Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' long road from Todd Bowles to Adam Gase began in mid-November, long before either of them were fired from their old jobs. It started after a humiliating, 41-10 home loss by Bowles' Jets to the Buffalo Bills just before the bye week.

The week off gave the entire organization a chance to reassess itself. And the consensus inside the building became that the Jets needed a change.

What happened next was the beginning of what CEO Christopher Johnson later promised was an "extensive" search that over a two-month period included a look at Jim Harbaugh, a flirtation with Mike McCarthy, a push for Matt Rhule and a surprising inability to dismiss Todd Monken. When it was over, they ended up with a new head coach who wasn't on their original list because he was coaching a team in a playoff race with three weeks left in the regular season.

There was no real reason to think Adam Gase would even be available back then. So how did the Jets end up introducing him as the 19th coach in franchise history on Monday?

Through interviews with multiple NFL sources inside and outside the Jets organization, and some sources close to several of the eight candidates the Jets interviewed (and several more they considered), here's a look at the winding road of a search that took them from Bowles to Harbaugh to McCarthy to Rhule, and eventually to Adam Gase:

In the beginning

There had been a sense all season long, as SNY reported back in September, that Bowles' job wasn't safe this year despite the contract extension that took him through 2020. There were too many questions about his lack of discipline with players, his game-day coaching decisions, and his team's penchant for looking unprepared. The worries first resurfaced after a Sept. 20 loss in Cleveland when the Jets looked unprepared for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who came in and rallied the Browns to victory.

When they were blown out by Buffalo at home two months later, even though the Bills were starting a quarterback (Matt Barkley) they signed less than two weeks earlier, the Jets' decision-makers had seen enough. During the bye week they made the decision to begin researching candidates. Even Bowles knew what was coming, because right around then he began talking with his old boss, Bruce Arians, about possibly re-joining him as a defensive coordinator if Arians took another job (which he eventually did, as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).



At the time, one source said Johnson's first instinct was to make a splash with his hire, to bring in a coach that could re-energize the franchise and the fan base. The Jets knew they needed an offensive coach who could develop their young, franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold, and they preferred someone with experience.

There weren't many coaches available who fit that description, though.

Harbaugh, of course, was one and would have been an enormous splash. And though the Jets later denied their interest, multiple sources said they did at least do some background work on Harbaugh to see what it would take to lure him to New York. It's unclear how far those inquiries got, but the Jets apparently were left with the impression that either he wouldn't be a good fit (i.e. he'd want too much power or money) or he wasn't interested in leaving Michigan.

So they concentrated most of their initial work on other college coaches and up-and-coming young assistants in the search for what everyone in the NFL wanted thanks to the success of the Los Angeles Rams -- the next Sean McVay.

Enter Mike McCarthy

Then, on Dec. 2, the Jets seemingly got a gift: The Packers fired Mike McCarthy with four weeks left in his 13th NFL season. He was everything the Jets were looking for in a new coach. He had an extensive offensive background, a history of success, a Super Bowl championship. He would come in with instant credibility with players and fans and, after his work with Aaron Rodgers, an obvious ability to develop Darnold.

The Jets began asking around about McCarthy -- whom one source said was immediately at the top of Johnson's wish list -- but around the league there were concerns. McCarthy was known to be sensitive to criticism, and it showed many times during his years in small-market Green Bay with a relatively small media corps. Some wondered if he could handle New York, or if he'd even want to try. Others suggested McCarthy was strongly considering sitting out all of 2019 so he didn't have to uproot his family from Green Bay.

McCarthy also had drawn some interest from the Browns and Cardinals, and some thought he'd prefer either of those two jobs. The Jets were planning to interview him regardless.

The 'extensive' field

The Jets announced the firing of Bowles a few hours after their 4-12 season ended with a 38-3 loss up in New England, but multiple sources said Bowles had been told officially of the decision weeks earlier. So he wasn't surprised, and the Jets were ready with their list of candidates. They began reaching out to and requesting permission to interview those coaches the next morning.



The list initially was highlighted by McCarthy, who by then had signaled an interest to at least talk to the Jets. They also requested permission to talk with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard. They also had interest in Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur-- a McVay disciple who ended up as the new head coach of the Packers, though it's not clear if the Jets ever requested permission to interview him or if he simply declined.

