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New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)
New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)

Since the end of the season, the Jets have signed a number of players to reserve/futures deals, which basically puts them under contract, at the league minimum, for the 2016 season. Over the next few months, we'll be looking at each of these players, starting with Freddie Bishop III, whom the team signed last week. I've been looking at game footage to try and assess what Bishop brings to the table.

Bishop, who will turn 26 later this month, is listed at 6'4" and 255 pounds and has spent the last two seasons playing in Canada after going undrafted in 2013. He spent time with the Detroit Lions in 2013, before moving on to the CFL where he won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2014 and then racked up 11 sacks last season. 

Let's recap Bishop's career so far and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Freddie Bishop III?

Bishop went to college at Western Michigan, where he totalled 15 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss in four seasons. After going undrafted in 2013, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Lions but was released before training camp.

Bishop would move on to Canada where he started off on the Calgary Stampeders' practice roster before moving into a rotational role in 2014. He had 16 tackles and three sacks during the regular season but then ended up playing a key role due to injuries in the team's Grey Cup success over the BC Lions, recording five tackles and a sack in the championship game.

He moved into a full-time starter role in 2015, recording 44 tackles and 11 sacks. The Stampeders released him from his contract after the season to enable him to pursue an NFL career and he signed with the Jets after having worked out for seven teams.

While Bishop didn't make it to preseason with the Lions, so there is no NFL footage to examine, I do follow the CFL closely so I am familiar with his game. There are also some CFL highlights and game footage online. You may already have seen the YouTube highlight video that Bassett shared.

Here are my observations from watching footage from Bishop's career so far, divided into categories:

Usage

As you'll have seen if you watched his highlight reel, Bishop would primarily generate most of his highlights while lined up wide of the tackle and from a standing position. Bearing in mind that one of the differences between CFL and NFL rules is that there are just three downs instead of four, this essentially means that many CFL teams operate out of a sub-package type of alignment most of the time. Calgary would usually only have one or two down linemen between the tackles with both edge rushers standing up.

However, Bishop does have experience of playing with his hand in the dirt in college and actually got some work as a defensive tackle in 2014 as well before moving back to end.

Measurables/Athleticism

Bishop has pretty good size to play the outside linebacker position at the NFL level. He reportedly lost 20 pounds in between the 2014 and 2015 season and it's unclear whether or not his listed weight reflects that or not. I think he may have bulked up from his pro day weight (253) and then re-lost that weight because he was playing some defensive tackle in 2014.

Looking at his pro day numbers, Bishop's 40 time and agility drills were below average. However, he had an impressive 37.5 inch vertical and an above average broad jump. This explosiveness is the first thing that jumps out at you when watching his film. He also had 30 reps on the bench press, which is a good number, but this strength is less evident on film.

Run defense

Bishop is capable of making plays in the running game, but these usually come from him shooting a gap or disengaging from a blocker to pursue in space. He's less impressive when required to hold his ground to set the edge or bottle up a run. He hasn't been a productive tackler in the CFL, never recording more than five in a game.

Of course, if the Jets see him as a situational pass rusher in the short term, then maybe this is a moot point.

Tackling

Bishop is extremely impressive in pursuit and can certainly hit hard. I didn't see much evidence of him missing tackles, but that's partly due to the fact that most of the footage available online is highlights only.

He forced three fumbles in college and one in Canada.

Motor

As noted, Bishop is relentless in pursuit and seems to be a hard-working player. He likely wouldn't be an every-down player at the NFL level for at least a year or two anyway.

Pass rush

Bishop's 11 sacks last season are encouraging, although he wasn't a particularly productive pass rusher in college. The highest sack total he has in college was five and a half in 2011.

From watching the footage, it's clear that he didn't generate most of his production by beating his man. Many of his sacks and pressures saw him come off the edge unblocked or when he disengaged from his blocker when the quarterback looked to step up or take off.

Having said that, his closing speed is impressive and he reacts well, so he was able to maximize his opportunities to make these kinds of plays.

Coverage skills

Although he was standing up most of the time, Bishop was primarily used to rush the passer so didn't get much opportunity to showcase any coverage skills. He had two pass break-ups in college and batted down one pass at the line last season for Calgary.

Instincts

As noted, Bishop is quick to explode to the ball when the opportunity presents itself. However, there was one memorable play where he sacked the quarterback and was too busy celebrating to notice that the quarterback had fumbled and the ball was bouncing around for what should have been an easy turnover.

Special teams

I could not find any footage of Bishop on special teams, but he had two special teams tackles last season.

Despite not having reviewed him in that role, this could be where he has the most potential. That ability to negotiate traffic, pursue across the field to close in on and bring down players could be an asset in kick coverage.

Scheme familiarity

Bishop played in a 4-3 in college, but his sub-package work will benefit him with the Jets because they use more sub-packages than base packages and that's likely where he'd look to compete for the time being.

Attitude/Demeanor

Based on his highlights, Bishop is a fun-loving player and seems to have worked hard to develop into a full-time contributor producing at a high level for Calgary, as evidenced by his reported weight loss after the 2014 season. He did have one roughing the passer penalty in a game I reviewed.

Injuries

I can't find any details of injuries to Bishop, who played 48 games in four years in college and did not miss any time last season.

Conclusions

Since the unprecedented success of Cameron Wake, teams (and their fans) have been hoping to find the "next Cameron Wake." While Bishop had a good year as a pass rusher last year, it would be somewhat over-ambitious to expect him to make a similar kind of impact. Wake was a two-time CFL player of the year, while Bishop's 11 sacks still left him eight behind the league leader. To put that production into further context, former Jets' reserve Jamaal Westerman had 17 sacks last year in the CFL.

A more realistic expectation for Bishop would be for him to have a similar impact to Garrett McIntyre, who was a core special teamer, rotational back-up and occasional spot starter over three years with the Jets. That might even be an optimistic outlook.

As I said, his skill-set could lend itself well to a special team's role. You may recall Mario Addison making a terrific special teams play on the punt coverage unit during the Super Bowl. That's the kind of play Bishop seems capable of making in pursuit. Addison is actually a decent comparable for him because they're about the same size and have similar measurable features, although Addison is faster and had better agility numbers.

As I've noted from his footage, Bishop doesn't seem to be the kind of pass rusher that will beat his man over and over again to generate pressure, even against CFL-caliber linemen. Again, we can put that into some kind of context by stating that Bruce Campbell, who was basically right at the bottom of the Jets' depth chart a couple of years ago, started all year at left tackle for Toronto - although he's not necessarily one of the better linemen in the league. Having said that, Bishop does a good job of maintaining pocket integrity, so he could potentially be able to rack up good numbers in much the same way as Calvin Pace did a few years ago, exploiting the Jets' ability to create interior pressure.

Bishop is certainly a player on the rise, so hopefully he can continue to develop as a Jet and make some contributions. As with most of these futures signings, though, he's another body to add to the mix, not someone that will prevent them from looking to upgrade at this position through the draft or in free agency.


 (Joseph Maiorana)
(Joseph Maiorana)

Chris Burke of SI.com predicted both the first and second rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft in his latest mock (Feb. 11).

Burke has the Jets selecting Ohio State OLB Darron Lee in the first round (20th overall).

In the second round (51st overall), Burke predicts the Jets will draft Michigan State DE/OLB Shilique Calhoun.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Considering that the Broncos just willed their tepid offense to a Super Bowl victory with the best pass rushing outside linebacker duo in the league, it will be popular for analysts to pick OLB help early for the Jets. After watching Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and then Cam Newton get knocked to the turf, many will see pass-rush as the new NFL salvation. Remember when everyone was looking for athletic defensive ends just like the Giants? Good times.

That doesn't make grabbing an OLB early the wrong pick for the Jets, as they could desperately use some help at rushing the passer. But to chase the trend is never a smart move.

Also, consider that the Jets have one of the best defensive lines in football with Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson. While grabbing a first rounder at linebacker would be a nice feather in the cap of the defense, I think the Jets will have to consider how they marshall their resources moving forward. What can a first rounder provide that a second rounder can't when paired with that line?

The Jets will take whoever the best player on the board is, but if given a choice, I'd love to see them shore up the offensive line first.

Tags: Leonard Williams , Muhammad Wilkerson , Sheldon Richardson , Brian Bassett

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan hugs New York Jets safety Rontez Miles (45) after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan hugs New York Jets safety Rontez Miles (45) after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Every year, teams have to let some players go. Even though the Jets did bring back some of their free agents (Leger Douzable, Willie Colon, Ben Ijalana, Tanner Purdum), they chose not to bring everyone back. Since preseason, we've been keeping track of the progress on all the guys from the 2014 or 2015 roster that are now playing elsewhere and now that the season is over, we can wrap things up, finishing today with coaches and front office staff.

Head coach Rex Ryan - Bills

While Rex Ryan may have got the last laugh against his old team, his first year in Buffalo was far from a resounding success and now he realistically faces a tough playoffs-or-bust ultimatum in his second year there.
 

What was most jarring about his struggles this season were that he seemed to lose the locker room and the respect of many of his players, even without the Jets beat around to stir the pot.

Coaches Dennis Thurman, Karl Dunbar, Bobby April III, Sanjay Lal, David Lee, Anthony Lynn, Tim McDonald, Tony Sparano Jr., Jeff Weeks - Bills

It looks like all of these will be back next year, although there is some talk that Rob Ryan's hiring means that Thurman is effectively being demoted into more of a defensive back role (although he retains his defensive coordinator title, for now).

The lack of success on the defensive line with Karl Dunbar coaching was a surprise. Both Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus were griping about their roles and their distaste for the system. Williams is likely on his way out, as the injury-related absence of the other Williams (Kyle) seemed to confirm what I've long since suspected; that he's the true anchor of that unit.   Dareus isn't going anywhere, having just signed a monster deal, while Kyle himself has an $8 million cap hit coming - a large sum to pay out to a 32-year old coming off another injury.

Three more ex-Jets - Ed Reed, Eric Smith and D'Anton Lynn - have been added to the staff for next season.

Mike Devlin (OL coach, Texans)

Devlin was the offensive line coach for the Jets in 2014 and seemed to have a positive impact in the same role with Houston. Despite losing Arian Foster to a season-ending injury and several injuries at the quarterback position, Houston's offense was still good enough to reach the postseason. PFF rated Houston 8th in terms of pass blocking, albeit only 25th for run blocking.

QB coach Marty Mornhinweg - Ravens

Clearly this was a rough year for both Joe Flacco and the Ravens. If the Marty-Joe partnership is destined for success, it's off to a rocky start so far.

