Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made his choice on Dec. 30 when he fired Todd Bowles, but not Mike Maccagnan. It was a signal that he believed in his general manager, bought into his vision, and wasn't concerned about his spotty record.

And though Johnson insisted he would never give anyone a playoff mandate ("Absolutely not," he said), the message from his actions are perfectly clear: This is Maccagnan's roster, Adam Gase is Maccagnan's coach, and this is the offseason Maccagnan has to turn the Jets from laughingstocks into a winner.

In other words, as one of the most important offseasons in Jets' history begins, the pressure on Maccagnan is high.

What happens next will determine whether the Jets GM is still the GM after his contract expires after the 2020 season, or whether he's still the GM in 2020 at all. He made a masterful trade one year ago to get the Jets in position to draft Sam Darnold, the franchise quarterback they had been seeking for 50 years. But there aren't many other things on his list of accomplishments, and since the Jets are a miserable 24-40 during his tenure, there's obviously a lot of work to do.

Granted he has close to $100 million in salary cap space to work with this offseason, not to mention the third overall pick in the NFL draft. Add in the energy of a new coach and coaching staff, the ingredients are certainly there for a quick turnaround.

But there are plenty of warning signs, too.

He has a spotty free agency record -- It's exciting the Jets have all this cap room, but they had plenty last offseason too, and what do they really have to show for it? Remember, they offered $90 million guaranteed to QB Kirk Cousins and that doesn't look so brilliant now. They also gave a five-year, $72.5 million contract with $34 million guaranteed to CB Trumaine Johnson, whom the Rams couldn't wait to get rid of, and who ended up benched for the season finale after repeatedly being late to work. MLB Avery Williams was a nice find for three years, $22.5 million. But where was the much-needed offensive help? RB Isaiah Crowell (three years, $12 million) and WR Terrelle Pryor (one year, $4.5 million) were pretty much it, and that didn't work out well. So Maccagnan has to come through with big-time play-makers and game-changers this time (think: Le'Veon Bell). And this time most of them need to work out.

He has a poor draft record - Maccagnan has done reasonably well with his first-round picks, so there's no reason to worry about that. It's the rest of the drafts that have been a problem. From second-round busts like QB Christian Hackenberg (2015) - who was so bad he bombed in his AAF debut on Sunday -- to too many mid-round misses like receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen (third and fourth rounds, 2017). There were some positive signs in the last draft, although the jury is way out on his second pick (third-round DT Nathan Shepherd). With no second-rounder (gone to the Colts in the Darnold trade) those mid-round picks will be huge this year - especially if he trades down in the first round and accumulates more.

His teams have lacked discipline on and off the field - From the 2016 locker room war that divided around Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall, to Mo Wilkerson's inability to show up on time regularly, to far too many players who ended up suspended for drugs, PEDs or DUIs, the Jets haven't been a high-character team for a while. Yes, a lot of that was on Bowles, but at any point the GM could have stepped in and imposed discipline. The GM is also responsible for bringing in players - like Trumaine Johnson - who seem to like to play by their own rules. In an offseason that will reshape the team, he can't ignore character as he brings in new players. After all, almost every championship team will tell you that character and chemistry matter. The Jets have been short on both the last few years.

He's allowed a potentially volatile coaching staff - This is more of Gase's problem than Maccagnan's, but this coaching staff is a soap opera waiting to happen. Maccagnan wanted Gregg Williams to be the Jets defensive coordinator long before he hired a coach, according to multiple sources. Gase obviously had to sign on. But Gase also hired his father in law, Joe Vitt, who testified against Williams during the infamous BountyGate scandal in New Orleans. Now Vitt works for Williams who works for Gase. And despite what one source said were reservations by Maccagnan, Gase hired Blake Williams, Gregg's son, as a defensive assistant after a rocky tenure in Cleveland. Again, it's Gase's issue, but this was all assembled on Maccagnan's watch.

