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The New York Jets want to upgrade their offensive line, and they got an early start Sunday by agreeing in principle to acquire left guard Kelechi Osemele in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter.

Osemele, who made the Pro Bowl for the Raiders in 2016 and 2017, is expected to replace James Carpenter, a four-year starter for the Jets and pending free agent.

By rule, trades aren’t official until Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

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The Jets traded a fifth-round pick for Osemele, receiving a sixth-round choice in return from the Raiders, according to a source.

The terms of the deal were first reported by Bay Area News Group.

It was the second trade in less than 24 hours for the Raiders, who late Saturday agreed to acquire wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan made an aggressive bid for Osemele in 2016, when the emerging lineman was an unrestricted free agent after four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He wound up signing a five-year, $58.5 million deal with the Raiders, who received a nice return on their investment in the first two years.

But Osemele’s play slipped last season as he battled knee and toe injuries, missing a total of five games. There were rumors that he’d be shipped out before the trading deadline, but he made it through the season on a poor offensive line. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked 51 times.

Osemele has two years remaining on his contract, with cap charges of $10.2 million and $11.7 million. None of his remaining salary is guaranteed. The Jets have more than $90 million in cap space.

In recent days, there was speculation that Osemele, who turns 30 on June 24, would be cut. In February, he released video on Twitter that suggested he’s determined to have a bounce-back year. He tweeted that 2019 would be devoted to “health and wellness” and he showed himself tipping the scale at 296 pounds.

He was listed by the Raiders at 330 pounds.

Maccagnan, speaking at the scouting combine, said the offensive line is a “position we’re going to look at very strongly in free agency. … It’s definitely an area we want to improve upon.”

The Jets were expected to show interest in Los Angeles Rams left guard Rodger Saffold, who will be one of the most coveted interior linemen on the free-agent market, but he’ll be more costly than Osemele in terms of guaranteed money.

Osemele was a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2012. For his career, he has played 93 games, all starts.

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TAMPA — It was a cute story while it lasted, the talk about the playoffs and the New York Jets. Stop it now, please. They aren’t worthy of calling themselves a postseason contender, not after what unfolded on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

In a battle of aging, journeyman quarterbacks — “battle” might be overstating it — the Jets played their worst offensive game of the season and fell to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15-10.

This came 10 days after the Jets danced their way to a dominating win over the Buffalo Bills. They forgot to pack their intensity on the trip to Tampa, and it showed throughout the game — the mark of a young team that doesn’t have the talent to overcome such lulls. They under-estimated the Bucs (3-6), plain and simple. They went from dancing under the stars to stumbling across the dance floor.

“You have to show up every week in this league or you get it handed to you,” coach Todd Bowles said. “We didn’t show up today.”
Josh McCown was sacked six times in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers. Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Bowles used a boxing analogy, saying they “lost a unanimous decision in a 12-round fight.” They fought defensively, showing no aggression on offense. The Jets had more punts (seven) than points for the first 59 minutes, before Robby Anderson scored on a 38-yard reception with 28 seconds left. Until then, they demonstrated the kind of offensive ineptitude everybody expected in August.

That they lost to Fitzpatrick, their former starter, only made it feel worse. That they lost to a dysfunctional team without its two stars, quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans, made it gut-wrenching.

“I don’t think we were over-confident,” nose tackle Steve McLendon said. “They came out and they threw more punches than we did, and they finished. It seemed like they wanted it more than we did.”

The Jets dropped to 4-6, and now they have the bye week to reset before the stretch run. They have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league, starting with back-to-back home games against the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, so any talk of a wild-card berth is pure folly.

It’s too bad, because they had a chance to extend the feel-good story, but they couldn’t figure out a way to beat the Bucs’ 28th-ranked defense. Offensive coordinator John Morton called a conservative game, and the result was sloppy execution.

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Josh McCown (23-for-39, 263 yards) was out of sync from the outset, as he failed for the first time to hit the 60 percent completion mark. The Jets allowed six sacks and couldn’t handle Tampa Bay’s speed in the front seven, which also foiled the rushing attack. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who began the day with a team-high 33 receptions, had no catches for the first 54 minutes in his much-anticipated return to Tampa.

“As a unit, I felt like that was our worst game,” right guard Brian Winters said of the offensive line, which surrendered an astounding 14 quarterback hits.

It’s a minor miracle that McCown was able to walk out of the stadium.

The Jets failed to make a big play until the game was nearly over. And, of course, they hurt themselves with the usual array of penalties, eight for 77 yards.