Front Office Consultant John Idzik - Jaguars

It's probably too soon to assess Idzik's influence on the Jaguars so far. Promoted in May, whatever positives he brought to the team weren't enough to lift them into playoff contention, even in a weak division. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that not everyone in the league has done a 180 on a guy who we were told was widely respected a few seasons ago and maybe he'll work his way up the ranks in Jacksonville until he ends up in a more influential role.


Buffalo Bills linebacker IK Enemkpali (75) warms up before a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
Buffalo Bills linebacker IK Enemkpali (75) warms up before a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Every year, teams have to let some players go. Even though the Jets did bring back some of their free agents (Leger Douzable, Willie Colon, Ben Ijalana, Tanner Purdum), they chose not to bring everyone back. Since preseason, we've been keeping track of the progress on all the guys from the 2014 or 2015 roster that are now playing elsewhere and now that the season is over, we can wrap things up, continuing today with defensive players.

Some stats from PFF have been used in this article and throughout the series.

CB Kyle Wilson - Saints

Wilson - who might not even have made the roster if not for preseason injuries - actually held up pretty well until midseason, but was victimized as his playing time increased down the stretch. In the end, the quarterback rating against him when targeted was a career-worst 118.9 and he also had the highest numbers of his career for touchdown passes given up (four) and penalties (six).

DT Kenrick Ellis - Giants/Vikings

Ellis was a surprise cut for the Giants in preseason; one they probably regretted in hindsight. He eventually found his way onto the Vikings and played 89 snaps where he didn't make a major impact but still did a solid job in a rotational role. His contract expired at the end of the season.

LB Nick Bellore - 49ers

Bellore, predictably, was an asset for the 49ers on special teams, racking up 15 tackles. That number was surpassed by just five other players in the NFL this season. He played a total of six snaps on defense, despite showcasing some versatility by playing on the outside in preseason.

CB Phillip Adams - Falcons

Adams played a pretty major role with Atlanta, starting three games and playing a total of 435 snaps. He held up pretty well and didn't give up a touchdown all season. Adams ended the season with 38 tackles, four passes defensed and one interception, but was penalized four times. He also made contributions on special teams.

CB Josh Thomas - Vikings/Colts/Cowboys

Thomas - who was critical of the Jets' coaching staff last year - saw some early season action as an emergency signing for the Colts, but when their injury crisis abated, his playing time dried up and he was eventually released. He had actually played well, with just one catch given up on seven targets. At the end of the season, he was picked up by Dallas for the last game, but didn't see any action.

OLB IK Enemkpali - Bills

After having been suspended for the first month of the season, Enemkpali moved into a rotational role with the Bills. Remarkably, in 149 snaps, he didn't record a single pressure. He had 13 tackles and gave up a touchdown pass in coverage.

S Josh Bush - Broncos/Bills

Bush just won a Super Bowl ring, playing a key role for the Broncos down the stretch. He played over 350 snaps from week 13 onwards, including 24 in the Super Bowl last night. However, it wasn't all plain sailing for Bush who was released by the Broncos early in the season and - after a short stay in Buffalo - only returned to the team when there was an injury crisis in the secondary. He had 13 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble during the regular season and had six tackles and a pass defensed in the playoffs.

CB Leon McFadden - 49ers/Cardinals/Giants

After spending preseason with San Francisco and then a short period of time on Arizona's practice squad, McFadden signed with the Giants and saw action on special teams in a couple of games. He ended up the season on their practice squad and has since signed a futures deal for next year.

LB Jeremiah George - Jaguars/Bucs

After leaving the Jaguars at the end of preseason, George would spend the season in Tampa. There, he played just one defensive snap in week 16, although he did stuff a run on that play. George also added six special teams tackles.

CB Brandon Dixon - Bucs/Colts/Seahawks/Patriots/Saints

Despite spending time with five different teams this season, Dixon was stuck on practice squads all year and never made it onto an active roster.

OLB Jason Babin - Ravens/Cardinals

Babin was released by Baltimore early in the season because he kept jumping offsides. In total, he had three penalties and just two pressures in 30 snaps with the Ravens. He got a second chance with Arizona late in the season, but played just one defensive snap in the postseason.

S Durell Eskridge - Cardinals

Eskridge finished up the year on the Cardinals' practice squad after they had picked him up around midseason and has signed a futures deal with them since the end of the year.

DL Kerry Hyder - Lions

Hyder spent the season on the Lions' practice squad until he was activated for the season finale. He played two defensive snaps and is now under contract with them for next year.

WR/CB/S Saalim Hakim - Lions/Chiefs

Hakim saw action in two games with Kansas City, who used him at safety for four snaps and as a gunner on special teams. He was released in November.

ILB Joe Mays - San Diego

Mays signed with the Chargers in October, but his contract is up at the end of the season. He saw action on defense in two games, playing a total of 18 snaps and recording one pressure and one tackle. He also had three tackles on special teams.

DB Ras-i Dowling - Raiders/Panthers
Dowling failed to make the Raiders and was a late-season addition to Carolina's practice squad. He almost won a Super Bowl ring despite never having made it to their active roster. He's currently being listed as a safety.

DE Quinton Coples - Dolphins
Coples made five appearances with Miami, playing exclusively as a rotational edge defender and grading out well over those five games. He recorded five pressures in 45 pass rush attempts with Miami but was inactive for the last game.
DL Quanterus Smith - Jaguars
Smith was on the Jets' practice squad for three weeks during the season but Jacksonville picked him up for their practice squad when the Jets let him go.

DT TJ Barnes - Bills
The Jets put Barnes on their practice squad late in the season and Rex Ryan's Bills pounced, poaching him for their active roster. He played 26 snaps in four appearances for them down the stretch, recording one tackle.
CB Jeremy Harris - Washington
After a three-week spell on the Jets' practice squad, the Jets let Harris go and he signed with Washington right at the end of the season. He played 39 snaps in their season finale and held up well, surrendering two catches for 29 yards on four targets.

CB Dashaun Phillips - Washington
Phillips, who was injured in preseason, also found his way onto Washington's roster at the end of the year and saw action in the season finale (on his birthday). He made a good open field tackle on his only target but suffered a scary-looking neck injury. Thankfully, it turned out just to be a severe stinger.

CB Keon Lyn - Bucs
Lyn saw time with the Jets in preseason, but was suffering from a thumb injury. He did find his way onto Tampa's practice squad in October, but lasted just over a week there.

DL Jordan Williams - Dolphins
Williams spent time on Miami's practice squad before being activated near the end of the season. He played four snaps against the Ravens in week 13. He ended the season on the practice squad and has since signed a reserve/futures deal with Miami.


CB Keith Lewis - Chargers/Chiefs
Lewis spent a lot of time on the Chargers' practice squad but signed a futures deal with Kansas City instead after the season.

DB/KR Javier Arenas - Bills

After Arenas - a late addition in camp - almost made the Jets roster, he would spend the entire year out of the league. Arenas signed a futures deal with the Bills last week though.

DE/OLB Zach Thompson - Ravens
Thompson suffered a head injury in preseason and was placed on injured reserve. He was released from injured reserve in December.

Played elsewhere in preseason, but weren't on a roster or practice squad in 2015

DL Tevita Finau (Texans)
CB Lowell Rose (Chargers)
CB Ellis Lankster (Bills)
LB Chris Young (Saints)
LB Troy Davis (Cowboys)
DB Brandon Smith (Cowboys)


New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)

The New York Jets have filled three of their coaching staff vacancies. They have promoted John Scott Jr. to assistant defensive line coach, hired Tim Atkins as assistant defensive quality control coach and hired David Diaz-Infante as their assistant offensive line coach (Jets, Feb. 9).  

Scott served as a defensive quality control coach last season under Todd Bowles.

Atkins joins New York's staff after serving as a football operations assistant with Buffalo since 2011.

Diaz-Infante previously worked as an offensive assistant with the Arizona Cardinals, where he briefly worked alongside Bowles. 

Tags: Tim Reilly

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin (18) during the game against the New York Giants at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin (18) during the game against the New York Giants at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Every year, teams have to let some players go. Even though the Jets did bring back some of their free agents (Leger Douzable, Willie Colon, Ben Ijalana, Tanner Purdum), they chose not to bring everyone back. Since preseason, we've been keeping track of the progress on all the guys from the 2014 or 2015 roster that are now playing elsewhere and now that the season is over, we can wrap things up, starting today with offensive players and special teamers.

Some stats from PFF have been used in this article and throughout the series. 

WR Percy Harvin - Bills

After a promising start, with 19 catches in the first four games, Harvin missed some time due to personal reasons and ended up on injured reserve. Buffalo's GM Doug Whaley has said they'd love to have him back next year, but he had just signed a one-year deal so his contract is up. The Jets had opted to release Harvin rather than paying him $11 million, instead making the trade for Brandon Marshall.

OL Oday Aboushi - Texans

Aboushi was in Houston's starting line-up for a while, but was replaced by youngster Xavier Su'a-Filo at midseason. He was mostly inactive over the second half of the season although he did get one more start, in week 13. Overall, he struggled as a run blocker and also gave up two sacks against the Titans in week eight.

QB Matt Simms - Bills/Falcons

After a rough preseason with the Bills, Simms ended up on the Falcons' practice squad. He actually had a chance to go back onto the Bills' active roster when Tyrod Taylor was injured, but turned them down and probably was wise to do so because Taylor only missed a couple of weeks before reclaiming his spot.

WR Greg Salas - Lions/Bills

Salas looked good in preseason with Detroit, but injured his knee and ended up on injured reserve. After having been released from injured reserve, he worked out for several teams, including the Jets, but ended up with the Bills and actually caught three passes for 41 yards in the season finale that saw the Jets eliminated.

QB Mike Vick - Steelers

Vick saw some action early in the year when Ben Roethlisberger was injured, although he was used mostly in a game manager role, as he had just 371 passing yards in four appearances. Vick won one start and held onto a lead in a relief appearance, without which the Steelers might not have reached the postseason. In fact, you might consider that he helped to eliminate the Jets. Vick had a quarterback rating of below 80 but did throw two touchdown passes and only one interception.

WR Jalen Saunders - Saints/Patriots/Bears

Saunders did not find his way onto an active roster this year, but did spend the entire season on the practice squad with the Bears, his sixth team.

P Jacob Schum - Bucs

Schum kept the Bucs job all year and had a better net average than Ryan Quigley, even though his gross average was more than two yards per punt lower. However, that could easily be attributed to the coverage units. Schum had the lowest amount of punt return yardage allowed in the league, while Quigley had over three times as much.

