We kick off Hall of Fame week today with the first of our tribute articles. Look out for more over the rest of the week. For the first time ever, we decided to let you choose the first of our TJB Hall of Fame inductees for 2014. The winner, with 30% of the vote, just three votes ahead of Chad Pennington and six votes ahead of Vinny Testaverde was Ken O'Brien.

My first introduction to NFL football was a Jets-Dolphins game in 1986 that just so happened to be one of the finest performances of Ken O'Brien's career. O'Brien out-duelled Dan Marino that day, as me and my Dad - who had been in North America when Joe Namath won the Super Bowl - rooted for the Jets. Who knows where I'd be without that performance?

At the time, I knew nothing of the way Marino's shadow was destined to always hang over O'Brien, following the decision of the Jets to draft him over Marino in 1983. Jets director of player personnel, Mike Hickey, was a man with a reputation for over-thinking picks and trying to hard to outsmart everyone. True to form, he had decided to take the relatively unknown 6-4 kid from a small school in California rather than the golden boy from Pitt who had somehow fallen into the Jets' laps at 24 amidst unsubstantiated rumors of recreational drug use and a poor wonderlic score.

Marino would go to Miami three picks later, with the Jets bearing the brunt of the media's criticism for letting him slip through their fingers. While many other teams had passed on him too - including his hometown Steelers, who needed a replacement for Terry Bradshaw and five other teams who drafted first round quarterbacks - it was the Jets that were the easiest target, especially after O'Brien sat out all of his rookie season and most of year two. With Marino already setting records by that stage, albeit while making the most of being able to join a top team with a Hall of Fame coach, the Jets unsettled quarterback system made missing out on him even worse. The fact he was lighting it up with a divisional rival would add further fuel to the fire.

However, O'Brien would finally get his chance and went on to enjoy a successful career with the Jets, where he currently sits in second place in virtually every passing category (apart from interceptions, where he is third). He would attend two Pro Bowls, lead the league in passer rating and get the Jets into the postseason three times over the course of a Jets career that saw him pass for over 24,000 yards and 124 touchdowns.

While he would play his entire career with Marino's sceptre looming over him, facing off against Marino typically brought out the best in O'Brien, who won more times than he lost (8-7) against Marino with the Jets. That included some of the better performances of his career and - with Marino being one of the most enjoyable opponents to beat in franchise history - that's as good a reason as any to pay tribute to O'Brien today.

While many Jets fans originally thought the Jets had drafted "some hippy from California," O'Brien actually grew up in New York and rooted for the Jets (and Namath) as a child. O'Brien was excited to come to New York, but spent his rookie year warming the bench as the Jets went a disappointing 7-9 in Richard Todd's last season.

In 1984, O'Brien was named as the starter in preseason, but was forced to relinquish the starting job to Pat Ryan after he missed a load of practice time due to a court case that dragged on for three and a half weeks. O'Brien and defensive end Mark Gastineau had been charged with misdemeanor assault following a nightclub incident. O'Brien was acquitted, but Gastineau did end up being found guilty on one of the charges against him, although both players maintained his innocence. In any case, the time wasted on that definitely was a setback in O'Brien's career development.

As the Jets fell out of postseason contention, O'Brien got the chance to start the final five games of the year. In just his second start, he'd end up facing Marino on Monday Night Football, but he handled the big stage well. While Marino's Dolphins won the game this time, 28-17, O'Brien impressed by throwing for 267 yards and a touchdown. He also had six passes, including another potential touchdown, dropped. The following week, he threw for over 350 yards against the Giants and then the week after that he led the Jets back from a 17-7 halftime deficit to beat the Bills 21-17 on Tony Paige's fourth quarter touchdown run. Hopes were high that he could carry this momentum into his first full season as a starter.

In 1985, O'Brien actually exceeded hopes, reaching the Pro Bowl, earning recognition as the AFC Player of the Year and leading the NFL in passer rating. They won 11 games that year - only three teams won more - but unfortunately the Patriots (eventual AFC champions) and Dolphins (12-4 and the only team to beat the Bears all year) were strong too. The Jets split with both during the regular season, but lost to New England in the wild card round. O'Brien was an efficient 13-for-17 with a touchdown pass and an interception, but found himself benched for Ryan in the third quarter as head coach Joe Walton tried to give the team a spark when they fell behind.

That season had some notable performances, not least of which was against the Bucs, where he threw for five touchdowns and the Jets scored a franchise-best 62 points. He also threw a 96-yard touchdown pass to Wesley Walker, another team record, in a win over the Bills and an 88-yarder to the same player in an overtime win over New England. He had also found Walker for the game-winning score in a come-from-behind win over Seattle and led the team to a playoff-berth clinching blowout of the Browns on the last day of the season.

