(Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

INDIANAPOLIS -- The job was always a little bigger than it seemed when Mike Maccagnan took over two years ago. He and Todd Bowles made it look easy in 2015. They went 10-6, came within a whisker of the playoffs and it looked like the Jets might be able to rebuild on the fly.

But that veteran-heavy team was really an overachiever, and the success turned out to be a mirage that was unsustainable, leaving the Jets exactly where they should have been when Maccagnan arrived. They are beginning to clean house, to start over, and to build a new program from scratch.

And while that may bring some pain in the short-term, Maccagnan is doing exactly the right thing.

"Like a lot of teams do with the salary cap when players become older you have to make a lot of tough decisions," Maccagnan said at the NFL scouting combine on Friday night. "Coming off last season we spent the first part of the offseason kind of looking at ourselves, and really analyzing our players and making the determination that hey, if we want to move this roster forward there are some tough decisions to make.

"If anything we're trying to reallocate resources. In a perfect world you can just keep every player you want as long as you want, but the salary cap really makes you look at each player in terms of production and compensation. And unfortunately you have to make tough decisions to move this team forward."

Of course Maccagnan didn't use, nor did he want to hear the word "rebuilding." And of course he and Bowles both insist the goal is to win in 2017. Nothing is impossible in sports, especially in an NFL filled with mediocre playoff contenders. But the reality is the Jets have a long way to go.

Maccagnan obviously knows it. He even rattled off a long list of things his team needs, beginning with the mother of all needs - a franchise quarterback. His list included a left tackle, a tight end, pass-rush help and lots of help in the secondary. The Jets need so much that Maccagnan even joked "It's going to be a very depressing laundry list."

It shouldn't be depressing, though, because this is the right thing to do. The loss of long-time Jets like center Nick Mangold and cornerback Darrelle Revis and big names like receiver Brandon Marshall might tug at the heart strings, and the departure of other name players (like tackle Ryan Clady and kicker Nick Folk) may leave the appearance of big holes. But a look beyond the marquee value shows them all to be older, mostly injured, very expensive players.

The Jets went 5-11 and finished in last place with them. Isn't it time to try something else?

Of course it is. And remember, these aren't just salary dumps by a cheap franchise. For all the criticism levelled at Jets owner Woody Johnson, nobody can accuse him of being cheap with his team. He has always authorized his football people to spend the money they deem necessary to be competitive. And with $34 million in cap room to spend in free agency, that's not going to change.

"Some of the moves we made will hopefully free up resources and salary cap space and money to go add pieces and parts to help make us a better team," Maccagnan said. "We're not doing this to try to make ourselves a worse team. We're doing everything possible to make us competitive going forward."

How successful will he be? That remains to be seen, especially since -- despite what the Giants did last offseason -- history suggests that free agency is a terrible way to build a team. The long-term success will depend on the success of Maccagnan's draft picks -- the ones he's already made and the ones he'll make this spring.

So far, at least, the GM likes what he's seen from the young players he already has.

"I know we've made quite a few moves this offseason, but a lot of it's predicated on the fact that we feel good about the younger players," he said. "And then the money we freed up, hopefully we'll be able to help ourselves in different areas."

If the arrow continues to point up, even if the climb is slow, the franchise will be so much better in the long run. Yes, it will require patience from the owner and fans. Johnson needs to keep the pressure off Bowles and Maccagnan for at least a couple of seasons. It's going to take time to truly evaluate the results of their plan.

And fans are going to need to be patient too -- which understandably is a lot to ask of Jets fans who have been waiting 48 years since their last Super Bowl appearance. Owners have often underestimated the New York fans' capacity to endure a rebuilding process. It actually can be exciting and re-energizing as long as the progress is obvious and that arrow is continually pointing up.

So no, it doesn't look good for the Jets at the moment. It looks like they're having a fire-sale, stripping their franchise down to its core. But the old core clearly wasn't working, and trying to patch it together was never going to work.

"Both Todd and I have the same mindset," Maccagnan said. "We want to be able to build this team - and we said this from Day 1 - to be able to go out there and be consistently competitive for the playoffs. Our goal has always been that. Going into this season we're going to do everything in our power to be as competitive as possible."

To get there, Maccagnan is doing what he probably should've done two years ago. It's the right way to do it, so everyone needs to be patient. It's only fair to give him time to make it work.


Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)
Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets announced they signed safety Brandon Bryant on Monday.

Bryant, a 5-foot-11, 207-pound defensive back who played in 37 games at Mississippi State, was not selected in the NFL's supplemental draft last week.

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New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)
New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)

The Jets are releasing oft-injured WR Devin Smith, who they selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2015.

During his Jets tenure, Smith played in just 14 of a possible 48 games, with 10 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown.

He said earlier this offseason that he hoped he was ready to make an impact after suffering ACL injuries. 