That's a lot to overcome, but Johnson obviously believes Maccagnan is the right guy to sort that all out. He believes he'll use the high pick wisely, spend the cap room in the right places, fix the discipline issues and keep the coaching staff in check. 

Maybe he will. But as soon as Bowles was shoved out the door, the spotlight moved to Maccagnan and his so-far unimpressive record and it became hard for many to have faith that he can do any of that at all. Now he has to, though, because no one thinks Gase has been dealt a winning hand with the Jets. And that's Maccagnan's fault.

Can it work? There's no doubt Maccagnan has the cards to be a winner, if he plays them correctly. If he does, the Maccagnan-Gase pair could be the long-term solution the Jets have been seeking.

If not, the house of cards will come crashing down and the Jets will soon be looking for a new GM to clean up yet another mess.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- As Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sat in a conference room when he spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, he wasn't standing under a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." He knows he still has work to do to turn the Jets into playoff contenders.

But this offseason, Maccagnan made it pretty clear that he did what he set out to do.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- As Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sat in a conference room when he spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, he wasn't standing under a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." He knows he still has work to do to turn the Jets into playoff contenders.

But this offseason, Maccagnan made it pretty clear that he did what he set out to do.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Ralph Vacchiano
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Maccagnan wants to make moves 00:01:31
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reports from the NFL Owners Meetings, where Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has designs on more draft picks

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sounded hopeful a few weeks ago that teams would get so desperate to draft one of the top quarterbacks this year that he could land a windfall in trade for the third overall pick.

With one month to go until the NFL draft begins, it sounds like that hope is still part of his plan.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (51) takes a knee moments before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (51) takes a knee moments before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

The Jets are bringing back a promising piece of their defense from last season. 

The team announced on Monday that they have re-signed linebacker Brandon Copeland

Copeland, 27, had a career-year with the Jets last season, recording five sacks and 14 quarterback hits in addition to 35 tackles in 16 games. 

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Neal Sterling
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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have been one of the most active teams in the NFL this offseason. Between a coaching change, a few big-name signings in free agency, control of the third overall pick in the NFL Draft and heightened expectations, the Jets haven't had this much to look forward to entering a season in quite a while. 

Owner Christopher Johnson, speaking at the NFL's Owners Meetings in Arizona on Sunday, touched on those topics, plus more. 

Here are the main takeaways from what the Jets owner had to say: 

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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - Mike Maccagnan's long rebuilding of the Jets should theoretically be complete now. Maybe not completely complete, as in they're ready to make a run to the Super Bowl. But, after two years of lavish spending and high draft picks, being a playoff contender shouldn't be unrealistic.

Not that Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is going to give Maccagnan a playoff mandate. But surely, the expectations have to be as high as a playoff berth now, right?

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski spikes the ball after a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski spikes the ball after a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

For Jets fans, the nightmare of a wide-open Rob Gronkowski streaking down the middle of the field is over. 

The former Patriots' tight end announced his retirement Sunday in a post on his Instagram page. It'd been speculated over the last few seasons Gronkowski would step away from the game, given the injuries the 29-year-old endured and the physical toll his massive frame was exposed to throughout a 16-game slate year in and year out.  

"Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization," he wrote in the lengthy message. "Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life."

Tags: New England Patriots
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Draft Profile: LB Josh Allen 00:00:33
Check out the highlights and the numbers from Kentucky Wildcats linebacker, Josh Allen, heading into the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Jets will have a pre-draft meeting with Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen sometime in the near future even though GM Mike Maccagnan isn't at his pro day, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Allen, who is considered one of the top defensive players in the NFL draft, also has scheduled visits with the 49ers, Raiders, Giants and Lions, according to NBC Sports' Matt Maiocco.

A 6-foot-5, 262-pound linebacker from Montclair, New Jersey, Allen posted impressive numbers at the NFL combine, running a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, putting up 28 reps on the bench press and recording a 118-inch broad jump.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

As expected, the Jets have been extremely busy in free agency as the lead into the NFL Draft. And when late April comes around, New York has great position at No. 3 to add another immediate impact player for next season. 

