New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, 12.3

Opening Statement…

First off, I thought the game, I know it’s been described as ugly and all that stuff but any time you are one point better than the opponent or 30 points better, it’s a beautiful game.  I thought that was a beautiful game. Obviously, anytime you find a way to get a win. I thought the defense was, that’s about as good as we’ve played in a long, long time. Statistically, they had that 40-yard fake punt, I don’t know what that would’ve given them had we had prevented that, but it was really a great game on defense. The 0-15 on third down obviously was huge for us. We’ve been struggling at getting off the field on third down and we came up big.

But the play on the backend in particular, guys like Ellis Lankster and  Kyle Wilson had a big game. (Antonio) Cromartie, the type of game he had, Larry Fitzgerald’s about as good a receiver as there is in this league and he gives up one catch for 23 yards and he just continues to play at a super Pro Bowl level and, obviously, I know the voting for that but they shouldn’t even have one if that kid doesn’t get in there. Muhammad Wilkerson’s still, that’s another guy that just keeps continuing to make plays. (I’m) really happy with the defense in particular. And then on offense, two guys that don’t get a whole lot of attention I think, Jason Smith, I thought had his best game. I thought he did a tremendous job playing that big tight end for us. I thought he had a tremendous game, (and) did a great job of finishing those blocks. Then, Austin Howard, he just keeps getting better and better and I thought he had a super game. Brandon (Moore), you expect that from him as a Pro Bowl player and things but he was tremendous as well.  One other guy too, Robert Malone, I think when you look at the game that he had. You’re going against one of the premier punt returners in the game (Patrick Peterson) and our thing was look, just kick it out of bounds. Whatever you do, just kick it out of bounds. Finally Peterson got so frustrated, he fielded that ball on the two-yard line (and) made us all hold our breath.  I thought the game (Malone) had was absolutely tremendous and I think, without question, he’ll be getting the game ball for his efforts.

On who the starting quarterback will be on Sunday…

Well, I think right now, I definitely need a little more time to make that decision. I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks.  I think all three guys, well now have proven they can win in this league, with Greg (McElroy) at the end of the game and obviously, Mark’s (Sanchez) history here and the way Tim (Tebow) has played. So, I’ve got three guys I’m confident in but I’ll make that decision as the week goes on.

On whether Tebow could be the starter…

I’m just saying this, I think when you look at Tim, he is a proven winning quarterback in this league. Each game’s different, I think when you look at who you play, the opponent you’re playing and things like that, you make decisions on what gives you the best (chance to win). I make decisions on what gives us the best chance to be successful to win. And really this week, obviously, is going to be about competing and beating Jacksonville and that’s what will go into all decisions.

On whether Tebow has a chance to be the starter…

You can put him in there, you can put whoever in there. Tim, we’ll have to monitor his situation as the week goes on. He was cleared to play, but it was my decision that (he didn’t). I never felt that he could (play), I just never thought that he was where I think he should be. He might be able to play, but I don’t think he’s near 100 percent and I think I just wasn’t comfortable. Quite honestly, I let Tim talk me into activating him the week before and I think that was something I regretted and I wasn’t going to let him talk his way into it this time. That’s basically what happened.

On whether he’s not sharing his decision for competitive reasons…

Right now, I haven’t made that decision. But again, obviously, that could be a thing that I’ll consider as the week goes on. But right now, I’m not ready to say that. I want to make sure that I talk to Tony (Sparano), Matt (Cavanaugh), everybody and make sure that I get a sense of what will be the right decision. I know nothing about Jacksonville. I haven’t watched one film on Jacksonville as far as their defense is concerned. There are a lot of things that go into every decision you make, even how we’re going to play Kyle Wilson. Is Kyle going to play corner or is he going to play the nickel? Those are decisions you make based on opponent specifics.

On how he’d describe his quarterback situation…

Well, I have three good quarterbacks and I feel good about (all) three quarterbacks. I think we’re in a lot better situation than probably a lot of teams.

On what McElroy provided that in a game that was “ugly” by the media’s standards…

Beautiful by mine, clearly. I just thought at the time, it was the right move that sometimes you have better days than others and it’s just something I felt needed to be done and gave our team the best opportunity to win. That’s what it’s always about and that’s why I made that move.

