Head coach Adam Gase and general manager Joe Douglas have already put their stamps on the Jets' roster, with more changes to come in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Gase has been blending newly arrived veteran skill position talent headed by RB Le'Veon Bell with the returning skill players around second-year QB Sam Darnold. The defense has added top free agent MLB C.J. Mosley and top draft pick DL Quinnen Williams to Pro Bowl S Jamal Adams and DL Leonard Williams for a strong-up-the-middle unit. A big Douglas signing since arriving in May was to lure multiple-Pro Bowl C Ryan Kalil out of retirement to anchor the offensive line.
Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the Jets' 53-man roster following final cuts and waiver acquisitions over the weekend as we head toward this Sunday's opening day at MetLife Stadium against their longtime AFL/AFC East rivals, the Bills.
RETURNEE: Sam Darnold (2nd year). NEW VET: Trevor Siemian (5th).
SUMMARY: Darnold and all other Jets followers in the locker room, in the stands and at home can't wait to see the young signal-caller attack year two after his strong 2018 finish and ’19 preseason — in the final four games last year, he completed 64% of his throws (6 TDs to 1 INT) for a 99.1 passer rating, posted his first fourth-quarter comeback at Buffalo, and took Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay to OT. Siemian didn't play at Minnesota last year but had 24 starts, 13 wins and 30 TD passes for Denver in 2016-17. Davis Webb and Luke Falk were final cuts, leaving the Jets initially with two QBs on their season-opening roster for only the third time in the last 20 seasons (2014, Geno Smith/Michael Vick, last year, Darnold/Josh McCown).
RETURNEES: Bilal Powell (9th year), Trenton Cannon (2nd). NEW VETS: Le'Veon Bell (6th), RB/WR Ty Montgomery (5th).
SUMMARY: Bell, whose 6,737 scrimmage yards for Pittsburgh from 2014-17 is the most among all NFL backs the past five seasons, is the Green & White's new bellcow back. The versatile Montgomery has averaged a strong 6.1 yards/touch since 2015. Powell returns as one of only eight RBs to gain 5,000 YFS in a Jets career and the only one to do it since 2003. Gase: "There's a lot of trust there with Bilal." Cannon has shown he can contribute, sometimes electrically, on offense and special teams.
RETURNEES: Quincy Enunwa (5th year), Robby Anderson (4th). NEW VETS: Jamison Crowder (5th), Josh Bellamy (5th), Braxton Berrios (2nd).
SUMMARY: Anderson wants to break out in a big way after 113 catches for a 15.0 average and 13 TDs the past two seasons. Enunwa is a big-body wideout with a great yards-after-catch dimension. Crowder's impressive slot presence was on display with Washington from 2015-18 and this preseason. Bellamy has shown he can contribute more than his modest receiving numbers for Chicago since ’14 suggest. The Jets sight-adjusted from UDFA Greg Dortch to acquiring Berrios on waivers from the Patriots after Berrios averaged 13.2 yards his last two years of punt-returning at U. of Miami and 9.2 on five returns with the Pats this summer.
RETURNEE: Chris Herndon (2nd year). NEW VETS: Ryan Griffin (7th), Daniel Brown (5th). NEWCOMER: Trevon Wesco (rookie—4th round).
SUMMARY: Herndon showed great promise with 39 catches for 502 yards and 4 TDs as a rookie but his sophomore start will be delayed four games due to an NFL suspension. Experienced hands Griffin and Brown arrived this year and showed their professional chops. Big rookie draft pick Wesco finds a spot on the 53-man roster.
RETURNEES: T Kelvin Beachum (8th year), G Brian Winters (7th), C Jonotthan Harrison (6th), T Brandon Shell (4th). NEW VETS: C Ryan Kalil (13th), G Kelechi Osemele (8th), OL Tom Compton (7th), OL Alex Lewis (4th). NEWCOMER: T Chuma Edoga (rookie—3rd round).
