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

Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets middle linebacker David Harris (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Jets 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next stop for David Harris figures to be the Jets' Ring of Honor.

Harris, who spent 10 years as the anchor of the Jets defense before he was released last year, announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday afternoon. The 34-year-old inside linebacker ended his 11-year career through a short statement released by his agent on Twitter, less than three weeks after reaching the first Super Bowl of his career with the New England Patriots - although he wasn't activated for the game.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Winslow Townson)
(Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have seen Sheldon Richardon, Damon Harrison, and Quinton Coples depart within the past few seasons. With the departure of Muhammad Wilkerson thought to be imminent, they suddenly find themselves in a position where they lack depth on the defensive interior.

In addition, a potentially promising pipeline of young depth hasn't really materialized. Deon Simon and Claude Pelon couldn't crack the rotation, and spent most of the year on the practice squad, while Lawrence Thomas became a full back. Leonard Williams will be back, but his 2017 season was arguably just as disappointing as Wilkerson's, and he might find that teams can more readily gameplan around him if he's not surrounded with the same kind of talent...

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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Daily News Live: NFL Combine 00:03:50
The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down which quarterbacks have the most to prove at the upcoming NFL Combine.

Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Lamar Jackson are among the top prospects.

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Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Jets start their sales pitch to Kirk Cousins, he's going to want to know about more than just the size of their check. He's going to want to know, among other things, how they plan to protect him.

That's a project they can get started on right now.

The Jets should begin by re-signing center Wesley Johnson before the free-agent market opens on March 14, and solidify what was a young and better-than-you-think offensive line last season. Together with right guard Brian Winters and right tackle Brandon Shell, it would give the Jets a strong young corps on the line to build around. And with two solid veterans on the left side -- tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard James Carpenter -- it's a line that could actually be pretty good.

Tags: Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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)

In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft. 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center. 

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Cousins 00:02:18
The Jets hope to be in the mix to land highly touted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins in order to provide stability at the QB position.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The entire Jets offseason will be played out in the shadow of Kirk Cousins -- the biggest name on the free-agent market, and the franchise quarterback they so desperately need. And that's even true right now, as the NFL's 15-day "franchise tag" window opens on Tuesday.

The Jets aren't likely to use the tag, but the Washington Redskins are reportedly considering using it on Cousins.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The offensive line was a huge disappointment for the Jets in 2017, especially on the interior. In 2016, Wesley Johnson started eight games for the injured Nick Mangold, and the line didn't seem to suffer too badly. However, he struggled throughout the 2017 season after moving into the full-time starter role.

Guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter also failed to play as well as they had in 2016, although that may partly have been caused by Johnson struggling on their inside shoulder.   Injuries were also an issue here, with Winters in particular playing most of the season hurt, and eventually requiring surgery on an abdominal issue.

Dakota Dozier's performances in relief of Winters over the past few years have some people wondering if it was really wise to give Winters a big money extension, when Dozier doesn't appear to be much of a downgrade. However, he's out of contract now, so the Jets may need to replenish their depth.

Tags: Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold
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Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets exercised their options on two defensive starters on Tuesday, ensuring that defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin will both be back for the 2018 season.

The Jets were facing a deadline of Tuesday on both players, but the decision likely wasn't difficult, especially with the team likely to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason. McLendon is due a salary of $3.125 million this year and has a salary cap number of $4.25 million. Martin is due a salary of $1.8 million, with a cap number of $2.1 million.

The moves come one day after the Jets declined their 2018 option on tackle Ben Ijalana, making him an unrestricted free agent...

Tags: Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?

According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract. 

King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets made offensive tackle Ben Ijalana a free agent on Monday after they failed to exercise his player option.

New York did not exercise Ijalana's $500,000 option bonus that would have activated his $4.5 million base salary for the 2018 season. By doing so, the Jets will save a total of $4.6 million.

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCowwas the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season. 

This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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In 2017, the Jets' running game struggles probably had more to do with the offensive line being overmatched than the performance of the backs.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets reportedly turned down a Cincinnati Bengals trade proposal that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to New York last season, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Cincinnati, according to Cimini, called the Jets organization at the start of free agency and offered McCarron in a trade, however the Jets turned it down to focus on free agency. It is unclear what Cincinnati requested in the deal.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets started over last offseason and actually built themselves a nice core of talent. They have many young, inexpensive players they can build around this spring.

They certainly have the tools to build around them - perhaps as much as $100 million in cap room, the sixth overall pick in the draft, and some extra picks too. And that's good, because even though the Jets exceeded expectations last season, they were still 5-11, and have plenty of holes to fill.

