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Authentic Anthony Cioffi Jersey is back home, the Jersey guy having signed with the New York Jets last week ago. The Rutgers product, who put together a standout performance last year in the Canadian Football League (CFL), will bolster the team’s secondary depth at both safety and nickleback.

It is a bit of redemption for Cioffi, who in 2017 was cut by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent. Since then, he has taken the opportunity to improve in order to get another shot in the NFL.

The speedy Cioffi has put together a couple of solid seasons with the Ottawa Redblacks of the (CFL), including 61 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks a season ago. His growth over the past two seasons in the CFL has been remarkable.

Based off this upward trajectory, several weeks ago the Jets had reached out to Cioffi’s agent, Joe Linta, after having scouted him the cornerback the CFL season. They wanted Cioffi to send in film of him running a timed 40 as well some drills like the 3-cone.

He ran between a 4.43 – 4.47 hand-timed 40 at TEST Sports Club, a local facility that trains players for the NFL Draft. That was enough for the Jets, who brought him into the team’s practice facility on February 13.

Cioffi worked out with an assistant coach in the indoor practice facility. A contract followed shortly after the workout.

“It was a one-on-one positional drills, like they do in practice,” Cioffi told SportsIllustrated.com’s Jets Country.

“They don’t want me to play cornerback. Not really sure where they want to place me but I’m just assuming safety right now or maybe nickel. I don’t think I’ll be playing corner.”

He’s as local as it gets for the Jets. Born and bred in New Jersey, he was a high school standout at defensive back for Johnathan Dayton where he also won a state title in track. He decided to stay in-state and committed to Rutgers, becoming the first member of the class of 2013.

After a four-year career where he was a starter at cornerback as a true freshman at Rutgers, Cioffi was gutted when he was among the final cuts by the Raiders. The CFL, however, may have been a blessing in disguise for him.

The make-up of the CFL, including a larger field, a rule where the defense lines up one-yard off the line of scrimmage as well as eligible wide receivers in motion all made Cioffi grow as a player. Film study too, he said, is something where he has developed since his last time in the NFL.

He believes this has made him a more polished player and one ready to make an impact on the Jets.

“I just feel like there will always be that chip on the shoulder and I thank God, honestly. I just feel like I continued to push through – even though I signed the contract – God blessed me with an opportunity to play in my backyard,” Cioffi said.

“That’s great but the work is not done. I need to make it known the type of guy I am and that I will play 100 percent. I believe in my head that you make a decision, you go with it.”

Cioffi will join former Rutgers teammate Bless Austin on the Jets roster. The two cornerbacks often played on the same side of the field as teammates at Rutgers.

Ahead of his workout with the Jets two weeks ago, Cioffi called Austin, a rookie last year who impressed in his several starts last year. The NFL hopeful did so get some advice on the team. He said that Austin’s advice was short and sweet – “simply be yourself.”

It seems to have worked.

Cioffi also hopes that he can help the Jets on special teams, where he used his speed to become a standout with the Redblacks unit.

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With a remodeled offensive line in place, the New York Jets had three positions to shift their focus next in free agency.

As the stalled wide receiver market (and the Jets) still waits on Robby Anderson and the edge-rusher market waits on Jadeveon Clowney, general manager Joe Douglas didn’t waste any time agreeing to terms with new starting cornerback Pierre Desir, The Post confirmed.

Desir, 29, was a free agent for one day, after he was unexpectedly cut by the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jets cut both their 2019 season-opening starting cornerbacks – Trumaine Johnson and Daryl Roberts – this week. Top free-agent cornerbacks Byron Jones (Miami Dolphins) and James Bradberry (New York Giants) signed early in free agency, but the next-best option, Logan Ryan, remains in search of a multi-year deal.

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Desir was willing to take a one-year deal during his second consecutive venture into free agency. He re-signed with the Colts last offseason – a three-year, $22.5 million deal that ultimately paid him $9 million – after drawing interest from other teams, including the Giants.