SUMMARY: A veteran OL got more experienced when Kalil (five Pro Bowls with Carolina) came out of a short retirement to sign in early August. LG Osemele (Pro Bowls with Oakland in 2016 and '17) came over in a March trade to team with RG Winters as the Green & White's "Guardians of the Physicality." Beachum has 86 pro starts, including 32 for the Jets at LT in 2017-18, while Shell has 26 starts at RT for the Jets the past two seasons. Vets Harrison, Compton and Lewis and former Darnold USC teammate Edoga are the backups.
RETURNEES: Steve McLendon (10th year), Henry Anderson (5th), Leonard Williams (5th), Bronson Kaufusi (3rd), Nathan Shepherd (2nd), Folorunso Fatukasi (2nd). NEW VET: John Franklin-Myers (2nd). NEWCOMERS: Quinnen Williams (rookie—1st round), Kyle Phillips (rookie—UDFA).
SUMMARY: McLendon is the fiery 10th-year man in the middle, Williams the explosion waiting to happen again (2016 Pro Bowl, 17 career sacks), Anderson the former Colt who last year turned in a career campaign as a Jet (7.0 sacks, 16 QB hits, two blocked kicks). Add to the mix one scary-smart third pick of the draft in Quinnen Williams, who, says DC Gregg Williams, "brings a smile to my face." Sprinkle in young up-and-comers Shepherd, Kaufusi, Fatukasi, Franklin-Myers (acquired on waivers from the Rams) and Phillips, the only UDFA to make the 53-man roster. Voila! You've baked up one heck of a DL rotation.
Top Images of the Green & White's Current Roster
RETURNEES: Brandon Copeland (5th), Neville Hewitt (5th), Jordan Jenkins (4th), Tarell Basham (3rd), Frankie Luvu (2nd), Harvey Langi (2nd). NEW VETS: C.J. Mosley (6th), Albert McClellan (8th). NEWCOMER: Blake Cashman (rookie—5th round).
SUMMARY: Mosley was a highly productive defensive leader with Baltimore whom Gase was surprised to see available as an unrestricted free agent. He was being paired with Avery Williamson inside until the latter went down with a season-ending knee injury, so Hewitt steps up as he did late last year. Jenkins (tied for team lead with 7.0 sacks, team-high two strips) and Copeland (career highs with 10 starts and 5.0 sacks) manned the outside last year, but "Cope" will get a late start due to an NFL suspension. Luvu and Basham return from last season, McClellan was signed late for ILB depth, and Cashman showed in the preseason he can play at this level.
RETURNEES: S Jamal Adams (3rd year), CB Trumaine Johnson (8th), S Rontez Miles (5th), CB Darryl Roberts (5th), S Marcus Maye (3rd). NEW VETS: CB Brian Poole (4th), S Matthias Farley (4th), CB Nate Hairston (3rd), CB Arthur Maulet (3rd), S Bennett Jackson (2nd). NEWCOMER: CB Bless Austin (rookie—6th round).
SUMMARY: At safety, Adams, named Pro Bowl Defensive MVP in January, is reunited with Maye, healthy again after the two started all 16 games as rookies in ’17, with veteran special-teams standout Miles backing them up. At corner, Johnson, who had a career-high seven INTs under then-Rams coordinator Gregg Williams in ’15, is the veteran presence on the left side, Roberts returns on the right side, and Poole replaces Buster Skrine in the slot. Jackson (waivers), Farley (free agent) and Hairston (trade) are versatile late arrivals. Austin begins the season on NFI.
RETURNEES: P Lachlan Edwards (4th year), LS Thomas Hennessy (3rd). NEW VET: K Kaare Vedvik (2nd).
SUMMARY: Edwards, who had a 45.9 gross average last year and set the Jets' season net record for the second straight year with a 40.8 average, out-punted Matt Darr this preseason. The Jets, after Jason Myers departed, Chandler Catanzaro retired from football, and Taylor Bertolet mostly struggled in the last three preseason games, acquired Vedvik on waivers this past Sunday. He's in line to be the Jets' fourth kicker in four seasons.