Tags: Devin Smith
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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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The Jets quarterback position is always closely scrutinized, with controversies dreamed up even when the team is adamant none should exist. If the team says it's an open competition, everyone suspects they'll hand the job to their favorite. When they say their choice gives them the best chance to win, nobody agrees. Even if they name a starter and give him all the starter reps, the tendency is for everyone to assume they must be lying.

This year is different though. There's a real competition, drawing justified attention on a local and national level because it's completely wide open.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo thinks Jets rookie Sam Darnold has potential to be a "special" quarterback, but said he didn't like his throwing mechanics.

"I think the kid the Jets drafted has a lot of magic in his game,'' McAdoo told the New York Post's Paul Schwartz. "I think he's special. He's obviously a talented guy, he can make plays with his feet. I'd just have a hard time drafting a guy in the first round where you don't necessarily like the way he throws."

Darnold, who played two seasons at USC, threw for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions with five fumbles as a sophomore in 2016. Last season, he threw for more yards (3,787), but fewer touchdowns (26) and more interceptions (12) and fumbles (seven). The turnovers, McAdoo believes, had a negative impact on his perspective.

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Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue today with a look at the cornerback position.

Probable Roster Locks

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)
Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)

The Jets are expected to sign Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Bryant, 22, worked out for about half the teams in the league in June, but wasn't selected during Wednesday's Supplemental Draft.

Off the field, Bryant was charged with a DUI in January of 2017. But his potential was too much for the Jets to pass up...

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Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 11th, with a realistic possibility of multiple players being selected for the first time in years.

Could the Jets be considering making a selection? And could they target Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, who is potentially the best Supplemental Draft prospect ever?

The Supplemental Draft accommodates players who did not enter the draft. Such players have usually been rendered ineligible to play college football in the following season due to off-field or academic issues and, as such, teams are often reluctant to give up a pick. The last player selected was Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, who the Rams picked in the fifth round three years. Battle has yet to play in an NFL game.

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Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

EA Sports released its highly-anticipated Madden NFL 19 ratings on Tuesday, and Jets fans won't be happy to see where their team landed on the list. 

Gang Green came in dead last among all 32 NFL teams with a 72 overall rating. The ratings do change based off team performance throughout the year. 

The highest-rated player on the team is S Jamal Adams, who is coming off a stellar rookie season. He has an 86 overall rating, which is 11th among qualifying safeties. Wide receiver Robby Anderson and DE Leonard Williams both have 84 overall ratings while Jermaine Kearse (83) and Steve McClendon (83) round out the top five. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble 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 outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble 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)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue with a look at the tight ends.

Probable roster locks

It's tempting to suggest that there are no tight ends currently on the Jets roster whose spot is safe. However, Jets coaches give the impression that Eric Tomlinson's blocking is a major asset that the other tight ends on the roster would struggle to replicate. Tomlinson helped his chances of earning a starting role by flashing an ability to leak out and make an occasional big play in the passing game, but should remain on the roster as a blocking specialist in any case.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier, Jordan Leggett, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Josh McCown knows he's not New York's long-term solution under center, but he believes No. 3 pick Sam Darnold is rightfully the heir.

"With Sam, we have the right guy," McCown said on an interview with Sirius XM over the weekend. "He's wired the right way, he loves the game, he asks the right questions and he's willing to work … That's the foundation, you have to have that," McCown said.

The Jets traded three second-round picks to move up three spots from No. 6 to No. 3, where the USC quarterback ultimately fell to them. Darnold has impressed several people early on, including offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who said Darnold has handled everything the team has thrown at him so far. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)
Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)

President Donald Trump, who last season referred to NFL players who kneel in protest during the anthem as "sons of bitches," wondered aloud Thursday if the league's new policy is worse than the old one. Trump also bashed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and claimed ratings are down in part because of "the flag."

"If you don't respect the flag or you don't like the country or whatever it is just go into the locker room," Trump said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "Just go into the locker room. I think in many respects that's worse. Isn't that worse than having them not standing?"

Under the new anthem policy, all team and league personnel on the field must "stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or a similar location off the field until its conclusion...

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble 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 outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble 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)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue today with a look at the edge defenders.

Probable Roster Locks

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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)

Jets QB Sam Darnold was the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft but is the fourth best rookie quarterback according to EA Sports' Madden 19. 

Darnold's rating is a 75, good enough to make the top five of rookie quarterbacks. He's ahead of Bills QB Josh Allen (74), but is trailing Cardinals' QB Josh Rosen (78), Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (79) and Browns QB Baker Mayfield (81). 

Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick of this year's draft while Allen was No. 7, Rosen was No. 10 and Jackson No. 32. 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets QB Sam Darnold is still getting accustomed to the hustle and bustle of New York City. The West Coast kid does, however, have some favorites in the Big Apple. 

When it comes to baseball, Darnold will always show love to his LA Dodgers. But, if he had to choose between New York's teams -- the Mets and Yankees -- he would stay in the National League. 