On whether he has confidence in McElroy playing on the road…

I think he’s played and all these guys have played in big games. It’s not (something new). He’s not foreign to big games, he’s won a National Championship, Tim has won a National Championship, (he’s) been a quarterback, Mark’s obviously played in big games before. We’re fortunate to have guys that are tested that way.

On how he will divide practice reps for the quarterbacks…

As the week goes on and the days go on, I’ll make that decision and we’ll make that decision as a staff.

On why Coach Sparano told Sanchez that McElroy was going in…

Tony went over, I told Greg (and) I told Tony. And he just grabbed him (Sanchez) and clearly, I would’ve, but we were playing defense, right away, we were up on defense. I saw Tony had grabbed Mark (and), obviously, I was going to find my way to tell Mark myself, but I wasn’t going to go grab him and let him know. Tony already did it. So when he asked, when I stepped back, I reached over I told Greg, I told Tony, Tony went to (Sanchez) and then I saw (Sparano) with (Sanchez) and then I was over on defense. The message was clearly delivered, he (Sanchez) knew exactly where it was coming from. I made that decision. I made sure that Tony knew that that was my decision. He went and told Mark. I saw (Sparano) there. I wasn’t going to go over and pile on him. I’m trying to get focused on the defense.

On if he has made up his mind of who will be the starting quarterback…

I just want to make sure that I get all of the facts and everything else. It’s a big decision. Obviously, the decision, I think, has to be made in what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if the decision is open for discussion among the staff…

I want it to be an open discussion, so I don’t want to say there is definitely a way I am leaning. I want to make sure that everybody knows that it’s an open discussion. I want honest feedback.

On if practice has anything to do with who will be the starter…

We’ll see.

On it sounding like he has decided to make Sanchez the starter this week…

It sounds like you’ve already made your opinion. But again, I haven’t. To me, it’s a decision that you make based on the moment, on who gives you the best opportunity to win that particular game. I have more time. I will make what I think is the appropriate decision on who gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if Tebow would have replaced Sanchez if he was active yesterday…

Again, I really don’t want to get into the “what ifs” and all that stuff because each situation is different. I just felt like I’ve never really pulled Mark before in a game, but I just felt that for our team, the best move was that we were going to make a change. I thought that was going to give us (the best chance of winning). Sometimes, if you step back and look at things, obviously the quarterback position is different than any other position that’s why I’m slower to make that move. I’ve benched a lot of great players as a coach, a lot of great ones, on defense in particular. I just felt like I needed to make that change.

On comparing the short and long term when making his decision…

I just have to focus on (my job). My job is to win games and I’m going to focus on what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On his conversation with Sanchez in the locker room after the game…

I think anybody that goes through that, when it’s a decision that I personally made to put a guy down, I think you have a little more time to explain why (and) I thought I needed to do that, so that’s what I did. Obviously, nobody wants to be pulled from anything. Mark and everyone else I’ve ever put in a situation like that always believe that they would give us the best opportunity to win. I think that’s why they’re so competitive. That’s just the nature of the man that’s playing, so I understand that. Anyways, it was a conversation I thought I needed to have.

On if the fans will impact his decision…

There will be no impact that way.

On why he made the quarterback change…

I just thought at that particular time, in that game, that I needed to make a change. I just felt it. We were fortunate that we ended up finding a way to win the game, but that was the reason.

On if he would have felt comfortable replacing Sanchez if Tebow was active…

Again, I don’t want to get into the what-if’s and all that stuff. The fact is that Greg was the guy that was active. I thought the decision was in the best interest (of) the team. That’s why I made that decision.

On if yesterday was the final “wake-up call” for Sanchez…

Mark Sanchez (has) won a lot of football games for this franchise, has won some big games for us, has produced a lot of big wins for us and has been a good player for us. ‘Final wake-up call?’ I don’t know about that.

On making a run at the playoffs…

It’s just about finding a way to beat Jacksonville. That’s where it is. We’re a sub-.500 team, so we’re just trying to scratch and claw our way back into it. Obviously, you want to be playing at the end of the year for an opportunity to get in (the playoffs). It’s hard to get in the playoffs, but you want to fight like crazy to get in there if you can.

