked about the idea of landing with his old team or the Colts or Chargers ... sadly ... no word on the Jets.

Bye-bye Birdie -- With the Bills backing the Brinks truck up for Aaron Williams on Wednesday, it would seem that Jairus Byrd will in fact walk from Buffalo as a free agent. Would the Jets be interested? They have the money and the need for a coverage safety ... if they aren't, they should be.

Rent-a-receiver -- Jermichael Finley is seeking to return to football, and the Jets are in need of renting some talent for their offense in the interim as they add in pieces in varying stages of productivity through the NFL Draft in May. Finley is set to get his medical clearance to play football again "very soon" according to his agent and seems to have a line of teams interested in bringing him in. A short-term, yet slightly paunchy contract might fit the bill for a player like Finley.

Roberts on the rise? -- Yesterday on the podcast, NFL insider Tony Pauline told us he expects the Jets to show interest in 24 year old free agent Andre Roberts. Roberts put up more than 700 yards with the Cardinals in 2013, ranking 82nd by ProFootballFocus and 75th by Football Outsiders. At this point, Roberts has learned the NFL game and might be a third receiver at best right now but could definitely add a level of production to the Jets offense when combined with other moves in free agency or the NFL Draft.

Point of no return -- Devin Hester won't be back in Chicago, Dexter McCluster looks to be moving on from KC. Teams looking for special teams returners (like the Jets) might consider either of these players ... as long as they don't expect to get almost any value out of them on offense.

Cut the Champ -- Champ Bailey was finally released last night by the Broncos, which seems to have made Bailey soften his stance on playing safety. It's an interesting footnote, but I don't expect the Jets to be in the mix for a player like Bailey, who wants to go begrudgingly to the position in which he is now most suited.

Tags: NYJets, Brian Bassett

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - A week away from football did some good for the Jets, who will have a healthy cornerback Morris Claiborne on Sunday, and they might even get running back Matt Forte back, too.

Claiborne, who has been hampered by a foot injury, was a full participant in practice on Friday and wasn't even listed on the final injury report of the week. He had suffered the injury back on Oct. 29 against the Falcons and missed the next game against the Buffalo Bills on a short week. He did play in the Jets' 15-10 loss in Tampa two weeks ago, but he was clearly limited by his foot...

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - With six games to go in the regular season, the Jets are one game back in the AFC wild-card chase. But they are stuck in a pack of eight teams inside that margin, all scrambling for the sixth and final playoff seed.

That leaves them will little room to stumble. Realistically, to make the playoffs, they have to win all the rest of their games.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc's 3 Keys to Jets win 00:01:52
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys for a Jets victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys for a Jets victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

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New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets re-signed wide receiver Lucky Whitehead and assigned him to the practice squad, the team announced.

Whitehead was given an injury settlement in September after he underwent surgery for a broken foot in the preseason. 

The 25-year-old receiver had nine catches for 64 yards in 30 games with the Cowboys in 2015 and 2016. He also served as Dallas' punt and kick returner, recording 305 return yards on punts and 846 return yards on kickoffs.

In a corresponding move, the Jets released linebacker Jeremy Cash, a 24-year-old linebacker who had appeared in nine games with the Carolina Panthers since the start of last season.

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GEICO SportsNite: Turkey drive 00:02:11
SportsNite highlights Willie Colon's Turkey and Toy Drive where the former Jet hands out turkeys to hungry people on Thanksgiving.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams celebrates after recovering a fumbled snap by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams celebrates after recovering a fumbled snap by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on Friday:

Need to know

The Jets will practice again today at Florham Park. SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors.

In case you missed it on TJB

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New York Jets outside linebacker Kony Ealy celebrates with his teammates after his interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Kony Ealy celebrates with his teammates after his interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Kony Ealy is downplaying the obvious story line now.

Sure, the defensive lineman was a Super Bowl star with the Carolina Panthers two seasons ago - and then got traded last March. Ealy is with the New York Jets these days, and insists that his past won't affect his approach.

No matter what team he's facing.

"I'm going to go out here and play the same game I've been playing for about eight weeks now," Ealy said Wednesday, "and try to focus on getting that `W.'"

Tags: Carolina Panthers
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Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks over the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants during the second half at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There was a time this summer when it seemed that the only quarterback decision Jets GM Mike Maccagnan would have to make next spring was "Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen?" The Jets were going to stink. They were going to have one of the top two picks in the draft. One of those quarterback prospects would belong to them.

Three months and four wins later, the name of the future Jets quarterback is a little hazier. Darnold and Rosen remain in play, but it may take some maneuvering for the Jets to land them. They have options on the roster and can be players in free agency, too.

So it's a wide-open competition to see who'll be the Jets starting quarterback on Opening Day of the 2018 season. Here's a look at some of the choices they're likely to have...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Despite early indications suggesting otherwise, Matt Forte (knee) was unable to practice again on Thursday. Forte has been out since first being injured on Nov. 2 against the Bills.

Rashard Robinson (illness) was out again, while Muhammad Wilkerson (foot) and Brian Winters (abdomen) were limited. 

Some good news on the injury front for Todd Bowles is that Morris Claiborne (foot) was a full participant. 

Coming off their bye week, the Jets return to action Sunday when they meet the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m.

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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)

At Linden High School's annual Thanksgiving rivalry game against Union High School in New Jersey, former Linden star Muhammad Wilkerson had his jersey no. 91 retired, via NJ.com

Wilkerson is still a vital part of his hometown, with the Jets practice facility less than an hour away, he's a community leader. He founded T.E.A.M. 96, a nonprofit focused on mentoring college-bound high school student-athletes, as well as giving out scholarships. 

