Breaking the Bank: Here’s My New York Jets Free Agency Wish List

With the NFL’s tampering period beginning at noon ET on Monday, look for the Jets to be active with an excess of $80 million in cap space to spend on prized free agents. Remember, nothing can become official until the new league year begins on Wednesday at 4 pm ET.

Jets fans have been waiting for this day for a long time, really since the roster purge began two winters ago, ridding the team of veteran staples like Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, and David Harris.

Expect general manager Mike Maccagnan to be very busy, as I assume we’ll hear about the Jets being “connected to” many of the big names free agents, especially in positions with a major need that should be addressed.

The Jets got off to the right foot on Sunday, acquiring former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders. Gang Green hasn’t had a mauler like that inside since bringing over Alan Faneca back in 2008. Without further ado, here is who I’d like to see NYJ sign this week.

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LeVeon Bell: The 26-year-old made the polarizing decision to sit out the entire 2018 season unless the Steelers met his steep long-term contract demands. Pittsburgh decided to pass with John Conner in the wings. The Jets should be major players for Bell along with the Ravens and Colts, as the former Michigan State Spartan would immediately revolutionize a Jet offense with a dual threat playmaker we haven’t seen since the days of Curtis Martin. I’d expect his contract numbers to be in the ball park of Todd Gurley’s 4/$60 million extension. Other options: Tevin Coleman, Mark Ingram

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Golden Tate: It’s no secret slot receiver is a huge void on the Jets’ depth chart, along with not having a true No. 1 on the outside. This crop of free agents at WR should allow the Jets to fill the need in the slot and get by with a core of Enunwa, Anderson, and Herndon at TE. Golden Tate fits the bill perfectly, as a veteran who knows how to move the chains efficiently. I could also see the Jets going with a cheaper, younger option as well with Tate turning 31, like Adam Humphries, Cole Beasley, or Jamison Crowder.

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Trey Flowers: Maccagnan better do whatever he can to plug the gaping hole at edge rusher, which the Jets have been without really ever since dealing John Abraham to Atlanta over a decade ago. Trey Flowers had an awesome year up in New England, who fittingly opted not to pay the 25-year-old. Flowers became an analytics darling and should earn himself one of the most lucrative contracts cut this week. Other options on the Jets board should include the recently released Justin Houston and Anthony Barr. 

Matt Paradis/Mitch Morse: The Jets quickly realized their grave mistake of signing Spencer Long to play center last free agency, who was eventually benched by the mid-point of the year, as he seemed to botch multiple snaps to Darnold just about every game.

As Jets fans, admittedly, we’ve been a spoiled bunch with Nick Mangold and Kevin Mawae captaining the ship for the better part of my childhood. Maccagnan can right his wrong by going out and paying either of the top centers on the market with the Broncos moving on from Matt Paradis or ex-Chief Mitch Morse.

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Bryce Callahan: Bryce Callahan might not have been the most well-known player on the vaunted Bears defense, but opposing quarterbacks always had him in mind. Callahan posted one of the best grades as a corner, according to PFF in 2018. With Skrine (thank god) and Claiborne’s departures looking likely, Callahan would fill the void left at slot corner quite nicely, especially with Trumaine Johnson’s struggles on the outside last year. Other options: LaMarcus Joyner, Kevin Johnson, Jason Verrett, Ronald Darby.


Jets Preseason Week 1 Recap

Sam Darnold came here to do three things. Be a franchise quarterback, steal your girl (Sharon please come home), and throw touchdowns. After this weekend, he might have done all three.

NFL: New York Jets-Sam Darnold Press Conference
A King




The Good

-You have to start with the quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater was lights out in his two drives of work, going 7/8 for 85 yards and a 16 yard touchdown to Isaiah Crowell, and



Sam Darnold was everything you could ask for up until they surrounded him with players who will most likely not make the roster, at which point the coaching staff mailed it in to protect him. Darnold had 2 touchdown passes on one drive thanks to one being called back for a borderline offensive interference.





Darnold did things that rookies shouldn’t be able to do with ease. He went through progressions, stepped up in the pocket, scrambled but kept his eyes downfield, and he even ran a little. His touchdown was unbelievable in the sense that he could have taken off and settled for a field goal or forced a throw early, but instead he rolled out and that helped receiver Charles Johnson create some space at the goal line to get open (which was also a good read by Johnson to move in the first place). This kid might be something really special.