Enlarge ImageJets sign Pierre Desir cornerback Colts
Pierre DesirGetty Images
The six-year veteran is coming off career bests of three interceptions and 11 passes defended in 12 games, including 11 starts. But metrics suggest his coverage actually slipped last season, and he was Pro Football Focus’ No. 73-ranked cornerback.

While battling a hamstring injury, Desir allowed 676 receiving yards, five touchdowns and a 100.2 passer rating, per PFF.

In 2018, his first season as a full-time starter, Desir collected 79 tackles and stifled elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a playoff game against the Houston Texans.

The Colts have a heavy Cover 2 defense.

The Jets re-signed Brian Poole – who was their most productive cornerback as the season progressed – and also have Authentic Nate Hairston Jersey, Authentic Blessuan Austin Jersey, Arthur Maulet and Authentic Kyron Brown Jersey on the depth chart.

Douglas signed tackle George Fant, guard Greg Van Roten, center Connor McGovern and guard Josh Andrews, and re-signed guard Authentic Alex Lewis Jersey. in prioritizing the offensive line at the start of free agency. The rest of the Jets’ signings are working on one-year deals as to avoid a salary-cap mess.

The Jets lost rotational linebacker Brandon Copeland to the Patriots, according to reports. He played in 12 games with three starts last season — his second with the Jets — but his sack total dropped from five to 1.5.

The Patriots only have signed Copeland, wide receiver Damiere Byrd, defensive tackle Beau Allen and safety Adrian Phillips in a franchise-changing offseason.

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The Jets have signed DL Authentic Charles Tapper Jersey and DB Tevaughn Campbell to reserve/future contracts.

A fourth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2016, the 6’3″, 270-pound Tapper appeared in two games with Dallas in 2016-17. In four seasons at Oklahoma, Tapper racked up 15.5 sacks and 26.5 stops for loss.

Signed from the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, the 25-year-old Campbell played four seasons up north and totaled 53 defensive tackles, four sacks, three touchdowns and two forced fumbles.

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The Jets are losing a key contributor to a divison rival.

Brandon Copeland is signing with the New England Patriots, as The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride first reported. The Patriots showed interest in Copeland last offseason as well, but he opted to re-sign with the Jets.

Copeland’s departure creates a hole at outside linebacker. He started 13 games on the outside over the last two seasons with Gang Green. With fellow OLB Authentic Jordan Jenkins Jersey unlikely to return, the Jets are left with Tarrell Basham, Authentic Ahmad Gooden Jersey, Authentic Harvey Langi Jersey, Authentic Frankie Luvu Jersey and Authentic Wyatt Ray Jersey on the outside.

Copeland’s 2019 season got off to a tumultuous start. He was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Once he returned, Copeland proved to be a relatively impactful rotational linebacker, recording 28 tackles in his first five games.

He wound up starting three of 12 games he played last season with New York, registering 42 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Copeland also provided the Jets with positional versatility last season. Once Neville Hewitt was hampered with a knee injury and the Jets already lost C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Albert McClellan and Blake Cashman on the inside, Copeland stepped up. Not only did he line up in the middle and make plays in the run game in an unnatural position, but he also set the edge and contributed on special teams.

In 2018, during his first season in New York, Coplenad played in 16 games with 10 starts, recording 35 combined tackles and five sacks. Before that, the undrafted free agent out of Penn made stops in Detroit, Tennesee and Baltimore.

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The Jets haven’t announced any offensive line signings after the first two days of the unrestricted free agency signing period. However, reports have the Green & White signing a pair of strong candidates in tackle George Fant from Seattle and interior lineman Authentic Connor McGovern Jersey from Denver.

If those signings are confirmed, the Jets will have started a major renovation at tackle and are still in the middle of restocking guard and center to help Sam Darnold and the offense operate at peak efficiency in 2020.

Kelvin Beachum, the Jets’ LT for the past three seasons, remains on the UFA market. Fant has played both tackle spots for Seattle. With Brandon Shell reported to be signed by the Seahawks, only one other tackle with experience remains on the roster and that’s Chuma Edoga, last year’s third-rounder who started eight straight games (six at RT, two at LT) before going on IR.