WR Walt Powell - Bills/Raiders

Powell was on the Raiders' active roster briefly during the season, but did not play and then ended up back with the Bills, where he saw action in the last two games. He played four snaps on offense in the season finale against the Jets and also had a 16-yard punt return as well as returning two kickoffs for 52 yards.

TE Chris Pantale - Bears/Eagles

Pantale was ill during preseason so did not make the Bears roster. He would land on Philadelphia's practice squad in late-September and remained there for the rest of the season.

RB Chris Johnson - Cardinals

Johnson suffered a gunshot wound in the offseason and then struggled to find a job before finally settling on a deal with the Cardinals. There he enjoyed something of a renaissance and was well on his way to a thousand-yard season when he broke his leg. Johnson could, theoretically, have been activated to play in the Super Bowl if the Cardinals had beaten the Panthers in the NFC title game. Despite the surprising performance, it's worth noting that his yards per carry average (4.2) was actually lower than what he managed with the Jets in 2014.

WR Shaq Evans - Jaguars

Evans spent the year on Jacksonville's practice squad after failing to make the Jets' roster. He re-signed with them on a futures deal after the season.

RB Daryl Richardson - Texans/Browns/Steelers

Daryl Richardson was released from the Texans practice squad but got signed to the Browns' active roster late in the season. He did not see any action though and has since signed a futures deal with Pittsburgh.

WR Jarrod West - Steelers

West was only with the Jets for a short time and spent just one day on the Steelers practice squad during the season.

TE Art Lynch - Broncos

Lynch played in two preseason games with the Jets. He was on the Broncos' practice squad from early September until early December.

TE Matt LaCosse - Giants

The Giants brought LaCosse back and put him on their practice squad after the Jets let him go. They activated him for the last two games of the year and he caught three passes for 22 yards in the loss to Minnesota. No Jets tight end caught three passes in a game during the regular season.

OL Charles Brown - Cowboys

Brown played a total of 21 snaps as an extra tight end in jumbo packages with Dallas. He saw action on at least one snap in 11 games, but his contract is now up.

WR TJ Graham - Saints

Graham was released three separate times by the Saints during the season and is currently a free agent. In four games with them, he caught four passes for 24 yards and had two special teams tackles.

QB Matt Flynn - Saints

Flynn signed with the Saints late in the season after an injury to Luke McCown. He did not see any action with the team.

OL Will Campbell - Bills/Packers
Released in preseason by the Bills, Campbell was signed to the Packers' practice squad in early January and has subsequently signed a futures deal with them.

C Dalton Freeman - Bills/Texans

Freeman also failed to make the Bills' roster, but signed to Houston's practice squad in November and has a futures deal with them too.

WR DeVier Posey - Broncos
While the Broncos were still active during the 2015 playoffs, they had already signed Posey to a futures deal for next season.

RB/KR Shane Wynn - Chargers/Saints
Since Wynn's two-week stay on the Jets' practice squad ended in November, he spent time on the Chargers' practice squad before ending up the season on the Saints' practice squad.

QB Josh Johnson - Bills
Johnson was brought in as injury cover during the season by Buffalo, but didn't see any action. He will also be an unrestricted free agent.

WR Austin Hill - Patriots
Another late addition in camp, Hill caught one pass for the Jets in preseason. New England had him on their practice squad briefly during the season.

WR Stephen Hill - Panthers

Hill tore his ACL in camp, but almost ended up receiving a Super Bowl ring. For what it's worth, Cam Newton characterized his injury as a big loss last week.

DL/OL Kona Schwenke - Seahawks
Schwenke - making the transition from defensive line to offensive guard also tore his ACL in preseason and spent the year on injured reserve.

WR David Nelson - Steelers
Nelson also landed on injured reserve. He had injured his shoulder in his first practice with the team.

Played elsewhere in preseason, but weren't on a roster or practice squad in 2015

FB John Conner (Bills)
WR Jacoby Ford (Titans)
WR Clyde Gates (Titans/Cowboys)
QB Tajh Boyd (Steelers)
OL Sean Hooey (49ers)


 (Ben Margot/AP)
(Ben Margot/AP)

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath thinks the team should at least consider acquiring 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, writes Manish Mehta of the Daily News (Feb. 8).

Namath also recently said that the Jets shouldn't rule out Peyton Manning, who hasn't yet made a decision about his future.

During on appearance on ESPN Radio on Friday, Namath weighed in on the thoughts of Jets WR Brandon Marshall, who said last week that he didn't want the Jets to go after Kaepernick.

"I think he should consider that a little more," Namath said. "I know that Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job this year. Whenever I'm asked to critique what I've seen and what I feel, I know that he would like to throw the ball more accurately given the chance. You need more than one quarterback on a team. If Kaepernick were available, I'd certainly consider bringing him in, yes."

Mehta reported last week that Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco so he can join the Jets (Feb. 3), and noted that the Jets were aware and intrigued.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports had a different take than Mehta, noting that the Jets have never have and did not currently have interest in acquiring Kaepernick (Feb. 4).

Kaepernick, 28, was benched midway through last season before being placed on injured reserved. In eight starts, Kaepernick completed 144 of 244 passes for 1,615 yards while throwing six touchdowns and five interceptions.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who served as the Jets' starting QB this season, is set to become a free agent.

Tags: Brandon Marshall

Denver Broncos players hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USATSI)
Denver Broncos players hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USATSI)

Denver is just minutes into celebrating its latest championship, and Las Vegas sports books are taking action on the next Super Bowl. 

If it feels way too early to think about this, it makes sense from a gambling perspective. Casinos want gamblers -- especially those from out of town who live in states where gambling on sports isn't legal -- to place one last bet before they go. 

2017 lines are out, and the New England Patriots are the 9-1 favorite followed by the Carolina Panthers at 10-1. The Broncos are 18-1, behind eight other teams. 

Here's a list of all the odds, compiled by Pregame.com. 

New England -- 9-1
Carolina -- 10-1
Seattle -- 11-1
Green Bay -- 12-1
Pittsburgh -- 12-1
Arizona -- 15-1
Cincinnati -- 15-1
Indianapolis -- 15-1
Denver -- 18-1
Dallas -- 24-1
Kansas City -- 25-1
Minnesota -- 25-1
Philadelphia -- 35-1
Baltimore -- 38-1
Giants -- 42-1
Jets -- 42-1
Buffalo -- 45-1
Houston -- 45-1
Atlanta -- 50-1
LA Rams -- 50-1
Washington -- 50-1
Miami -- 60-1
Detroit -- 60-1
Oakland -- 60-1
Chicago -- 65-1
New Orleans -- 65-1
San Diego -- 75-1
Jacksonville -- 85-1
San Francisco -- 110-1
Tampa Bay -- 110-1
Cleveland -- 200-1
Tennessee -- 220-1

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

 


GEICO SportsNite: Super Bowl 50 00:02:24
Members of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers reflect on Super Bowl 50 and the Broncos' 24-10 win.

If this was the final game of his magnificent career, what a Super way to go out for Peyton Manning.

He can thank Von Miller and the Broncos' swarming, big-play defense for his second NFL championship.

Adding that ring to his five MVP awards, Manning certainly can be satisfied and comfortable in retirement should Sunday's 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers be his finale. He wasn't the star - game MVP Miller seemingly was everywhere on every Carolina play - but Manning really hasn't been the headliner in this injury-shortened season.

Emulating his Broncos boss, John Elway, the 39-year-old Manning can ride off with the Lombardi Trophy after leading Denver to its third NFL title, first since 1999 - when Elway was the quarterback.

Denver's suffocating defense kept Cam Newton jittery all day. Despite wearing gold shoes in the golden Super Bowl, Newton couldn't finish off a dynamic season in which he was the league's MVP. Miller twice stripped him, once for a touchdown, the second time setting up a clinching TD. Denver's top-ranked defense, the one that ran roughshod over Tom Brady in the AFC championship, simply wouldn't let Newton get comfortable. >> Read more...


South squad quarterback Dak Prescott of Mississippi State avoids the pressure of defensive end Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USATSI)
South squad quarterback Dak Prescott of Mississippi State avoids the pressure of defensive end Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USATSI)

In the wake of the Senior Bowl, here are some interesting notes for Jets fans who are turning their eyes from the regular season to the draft to enjoy. We will be releasing these in a series of installments over the next day or two so keep checking back for more Senior Bowl content with a Jets focus.

Mixed reviews on Noah Spence

No one seems to be in doubt of edge rusher Noah Spence's prowess on the field. He was the most explosive and dynamic player in Mobile at rushing the passer and looks to be on the border between the first and second rounds of the NFL Draft, but could go much higher according to NFL Media's Bucky Brooks. Spence was named to many lists of the Senior Bowl week winners and spent the week proving his mettle on the field and answering questions off of it about his issues with drug addiction, and maybe worse, the cover up he undertook while at Ohio State which saw him end up getting kicked off the team. 

But how convincing were Spence's answers? Walter Football's Charlie Campbell wrote in his Thursday rumor report that "teams weren't impressed with how Spence answered their questions" regarding his past troubles. If teams are dubious about Spence's ability to stay clean, those teams who are already skeptical will be very interested in the results of his Combine drug test. Randy Gregory was a potential top 15 pick, but failed his drug test last year in Indianapolis and it cost him dearly. 

As far as an on-field talent, Spence could be an incredible addition to the Jets roster, but teams will have to weigh his on-field heroics with whatever off-field antics might come along with it. Unless something drastic changes for Spence, I can't imagine the Jets using their 20th pick on a player like Spence who would be far too risky for the selection and unless another bombshell falls on him in the coming months there's not likely going to be a chance for the Jets to nab him in the second.

Kenneth Dixon bursting on the scene

Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott are lauded as the top two running backs in this class, but with neither at the Senior Bowl, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon might be a name to keep an eye on over the next few months. Right now, Dixon is now garnering second- and third-round grades. TJB friend Josh Norris loves Dixon, and called him the only starting NFL caliber running back at the Senior Bowl this past week. ESPN's Dallas beat man Todd Archer thinks he'd be a great fit for the Cowboys. Dixon was voted the best RB in practice thanks to his speed, explosion and burst. PFF graded Dixon out well in terms of elusivity, route-running as a RB and breakaway plays. During his week in Mobile, Dixon was "getting open in one-on-one and team drills" and his "route-running appears to be very advanced for a running back." Rotoviz is slightly less optimistic about Dixon and the folks at RV will wait until they see Dixon's workout results in Indy; their concern is that Dixon might only be a brilliant mid-major player with backup potential in the pros.

Either way, if Dixon blows his Combine numbers out of the water, expect a jump on his draft status. Could the Jets use a player like Dixon? Absolutely and he might be a solid second or third round selection for the Jets. 

