The TJB Hall of Fame Inductees roll on with today's entrant, Al Toon.

Not everything we remember fondly from our childhood was actually that good. TV shows, records, certain types of candy, all seem less than appealing when revisited at a more learned age. Jets wide receiver Al Toon retired when I was 16, but was unquestionably one of my favorite players of the first few years of my Jet fandom.

In essence, it doesn't really matter how good he was. The reason he goes into the TJB Hall of Fame is because he was a fan favorite, as evidenced by the number of people that were calling for him to be inducted on that basis when the notion of a new class of inductees was floated a few weeks ago. That's one of the central tenets of this hall of fame idea. We, the fans, can honor whoever we like for whatever reason we like. However, a look back on his career shows that, without question, Toon deserves to be there on merit.

Standing 6'4", the graceful, yet explosive Toon was described as "Majestic" by writer Ken Thomas in 1992 and I don't think there is a better adjective to describe him. Leaping above defensive backs, snaring catches, shrugging off tacklers and running away from cornerbacks in the open field, Toon stood out from the moment he first put on the Kelly Green and White. Simply put, to young children and adult fans alike, Toon was cool….bigger. faster, stronger.

Even before he came to the NFL, Toon was involved in one of the coolest trick plays in college football history. Although his Wisconsin Badgers would ultimately lose to Illinois in 1982, the game will forever be remembered for "the bounce pass". The quarterback (having tipped off the officials to the fact that this play would be coming so that they didn't blow the play dead), threw a sideways lateral to Toon in the flat, but so that it came up just short. Toon had to do his best acting job, as he was disappointed that the "forward pass" had fallen "incomplete", so he casually scooped the ball up as if he was going to just hand it back to the official, then suddenly turned and fired a forty yard touchdown pass to an open receiver deep downfield. Genius.

Toon was a world-class athlete, who excelled at the triple jump, where he had competed in the Olympic trials and almost went to LA in 1984. When he was selected 10th by the Jets in the 1985 draft, some critics said it was a mistake, as the Jets had been burned when they drafted an athlete to play wide receiver just a few years before.

However, unlike Johnny "Lam" Jones, who Toon would effectively replace on the Jets roster, Al was more than just an occasional deep threat. With his size, Toon was able to go over the middle and make yardage after the catch. His excellent hands made him a reliable possession option. Toon maintained that the strict nuances and intricacies of perfecting his technique for the triple jump had prepared him perfectly for the co-ordination required to twist or adjust in mid-air and still make and hold onto a tough catch.

In his rookie year (1985), Toon replaced Kurt Sohn in the starting line-up halfway through the season and ultimately caught 46 passes, more than Jones had managed in any of his five years in the league. He scored his first NFL touchdown in a week nine win over the Colts on a 17 yard pass from Ken O’Brien to open the scoring and then two weeks later, added a 78 yard score (for the longest catch of his career) in an incredible 62-28 demolition of the Bucs. He would finish the year with 3 TD catches.

He was a perfect compliment to Wesley Walker, a bona fide deep threat, and Mickey Shuler, one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league. With Freeman McNeil spearheading the running game, the immobile but strong-armed QB Ken O'Brien had plenty of options at his disposal, as the Jets offense for the next few years would be a force to be reckoned with.

Predictably, given the promise he showed at the end of the previous season, 1986 was a breakout year for Toon. He caught 85 passes, surpassed the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time and landed in the Pro Bowl for the first of three consecutive appearances in Hawaii. He also caught a career high 8 TD passes and was a big part of the Jets nine game winning streak that took them to a league best 10-1 record. Injuries would hamper the Jets at the end of the year, as they limped into the wildcard game at 10-6. However, Toon’s sliding 22 yard TD catch keyed their win over the Chiefs and then the Jets would come within a Pat Leahy chip shot of an AFC Title Game against the Broncos (who they had already beaten that year), as they lost a double overtime heartbreaker in Cleveland.

Toon had several big games over the course of the season, breaking out with 119 yards and a TD on six catches in the opener against Buffalo and then adding seven catches for 111 yards in the memorable 51-45 overtime win over Miami two weeks later. He really exploded in weeks nine and ten, catching 15 passes for 296 yards and five TDs.