-The defense pitched a shutout. Regardless of who Atlanta did or did not have on the field (Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones both didn’t suit up), the defense went out there and did it’s job, holding Atlanta to one garbage time first down in the first half. Big offseason acquisition Trumaine Johnson showed great closing speed and Buster Skrine (before his shoulder injury) looked solid in the slot.

-Trenton Cannon: Kick Returner and Running Back. Because of the shutout, we only got to see the kickoff return unit once, where Cannon brought his lone return to the 26 yard line. Not super impressive, but he showed speed and quickness to hit the hole that was given to him. He also had a solid game in the backfield, with 40 yards on 11 carries, the highlight of which was an 11 yard run in the second quarter.


Cannon could be a legitimate weapon should the Jets and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates figure out how to incorporate him.

-Nathan Shepherd is a monster. He’s a big body that enables Leo Williams to move to DE, where he can wreak havoc. Shepherd constantly found himself in the backfield and was a menace to block from the beginning. All signs point to him being a huge problem for offensive lines, especially in running situations.

Overall, a lot of positives but not a ton to judge off of until roster cuts come and an increase in playing time for the starters (and to keep an eye on those QB reps).

The Bad

-This might not be necessarily bad, but it has to be said because of the current depth chart. Josh McCown had a bad series (the offense went 3 and out), and though it was not his fault with the exception of throwing the ball short of the sticks on third down, the message is simple. Josh McCown CAN NOT be this teams opening day starter. Teddy Bridgewater showed a great command of the offense, and if he is traded for a draft pick (which seems likely), Sam Darnold must take the reigns. Uncle Josh having a bad series might ultimately wind up being a positive, but he can’t be this teams starter and they need to reduce his first team reps in practice.
-If you can believe it, the Jets still have nobody to rush the passer. They have some solid depth on their defense, but the 3 sacks is misleading and nobody can take a tackle 1-on-1 off the edge. If Khalil Mack is somehow available, you make that call and you do it now. This defense is good and the secondary might even be excellent, but if the quarterback can keep his eyes downfield for 7 seconds under no duress, it won’t matter how good they are.

-The Jets 2017 wide receiver class was either bad or non-existent. I’m a huge believer in Chad Hansen and from what I hear he’s been excellent in practice. But for some reason he sees no snaps on the field during game time when it matters. ArDarius Stewart, however, was way too visible. He had 0 catches on two targets, one of which went through his hands, and the other he ran the wrong route. He also almost prevented a first down by running his route and bumping into Neal Sterling. He showed flashes last year but he has to get this figured out in year 2. The Jets have a deep roster of pass catchers and he could be left behind.

The Ugly

-Trenton Cannon: Punt Returner. The Jets haven’t been a return threat on special teams since Leon Washington and Brad Smith. Cannon showed his flashes in his lone kick return, but muffed two(!) punts, limiting his roster value. Not much more to say other than you just can’t muff two(!!!) punts, especially as a sixth round pick.


NFL Draft Scenarios For The New York Jets And New York Giants

Draft day is finally upon us and it’s going to be an especially exciting edition for the local New York teams, as each team has a franchise-altering decision ahead that could have ramifications a decade down the line.

It all starts with the Browns who have leaked just about every possible candidate at No. 1. With so much indecision in an unstable organization, nobody has any idea where they could go with the pick, though most assume it will be Sam Darnold or Josh Allen. Cleveland also possesses the fourth pick in the draft so keep that in mind.

The New York Football Giants find themselves in unfamiliar territory near the top of the draft for the first time since they traded for Eli Manning in 2004. Do they select his successor? Could they move down and look at Quenton Nelson? Maybe the Bronx kid gets to come home and the G-Men pair Odell Beckham Jr. with Saquon Barkley. The Giants could go a multitude of directions here.

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On to LordTreeSap’s beloved Jets who moved up from 6 to 3 last month and will pick a quarterback in the first round for just the fifth time since the Joe Namath era and only second in the top 5 (Mark Sanchez). It will also be Gang Green’s first time picking in the top three since 1996 when they selected Keyshawn Johnson at No. 1. Which QB will fall to three and be the latest attempt at curing the plague known as the Jets QB situation of the last forty years?