Also on the list was former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who one source said was a "stealth" candidate at the time, but at 63 years old probably a little older than the Jets wanted. They also had identified at least three college coaches they wanted to talk to -- Baylor's Matt Rhule, USC offensive coordinator (and former Texas Tech coach) Kliff Kingsbury, and Iowa State's Matt Campbell who turned the Jets down.

Then, on Monday morning, hours after the Jets made the Bowles firing official, the Dolphins fired the 40-year-old Gase -- and he immediately was added to the Jets' list. One source said he quickly vaulted to near the top because he was one of the few candidates with head coaching experience and an offensive background.

The Final Four

Knowing the Jets wanted experience and someone who could help Darnold, some of the coaches on the list may have been more about possible coordinator jobs, or just picking their brains about how to handle their young quarterback and the offense. Monken and Kingsbury seemed to fit that category as possible offensive coordinator candidates. Kingsbury in particular had a losing record as a college coach, but a track record of developing quarterbacks. The Jets were interested in hiring him in some capacity, but 24 hours after his interview he was hired by the Cardinals as their head coach -- the team he seemed to be destined to land with all along.

Monken, meanwhile, seemed to really impress the Jets in his interview. If he wasn't a serious candidate for the head coach job from the beginning, he certainly was when he left. His energy, enthusiasm and offensive ideas were strong. His lack of experience remained a concern, but the Jets liked him enough that they pitched him to several other candidates as an offensive coordinator. It was clear they wanted to hire him for something if they could.

Monken eventually did make a final four, which included McCarthy, Rhule and Gase -- another energetic, young coach who blew away the Jets in his interview. Which one was at the top of the heap in the final days depended on whom you asked and when.

So what happened to McCarthy?

The Jets were serious about McCarthy and he definitely appeared to be a favorite at one point. But his standing in the search seemed to wane after he finally came in for an interview. The interview wasn't bad, according to one source, but some issues came up. One was that McCarthy seemed to be uncomfortable with the Jets' power structure, possibly meaning he wanted more control over personnel.

Another was that Jets GM Mike Maccagnan seemed to want a say in McCarthy's staff, and the former Packers coach wasn't comfortable with that at all. At least that was the take from McCarthy's side. The Jets strongly denied they were trying to have any influence over the hiring of any assistants on the staff of any of the candidates.



"At no point did we say we were going to choose your guys or we don't like that guy or we like this guy, we're going to put him in there," Johnson said on Monday. "No, that never happened. I completely deny it."

Regardless, when the interview was over, the Jets seemed to have the feeling that it wasn't going to work. Some felt McCarthy was more likely to sit out 2019 anyway. Soon after, McCarthy's camp leaked that the Jets job was the only one he was willing to consider -- a disingenuous statement at the time since he had already turned down an interview request from the Cardinals, and the Browns had settled on two other candidates. So the Jets were the only team interested in him at all.

That leak prompted one league source to tell SNY that McCarthy had to know he had a good chance at the job, otherwise he just would've leaked that he was sitting out 2019 to save himself from embarrassment. But in hindsight, that leak may have been his last-ditch attempt to erase the perception in the Jets organization that he wasn't interested in their job.

By then, the Jets weren't ruling McCarthy out, but their attention had turned elsewhere. And McCarthy had to know it, since he shares an agent with another top candidate -- Matt Rhule.

So what happened with Rhule?

Though it's not clear who liked whom in the Jets' organization during the search, some outside believe that Rhule -- a former Giants assistant (for one season) who turned around college programs at Temple and Baylor -- had become Maccagnan's favorite. The Jets had extensive talks with him, but they had concerns over his lack of NFL experience.

In those discussions with Rhule, the Jets made it clear that if they were to hire him they wanted to make sure he had an experienced NFL staff. They even pitched the idea of Monken to him as his offensive coordinator. They discussed several other possible assistants. It's not clear if the Jets told him whom he should hire -- remember, Johnson denied the Jets would have dictated the staff of any candidates -- but Rhule was left with the impression that they at least wanted to guide him in the process.

And Rhule would have none of that.



"I'm never going to be in an arranged marriage," he later told a Waco, Texas radio station. "I'm never going to subcontract jobs to the offense and defense. I want to hire people that believe in what I believe, that are going to do things our way."

That's advice that, according to one source, he got from his mentor -- Bill Parcells.

Hello, this is Peyton speaking

When Rhule was clearly out of the picture -- for whatever reason -- the Jets weren't comfortable enough with Monken as head coach, so that seemingly left them with McCarthy and Gase. Almost as soon as Rhule pulled out, though, they offered Gase the job.