If the McGovern signing bears out, it would be a matter of the Jets determining where he fits best. He’s stated that he’d likes center, where he started the last 23 games for the Broncos in 2018-19, but before that he had 13 starts at RG.

The Jets thus could be good to go at guard and still seeking a center either in UFA or the draft to compete with Authentic Jonotthan Harrison Jersey who’s started 18 of the Jets’ last 34 games in the pivot. Or they could feel that center is in great shape and could turn to guard, where Authentic Brian Winters Jersey and the reportedly re-signed Authentic Alex Lewis Jersey are in place and a few intriguing names such as Andrus Peat, Michael Schofield an Greg Van Roten remain on the market.

Here is a reset of the Jets’ three offensive line positions, including all players currently on the roster plus players who have been reported by media outlets to have either signed to join the Jets or signed to depart the Green & White:

TACKLES
Jets Holdovers: Chuma Edoga, Ben Braden
Newly Signed UFA: George Fant (reportedly signed from SEA)
First-Year Jet: Corbin Kaufusi
Free Agent Jets: Kelvin Beachum, Brent Qvale
Departed: Brandon Shell (signed by SEA)
Veterans Still Available: Jason Peters (PHI), Marcus Gilbert (ARZ)

GUARDS
Jets Holdovers: Brian Winters, Alex Lewis (reportedly re-signed), Authentic Conor McDermott Jersey
First-Year Jet: Brian Lundblade
Departed: Tom Compton (signed by SF)
Veterans Still Available: Andrus Peat (NO), Michael Schofield (LAC), Greg Van Roten (CAR)

CENTERS
Jets Holdovers: Jonotthan Harrison, Authentic Leo Koloamatangi Jersey

Newly Signed UFAs: Connor McGovern (reportedly signed from DEN)
First-Year Jet: Authentic Jimmy Murray Jersey
Free-Agent Jet: Ran Kalil

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According to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes, Indianapolis Colts recently released starting cornerback Pierre Desir is signing with the New York Jets on a 1-year deal:

SOURCE: The #Jets have agreed to a 1-year deal with CB Pierre Desir.

There’s your new starting DB

— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) March 22, 2020
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Desir’s new 1-year pact is worth up to $5.5 million.

The veteran corner was a surprising cut for the Colts on Saturday and quickly resurfaced with a new NFL team—just a day later.

The Jets of all potential suitors is hardly surprising—as their assistant general manager Rex Hogan is the Colts former VP of player personnel.

In fact, former backup offensive guard/center Josh Andrews just signed with the Jets yesterday, and the two players join a long list of Colts castoffs who’ve joined ‘Gang Green’ including Authentic Henry Anderson Jersey, Authentic Ross Travis Jersey, Tarrell Basham, Authentic Matthias Farley Jersey, and Authentic Nate Hairston Jersey in recent seasons.

Desir was collectively a quality 3-year starter for the Colts and even though he had a down season last year—at least partially battling injuries, it’s glad to see him land on his feet.

He was a key veteran in the locker room, the Colts 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, and even recently had a major meal donation to the St. Louis community.

Meanwhile, the Colts now have a big hole to fill at starting cornerback.

Currently, a pair of 2nd-year pros, Rock Ya-Sin and Marvell Tell, project as their starting outside cornerbacks—with Kenny Moore holding down slot duties, but the Colts could still be in the market for a starting veteran cornerback to help replace Desir.

It’s also possible former 2nd round pick Quincy Wilson gets back into the cornerback mix, but given how his 3-year career has gone to date, that’s far from a given.

Veteran free agent options could include the Philadelphia Eagles’ Ronald Darby, Tennessee Titans’ Logan Ryan, or Kansas City Chiefs’ Bashaud Breeland among the Colts’ choices.

Whatever the case may be, Desir will be missed by the Colts—both on and off the field, as there’s a bit of a veteran void at cornerback and in their locker room right now.

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Through the first wave of free agency, Joe Douglas and the Jets have taken time to improve the team’s offensive line — their No. 1 offseason priority — while also bringing back a number of their own players who had hit the open market.