LordTreeSap Playing the Role of Jets General Manager:

My Quarterback Rankings –

  1. Sam Darnold
  2. Josh Rosen
  3. Josh Allen
  4. Baker Mayfield

I’ve finally got my quarterback rankings set after a couple months of back and forth on who will be NYJ’s savior, deciphering who is going to be “our guy.” This is a franchise-changing decision that will make or break the careers of GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles. Sam Darnold is the clear-cut No. 1 in my eyes. As a prospect, he has all the qualities you look for in a QB at the next level and is just 20-years-old. If he falls to the Jets, that means the football gods were finally looking out for us, but I expect the Browns to select him when 8:15 PM EST strikes Thursday night.

Baker Mayfield scares the shit out of me as a Jets fan. Too many bad scenarios that end up in disaster pop into my head when I picture him donning the green and white. Being undersized, already 23-years-old, the Big 12 and his antics in NYC are just a few reasons I’m avoiding the Heisman Trophy winner. I’m looking through the smokescreen. The Jets did not move up to No. 3 to take Baker Mayfield. Cross the former Texas Tech walk-on off the list. I will give him props for recreating Brett Favre’s draft day photo. A+ content.

It’s really been a tossup between juggling the Josh’s (say that 10 times fast). I could see both being there at No. 3 when the Jets are on the clock. This week, I finally gave Josh Rosen the slight edge for the following reasons. The attitude concerns from “NFL Insiders” questioning his love for the game are complete bullshit, first off. He’s the most NFL-ready quarterback of the bunch and I love the fact he actually spent a considerable amount of time under center during his college career at UCLA. As Mike Mayock put it, “He’s the most natural thrower of the football in this draft class.” The repeated concussions he’s suffered are probably the largest red flag for me.

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That brings us to Josh Allen, the kind of prospect scouts have been drooling over during the draft process, a true workout warrior. The Wyoming product is your prototypical QB at 6’5″ 225 pounds. Allen has the best arm the draft has seen since JaMarcus Russell and may have the highest ceiling/star power of the bunch. Even Mel Kiper believes the Browns will call his name at No. 1. To be honest with you, I just don’t have the faith in the Jets coaching staff to maximize the 21-year-old’s ability down the line. Don’t get me wrong, he was impressive at the Senior Bowl and I definitely won’t be mad if he ends up being our guy. You have to respect my hesitancy as a Jets fan, though.

The New York Jets Select: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

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DG Playing the Role of Giants General Manager:

My Quarterback Rankings –

  1. Sam Darnold
  2. Josh Rosen
  3. Josh Allen
  4. Baker Mayfield

LTS and I both see eye to eye on the quarterbacks. Ever since I saw Sam Darnold put on a show in the Rose Bowl, I was sold. He’s everything you want in a quarterback. He has the arm strength, he can extend plays, he’s smart, and has a great attitude. You won’t find Sam Darnold’s name in the media for the wrong reasons, which is exactly the type of guy you need under center in New York.

This is an “uhh ya think” statement, but the Giants pick will be determined by what the Browns do at #1. It’s no secret that the Browns are going to go QB at #1, but as I sit here and write this on Thursday morning, no one knows who they are going to take. Mel Kiper has stuck by Josh Allen at #1 while Todd McShay has leaned towards Sam Darnold. Now, there are talks of Baker Mayfield going at #1, which would be shocking to me.

My take on this is the Browns have known who they have wanted to take for a few weeks now. Leaking these rumors is a way of creating a smokescreen so they don’t tip their hand for what they want to do at #4. When Roger Goodell walks across the stage tonight, I believe the name he will have in his hand will be Josh Allen to the Browns. New offensive coordinator Todd Haley will want to recreate Big Ben 2.0 from his time in Pittsburgh and Allen is the perfect prototype.

Then, we go to my beloved Giants. This team needs a lot of help. Both offensive and defensive lines need to be strengthened, running back has always been an issue, and Eli is 37 years old with 2 years left on his contract. We can go a few ways with our pick, but the way I look at it, the odds of the Giants being the #2 pick again are slim. Because of that, they need to go impact player who can be on the team for 8-10 years.