On making tough decisions as a coach…

There are a lot of decisions you make as a coach that are tough decisions. A lot of times, they’re easy decisions if you always put the three priorities first: the team, the team and the team. When you do that, the decision is sometimes easier. But as a head coach, there are a lot of tough decisions. You have to take personal feelings outside of it because it’s bigger than just me, this person or that person.

On McElroy…

I think with Greg, you see every day the improvements that he makes, albeit running the scout team. This is a smart guy. He grew up under Nick Saban, who’s a great coach, obviously. He’s had a lot of advantages even going (back) to his high school (Southlake Carroll) in Texas. You talk about big games, the National Championship Game probably pales in comparison to the State Championship Game he quarterbacked in. He’s grown up that way. I’m sure he’s comfortable with any situation he’s in.

On Dustin Keller and Joe McKnight’s injuries…

Dustin’s (injury) doesn’t look like a high ankle sprain, (so) that’s good. We’ll know about him later. He has some swelling there. Joe McKnight’s ribs (tested) negative as far as (being) broken, so that’s good. We’ll know more about the other guys as the week goes on.

On Bilal Powell getting the early carries instead of Greene…

Both guys got a lot of carries. I think (Shonn) might have had (24) attempts, so that was just something we decided to do.

On if he will consult other NFL coaches he trusts about making the quarterback decision…

It’s certainly a possibility, but I think I’ll just lean on the guys in here. The decision will be made based on our situation, our football team and what ultimately I feel will give us the best chance to win.

On if he will decided the starting quarterback by Tuesday night…

I’m not going to get into it 100 percent, but that would be my initial thought.

New York QB Greg McElroy, 12.3

On what the day after the game feels like…

Just a normal Monday, honestly. Woke up, got a great breakfast here at the facility, got a work out in, now I’m just watching the film of the game. Just a standard Monday, wouldn’t have it any other way.

On what he saw on film…

Well, actually I’ve watched it briefly, I just (watched it quickly), but I was about to break it down and take notes on it.  Obviously, (I have) a lot of stuff to learn.  But it was a good experience for me and I was actually happy with the way things looked at first glance.

On if there’s any indication to whether he’ll start on Sunday…

No, no indication. (There’s) no information at this point obviously. That’s going to come, I assume, in the next few days. I know Coach Ryan and Coach Sparano and everybody involved, they’re going to make the decision that’s best for the team. I think we all feel comfortable with their decision and we all are looking forward to what the decision may be.

On whether they have a quarterback meeting today…

No, it’s a victory Monday so it’s basically an off day. It’s one of those things that’s voluntary but you can’t go a day without coming up to this place. For some reason, I have a hard time getting away from the facility. So I had to be here, I saw Tim (Tebow and) I saw Mark (Sanchez) and I think most of the guys on the team will be around the facility at some point today.

On whether Coach Cavanaugh or Coach Ryan has said they’ll have a decision by Wednesday…

No, I haven’t really visited with those guys. It’s just one thing that I’m sure they’ll let us know and it will obviously be in the best interest of the football team.

On how it’s been talking to Tebow and Sanchez not knowing who will be starting on Sunday…

It’s not worth worrying about. It doesn’t change our relationship (and) it doesn’t change how supportive we are of one another. Whoever’s on the field, I know the other two guys will be pushing for that person and supporting him every step of the way and that’s been the case up to this point and I wouldn’t expect that to change.

On Brandon Moore’s comments that he was borderline cocky in the huddle…

(Laughing) I don’t know. That thing, confident, bordering on cocky, I would like to think its leaning a little bit more towards confident. (Laughter) But yeah, one thing I’ve always tried to approach this game with is you just never let them see you sweat. And that includes the players in your huddle, the players in the opposite huddle, the players on the opposite sideline, on your sideline, never let them see you sweat. Regardless of the situation, always stay with an even keel, always have a positive mindset and good things will happen and that’s been the case up to this point.

On whether anyone reached out and congratulated him…

One or two. One or two hundred that is. (laughing) A lot of people are very, very supportive and people that have just always been in my corner and I have a tremendous support group and I am very, very thankful and grateful for those people. A lot of people were able to reach out and tell me congrats and tell me that they were happy for me and it was really great. It was an experience I really appreciate. A lot of people were able to reach out and (get in) touch (with) me and all those things, I appreciated that.

