Kevin Mawae was the catalyst for change at a time when the Jets needed to bury the tortured past and develop a successful, hard-nosed identity for the future. He was nasty, reliable and, because the Seattle Seahawks declined to retain his services, he was available.

The Jets signed Mawae to a five-year, $16.8M contract in February 1998—the highest salary ever awarded to a center at the time. There was no denying then, as there's no denying now, that every dime was money well spent.

In a game enamored with skill positions, Mawae's grace, agility, and startling quickness was a challenge to anyone who ever doubted a lineman's athleticism. His versatility took him from left tackle to right guard before finally settling down at center during his final season with the Seahawks.

He then re-established the center position once he put on his No. 68 jersey for the Jets.

Mawae was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, six with the Jets for every season from 1999 to 2004. He's also an eight-time All-Pro and was selected to the NFL 2000's All-Decade Team.

In 1998, Rich Cimini wrote about then-coach Bill Parcells' recruitment strategy for the mauler who'd become the centerpiece of an effective Jets offense:

After last season, coach Bill Parcells made a shopping list of his biggest off-season needs. The No. 1 priority was to replace Roger Duffy at center. When Parcells recruited Mawae, he pulled the actual list out of a large binder and showed it to Mawae.

Parcells couldn't stomach the thought of another season without an impact center.

"You're held hostage if you don't have a center," Parcells said. "It's the worst feeling. It's like going to the dentist. Not good news."

All eyes are on the quarterback after the snap, but it's the center and his offensive line that set the tone. Parcells knew that better than anyone, and placed his faith in the 6'4", 305-pound military brat.

Ironically enough, all the moving around in Mawae's childhood translated to his style of play on the field. Talented linemen are often called anchors—an analogy that never truly fit with Mawae's active and aggressive approach to blocking.

Hindsight allows us to see Parcells' plan for the Jets more than 13 years ago with vivid clarity today.

CAREERS INTERTWINED

Parcells and the Jets masterfully orchestrated a plan to snatch Curtis Martin away from the rival Patriots. It was Mawae's job to make the coach look brilliant for the transaction.

Martin's legendary career and consistent output is well known and appreciated among fans, but a lot of what Martin did for Gang Green is a credit to the powerhouse center who made it possible in the trenches.

Without triggering a chicken-egg debate, the center and running back simply complemented one another perfectly. They were the ideal partners, tremendous athletes entering their respective primes, on a team that needed them.

Martin and Mawae powered the Jets offense from 1998 to 2005 as the most reliable players in green. Neither missed games until 2005, when injuries staggered their careers and ended streaks for consecutive starts. (Martin started in 119-straight games; Mawae's streak ended at 177.)

Nonetheless, while injuries claimed quarterbacks, free agency lured away receivers, and ineptitude removed coaches, Martin and Mawae were the Jets' cornerstones, working tirelessly to keep the team competitive.

Martin rushed for 1,287 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with the Jets, behind the brawny and brainy offensive line Mawae led. That continued through 2004 when Martin won the NFL rushing title with 1,697 yards behind Mawae and friends.

CENTER-SLASH-FULLBACK

One of the most significant and impressive abilities in Mawae's repertoire was quickness when pulling from the center position down the line of scrimmage. From his snap to the quarterback's handoff, Mawae sealed off edges and smashed linebackers in the mouth before the running back gained yards.

When Mawae was drafted, the concept of a pulling center was considered more of a unique skill, exclusively attributed to Steelers great Dermontti Dawson.

After Mawae left Seattle for the Jets, former teammate and Seahawks standout linebacker Chad Brown doubted Mawae's potential to be in Dawson's class.

"I don't want to take anything away from Kevin, but Dermontti is in a class by himself," Brown said before showering Mawae with praise. "Most teams don't have the athletic ability of a Kevin Mawae, who gets downfield and makes blocks against defensive backs in the secondary. Those guys turns 8-yard runs into 18- or 28-yarders. He is one of the most athletic centers in the league."

No one ever accused Brown of being clairvoyant. Perhaps his assessment of Mawae's ability felt true in 1998; it definitely didn't hold as the end of the story on Mawae's career.

In 2003, Mike Martz told T.J. Quinn of the Daily News that Mawae "does things that no other center in this league can do."

"He can pull on a linebacker that's shaded further to the side than he is and block him, which he shouldn't be able to do," Martz continued.

"He's a freak."

Quinn masterfully explained the genius behind the Jets blocking assignments during Mawae's tenure, and how they managed to confuse defenses at will:

When Mawae pulls, it is generally because the former guard has designated himself as the lead blocker when calling out the blocking scheme to his offensive line. The result is a shift in the balance of the running game, former San Francisco All-Pro center Randy Cross says.

"Instead of having a fullback blocking a linebacker, now you've got a center on a linebacker and your fullback on a corner or safety," Cross says.

Teams react to it, and several defenses the Jets have seen this season - notably the Green Bay Packers - began reacting to Mawae's movement, rather than the guards. Once the linebackers started following Mawae, the Jets were able to counter the other way for big gains.

The center established the offensive rhythm.