One of the most exciting plays I can recall from my childhood, came as the Jets were eight ninths of the way through their nine game winning streak in 1986 and playing in Seattle. The gamebook may just show a 36 yard TD pass from O'Brien to Toon, but what actually happened was that O'Brien threw a high bomb down the right sideline, for Toon to leap up over the defensive back and snare. As the two fought for the ball, Toon was upended in midair and eventually landed on his back on top of the defensive player, as the ball had slid down between his legs. Smoothly and effortlessly, as if performing part of a choreographed breakdance routine, Toon rolled over the defender onto his feet and then, realizing the ball was still between his legs, coolly reached behind his legs, tapped it up into the air and grabbed it for the touchdown.

It happened so fast, that you couldn't appreciate exactly what happened until you saw it in slow motion. David Tyree might have made the helmet catch, but he has nothing on the unflappable Toon.

Toon returned to the Pro Bowl after the strike shortened 1987 season, but the season as a whole was a disappointment for the Jets. With all five teams in the AFC East (back then, the Colts were also in the division) tied at 5-5 in week 11, the Jets got a big win over the Bengals on Rich Miano’s last gasp blocked field goal return. Toon, who ended the year with 68 catches for 976 yards and 5 TDs, exploded with 23 catches for 378 yards and 3 TDs over the next three games, but the Jets lost all of them, and their last one, to miss the playoffs at 6-9.

In 1988, the Jets ended the season on a positive note, as Toon’s last minute TD catch eliminated the Giants from playoff contention and gave the Jets a winning record. However, they were already out of contention themselves, having blown several tight games. Toon enjoyed a career year, leading the NFL in receptions with 93 and finding his way onto several all-Pro teams. His accomplishments included three double-digit catch games, including 13 against the Colts and a career-best 14 against Miami and he became the first Jet since Joe Namath to win three straight team MVP awards.

In 1989, Toon only played in 6 full games and parts of five others as the Jets slumped to 4-12. He still managed to catch 63 passes though, including ten for 159 yards and a TD in a memorable 40-33 win in Miami.

Throughout his career, Toon would be inextricably linked with Jerry Rice. Drafted ahead of Rice, many thought he was the greater talent, but while Rice went on to become the consensus greatest wide receiver in NFL history, Toon's career, though spectacular while it lasted, would ultimately be limited to just 7 seasons due to injuries. Maybe if Toon had been on a team with more weapons, he would have lasted longer. Although the Jets attempted to surround him with other playmakers, injuries to those guys would leave Toon, whose toughness would lead him to play through pain, as the only threat for the Jets, so he was a marked man.

The Jets recognised this as his yards per catch average had fallen to a (then) career low 11 yards in 1988 and 1989, coinciding with injuries to the likes of Walker, McNeil and Shuler. The additions of high draft picks Rob Moore and Reggie Rembert did give him a little more freedom, although neither lived up to expectations in their own right, and Toon was a more dangerous threat again over the next two seasons. He would still miss several games, however, but continued to be a quiet leader.

Over in San Francisco, Rice stayed healthy and won several Superbowls and set many records for the 49ers. However, over the first five years of their respective careers, Toon actually had 9 more receptions than Rice. To be fair to Rice, his overall numbers were still far better than Toon’s (he had 70 TDs in that period, to Al’s 23 and more yards in every season) but this does give some indication as to Toon’s potential had he been in the right situation. Make no mistake, Al was an outstanding player and when he was healthy, the Jets usually won more than they lost.

In 1990, Bruce Coslet took over as head coach. Early in the season, it was revealed that Toon had played four games with a broken back and injuries continued to be a problem, causing him to miss four starts. As the Jets went 6-10, Toon caught 57 passes for 757 yards and six TDs. The season had started promisingly for Toon with an eight catch, 118 yard and 2 TD performance against the Bengals, but he would only post two further 100 yard games that year.