On what it’s like going from a third-string quarterback to possibly the starter…

It doesn’t change any approach at all obviously. (When) you love this game, (when) you play this game a long time, you’re always going to approach it the same way.  Whether I was in high school as a backup, whether in college you’re a backup or a starter, and especially at this level, you just approach it the same it doesn’t change anything. Whether you’re a third-string quarterback, second-string quarterback, starter, you always have to prepare the same because you never know when your opportunity’s going to come.  I think you have to take every opportunity that you possibly have and you try to make the most of it and when that opportunity’s there you better be prepared because you don’t know when you’re going to get another one.

On whether he had damage control after his comments at the end of last season…

I reached out to a lot of players as soon as everything happened and just apologized. (I reached out to) a lot of the veteran guys and just apologized and just tried to explain what the situation was and how things happened. A lot of guys were upset and rightfully so. I completely understand that and that’s one thing I did have to own up to it and I had to do a little bit of damage control for sure. Those guys are understanding and Rex (Coach Ryan) made a point that, “Hey, last season’s in the past and rip off the rear view mirror and let’s go forward.”  To everyone it really wasn’t an issue at that point. Just don’t worry about it, don’t do it again. I think Wayne Hunter actually said it best, “Rookie mistake, don’t do it again.” I think that was the best advice. That’s the way a lot of them handled it.

On whether he thought he was going to get cut after his comments at the end of last season...

You don’t worry about those situations. That’s kind of a hypothetical so it’s not something that I worry about. Obviously, it’s always a possibility it doesn’t matter what the situation is. We play a game for a living and it’s not the most stable career, I’ll be honest. But at any point you don’t know when your number might be called so it’s always a possibility but I wouldn’t say that that one particular incident really changed my view on that. You always have to be on edge and you always have to be prepared for a possible situation like that.

On whether he breaks down film with Tebow and Sanchez…

Every game (gets broken down), regardless of who’s on the field. I always come in and I watch it and I grade it. It’s just a plus-minus (grade). I usually do a footwork grade, I do a passing grade, and a running grade and a position grade. So, just pluses and minuses across the board. I’ve done that because I chart the plays, as of when I was on the sideline in the past 11 games, I was always charting the plays and writing down what the coverage was. I’d go back and grade Mark and I’d grade myself on how I did with the coverages. I think I’m a little bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to the grading. It’s something I love. I love this game and I love studying it and its part of the reason why I just have a tremendous passion for this game.

On the case for him to be the starter…

You don’t need to make a case, obviously. There’s no case being made obviously. Coach Ryan will make a decision and he’ll do what’s best for this football team. He’s a tremendous coach, he has a tremendous vision and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish. Coach Ryan is the man to make that decision, so there’s no case needed to be made for (any) of us. It’s just going to be Rex’s decision and we’ll deal with it when he decides.

New York Jets DE Mike DeVito, 12.3

On who should play quarterback on Sunday…

That decision is above my pay grade. I couldn’t even tell you. I trust all three of those guys. I’m grateful that we have all three of those guys on our team and I know the coaches will make a really informed and smart decision for the benefit of the team. I trust in that and all I can do is worry about what I’m doing on defense.

On if the situation at quarterback could divide the locker room…

I think in most locker rooms it could do that, but not in this locker room. We put a real (emphasis) this offseason on building a really tight-knit group, a team that cares about each other (and) a team that really bonds together as a family. We’ll face this just like every other situation, as a family. It definitely won’t divide this group of guys. Last year, I might have had a different answer for you, but this year I have no doubt that this team is going to stick together.

On Greg McElroy…

(He is) just a really smart quarterback. He’s not always put in the most favorable positions running (the) scout team, but just his ability to set the right protections and find the open man against our defense, we see it week-in-and-week-out. He’s a special quarterback and a guy that can get the job done. He faces one of the most complex defenses in the NFL each week, so he knows how to play NFL football.

On the strong defensive performance…

It was so needed. We really needed that. That’s the defense that we’ve seen all (of) training camp (and) that we’ve seen off and on all season. It’s the defense that we know we have on this team. It was great to see it manifest itself on Sunday to the full extent and to play that way across the board was just awesome. We needed that going into this last quarter of the season.

