New York Jets defensive tackle Deon Simon (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive tackle Deon Simon (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)

Between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess their potential contributions to the team in 2016. Today, we're going to share the first part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

Part one saw us take a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category; Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. Here in part two, we'll look at the three defensive players; defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones

In between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess what kind of contribution we might expect from them in 2016. Today we're going to share the second part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but who have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

Part one saw us take a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category; Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. Here in part two, we'll look at the three defensive players; defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones.

Simon

Simon was the only player of these three that the Jets drafted last year (in the seventh round). He began the year on the active roster, but was never activated. Simon was waived at the end of September and put on the practice squad for the rest of the season. He signed a futures deal after the season.

Simon saw plenty of playing time in the preseason, mostly paired with undrafted rookies Davon Walls and Jordan Williams. He was easily the most impressive of the three. While Walls has not been with a team since, Williams signed with Miami and even got some regular season playing time with them.

Simon showed a knack for coming up with big plays, recording 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. However, the sacks were of the cheap coverage clean-up variety. He recorded one other pressure, showing off his athleticism on a stunt.

It's against the run where he needs to show more, and Simon made some encouraging progress there. In the first game, he was blocked to the ground on a short yardage play and then wasn't able to get across laterally fast enough to prevent a runner from getting to the hole. In the next game, while he was still pushed around at times, he showed an improved ability to penetrate, shed blocks and move well laterally, as he was able to bottle up a couple of runs. If Simon is going to emulate Damon Harrison, who signed with the New York Giants in the offseason, he'll need to improve his consistency because he was blocked out of plays at times, whereas that rarely happened to Harrison even against starters. Nevertheless, it was an encouraging start from him.

Known Mike Maccagnan confidante Charley Casserly said Jets fans need to look out for Simon, comparing him to Harrison.

Barnes

Barnes was an unheralded free-agent signing after going unselected in last year's draft. However, he was the only player on the team to spend the entire regular season on the practice squad.

Barnes had an impressive preseason with 1.5 sacks, which was tied for the team lead with three other Jets including Simon. Trevor Reilly was the only player to record more pressure than Barnes in preseason and he missed a tackle in the pocket in the last game which would have given him the team lead with 2.5 sacks.

Despite his success as a pass rusher, it was against the run where he was surprisingly at his most effective. Barnes displayed a good ability to get good leverage and penetrate. He was able to make stops by holding his ground at the point of attack and by stretching a run out to the sideline, and also had one outstanding play in which he blew up a run at the goal line.

While he fared well against backups, there was a reminder of how far he has to go in the Giants game. He was called upon for just one snap with the first unit and it did not go well, as wide receiver Dwayne Harris easily drove him off the line on the left side:

In the previous installment, I linked to an article by ESPN New York's Rich Cimini in which he named his risers and fallers from mini-camp. Barnes was one of his risers. Linebackers coach Mark Collins also named Barnes as the one player at any position who had made the biggest improvement since last year.

Jones

Jones was another undrafted rookie, but he was the only one of these three to end the season on the active roster. Jones was promoted when wide receiver Devin Smith injured his knee in mid-December, but was kept inactive down the stretch.

In preseason, Jones was quiet over the first three games, but did get in on one stop in each game, including one where he was unblocked and made a tackle in the backfield. He really flashed in the last game, though, making four stops against the run and one in coverage, as well as a big hit down the field. Coverage might be a concern for Jones, who ran a 4.9 40-yard dash at his combine and pro day workouts last season, but he only gave up two catches for 17 yards. He also helped his case by getting in on three special teams tackles.

Jones has also received some positive offseason buzz, as draft insider Tony Pauline reporting that the team sees him as a potential future replacement for David Harris.

Conclusions

Unlike with the three offensive players we looked at, there's been a positive buzz about all three of these players. There's potentially room at the back end of the roster for all three of them with the chance they could exceed expectations even further to earn an even more significant role.

