1998 - Bill Clinton tangles with Paula Jones, Disney opens Animal Kingdom, "King of Queens" premieres on TV, There's Something About Mary (and Brett Fav-rey) rules the box office, Britney Spears is steaming up the airwaves with "Baby One More Time," the NBA locks its players out, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chase Roger Maris' home run record and the Jets go 12-4 en route to an appearance in the AFC Championship Game.

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,287 yards and 8 TDs, catches 43 passes for 365 yards and misses 1 game.

1999 - Y2K concerns abound, Columbine High School makes headlines for all the wrong reasons, The Phantom Menace tarnishes the Star Wars legacy, Christina Aguilera lets the genie out of the bottle, Regis asks who wants to be a millionaire, Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away, Connecticut beats Duke for its first NCAA championship, Leon Hess passes away and the Jets go 8-8 with Ray Lucas behind center.

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,464 yards and 5 TDs, catches 45 passes for 259 yards and misses no games.

2000 – The millennium arrives without chaos, Elian Gonzalez returns to Cuba, George W. Bush (eventually) becomes the president, Matchbox Twenty hits No. 1 with “Bent,” Russell Crowe becomes a gladiator, Larry David curbs his enthusiasm (but not for the Jets), Charles M. Schulz and “Peanuts” end within a day of each other, the Mets inexplicably lose to the Yanks in the Subway Series and the Jets go 9-7 in Al Groh's lone season at the helm, missing out on the playoffs despite the Monday Night Miracle.

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,204 yards and 9 TDs, catches 70 passes for 508 yards and misses no games.

2001 – The Twin Towers fall . . . . no odysseys in space, Wikipedia is founded, Apple releases the iPod, Dale Earnhardt Sr. is killed during a crash at the Daytona 500, Mr. Rogers shuts down the neighborhood, the WWF buys out WCW, Alicia Keys falls in and out of love, the first of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy conquers movie theaters, the Arizona Diamondbacks stun Mariano Rivera and the Yanks in the World Series and the Jets go 10-6 in Herm Edwards' first year as coach before losing in the first round of the playoffs against the Oakland Raiders.

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,513 yards and 10 TDs, catches 53 passes for 320 yards and misses no games.

2002 – President Bush creats the Department of Homeland Security, the beltway in Washington D.C. is terrorized by snipers, the Queen Mother dies at 101, Kelly Clarkson becomes the first American Idol, Avril Lavigne is complicated, “The X-Files” finds out the end is out there, Spider-Man swings into theaters, the Mets lose every home game in the month of August and the Jets go 9-7 in Chad Pennington's debut season, sneak into the playoffs on the last Sunday of the season, whip the Colts 41-0 in the Wild Card round before losing to the Raiders (again).

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,094 yards and 7 TDs, catches 49 passes for 362 yards and misses no games.

2003 - The U.S. invades Iraq and quickly declares “Mission Accomplished,” the space shuttle Columbia is lost upon re-entry from space, the Concorde makes its last flight, Johnny and June Carter Cash pass away within four months of each other, Pixar finds Nemo, the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets to win the NBA title, Jose Reyes makes his debut with the Mets and the Jets go 6-10 after Pennington breaks his wrist in the preseason, resulting in Edwards' first losing season.

And Curtis Martin rushes for 1,308 yards and 2 TDs, catches 42 passes for 262 yards and misses no games.

2004 - George W. Bush is somehow re-elected president, the last Oldsmobile rolls off the line, Ronald Reagan passes away, a giant tsunami devastates southeast Asia, “Friends” says goodbye, Lance Armstrong wins his sixth straight Tour de France, the Yanks have the greatest collapse in the history of MLB playoffs allowing the Red Sox to break The Curse of the Bambino and the Jets go 10-6 as they find their way back into the playoffs, beat San Diego on an overtime kick and then play to lose against the Pittsburgh Steelers after two Doug Brien misses.

And Curtis Martin rushes for NFL-leading 1,697 yards and 12 TDs, catches 41 passes for 245 yards and misses no games.

