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Jets TE Tyler Conklin Looking to Take 'Big Step' with Aaron Rodgers Back in Lineup

Veteran Tight End Had Career-High 61 Receptions, 621 Yards in Last Season


Despite a career year last season, Jets TE Tyler Conklin feels overlooked as he enters his seventh NFL season.

"I really can take another big step in my career," Conklin said. "Having Aaron [Rodgers] obviously is going to be helpful. That's the fun part about the offseason. It's my favorite part of the year besides actually playing the games. To go in there and be able to craft and become the best me possible when nobody is looking, I'm excited to do that. After we get through OTA's and get our little break, then we come back and show you guys what's getting crafted."

Conklin's 621 yards ranked second on the team and his 61 receptions ranked third while catching passes from four quarterbacks last season. The reliable Conklin adapted and performed well with all four of the quarterbacks the Jets used under center, he was reliable. According to Pro Football Focus, Conklin ranked No. 2 in the NFL with a 66.7% contested-catch rate among TEs who took a minimum of 400 passing snaps. His 12 contested catches also ranked second.

"I don't know what his number is, but at least it feels that he is one of the better contested-catch guys in football," head coach Robert Saleh said. "He's unbelievable in tight-window throws and a very reliable player for the quarterback, but he also blocks his tail off in line as a tight end and a tremendous leader for that entire group."

Building off last season, Conklin's focus has been to improve his yards after the catch. He had 251 YAC in 2023 with an average of 4.1 yards after catch per reception.

"How do I turn a 5-yard catch into a 12-yard catch or a 15-yard catch?" he said. "For me, that is kind of going to be my biggest goal going into the offseason. Just getting better after the catch and I'll leave that to my trainers and stuff to help me."

As the offseason practices come to an end next week, Conklin is using this time to improve his relationships on and off the field. Rodgers and Conklin showed chemistry last training camp, something that re-emerged in OTAs.

"It's obviously really nice to have Aaron back," he said. "I think the cool part is that towards the end of last year, getting some reps with him [in practice] before the season was over and then jumping right back into it. It's obviously nice to have him back and to be back with the team and obviously getting the offense going."

He added: "I think right now it's more about building relationships, chemistry and being around your teammates because I think that's an under looked part that goes a really long way. Just being together, hanging out, doing stuff outside of the building. That's a big part of it. Then everybody goes and tries to become the best you in that 45-day break before you come back."

See all of the best photos from OTA No. 8 during the 2024 offseason program.

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