Do the Jets have an open quarterback competition? Don't they?

This week, Mike Vick spoke to the press for the first time face-to-face since being signed by the team and a lot of reading between the lines has taken place. While the Jets have stated that there will be a little-c-competition, Vick was quick to shut the door this past week on that little-c-competition being "open" and therefore turning into a big-c-competition.

"Going through the competition with Nick [Foles], we knew, both of us, that it was an open competition; the best guy was going to win the job," Vick told reporters last Thursday. "This situation is different. It's kind of unique. Even though it's not an open competition, we're both competing every day."

Vick is saying all the right things, subjecting himself to his coaches, front office and teammates while expressing that he still wishes to play. There's no upside to him rocking the boat. If he needs to play, he can play, but he knows his place is to make Geno better first. There's a conflicted duality there for a player who was the first overall pick more than a decade ago, but it is a common refrain for many NFL players as they see the end of their career on the horizon.

Over the next four months, when it comes to the Jets, there will be more ink and pixels dedicated to the Geno Smith / Mike Vick storyline than any other for the sole purpose of grabbing your eyeballs. It would seem that the Jets quarterbacks, coaches and front office staff have agreed that Geno Smith is the team's top quarterback -- even if there will be some level of competition or "pushing" as the team has termed it.

So how did we get to this point?

Free agency began on March 8 with the contract negotiation period, Vick didn't sign with the Jets until March 22. A full two weeks passed between the time when Vick and his agents could officially talk with teams to find the quarterback a new home and in all that time, Vick didn't go to a clear-cut landing spot where he could start ... be that Oakland, Houston or maybe even Minnesota or Jacksonville, despite clear deficiencies. Instead, there was lots of talk about him staying in Philadelphia or going to San Francisco, both as backups.

Instead, Vick wound up signing with a team that played their rookie quarterback in all 16 games last year despite, as offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg termed it, some "horrendous" offensive efforts. Obviously the team would like to see Geno Smith start all 16 games again in 2014 with less horrendous play, but the team couldn't stomach taking their chances with the flatlined Mark Sanchez in that second spot.

The team pitched Vick on joining the Jets and on March 22 he came to New York.

On a conference call that day, Vick talked about his role and that of presumptive starter Geno Smith.

“As of right now I’m planning to come in and compete with Geno [Smith],” Vick said during a his introductory call. “I’ll push [Geno] as hard as I can, push him to be the best, try to become the best that I can be ... for me it’s all about competing right now and trying to bring the best out of the other quarterbacks.”

Vick was then asked about whether he'd be alright with sitting on the bench for the entire 2014 season.  His answer was telling.

“I wouldn’t say I would necessarily be OK with sitting on the bench all year,” Vick said. “But I know what I signed up for, I know what I came to New York to do. First and foremost I came to compete and be a helping hand for Geno, and he has a long way to go. We both talked. We both agreed we’re going to push one another and make each other better. So whatever happens, happens. And I know what I signed up for. At the end of the day I’ll be content with it.”

Those words sound like those of a player who understood his role as the backup from his first day. They also sound like the words of a longtime starter explaining that he still considers himself a gamer and that he would like the ball in his hands; but that he also understands he came to New York to help the Jets by helping Geno. Whether that entails Vick sitting or playing, he understands he's here to play a role. That's the hive mentality that has come over the team since GM John Idzik took charge. Not necessarily a bad thing.

“Everything we do will be an organizational decision," Rex Ryan told Pro Football Talk back in early April when asked about his quarterbacks. "I’m the guy that ultimately says, ‘this guy is the guy’ or whatever in front of everybody. [But] believe me, it is a collaborative effort. Marty Mornhinweg as our offensive coordinator, great offensive coordinator, [we] will lean heavily on him [and] in my opinion, the best quarterbacks coach in football, David Lee ... That decision’s a New York Jet decision and at the appropriate time we’ll make that decision.”

With Mornhinweg being one of those sage voices that coach and general manager will listen to closely, what did Mornhinweg say about his quarterbacks?

In his first interview since the team signed Vick, Morhinweg told reporters shortly before the draft that the Jets signed Vick “for a purpose,” and that the former Eagle has “a really important role here.”

According to Mornhinweg, that role is: “To compete, to push Geno and to make Geno the very best [Vick] can make [Geno]. I wanted to make sure that Mike was ready for that. I think this thing is going to work beautifully. We’ll see. I would expect Geno to progress at a high rate with Mike’s help.”

Pretty clear, yes? That sounds like a day-to-day manager explaining that Employee Number One's main job is to help Employee Number Seven. Still, it's not as if Mornhinweg thinks Vick is over the hill.

“He’s 33-years-old, and he’s still got it,” Mornhinweg said.

While Vick has expressed the desire to start, Mornhinweg knows from his time in Philly that Vick can swallow his pride and help out his teammate this summer, no matter what.