2005 - After 10 terrific seasons in the NFL, time and injury finally catch up to the steady and dependable Martin, and he is forced to the sidelines after only a dozen games and 735 yards . . .

When Jets fans hear the name “Curtis Martin” a lot of accolades come to mind: “consistent greatness,” “a warrior,” “classy and humble,” “a true professional,” “selfless teammate,” “lead by example,” “hardworking,” “dedicated,” “loyal,” and of course, “future Hall-of-Famer.” Well, the future is now as Martin becomes a member of the TJB Hall of Fame.

When Bill Parcells left the New England Patriots for the New York Jets following the 1996 season, one of the first things he regretted was not be able to bring along prized young running back -- and why not? Not only did Martin win offensive rookie of the year and go to a pair of Pro Bowls, he had also strung together three 1,000-yard seasons during his time in New England (which you can add to the years above).

As soon as Martin reached his 4th year in 1998 -- and restricted free agency -- Parcells wasted no time in signing him to a six-year, $36 million deal, and happily gave up a first- and third-round draft pick to land Martin. In retrospect, it's the greatest free agent signing in the history of Jets football. And it's when the true greatness of Curtis Martin began (as far as Jets fans are concerned).

Anything positive you can say about a football player -- or about a human being, for that matter -- can pretty much be attribued to Martin. I know we often say children should look to their parents as role models, but I think if there’s one NFL player that it would be more-than-acceptable to emulate, Martin would be that player.

Born in a tough neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA, Martin was witness to more than one misfortune, including discovering his murdered grandmother and having a childhood friend killed in front of him. He often says he never expected to see 21, and credits football and his strong faith for putting him on a path to survival and success. He’s also claimed that although he enjoyed his time in the NFL, his real goals didn’t include attaining records or amassing personal wealth — he wanted to use football a way to reach out and help others, which he has done, not only by establishing his own charitable organization, but by also donating his money and time to other numerous charities.

But all that wouldn’t be possible if he hadn’t been so consistently great on the field of play.

Having had the great fortune of seeing every game he played for the Jets, it’s hard to come up with one defining play or game — which is a testament to his entire career. (Although I really enjoyed his memorable 174-yard effort in 2003 against the Steelers in the snow.) Very few times did he break off long runs, but I can’t count how many times he just took the ball, made a quick cut at the line, slipped past a few defenders, made another cut before being brought down — and then the referees would have to move the chains. Never flashy, never boastful, never screaming “look at me,” he carried himself as the truly great ones always do — with confidence, with humility and with grace. Even when his career came to a premature end, he quietly worked hard to try and return, and when he realized he couldn’t, he retired with little fanfare (or second thoughts).

Cinderella (the hair band) famously sang, “You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone,” but Jets fans have always known — and appreciated — what they had in Curtis Martin. And it was only after he was gone (leaving a tremendous void both on and off the field), that the NFL realized what Martin had accomplished.

He is 4th all-time with 14,101 rushing yards, 12th all-time in rushing TDs with 90, 10th all-time in all-purpose with 17,430 yards. He is also 3rd in the history of the NFL in touches with 4,002, only behind Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith, and had 8 seasons with over 300 carries, which is tied for 2nd all-time. He made All-Pro five times and five Pro Bowls. And he is only one of two players (the other is Barry Sanders) to start his career with 10 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

Curtis Martin is the all-time Jets leader in almost every rushing category, including yards (10,302), touchdowns (58) and yards per game (83.8). He started in a mind-boggling 119 consecutive games as a running back. He also was a flawless as a passer, going 2 for 2 with 2 TDs and a perfect 158.3 passer rating -- including one of my all-time favorite plays, the pass to Wayne Chrebet against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

During his tenure with the Jets, Martin was voted MVP four times, and showered with numerous awards for outstanding character, leadership, service and inspiration, both on and off the field. Upon his retirement, he said, "Retirement is not an end, but a beginning." I have no doubt that as the years go on, Martin will only make Jets fans more proud to say that he played for our team.

