Previewing the 2014 New York Jets Schedule

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins

The New York Jets had an up and down 2013 season thanks to rookie quarterback Geno Smith leading an inconsistent offense. That could be the same in 2014, but with added competition thanks to hired arm Michael Vick, Jets fans can at least hope for improvement. With a borderline elite defense still in place, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Gang Green to get back to post-season play.

The New York Jets schedule won’t be doing them any favors, however, as they have to travel to Kansas City, San Diego and Green Bay this season. Trips to Minnesota and Tennessee should be easier games, but add in divisional jaunts with the Patriots, Dolphins and Bills and the Jets don’t appear to have an easy road schedule in 2014.

New York’s home schedule  is arguably just as tough, headlined by an epic battle with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, while the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders will be coming to town. Oakland should be a win for New York, but their other non-division home games should provide a considerable challenge. Rex Ryan and co. will have to come up big overall, though, as Ryan could be on his last leg in New York if the Jets can’t get back to the playoffs.

All 2014 Jets Opponents

Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Decker, Jets Agree to Terms

Decker

Written By: Florida Bengal

It’s good to be Eric Decker.

He’s got a beautiful wife, is soon to be a father, stars in a reality TV show and now is worth at least $15 million, if not $36 million more than he was a day ago.

Decker and the New York Jets agreed to a five-year, $36 million deal with at least $15 million guaranteed late Wednesday evening making Decker easily the most established wideout on the Jets roster.

“I’m excited about New York being my new community and starting a new chapter in my life,” Decker told one Denver newspaper. “On top of that, my wife’s expecting our baby any second.”

Decker’s move could also help he and his wife, country music singer Jessie James, increase exposure for their reality TV show.

On the field, it will be on Decker to help second-year quarterback Geno Smith to gain confidence and grow as an NFL signal caller. The four-year receiver who has 172 catches for more than 2,300 yards and 24 touchdowns the last two seasons believes he’s up to the challenge.

“When you look at the statistics, yeah, (Smith) got off to a slow start,” Decker told CBS New York. “But he was hurt early on and he finished the season strong. He improved all season long in a tough market. That’s pretty impressive.”

The Jets don’t seem to be finished re-vamping their receiving corps with this big splash, however. The New York Daily News reports that the team has expressed an interest in Packers free agent receiver James Jones, who had 54 catches for 817 yards in Green Bay last season.

Eric Decker visiting with the Jets

Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day

Written By: Florida Bengal

Fear not, Geno Smith. Help may be on its way.

Sports Illustrated reports that wide receiver Eric Decker is in New York today to discuss joining the Jets as the team’s top receiving target. Other teams will surely be in the running, but it’s a positive that New York is getting the first chance to woo the prized receiver of this season’s free agent class.

With the release of the oft-injured Santonio Holmes earlier this week, David Nelson became the team’s most-established wide receiver with his 130 career NFL catches. Decker, a four-year veteran out of Minnesota, has 172 catches in 24 touchdowns in the last two years alone.

Granted, those numbers came in a pass-happy offense with Peyton Manning at the helm and Demaryius Thomas lined up on the other side of the field. But in any case, those numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

Decker would offer the Jets a big, sure-handed target on the outside and, possibly more importantly, a great red zone target. In his rookie season, Smith threw for an impressive 3,046 yards and completed 56 percent of his passes but his TD-to-INT ratio was 12-to-21. Surely Decker could help to turn those numbers around in Smith’s sophomore season.

The other teams in the running to get Decker (early reports indicate that there are two other teams in line right now) are unknown.

State of the Franchise: Jets Before Free Agency

State of the Franchise Prior Free Agency

The New York Jets have been linked to a lot of free agents that will hit the market on Tuesday but is it all true? Yes, the Jets do have money to spend but will the cash be spent on the top names in this year’s free agency class? According to OverTheCap.com the Jets have over $23 million in cap room to play with. How will the Jets fare in free agency 2014?

If you are in for some history, lets go back. The Jets have failed to make the playoffs since the 2010 season when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship. Since, head coach Rex Ryan has been walking on egg shells to save his job. Ryan was able to come back as the team’s head coach after finishing 2013 on a strong note but still held just an 8-8 record.