I look upon Simon as having the best chance. While there isn't much roster space on the defensive line, Steve McLendon is the only other natural nose tackle the team has. The Jets brought in three undrafted defensive linemen, but they all seem more likely to be longer-term projects than immediate competition. Perhaps Simon could make a push to split time with McLendon and possibly even start over him within a year.

Barnes is in a group of players with a chance at a backup outside linebacker role. While I assume the current plan is for Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins to eventually be the two players atop the depth chart, Barnes will compete with the likes of Reilly and Freddie Bishop for time. He might even have an outside chance at starting off ahead of Jenkins if he's more NFL-ready than the rookie.

Finally, while Harris might not need a replacement for another year or two, if Jones can lock down that fourth inside linebacker spot and start earning some playing time, that will be a positive step ahead of next year. With Erin Henderson and Darron Lee expected to battle for the spot alongside Harris, Jones' most obvious competition for that role is likely to be Bruce Carter, who is only on a one-year deal.

There are not many recent examples of players following this inactive as a rookie-to-contributor in year two path with the Jets. The only one from last year was Dexter McDougle, who almost certainly would have played as a rookie had he not suffered a season-ending injury.

While it's good to see players developing and unexpected contributors emerging to provide the team with valuable low-cost depth, it's perhaps disappointing the strength here is on the defensive side of the ball when there is arguably more of a need on offense. However, there are plenty of other young offensive prospects on the team, so it will be interesting to see who steps up.

Tags: David Harris, Deion Barnes, Deon Simon, Erin Henderson, Lorenzo Mauldin, Taiwan Jones, Trevor Reilly
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Each year, football fans anxiously await the new Madden NFL game to hit the shelves. But their player ratings generate even more buzz. 

Well, EA Sports has released their initial rankings for each team, and Jets fans may not like where their team has ended up. 

At the moment, the Jets are a 78 overall with an 73 offense and 80 defense, which is good for the sixth-worst team in the game. The Dolphins, an AFC East rival, are the game's worst team at 72 overall, while the Bills are third-worst at 78 overall. The Super Bowl defending-champion Patriots are an overall 87. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, the Jets announced that tight end Chris Herndon would be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 regular season. This will obviously be a blow for the team, as they look to establish their new-look offense under Adam Gase. Herndon caught 39 passes last year to lead all rookie tight ends, including 32 over the last 10 games.

However, if the Jets intend to make a move to improve their tight end depth and give themselves further cover at the position, the options are somewhat unappealing.

Last month, even before the Herndon suspension was announced, Bucky Brooks wrote on NFL.com that the Jets should consider trading for veteran Jimmy Graham. However, adding a veteran who is past his prime and still on a high salary would be an overreaction at this point, especially if they had to give up anything of value to acquire him from the Packers.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson
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 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye built a strong chemistry when the two were rookies in 2017. Last season injuries prevented the duo from building on that start to their careers. 

Due to a slew of injuries, including shoulder and thumb issues, Maye was held to only six games played in 2018. Adams wasn't shaken by injuries. His season went in the opposite direction as he landed his first Pro Bowl nod. 

However, Adams recognizes the success of the Jets' secondary takes more than just him and he recently told the team's website that he's excited to have Maye back healthy and ready to go for this year's training camp. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets' 2019 roster is already starting to take shape but finding unexpected contributions and building depth from unlikely sources is something that could really help them progress to the next level.

Let's highlight 10 players that haven't received much attention during the offseason, each of whom has a chance to end up on the final roster.

WR Quadree Henderson

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Brent Qvale, Charone Peake, Darron Lee
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets tight end Chris Herndon has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the team announced on Friday. 

Herndon, 23, pleaded guilty to a DUI that occurred in June 2018 back in January. 

He received a 90-day driver's license suspension and was fined $639 in municipal court while the NFL continued to investigate. A first-time offender is typically given a two-game suspension, per the league's alcohol policy, but the commissioner can impose additional discipline for aggravating circumstances. 

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Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule. 

According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out. 

The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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Avery Williamson stops by SNY 00:03:39
Avery Williamson joins Jeane Coakley for a day at SNY. Williamson tries his hand at broadcasting and gets a behind-the-scenes look at SNY.