As Eric Mangini said upon Martin's retirement: "If you are looking for a hero, you don't have to look any further than Curtis Martin."

Tags: Main Page, Adam Rotter

Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Since the turn of the century, the Jets have had 15 quarterbacks start an NFL game for them. The good, the bad and the ugly: can you name them all?

Between the quarterbacks, the Jets have had moderate success. A pair of AFC Championship games, but not without its share of disappointment, led by the men under center. 

The walk down memory lane will spark some memories and names. Over the timeframe, the Jets have had five head coaches: Bill Parcells, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and, currently, Todd Bowles.

Test your recent Jets knowledge below with the quiz...

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Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

In ESPN Mel Kiper's first mock draft, the Jets select Alabam CB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Fitzpatrick is widely considered the best cornerback among this year's prospects, and Kiper even views him as the best secondary man who can also play safety. The Jets already have two stout safeties in rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye this season, but adding another dynamic player to the bunch would only enhance an already young defense that is on the verge of breaking out. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: While he had a versatile role at Alabama, with plenty of reps as a slot corner or as a linebacker in dime packages, the majority of Fitzpatrick's reps were at the safety position. He has played some cornerback in the past, but it's difficult to project whether he'd be able to step in on the outside and start from day-one.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

John Morton is out as the Jets' offensive coordinator due to irreconcilable differences of philosophy with Todd Bowles and a loss of too much faith from his players. The Jets players -- and Bowles -- clearly believed their offense should've been a lot better than it was.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were expected to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season - maybe one of the worst in NFL history. But under first-year offensive coordinator John Morton they did more offensively than anyone imagined.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Jets rookie S Jamal Adams was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team for the 2017 season. 

The Jets' 2017 first-rounder had a stellar rookie campaign, posting 83 combined tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and six passes defended. He did, however, fail to secure his first career interception this year. 

An LSU product, Adams thought he should have made the Pro Bowl this season, but vowed he would make it every season from here on out...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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The Jets and Doug Marrone 00:04:06
On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him.

On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him. 


New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

For well over a year now, the Jets' top priority has been clear: They must find a solution to be their franchise quarterback. After all, it's common knowledge that all the best teams are the ones with settled situations at the quarterback position.

This weekend, however, that narrative was flipped on its head. Matt Ryan lost to Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger got beaten by Blake Bortles and then, in dramatic fashion, Case Keenum beat Drew Brees. In all three cases, the team with the established signal-caller was upended by a team led by a relative novice.

They say defense wins championships, and three of the four teams left standing represent the NFL's best defenses. The one exception is in New England, where the Patriots are headed to yet another AFC championship game in spite of a defense that ranks in the bottom five. Even their win this week saw Tom Brady - the ultimate argument against needing a high pick to find your franchise quarterback - leading his team past a former top-two pick in Marcus Mariota.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The average ticket price for a Jets game is going down.

And for some, the lower price could be available for the 2019 season, too.

More than half of MetLife Stadium's ticket prices will decrease, with the rest of the building remaining flat. No prices will increase for 2018, when the Jets have the Packers, Vikings and Broncos among visiting teams. For fans who meet the renewal deadline of March 1 and enroll in an automatic payment plan, the team will give a price freeze for 2019, when the Steelers, Cowboys and Giants will be visitors for the Jets.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

Standing at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, Allen's arm strength backs up his height and weight. He is also good with his feet as his stature doesn't hinder his mobility. 

Josh McCown may have had a career year with the Jets, but he isn't the long term solution, and neither is Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg hasn't gotten a shot yet, but the Jets clearly don't see him as NFL ready. Allen could jump into the quarterback race this offseason, and come out on top ready for Week 1. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

This Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl II victory over the Balitmore Colts, 16-7, in Miami. 

That championship still stands as the franchise's only Super Bowl win, and the last time the team has made it to the title game. 