Is Carson Wentz a legit NFL QB or just a shiny new NFL Draft toy?

For Jets fans who wished Carson Wentz might last to the 20th pick, it seems best to put that false hope squarely out of mind. Wentz was the darling of Mobile all week, faring well in practices and demonstrating the charisma and chip that NFL teams love to see from their quarterbacks. A good sign is that Wentz is repped by QB-whisperer agent Ryan Tollner, but who is this unknown quarterback from a border state? Wentz was barely recruited to play college ball and who know is on the inside track to become a top ten pick in the NFL Draft? It is fair to have some skepticism about whether he can become what everyone seems to expect him to be. Actually, it has come out this week that there might be more doubt than thought just a week ago. Some NFL execs are now weighing in in a backlash, saying that they would not draft him in the first round … but is this just a ploy by savvy front offices to get him to drop?

Regardless, it sounds like NFL scouts have been hip to Wentz for a while now. From Andrew Garda of SoE: "A lot of teams feel he can definitely [play] and [they] have known that for some time. For the most part, it seems like NFL outsiders are playing catch-up. The buzz centers not around whether Wentz will be a first-round pick … but whether he will go in the top 10 or even top five during April's NFL Draft."

It's hard to say just how the Jets feel about Wentz, but one would have to think that he could get a first-round grade from the Jets when their board finally lays out. For the Jets to acquire Wentz through the draft, it would have to take an unlikely draft day tumble, or the Jets will need to trade up to snag him. Some teams think that the Browns at the second pick is a distinct possibility for Wentz. From a sheer capital creation or capital destruction perspective, for the Jets to get in play I have to imagine it would be a combination of Wentz slipping down to around the 10th pick combined with the Jets trading up. In other words … don't hold your breath.

Tags: Brian Bassett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza (2) attempts a field goal during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Troy Taormina)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza (2) attempts a field goal during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Troy Taormina)

The New York Jets have signed linebacker/defensive end Freddie Bishop and kicker Kyle Brindza, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Feb. 5).

Bishop, 25, has signed a two-year deal with the Jets after playing in the Canadian Football League since 2014. In 16 games last season, he recorded 11 sacks and had 44 tackles overall with the Calgary Stampedes. He was considered a CFL standout and visited with seven NFL teams before signing with New York.

Brindza, 23, signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets. He spent time with Tampa Bay last season where he missed six of his 12 field goal attempts and was released in October. 

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

My ears perked up when I saw that the Jets had signed Bishop. Bishop went undrafted in 2013 but saw some time with the Lions in their offseason program before playing well in the CFL. Bishop has garnered some attention from a number of NFL teams, notably the Patriots who worked him out in December. Bishop looks like a player who does a great job of recognizing the play develop and using his instinct and quickness, but not necessarily great speed, to get him in position to make plays. The Jets have to get extensively younger and cheaper in their linebacking corps this year and signing a player like Bishop is a great camp tryout at worst, in the middle he has a great chance at becoming a special teamer and depth option and at best and likely as a contributor to this defense.

To get a sense of how Bishop plays, watch some a highlight reel of Bishop from his 2015 CFL season

Tags: Tim Reilly

SNY's Erik Coleman is out in California for Super Bowl 50. In this Q&A, he talked about the Broncos vs. Panthers, playing while injured, what the Jets need to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Muhammad Wilkerson, the team's secondary and more...

On Super Bowl 50…

Everyone is talking about Peyton Manning -- is this going to be his last game? I think that Peyton is in a place where if he wins this Super Bowl, it's going to be his last game. But if he feels good, and loses, he's going to come back out again. One rumor is that the LA Rams want him, at least for one year. If they can have him start that franchise in Los Angeles, that would be huge for them.

They're also talking about Cam Newton, and a lot about the defenses. The two defenses have been playing very good football. How are they going to play? How are those matchups going to line up?

It's definitely going to be a defensive type of game. If Carolina's defense is able to stop the run of the Broncos, I think they'll have a lot of success against Denver. Peyton is not at the point in his career where he can dominate a game by throwing the ball 50 times. He needs the run game to help him out with the play-action game, with the roll-outs, to help him drive down the field.

Is Thomas Davis going to be able to stop the run with a broken arm? Is he going to be able to stop the run. He's playing tough and playing through the injury, but is going to be able to take on isolated coverage? Is he going to take on fullbacks? Lineman?

And when you look at Denver's defense? Are those two safeties healthy enough to stop Greg Olsen. He's a huge part of this offense. Olsen and cam Newton have a great bond. He's had an amazing year. There are some great matchups on defense.

On Davis and playing while injured…

I played though a broken hand. I had to play with a club on my hand. It's one thing to go out there and play, but there are a lot of times where you have to make arm tackles and guys just run through your tackles because you can't grab cloth. I see that being a problem for him. He's a great player, he's played through a lot of injuries and he's one of the toughest men in the league. If there's someone that can do it, it's Thomas Davis. I'm not going to say he's not going to preform well, but there may be instances where he struggles due to the cast.

Prediction for Super Bowl 50...

I'm leaning toward Carolina. They're hot right now, the confidence they're playing with, Cam Newton is throwing and running the ball wall. I think they have too many playmakers, and I think they're going to put up too many points for Denver, so I'm going with Carolina.


What should the Jets do with Ryan Fitzpatrick?

I think that the Jets should bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick. Give him another year or two, which will give Bryce Petty another year to watch. It comes down to how they feel about Petty, too. Do they see him as the quarterback of the future? If they do, sign Fitzpatrick back and let Petty develop a little bit. If not, I think they're going to need to make a move.

You hear about Colin Kaepernick talking about the possibility in going to the Jets. I don't know if the Jets are interested, but I know Colin is, and it doesn't really work out like that all the time.

I think the best move for the Jets would be to keep Fitzpatrick. He earned it. He had a great year, did a great job leading this team and he has the trust of all of his teammates. That's a big key to moving forward.

And Muhammad Wilkerson?

Obviously, both sides would probably like to get a long-term deal done. No player wants to be franchised, not because of the money, but because there's no security of longevity. God forbid something happens during that season while you're franchised. I think Muhammad would like to get a long-term deal done, and I think the Jets would, too, so they don't have to think about this anymore and it's not a distraction going forward.

At the same time, what are you going to do with Damon Harrison? He's arguable the best nose tackle in the game right now. He's playing great football and he's a free agent as well.

They're going to have some tough decisions to make. This is where Mike Maccagnan is going to be tested as a general manager.

How did the defensive backs fare in 2015? And how do they look going into 2016?

I think they did a great job in 2015. Darrelle Revis, he probably had one game where he gave up a couple plays, but other than that, he had a great season. Antonio Cromartie had an up-and-down season, but he played pretty good. Calvin Pryor was a bright spot, he played exceptionally well. He played well against the run, and was great in pass defense. He established himself as an enforcer out on the perimeter.

In the secondary, I think they're in good shape. They have some young guys who they're developing. Marcus Williams did a great job this year. He's a guy that's a bright spot. All these guys... they have a lot of talent in the secondary. It's going to be very competitive in the offseason and in training camp. The competition will breed success. You'll see the cream rise to the top. You're going to get the most out of all those guys in the secondary.

Tags: Antonio Cromartie , Damon Harrison , Darrelle Revis , Marcus Williams , Muhammad Wilkerson , Ryan Fitzpatrick

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

The Jets are expected to use their franchise tag on DE Muhammad Wilkerson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Feb. 4).

The 26-year-old Wilkerson, who is otherwise eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, made $6.96 million this season with an identical cap hit.

The Raiders have interest in Wilkerson and would "pounce" if he isn't franchised, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Feb. 4), who says the Raiders would also be open to working out a trade if Wilkerson is tagged.

Wilkerson had 64 tackles, 12 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 2015.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter This would be an obvious move for the Jets to make since it would force any team that wanted to acquire Wilkerson to offer up considerable trade compensation to do so.

This would be like in 2006 where the Jets tagged and traded John Abraham and used the first round pick they acquired to select Nick Mangold. The difference here is that the Jets have enough payroll flexibility that keeping Wilkerson -- on the tag or on a longer term deal -- is a more viable option, whereas in 2006 they'd probably have had to rescind the tag and let Abraham go if they couldn't figure out a trade.

If Wilkerson does play out the 2015 season on the franchise tag, the Jets could theoretically tag him again next year, although they'd have to increase his salary by 20 percent over the current franchise tag amount (around $15 million) to do so. The franchise tag could also act as a placeholder while the team negotiates a longer-term deal, which is what the Jets did with both David Harris and Nick Folk in recent seasons.

It would be senseless to risk allowing Wilkerson to depart for nothing when the Jets have the ability to maintain control over his rights, so I'd imagine it's a no-brainer to tag him, unless a long-term deal or a trade can be worked out before then.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

No surprise here. The Jets and Wilkerson have been a long ways off in terms of expectations for his new contract, and it seems there has been no change of heart on either side.

Wilkerson believes he deserves J.J. Watt type money and the Jets are interested in giving Wilkerson a new contract, but they might not be willing to do the level of deal Wilkerson want's just yet. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has only been in New York a year, and tying up a massive amount of cap space to a defensive player might not happen until he sees another full season of excellent production from Wilkerson.

I believe Wilkerson deserves a fat contract and it's a shame the team hasn't yet come to terms on a new deal. However, there is still plenty of time for the sides to reach an accord ahead of the Jets being forced to use the franchise tag -- or even at some point between when Wilkerson is tagged and the start of the regular season.

Right now, the franchise tag for defensive ends is expected to be about $15.49 million. Should the Jets use the franchise tag on Wilkerson and sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, the they'll need to find salary cap space elsewhere to create some breathing room for other players they will want to acquire or retain.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco so he can join the Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (Feb. 3).

The Jets are Kaepernick's "preferred" choice, according to Mehta, who says the team is aware of his interest and intrigued about the possibility of obtaining him.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has a different take than Mehta, noting that the Jets have never have and do not currently have interest in acquiring Kaepernick (Feb. 4).

Kaepernick, 28, was benched midway through this season before being placed on injured reserved. In eight starts, Kaepernick completed 144 of 244 passes for 1,615 yards while throwing six touchdowns and five interceptions.

Mehta notes that the 49ers have until April 1 to make a decision to keep, trade, or cut Kaepernick, whose cap hit this season is set to be $15.9 million. Kaepernick is owed roughly $100 million over the next five seasons.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who served as the Jets' starting QB this season, is set to become a free agent.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

It would make perfect sense that Colin Kaepernick might want to play with the Jets, but I would be shocked if the feeling is reciprocated by GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles.