Avery Williamson's tenure with the Jets got off to a solid start in 2018, but could a career in sports broadcasting be in his future?

The Jets linebacker recently stopped by the SNY Studios and learned all the ins and outs of the business. Watch as he goes over his shot sheets, stops by the makeup room, and makes his way to the SNY desk.

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

Walt Michaels, former head coach of the New York Jets, died on Wednesday, his daughter told the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader. He was 89.

Michaels spent six seasons with the Jets as the bench boss, racking up a 39-47-1 overall.

His playing cabegan in 1951 as a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Browns, but was traded to the Green Bay Packers before his rookie season where he played one season. From 1952-1961, he returned to the Browns where he played linebacker. Michaels was a five-time Pro Bowler.

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Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With training camp just a couple of weeks away, it's a good time to take stock of the rest of the AFC East. Let's review some of the big storylines for each of the Jets' rivals, and assess where they should stand in the Power Rankings...

1. New England Patriots - 2018 record: 11-5

Ordinarily, you'd expect any team to struggle to overcome the loss of key contributors like Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski and Trent Brown, among others. However, the Patriots have traditionally had no problems integrating replacements for their departing stars.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Both of New York's football teams have potential MVP candidates in their backfield, according to Bovada. Only one of the two have a player under center that was given odds, though.

Odds Shark released Bovada's latest odds for the NFL's 2019 MVP Award and both Jets running back Le'Veon Bell and Giants running back Saquon Barkley were listed by the odds makers. Both landed with +5000 odds to take home the top-individual silverware next season.

The only rusher with higher odds to land the honor was Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a new general manager (Joe Douglas), a new head coach (Adam Gase), a new star (Le'Veon Bell), and a new attitude (Gregg Williams and many others). All of that has the Jets thinking this is going to be a great season.

But the "old" quarterback -- 22-year-old Sam Darnold -- is still the biggest reason for hope of all.

The Jets may not be ready to say it publicly, but internally they are thinking playoffs. In fact, they're expecting their first playoff berth since 2010. They may not be ready to win the AFC East, but they feel there's no reason why they can't emerge as an AFC contender.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Of all the new coaches that could help Sam Darnold in his second NFL season, it's Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who could have the biggest impact on the quarterback.

Williams has a reputation for being intense and bringing that competitive energy into practices, which is one of the reasons why head coach Adam Gase hired him. 

That intensity, coupled with the different schemes and looks he will deploy in the defense in practice, is something should benefit Darnold, according to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. 

 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Dec 28, 2018; San Antonio, TX, United States; Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half in the 2018 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Dec 28, 2018; San Antonio, TX, United States; Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half in the 2018 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 10th, with the potential for multiple selections for the second year in a row. Could any of the available players interest the Jets, though?

New general manager Joe Douglas has already stated his intent to investigate any and all options to upgrade the roster he inherited from his predecessor, Mike Maccagnan. With the option to forego a 2020 draft pick to add a draftable prospect at this late stage of the offseason, he might be tempted to pull the trigger.

When Douglas and new director of player personnel Chad Alexander were both on the Ravens staff, they opted to use a fifth-round pick on tackle Jared Gaither in 2007. This proved to be a nice pick-up as he started 28 games in his first three years. New assistant general manager Rex Hogan was also on a Bears team that used a seventh-round pick on fullback Harvey Unga in the 2010 supplemental draft. This pick was less successful, though.

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the second straight offseason, the Jets went on a huge spending spree, and this time it looks like they spent their money more wisely. They brought in stars and players who can truly make a difference.

At least that's what they believe.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets franchise has been blessed with consistency at the center position throughout most of its history. From the Super Bowl-winning John Schmitt to two-time Pro Bowler Joe Fields, the reliable Jim Sweeney, Hall of Fame nominee Kevin Mawae and all-pro Nick Mangold, the Jets have rarely had an extended period without a solid long-term solution at the position.