"Broadway" Joe Namath led the Jets in the Orange Bowl, and helped New York become the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl. 

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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

The Jets and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will continue contract negotiations after the 25-year-old tight end reportedly rejected a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Seferian-Jenkins said he hopes he and New York could reach a deal before he hits free agency and would "absolutely" want to return.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

The Jets will reportedly be interested in quarterback Kirk Cousins when free agency begins in March, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Cousins, 29, is expected to be a hot commodity in the offseason assuming the Washington Redskins don't franchise tag him for a third straight year. 

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Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets signed RB Jeremy Langford to a reserve/future contract, the club announced Wednesday.

Langford, 26, was the Bears' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University. He appeared in 28 games -- five starts -- in his two seasons with Chicago, rushing for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

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 (Jay Biggerstaff)
(Jay Biggerstaff)

Last week, we discussed the possibility of the Jets targeting Kirk Cousins if he hits the open market.

However, the various pros and cons connected with such a move would become moot if Cousins doesn't hit the open market. A less-attractive alternative more likely to be available is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Could he be someone the Jets are monitoring?

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New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton will remain with the team amid speculation that he was being considered for the Raiders' offensive coordinator job. 

 

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Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)
Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)

Jets CB Rashard Robinson was arrested in December after police found him in possession of edible marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With the offseason ahead, one position on which some people may be divided is the Jets' receiving corps. Do the Jets need to upgrade, merely add some depth or are they essentially set at the position?

During the offseason last year, the Jets' receiving corps was ranked as the worst in the NFL - and this was before Eric Decker was released and Quincy Enunwa and Quinton Patton suffered season-ending injuries.

However, once the season got underway, the Jets fared better than expected in the passing game, making it difficult to know how they'll approach this position with so many other needs.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Chad Hansen, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had his career revitalized this season, which is why he wants to stay with the team that gave him his second chance. 

The Jets took a shot on Seferian-Jenkins, who was caught up in off-the-field drama before he joined the team. He repayed them with his best year in the NFL, and he wants to continue being an asset in their offensive scheme. He is currently a restricted free agent with the Jets being the only team allowed to negotiate his terms. 

Seferian-Jenkins is hoping he gets a deal done with the Jets, and doesn't have to start contacting other teams.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

In The Post's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming's Josh Allen with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The Jets have yet to see Christian Hackenberg on the field, and Bryce Petty wasn't the answer after Josh McCown went down with a season-ending injury. In turn, the Jets take Allen -- a 6-foot-5, 233 pounder who can let it fly. For his size, Allen is extremely mobile as well.

Allen didn't have the best of seasons with the Cowboys as he battled injuries. He finished with just 1,812 yards, a 56.3 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. But in his sophomore season, Allen totaled 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Allen would be another quarterback to add to the Jets' competition this offseason. The Jets have not made it clear whether or not McCown will return for another season in Green and White, which is why Allen enters the mix to vie for the starting role. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for the final episode of the season as the guys welcome WFAN radio personality and huge Jets fan Joe Benigno to the show for his take on the 2017 Jets. It gets heated as Colon and Benigno debate the warrants of Todd Bowles' coaching ability, and if he deserved to be retained after another losing season.

Click below to listen

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Plenty of attention this year has been on the Jets positioning themselves to potentially select their quarterback of the future in the draft. With the sixth pick in hand and the consensus top five QB prospects all having thrown their name into the hat for April's draft, they seem to be well-placed to make this happen. However, could another viable option soon become available?

It's rare for a top quarterback to hit the open market, but it's not impossible that it could happen with Kirk Cousins. Washington currently controls his rights, but they'll have to decide whether to franchise him again, sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market.

While the latter of those options might seem the least likely for a player who was third in the league in passing yards in 2016, his numbers regressed this year and the team ended up with a losing record. So far, in three years as a full-time starter, Cousins has started just one postseason game -- a 17-point loss to the Packers 12 months ago...

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty prepares to take the snap against the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty said he hopes he returns to New York during the offseason despite the odds he wouldn't be the starting quarterback in 2018.