Quarterback Geno Smith struggled for a big fraction of the season with turning the ball over and unable to score points offensively. He and the Jets will be expecting competition by July for the starting job.

Defensively, the Jets are building a stacked house, led by Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson has played in every game since being drafted out of Temple and recorded his best season as a pro in 2013 — 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

The Jets have already began making moves. The team signed tight end Jeff Cumberland to an extension. Cumberland led the team in touchdown receptions along with recording 26 catches for 398 yards. Many believe offensive tackle Austin Howard could be next in line for a new contract.

So what kind of dent could the Jets make when March 11 finally gets here? Writer Eric Allen of newyorkjets.com believes they will spend wisely. As for general manager John Idzik, his philosophy is simple:

“We’ll explore every measure to bring in talent and continue to compete. The draft will be very important to us. That will be a lifeline for us, year-in and year-out. “We will use free agency. Again we will be very thoughtful, do our research and be judicious in free agency. We will use trades.”

Change must come to the Jets but in what way?

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

Jets Place Franchise Tag On Kicker Nick Folk

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins

The Jets have placed the franchise tag on kicker Nick Folk, who is coming off perhaps the best season of his seven-year NFL career, the Associated Press reports.

The Jets announced the move Friday. Teams have until Monday to designate a player for the franchise tag.

Folk made $780,000 last season, but the franchise tag estimate for kickers is about $3.4 million for this season. Folk was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and by using the tag, the Jets could potentially set things up for a multiyear deal.

Video: Fox Talks About The Jets Interest In QB Michael Vick

VIck

The Jets may be looking to Michael Vick to mentor Geno Smith in the near future. Allie LaForce and Doug Gottlieb have the scoop on why this is the perfect move for Vick and the Jets.

Schaub Not Interested In Backing Up Geno Smith In New York

Schaub

A source tells Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that soon-to-be-released quarterback Matt Schaub is not interested in becoming the backup of Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

Most guys wait until they are asked before they turn down a job, Matt. The entire league knows that Schaub’s days in Houston are extremely numbered and he is likely putting out the word that he wants to get a starting gig in 2014 rather than settle for being anyone’s backup-particularly a turnover-challenged second year man like Geno.

Unfortunately for Schaub, there would seem to be no team in the NFL desperate enough to choose Schaub as a starter. Schaub may soon regret rebuffing any potential overtures that could allow him to stay in the league.

As for the Jets, word is they are focusing on quarterback Josh McCown, a player who has shown he is not too proud to accept the backup label but has also shown his ability to perform handsomely as a starter.

Michael Vick Considered “Legitimate” Possibility For Jets

Jets Have Serious interest in Michael Vick

Quarterback Michael Vick has been with the Philadelphia Eagles since he was released from prison in 2009. Vick’s time with the Eagles was a roller coaster ride to say the least, that usually ended in an injury for Vick.

In 2009, Vick backed up long-time quarterback Donovan McNabb until he was forced out of town and signed with the Washington Redskins the following season. Vick started just one game in 2009 and threw for one touchdown and ran for two more.

2010 was perhaps Vick’s most productive season ever as a passing quarterback. Vick was in competition with Kevin Kolb, but eventually ended up beating out Kolb and took the Eagles to the Playoffs but lost to the Green Bay Packers, who went onto win the Super Bowl. Vick finished with 21 touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 62.6.

From there, Vick’s time with the Eagles gradually went down hill, as he continued to miss more time with injuries.

In the 2013 season, another Vick injury made the Eagles find their franchise quarterback of the future in Nick Foles. Now Vick will be a free agent next March after signing just a one-year deal with the Eagles last offseason. Even with his background of injuries, Vick still has a bit of a market.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, the Jets seem intrigued by Vick and are a “legitimate” possibility to land Vick. Rumors have already leaked about the Jets flirting with other potential free agents, like wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders.

Other reporters are saying that a Vick signing is unlikely because of the distraction Vick brings to a football team. Vick, however, has ties with offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg.

This headline will either catch fire or die quickly seeing that free agency is set to open in just 16 days.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.