With moving pieces now falling into place, here’s a look at how the Jets’ depth chart may be looking right now (or at least our best guess), though there’s still work to be done …

QUARTERBACK: Sam Darnold, Mike White
This offseason, much has been made about the Giants’ backup quarterback situation, but the Jets could also use a veteran signal-caller behind Darnold. Trevor Siemian and David Fales, both of whom saw playing time with Darnold dealing with mono last season, are both free agents, and the Jets must add to the QB depth chart.

White is a former fifth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys, but he doesn’t have the experience many teams look for at the backup spot.

RUNNING BACK: Le’Veon Bell, Josh Adams, Kenneth Dixon, Trenton Cannon, Jalin Moore
Despite the almost constant trade chatter, Bell looks to be the Jets bell cow once again in the backfield. Even in a down season last year, Bell still had nearly 800 rushing yards. As Adam Gase and the coaching staff continue to find the best ways to get Bell the ball, the depth behind him is currently not what it was. Both Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powel are on the open market, as Montgomery was not every effective in his first season in New York.

Josh Adams is an interesting piece, as he was the Eagles’ leading rusher in 2018. He’s had time on the Jets’ practice squad, and he could be a prime candidate to see a big uptick in playing time next season.

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There is obviously one huge piece to the Jets’ reciever puzzle, and that’s Robby Anderson. The wide receiver market has moved at a glacial pace this offseason, with most teams looking ahead to the draft to fill their voids at wide receiver. With that being the case, Anderson could very well end up back with the Jets, but if not, they have a lot of work to do.

Crowder will be back, but he’s more suited to the slot than on the outside. Enunwa’s playing career is in question after another neck injury, and after that, there’s not much on the depth chart. Doctson is a former first-rounder, but he hasn’t lived up to his billing in the NFL.

TIGHT END: Ryan Griffin, Chris Herndon, Trevon Wesco, Ross Travis
Griffin, the UConn product, had a productive first season with the Jets, catching 34 passes with five receiving touchdowns. The question is, can the Jets count on him as a No. 1 tight end? And what about Herndon? Suspensions and injuries limited him to just one game in 2019, but he is a former fourth-round pick who put up 502 receiving yards in his rookie season. Wesco, meanwhile, is more of a blocker and special teams option at this point, as he had just two catches in 16 games last season.

OFFENSIVE LINE
LT: George Fant, Chuma Edoga, Corbin Kaufusi
Fant is a huge gamble for the Jets, but it was likely a necessary one. Yes, he’s mainly been a backup in Seattle, but the Jets were in desperate need for a tackle in free agency, and Fant has the frame to be a solid tackle. He could be a bit of a project, but it’s a high-risk, high-reward move for New York. Plus, there’s always that 11th pick in the draft, which the Jets are very likely to use on another tackle.

LG: Alex Lewis, Connor McGovern, Jonotthan Harrison, Josh Andrews
Trading for Lewis was the first big move that Douglas made last season after taking over as the team’s general manager, and Lewis, while not spectacular, was the team’s most consistent player on the O-line. The Jets recently rewarded him with a new three-year contract, hoping he can pick up where he left off. Behind him, the Jets have both McGovern and Harrison, both with starting experience.

C: Connor McGovern, Jonotthan Harrison, Jimmy Murray, Brad Lundblade, Leo Koloamatangi
McGovern was considered the best center available on the free agent market, and the Jets made sure to grab him early into the league’s new year. The former Bronco should solidify the center spot, where Ryan Kalil struggled after coming out of retirement to sign with Gang Green. McGovern should be a huge upgrade, anchoring the line in front of Darnold. And again, Harrison provides some decent depth as a backup.

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The Florham Park-to-Foxborough shuttle doesn’t fly as frequently as it once did, but it still makes news on occasion.

On Wednesday, David Harris became the latest passenger, signing with the New England Patriots for a shot to win a championship before retiring.

Many former New York Jets have done it during the years, looking to score Super Bowl bling as part of Bill Belichick’s team, but it’s not a gimme. Harris, released on June 6, would be the seventh player to win a Super Bowl after going directly from the Jets to the Patriots — but the first since 2003.

The old shuttle has hit a dry spell.

