Writing and researching these tributes is probably one of the most enjoyable processes connected with writing for this site. However, when faced with the opportunity to honor some of the men responsible for the Jets' Superbowl win over 40 years ago, I do so with an added sense of pride and humility.

Two of the men largely responsible for the success of that team were defensive linemen John Elliott and Gerry Philbin. As with Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer, it seems fitting to induct these two together because of the way they played alongside one another for six years and remained close friends until Elliott sadly passed away last November.

While it was Joe Namath who garned most of the publicity of the time, their defense - anchored by its defensive line - was underrated. Elliott and Philbin, along with Verlon Biggs were referred to as "Great ones" by former defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. Biggs - who was enough of a force that he too might one day be considered for the TJB Hall of Fame - played with Elliott and Philbin for four seasons and had played across from Philbin for two years prior to that.

Between them, Elliott and Philbin played 195 games for the Jets. Other than a year at the end of Philbin's career where he started six games for the Philadelphia Eagles, that comprised their entire AFL/NFL careers.

Let's begin with Philbin, who was a third round draft choice in both the NFL and AFL drafts, but - having attended college in Buffalo, where he was a four year starter - decided to remain closer to home and join the Jets. Winless in the first six games of the Joe Namath era, the Jets rebounded to win five of their last eight and then built on that with a .500 season which ended with a win over the Patriots to deny them a place in the AFL Championship Game.

Over those first few seasons, it was Biggs who had the stronger reputation, being named an AFL All-Star in 1966 and 1967. Although he was named a first-team All-Pro by the NY Daily News and a second teamer by the UPI in 1967, Philbin didn't earn his first All-Star selection until 1968, as his 19 sacks led the AFL and propelled the Jets into the postseason, where they would ultimately win the Superbowl. He was an All-Star again in 1969, as well as being a first team All-Pro for the second straight year.

Philbin was regarded as a fearsome pass rusher, who over the course of his nine-year Jets career, recorded 64.5 sacks. To put that into perspective, Shaun Ellis didn't overtake that number until his tenth season, despite playing in an era where they play two more games per season. Philbin would eventually be named to the AFL All-Time Team.

Despite his reputation as a pass rusher, the role he played in the Jets' Superbowl win was more of a run stopper. Although only credited with two tackles, Philbin held his ground well, even though the Colts kept running right at him. He did make one big play as a pass rusher, pressuring Earl Morrall into a third-down incompletion in the red zone after the Colts' first drive, which ended with a missed field goal.

Although Philbin was no longer considered a Pro Bowler in the seventies, he still possessed playmaking ability, as evidenced by his performance against the Colts in 1972. Philbin had 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a huge tackle for a loss and multiple pressures as he displayed spin moves, relentlessness and great instincts.

Former Jets defensive co-ordinator Buddy Ryan was full of praise for Philbin:

"Gerry was a great one," Buddy said. "He and the Chiefs' Jerry Mays were the two defensive ends on the 10-year American Football League all-time team. The only other Jets on it were Joe Namath and Don Maynard. Gerry should be in the Hall of Fame, but I guess everybody can't be in it."


In fact, if it wasn't for Philbin, Buddy Ryan might never have been hired by the Jets.

"I like to think I had a part in getting Buddy into pro football," Philbin recalled. "We hired him when I was going into my fifth year with the Jets. Weeb Ewbank brought me in and asked me about bringing in this guy from College of the Pacific. He was my old coach from Buffalo. I had nothing but the best to say about Buddy. I said he'd be a great coach in pro football."


Though Buddy's hiring paid immediate dividends for the Jets, it has a wider-reaching impact, which is felt today. Rex and Rob Ryan, Buddy's six-year old sons, who Philbin first saw in their crib when he had dinner at Buddy's house while at Buffalo, would show up to practice and practice tackling each other, much to Weeb Ewbank's amusement. Rex would spend a lot of time hanging around the linemen, with Philbin and Winston Hill apparently being his "favorite" players. Although he didn't know it at the time, these memories had a profound effect upon where he most wanted to coach in the NFL, so perhaps without Philbin, there would have been no Rex Ryan in the Jets' future.