Al Toon was refreshingly different from the modern breed of trash-talking, give me the damn ball, me-first, endzone-extravaganza executing wide receivers. Quiet, humble and classy, he represented the Jets in a manner befitting one of the league's top role models. In an era when NWA and Public Enemy were the flavor of the month, Toon listed his favorite musical act as Luther Vandross. In 1990, when he signed a contract extension, he said that he didn't want to be the highest paid player on the team and therefore accepted a $1.25m a year contract, $50,000 less than the then highest-paid player, Ken O'Brien.

"I didn't want to create any animosity between myself and any player who typically gets paid more…it gets to the point where a few thousand here and a few thousand there isn't worth it to affect team unity." he said. Why can't today's stars (and guys not worthy of being called a star), deal with their situations with the same level of class and decorum?

1991 was a renaissance of sorts, as Toon only missed one game and fell just short of his third thousand-yard season, with big games in wins over Green Bay and New England helping to lead the Jets to a wild card berth that they clinched with a winner-takes-all overtime victory in Miami on the final day of the season. Although he didn’t score a TD all season, he delivered with a diving ten yard TD catch in the wild card game against the Oilers, but the Jets came away with just three points from four trips inside the ten (including two fourth downs stuffed at the one and an O’Brien interception) and ultimately lost 17-10.

Toon’s final season saw him start just eight games and make a career low 31 catches for 311 yards as the concussions that had plagued him throughout his career really started to take their toll. He eventually would announce his retirement after what was initially reported as his fifth career concussion, but then officially reported as his ninth. Toon would later estimate that the final concussion of his career was his thirteenth.

Here at TJB, we have discussed the dangers associated with concussion at length. Expert Chris Nowinski even described the Jets franchise as "ground zero" for the concussion problems that persist today, with Toon and Wayne Chrebet the two most high-profile victims. Sadly for Toon, his battle with post concussion syndrome has been particularly harsh. He said that he was unable to watch his kids on a merry-go-round without feeling dizzy and expected to have to deal with issues such as headaches, nausea and disorientation for the rest of his life. At one stage, there was even media reports of Toon suffering from amnesia and constant confusion.

Happily, recent reports on Toon's health have been more positive. He even completed a triathlon in 2004, which included a marathon run. He is now involved in mentoring his son, Nick, who - after red-shirting the 2007 season - is now 6'3", 220 pounds and looks set to push for playing time as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Badgers at his Father's alma mater. Just last month, Toon also was appointed to the board of directors for the Green Bay Packers. He can now add a place in the TJB hall of fame to his list of achievements.

Since Toon has retired, he has been seriously missed. It may feel like forever since you saw #88 making a spectacular catch or running away from defenders. That may, in part, be due to the "curse of the number 88 jersey". Since Toon retired, everyone who has worn the jersey has suffered from an unfortunate inability to hold onto the football. Anthony Becht, Doug Jolley, Stevie Anderson, Chas Gessner, Sean Ryan, Curtis Caeser, Kyle Brady, Quinn Early. Good luck, Bubba Franks. Perhaps this is a sign they should have retired his number. He deserves it.

Tooooooooon!!!

Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild…that is the question! This week, Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by Joe Caporoso from TurnOnTheJets.com to find the answer. They take a look at what the Jets can do to start picking up the pieces heading into next season, and whether or not a complete teardown is necessary...

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Gastineau on health issues 00:04:48
Former Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau opens up about his apparent brain issues caused from playing professional football.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Mark Gastineau is just the latest sad example of the damage football can do to a person and a human body. He admits he didn't play the game the right way. When he tackled he led with his head, and of course that's the part of the body that's betraying him now. The fact that he's been battling dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease for a year is likely not a coincidence at all.

But during the ex-Jet's stunning interview on WOR radio on Thursday night he didn't blame football specifically for his condition. In fact he praised the sport and insisted his problems could've been prevented. He said he knows there's a way to make the incredibly dangerous game of football safe for everyone.

Even though he is dangerously wrong...

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 (Jason Bridge)
(Jason Bridge)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at the AFC Championship game:

Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) at the New England Patriots (15-2)

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Gastineau on health issues 00:04:48
Former Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau opens up about his apparent brain issues caused from playing professional football.