Incredibly, the Jets had only one real scoring opportunity, but they settled for a field goal after driving to the Bucs’ 12-yard line. The next three plays: incomplete pass (a near interception), a sack allowed by right tackle Brandon Shell and a holding penalty on Seferian-Jenkins.
Both teams should burn the tape of this game.

The graybeard quarterbacks, with a combined 28 years of experience, acted their age. They threw consecutive interceptions in the first half and each came close to throwing multiple picks. The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick (17-for-34, 187 yards) will head back to the bench when Winston is healthy.

The 38-year-old McCown’s job security will be questioned now that the team is out of contention, but replacing him would be a mistake at this point. The Jets have bigger problems than the quarterback position. In their biggest game of the season, the offense was a no-show.

What a stinging indictment.

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There could be some tinkering this week, but the New York Jets’ 53-man roster is essentially set. I could spew a lot of opinions, but I’ll limit it to one takeaway:

Eight of the 53 have spent a week or less on the team. When there’s that much turnover this close to the opener, it sends a clear message: rebuilding.

Serious rebuilding.

Quarterback (3): Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg

McCown was 2-20 as a starter from 2014 to 2016, Petty was 1-3 last year and Hackenberg has yet to play. Get the picture? By the way, Petty deserves to be the No. 2, if healthy. It’s not even a debate.

 

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Running back (4): Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Julian Howsare, Elijah McGuire

Advice to Forte and Powell: Eat your Wheaties every Sunday morning because you’ll be carrying the entire offense. On Sunday, they waived Marcus Murphy, a return specialist.

Wide receiver (7): Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Charone Peake, Kalif Raymond, Damore’ea Stringfellow

Seven receivers? That’s a lot, considering this isn’t a four-receiver offense, as it was the last two years under former coordinator Chan Gailey. Clearly, player development is a big part of the thought process. New arrivals Kearse, Raymond and Stringfellow still haven’t practiced with the team. Raymond, picked up on waivers, will be the return specialist.

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Tight end (3): Eric Tomlinson, Will Tye, Jordan Leggett

Much like Kearse at receiver, Tye — another late waiver acquisition — immediately becomes the most accomplished player at his position. Seferian-Jenkins returns in Week 3 from his suspension. On Sunday, they waived Jason Vander Laan, who showed promise in camp.

Offensive line (9): Kelvin Beachum, James Carpenter, Wesley Johnson, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell, Ben Ijalana, Brent Qvale, Jonotthan Harrison, Dakota Dozier.

Presumably, the first five will comprise the starting lineup. There will be a lot of pressure on the big fellas because they will see a steady diet of eight-man fronts.

Defensive line (6): Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Muhammad Wilkerson, Kony Ealy, Mike Pennel, Claude Pelon

The coaches no longer have to worry about finding ways to get Williams, Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson on the field at the same time. Frankly, the trio wasn’t that imposing last year — only six sacks in 513 snaps as a threesome, per ESPN Stats & Information. Pelon, a first-year free agent, is the biggest surprise on the roster. Prediction: Ealy will record more sacks than Richardson, now with the Seattle Seahawks.

Linebacker (8): Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Lorenzo Mauldin, Dylan Donahue, Julian Stanford, Edmond Robinson

Mauldin (back) was thought to be a candidate for injured reserve. If he remains on the 53, he probably won’t be ready for opening day because he missed nearly the entire camp. That would leave Martin and Donahue, a rookie, as the rush linebackers. Bruce Carter lost his roster spot to Robinson, who was claimed on Sunday.

Cornerback (6): Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Darryl Roberts, Marcus Williams, Derrick Jones
Williams was on the bubble, but he managed to stick around. The Jets really need Claiborne (shoulder) to get healthy and stay healthy. Otherwise, it might be a long year for the defense, which leans heavily on its corners.

Safety (4): Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks

The development of Adams and Maye — both rookies — will be fun to watch. Brooks, a late addition, is the only healthy backup. Miles is recovering from a significant eye laceration.

Specialists (3): PK Chandler Catanzaro, P Lachlan Edwards and LS Thomas Hennessy

Catanzaro over Ross Martin was the most puzzling roster decision. Catanzaro was better than Martin on kickoffs, but his field-goal accuracy was inconsistent on a day-to-day basis in camp. They’re also taking a chance with Hennessy, a rookie. He replaces Tanner Purdum, who went seven years without botching a snap. He had a couple of hiccups in training camp, but how ’bout cutting some slack for a proven veteran?