New York is obviously one of the biggest markets in the country and after bottoming out two years ago, the Jets are in a much better place. For Kaepernick, New York would represent a soft landing spot with two excellent receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. With a few smart acquisitions this offseason, this offense could easily get markedly better.

From his time in Arizona, Bowles knows what Kaepernick is -- a highly athletic playmaker at quarterback with plus wheels. But Bowles also knows what Kaepernnick isn't -- a quarterback who has progressed in any discernible way since his first year as a full-time starter.

Sure, there might be interest on the Jets' side, but Kaepernick has done nothing to disprove the sentiment that he was little more than a creation of a favorable offensive system (to which the NFL has caught up) and that he is a product of a QB whisperer/head coach who crossed power-obsessed Niners GM Trent Baalke and had enough. Once Jim Harbaugh left, the house of cards collapsed quickly.

While Chip Kelly's offensive philosophy might mesh well with Kaepernick's style of play, it would appear that Kelly's reputation of having an abrasive personality -- coupled with a dysfunctional front office -- has soured Kaepernick on staying put. And it's hard to blame him.

In many ways, Kaepernick's situation feels comparable to that of Mark Sanchez with the Jets just a few years ago. Once the team moved on from Sanchez (even though it was at least partly due to injury) it seemed impossible to walk that decision back. Sure, Kaepernick was injured in 2015, but to bench him in favor of Blaine Gabbert might have been a bit too far.

If we are to truly believe that shoving off to New York is Colin Kaepernick's idea and not some NFL offseason smokescreen or power play by others, then I know one thing: Kaepernick is not going to get the Jets to agree to such a deal on his current bloated contract. Mike Maccagnan is no fool. If Kaepernick is pining for the Big Apple, he will play on a pay-as-you-go affair and do so at a reduced rate.

Another thought that occurs to me is that this is the Jets' way of creating urgency in their contract negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick. If there is too great a gap between player and team, maybe the threat of a trade for another (albeit worse) player might hustle Fitzpatrick back to the table. No one is pretending that Fitzpatrick is Mr. Right for this team, but in my estimation he is a much better Mr. Right Now for the Jets than Colin Kaepernick.

Tags: Brian Bassett , Danny Abriano

The New York Jets have signed speedy running back-kick returner Dri Archer to a reserve/future contract.

The versatile Archer, who has also played wide receiver, was a third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh out of Kent State in 2014. He was waived by the Steelers last November.

Archer had 10 rushes for 40 yards, seven catches for 23 yards and returned 23 kickoffs for a 22.4-yard average in 20 games with the Steelers. His deal with the Jets takes effect in March, when the NFL begins 2016 business.

Jets coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan recently said they want the team to be faster next season, and Archer fills the bill. He ran a 4.26-second 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL combine, second-fastest in the last 10 years to Chris Johnson (4.24 in 2008).


Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press


Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Archer is a player who was mentioned along with DeAnthony Thomas as one of the best kick return prospects in the 2014 draft and was also thought of as someone who could develop into a multi-faceted offensive weapon in the vein of a Thomas or Dexter McCluster.

He's fast, but diminutive, and never really made much of an impact with the Steelers, who released the former third-round pick last November. In his first season, Archer saw some action on offense but generated just 63 yards from scrimmage and was basically a full-time return specialist last season. In two seasons, Archer only returned one kick-off past the 40-yard line, although he did average a respectable 25.3 yards per return last year. He also fielded just one punt.

However, the Jets' return game was poor in 2015, so bringing in someone who might have some untapped potential in that area could be a good move. I'll be scouting Archer in more detail - along with the rest of the reserve/futures signings the team has made since the end of the season - throughout February and March.


New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs a pass route during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs a pass route during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)

New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall appeared as a guest on ESPN's First Take on Wednesday. While there he expressed his support of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and said had no interest in 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick joining the Jets.

"Fitzpatrick's second half of his career is going to be an amazing," Marshall said on ESPN's First Take on Wednesday. "He's with his guy Chan Gailey, he's comfortable and he really owns this offense and that's what you really want out of the quarterback position."

It was reported on Tuesday that Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco and that his "preferred" destination would be the Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (Feb. 2)

The Jets are aware of his interest and intrigued about the possibility of obtaining him.

"I don't want Kaepernick," Marshall said regarding those reports. "I think he's good, but my guy is Fitz."

Fitzpatrick, who threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns last season, is set to become a free agent this offseason. Though the Jets have made it publicly known they intend on talking with him about a return to New York.

Marshall had 1,502 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last season. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Tim Reilly

 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Jets will hire Brant Boyer to be their new special teams coach, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (Feb. 2).

Boyer, 44, worked as the assistant special teams coach for the Colts for the past four seasons.

A former LB, Boyer spent 10 seasons in the NFL split with the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Browns from 1994-2003.

The Jets fired special teams coach Bobby April last month.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

There was talk last month that Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong might have been on the Jets' short list. Head coach Todd Bowles knows Armstrong from their time together at Temple, but in the end the Jets might not have been able to pry Armstrong away. 

At this time I am unsure of Boyer's connections to the Jets' current staff, but my hope is that anything is better than what we saw last year from Bobby April.

Tags: Brian Bassett

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates his first career NFL touchdown pass during the first half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates his first career NFL touchdown pass during the first half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

The Browns are about to throw Johnny Football away.

The team issued a strong statement Tuesday, condemning quarterback Johnny Manziel's actions and pointing to his release in March, a move that has seemed inevitable for months.

The conduct by the 23-year-old player - rampant partying, two domestic incidents and a general lack of commitment - have been a major problem almost from the day Cleveland drafted the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner in the first round two years ago.

Last weekend, Manziel was involved in a disturbance with his ex-girlfriend in Dallas that is being investigated by police and the NFL.

"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field," said Sashi Brown, the team's vice president of football operations. "Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules." >> Read more…


Tags: Cleveland Browns

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) knocks Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams (29) out of bounds after a run during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) knocks Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams (29) out of bounds after a run during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former New York Jets LB Bart Scott was critical of the Jets use of CB Darrelle Revis this season (Cosentino, Feb. 2).

Scott, now working as an analyst with CBS Sports, said the Jets didn't do Revis any favors with their coverage schemes.

"It's one thing to leave a guy on an island," Scott said, according to Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday. "But they didn't even leave him on an island-they left him in orbit."

Revis, 30, signed a five-year deal to return to New York last offseason. In his first year back, he had 30 tackles and five interceptions.

A big factor in the added pressure put on the Jets secondary this season was due to the lack of a pass rush, which is a major target for New York this offseason.

"Nobody is undefeated when it comes to Father Time. But I think the Jets were too predictable," Scott said. "Everybody knew that he was going to be on an island. Everybody needs helps sometimes, everybody needs just safety presence sometimes."

While his return season was considered a success, and the Jets ranked among the league's top-defenses, Revis struggled against some of the games top receivers. Most notably Sammy Watkins in the Jets season-finale loss to Buffalo that ultimately cost them a postseason berth. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis , Tim Reilly

Virginia Tech Hokies defensive linemen Dadi Lhomme Nicolas (90) looks on during the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (James Guillory)
Virginia Tech Hokies defensive linemen Dadi Lhomme Nicolas (90) looks on during the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (James Guillory)

In the wake of Saturday's Senior Bowl, here's some interesting notes which I thought Jets fans who are turning their eyes from the regular season to the draft might enjoy. We will be releasing these in a series of installments over the next day or two so keep checking back for more Senior Bowl content with a Jets focus!

Who's your Dadi?

According to WalterFootball, the Jets had a meeting in Mobile set up Tuesday night with Virginia Tech outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas. Nicolas is nimble, has a relentless motor and at his size (6'3" 235 lbs) is best suited as an OLB in a 4-3 or as a situational pass rusher. Nicolas had 18.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a junior in 2014 before deciding to stay for coach Frank Beamer's final season in an attempt to become the top edge rusher in the country. His senior season turned into a disappointing affair and his low point probably came in November after he unintentionally struck an official (see it here) and was suspended half a game by his coach, which might have sunk his draft stock even further.

Many expect the Jets (dating back to 2010) to use a first round pick on an edge rusher, but with an blitz confident head coach and stellar talent along the defensive front finding a discount-bin player seems a smarter method to me. Nicolas is more the sort of arbitrage edge-rusher who could complement the team and scheme and which I could easily see the Jets pursue on Day Two of the NFL Draft. In the right system, Nicolas could platoon on passing situations with Lorenzo Mauldin for a devastating one-two punch and would allow the Jets flexibility to find other impact players at offensive line or elsewhere with their first pick.

Can Braxton Miller make the leap?

For those in attendance in Mobile, no one garnered more oohs and aahs (here, here and here) in practice than Braxton Miller. Miller didn't have the most productive season as a first-year receiver, but he might have made the play of the year with his "B-Button Spin Move" against Virginia Tech. 

With a QB logjam at Ohio State, Miller was stuck in an impossible situation under Urban Meyer and he's made the most of it by converting to before heading into the NFL Draft process. There's not a lot of instant success stories for converted quarterbacks in the NFL, but there is enough precedent among players like Denard Robinson, Brad Smith, Julian Edelman and Antwan Randle-El that some enterprising NFL team will give it a try. What makes it more feasible is that Miller has incredible athleticism - we'll know just how athletic come the NFL Combine - that using his 2015 season as a means to accelerate his transition to receiver will make it more palatable for an interested NFL team.

Miller might have put on a show in Mobile, Matt Waldman preached patience on his site saying that "even if [Miller is] beating everyone here at least once, he often didn't do it twice with the more patient defenders. Although he's not ready to make his mark immediately as a full-time NFL starter, it might not take him long at this rate of his development." Braxton Miller might have put on a show in Mobile, but he needs to demonstrate improvement on his route-running skills on his Pro Day or any private workouts to cement a second round grade. 

It would be interesting to see how the Jets could find a spot for Miller, but depending on how well his agility scores are at the Combine he might well get some team to reach for him in the late first round.

If the Jets were to get a crack at drafting him I would imagine it would be in the second round, and they still might have to move up to earlier in the round to grab him. Miller will be a curious player to watch throughout the draft, but I just don't see the Jets getting the chance to use one of their first three picks on him. 