Entering 1986, hopes were high that O'Brien would continue to ascend. Sure enough, that's what happened. With five games to go in the season, the Jets were 10-1, on a nine-game winning streak and had O'Brien looking like a lock for the MVP as he had a rating of 111 with nobody else over 100.

The win streak had commenced with that Jets-Dolphins game, which happens to be the first NFL game I ever saw. I wrote in detail about it here, but the short version is that it was a wacky shootout that saw O'Brien best Marino again with 479 yards and four touchdowns, including one as time expired to send the game to overtime and another to win the game in the extra session. The combined 927 yards for the two quarterbacks was an NFL record until the Packers and Lions broke it in a meaningless late season game (that game where Matt Flynn threw six touchdown passes) in January 2012.

O'Brien also made history in a big win over the Seahawks that November. He threw for 432 yards and four scores, ending up with a perfect QB rating. Nobody has ever thrown for that many yards and had a perfect rating. In fact, until last season when Nick Foles did it, nobody else had gone over 400.

O'Brien wasn't done there though, as the following week he completed 23 of his first 25 passes against the Falcons, including a franchise record 17 in a row, just three short of the NFL record at that time.

The Jets had suffered a scare in week six, with O'Brien's late touchdown to Mickey Shuler being required to earn them a one-point win, but since then had been winning in routine fashion every week, starting with a 22-10 win over the then-unbeaten Broncos, who had been the league's highest scoring team. O'Brien had been unable to start that game due to a sore knee, but ended up coming off the bench to lead the win. The streak extended to nine with a routine 15-point win over the Colts, but -- as the Jets prepared for another meeting with Marino and the Dolphins -- that's where it all started to unravel.

As a rookie Jets fan, here would be my introduction to the "Same Old Jets" mantra. A 45-3 drubbing kick-started a five game slide to culminate the regular season that almost saw the Jets miss the postseason altogether despite their incredible start. Injuries were the main reason for the slide, with O'Brien struggling over the last five weeks as he dealt with the effects of a broken finger.

Ryan would lead the Jets to a win in the wildcard round, but O'Brien would have to relieve him during the divisional round matchup in Cleveland. He played better than he had in any of those last five games and had the Jets in position to win - up 20-10 with four minutes to go. It wasn't to be and the Jets would miss out on a chance to face another quarterback from the vaunted "Class of '83" in the AFC title game: John Elway.

Elway would eventually lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl and, while they would fall short against the Giants, that would still represent the third year in a row that someone from that class would lead their team to the big game. Elway would make it four the following year and, although all four had been losses, this continued to pile pressure on O'Brien. As it turns out, someone from the Class of '83 would be the losing quarterback in nine of the ten Super Bowls from 1984 onward. None of them won one until Elway finally did in 1998 (and again the year after).

1987 began in promising fashion for O'Brien and the Jets as they were 2-0 with O'Brien boasting a quarterback rating of well over 100. Unfortunately, fate intervened with the player's strike taking all the momentum out of the season. The Jets' replacements lost two games and then - thanks to Ryan breaking the picket lines to lead them to an overtime win - edged Miami to move to 3-2 on the year. After 10 games, all five teams in the division were tied at 5-5 and the Jets won their next game, on a blocked field goal return by Rich Miano, to move to 6-5 but lost their last four to drop out of contention again.

1988 ended in similar disappointment, although the Jets did win their last three to end up with a winning record and had some memorable moments, not least of which was O'Brien leading a game winning drive on the final day of the season. O'Brien would hit Al Toon for a last minute score to eliminate the Giants from playoff contention. Two weeks earlier had been another classic Jets-Dolphins shootout. O'Brien hadn't started this one, but when he came off the bench with the Jets down by 10 in the fourth quarter, he found Mickey Shuler and Walker for touchdowns to once again top his old adversary, 38-34.

With 1988 finishing on a high, the Jets were unable to carry that momentum into 1989. They won just four games and then followed that up by winning just six in 1990. At least in 1990 he was able to start all 16 games for the first time since his pro bowl season in 1985. It was also the first time since then that his quarterback rating had improved upon the previous season. While there weren't too many memorable moments over those two seasons, he did once again beat Marino in another forgotten Jets-Miami shootout, throwing a late touchdown pass to Roger Vick to lead the Jets to a wacky 40-33 win. That was the third time the teams had combined for over 750 passing yards and 70 points with the Jets victorious in all three.