But with that high draft pick and the Jets already settled in the quarterback department, GM Mike Maccagnan will certainly be listening to phone calls to potentially make a trade to move down. 

The Jets will likely be looking for a defensive playmaker with that third overall selection, and though players like DE Josh Allen and DE Nick Bosa are in the conversation in the Top 3, there are still plenty more elite prospects to choose from. But, if all signs point to the Cardinals selecting QB Kyler Murray first overall, the Jets would likely keep that No. 3 pick to get either Allen or Bosa.

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have only six picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and with so many holes on their roster, they'll need to use them wisely. It's still early, but here's a look at how those six picks could go:

First Round (No. 3 overall): DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Tags: Chris Herndon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) calls a play during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) calls a play during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Jets have found their backup quarterback as QB Trevor Siemian signed a one-year deal with the team, his agent Mike McCartney confirming via Twitter. Siemian's deal has a $2 million base salary that could reach $3 million with incentives.

With veteran QB Josh McCown still undecided as to whether he wants to play next season, the Jets brought in an experience backup for Sam Darnold now in Siemian to fill out the depth chart. Davis Webb, who was acquired off waivers when the Giants cut him last year, is also under contract for the 2019 season.

The 27-year-old wanted a change of scenery as the Vikings were interested in bringing him back for another season to sit behind Kirk Cousins. However, he is now joining Gang Green and provides the Jets with more than just a serviceable option in case something happens to Darnold. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With their quarterback situation in shambles, the Redskins are "sniffing around" about trading up in the NFL Draft, reports Jason La Canfora of NFL.com

La Canfora speculates that the play for the Redskins could be to trade from No. 15 to get the Jets' pick at No. 3. That would allow them to jump ahead of the Giants at No. 6 and snatch Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins from them (if he is indeed who the Giants are targeting).

Aside from the Giants and Redskins as candidates who could try to deal with the Jets for No. 3, La Canfora mentions the Broncos and Jaguars, but doubts either would do it.

Tags: Eli Manning, Danny Abriano
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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

For the first time in a long time, Le'Veon Bell is truly happy.

The new Jets running back, who signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with $35 million guaranteed, is ready for a fresh new start in New York while leaving behind some ugly memories in Pittsburgh where he chose to sit out the entire 2019 season.

But it was more than just about the money for Bell.

While he previously detailed the roller-coaster of the last year he had negotiating with the Steelers, the 27-year-old opened up a little more about his experience in Pittsburgh on the field and in the locker room during an interview with Sports Illustrated -- particularly how the organization compares with the Jets, from whom he immediately felt a different vibe than he never had with the Steelers. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets new RB Le'Veon Bell was under tons of scrutiny last season for holding out from the Steelers, and declining to sign his franchise tag to play in 2018. But that wasn't his initial plan as he headed into the season. 

In an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler this weekend, Bell said he had every intention to return to Steelers camp during the Week 7 bye. But it looks like Bell actually wanted to return to the team after Week 1 following an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated.

"At first I was literally thinking like, 'I don't want to play camp and OTAs' because of the hurt in my body and I'm like, 'I'm not playing,'" Bell told Sports Illustrated's Jenny Vrentas. "When Week 1 comes, I'm going to come, but the things that kind of led up to Week 1, I starting thinking, 'I'm not going to play Week 1.' After even Week 1, it started to build up and it's not making me feel comfortable."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) smiles during warm up before game against New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian (3) smiles during warm up before game against New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

While the Jets have been busy this offseason, there are still some areas they must address, such as a backup quarterback to Sam Darnold

While Josh McCown is still undecided on a return for next season, the Jets plan to meet with free agent quarterback Trevor Siemian on Wednesday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

Siemian, 27, spent last season as the backup with the Minnesota Vikings behind Kirk Cousins after he was traded there a year ago by the Broncos.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

With Le'Veon Bell a new centerpiece in the Jets' offense, the organization brought back two familiar faces to strengthen their blocking schemes Tuesday. 