Jets all-time sacks leader Mark Gastineau told WOR Radio's Pete McCarthy that recent tests have shown he has signs of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and dementia.

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Jets fans clamoring for Woody Johnson to give up control of the Jets may finally get their wish, but even with him planning to spend the next three years an ocean away, his departure is unlikely to have any tangible effect on the team.

The 69-year-old Johnson was officially named the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom by President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon. It was a move that had been rumored for weeks and hardly surprising considering that Johnson is a major donor and fundraiser for Trump and the Republican Party.

Johnson declined to address the possibility of this position when he met with the media shortly after his Jets completed their miserable, 5-11 season, and he hasn't spoken publicly on his future plans for the franchise. However, Pro Football Talk recently reported that he planned to give over control of the Jets to his younger brother, Christopher Wold Johnson. Neil Glat, the team president who handles most of the business operations and reported directly to Woody Johnson, could see an increase in power, too.

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) sits on the bench after sustaining an injury against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) sits on the bench after sustaining an injury against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Jets dismal 5-11 season left them heading into an offseason of uncertainty with a high draft pick and seemingly little hope. At the moment, there are far more questions about their plans and the future than there are acceptable answers.

But since you asked, I'll give it a shot anyway in the first offseason edition of my SNY Jets Twitter mailbag. Part I ran on Wednesday. Here, as promised, is Part II:

If we do select a qb in draft. Do we sign a vet and go with 4? Or who gets the out? -- @wendo2000

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Clady, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

Mel Kiper's first Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore with the sixth overall pick.

Kiper notes that the 6'1", 190-pound Lattimore "jumped to the top" of his rankings with a stellar season, adding that Lattimore has "all the traits to be a star."

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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)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' dismal 5-11 season left them heading into an offseason of uncertainty with a high draft pick and seemingly little hope. At the moment, there are far more questions about their plans and the future than there are acceptable answers.

But since you asked, I'll give it a shot anyway in the first offseason edition of my SNY Jets Twitter mailbag. Here is Part I:

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Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)
Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have signed linebacker Jeff Luc to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Luc, who has spent time with the Dolphins and most recently the Bengals, has also spent time as fullback.

In his four years in college at Florida State and Cincinnati, he recorded 200 total tackles.

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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he believes his production on the field should make him desirable to any team, despite his $7.5 million salary cap, he told WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show. 

Marshall, in the final year of his contract with the Jets, told the show that he is one of the top receivers in the game, and that he is in fact underpaid for what his statistics show. 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets and head coach Todd Bowles, after a tumultuous year of losing and locker room discontent, have "a lot to soul searching" to do going into next season, former Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon told The JetsBlog Podcast. 

Defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both had various off-field issues this season, which Colon said is a problem with both themselves as individuals and how the team has handled them.

"The problem with Sheldon and Mo, and I talk about them candidly because I know those guys, I respect them as individuals, Colon said. "But the biggest problem they have, they feel what they do off the field shouldn't matter about their play on the field. That's the lack of accountability and maturity."

Tags: Willie Colon
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Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets have hired defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, the team announced Wednesday.

Wilson, 34, was the Rams' DBs coach this past season.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Position coaches often fly under the radar, but don't ignore the impact of this one because Dennard Wilson has a big job ahead of him. He has to rebuild a Jets secondary that was a mess last season, and he'll have to do it either without Darrelle Revis or with Revis trying to transition from cornerback to safety.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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 (Michael Ainsworth/AP)
(Michael Ainsworth/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The Jets still don't know who their quarterback will be when the 2017 season begins, but the consensus inside their front office seems to be that whoever it is didn't finish the 2016 season on the roster. Their quarterback of the immediate future, at least, is likely to come from the outside.

Just who that will be is still unknown, and there are many options being considered, according to team sources. There is a lot of internal support for Mike Glennon, the 27-year-old Bucs backup who will become a free agent on March 9. But even if he emerges as the object of the Jets' desire, he could be prohibitively expensive. The Bills, Browns and 49ers all figure to be in the market for a quarterback. Maybe a few other teams, too, like the Bears.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Colon discusses Brown's video 00:02:42
Former Steeler Willie Colon rips Antonio Brown for being more worried about himself than the team after posting a video of Mike Tomlin.