Now, as they get ready to begin Phase 2 of their rebuilding project, here's a look at their biggest needs.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.

They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Juston Burris, Morris Claiborne
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield

The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone. 

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.

"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement...

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have been a team whose defense has been built around their interior linemen for a long time, but Muhammad Wilkerson's anticipated departure could be an opportunity to reinvent themselves by finding a difference-maker who can create constant pressure off the edge.

The Jets haven't really had an elite edge rusher since John Abraham, who was traded before the 2006 draft. They've tried drafting one high (Vernon Gholston), converting an interior lineman into one (Quinton Coples), and bringing in an established veteran (Jason Taylor). But none of these have been successful. None of their low-cost free agents, reclamation projects, or later draft picks have stepped up either.

Tags: Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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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)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are in position to be the kings of free agency, with potentially more salary cap room to spend than any team except for the Cleveland Browns. They are already projected to have about $75 million in salary cap space, and that's if they don't make another move.

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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.

But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brent Qvale, Chandler Catanzaro, Dakota Dozier, Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There are always plenty of receiver prospects who make an immediate impact as a rookie, even in the later rounds. However, the Jets haven't had much success in recent years despite selecting seven wideouts in the last four drafts.

While four of those seven are under contract for 2018 and a fifth -- restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa -- also figures to be back, the Jets got just 15 catches of production from that group in 2017.

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Daily News Live: Jimmy Garoppolo 00:03:54
The Daily News Live crew discusses the impact Jimmy Garoppolo's new contract will have on the deal Kirk Cousins will want.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jimmy Garoppolo just became the NFL's highest paid player, even though he's only started seven NFL games and thrown 12 touchdown passes in four seasons. He reportedly agreed to a monster, five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers -- a record average of $27.5 million per season. That record will be very short-lived.

It's a simple fact of the NFL that the price of franchise quarterbacks only goes up, and in less than five weeks another one will be on the open market. And when Kirk Cousins officially becomes free on March 14 you can bet his deal will eclipse what Garoppolo just got...

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

In NFL.com's latest mock draft, Chad Reuter forecasted the first three rounds for all teams. With the Jets first selection at no. 6 overall, Reuter has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

The Jets take Allen over Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who fell to the Cardinals at no. 15. USC QB Sam Darnold went no. 1 to the Browns and UCLA QB Josh Rosen went no. 2 to the Giants.

Allen threw for 3,202 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his sophomore season. However, his production dropped this season to 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also suffered a shoulder injury, and was forced to miss the final two regular-season games this year...

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.

However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)
Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Chiefs have released former Jet Darrelle Revis, the team announced. 

Revis, 32, would have been owed a $10 million contract guarantee if he was still on the roster on March 18. He was signed by Chiefs in November, playing five games, including two starts. 

After the Chiefs' season ended, Revis admitted he wasn't at his best.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Kacy Rodgers never got a chance to play in the NFL before he turned to coaching. But now he might be able to give his son the shot that he never had.

The Jets will be signing Kacy Rodgers II, the son of their current defensive coordinator, according to his agent, David Canter. Rodgers II will join the Jets for their offseason program, at least, after two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Rodgers II is a 6-2, 208-pound defensive back out of the University of Miami. In 2014 he was a tryout player at the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp, but didn't stick. He then signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and spent a year on their practice squad before joining the Roughriders...

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Former Jets C Nick Mangold was thinking about starting his political career, and running in his local GOP primary, according to Politico's Matt Friedman.

However, Mangold said Thursday that he will not be running.

Mangold would've been running to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who represents the 11th District of New Jersey. Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas has spoken with Mangold, and he appears to be serious about running for the position.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After saying he wouldn't join the Jets for $60 million, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, a pending free agent, told TMZ exactly what it would take to secure his services.

"A hundred Ms," Bell said, referring to $100 million. "Hey, listen to me: I play running back, but they've got to respect me like I am, man." 

Bell, 25, responded to a fan's tweet last week asking what amount of money it would take for him to join the Jets.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another year has come and gone without the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Even the Philadelphia Eagles now have ended their forever Super Bowl drought. If you're counting, that's 49 straight Super Bowls that have been played without the Jets.

Can the 50th time be their charm?

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two years ago, the Jets drafted Darron Lee with their first pick, hoping to shore up one of their inside linebacker positions for the foreseeable future. Over the course of his first two seasons, he's been up and down, but he has retained an every-down role.

Last year, he struggled initially, then played the best football of his career in the middle of the season, only to regress down the stretch. However, there are no indications that the Jets intend to move on from Lee.

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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