Kenyan Drake, the Human Rorshach Blot

There seems to be a lot of buzz, but also a lot of mixed sentiment on Alabama RB Kenyan Drake. Drake played in a complementary role behind The Mountain (AKA Derrick Henry) in a change of pace role for Nick Saban with the Crimson Tide to both TJ Yeldon in 2014 and Derrick Henry again this past year. There's very few secondary talents in a collegiate backfield who go onto great things in the NFL, but can the changing way that the NFL uses running backs allow Drake do just that? Apparently NFL teams in Moblie used Reggie Bush as a comparable, which means I'm, at the very least, paying attention to Drake. But maybe that's comp is not meant in a purely complementary fashion when it comes to Bush's skills as a blocker? Bush was never much of a pass blocker and according to Rob Rang Drake was routinely "getting blown up" in pass protection drills during practice at the Senior Bowl. 

Even if Drake is a pocket rocket, NFL teams are going to be hard pressed to manufacture touches for a player who has zero versatility when needed to block. Unless Drake's eminence as a blocker can improve, opposing edge-rushers will quickly get the signal that they can have a free shot at the quarterback any play in which Drake is on the field. The Jets could use an explosive pass catcher like Drake, but not at the cost of getting their quarterback leveled. Maybe Drake can stick in the league as a Theo Riddick type, but for Drake to carve out a larger role and justify a second day draft pick he must get significantly stronger as a pass protector first. Teams will be watching him closely and putting him through as many pass protection drills as they can between now and April.

Tags: Brian Bassett

General view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem with the United States flag on the field before the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
General view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem with the United States flag on the field before the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Chris Ivory and center Nick Mangold represented the Jets in Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Ivory had one 16-yard run and three catches for 55 yards for Team Rice, which lost to Team Irvin, 49-27. Mangold also played for Team Rice.

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and cornerback Darrelle Revis were all selected to the Pro Bowl, but did not play due to injuries.

Tags: Chris Ivory , Nick Mangold

GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:54
GEICO SportsNite attends the third-annual Jets House on Saturday, as fans enjoyed meeting current and former players.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson gestures to the fans on the sidelines before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USATSI)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson gestures to the fans on the sidelines before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USATSI)

(AP) -- Woody Johnson is pleased with the progress the New York Jets made under a new coach and general manager. The team's owner is far from satisfied, though.

The franchise's only Super Bowl trophy, on display a few feet away, served as a shiny, silver reminder that there's plenty more winning that needs to happen.

"That's the Super Bowl right out there," Johnson said Friday night. "We haven't won one now - this is Super Bowl 50 and that was Super Bowl 3 - so, it's been a while. Until we get there, we're going to work as hard as we can. And then after we get there, we're going to work doubly hard after that." >> Read more...


New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland reaches for a pass against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USATSI)
New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland reaches for a pass against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USATSI)

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets' tight ends.

Overview: One of the most interesting departures from previous iterations of the Jets offense was the almost willful neglect of the tight end position in the passing game. In 2015, Jets tight ends Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis were targeted a total of 25 times (14 and 11, respectively) compared to 107 targets for tight ends Jace Amaro (53), Cumberland (47) and Zach Sudfeld (seven) just a year ago. It's true Amaro was shut down for the season due to a preseason shoulder injury, but would his presence have been the missing piece in the offense?

Expected to Return (4)

Jace Amaro, age 23
Wes Saxton, age 22 (futures contract)
Brandon Bostick, age 26 (futures contract)
Adrien Robinson, age 27 (futures contract)

Reaction:

Amaro had a solid rookie campaign in 2014, but he is not a superb, irreeplaceable starter for the Jets. I look at the three players on this list with Amaro. All have "move" tight end characteristics: Saxton was a receiver who transitioned to an athletic tight end in college before being selected by the Jets as a priority undrafted free agent last summer; Bostick was a core special teamer transitioning to tight end in Green Bay before an ill-fated onside kick recovery in the playoffs; and Robinson, a former Giant, profiled as a large and explosive (check his spider graph) prospect before being cut due to lack of contribution as a blocker or on special teams.

It appears to me that the Jets are looking for answers at the tight end position and are unconvinced on just how helpful Amaro could be to this team. GM Mike Maccagnan recently described Amaro as a "wild card" for the Jets offense in 2016, but for Amaro, most of his 2014 contributions can be chalked up to plays in which he was split out, made a move behind the linebackers for a short catch (not always a clean one, by the way) and turned upfield for yardage. The point is, what does he offer as a receiver in the slot that Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker or even Bilal Powell (when lined up as a receiver) don't already? Amaro could contribute as an H-Back, but I don't get that Amaro is the sort that Chan Gailey will build an offense around either. The Jets seem to be experimenting with a number similar profiled players to Amaro, so don't be surprised to see them draft a tight end should one fall in their lap in the middle rounds.

On the bubble (3)

Jeff Cumberland, age 28 (potential cap cut)
Kellen Davis, age 30 (pending free agent)
Zach Sudfeld, age 26 (pending free agent)

Reaction: The Jets could save $1.9 million off their salary cap by cutting Cumberland, so don't be surprised if he released in the lead-up to March's free agency period. Sudfeld has height, but hasn't done much beyond training camp and preseason games to warrant much further investment by a new front office. Davis might be the most useful player thanks to his blocking as the Jets will need a player with that skill-set as they (presumably) rebuild their offensive line in 2016.

Tags: Jace Amaro , Jeff Cumberland , Kellen Davis , Wes Saxton , Zach Sudfeld , Brian Bassett

GEICO SportsNite: Woody Johnson 00:01:29
Jets owner Woody Johnson speaks about the first year of Todd Bowles' coaching tenure with Gang Green and the team's free agents.

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory runs for first down during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)
New York Jets running back Chris Ivory runs for first down during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)

Jets running back Chris Ivory said he would like to return to New York, but knows the team's tight cap space will make things difficult, he said at the Pro Bowl.

"I was able to speak with them," said Ivory, who made it to the Pro Bowl for the first time this year. "They want to bring me back but like I said, I think it's about the cap space. That's going to be the biggest factor as to whether I'm back or not."

The 27-year-old running back ran for 1,070 yards, recorded 217 receiving yards and totaled eight total touchdowns. He earned $2.75 million last season.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Maybe I'm being cynical, but this makes it sound like the Jets are preparing Ivory for the fact that they're going to give him a lowball offer. Hiding behind their cap situation is an effective way of insulating themselves from accusations that they're disrespecting a loyal servant, but it most likely boils down to the fact that there's a discrepancy between what Ivory thinks he's worth and what the Jets would be prepared to pay him.

Ultimately, if the Jets felt he was worth his asking price, they could find a way to retain him. Equally, even if they had plenty of cap flexibility -- and with the cap rising at a rate of about $10 million per season at the moment, they arguably do -- the Jets likely wouldn't pay much more than their own valuation anyway.

Ivory had some great moments in his three years with the Jets and improved immeasurably as a pass catcher. This provided the Jets with a great return on their investment, both in terms of his salary and the pick they gave up to acquire him. However, he still had issues with consistency and durability, which would be of particular concern given that he'll be into his 30s toward the tail end of his next contract.

Tags: Chris Ivory

Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) is looked at after suffering a concussion (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) is looked at after suffering a concussion (Ken Blaze)

The NFL says reported concussions rose 58 percent in regular-season games to the highest number in any of the past four years.

The league issued its concussion data for 2015 on Friday, a little more than a week before the Super Bowl, but did not release any data about total injuries.

According to the NFL, there were 182 reported concussions from 2015 regular-season games, reversing a recent downward trend. There were 115 in 2014, 148 in 2013, and 173 in 2012.

A year ago, the league touted those decreases as a reflection of players changing the way they play football.

NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy Jeff Miller says Friday the league is trying to figure out why concussion numbers rose so much this season.


Check out SNY's coverage of the NFL's concussion issue with Head Games: The Concussion Crisis in the NFL


Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press


New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. (Brad Barr)
New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. (Brad Barr)

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets inside linebackers.

Overview: This is a unit where a partial reboot is likely coming this offseason. David Harris should remain thanks to decent play in 2015 and a contract which doesn't lend itself to cutting Harris. Meanwhile, Demario Davis' 865 snaps in 2015 (sixth most for the Jets defense) could be walking out the door since it appears the Jets current coaching staff and front office aren't as impressed with his play as Rex Ryan was. Behind Harris and Davis, there's no obvious player waiting to step into a larger role … or is there?

Expected to Return (3)

David Harris, age 32
Taiwan Jones, age 22
Julian Stanford, age 25

Reaction: If ever there was a year to find interior linebacker talent on the cheap through free agency and/or via the NFL Draft, then this is the year to do it. Harris played passably in 2015 and there's no lock on the roster or heading into free agency that represents a starting Jets interior linebacker for the next three-to-five years. Jones has that old-school thumper vibe and is best used against the run. Stanford has seen time over three seasons in the NFL almost strictly on special teams. I fully expect the Jets to use a draft pick early on the third day of the NFL Draft to find an interior linebacker who can play in coverage. 

On the bubble (3)

Demario Davis, age 27 (pending free agent)
Erin Henderson, age 29 (pening free agent)
Jamari Lattimore, age 27 (pending free agent)

Reaction: Davis is the most recognizable name of the group to Jets fans, but he might not be the player who is asked to return. Davis graded out poorly through Week 11 and saw his snaps dwindle into the teens on a per-game basis at the end of the season. The expectation is that Davis might see a healthy deal in free agency from another team, but would the Jets be willing to match a deal for Davis when they already have more pressing defensive contracts with which to attend? The Jets will look to the draft for long-term help, but that will not be the team's only solution. While Davis's snaps were reduced in December it was Henderson who saw his time on the field increased and he played well enough during December to likely earn himself another contract with the Jets, one which is reportedly already under negotiation.

Tags: David Harris , Erin Henderson , Taiwan Jones , Brian Bassett

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

The Jets have opened contract negotiations with LB Erin Henderson, according to Dom Cosentino of the Star-Ledger (Jan. 28).

Henderson is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in March, but Cosentino cites a source who says the two sides should be able to come to terms before then.

Henderson, 29, played all 16 games for the Jets this past season after missing the entire 2014 season due to two drunken driving arrests. 

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Besides this being good news for Henderson, this might signal bad news for Demario Davis's future with the team, as I wrote about last week. Expect the Jets to try and inject youth into the ILB group through the draft, but a player like Henderson is a perfect bridge solution.

Beyond Henderson grading out better than Davis according to ProFootball Focus, Henderson also saw a large increase in snaps while Davis' tailed off drastically in December. Add in that Henderson would likely come on a team-friendlier deal than Davis and Henderson's succession of Davis might already be a done deal.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter An interesting point regarding Henderson. which I discussed with Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com, is that since Henderson was a minimum salaried vested veteran in 2015, the only contract the Jets can sign him to right now is another one-year, minimum salary deal.

If the Jets want to sign him to a longer deal or pay him more than the minimum, they will have to wait until the first day of the 2016 league year in March.