BY ANY MEANS

As president of the NFL Player's Association, cameras often captured Mawae in the center of this offseason's nasty labor dispute. He wasn't caught very often when he was a player doing things that earned him an intense reputation.

That's a step below calling him dirty, but a distinction that must be made for a player who "knows how much he can get away with within the rules," according to an anonymous coach speaking with Cimini in 2004.

"Sometimes he goes a little too far," the coach continued.

Early into the 2004 season, Mawae fractured his right hand in a victory against the San Diego Chargers. Then-coach Herm Edwards was mum on the details, but left room for people to speculate on Mawae's status and wonder if his streak of 157-consecutive starts was in jeopardy.

It wasn't.

Mawae returned to the field with his right hand wrapped in a cast and switched to southpaw for his ball-snapping duties. What began as a testament to his ironman toughness evolved into a running joke as analysts and fans questioned the severity of the injury weeks later.

Truthfully, it looked like Mawae was enjoying the club and using it to his advantage at every opportunity.

"The ref came up to me three or four times and said, 'I'm getting complaints,' " Mawae said after a 2004 win against Miami. "I said, 'What do you want me to do?' Don't play against me. Or I'll hide one hand behind my back."

The layers of bandages eventually came off, but Mawae's style never softened. His brand of football has a philosophy; and while he's a friendly, devout Christian off the field, Mawae's pride in his work is what made his career special to football fans.

He's the throwback player to generations ago who'd buckle his chin pad, play through pain, and do everything within his power to walk away knowing he did what was necessary.

"You either play football or you don't," Mawae told the Daily News. "Guys say I cross the line, but I've never seen my name on a list of the dirtiest players. If people take exception to the way I play, I don't care. They don't have to like it, but they'd better be ready for the way I play."

OVER IN A SNAP

To put it gently, the Jets' overall success varied widely during Mawae's tenure.

The 1998 season produced the team's best results with a 12-4 regular-season finish and a heart-breaking end in Denver for the AFC Championship Game.

Injuries devastated the team at various positions for years until Martin and Mawae suffered season-ending injuries in 2005. Martin's knees disallowed him from returning to football; Mawae's torn triceps tendon spelled the end of his career with the Jets. The future Parcells envisioned in 1998 ended.

Even without a championship, the mission was accomplished. Through Mawae, the Jets elevated from the 3-13 and 1-14 disasters of the Rich Kotite era (or error). There were bumps in the road in Mawae's seven seasons with the Jets, but hope always existed behind him. He embodied the team's competitive spirit and helped establish an identity for the Jets that still exists today.

In 2009, Mawae's successor Nick Mangold told The Jets Blog, "He really set up the center position in New York. People really know about it because of Kevin and what he was able to do."

Mangold made a seamless transition into a role Mawae defined and placed his own stamp on it, but that doesn't negate what Mawae meant for the Jets, or how people evaluate an offensive lineman.

"It was difficult coming in and having that kind of a player here before you. You have that hanging over your head," Mangold said. "But I do appreciate Kevin."

We all do.

Tags: Main Page

 (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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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Panthers won 35-27. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Panthers won 35-27. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles addressed his team for the final time this season on Monday, and his message was simple: No excuses. 

"It's just a no-excuse business," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "You win games or you don't. It's not 5-11, but you played a couple of games close. It's not so-and-so got hurt or so-and-so wasn't here. You win in spite of, and that's the only thing I was trying to convey going into the offseason."

The Jets exceeded expectations this year, as many wrote them off to do what the Browns did this season and go 0-16. However, 5-11 was the Jets' actual record, and though it appeared the players liked that outcome, WR Jermaine Kearse says that's not the case. 

Tags: Kelvin Beachum
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Patriots predictably disposed of the Jets effortlessly in the season finale, winning 26-6. From the Jets' perspective, the game was fairly meaningless, and they used it to get another look at some of the players whose future roles with the team are uncertain.

Let's break down the offensive performance from Sunday's game...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Christian Hackenberg, Dakota Dozier, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:13
After finishing the season 5-11, the Jets look forward to improving over the offseason and searching for a franchise quarterback.

The Jets finished the 2017 season with a 5-11 record after Sunday's loss to the Patriots. Here's what's going on Tuesday:

Need to know

The Jets cleaned out their lockers yesterday and will now embark upon the first stages of their offseason plan. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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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)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said the team would be interested in bringing back veteran quarterback Josh McCown for the 2018 season, he told ESPN's Rich Cimini.

"Josh had a great year," Bowles said. "It would be great to have him back. It's business in this league. He has decisions to make, we have decisions to make. Hopefully, they can meet and we'll go from there." 

The 38-year-old McCown went 5-8 in 13 games as the Jets' starting quarterback before he suffered a season-ending hand injury in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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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)

The Oakland Raiders could pursue current Jets offensive coordinator John Morton for the same position if they hire Jon Gruden as their head coach, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Raiders are expected to go after Gruden after they fired Jack Del Rio following a 6-10 season, and he is expected to try to lure Morton, who joined the Jets for the 2017 season, to Oakland.

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