In 1991, the Jets returned to the postseason and O'Brien returned to the Pro Bowl, albeit only as an alternate after two players dropped out. Still, they broke the four year playoff drought in memorable fashion as they won a winner-takes-all final game of the season against who else but Marino's Dolphins in Miami. Although it was Johnny Hector's long run that set up the tying score as time expired, O'Brien put the Jets in position to win in overtime with a perfectly floated long pass on which Rob Moore made an over-the-shoulder catch.

In truth, the Jets should already have been in the postseason, but once again proved to be their own worst enemy. They were 7-5 with four games to go, but then lost their next three to set up the showdown in Miami. That was after they had already thrown four games away that they could - and in a couple of cases should - have won. Despite this, the Jets were not exactly dominant, as Pat Leahy won three games with late kicks and the Jets escaped New England with a seven point win on O'Brien's late scoring toss to offensive lineman Trevor Matich.

The Jets would fail to advance in the playoffs, losing 17-10 in Houston where they had come from behind to win earlier in the year. That was another "one that got away" as the Jets twice turned the ball over at the three-yard line in the second half.

That would basically be it for O'Brien as the Jets starter. The Browning Nagle era began in 1992 with a sensational debut (366 yards and two scores in a narrow defeat) but that proved to be a false alarm as he never threw for more than 200 yards in a game again. O'Brien did start three more games that year and even threw for three touchdowns to beat Marino again in his best game of the year.

His departure from the Jets was somewhat undignified, as the Jets traded for Boomer Esiason - the only losing Super Bowl quarterback from 1984 to 1993 that wasn't drafted in the first round in 1983 - and gave him O'Brien's No. 7, announcing that O'Brien would be traded. He was eventually traded to Green Bay, where he was going to be Brett Favre's backup, but never played for them and ended up with the Eagles where he played one more season, starting four times. Since retiring, he has been a real estate investor and still roots for the Jets.

While O'Brien's Jets career seems like a collection of missed opportunities, his talent was undeniable and when he was on-song, he was able to put up some of the best quarterback performances in franchise history. Unfortunately, when the Jets offense was good, their defense let them down and for much of his tenure the offense wasn't good. That's widely acknowledged as being due to the Jets' porous offensive line for much of his time as a Jet, though. As Walton said in 1989, "Pressure makes great quarterbacks look ordinary".

When they were able to protect him, O'Brien was capable of being great. Walton had some high praise for him in 1986, saying "I've been around a lot of tough, smart guys who won even though they couldn't throw the football that well. Billy Kilmer with the Redskins, Fran Tarkenton with the Giants, they didn't have a lot of physical ability, they did it by being tough and smart. But in addition to being tough and smart, Kenny O'Brien can throw the football." That toughness was a common theme too. Check out this quote from the late Dr. James Nicholas, the Jets' orthopedist: "Ken's the toughest guy I've ever seen. Ken's even tougher than Joe Namath because he gets hit more than Joe did."

O'Brien was also underrated as a leader. Marty Lyons claimed the team rallied round him after a Dolphins player criticized him in 1989. Walker recalled to the New York Times how he was disconsolate over a fumble that he had thought was going to cost the Jets the win in that first Dolphins shootout, but O'Brien calmly told him to forget it and ultimately Walker would go on to catch the tying and winning scores.

In terms of statistics, O'Brien is second in franchise history to Namath in terms of yards and touchdown passes and second to Chad Pennington in terms of quarterback rating. He didn't have the propensity to throw a lot of interceptions that usually accompany big passing numbers, either, three times leading the NFL in terms of lowest interception rate. He's also the only quarterback in franchise history to throw for 25 touchdown passes twice and, as noted, holds several other team records.

Looking back on my childhood, football was new and exciting for me and Ken O'Brien was a big part of that. While the team didn't win as much as we'd have liked, sometimes that can have the effect of enhancing the flaws and masking the strengths when we look back upon those days. O'Brien was painfully slow (he never rushed for a touchdown) and had a hard-headed refusal to throw the ball away when pressured, something he acknowledged himself in 1988. However, he threw a beautiful long ball, showed poise, accuracy and intelligence and had the guts and determination to make tough throws under pressure.

Moreover, he was capable of piling up points and, since that time, the Jets offense has never been as exciting as it was when O'Brien was at his peak. As a result, O'Brien brought Jets fans plenty of memorable moments over the years.

I'm pleased to be able to honor O'Brien and welcome him to the TJB Hall of Fame as the first inductee of the Class of 2014. It's nice to finally be able to associate him with a different class as, for once, we can consider O'Brien's merits in his own right.

