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Zach Sudfeld

 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

With the New York Jets opening the season in just a few weeks, we will break down the depth charts of each position in order to look at how the Jets stack up as they prepare for the 2016 NFL season. See the prior reports on safeties and wide receivers, Next up, the tight ends. 

Starter: Kellen Davis

Backups/Special Teamers*: Jace Amaro, Zach Sudfeld, Brandon Bostick, Wes Saxton, Jason Vander Laan

Tags: Jace Amaro, Kellen Davis, Wes Saxton, Zach Sudfeld
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Jason Vander Laan (Courtesy/New York Jets)
Jason Vander Laan (Courtesy/New York Jets)

Former Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan is trying to make the New York Jets roster as a tight end. The 23-year-old is a two-time Harlon Hill winner, the equivalent of the Heisman award but for Division II. 

The New York Times' Ben Shpigel profiled Vander Laan as he hopes to make an NFL roster:

Until recently, Vander Laan, 23, had never blocked before, which is a rather critical facet of the job. Actually, there was this one time, on a reverse sweep in college, when he homed in on a defensive end, but the play was blown dead, so he does not count it.



But based on his frame - 6 feet 4 inches and 246 pounds, about 10 more than his playing weight in college - and his disposition, the Jets figured he would be eager to learn. Before signing him as an undrafted free agent in May, they assessed his strengths as a quarterback - strong instincts, keen spatial understanding, familiarity with offensive concepts and defensive coverages - and divined that perhaps he could evolve into an N.F.L. player, if he were willing to adapt. He was.



At first, the change disoriented him. It was odd, he said, putting on a white jersey instead of the red no-contact pinnie worn at practice by quarterbacks. And when a nice touchdown pass is tossed, a paroxysm of envy grips him. He satisfied that urge after practice Saturday when the throwing machine malfunctioned and he volunteered to whip spirals to an unsuspecting Quincy Enunwa.



He said it was possible to achieve a comparable sensation, laced with glory and adrenaline, at tight end - a crushing block, a sweet catch. He also wants to. Really wants to.

Read more about Vander Laan in the New York Times and in his BGA scouting report.

Tags: Zach Sudfeld
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New York Jets tight end Kellen Davis (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tight end Kellen Davis (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Jets tight end Kellen Davis is expected to be sidelined until training camp next month after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

Davis, the Jets' primary starter at tight end last season, was hurt last week during organized team activities. Coach Todd Bowles first said Wednesday that Davis' thumb was "sore" before confirming that he recently had surgery.

The New York Post first reported Davis' injury.

Tags: Jace Amaro, Kellen Davis, Zach Sudfeld
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Robert Griffin III (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Robert Griffin III (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

RG3 visits FP, NJ

The talks with Ryan Fitzpatrick and his agent Jimmy Sexton stalled badly. There might not be acrimony between the Jets and Fitzpatrick, but until someone blinks, nothing should change. So, the Jets requested a visit with Robert Griffin III, which seems to have everyone either excited or anxious. I'm sure there's legitimate interest on the part of the Jets, but this feels like an attempt to make Fitzpatrick sweat. In the nicest way, I'll say I'm hesitant about the sort of offense the Jets could run with RG3 as the team's starter, but I am not going to burn too many calories on that yet. As a backup, I'm fine with RG3 being in New York (although Geno Smith might not be as enthused), but to have him as a presumptive leader heading into a QB competition in training camp? Pass the Prozac.

Beachum hits the beaches

Former Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum visited with the Jets and apparently is heading to Jacksonville to visit with Gus Bradley and the salary cap-rich Jaguars. I believe Beachum would be a good solution for the Jets given their level of play at both tackle spots. Whatever transpired between him and the Jets didn't force the lineman to rip up his itinerary to Florida, so assume the money wasn't stunning from the player's side. I hoped the Jets would clear a salary path for Beachum while also keeping D'Brickashaw Ferguson for one last year, and that still could happen, but the Jets will have to up whatever offer they've already made for Beachum.

My kingdom for a linebacker

Some of the better players at the linebacker position have been snapped up by ambitious teams, but a quick look at a free agency tracker shows there a lot of options the Jets could pick through over the next few weeks. Erin Henderson hasn't signed with the Raiders, so there's still hope he could be back with the Jets in 2016.

Tags: Chris Owusu, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Erin Henderson, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Zach Sudfeld, Brian Bassett
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Zach Sudfeld will return to New York after missing all of 2015 due to a torn ACL.  (AP)
Zach Sudfeld will return to New York after missing all of 2015 due to a torn ACL. (AP)

The New York Jets have re-signed tight end Zach Sudfeld to a one-year deal, according to his agent Jason Bernstein.

Sudfeld, 26, has been with the Jets since 2013 after being claimed off waivers. A torn ACL in minicamp set him back last season as he spent the year on IR.

Sudfeld's deal is worth $600,000, the minimum for a fourth-year player, according to the Associated Press

Tags: Zach Sudfeld
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New York Jets wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins runs the ball against New England Patriots cornerback Leonard Johnson at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins runs the ball against New England Patriots cornerback Leonard Johnson at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)

The NFL has set the restricted free agent tenders for the upcoming season, according to Pro Football Talk. However, it seems unlikely the Jets will opt to tender any of their restricted free agents this year.

Punter Ryan Quigley, tight end Zach Sudfeld and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins are all restricted free agents but none are expected to be tendered, according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini.

Quigley has been the Jets' punter since early in the 2013 season, but most Jets fans believe the team should be able to upgrade.

Tags: Ryan Quigley, Zach Sudfeld
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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)

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