"I'm a Dodgers fan, so it's kinda tough," Darnold said in an NFL video. "But Mets, definitely Mets."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

It is a feat many try, but fail to succeed. And no, it isn't climbing Mount Everest. 

However, the stakes seem to be as high as the infamous mountain for the Jets' latest offensive coordinator in Jeremy Bates. The job security for his newest title in the Jets' organization is one of high volatility. 

Going back to Brian Schottenheimer last season before he was fired in 2011, the Jets have had six offensive coordinators in eight years. But Bates is ready to change the narrative. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during 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 head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue today with a look at the offensive linemen.

Probable Roster Locks: 

Tags: Wesley Johnson
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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

How many single-season leaders across all major categories can you name for the Jets? Click below to test your knowledge in the quiz.

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final Jets roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue today with a look at the wide receiver position.

Probable Roster Locks

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets made six draft picks and have brought in 10 undrafted free agents. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

Only official rookies qualify for this list. While you would need a certain level of playing time to lose your rookie status in baseball, the NFL determines rookie status solely by when you were drafted. Therefore, cornerbacks Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark and Xavier Coleman, who all saw brief action even though they only played three defensive snaps between them, are no longer rookies.

Even a Ben Simmons-style rookie who didn't see any action in his rookie season doesn't count as a rookie under NFL rules, so that rules out offensive lineman Ben Braden - who spent the year on the Jets' practice squad - and kicker Taylor Bertolet, who the Jets' site erroneously lists as a rookie even though he played for the Rams in preseason last year.

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New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)
New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)

To all NFL Fans, they would say their team's faithful are the best in the league. However, Dr. Michael Lewis of Emory's Goizueta Business School created a statistical model to calculate exactly which fan base is the best in the NFL.

Lewis' model has three different factors that go into the calculation. First, there is "Fan Equity" that calculates how much fans spend on their team, both in tickets and apparel. Next, there is "Social Equity" which totals fans following their team on social media, and that is followed by "Road Equity" which calculates fans traveling with their team on the road. 

Based off Lewis' model, the Jets come in a No. 15 on the list of the 32 NFL teams. 

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during 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 head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles made a cameo on the Netflix series Luke Cage, about a man with super strength and unbreakable skin that was caused by a sabotaged experiment.

In the episode, Cage works out for Bowles, with the often-reserved coach saying "Let's see what you're made of Cage. Let's go" 

Click below to watch...

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons' Sharrod Neasman (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons' Sharrod Neasman (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson was ranked among the best deep threats in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner.

Anderson was one of four players who were graded as honorable mentions to the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill, who was ranked the biggest deep threat in the league. The other honorable mentions were the Falcons' Julio Jones, Colts' T.Y. Hilton and Rams' Brandin Cooks.

The 25-year-old Anderson recorded 63 catches for 941 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, his second in the pros since going undrafted out of Temple.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams tackles Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson short of the goal line in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams tackles Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson short of the goal line in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

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Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue with a look at the safety position.

Probable roster locks

The plan for the safety position is the same as last year, with second-year players Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye re-assuming their starting roles. At least one of them was on the field for every single play in 2017, the pair combining to miss just 17 plays between them in the first 15 games.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Morris Claiborne could have pursued a long-term contract with the Jets this offseason. But, he wanted to prove himself for his next contract instead. He bet on himself.

Claiborne inked a one-year, $7 million deal rather than a watered down multiyear contract.

"I'd rather bet on myself than anything," Claiborne said...

Tags: Morris Claiborne
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New York Jets inside linebacker Darron Lee (Ron Schwane/AP)
New York Jets inside linebacker Darron Lee (Ron Schwane/AP)

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Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We continue with a look at the inside linebacker position.

Probable roster locks

The initial plan for the inside linebacker position is clear: Darron Lee and Avery Williamson will start, barring injury. Beyond that, all bets are off, as everyone else will compete for the backup roles and to be employed as special teams contributors.

Tags: Darron Lee
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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)

Jets WR Robby Anderson now has both of his legal issues behind him. 

Anderson received six months of "non-reporting probation" stemming from his arrest on reckless driving charges from January, reports Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. The expectation, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, had been that the issue would be resolved before training camp in July. 

While he won't face any more legal ramifications, the incident is still under review by the NFL under their Personal Conduct Policy.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 2 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins...

The return of Quincy Enunwa and a better-than-you-think receiving corps

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Chad Hansen is looking to impact the Jets more in his second season, which is why he linked up with his former college quarterback who had great success in his second year.

Rams QB Jared Goff and Hansen played together at Cal, and they both spent time in Southern California working together in preparation for next year. Goff, who had a shaky rookie season, shined in his second year as he led his team to a NFC West division title. 

Hansen wants the same success as his former teammate in his second season, and he thinks he can do so in any role with the Jets. 

Tags: Chad Hansen, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 1 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins, which will be followed by Part 2 on Thursday...

The rise of Sam Darnold

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who comes in at No. 9.

Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley tops the list, which was released by the DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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