Tags: Erin Henderson , Brian Bassett

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory runs with the ball while avoiding a tackle attempt by New England Patriots outside linebacker Dont'a Hightower during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USATSI)
New York Jets running back Chris Ivory runs with the ball while avoiding a tackle attempt by New England Patriots outside linebacker Dont'a Hightower during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USATSI)

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets' running backs.

Overview: Where to go from here? In some ways I am at war with myself. I know the current NFL to be one where running backs are mostly considered disposable commodities. Yes, the best running backs do add value to a team, though proportionally so much less than 15 years ago. I also know that the Jets' backups who are signed through 2016 are not even close to as good as the team's top two runners. Letting Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell simply hand over their duties to Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy could grind the Jets 2016 offense to a screeching halt. Should Powell and Ivory both walk, this group has the potential to be an unholy alliance of the 1995 and 2006 Jets backfields.

Expected to Return (3)

HB Zac Stacy, age 24
FB Tommy Bohanon, age 25
FB/LB Julian Howsare, age 23

Reaction: In short, this group needs more additions, through free agency or through the draft. With three halfbacks walking out the door, there's not going to be enough talent on the roster without some series of acquisitions. While Ridley and Stacy have seen extended time as feature players on other teams, their work in their first year with the Jets was not enough for me to want to see more feature work for them. Both graded out poorly in Pro Football Reference and below replacement level in efficiency on Football Outsiders. From a cap perspective these guys cost almost nothing to keep, but from a talent perspective the team desperately need to upgrade.

As far as the fullbacks, Bohanon again struggled in his work with the team and I expect they will bring in competition. One man who might get a chance at that is Howsare, who has a shot to become a special teamer but might also get an offseason to try his hand at fullback to see if he can find a place on the team.

On the bubble (3)

HB Chris Ivory, age 27 (pending free agent)
HB Bilal Powell, age 27 (pending free agent)
HB Stevan Ridley, age 27 (pending free agent)

Reaction: The Jets might only be able to bring back one player from this group and I think it might be Powell. Ivory played well during the season, but fell apart in the last month. While his running style is punishing, his history with injuries makes me wary of giving him another contract, especially in a year when cap space will be at a premium. It's likely that the Jets can retain Powell at a cheaper rate than they might with Ivory, and Powell's ability to run between the tackles or be used as a pass-catcher was a major part of the Jets' offense during the last six weeks of the season. Unless the Jets saw something different in practice than we saw in his time on Sundays, don't expect the Jets to bring back Ridley aside from on a minimum-level deal.

Tags: Bilal Powell , Chris Ivory , Stevan Ridley , Tommy Bohanon , Zac Stacy , Brian Bassett

New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall points towards the sideline during a timeout against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson/USATSI)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall points towards the sideline during a timeout against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson/USATSI)

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets' wide receivers.

Overview: On the whole, this group is in good order for the 2016 season, but needs some added pieces to maintain the level of effectiveness that we saw out of the Jets passing game in 2015. The team will need to find a third receiver to take some of the pressure (and some of the burden) off of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Will that player come from within or someone they pick up through free agency or the draft?

Expected to Return (6)

Eric Decker, age 28
Quincy Enunwa, age 23
Brandon Marshall, age 31
Devin Smith, age 23
Joe Anderson, age 27 (futures contract)
Chandler Worthy, age 22 (futures contract)

Reaction: First, if Todd Bowles wants to attempt to keep Decker and Marshall healthy for much of the season as possible, the team shouldn't expect to rely so heavily on the duo for the bulk of targets on offense. That means finding a third reliable receiver is a priority. Enunwa had some limited success as a pass catcher, but was much more efficient as a downfield blocker. Smith, last year's second-round pick, might see a larger role next year if he can stay healthy. We will have to see what Anderson and Worthy bring to the team in camp, but look for the Jets to find a player from outside the organization to compete for that third job.

On the bubble (3)

Jeremy Kerley, age 27 (potential cut)
Chris Owusu, age 26 (pending free agent)
Kenbrell Thompkins, age 27 (pending free agent)

Reaction: After the way the offense barely utilized him in 2015, Kerley sure seems like a goner. A viable slot receiver who could slide to the outside for this team just a year ago, the Jets will part ways with Kerley and his salary savings by cutting him some time before the start of free agency. Owusu flashed during the preseason so much that the team offered him a contract on the active roster just shortly thereafter. He is incredibly talented, but unfortunately he struggled to stay healthy and might walk away from the game due to his concern over mounting concussions. Thompkins had a solid late December for the Jets and well fully expect the Jets will offer Thompkins a cheap contract this offseason to see if he will return.

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Chris Owusu , Devin Smith , Eric Decker , Jeremy Kerley , Quincy Enunwa , Brian Bassett

 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

During the Pro Bowl Draft on Wednesday night, Jets RB Chris Ivory and C Nick Mangold were selcted by Team Rice.

For this year's Pro Bowl, the NFL All-Stars will be broken up in an unconferenced format and will play for teams captained by former NFL stars Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin.

The Pro Bowl takes place on Jan. 31 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.

Tags: Chris Ivory , Nick Mangold

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles would not call his first season a success, despite a 10-6, but did say positive strides were made, according to Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News (Jan. 26).

The Jets were eliminated from the playoffs after losing their regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills. Although a 10-6 record is typically good enough to reach the postseason, unfortunately the Jets were on the losing end of a tiebreaker with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the final AFC Wild Card spot.

"It's not a success because you didn't win a Super Bowl," Bowles said of his first season as a head coach. "It's the first year. We made some mistakes. We know. I have to grow as a coach. We have to grow as a team. … For the first year, we made some positive strides and we got to build on it."

With the constant overturn in NFL rosters, Bowles says the Jets must continue to reinvent themselves and evolve as a team in order to succeed.

"You got to reinvent your team and re-create your team, because you're going to have some different pieces," Bowles said. "You try to always get to the playoffs. Your goal is get to the Super Bowl. Any time you don't win it - and 31 teams don't - it's a disappointment, but … you can grow to a certain point even if you don't win it. ... You don't look at it as a boom or a bust, but you're not trying to be .500, either."

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Nothing out of the ordinary for Bowles. The now second year head coach knows that his success will be measured by winning a Super Bowl and he's not willing to say anything short of such is a good ending.

Some of the more interesting pieces came in the form of the comments Bowles made on how he deployed Darrelle Revis in the Week 17 game against Sammy Watkins and on Damon Harrisons' future with the team. According to the article, Bowles doubled-down on his usage of Revis in off coverage against Watkins because of Revis' health and the game conditions (wet and windy). It's understandable that the Jets were constrained by circumstance ... but shouldn't the plan have changed at half-time? Or at least tried for a series or two before reverting?

To me, the most interesting part of the piece is when Bowles discusses what it would take for the Jets to bring Harrison back as a free agent. It would seem that money will be the gating factor for Harrison as he heads to the free agent market. He seems inclined to not sign a deal until he truly knows what he's worth and he seems likely to accept the best offer. The Jets like Harrison and want to bring him back, but they might have a value assigned to what they are willing to pay him and unfortunately I get the sense that there might be a sizable gap.

Tags: Tim Reilly

New York Jets flight crew cheerleaders pose at the Super Bowl XLVIII media party at Chelsea Piers. (Kirby Lee)
New York Jets flight crew cheerleaders pose at the Super Bowl XLVIII media party at Chelsea Piers. (Kirby Lee)

The New York Jets have settled a lawsuit over a wages dispute with their cheerleaders, according to John Ensslin of NorthJersey.com.

The cheerleaders, better known as "The Flight Crew," brought about the class-action lawsuit after they claimed to be cheated out of wages, were unpaid for practices and forced to pay for work-related expenses (makeup, hair treatment and transportation) during the 2012 and 2013 season.  

The Jets agreed to pay $324,000 in the settlement, which will be distributed among the 52 current and former cheerleaders involved in the suit.

New York joins Oakland, Buffalo and Cincinnati as organizations who have recently settled with their cheerleading squads in similar lawsuits.  

Tags: Tim Reilly

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to reduced charges connected to a high-speed police chase in suburban St. Louis.

A St. Charles County judge sentenced the former University of Missouri star Tuesday to two years of probation and community service after his July arrest for driving a Bentley Silver Spur at 143 mph on an interstate highway near his offseason home. The five misdemeanor charges included one for resisting arrest.

Richardson's guilty plea to the most serious offense will be expunged if he successfully completes probation.

He served a four-game, early season suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. His defense attorney said he doesn't expect Richardson to face more NFL discipline related to the Missouri case.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Per multiple reports, Richardson won't see any time in jail but will serve two years of probation. Richardson will have to stay out of trouble over the next two years the incident will be expunged from his record.

As far as the NFL? Richardson might not be out of the woods just yet. The NFL can still discipline Richardson under the league's personal conduct policy as he wasn't found innocent but plead out his charges in court. While this was a big hurdle in Richardson's playing status for 2016, I fully expect this could drag out over the next few months as the NFL is usually wont to do in the offseason.


Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press

Tags: Sheldon Richardson

Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) rushes in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. (Tim Fuller)
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) rushes in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. (Tim Fuller)

In his first Mock Draft, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports predicts the Jets will select RB Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State (Jan. 26).

Elliott is Schrager's No. 1 rated RB in the draft and is the first RB he has coming off the board to New York with the 20th overall pick.

Last season he ran for 1,821 yards and scored 23 touchdowns for the Buckeyes.

Elliott was named the Offensive MVP in Ohio State's National Championship victory in 2015. 

Tags: Tim Reilly

North Dakota State Bison quarterback Carson Wentz (11) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the FCS Championship college football game at Toyota Stadium. North Dakota State won the championship 37-10. (Tim Heitman)
North Dakota State Bison quarterback Carson Wentz (11) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the FCS Championship college football game at Toyota Stadium. North Dakota State won the championship 37-10. (Tim Heitman)

The New York Jets might have to consider selecting a QB with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, according ESPN's Rich Cimini (Jan. 26).

GM Mike Maccagnan recently said that the Jets plan on beginning discussions with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick about a return to New York (Jan. 22).

With the possibility of the Jets retaining the veteran to stabilize themselves at QB, they could look to draft for their future at the position.

Carson Wentz, of North Dakota State, and Paxton Lynch, of Memphis, are both projected first-round picks. Early indications from mock drafts have one of, if not both, Wentz and Lynch available at No. 20 when New York is on the clock.

"I think every NFL team probably goes into the draft, with maybe a few exceptions of people who have really well-established quarterbacks, looking at that position as a position of interest," Maccagnan said regarding the Jets draft strategy. "We'll be no different than them. I don't want to sit there and say, with the 20th pick were going to be targeting a quarterback. Two things: one is you don't want to tell the 31 other teams what you're going to do, but I also think that's kind of a flawed approach to a certain degree."