Jets WR Brandon Marshall criticized Steelers WR Antoino Brown for the postgame locker room Facebook video that Brown posted following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City on Sunday.

"You would never see this in New England, right?" Marshall said on last night's episode of Showtime's Inside the NFL. "What it does is it keeps the New England Patriots on task. It keeps them marching in a single-file line: 'This is the New England way, and this is how we do things.' 

"You only have three or four minutes after the game to be with your teammates and really enjoy the moment or Band-Aid each other up. So that's precious time, and that time shouldn't be live-streamed for anyone to see."

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

Chicago Bears OLB coach Clint Hurtt will not join Todd Bowles and the New York Jets nearly a week and a half after they had reportedly reached an agreement, ESPN's Rich Cimini reports.

The Jets and Hurtt never reached an agreement after Hurtt reportedly declined an extension with the Bears, according to Cimini.

The Jets fired OLB coach Mark Collins, along with four other assistants, after the season.

Hurtt served as an assistant coach at Louisville, Miami and Florida International.

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New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Brian Winters would've been one of the better guards on the free agent market and he could've cashed in even bigger than the four-year, $29 million deal he got from the Jets. 

But instead of looking for more money and maybe a better situation, the 25-year-old Winters decided to stay put because he believes that, despite the misery of the Jets' 5-11 season, there are much better days for the franchise ahead.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Latest Update (Jan. 17)

12:15PM: Winters received a four-year, $29 million contract extension, including $15 million guaranteed, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN

The $15 million guaranteed is the tenth-largest guarantee for a guard.

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Geno Smith, James Carpenter, Kellen Davis, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum, Wesley Johnson
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Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.  (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))
Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))

The Jets are expected to have interest in Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Glennon, 27, is an unrestricted free agent after playing behind Jamesis Winston the last two seasons in Tampa Bay.

As a starter, Glennon has a career record of 5-13.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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DNL pick'em: Divisional Round 00:04:27
The Daily News Live panel makes its prognostications on the NFL Divisional Round games this weekend.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at the two AFC divisional-round playoff games this weekend:

Houston Texans (10-7) at the New England Patriots (14-2)

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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Latest Update

11:27 p.m: Eric Studesville has decided to remain with the Broncos as the team's running back coach, according to Mike Klis of 9News.

Previous Reports

The Jets interviewed Studesville for their vacant offensive coordinator position, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.

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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Attracting a new offensive coordinator might not be easy for the Jets, writes Brian Costello in the NY Post.

"The view in league circles is the Jets are going to have a tough time convincing any candidate with options to take the job because of how they compare with other teams looking for an offensive coordinator," writes Costello.

Costello notes that there haven't been any reports or other indications that any candidate has turned down an interview request from the Jets, but says the job is viewed as unattractive due in part to head coach Todd Bowles' job security and the unsettled quarterback situation.

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by former New York Jets guard and current SNY Analyst Willie Colon for a deep dive into the Jets locker room. They talk about the best leaders on the current team, what to do about Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, the mindset of a player making a position change, and much more as a busy offseason for Gang Green gets going. 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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 (USA TODAY)
(USA TODAY)

The Jets have signed LB Frank Beltre to a reserve/future deal, the team announced Friday.

Beltre, 26, spent time with the Chargers in 2013 and Raiders in 2014, and played with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL from 2014 to 2016.

The Jets agreed to reserve/future deals with WR DeShon Foxx, FB Julian Howsare, and WR Myles White on Wednesday.

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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Coming off a miserable season, the Jets are in a difficult offseason position. They don't project to have much cap room, at least until they start cutting some high-priced players. And whatever cap room they do create might have to be spent on the quarterback they so obviously and desperately need.

And since they'll have to replace many of the players they cut, they may not have much room to re-sign their own players. The good news, though, is coming off a miserable, 5-11 season it's not like they have a lot of unrestricted free agents they absolutely can't live without.

There are a couple worth bringing back, though. Here's a look at their list of free agents, and how hard they might try to re-sign them...