“Mike’s going to handle [playing behind Geno] real well,” Mornhinweg said. “He’s going to do the right thing. If he’s called upon to play and when he’s called upon to play, I expect Mike Vick to play at a real high level.”

While Vick seemed the subject of much of the interviewers' interest, Mornhinweg answered questions about his starter too.

While Smith struggled through his first 12 games, Mornhinweg was buoyed by his December play, saying that Smith played “at a real high level," by limiting his turnovers in the final four games, with no interceptions in the last two.

“He progressed beautifully in the last quarter of the season,” Mornhinweg said. “Geno is in the middle of a progression. He’s a fine young quarterback.”

Coach Rex Ryan agrees based on what he saw at the end of 2013.

“Geno Smith is going to be hard to beat out,” Ryan said two weeks ago on WFAN with Mike Francesa. “He knows the offense forward and backwards.”

While Smith may be difficult to beat out, Ryan did say that that Vick “definitely” has a shot to win the job in the preseason. So how would such a thing happen?

The Jets have struggled in recent years with holding onto the football.

“We have to protect the football better, first and foremost,” Rex Ryan said last November after Smith's four turnover implosion against the Bills. While Smith had a few games he didn't finish, the team stayed with him and had the benefit of seeing his turning the corner a few weeks later.

Still, offensive turnovers have plagued Rex's last three seasons with New York. Granted the team's defensive turnovers have been down, but Mark Sanchez's play almost dragged one of the greatest defensive minds in football down with him. Among other things, offensive turnovers have been one of the team's biggest undoings in the last three seasons.

So, while all signs point to the Jets letting Geno start this September, the one way that doesn't happen is if he can't protect the football accordingly. But thanks to the front office's big picture thinking, the team has a veteran gamer should it  come to that.

But if it does, it is only because the Mike Vick did everything he could to help the guy ahead of him first.

Tags: avsny, brianbassett, NYJets, Brian Bassett

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets' first round pick, S Jamal Adams, has already impressed his new teammates, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. 

The Jets were exuberant when Adams fell to their No. 6 slot in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was the player the wanted most. Participating at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Adams has shown his teammates, like CB Morris Claiborne, why the front office was so high on him.

"The things he has done so far?" Claiborne said. "He's unbelievable...He's been out here playing lights out. Picking up the defense, checking to different things, knowing what he wants to check to. He's having fun doing it, too. His spirit is awesome. He's having fun doing what he knows how to do, and that's football." 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Demario Davis
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

The Jets' new linebackers coach, Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, is looking to instill more aggression and power in his players, especially LB Lorenzo Mauldin.

The 25-year-old has shown spurts of potential in two seasons with the Jets, but his 2.5 sacks last season isn't the production they had expected. Greene intends to change that, and he told NJ.com's Darryl Slater why he uses this specific approach to his coaching. 

"Everybody at this level has skill, correct?" Greene said. "They'rea ll athletic, and agility and dexterity and all that stuff. Well, what separates people initially is their physical level of play. That's always our first step, is we have to play more physical than whoever is in front of us, because we're all athletic." 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson

Projected backups: Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

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Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson says head coach Todd Bowles has been more strict than in the past, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. 

Bowles has been left with a young team following the Jets' roster purge that including veterans like C Nick Mangold and LB David Harris. With his job possibly in jeopardy, he has been putting emphasis on working harder.

"It's completely different from the last couple years," Richardson said at minicamp. "A lot more strict now. We weren't loose [in the past], but it's a lot more strict now. It's even more enforced than what it has been in the past."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan for his alleged role in a nightclub attack that took place on April 2, according to TMZ Sports.

Mauldin, who is also being sued in civil court, was not arrested or charged after the incident. The Jets said earlier this month that they're aware of the lawsuit but had no further comment.

An NFL spokesman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that the league is looking into the incident. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former Jets LB David Harris has agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots worth $6.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Patriots offered Harris more than the Jets offered him earlier this month prior to his release, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Harris visited with the Patriots on Wednesday after speaking with head coach Bill Belichick (and coaches from five other teams) earlier this week, notes Florio.

Tags: David Harris
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Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)
Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)

The Jets were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last year, finishing the season wtih just 27 sacks, and only 5.5 of them coming from the team's outside linebackers.

Todd Bowles brought in former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene as New York's new linebackers coach, and Greene has already expressed optimism towards his young group of players.

"The sky's the limit for all my kids," Greene told Daniel Popper of the Daily News. "I'm teaching my kids technique and fundamentals not based on athletic ability and skill. It's based on physicality. It's based on drive and desire and want-to and being a student of the game. ... All my kids can really be as good they want to be."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

The Jets have signed former Bears WR Marquess Wilson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Wilson only played in three games last season as he was on the IR with a broken foot. He is a big target, standing at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and will add some competition before training camp begins.