Last season the Jets drafted QB Bryce Petty in the fourth-round. Although the Jets have not given up on the young QB, they could be hard-pressed to pass up the talents of Wentz and Lynch, if either is still available. 

Tags: Bryce Petty , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Tim Reilly

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after defeating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after defeating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

The Denver Broncos defense stopped Tom Brady on a potential game-tying two-point conversion after his four-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski brought the New England Patriots within two points, as the Broncos won the AFC Championship Game, 20-18, and head to their second Super Bowl in three years. 

Denver's defense sacked Brady four times and intercepted him twice, excluding Bradley Roby's pick on the two-point attempt. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw two touchdowns to tight end Owen Daniels. >> Read more on the Broncos win...

Quarterback Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Carolina Panthers blew out the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15, Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. Newton threw an 86-yard pass to Corey Brown and a five-yard touchdown pass to Devin Funchess, and had touchdown runs of one yard and 12 yards. Carson Palmer lost two fumbles and threw four interceptions, including a pick-six to Luke Kuechly in the fourth quarter. >> Read more on the Panthers win...

Tags: Carolina Panthers , Denver Broncos

Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) hits Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) In the 2nd half at MetLife Stadium.The Jets defeated the Dolphins 38-20. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)
Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) hits Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) In the 2nd half at MetLife Stadium.The Jets defeated the Dolphins 38-20. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets outside linebackers.

Overview: When Sheldon Richardson is the best rushing edge player for the New York Jets in 2015, you know that there are some roster concerns that must be addressed before next season. While the Jets have a young group of players who are expected to be back, the answers for starting outside linebacker help and edge rusher are not currently on the roster. The team will need to see what bargains they can find in free agency come March but more importantly they must consider how to addressed the problem in finding an edge player to pair with Lorenzo Mauldin through April's upcoming NFL Draft.   

Expected to Return (4)

Lorenzo Mauldin, age 23
Trevor Reilly, age 28
Mike Catapano, age 25
Deion Barnes, age 23

Reaction: This group does not jump out at you. Mauldin saw the most action of the group and played well as the season wore on. Reilly did see some defensive package work but was mostly a core special teamer for the Jets in 2015. Barnes was a nice find for the Jets and showed up well in training camp and some of his preseason work, but as a rookie, improvement is necessary to stay with the team. Mike Catapano came over from the Chiefs after washing out of their 3-4 scheme and saw limited work when Sheldon Richardson was injured in November. Catapano wound up on the team's injured reserve, marking the second straight season that Catapano ended up on the injured reserve after a mysterious illness in 2014 with the Chiefs.

On the bubble (1)

Calvin Pace, age 35 (pending free agent)

Reaction: It's a testament to Calvin Pace that he has lasted with the Jets since 2008 when he joined the team as a major free agent signing from Arizona. Pace has been an important part of the team's edge play and stuffing of the rush dating back to his days with Eric Mangini. Should Pace want to continue to want to play the Jets might offer him a (likely) veteran minimum deal in May, June or even right on the verge of training camp. I could see Pace coming back again next year, but likely in a reduced role based on how free agency and the NFL Draft plays out.


New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

The Jets and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will begin discussions about a possible return to New York soon, said GM Mike Maccagnan in an interview on WFAN on Friday (Cosentino, Jan. 22).

"We're going to talk to Ryan's people here in the very near future," Maccagnan said while on the "Boomer and Carton Show." "We have time, obviously, before free agency, and we really would like to get Ryan back in the fold. [Head coach] Todd [Bowles] has said that. Obviously, myself and the rest of the organization feel very strongly about this."

Fitzpatrick, 33, led the Jets to a 10-6 record and their most prolific offensive season in franchise history.

He threw for 3,905 yards and had 31 touchdown passes last season.

"I think it's a good situation for all of us, and we just have to go through this process, and hopefully we can come to an agreement where it's fair and everybody's happy with it going forward," Maccagnan added.

Fitzpatrick is scheduled to become a free agent. 

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

This doesn't come as much of a surprise to anyone that the Jets and Fitzpatrick would work on a deal, but maybe the when of it is more of the news here. With free agency not set to begin until almost the middle of March the Jets have plenty of time -- two months in fact -- to work on a deal with Fitz. Starting negotiations now shows a sign of good faith by both sides to get a deal done that works for both the player and the team ... so I take this as a good sign.

 If I had to guess what the salary cap numbers will look like -- I think he could see as much as $10-12 million dollars per year on a three-year deal where the Jets can pay-as-they-go but inflate the third year to make it look bigger, but I could be wrong. In fact, I'll defer to Jason at OverTheCap.com, who suggested on Twitter before New Year's that Fitzpatrick could get a deal in the neighborhood of "$6-8" million per year. Should Fitzy see half to three quarters of what I am suggesting, that could give the Jets a lot of cap space to swing some other interesting deals in free agency.

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick , Tim Reilly

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper catches a pass before the start of the game against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson/USATSI)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper catches a pass before the start of the game against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson/USATSI)

(AP) -- Oakland Raiders rookie receiver Amari Cooper was added to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.

The NFL announced Thursday that Cooper would take the place of New York Jets wideout Brandon Marshall.

Cooper is the fifth Raiders player to get the honor, joining injury replacement quarterback Derek Carr, safety Charles Woodson, pass rusher Khalil Mack and fullback Marcel Reece. Reece will not play because of a suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Cooper led all rookies with 72 catches for 1,070 yards this season. He is the sixth Raiders rookie to make the Pro Bowl, joining Woodson, Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Ray Guy and Raymond Chester.

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Oakland Raiders

 (AP)
(AP)

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has been named the PFWA Executive of the Year, it was announced on Thursday.

Among the players Maccagnan brought in prior to the 2015 season were QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Brandon Marshall.

In what was his first season with the Jets, Maccagnan oversaw a 10-6 season, though the team missed out on the playoffs.

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

I am thrilled that Mike Maccagnan was given this award. It was well-deserved for a first-year GM who came into a cratered organization and used the talent in place, spent money in the right places, drafted well and got excellent results through trading for Marshall and Fitzpatrick.

It's also obvious this year's award was given using a one-year window, for which I have mixed feelings. There are plenty of other worthy front offices that have either built sustained success (Packers, Patriots, Seahawks) or have taken multi-year endeavors in turning around bad organizations (Panthers, Cardinals) which are now on the verge of the Superbowl. It can be argued that those GMs are just as worthy as Maccagnan and this also sets up some overly high expectations for Maccagnan as he enters his second year as GM.

Personally, I think it's the job that Maccagnan did in rebuilding this team, but it's also his deep and well-respected roots as a scout right alongside his affable manner and willingness to engage on a very human level with the players, fans, and (most importantly given who voted) the media.

Congratulations to Mike Maccagnan for a well-deserved award. We look forward to the ways he'll look to improve the team in 2016.

Tags: Brian Bassett

 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets made an offer to former CFL wide receiver Eric Rogers, who has since signed with the 49ers, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Jan. 20)..

Rogers' deal with the 49ers will guarantee him $300,000 over two years.

Last season in the CFL, Rogers had 1,448 receiving yards.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The most noteworthy thing about this is that it clues us in to the fact that the Jets are seeking to upgrade at the wide receiver position. While you might think Rogers would be a project, he led the CFL in receiving and has a nice combination of size and athleticism that make him attractive as a potential immediate contributor at the NFL level.

Rogers enters the league with a more impressive track record than former Toronto Argonauts receiver Dontrelle Inman, who caught 35 passes for just under 500 yards and three scores in 2015, in his second season with the San Diego Chargers. If the Jets can pick up a cheap receiver who can put up that kind of production it will provide a boost for a passing game that was often overly reliant on Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

Speaking of the Argonauts, former Jets receiver Vidal Hazelton caught 70 passes for them this year for over 800 yards, but didn't do his prospects of an NFL return any favors with some disciplinary issues. Hazelton had a chance to make the Jets roster a couple of years ago, but suffered a season-ending injury in camp. Rogers was much more productive than Hazelton last year, though, suggesting that he could go one step further toward being a contributor at the NFL level.


New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) in his game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 34-20. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) in his game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 34-20. (Vincent Carchietta)

Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each position on the New York Jets roster and seeking your input on who you think should stay and who you think should go. Up next, the Jets safeties.

Overview: The safety battery for the Jets benefitted from an overhaul to not only its unit, but to that of the closely associated cornerback position. Overall, the two groups played excellent opportunistic football, fairing with far better numbers than they posted in 2014. In 2015, the Jets corralled 18 interceptions, eclipsing the New York Jets team total of 13 total turnovers (only seven INTs) in 2014. 

Calvin Pryor played a strong season alongside Marcus Gilchrist, a free agent who came over from the Chargers on a contract that was structured as a year-by-year deal. Despite numerous injuries to the Jets at the safety spot, the group soldiered on thanks to solid play from Pryor and Gilchrist. 

Expected to Return (5)

Pryor, age 23
Gilchrist, age 27
Dion Bailey, age 23
Rontez Miles, age 27
Ronald Martin, age 22

Reaction: Overall this is a very young group, but one which could benefit from improvement in personnel who excel at covering the pass. Pryor impressed in his sophomore season after a rough rookie year under Rex Ryan. Coach Bowles put Pryor more in a position to succeed than Ryan had and the difference was notable. I expect that Gilchrist will return, but he does have a juicy salary cap savings ($3.75M for a pre-June 1 cut, $5.0M for a post-June 1 cut) that the Jets might want to avail themselves of should they get their back to the salary cap wall. With Miles and Martin under contract, there's little reason to let them do anything but compete for jobs in camp. Bailey could be the dark horse of this group as a potential starter should the team actually cut Gilchrist. Bailey played a limited role in 2015 but graded out well in coverage against Miami in Week 4 and Jacksonville in Week 9. Bailey has good agility and average speed as demonstrated by his Mockdraftable spider graph.

On the bubble (2)

Jaiquawn Jarrett, age 26 (pending free agent)
Antonio Allen, age 27 (pending free agent)

Reaction: As noted above, Gilchrist could be argued to be placed into this group along with Jarrett and Allen, but based on the former Charger's play in 2015, the Jets might have the luxury to extend his pay-as-you-go contract through 2016. Allen injured his Achilles tendon during training camp and was placed on IR before the Jets even cleared training camp. Jarrett went to injured reserve in October but only had played 13 defensive snaps before he did.

Tags: Calvin Pryor , Marcus Gilchrist , Brian Bassett
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