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Kellen Davis, Marcus Williams, Mike Catapano, Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Leonard Williams was one of the few bright spots in the Jets' mostly dismal season. And now the 22-year-old defensive end is being rewarded for that with a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Williams, the youngest player to ever be voted by his Jets teammates as their MVP, was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad on Thursday as a replacement for injured Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack

Williams, who was voted a first alternate, had seven sacks for the Jets this season. For most of the season he was the best player on the Jets' disappointing defensive line...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

We've looked at some of the roster decisions facing the Jets as we head into the offseason over the past few weeks. Readers overwhelmingly voted to keep Eric DeckerNick Mangold and David Harris and to dump Darrelle Revis, but were torn on Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson. How about some of the other decisions facing the front office and coaching staff?

Of course young players like Leonard Williams and Darron Lee or players that performed well in 2016 like James Carpenter and Bilal Powell will return in 2017, but that about those whose performance was more disappointing?

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Deon Simon, Devin Smith, Eric Decker, Erin Henderson, James Carpenter, Leonard Williams, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson
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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall invited the Giants' wide receivers down to his house in Miami during Tuesday's episode of "Inside the NFL."

"I want to say thank you," Marshall said. "Thank you to the New York Giants wide receivers for taking all of the attention off of myself and my fellow Jets. I have a place in Miami...You guys are awesome. Thank you."

 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Should Jets draft Watson? 00:03:10
Willie Colon and Jon Hein argue about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick.

Willie Colon and Jon Hein talk about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick...


 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

 

LB David Harris had 95 tackles in 15 games for the Jets this season, which was his 10th with the team.

The 32-year-old had just 0.5 sacks in 2016 after racking up 4.5 in 2015 and 6.0 in 2014.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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 (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
(Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Nick Mangold missed eight games due to ankle injuries this past season, last playing on Dec. 5 against the Colts.

The 32-year-old Mangold has a cap hit of $9.075 million next season, after which he is eligible for free agency.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

University of North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky has declared for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Manish Mehta of the Daily News reported in December that the Jets are believed to have a strong interest in Trubisky. 

"They got their eyes set on the North Carolina quarterback," a rival scout told Mehta. "The Jets are all over this kid. All over him. They'll probably deny it if you ask, but they love that kid. That's their guy. They're not going to get him though, because I think that kid is going to get over-drafted."

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New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Cornerback Darrelle Revis finished off the 2016 season with 53 combined tackles but had just one turnover (an interception), which came in the final week of the regular season. 

All year, the 31-year-old corner dealt with questions about his inconsistent play and effort. He has three years left under his current deal and would not become an unrestricted free agent until 2020, when he is 34. 

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett kick off 2017 with a "now what?" podcast after a horrible season. They react to the Woody Johnson and Mike Maccagnan media gatherings, examine the recent coach departures, and take an early look at how the Jets can properly re-build their franchise.


Subscribe to the podcast here!


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Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets will sign CFL linebacker Frank Beltre to a reserve/futures contract, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.

Beltre, originally an undrafted free agent out of Towson University, spent brief tenures with the Chargers and Raiders before heading to the CFL in 2014. 

He had 19 tackles and three sacks in nine games with Calgary this past season. 


Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)
Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)

Jets coach Todd Bowles is hiring former Bears assistant Clint Hurtt to coach the outside linebackers, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News

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Sheldon Richardson had 62 tackles 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

He also engaged in a locker room feud with WR Brandon Marshall.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Brandon Marshall had 59 receptions for 788 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

Dealing with hip and shoulder injuries for most of the season, his production was down from his record-setting 2015 campaign, when he reeled in 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Before 2015, the 32-year-old Marshall had recorded double-digit touchdowns three times before in his career -- twice with the Bears (2012 and 2013), and once with the Broncos (2009).

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:16
Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss their disappointing 2016 season and looking forward to 2017.

Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Christian Hackenberg, the Jets second-round draft choice last year, "will never make it", an unidentified Jets starter told the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The comment came a week after a Jets source told ESPN that Hackenberg, taken with the 51st overall pick out of Penn State, couldn't "throw the ball into the ocean."