After his career ended, Philbin went through some tough times, almost drowning in 1983 and then, later that year, appearing in court as one of two principal partners of a Sand and Gravel firm in a manslaughter case. However, he rebounded and by 1990 was president of a recycling firm in Long Island. He is often seen at Jets nostalgia events, ceremonies and reunions.

It's no coincidence that Philbin's most productive years coincided with when Elliott was on the team. A gentle man, known to family and friends as "Big John", Elliott displayed outstanding quickness and determination and needed to be accounted for on every play otherwise he was a threat to blow it up.

Elliott was drafted in the seventh round out of Texas and it didn't take long for him to make an impact. He went to the AFL All-Star Game in his second season, as the Jets won the Superbowl, then returned there in the following season. After the Jets joined the NFL in 1970, he was an All-Pro for the third straight year and became the first Jet to play in the Pro Bowl, along with Tackle Winston Hill.

Elliott had 48 sacks in seven seasons as a Jet, including 15 in 1970 as he led the team and was named as the team's MVP. To emphasize how long ago that was, Elliott was rewarded with a $24,000 salary. In 2011, Darrelle Revis will effectively earn $26,042 per MINUTE.

Despite his pass rushing prowess, in the Superbowl win, he too pitched in more in terms of stopping the run, recording four tackles, underscoring the fact that although Philbin and Elliott were playmakers, they were prepared to do things like set the edge or engage blockers if that's what was required of them to win.

He later revealed that the Jets hadn't planned to win the game and, since no parties had been organized, he was back in bed by midnight. The next morning, as the last to leave the hotel, a staff member gave him the trophy, which had almost been left behind. He took it back and presented it to the team, admitting that this was the only time he got his hands on the trophy.

In watching old footage of Elliott, it is clear that - despite his "Big John" moniker - he was undersized as a tackle. However, he overcame this and made himself a force by having an inate ability to read the play and using his terrific quickness to get off blocks and shoot gaps. In a 1970 game against Cleveland, Philbin was out, which meant Elliott had to deal with constant double teams. However, he still was able to get penetration and made it through to the quarterback several times due to his quickness, which was also on display when he pursued a runner out to the sideline or dropped into coverage in the flat.

Elliott is yet another example of a Jets player that is underappreciated by the mass media, but his teammates appreciated his abilities:

"He doesn't get the notoriety he deserves," said Pete Lammons, a teammate to Elliott at UT and with the Jets who lives in Houston. "For a period of time he was as good a defensive tackle as there was in the game, either in the AFL or NFL. We all thought very highly of him."


Sadly, Elliott died of cancer in Houston last November. This article from the official Jets website contains some personal tributes from friends, teammates and family members in the comments section, which underscore what a great person he was.

However, it's together that we choose to recognize these two outstanding players as TJB Hall of Famers. Congratulations to both men.
Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

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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What is the Jets' future? 00:05:55
The DNL panel discusses how Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will move toward their ideal vision for the Jets after a surprising 2017.

Jets owner Christopher Johnson said the progress he saw from the team this season played a part in offering two-year extensions to head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Johnson added that the decision to extend Bowles -- which he made earlier this season -- and Maccagnan was his, and that he didn't run it by his brother, Woody. 

"I did see progress," Johnson said. "I was more than happy to extend both Mike and Todd. ...I like the idea of some stability and going from year to year doesn't seem right."

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Maccagnan on Hack and cap 00:01:32
New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan talks about the future of QB Christian Hackenberg and the team's plans for NFL free agency.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said on Tuesday that he's "excited" about the amount of salary cap space the team has to spend this offseason, suggesting they plan to be very active.

The Jets went 5-11 this year for a second-straight season, but Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles -- who have been overseeing the rebuild -- were rewarded with two-year contract extensions that run through 2020.

However, Maccagnan is not yet setting high expectations for 2018.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets, who finished the season 5-11, will have the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which begins on April 28 at  AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

New York is slated to pick after the Broncos and before the Buccaneers.

The Draft is expected to be quarterback-rich, with Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) among the players who could be available.

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