You’re probably thinking about Darrelle Revis, a member of the Patriots’ 2014 title team, but remember: He took a one-year detour to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before arriving in New England.

Several ex-Jets found championship glory in the Patriots’ early-dynasty days. From 2001 to 2003, Bobby Hamilton, Otis Smith, Jermaine Wiggins, Roman Phifer, Bryan Cox and Rick Lyle won titles immediately after playing for the Jets.

That fraternity shrinks to one if you count only homegrown Jets — i.e. players that began their career with the team. Wiggins, a little-known tight end, made the Jets as an undrafted free agent before moving on to the Patriots and winning a title in 2001.

Only two players drafted by the Jets have won titles with New England — Revis and Fred Baxter (2003), who played with the Chicago Bears for a year before landing with the Evil Empire. Harris would be the third.

He became the 19th player in the Belichick era (since 2000) to make the direct jump, according to Elias. That list includes Danny Woodhead, James Ihedigbo, Shaun Ellis and Chris Baker. Years before them, there was Victor Green, Chris Hayes and Vinny Testaverde.

Sorry, we’re not counting Tim Tebow. He never played in a regular-season game for the Patriots.

Before Harris, Ellis was the most noteworthy Jets-to-Patriots jump. Like Harris, he was a longtime Jet (11 years), so his defection in 2011 was a stunner, although the circumstances were different. Ellis was a free agent in training camp and received only a low-ball offer from the Jets, who had just drafted Muhammad Wilkerson and were planning to start him.

“It seems like the Patriots love Jets players,” guard Matt Slauson said at the time. “I think it’s because Belichick up there wants some insights.”
No one hated the Patriots more than Ellis, but he took the “If-you-can’t-beat-em, join-em” approach. He came agonizingly close to winning a Super Bowl in his only season with Belichick, a crushing loss to the New York Giants. He probably still has Manning-to-Manningham nightmares.

“No loyalty,” Ellis said during the run-up to the Super Bowl, referring to the Jets. “They preached that the whole time — loyalty, loyalty, blah, blah, blah.”

No fewer than 28 players have migrated from the Jets to the Patriots since 2000, including nine that had at least one stop in between. Of the nine, Anthony Pleasant, Baxter and Revis won Super Bowl rings.

Really, any conversation about Jets-to-Patriots flights should start with the original defector — Belichick, who resigned as head coach of the New York Jets and became arguably the greatest coach in history.

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Who’s ready for MVP talk?

With only 234 days until the next “NFL Honors” awards show, there isn’t much time (and yes, the math is correct). In fact, there really isn’t much time before the NBA announces its Most Valuable Player. Those smart fellas who run the pro basketball association called an audible with their MVP award, announcing an awards night, a la the NFL. If imitation is indeed a form of flattery, it can be also be cool. NFL Honors night has generally been a success, adding a bit of drama to the announcement of the most indispensable player in pro football … which is usually a thrower.

Thus, with the NBA’s top player (James Harden? Russell Westbrook?) set to be announced June 26, why not take an early, deep dive into something that is not likely to upset you? Below, we parsed out the top candidate for MVP from every team in the NFL. You’ll find 16 quarterbacks, 16 non-quarterbacks, and several other fun options (hey, you try picking an MVP hopeful from the Jets).

Let’s start with a couple of obvious names that might very well be announced come Feb. 3. Oh, and if you harbor any disagreement, @HarrisonNFL is the dropbox.

The big three
Based on last season and expectations for 2017, these are the early favorites:
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: For all the respect tossed Brady’s direction, it’s hard to believe he’s only won two MVPs. Though that’s still impressive, Peyton Manning’s five MVPs appear to have re-jiggered our expectations. Despite winning Super Bowl LI and the game’s MVP award for a fourth time, Brady’s 2016 campaign somehow seemingly flew under the radar, though it probably only falls behind 2010 and 2007 as his best to date.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: For the remainder of his prime, Rodgers will be the quintessential MVP candidate. He produces several wow plays per season while putting up statistics (like leading the league with 40 passing touchdowns in 2016) that make arguing for him easy. And the Packers will be good, again.