There are a lot of reasons why Gase had leaped over McCarthy on their list. He's 15 years younger than McCarthy, and the Jets wanted someone who might be able to relate better to Darnold, who could grow with him over the years. His interview was simply better and more energetic and they were confident he wanted the job. They also remembered that three years earlier, Gase was the hot, young, offensive assistant that everybody wanted. Yes, he went 23-25 in three years with the Miami Dolphins, but he was coaching without his franchise quarterback exactly half the time.

And then there was the phone call that Johnson got from Peyton Manning, who thrived under Gase's direction in Denver when Gase was the Broncos quarterbacks coach (2012) and offensive coordinator (2013-14). Manning has long been an advocate for Gase. He pitched him to Dolphins ownership in 2016, and came in like Mariano Rivera to close the deal with the Jets, too.

Whether or not that call put Gase over the top, only Johnson knows for sure. But it's simply hard to ignore when one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time swears that Gase is the right guy to turn the Jets' franchise quarterback into the superstar everyone thinks he will be.

The Gase file

In the end, Johnson said it was "an easy choice" to hire Gase for a variety of reasons. He checked all the boxes the Jets were looking for, from his previous experience, to his offensive mind, to his work with quarterbacks, to being the disciplinarian the Jets believe their locker room needs. Also, as Johnson said, "Adam's vision synced well" with the vision of Johnson and Maccagnan.

And they loved that he was still a young coach with a grip on the modern NFL.



"He is intelligent, forward thinking, aggressive," Johnson said. "To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, he's coaching to where football is going. That really appealed to me."

That sounds a little like Johnson thinks Gase represents the future, while McCarthy is more about the past -- an interpretation that one source said isn't unfair even Johnson didn't go quite that far.

"McCarthy is terrific, absolutely," Johnson said. "I was really impressed by him. Obviously he had this incredible run with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and with this amazing franchise in Green Bay.

"I'm just really convinced that (Gase) is the man. It's not that there was anything wrong with McCarthy or any of the other guys. They were fantastic.

"But Adam took it to a new level."

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Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in.

We begin today with a look at the 2019 tight end class.

Jets Needs: Tight ends

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets need all the help they can get as they try to quickly rebuild in one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. So they sure could use the pick near the top of the second round that they gave to the Indianapolis Colts.

Not that the Jets would do it any differently, of course. Dealing that pick (and two others) put them in position to draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the most important piece in their rebuilding puzzle and the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for 50 years. So there are no regrets, no hindsight and no wishing they still had two selections in the first 34 picks.

The Jets do still have two picks in the first two days, though. The NFL Draft is 2 1/2 months away and they'll have to get through the combine, the Pro Days and interviews before their draft board settles down. But here's an early look at what the Jets might do on Days 1 and 2:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Earlier this week, the Buffalo Bills announced they had signed former Jets center Spencer Long. The Jets had reportedly held out some hope of bringing Long back on a reduced salary having released him last week.

Now that Long is no longer an option, who could the Jets' starting center be in 2019?

Tags: Dakota Dozier
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made his choice on Dec. 30 when he fired Todd Bowles, but not Mike Maccagnan. It was a signal that he believed in his general manager, bought into his vision, and wasn't concerned about his spotty record.

And though Johnson insisted he would never give anyone a playoff mandate ("Absolutely not," he said), the message from his actions are perfectly clear: This is Maccagnan's roster, Adam Gase is Maccagnan's coach, and this is the offseason Maccagnan has to turn the Jets from laughingstocks into a winner.

In other words, as one of the most important offseasons in Jets' history begins, the pressure on Maccagnan is high.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are sitting in a sweet spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. They hold a high pick (No. 3) in a draft that isn't thought of as quarterback rich. That means any team that wants a quarterback should want to move up to get their first choice, rather than wait and settle for seconds.

And the Jets are just the type of team that should be very interested in trading down.

For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Last week, the Jets decided to let C Spencer Long go, as they declined to pay his $3.5 million roster bonus. They were, however, considering bringing him back at a reduced rate for the 2019-20 season, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

So much for that. 

The Bills, an AFC East rival, signed Long to a three-year deal, as he was a free agent once the Jets parted ways with him. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Long's deal is worth $13 million that could reach a max $15 million with incentives...

Tags: Spencer Long
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Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has made it pretty clear: He wants out of Pittsburgh. 

The disgruntled Pro Bowl receiver, who was found guilty for reckless driving Tuesday morning after failing to show up to court, tweeted that he is moving on. 