New York re-signed offensive lineman Bren Qvale and tight end Eric Tomlinson, who primarily operates as a blocking tight end in the offense. The team also confirmed the signing of tight end Daniel Brown

Tomlinson ended last season on injured reserve after he dropped a weight on his foot. Before that, he made 12 starts and appeared in 15 games, and served as a special teams contributor. He first joined the Jets in 2016 and has played in 36 games total with 16 catches for 193 yards and one career touchdown. 

Tags: Brent Qvale, Eric Tomlinson
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Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton celebrates with tight end Daniel Brown after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Soldier Field. (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton celebrates with tight end Daniel Brown after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Soldier Field. (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Bears and Ravens tight end Daniel Brown to a contract, according to his agent.

Brown, 26, played in 14 games last season but did not record a completion on offense. He spent most of his time on special teams.

Since debuting with Baltimore in 2015, Brown has 35 catches for 317 yards and one touchdown.

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New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ryan Fitzpatrick's renaissance behind center will bring him back to the AFC East. 

The QB signed a two-year, $11-million deal with Miami on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and other reports. Fitzpatrick quarterbacked the Jets for two seasons in 2015 and 2016 before heading to Tampa Bay for two years. 

His new contract, though, gives him the chance to face his old team twice a year. It will be his third go-around in the division; he played four seasons in Buffalo. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

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While the Le'Veon Bell signing received the most attention, the biggest financial outlay for the Jets this offseason was the C.J. Mosley deal. The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker signed a five-year contract worth up to $85 million. Will it prove to be worth it though?

There's no doubting Mosley's talent, as he's been a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in four of his five seasons. The Ravens went to the postseason twice in those five years with Mosley anchoring their defense, including an AFC North division title win in 2018. He has nine interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career, so he should provide some impact plays.

The Jets are most likely to employ Mosley as the middle linebacker in Gregg Williams' new system. In fact, there's a good chance Williams may have identified Mosley as an ideal central cog to install his scheme around. Ideally, he would have had Anthony Barr as well, but that move obviously fell apart at the 11th hour. Another clue as to how important the Jets saw having a player of Mosley's caliber on the team comes from the size of his contract.

Tags: C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell
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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

New Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had every intention of returning to the Steelers during their Week 7 bye to sign his franchise tender, hit the field several weeks later and play out the rest of the season, believing he had no other choice if he wanted an accrued season in order to hit free agency this year.

But in an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Bell revealed that he learned from social media that he didn't need to play at all to hit free agency as long as the Steelers didn't tag him again. Once he confirmed that with his agent, his goal to remain off the field the whole season to preserve his health for more guaranteed money was back in play.

"That was the biggest mix-up the whole time," Bell told Fowler. "I thought I had to sit out until Week 10 or else they can tag me again. Around before the bye week, that's when I found out I didn't have to play."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Oct 29, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Oct 29, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive guard Kelechi Osemele (70) against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

With the recent flurry of big-name signings, the first major move of the offseason is perhaps being overlooked.  

The Jets acquired two-time Pro Bowl guard Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders in exchange for a day three pick swap. Here's why that move could end up being the most important one the Jets have made this offseason. 

A change in attitude

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'Machado Kid' joins BNNY 00:00:56
Jacob Carpenter went viral with his take on why he didn't want Manny Machado on the Yankees. Watch more Yankees and Jets takes on BNNY.

Nearly one month later, Jacob Carpenter's mind hasn't changed.

The "Machado Kid" who went viral in SNY's video of his reaction to Manny Machado signing with the Padres is still glad that the star infielder didn't end up with the Yankees.

"I'm definitely happy that Machado did not sign," Carpenter said while he was an in-studio guest on Baseball Night in New York.

Tags: Manny Machado
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets put their faith in Mike Maccagnan on the day in December when they fired coach Todd Bowles. Ownership was making it clear it believed in the general manager's plan and vision. Christopher Johnson had faith that Maccagnan could carry it out.