Note: Information contained in this article was compiled from the New York Times archives. Picture credit: Getty Images, via ESPN.

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) after Enunwa scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 2 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins...

The return of Quincy Enunwa and a better-than-you-think receiving corps

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Chad Hansen is looking to impact the Jets more in his second season, which is why he linked up with his former college quarterback who had great success in his second year.

Rams QB Jared Goff and Hansen played together at Cal, and they both spent time in Southern California working together in preparation for next year. Goff, who had a shaky rookie season, shined in his second year as he led his team to a NFC West division title. 

Hansen wants the same success as his former teammate in his second season, and he thinks he can do so in any role with the Jets. 

Tags: Chad Hansen, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 1 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins, which will be followed by Part 2 on Thursday...

The rise of Sam Darnold

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who comes in at No. 9.

Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley tops the list, which was released by the DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

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Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets have brought in a dizzying number of players. In addition to their six draft picks and several undrafted free agents, the Jets have acquired 24 veterans since the league year began. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

24. PK Nick Rose - Rose was brought in as competition at the placekicker position but was replaced four weeks later before he even got a chance to practice with the team.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We start with a look at the running back position.

Probable roster locks

Anything is possible, but the expectation heading to camp is that Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell will assume the top two spots. Powell is the incumbent veteran and a Todd Bowles favorite, so he's certainly expected to at least begin camp as the No. 1.

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Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Redskins will have joint practices from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 ahead of their preseason game on Aug. 16, and Washington's defense seems to be ready to go after current Jet wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown called out Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with New York after one year with the Redskins, by saying other members of Washington's defense "have it out for him."

"That's going to be something right there," Brown said on "Inside the Locker Room" on Team 980, according to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now ... [head coach] Jay [Gruden] ain't here to protect you anymore."

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Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets S Jamal Adams has never liked to lose, and his father -- former NFL RB George Adams -- gave the perfect anecdote to explain why. 

"As a G.A. Giant, we didnt' lose," George told The Post's Steve Serby as he referenced Jamal's Pop Warner days. "I gave the ball to J., he got the first down, and they came out and measured and then they said, 'No, no, no. We gotta remeasure.' So they didn't give us a first down, so they got the ball and they scored and we lost.

"He cried like a baby. So what I told him, I said, 'That's life. That's football. You're gonna get some people to say one thing and it's another, but the thing is, I'm teaching you how to lose.' And that really just didn't set with him, because he just don't like losing."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Scott Thompson
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Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)
Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)

This offseason, the Jets signed QB Teddy Bridgewater, drafted QB Sam Darnold and re-signed QB Josh McCown. Regardless of who gets to be the starting quarterback, they're going to need someone to throw to. 

WR Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March, certainly believes he can be that guy, after having 'minor' ankle surgery recently.

"Right now I'm healthy and I'm ready to get back to form and have a dominant year," Pryor said...

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General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr., who was just arrested for suspicion of burglary last week, has even bigger problems with the law in his latest arrest. 

Winslow was arrested on Thursday and faces two counts of forcible rap, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure. 

It is unknown whether or not Winslow's arrest last Thursday corresponds to this arrest...

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New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Derrick Jones was considered a bit of a long-term project when the Jets selected him with their final pick in 2017's draft. He's a terrific athletic with excellent size and length, but was considered raw having spent much of his collegiate career as a wide receiver, starting just eight games in total. The Jets carried him on their active roster all year, but he only suited up for three games and didn't get any defensive reps.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Robby Anderson
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A lot will change between mid-June and September 10th, the day of the Jets season opener, but if they were to play that week one game against the Lions tomorrow, Todd Bowles knows who his starting quarterback would be: Josh McCown. 

Bowles also confirmed that Teddy Bridgewater is the current backup, leaving rookie Sam Darnold as the third-string. But all three will have ample time during training camp to change his mind, when "a lot of things count."

"Josh will start come training camp and we will see what happens at the end of training camp," Bowles said after minicamp...

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg visited the Patriots on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Patriots currently have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and rookie seventh-round pick Danny Etling. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots aren't expected to sign Hackenberg, though he remains an option going forward...

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Elijah McGuire the new LT? 00:01:58
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell saying that Elijah McGuire could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson.

Entering his second season in the league, Elijah McGuire is expected to make an impact on the Jets in 2018.

The running back had 377 rushing yards in 2017 but those within the organization see something more in the 24-year-old-- they see one of the best running backs ever: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He has the skillset to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity," Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell said...

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, 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)

If there is one player Jets S Jamal Adams would like to emulate in his career, it would certainly be one of the best to ever play the safety position. 