On if the defense can move up in the statistical rankings even more…

That’s what I was saying last week too, ‘Let’s wait until the end of the season before we start deciding where we’re at. Let’s wait until the end of the year, and then we’ll look back and see how we played.’ It’s right there in front of us. We know we can play that way week-in-and-week-out. Let’s continue this upward trend and continue to play Jets defense.

On stopping teams from scoring…

As far as we think in that room, we know that we recognize, when any team scores, they can win, and if they don’t score, they can’t win, and that’s on us. We can’t really be concerned about the other side of the ball and what’s going on. We trust everybody in that locker room. We trust the coaches. We trust the guy’s playing. We know everybody out there is doing their job. That’s all we can focus on. Again, it’s in our hands. If the other team doesn’t score, they can’t win.

Tags: Transcript, Brian Bassett

Who will the Jets select #3? 00:05:13
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will select third overall in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In less than a week, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan will make the most important draft pick of his tenure with the team, the one that surely will define his legacy.

No pressure, right?

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. With the visits ending earlier this week, let's take a final look at a selection of the players New York brought in.

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Nickerson is a four-year starter who was a constant standout on the Tulane defense. During his career, he recorded 16 interceptions, broke up another 31 passes and scored two defensive touchdowns. He turned heads at the scouting combine when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash.

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are ready to open their present that is the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. The guys discuss the possibility of the Jets trading up, yet again, and the crazy idea of selecting a non-QB (can someone say Bradley Chubb) with the 3rd overall selection. Plus, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky calls in to give his insight into the top four quarterbacks.

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Jets will open the 2018 season in Detroit against the Lions on Monday night football, and finish things in Week 17 on the road against the Patriots.

Their entire 2018 schedule has been confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and is below...

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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)

Former QB Dan Orlovsky thinks the Jets are targeting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick in the Draft, and one of the reasons is very specific.

Orlovsky, who played under Kyle Shanahan, noted that Jets OC Jeremy Bates is from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. And that one of the traits Shanahan loved about John Elway is that he would screw his back foot into the ground when he threw -- adding that Bates loves that trait in quarterbacks as well. 

"There's one guy in the Draft who has that trait," Orlovsky said earlier this week on SNY's Jet Stream podcast. "And it's Baker Mayfield. He does the same thing when he throws. And I just think that those coaches fall in love with traits of guys that remind them of players that they had success with in the past. I think that they're looking at Baker Mayfield and going 'that's our guy.'"

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

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Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has the Jets taking Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future at No. 3. 

Many experts believe Darnold could be the first overall pick by the Browns, and if he doesn't land with Cleveland, then the Giants would scoop him up at No. 2. However, with Josh Allen as Breer's No. 1 pick and the Giants electing to go with Saquon Barkley over a quarterback, Darnold drops in the Jets' lap. 

So, there is no need for the Jets to choose between Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield...

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Mangold's Hall of Fame chances 00:04:59
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate over Nick Mangold's chances at making the Hall of Fame and the Devils' chances at beating the Lightning.

After a year out of football, No. 74 is officially hanging up the cleats. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: On the lists of favorite players and all-time greats, you'll rarely find a center. They're buried in the trenches, often noticed only when a bad snap happens or a defensive tackle breaks through.

The same was probably true for Nick Mangold during his 11 NFL seasons - rarely noticed from the outside and incredibly underappreciated game to game. Yet somehow he still emerged from his long career as a fan favorite. And he definitely emerged as one of the Jets' all-time greats.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear he had no worries about the state of the Jets' defensive line heading into the offseason. Sure, they've lost a lot of talent in recent years, trading Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammad Wilkerson and not re-signing Damon Harrison.

But they still have Leonard Williams, the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, and despite a down season last year, the Jets have huge expectations for him.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon take their deepest dive yet into the NFL Draft. They discuss the latest with the four quarterbacks, as well as look back at Willie's draft process with the Steelers in 2006. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post joins the show to give his take on the draft and the possibility of Mike Maccagnan signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Click below to listen

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets' preseason schedule has been officially released for the 2018 season. 

The Falcons will be Gang Green's first opponent of the new year on their home turf. Then, they will hit the road to face the Redskins on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.

The annual Snoopy Bowl at MetLife Stadium between the Jets and Giants will be the Week 3 matchup, with the Jets getting home field advantage.