"Linden Public Schools and the Linden Athletics family is truly honored to retire Muhammad Wilkerson's No. 91 jersey," said Linden Athletic Director Steven Viana, via a Linden Public School System press release. "Muhammad's accomplishments on the field are well-documented, but his contributions to our community and our students are most gratifying. He is a mainstay at our events, an avid supporter of anything and everything Linden."

Union spoiled Wilkerson's day by beating Linden 21-18.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets will practice again today at Florham Park. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

In case you missed it on TJB

Matt Forte remains sidelined with knee injury >> Read more

Darrelle Revis signs with the Chiefs >> Read more

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:48
The Jets prepare for a tough challenge as they get ready for the Carolina Panthers with their postseason hopes still alive.

LM: Dancing with the Jets 00:04:54
On Loud Mouths, Dancing with the Jets pays tribute to the Jets dance to anything.

Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, the club announced Wednesday. 

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the deal is for two years.

The 32-year-old started 15 games for the Jets last season in what was statistically the worst year of his 10-year career.

The Jets cut Revis last Feb. 28, which freed more than $9 million in cap space.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by Buffalo Bills corner back Shareece Wright (20) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by Buffalo Bills corner back Shareece Wright (20) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

RB Matt Forte (knee), LT Kelvin Beachum (personal) and CB Rashard Robinson (illness) were the only Jets to not participate in Wednesday's practice. 

Forte was injured during the Jets' 34-21 win against the Bills on Nov. 2 and has not practiced since. 

CB Morris Claiborne (foot), DL Mo Wilkerson (foot), and G Brian Winters (abdomen) were limited participants.

Coming off their bye, the Jets return to action Sunday when they meet the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m.

Tags: Brian Winters, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on Tuesday:

Need to know

The Jets will practice again today at Florham Park. SNY's Ralph Vacciano will be attending practice this week.  Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

Tags: Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

The Manhattan District Attorney has opted not to bring charges against Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin, who was was arrested in June for misdemeanor assault.

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on Tuesday:

Need to know

The Jets practice for the second straight day. SNY's Ralph Vacciano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors.

Tags: Carolina Panthers
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GEICO SportsNite: Robby Anderson 00:01:16
Jets WR Robby Anderson catches up with Jeane Coakley to discuss how he's become one of Gang Green's premier offensive weapons this season.

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles recently said he won't be switching quarterbacks anytime soon, and current starter Josh McCown agrees with him. 

Despite losing four of their last five games, the Jets are still in the thick of the AFC playoff race as they sit just one game back of the final Wild Card spot. McCown has been leading the Jets' offense all season, and with playoff implications still relevant, he doesn't see a reason to change now. 

"I guess we're both kind of on the same page with that," McCown told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "There wasn't a scenario where I saw it either. I think it's good to hear it, but we were already on the same page. So I don't know if that was necessarily a new thing." 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The bye week couldn't have gone much better for the Jets, who sat at home getting rest as the AFC playoff picture collapsed around them.

The Jets may have lost four of their last five games, but thanks to a group of increasingly mediocre, imploding, and very flawed teams in their conference, they just can't seem to slip out of the playoff picture. And in part because the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins lost on Sunday, the Jets will return to action this week just one game back in the race for the final wild-card spot in the AFC.

"I think it energizes us more than anything," Jets quarterback Josh McCown said. "We can't look back, obviously. Every team that has lost any game this year across the league would look and wish they had it back, especially if you are in the AFC. But more than anything it energizes us to know that we're still in the thick of things here with the last six weeks to play."

Yes, their schedule is difficult. But at this point, it's possible 8-8 might be good enough to snag the last playoff spot in this top-heavy conference. So the Jets are alive. And here - in current order of the conference standings - is a look at the rag-tag collection of "contenders" that might stand in their way:

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles throws a football during warmups prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles throws a football during warmups prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) face the Panthers (7-3) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here's what's going on Monday:

Need to know

The Jets return to practice today after five days off. SNY's Ralph Vacciano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors.

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Jets mid-season report cards 00:09:19
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at the Jets' first half of the campaign and hand out their mid-season report cards.

Former Jets LB and current SNY Jets contributor Chad Cascadden gives his midseason grades.

Tune in to the Jets Nation Midseason report tonight at 6:30 on SNY!


Offense Overall: (C)

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

When Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Jets, he was joining a backfield that included the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson. 

Powell only appeared in two games that season but the knowledge he picked up from Tomlinson in the Hall of Famer's final season was invaluable to his career...

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe most important football game for New York will not take place at the Meadowlands on Sunday. It will take place 2,800 miles away at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the future of one or both of the New York teams may be on display Saturday night.

And yes, both the Giants and Jets will both have scouts in the press box watching UCLA take on USC - along with 18 other NFL teams. Their eyes will be fixed on Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen and Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold - the odds-on favorites to be the first and second picks of the 2018 draft.

The Jets, of course, are desperate to find their franchise quarterback. And the Giants are searching for the heir to their 36-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. Right now, the Giants seem to be in the best position to grab the quarterback they desire. But a few more losses over the final six games, and perhaps a trade up, and the Jets could be in position, too.

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New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets CB Buster Skrine was fined $48,620 for his hit on Bucs WR DeSean Jackson last Sunday, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The third quarter hit on Jackson yielded an unnecessary roughness penalty. It was the 11th time this season Skrine has been penalized, which is the most by any defensive player in the NFL. 

It is also the second time Skrine has been fined this season. He was docked for a hit on Raiders RB DeAndre Washington in Week 2. 

Tags: Buster Skrine
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The Jets have finally reached their bye week, and it's probably at the right time after a dreadful loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. The guys discuss the defeat, as well as a recap of the season so far.

Click below to listen

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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Friday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice on Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Jets mid-season awards 00:05:26
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.

The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.


 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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