"Thank you Steeler Nation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward.......#NewDemands," he wrote. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

As the Jets consider how to improve their deficient pass rush, one of the biggest names set to become available might not make it to free agency.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who works for CBS Sports, told the Seattle Times he believes the Seahawks will use the franchise tag on Frank Clark. The 25-year-old edge rusher recorded a career-high 13 sacks for Seattle in 2018, and according to Pro Football Focus, Clark had 69 quarterback pressures.

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Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

The Jets stuck to their word when it came to Kareem Hunt

The troubled 23-year-old running back signed with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the team announced. He will join the Browns on a one-year deal and become a restricted free agent when the contract expires, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Hunt was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List after the Chiefs released him mid-way through last season after a video surfaced of the running back assaulting a woman in a Cleveland-area hotel last February. 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The high praise continues to come in for Sam Darnold. 

Despite a rocky rookie season for the Jets quarterback, the expectations for Darnold's future are still sky-high, with the latest bit of optimism coming from former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis

The former shutdown corner told TMZ last week that Darnold has what it takes to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl since 1969. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Sam Darnold
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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets finally announced their coaching staff for 2019 on Friday and, although many of the hires had already been rumored, there were still a few surprises. Let's weigh up some of the more interesting aspects of this new staff.

A mixture of connections

Although this has been introduced as Adam Gase's staff, a few coaches that have no direct connection to Gase were hired. However, in these instances there are connections that lie elsewhere.

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Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Bob Cooter was among 11 assistants new Jets head coach Adam Gase hired as part of his staff on Friday.

Cooter, who previously spent time as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, will be New York's running backs coach.

Shawn Jefferson will be an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, as he previously coached players like Calvin Johnson and Jarvis Landry.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets organizations don't like each other very much, which happens when teams share a stadium and a city. The Jets have long had an inferiority complex from feeling like New York's little brother. The Giants have never hid their feelings of superiority when it comes to the Jets.

So neither franchise has ever been inclined to do anything that might even appear to help out the other, which is a huge part of the reason why the two have never made a trade.

It might be time they get over those issues and their egos, though. Because a trade of draft picks between the Giants and Jets this year makes a whole lot of sense.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The recognitions keep pouring in for Jamal Adams.

After making the Pro Bowl and being named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, the 23-year-old Jets safety was revealed Thursday as the No. 20 player on Pro Football Focus' list of the Top 101 players from the 2018 NFL season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

To fit Gregg Williams' new 4-3 defensive scheme, the Jets will pick a defensive end, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts.

In his second mock draft, McShay believes the Jets will draft Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 3 pick, predicting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa goes No. 1 to Arizona and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen goes No. 2 to San Francisco.

"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract, so defensive end is a need for Gang Green," McShay wrote. "Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears as if the Jets want Leonard Williams to be a part of their future, at least for 2019. 

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets do not have any plans to trade the 24-year-old defensive end as he enters his fifth-year option. 

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano also reports a trade is unlikely and that the team is not actively pursuing one.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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We are very excited to announce that we have a new commenting platform that we'll be launching on Thursday.

SNY has partnered with Spot.IM to bring you a more dynamic commenting experience across our web site. In the process, we migrated your current Livefyre user accounts and hundreds of thousands of comments to the new system.

The look is slightly different than before and we've added some great, new features. You'll still be able to publish comments and follow conversations in real time. You'll continue to benefit from threaded conversations. And if you have notifications settings enabled, you'll receive emails alerting you when others reply to one of your comments or mention you.

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Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

It was the first Super Bowl that people outside the state of Nevada could bet on, and New Jersey was among them. But it wasn't a profitable Sunday for the state. 

According to the Associated Press, sportsbooks operator in New Jersey saw $34.9 million in wagers, but they lost $4.6 million after having to pay out $39.5 million to winners. That means there were a lot of Patriots fans in New Jersey, who beat the Rams 13-3 with a -2.5 spread. 

Despite the pay backs, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US which runs three total sportsbooks in New Jersey, saw the day as a success. He said Sunday "was by far our biggest day ever in New Jersey in terms of handle. It was really good."

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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Jets are letting Spencer Long go, but they may try to bring him back.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that the Jets are declining to pay Long's $3.5 million roster bonus, which will make the center a free agent. The move clears $6.5 million in cap space and leaves no dead money.