"I try not to put too much thought into things that I can't control," Petty said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "Hopefully it's here. I want to be here. But if it's not, that's okay too. It's a business. Everybody understands that."

Petty, who went 0-3 in the final three games of the season as Josh McCown's replacement, will be entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and would have a cap hit of $843,425 next season. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Eighteen years ago today, January 4, Bill Belichick resigned from his one day stint as head coach of the Jets. Before January closed that year, Belichick took the head coaching job with the Patriots. There still has been no resignation, nor firing, from that job. 

Belichick and the Patriots have been the NFL's pillar of excellence in his tenure in New England. Belichick and Tom Brady, taken in Belichick's first draft a few months later, have won five Super Bowls together and appeared in seven. 

The Jets, meanwhile, have two AFC Championship appearances to point to in that time span. 

Oh, what could have been. 

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Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)
Sep 23, 2017; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles cornerback Derwin James (3) reacts during the second half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Vastola)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Now that the season is over, the Jets find themselves in a familiar spot with the opportunity to add a difference-maker in the draft. With the standings finalized, the Jets now know that they'll be picking sixth for the third time in the last four years as general manager Mike Maccagnan has been presented with a golden opportunity to find some cornerstone pieces to build a young nucleus.

Priority number one remains the same: The team must find a franchise quarterback. This year's class initially looked like a strong one with USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Josh Allen of Wyoming headlining the class. Over the course of the season, though, apparent weaknesses for each of the top three prospects' were laid bare. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:01
SNY's Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss how he intends to approach free agency in the offseason.

Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

Quarterbacks Josh Rosen of UCLA and Sam Darnold of USC declared themselves eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

The duo are considered the two best collegiate QBs in the draft and are expected to be the first two quarterbacks taken, perhaps with the top two picks by the Cleveland Browns and Giants, who draft 1-2.

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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)

Although the NFL Draft is still more than three months away, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has already begun contemplating what he'll do on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That may include moving up from the Jets' current spot of No. 6 overall.

"Yeah, I would say it would actually pertain to any player you felt extremely strong about, too," Maccagnan said on ESPN Radio Wednesday. "But we've moved back a little bit in the draft and there have been situations I've tried to move up in the draft. But I would say the simple answer to that question is 'yes' and if that was a player we felt very strongly about, we would have no qualms about potentially trying to go and get him."

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The end-of-season press conferences earlier this week predictably contained a lot of platitudes about Christian Hackenberg. A common refrain was that the book on Hackenberg is not closed and that the team still considers him to have shown improvement toward realizing his potential.

There is understandable skepticism as to whether the Jets still believe Hackenberg has a future, with some believing the team is reluctant to admit they made a mistake when they drafted the 22-year old with the 50th overall pick two years ago. Jets fans are even more skeptical, with Hackenberg seen as an object of ridicule in some circles...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:13
Jeane Coakley chats with Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who discusses how pleased he was with the team during his first season as owner.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson, who is running the team while his brother, Woody, is serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, spoke with SNY on Tuesday about his first year at the helm. 

"This is -- and I didn't realize this going in -- this is the best job in the world," Johnson said. "It's be the most extraordinary stretch of my life."

Johnson said it was his decision alone to extend the contracts of head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan, who are now under contract through 2020.

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 (Tommy Gilligan)
(Tommy Gilligan)

The Jets will select SMU WR Courtland Sutton with the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, predicts the Sporting News in their first Mock Draft of 2018.

The Mock, by Eric Galko, has the Broncos selecting Washington DT Vita Vea with the No. 5 pick, and the Bucs taking NC State DE Bradley Chubb with the No. 7 pick.

"The Jets are in play for Baker Mayfield and are one of the teams that could covet Lamar Jackson early in the draft," Galko writes. "But outside of quarterback, they need to upgrade at receiver. Adding Sutton to pair with Robby Anderson should make for an easier job for Josh McCown and/or their quarterback of the future."

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