NFL Nation reporters dish on recent ex-Jets players

Michael Vick, Chris Johnson and Dawan Landry -- three prominent members of the 2014 New York Jets -- still are looking for jobs. Several other ex-Jets, however, already have spent a few months with new teams. With the help of our NFL Nation reporters, here's a progress report:

Phillip Adams, cornerback, Atlanta Falcons: His familiarity with new Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme obviously has worked to Adams' benefit since joining the team. Adams was with Seattle last preseason, and Quinn was the Seahawks' defensive coordinator at the time. Quinn immediately singled out Adams' play during organized team activities, and Adams followed with some nice pass breakups during mandatory minicamp. In fact, Adams was the primary nickelback this offseason, with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford at the corners and second-round draft pick Jalen Collins limited following pre-draft foot surgery. Once the season begins, Trufant, Alford and a healthy Collins will be the primary cornerbacks, but Adams should find a home as the fourth cornerback. The Falcons need quality depth across the board as they try to turn around one of the league’s worst defenses the past two seasons -- Vaughn McClure

Nick Bellore, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers: Bellore, signed as a free agent by the 49ers after four seasons with the Jets, has played in 64 career games but has yet too start one. That will not change this season. At least, not if the 49ers have their druthers. Bellore was brought in for depth at inside linebacker, where NaVorro Bowman is attempting a comeback after missing all of last season with a devastating left knee injury, and for special teams. Bellore fits that bill rather nicely, though, and should continue his special teams tackling ways in Santa Clara, but should not get on the field for any meaningful snaps ... unless injuries wreak havoc on the 49ers. Again. -- Paul Gutierrez

John Conner, fullback, Buffalo Bills: "The Terminator" was the second ex-Jet that head coach Rex Ryan added this offseason, and his signing raised some eyebrows around here. The Bills already gave Jerome Felton a four-year, $9.2 million contract in March, making him the second-highest paid fullback in the NFL. When I asked Ryan if he would actually consider keeping two fullbacks on his 53-man roster, he kept open the possibility. That's been a running joke among observers of the team -- "Rex has two fullbacks but no quarterback" -- but it's a commentary on how much the Bills could run the ball this season under offensive coordinator Greg Roman. To this point, Conner hasn't done anything to stand out in spring practices. That could change when he puts on pads this August. -- Mike Rodak

Kenrick Ellis, nose tackle, New York Giants: Ellis says he lost a little weight, says he’s between 330 and 335 now. He hasn’t been running with the first team in the spring, but the guy in front of him is Markus Kuhn, who shouldn’t be too hard to beat out. Basically they’re looking for a run-stopper to play next to Johnathan Hankins so they can free up Hankins to rush the passer a bit more. They like Ellis' size for the role and want to make sure he understands the responsibility of the nose tackle in Spagnuolo's offense. He’ll get a chance to compete for that starting spot in camp -- Dan Graziano

Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Bills: We haven't had much of a chance to see Harvin in action this spring. Of the three organized team activities open to reporters, Harvin missed the final two practices for non-injury reasons. He returned for voluntary minicamp last week, but didn't stand out. With Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan -- who has drawn praise from current Bills and former Jets receivers coach Sanjay Lal -- also in the mix at receiver, it's not clear exactly where Harvin will fit. Like with his previous teams, Harvin figures to have a role on special teams; he was the first player back to receive kicks during minicamp. -- Rodak

Greg Salas, wide receiver, Detroit Lions: Salas signed with the Lions as a veteran this spring and didn’t do much to stand out at all during the team’s offseason workouts. The only day he stood out either positively or negatively was the final day of minicamp, when he had one nice catch in the end zone but also dropped a very catchable ball. Detroit has a bunch of question marks as receivers behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, so Salas might have a chance to make the roster, but he’s pretty deep on the depth chart right now. If the roster had to be set today, he would almost definitely be cut. -- Michael Rothstein

Jalen Saunders, punt returner, New Orleans Saints: Although he flamed out in New York last season, Saunders provided the Saints a nice boost as a return specialist when he joined them in late November. I actually awarded him with two game balls (though they came partly by default in otherwise-ugly losses). He had two punt returns of 30-plus yards in Week 14, then he had a 99-yard kickoff return in Week 16. Saunders will have to fight to stay on the roster this year, though, since the Saints drafted a return specialist (Missouri’s Marcus Murphy), in Round 7. They also added free agent running back C.J. Spiller and got receiver Brandin Cooks back from injury. Both could factor into the return game. -- Mike Triplett

Matt Simms, quarterback, Bills: "Yikes" would be the word with Simms, who requested his release from the Jets and won't get much better of an opportunity in Buffalo. The Bills need as much tape on EJ Manuel, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor as they can get, which left Simms with only two or three reps at the end of most 11-on-11 drills during spring practices. He did little to impress in his limited action. On the first day of minicamp last week, Simms had three consecutive passes broken up by defenders, who all read his slow release and easily reacted to the throws. Ryan and quarterbacks coach David Lee will be more sympathetic toward Simms than most coaches, but I can't see his tenure with the Bills lasting past August. -- Rodak

Kyle Wilson, cornerback, New Orleans Saints: Wilson is in a crowded battle for a roster spot, where the Saints have nine legitimate contenders battling it out at cornerback. His biggest advantage is that he has more experience than any of the other contenders behind starters Keenan Lewis and Brandon Browner. But he has less upside, so he’ll have to clearly lock down the nickelback job to keep his spot on the team. Wilson began organized team activities as the nickelback with the first-string defense. But as the summer went on, the Saints rotated others like Canadian Football League transfer Delvin Breaux and rookies P.J. Williams and Damian Swann into that role, as well. We saw some ups and downs with Wilson during the sessions that were open to the media -- he was picked on a few times. But he also had at least one interception. -- Triplett