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper sees the Jets grabbing UCLA QB Josh Rosen with their third overall pick -- as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano projects in his Mini Mock Draft 3.0. 

The Jets clearly traded up to the No. 3 slot to take one of the highly touted quarterbacks. With Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold going to the Browns and Giants respectively, Rosen appears the best option for the Jets in Kiper's mind. 

CLICK BELOW TO READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS

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Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Having opted to let Austin Seferain-Jenkins leave in free agency, the Jets are relying on a group of young tight ends to replace his production, recently adding two more options to the mix.

It's possible the Jets could look to add to the group via the draft but, for now, let's consider what each of the tight ends currently on the roster brings to the table, and consider how they might be used in 2018...

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the NFL Draft a little over two weeks away, the Jets continue to get their last live look at the top prospects they could select with their third overall pick. 

After Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wraps up his private workout with the Jets Tuesday, UCLA QB Josh Rosen will visit the team, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

After Rosen's visit, USC QB Sam Darnold is expected to be next on the list at some point later this week. Wyoming QB Josh Allen is also expected to visit at a later date.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Jets continue to bolster their defense with another addition at the second tier in vetearn LB Kevin Minter, the team announced Monday. 

Minter most recently played for the Bengals in 2017, where he tallied 32 tackles in nine games. 

He was a second round draft pick by the Cardinals back in 2013, and he would spend four seasons in Arizona before heading to Cincinnati. He totaled 175 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and six passes defended over 61 games (37 starts). 

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Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Jets continue to stack their wide receiving corps for next season as former Vikings WR Charles Johnson signed a deal with the team on Monday. 

Johnson, who was waived by the Panthers in July 2017, sat out all last season due to surgery on his right knee. He played for the Vikings from 2014-16, where he totaled 60 receptions for 834 yards and two touchdowns over 39 games. 

The Grand Valley State product was a Packers' seventh-rounder back in 2013, and after joinging the team's practice squad following camp that year, the Brown picked him up to join their 53-man squad. He dressed but never saw action with the Browns. 

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The Jets' free agency strategy 00:12:52
The Jets Nation panel analyzes the Jets' recent free-agent additions, including former Vikings franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on whom the Jets have added and lost during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the Jets are reportedly hosting Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen for official Draft visits this week, we've also been keeping an eye on who else is reportedly scheduled to attend. Last year, both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye took official visits before being selected with the Jets' top two picks.

Aside from the quarterbacks, most of this year's names that have leaked so far would be players the Jets might be hoping will drop to day three of the draft or maybe even be available as a priority free agent if they go undrafted. Let's look at some of the more interesting prospects...

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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)

With the NFL Draft just 17 days away, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is scheduled to meet with the Jets in Florham Park on Monday and Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Jets have already met with Mayfield on multiple occasons -- including at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine -- and the team held a private workout with him. 

The 22-year-old Mayfield, who is expected to be selected early in the first round, threw 119 touchdowns in three seasons with Oklahoma and capped it off by throwing 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2017 when he started a career-high 14 games...

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the retirement of Matt Forte, the Jets have bolstered their depth in the offensive backfield with a couple of veteran additions. Let's give consideration to what each back brings to the table and how they might find a niche in the Jets' offense this season.

Bilal Powell...

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Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Free agent DT Johnathan Hankins visited the Jets on Thursday, reports Dan Graziano of ESPN. Hankins, who was cut by the Colts earlier this offseason, has also visited the Redskins.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Giants, Hankins agreed to a four-your deal with the Colts worth $30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets were obviously looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle when they made their brief -- and ill-advised -- pursuit of Ndamukong Suh. Thankfully, they pulled the plug on that before it happened. Johnathan Hankins could turn out to be a much better fit...

Tags: Johnathan Hankins
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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets WR/DB and Super Bowl champion, Bill Rademacher, has passed at the age of 75, the team confirmed on Tuesday. 

Rademacher came out of Northern Michigan undrafted, and ending up joining the Jets as a receiver in 1964. He would play in New York for five seasons that included a Super Bowl title in 1968. 

After getting released in 1969, he joined the Boston Patriots where he played just two seasons before retiring. Radebacher, then, became the head coach of Norther Michigan, where he owned a 37-16-1 career record. 

Overall, he played in 58 games totaling 24 receptions for 282 yards and three touchdowns.

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