General manager Mike Maccagnan, who was retained along with coach Todd Bowles by Jets owner Woody Johnson, will be under intense pressure to fix the QB situation during the offseason.

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 (Bill Wippert/AP)
(Bill Wippert/AP)

Eric Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns this past season, with his season ending after Week 3 due to a rotator cuff injury that required surgery.

Before undergoing the rotator cuff surgery, the 29-year-old Decker also had surgery on his hip, and it's unclear whether he'll be 100 percent for the start of next season.

Decker joined the Jets before the 2014 season, when he had 74 catches for 962 yards and five touchdowns. In 2015, he had 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Tags: Eric Decker
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Chip Kelly a fit with Jets? 00:00:46
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein debate whether or not Chip Kelly would be a good fit with the Jets on their offensive staff.

The Eagles have denied the Jets' request to interview QB coach John DeFilippo for their offensive coordinator vacancy, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

DeFilippo finished his first season as Eagles QB coach following one year as the Browns' offensive coordinator and three years as the Raiders' QB coach.

DeFilippo worked with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in 2016, as the former No. 2 pick threw for 3,782 yards (most among rookies), 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions (tied for ninth in the league).

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles
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 (William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )
(William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said he was disappointed with the team's 5-11 finish this season, and wouldn't put a timetable on when they would be a perennial contender.

"We're obviously not happy with our record. But I do think we made some progress [with the youth]," Maccagnan told reporters while alluding to players such as OL Brandon Shell and CB Juston Burris. "We have some pieces we feel good about."

Maccagnan said he felt comfortable signing Ryan Fitzpatrick this past offseason, noting that all options -- internal and external -- will be on the table for 2017 at quarterback.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson
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Woody Johnson on keeping Bowles 00:02:36
Jets owner Woody Johnson discusses the Jets' disappointing season, his decision to keep Todd Bowles and the team's future plans.

Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed confidence in head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan while speaking with reporters on Thursday.

"They will get this done, in my opinion," Johnson said about Bowles and Maccagnan.

"I have confidence in Todd Bowles," Johnson added. "I'm still very much in his corner. ...I think he's going to get better. I'm happy to have him and Mike. ...they have a plan to make the team better. They have a way to judge accountability and judge performance."

Johnson said there's no mandate for the Jets to make the playoffs next season, noting that mandates don't work, but added that he's "in the game of winning."

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The Jets worked out Olympic sprinter and projected wide receiver Tre Houston on Thursday, a source told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News.

Houston, who worked out with the Chiefs last week, was also given a physical by the Jets.

The 26-year-old Houston is a native of Bermuda.


 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets have signed former Assumption College long snapper Zach Triner to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

Triner got a tryout with the Houston Texans last spring, but did not make the team.

The Jets brought Triner in for a workout in early December.


Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)
Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)

Latest Update (Jan. 4)

The Jets have signed K Ross Martin to a reserve/future contract for 2017, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Martin connected on four of his six field goal attempts during the preseason. The Jets cut him on Aug. 28.

Previous reports (Jan. 2)

The Jets have signed five players to reserve/future contracts for 2017, the team announced Monday afternoon.

All five players were signed to the team's practice squad in December, while two of them originally signed with New York following the 2016 NFL Draft.

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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)

Former Jets C Kevin Mawae is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, the NFL announced Tuesday night during its Gold Jacket Finalists special on the NFL Network.

After beginning his career in Seattle, Mawae arrived in New York in 1998 and spent the next eight seasons with the Jets. During those eight years, Mawae made six Pro Bowls and was a five-time First Team All-Pro.

The center finished his career in Tennessee, making another two Pro Bowls and being named First Team All-Pro twice more.

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Does Marshall deserve blame? 00:02:37
Daily News Live analyzes the recent remarks made by wide receiver Brandon Marshall about the Jets disappointing 2016 season.

Brandon Marshall made his scheduled appearance on Showtime's Inside the NFL following the conclusion of the Jets' 2016 season on Tuesday night.

Among the topics Marshall addressed were when he first saw the season begin to slip away, experiencing the other side of the New York media, his relationship with Sheldon Richardson and what he learned from this season.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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