While the Jets are interested in bringing back Long at a reduced cost, Vacchiano reports he might first sift through the market to see if he can get more money.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months until the NFL Draft, which means draft boards are only in their early stages and there is much scouting left to be done. Only a blurry picture has emerged of what the Top 10 looks like. It will come into focus after the scouting combine in late February and the Pro Days throughout March.

With both the Giants and Jets picking in the Top 10, though - again - it's never too early to take a peek at what the Top 10 might look like...

1. Arizona Cardinals - DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams has not been shy about his recruiting efforts for Le'Veon Bell, going as far as having lunch with the running back's agent last week. 

The Pro Bowl safety has said he's tried to contact Bell himself but has not been able to reach through. 

Well, it appears Adams has gotten Bell's attention now. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's offseason is now underway it's going to be one of the most important in the history of the Jets' franchise. They have a new coach, they have a franchise quarterback, and they have about $100 million in salary cap room to spend on a relatively barren roster.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan can turn things around quickly. Or he could turn the Jets into an even bigger mess.

He's already begun making his plans to reshape the roster for the 2019 season, of course, and beginning Monday he can start to put that plan into action. The big day for the Jets will be the start of NFL free agency on March 13, but there will be plenty of cuts, restructured contracts and other maneuvers in the next few weeks as they get ready.

Tags: Brian Winters, Isaiah Crowell, Jamal Adams, Jermaine Kearse, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa
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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

Sony Michel scored the tie-breaking touchdown with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history, on Sunday.

Michel's 2-yard rush capped a five-play, 69-yard drive orchestrated by Tom Brady to break a 3-3 tie.

Julian Edelman totaled 10 catches for 141 yards, while Brady threw for 262 yards and an interception for his sixth championship in his career. Stephen Gostkowski's 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining made it a two-possession game.

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Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

Armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make free agent RB Le'Veon Bell one of their top targets. But the Steelers are still considering doing something that could throw a wrench into things for the Jets and any other interested team.

After Bell sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, the Steelers are still considering using the transition tag on him for the 2019 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

If the Steelers place the transition tag on Bell, it would give them the opportunity to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team...

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NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Kevin Mawae thought his might be the year... and he was right.

The legendary Jets center was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

"It's unreal, surreal right now," he said from The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. "We're in the green room right now, getting ready for the start of the awards show. I'm just so excited."

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AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams doesn't just hope to recruit football stars to New York.

Adams believes the Knicks will land three big-name NBA superstars: Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and Anthony Davis.

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GSN previews Super Bowl LIII 00:01:21
With Super Bowl LIII upon us, Ray Lucas and Ralph Vacchiano discuss how the Patriots will exploit Aaron Donald and Rams pass rush to win.

SNY's Jets analyst Ray Lucas and SNY's Jets beat reporter Ralph Vacchiano preview Super Bowl LIII ahead of the big game. 

Lucas details which Rams' pass rusher Bill Belichick will target. Vacchiano explains how the Patriots will completely eliminate Los Angeles' defensive line. 

What tactics do head coach Sean McVay and the Rams have up their sleeves to try and win their first Lombardi trophy since 2000?

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NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sometime on Saturday, Kevin Mawae, a long-time fixture at center for the Jets, will learn whether he's finally been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It'll be tough, since there are three other offensive linemen on the list of 15 finalists. But if he does get the call, the honor would be overdue.

He's not the only former Jet or Giant for whom that honor is overdue, of course. Nor is he the only one who figures to be enshrined someday soon.

Here's a look at five New York football icons who deserve their spot in Canton, and the chances of whether they'll ever actually get their bust:

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have the second-best odds among AFC East teams to win Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

The Jets are at 90/1 odds to win next season's Super Bowl, according to Bet DSI Sportsbook.

It's no surprise the Patriots have the best odds among AFC East teams at 8/1. The Bills are 100/1 odds, while the Dolphins are at 300/1 odds. The Rams are the NFL favorites for next season at 15/2 odds.

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All aboard for Le'veon Bell 00:01:08
Ralph Vacchiano argues the Jets are able and will have to spend a lot of money to sign big-name free agents this offseason.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams is doing his best to sell the Jets to the free agent class of 2019, talking with agents, recruiting players on social media, and making a few calls to friends. It's good that the Jets have such a passionate ambassador.

Just don't expect his sales job to work.

Here's the truth about NFL free agency: There are only two things that matter to players on the market -- money (lots of it) and a chance to win a ring. Now the Jets do have plenty of money to spend and could be the high bidders on just about any player they desire.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Ralph Vacchiano
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