However, since Mangold's retirement, the Jets have been unable to adequately fill the position. While there seems to be plenty of optimism that Jonotthan Harrison could fill that role, fans and media remain skeptical.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The New York Jets selected defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the third-overall pick at the 2019 NFL draft and despite that, some believed he was the top prospect.

The latest addition to that group is EA Sports, as the producers of the upcoming video game, Madden 20, gave the Alabama product the best ranking of any rookie in the game.

Williams' overall rating in Madden 20 is an 80. He edges out the Bills' first-round pick, another defensive tackle in Ed Oliver, and the second-overall pick, pass rusher Nick Bosa. Those two were rated 79 and 78 overall, respectively.

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Three titles, one year, one city 00:01:01
SNY's documentary on the magical year of 1969 in New York for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks premieres tonight after Mets Post Game!

SNY's documentary on the magical year of 1969 in New York for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks premieres tonight after Mets Post Game!

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

The New York Jets' new defensive star, C.J. Mosley, knows a thing or two about what makes a winning pedigree. The former Baltimore Raven made the playoffs twice with his old team and learned how to lead a defense from Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. He has already assumed a role as a vocal leader and a "culture changer" for the Jets' defense.

There's no doubt that Mosley's teammates will listen when he speaks up. That said, Mosley's latest bulletin-board statement is sure to get Gang Green's collective blood pumping.

"We know the whole NFL is sleeping on the Jets, so we're ready to prove them wrong," Mosley told NewYorkJets.com. "They always have been [doubting the team], even I was when I wasn't here."

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets spent big money this summer, making splashes with the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Quinnen Williams, there has been a renewed buzz around Florham Park.

Meanwhile, their stadium-mates, the Giants, continued their roster revamp in controversial fashion - they said goodbye to stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, drafted a quarterback sixth overall and turned the keys over to an extremely young defense.

While the Giants are still rebuilding, the Jets are going all-in with a young quarterback, a budding defense and a new coach.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have not beaten the New England Patriots since Week 16 of the 2015 season, but this year could be different.

Just ask Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. 

The Super Bowl LIII MVP has noticed what the Jets have done this offseason and expects Gang Green to be a challenge for the defending Super Bowl champions this upcoming season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, New England Patriots, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Joe Namath says there is no doubt about it, Tom Brady is the best quarterback to play the game. 

The Jets legend and Hall of Fame quarterback was asked about the greatest of all time at the position while on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, and while Namath has idolized many quarterbacks, none compare to the six-time Super Bowl champion who has tortured the Jets the last two decades. 

"Tom is the best," Namath said. "I've been asked that question for many years -- Johnny [Unitas] was my hero, Otto Graham was great, Slingin' Sammy Baugh, I go back, these guys are great. But meantime, Tom has been challened more in recent history, certainly with huge games than anybody I can recollect -- and he stepped up every time."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh McCown watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh McCown watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh McCown was a mentor to Sam Darnold in the Jets quarterback's rookie year. 

And even though he won't be around Darnold in his second year with New York after announcing his retirement and transition to ESPN NFL analyst, he is confident Darnold will show vast improvement in 2019.

"I tried to empty the clip with him and give him everything I could," McCown told ESPN's Rich Cimini. "He'll be just fine."

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

TMZ Sports released audio from Le'Veon Bell's 911 call when he told the operator that two women left his house with more than $500,000 worth of jewelry.

Bell reported to police on May 25 that he returned home from the gym to find jewelry missing and his closets had been rummaged through.

On the phone call, Bell told the Hollywood (Florida) Police Department that when he returned home from his workout, the two girls "took my money, they took my watch, my jewelry, a couple more of my things of value out of my house."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Jan 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) during an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) during an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Versatile running back Ty Montgomery had a few destinations he could have pursued in free agency this offseason. But he eventually decided the Jets was the place for him, even though he wouldn't be the main man in the backfield. 

That title, of course, goes to Le'Veon Bell this season after he signed a long-term deal with New York. Still, Montgomery believed the Jets was the right fit, mainly because of the offense Adam Gase brings with him.