In four seasons with the Bears, Wilson played in 31 games, hauling in 56 receptions for 777 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets new running backs coach, Stump Mitchell, believes RB Bilal Powell has Pro Bowl ability, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Mitchell has been impressed with Powell since joining the Jets this season, and he thinks if he didn't have to share time with another back, he has would attain Pro Bowl status. 

"Bilal is a Pro Bowl back if he was playing by himself, make no doubt about that," Mitchell said at minicamp.

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin

Projected Backups: Dylan Donahue, Josh Martin

Tags: Deion Barnes, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets minicamp 00:02:24
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson
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Former Jets LB Larry Grantham dies at age 78: Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets' only Super Bowl team in 1969, died on Tuesday at the age of 78. Apart from being a Super Bowl Champion, Grantham has been enshrined in the Jets Ring of Honor as well. 

Elsewhere in New York sports the Mets dropped a slugfest to the Dodgers, the Yankees lose their top prospect to injury, and the NBA draft is just two days away. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Jets' roster purge and commitment to begin rebuilding this season earned them a "C+" offseason grade, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

As the offseason is normally used to rebuild rosters, the Jets tore theirs down thanks to move made by owner Woody Johnson. Among the roster cuts were LB David Harris and WR Eric Decker, which saved the Jets almost $14 million in payroll alone. C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis were also part of the 11 veterans the Jets go rid of this offseason. 

Cimini said the grade should be worse considering the Jets now have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but looking at the big picture, the Jets are acknowledging their rebuild and will have $80 million to work with next offseason.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starter: Matt Forte

Projected Backups: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
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GEICO SportsNite: Larry Grantham 00:00:26
Michelle Yu reports on the passing of former Jets linebacker Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets Ring of Honor, who was 78 years old.

The Jets announced former LB Larry Grantham, a Ring of Honor member and Super Bowl III champion, has died at age 78.

Grantham opted to join the AFL's New York Titans despite being drafted in the NFL by the Baltimore Colts in 1960. The Titans became the Jets in 1963, and Grantham would stay with them until his retirement in 1972. 

He was the starting linebacker for the Jets' Super Bowl III championship team where he called all the plays on defense. Grantham played in 175 career games, and was a five-time AFL All-Star and a five-time all-NFL selection. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets receivers 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa to discuss his expectations for himself and the young receivers for the upcoming season.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa after the conclusion of Jets minicamp to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  (Bill Wippert/AP)
Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is now a Tennessee Titan after agreeing to a deal on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Jacob deGrom homers, the Yankees drop their sixth straight, Bradley Wright-Phillips scores twice and the Rangers, Islanders and Devils announce their protected players list ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft. 

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Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Decker, 30, played 33 games with the Jets over the past three seasons, totaling 163 catches, 2,183 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Decker had appeared healthy entering organized team activities in May after he missed 13 games last season due to rotator cuff and hip injuries.

New York released him last Monday when they were unable to find a trading partner. The Jets will face a $1.5 million cap hit this year and next after releasing Decker.

Tags: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

RB Matt Forte says the Jets aren't tanking the season, despite the fact that they've cut the majority of their veteran players this offseason.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said, according to The Record. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

The Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have cut Brandon MarshallEric DeckerDavid HarrisDarrelle RevisNick MangoldNick Folk, and Breno Giacomini since the season ended. They also declined their option on Ryan Clady.

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's really quite an accomplishment for the Jets to come off a disappointing and perhaps disastrous 5-11 season and find a way to get worse. But they did it. They purged their roster of most of their veterans and replaced them with untested, unknown players. They're playing the long game, even though their short term looks rather bleak.

Who knows if they're "tanking" with their eyes on a top draft pick next season? Maybe they're just acknowledging the need to experience short-term pain for long-term gain. Whatever it is, there isn't a lot of hope for the 2017 season. Their eyes are on 2018, or perhaps beyond.

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Rookie Marcus Maye on minicamp 00:01:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

The Jets selected Maye in the second round of Apri's NFL Draft.

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Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Thursday there is no frontrunner for the srarting quarterback job. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees lose in extra innings, Juan Lagares is injurede in a Mets loss and the Giants ink their first-round pick. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:10
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.

Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.


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

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wants to stay with the team for the rest of his caeer, but is not open to giving a hometown discount. 

The Jets, who finished 5-11 last season, are entering a rebuilding phase. But Richardson wants to be a part of it.

"A lot of guys just want to go jump on a bandwagon," Richardson told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News earlier this week. "Older guys. Later in their career, it's easy to go jump into a good situation. It's a free market, so by all means, do your thing. But me personally, I like to make history, not be a part of it."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insinuated the team's starting QB is job still up for grabs, noting Thursday that there is currently no frontrunner.

The Jets, who are expected to turn to Josh McCown as their starter, have also been giving reps to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

McCown, 37, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million this offseason.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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