Former Steelers S Troy Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member, changed how safeties were perceived in the NFL. Polamalu wasn't just a ballhawk as his position was normally asked to do, but he was relentless on the blitz as well as run defense. 

Adams says it was Polamalu's smarts along with his physicality that makes him his role model now that he is in the NFL...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This offseason, Jets WR Robby Anderson has been battling numerous legal issues. He has been arrested twice in nine months, but the Jets have had his back throughout this process. 

That doesn't mean the NFL will. 

Anderson, who has one of his two legal cases still in the works, knows the NFL has the jurisdiction to suspend him for his run-ins with the police...

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Darnold impresses at Jets camp 00:03:04
Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates breaks down the performance of rookie QB Sam Darnold at the team's minicamp on Wednesday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold may be a rookie, but his new team isn't treating him like one. 

The No. 3 overall pick hasn't been eased into his new role with the Jets, but rather, the team is throwing everything they can at him. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said the entire playbook has been thrown his way during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. 

The reason? Bates says that's how you see what Darnold can truly handle.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn't get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players' Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy...

Tags: Josh McCown
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Over the last few weeks, we've been looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Jeremy Clark spent virtually the entire 2017 on the injured list, which was something the Jets must have anticipated when they drafted him. Clark was recovering from a torn ACL when the Jets selected him in the sixth round, presumably on the basis that he'd have gone much sooner had he been healthy. He was unable to practice at training camp and his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year. However, the Jets were able to activate him at the end of the year and he made his NFL debut in the season finale.

Preseason Stats: Did not play.
Regular Season Stats: One game played.
Projected Role: Back-up cornerback.

Tags: Jeremy Clark
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before 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) warms up before 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)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday.

Hackenberg was traded last month for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 -- a pick the Raiders will now get to keep. 

"I was disappointed in not really giving Christian the opportunity to go to camp," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN. "We felt like we needed to add a couple defensive linemen. We ran out of numbers, and that's not good at that position heading into camp."

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Sam Darnold on adjustments 00:00:32
Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold explains the challenges he's facing while making the adjustment to calling plays in the huddle in the NFL.

Jets QB Sam Darnold on Tuesday shed light on the learning curve he has experienced during his transition to the NFL.

"It hasn't been super easy to adjust but it's all the same plays," Darnold said on the first day of the Jets' mandatory minicamp. "It's just getting used to the different terminology... being able to picture the play in my head when it's called makes it easier to call it in the huddle."

Darnold, the Jets' first round pick this year, earned roughly 20 first-team reps, according to Newsday. QB Josh McCown led the pack with around 20 first-team reps, while Teddy Bridgewater also had a handful of first-team snaps.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets QB's throwing deep 00:00:33
See Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown throwing darts to their receivers at New York Jets minicamp on Tuesday.

Check back here for highlights from the Jets' first day of mandatory minicamp...


The first day of the Jets' three-day mandatory minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, and rookie QB Sam Darnold continues to get some reps with the first-team offense. Throughout the day, Darnold bounced around the depth chart by taking most of his reps with the third team to go along with his few throws with the first team. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Last Thursday in San Diego, California, ex-Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a mobile-home park, reports NBC San Diego's Rafael Avitabile.

A burglary call was made at around 2:30 p.m. by a neighbor in the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

According to Winslow's publicist, Denise White, "An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home." Winslow was later arrested and charged with first-degree burglary as well as being held on $50,000 bail. 

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Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)

Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today. 

Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.

He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do. 

Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

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Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Elijah McGuire had what looked like being a breakout performance against the Jaguars in Week 4, when he racked up 131 yards on 12 touches, including a spectacular 69-yard touchdown run. However, that breakout never fully materialized as he struggled to produce much over the rest of the year, other than the occasional flash. Will he be able to earn a more significant role in 2018?

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Wesley Johnson
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Dylan Donahue will be hoping to bounce back after a rookie season that was cut short by injury and an offseason which saw him dealing with off-field issues. The coaching staff has been high on his potential, but he didn't really get much of a chance to deliver on that yet.

Preseason stats: Three games, four tackles, 0.5 sacks
Regular-season stats: Four games, five tackles
Projected role: Situational pass rusher

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

After the Jets missed out on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency this offseason, the team almost had more cap space than they knew what to do with. 

They gave some of that money to QB Teddy Bridgewater, but they handed the most to CB Trumaine Johnson, who inked a big five-year, $73 million contract with the Jets. 

Johnson played for the Rams his entire career but was free to leave this offseason after the team acquired Aqib Talib, Sam Shields and  Marcus Peters. As the top corner on the market, he had options. But he chose to sign with the Jets to win games...

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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