"You have to be smart," Montgomery told newyorkjets.com's Ethan Greenberg about Gase's offense. "You have to be able to catch the ball and you have to be able to run the ball. You can't have an imbalance and be at running back in this offense. It's actually pretty cool, it's challenging. I think it suits my abilities and I'm loving it."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Scott Thompson
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GM Joe Douglas made key additions to the Jets' front office on Tuesday.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jets added Browns GM Phil Savage and Ravens Director of Pro Personnel Chad Alexander. Later in the afternoon, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Colts VP of Player Personnel Rex Hogan has been hired by Gang Green to be Douglas' assistant GM.

The 54-year-old Savage's role is unclear, but he returns to an NFL front office for the first time since he was with the Eagles from 2010-12. Meanwhile, Alexander will serve as director of player personnel for the Jets. 

 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' offseason has been a wild roller-coaster ride. It started at the bottom when they fired their head coach, peaked during free agency and the draft, then went on a wild spiral downward when they fired their general manager … and then somehow managed to come out of it OK.

In fact, not only do they seem OK now that GM Joe Douglas and his good buddy, head coach Adam Gase, are in charge; they are convinced they are on an uphill climb again. They are loaded with optimism. They feel like they are finally headed in the right direction. They believe a return to the playoffs is near.

Maybe they're right. Or maybe they're fooling themselves. For now, though, there has been an unusual amount of hope and excitement around the Jets as they wrapped up their spring organized team activities and mini-camps. Time will tell if that's warranted or not.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Derrick Jones, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Parry Nickerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Josh McCown is officially hanging up his cleats, as he announced his retirement after 17 NFL seasons. 

Penning his retirement in a Players' Tribune article, McCown reflected on "one heck of a journey" that he has gone through in his NFL career.

While some have expressed their belief that McCown would be a great coach, he will join ESPN as an NFL analyst beginning Wednesday. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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It's safe to say Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer was ecstatic to see not one, but two of his players reach the Pro Bowl last season. Kick and punt returner Andre Roberts and kicker Jason Myers both put together solid seasons, good enough to be voted among the NFL's best to represent the Jets. 

But, now, Boyer doesn't have the luxury of those two on his depth chart any longer. Roberts is now a Buffalo Bill and Myers signed with the Seahawks, with both players not happy New York wasn't competitive in bringing them back.

Roberts, in particular, was one of the best return specialists in the NFL last season. He totaled 1,147 yards on 40 returns (29.4 ypr) with one touchdown, and had 324 yards on 23 punt returns (14.1 ypr) with a touchdown as well. That type of production will be hard to match, and Boyer knows it.

Tags: Andre Roberts, Jason Myers, Scott Thompson
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 (New York Daily News)
(New York Daily News)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

To illustrate the lovely bond that bloomed between the 1969 Mets and their roommates at Shea Stadium, the Jets, John Schmitt tells the following story: 

Schmitt, the center on the Jets' Super Bowl III champs, brought his young son, John-John, to the ballgame one night to see the great Tom Seaver pitch. Schmitt ushered John-John into the Mets' clubhouse, where Seaver was getting a pre-game massage. Schmitt did not want to disturb a fellow athlete's prep, but Seaver insisted. 

"He got off the rubdown table, put on his jersey and hat and took a picture with us," Schmitt recalls. "He was great. Then he takes off his jersey, gets back on the table and went out and won the game that night.

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Aug 9, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Daniel Brown (85) runs against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Junior Joseph (48) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Aug 9, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Daniel Brown (85) runs against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Junior Joseph (48) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

Jets camp is in full swing, and there's a buzz in the Florham Park air. There's a new head coach, a new GM, and lots of fresh faces on the field.

Which players have the potential to be unheralded X-factors for the Jets this year? Here's five guys who have stood out so far.

Jonotthan Harrison (C)

Harrison is a familiar face after starting nine games over the last two years, but there was some thought that the Jets may pursue an upgrade at center this offseason. Instead, they stuck with Harrison, and the results are paying off.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett, Leonard Williams, Neal Sterling, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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