So armed with nearly $100 million in salary cap space as they headed into free agency, Maccagnan headed into one of the most crucial offseasons this star-crossed franchise has ever had. He needed to win big. He needed some splashy signings.

And he certainly didn't disappoint.

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New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin enters the stadium for the Professional Football HOF enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin enters the stadium for the Professional Football HOF enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Le'Veon Bell said one of the reasons he joined the Jets was because he idolized Hall of Famer Curtis Martin growing up.

And Martin believes Bell has what it takes to follow him to Canton.

"For a guy like Le'Veon, it's not about, 'Can he make it to the Hall of Fame?' ... He's like an Adrian Peterson-like guy. Those guys, they don't have to play 12, 13, 14 years to make it to the Hall of Fame if they just work hard and take care of business now," Martin said, according to the New York Post's Steve Serby.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Why Le'Veon Bell chose Jets 00:01:05
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell explains why deep down he wanted to choose the Jets. Jamal Adams' excellent recruiting also helped.

When Le'Veon Bell entered free agency this offseason, he always had the Jets on his list of desired teams. And once GM Mike Maccagnan came calling with the right offer, he knew he had to pull the trigger. 

"The Jets (were) just kind of the team I had in the back of my mind where I wanted to go," Bell told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano over a conference call after the Jets made the signing official Thursday night.

But the numbers Bell agreed to came under heavy scrutiny. The Steelers offered him a five-year, $70 million deal, but after sitting out a year to keep his body fresh and hopefully increase his value on the market, he agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets...

Tags: Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro makes a field goal as punter Lac Edwards holds the ball during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro makes a field goal as punter Lac Edwards holds the ball during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets re-signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro to replace Pro Bowler Jason Myers, the team announced Friday.

Catanzaro, 28, was 16-for-20 on field goals and 30-for-35 on extra points in 13 games with the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. He was 0-for-3 between 40 and 49 yards but made all three of his attempts from at least 50 yards.

With New York in 2017, Catanzaro made 25 of 30 field goals and converted all 29 extra points. He was 12-for-17 in the 40-yard range and 2-for-2 from beyond 50.

Tags: Chandler Catanzaro, Jason Myers
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Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)

Anthony Barr got cold feet right after the engagement.

He told his agent he would take a deal with the Jets but had immediate regrets. After a quick panic he decided to call off the wedding.

"It wasn't necessarily physically ill. It wasn't the middle of the night. It was more so when I hung up the phone after saying, 'Yeah, I can do New York.' My stomach dropped, I kind of got some cold sweats," Barr told NFL Network on Thursday

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Dec 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) reacts after an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Dec 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brian Poole (34) reacts after an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Jets and cornerback Brian Poole have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, according to multiple reports.

The 26-year-old joins the Jets after spending three seasons with the Falcons, who did not tender the restricted free agent. Poole should replace Buster Skrine as the Jets' slot corner after Skrine signed with Chicago

Tags: Buster Skrine
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Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Before free agency even officially began, the Jets had handed out $173 million worth of contracts on four new players, and that went with another $51.7 million in deals to bring back four of their own. They even tried to hand out another $100 million or so in contracts, before edge-rusher Anthony Barr changed his mind and center Matt Paradis signed somewhere else.

So the Jets have been busy, and there's no doubt that with the additions of running back Le'Veon Bell, linebacker C.J. Mosley and receiver Jamison Crowder, they are better than they were a few days ago.

But they're not done yet. They still have some cap room to spend and some holes to fill. Lucky for them, NFL free agency is still really only beginning and there are a bunch of good players left to sign:

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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

It doesn't seem as if linebacker C.J. Mosley will be pulling an Anthony Barr.

Though the Jets have yet to officially announce the signing of Mosley -- they finally announced the Le'Veon Bell signing Thursday evening -- Mosley was at the Jets' training facility in Florham Park on Thursday as he shared a picture on his Instagram story with "New beginnings!" written on it.

Tags: CJ Mosley
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