Like I said before, our pick will be based on what Cleveland does at #1, but in my mind, the Giants have two guys in mind: Sam Darnold and Saquon Barkley. I’m a Catholic so I am saying my prayers that the Browns do not take Sam Darnold at #1. Darnold would be the perfect successor to Eli. There would be no rush to play him and Eli would be excellent at showing Darnold how to be a professional QB in the NFL. I would love for Eli to play the remaining two years on his contract, have Darnold sit and learn, and then step right into the starting position come 2020. That’s best case scenario.

If Darnold goes at #1, the Giants are not looking at any other QBs. The pick would then be Saquon Barkley. Barkley is the best player in this draft. He is a 3 down back who can not only catch out of the backfield, but run between the tackles. Barkley has the ability to change the game with the ball in his hands. This is a franchise running back, Day 1 starter, which is something the Giants have not had since Tiki Barber. However, the RB has evolved so much that teams can get so much value in the middle rounds. Just last year, Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt were middle round selections and both made significant impacts for their teams. Is taking Barkley at #2 worth it if one, the line can’t block for him and two, the Giants can get the same value for a RB in a later round? This is the debate of all debates and I tend to lean towards taking a RB in the later rounds. However, I won’t be mad at all if we take Barkley if Darnold is not on the board.

GM Dave Gettleman is a wildcard so if the Giants trade back, don’t be surprised.

If Sam Darnold is on the board, The New York Giants Select: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

If Sam Darnold is off the board, The New york Giants Select: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

This is one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory. It should make great television. Here’s to your team making the right selection!

Todd Bowles Outdoes Himself In Blowout Loss To New England Patriots

There are a lot of bad coaches in the NFL. I’m used to seeing questionable decisions. Some moves are just plain ridiculous. The performance by Jets coach Todd Bowles during his team’s week 17 loss against New England takes the cake. Before you think I’m a bitter Jets fan (which is true) who wanted to see them at least cover, I’ll point out that New England giving the points was my strongest pick. First of all, Pittsburgh rested their players when a Patriots loss would have opened the door for Pittsburgh to finish first. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. It shows what they think of the Jets, and Todd’s ability to prepare his team. I’m really not sure what is going on with Christian Hackenberg. Bowles refused to put him in, despite awful play by Petty. You would think he could get a quarter, or at least one drive at some point.

Tracy Wolfson asked if there was a chance we would see Hackenberg during her halftime chat with Bowles. Todd said no. I can live with this. He added that Petty was playing well. At this point it just seems like you are lying, or have vision problems. Todd must have been pleased with Petty’s second half performance, too. Apparently Bowles was not looking for touchdowns. There were none from his team. The theory of touchdowns not being important to Bowles was solidified by an unfathomable choice. He went for a field goal at 24-3 in the fourth quarter. They trailed by 21 with under 11 minutes left. You need three touchdowns. Making it 24-6 does absolutely no good. You still need three possessions. If you’re going to have any chance, a touchdown is required.

I tried to watch the Bowles press conference. Appropriately, I could not get the video to work. Jim Nantz didn’t get his decision. Tony Romo was typically annoying. First he joked that it was a good decision. Eventually he came clean. You had to go for a touchdown there. That really looked like the work of somebody who had money on New England. I don’t really think so, but that’s about the only explanation I can come up with. This level of stupidity makes you wonder.

Since I mentioned the CBS coverage and bad decisions, why would the top crew get Jets-Patriots? In late December announcers are often kept close to home so they could spend holidays with their families. Ian Eagle usually does an early game. At 4:25 Nantz often does a late contest before 60 Minutes. Everybody knew the Jets basically had no chance, and probably wouldn’t be competitive. Like I said, even Pittsburgh gave up hope that New England could lose. At least Romo didn’t ruin their late game for me. Bengals-Ravens was epic.

I’m looking forward to Joe Benigno’s blasting of Bowles. It always amazes me when you have zero expectations for someone and that person still shocks you with incompetence. They actually gave this guy an extension. I’m not sure if he would get one now. Knowing the Jets, probably. We are stuck with this clown for at least 2018. Happy New Year.