KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Cloudy future: You don’t have to be a soothsayer to see this coming: After the season, the Jets will face a difficult decision regarding the future of struggling star Darrelle Revis -- and they won’t have much time to make it.
Revis is scheduled to make a whopping $15 million in 2017, including a $2 million roster bonus (non-guaranteed) on the second day of the league year in March. From a cap-management standpoint, it would be a stretch to pay that much to a declining cornerback who will be 32 years old for the ’17 season.
The roster bonus puts a deadline on what could develop into a staredown between the Jets and one of the greatest players in franchise history. They could ask Revis to renegotiate his contract, but Revis isn’t a pay-cut kind of guy. He has made a career of beating a financial system that favors the owners, so it would be out of character for him to give back money.
In addition to the bonus, Revis is scheduled to make $13 million in base pay, including $6 million fully guaranteed. If the Jets cut him before paying the roster bonus, they’d get stuck with a $6 million cap charge.
Revis has mentioned the possibility of switching to safety in the future, which has merit from a football standpoint, but it wouldn't solve the economic issue. He fired his longtime agents a few months ago, but Revis was -- and still is -- relying on advice from his uncle, former NFL player Sean Gilbert, who is all about the money.
Make no mistake, this will be a huge storyline after the season. Unless Revis softens his stance on contracts, he could force the Jets into a decision they’d rather not make.
2. Exorcising a demon: You probably didn’t notice it on the onside kick at the end of last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills, but one member of the Jets’ “hands” team was Brandon Bostick -- yes, the same Bostick who will live in Green Bay Packers infamy for botching an onside kick recovery attempt in the 2014 NFC Championship Game. He was the goat in the overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, making him Public Enemy No. 1 in Cheesehead Nation. The backlash from crazed fans was so severe that he received death threats.
Bostick thought about his miscue as he walked on the field last week for his first onside kickoff since that fateful day.
"Of course I did," he said. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't. I think about it all the time, but when I was out there, I was like, 'I can't make that mistake again.' I just did my job. Next time I go out there, it'll be like nothing ever happened."
The Bills' kick didn't go near Bostick, but it still was an important mental hurdle. It meant a lot to him that the coaches trusted him in that spot.
"They believe in me," said Bostick, who finished last season on the Jets' practice squad and made the team with a solid camp. "They know I've moved on from that, and they know I won't make that mistake again. I was ready."
3. Four's company: When it became clear at the end of the preseason that the Jets were going to keep four quarterbacks, it prompted some speculation around the league about the possibility of them dealing Geno Smith to a quarterback-needy team before the Nov. 1 trading deadline -- assuming they felt comfortable with Bryce Petty as the No. 2.
Forget about it.
If there was any chance of that, it was squashed by Petty’s shoulder injury in the final preseason game. Petty, who is still not throwing with his usual velocity, has missed three weeks of valuable practice time, stunting his progress. He’s expected to start practicing in a week or two, putting him way behind -- too late to shake up the depth chart before the trading deadline.
Fans may not want to hear it, but the reality is, as long as the Jets stay in the race, Smith is their best No. 2. It looks like another red-shirt year for Petty.
4. Empty at fullback: In case you’re wondering about the downside to having four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster … well, you’re seeing it now. By cutting Julian Howsare earlier in the week, the Jets don’t have a fullback. What in the name of Brad Baxter are they thinking?
Presumably, they will use a tight end as a blocking back in short-yardage situations. Hey, maybe they will reprise Sheldon Richardson’s old role, circa 2013, lining him up as a 300-pound battering ram.
“We’re good,” coach Todd Bowles said of their fullback-less backfield.
Actually, it's not that unusual. Only 17 teams have a fullback, according to Ourlads, which compiles current depth charts for every team.
5. Could Christian have hacked it? Watching New England Patriots rookie Jacoby Brissett on Thursday night, I couldn’t help but wonder about Christian Hackenberg. Could he have pulled a Brissett, coming from the far end of the bench to win a game? It’s a fair question. After all, Hackenberg was drafted 51st (second round), 40 spots ahead of Brissett (third round).
My hunch: I don't think Hackenberg would've played as well as Brissett, whose mobility helped him tremendously against the Houston Texans. Hackenberg is a pure pocket passer, still lacking the necessary polish to win a game in that capacity. In other words, he would’ve been a sitting duck.
This isn’t to suggest Brissett is a better long-term prospect than Hackenberg, who did little in the preseason to justify his draft status; it merely means Brissett is further along at this stage.
6. Heartbreak Hill: The Jets certainly did their homework on rookie Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs' dangerous kick returner. Not only did they study tape from Weeks 1 and 2 and his 2015 season at West Alabama, but they went all the way back to his days at Oklahoma State. Hill played at OSU before getting kicked off the team due to a domestic-violence allegation. Yep, teams dig pretty deep when compiling a scouting report.
The Jets did a lot of pre-draft work on Hill, and they actually had a chance to pick him in the fifth round. They took tackle Brandon Shell; Hill went seven picks later to the Chiefs.
7. Fight club: These Jets are a resilient bunch. Consider: In four of their five deficits this season, they responded with multiple scores to retake the lead. This trend has one noticeable blemish: When it mattered most -- the final possession in Week 1 -- they threw an interception and lost by a point to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Well, it was almost the perfect stat.