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: No longer an underdog, Carr is prominently mentioned as an MVP candidate. Too much talk? Maybe. But while his numbers didn’t match those of Brady or Rodgers, the perception is that Carr makes the Raiders go. The addition of Marshawn Lynch may slightly hurt the passing numbers but help Carr’s MVP case, simply because it should help keep Oakland relevant.

The big three, non-QB division
No non-QB has been named MVP since Adrian Peterson won the award five years ago. If it were to somehow happen again, these would be the most likely suspects:

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown could have been MVP a couple of years ago. The problem is, wide receivers always fall well below quarterbacks in this deal, and historically, they’ve lagged behind the RBs — as in, no wideout has ever won it. Brown couldn’t get a sniff despite posting over 1,800 yards with Landry Jones and an end-of-career Michael Vick throwing him passes in 2015. The MVP drought at this position will end at some point. Brown was down 26 catches and nearly 500 hundred yards from his previous two years’ averages without the suspended Martavis Bryant around in 2016. Now, Bryant is back.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: If there is one running back who is most likely to wrest this award from a quarterback, it has to be Elliott. The Cowboys should at least contend in the NFC East again, while Elliott is only in Year 2 of his career. His offensive line isn’t quite the same without Ronald Leary and Doug Free, the big three (All-Pros Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick) are still there. If you’re wondering about Le’Veon Bell, remember that playing a whole season factors into this award greatly — and Bell’s played in just 47 games over four seasons.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Why not list reigning MVP Matt Ryan here? While admittedly splitting hairs, I am thinking offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s departure for the top job in San Francisco will affect Ryan more than it will Jones. The best wide receiver in the NFC — if not the NFL — is going to get his throws and looks. Also, bear in mind how difficult it is for players to repeat as MVP winners. It’s been a minute since Peyton Manning pulled it off in 2008 and 2009. Before that, Brett Favre went back-to-back-to-back in 1995, ’96 and ’97, and Joe Montana repeated in 1989 and 1990.

Rising tides lift all boats
Several players, like Drew Brees and Andrew Luck, posted outstanding numbers in a lost cause last season. What if the players around them raised their level of play? Each of the following players has either been in the MVP running before or was prolific for teams who didn’t get far in January:

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Wilson dropped off the national MVP radar, partially due to an injury-plagued 2016. But can you make the case for any player being more valuable to his team? Seattle wins because of Wilson and its defense. A return to 13-3 could spell MVP for this man.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Brees always carries the stat line. Unfortunately, his defense has ranked 31st, 32nd and 28th in points allowed over the last three seasons. An average year from that side of the ball would put this team in the postseason — and Brees back into the MVP discussion.

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: If the Cardinals had won 10 games rather than seven in 2016, Johnson would have given Matt Ryan a run for his money. The NFL leader in yards from scrimmage (2,118) was so consistent that the he failed to total 100 yards just once: in Week 16, when he left early with a knee injury.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: We found out after the season that Newton had a bum shoulder, which required surgery. Even so, the franchise QB failed to successfully follow up his 2015 MVP campaign because of a variety of factors. But now rookie RB Christian McCaffery is in-house. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin is two years removed from the ACL tear that ruined his 2015. And the Panthers’ defense should be improved.

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Like Wilson, it is darn near impossible to separate quarterback from team with Luck — perhaps more so in this case, given the weakness of Indy’s defense. New general manager Chris Ballard bulked that area up during the draft and free agency. If the Colts play out of their minds, Luck’s case gets stronger — presuming, of course, Luck’s surgically repaired shoulder doesn’t get in the way.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants: Contract talk aside, Beckham has the potential to turn it on at any time. Can he stay focused? Here’s thinking new additions Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram will be such distractions to opposing defenses that Beckham has a big year — maybe even big enough to win MVP.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: Although an underdog, Stafford deserved to be mentioned as an MVP candidate for most of last season. Then he dislocated his middle finger and, with Matt Ryan keeping up his torrid pace, that was it. Additions on the offensive line and a return to health for running back Ameer Abdullah could result in an MVP run for Stafford.

Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos: Miller came so close to winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 despite all the problems the Broncos had on offense, and despite the lack of team success (which had to have helped winner Khalil Mack). If Denver’s offense shows up this time, Miller could be the first defensive player to win league MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: Cousins is the second-best — but most important — player on the Redskins. Trent Williams won’t be winning MVP any time soon, but he could be protecting an MVP if the young receivers (Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson) step up and Washington goes 10-6 or better.

Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams: This is a huge leap. But Donald — who, in three short years, has come to be considered the game’s premier interior lineman, earning first-team All-Pro honors multiple times — meets the criteria for this section. If the Rams play well enough to win the NFC West and Donald plays like he has, Donald could take home the hardware. That is quite a large if, though.

MVPs … of their teams
The guys below are easily the Most Valuable Players on their own teams, yet have neither the insane numbers nor enough talent around them — at least, as of this writing — to make much of a mark in this race at this point:
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: The consummate MVP of his team. I originally went with last season’s rookie phenom, Joey Bosa, but I couldn’t get away from the importance of Rivers to this franchise in a transition year. While his numbers were down and interceptions were up in 2016, remember that Rivers was having to force throws when half of his offense was out with injury and the Bolts were trying to stay in games. With the draft emphasis on offensive line and wideout, methinks No. 17 will be back.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perhaps no team is more quarterback-centric than the Bucs. Where would Tampa be without Winston? Amazingly enough, Winston has thrown 281 more passes than fellow 2015 draftee Marcus Mariota.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Speaking of Mariota, the Titans’ hopes rest on him staying healthy, something he has not been able to accomplish for a whole season through two years in the NFL. Yes, Tennessee’s running game ranked third in the league in 2016. No, Tennessee can’t win the AFC South with Matt Cassel under center.
FIRST LOOK AT 2017 SEASON
▹ How might Carr’s contract affect Dak?
▹ Head Coach Power Rankings
▹ Rosenthal: Titans AFC’s ‘It’ team
▹ Teams that’ll disappoint, overachieve
▹ MVP candidate for each team
WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE …
▹ Falcons | Saints | Panthers | Bucs
▹ Seahawks | Cards | Rams | 49ers
▹ Cowboys | Giants | Redskins | Eagles
▹ Packers | Lions | Vikings
‘TOP 100 PLAYERS OF 2017’
▹ Biggest top-10 snub from ‘Top 100′
▹ Ike Taylor’s Rankings:
▸ 100-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41
▸ 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton was far from the issue in Cincinnati last season. The Bengals clearly missed former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (the offense dropped from seventh to 24th in points scored), while the Bengals’ running game went AWOL. Dalton can’t win on stats alone.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: If Flacco is going to win this, he’ll need a lot of help. With Dennis Pitta (86 catches last season) gone and one of the weakest running games in pro football (91.4 yards per game, 28th in the NFL), will Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman or recent signee Jeremy Maclin provide it? On the other hand, if Baltimore wins the AFC North and Flacco throws for 4,600 yards, how could he not be NFL MVP?

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: Surprise! The NFL’s top running game did not reside in Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott or those run-happy Titans. Rather, the Bills paced the entire league, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Not sure about the M.O. of new head coach Sean McDermott, but I can’t imagine it will involve a broad departure from the ground game. That starts with No. 25, who is still in his prime.

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Don’t laugh. While Wentz’s numbers did drop badly down the back half of his rookie season, his receivers did more than their part to contribute by dropping everything in sight. The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith should be a boon to Wentz’s (gulp) MVP run.

Unlikely but cool cases to make
So Matt Ryan is obviously a household name, but as the quarterback of a team that, entering 2016, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2012, he came out of nowhere to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Here is a handful of players who could similarly surprise with at least a few votes:

Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs: His story is amazing, and the girl I hang out with thinks “he’s cute.” Maybe more importantly, Berry has come all the way back to be a more impactful player than he was before. No safety has ever won the award, but Berry played like an MVP last year. Witness the game in Atlanta.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans: Going out on limb, but hear me out. Clowney was running around in opposing backfields like a kid at a public swimming pool late last year. J.J. Watt is back, which means Clowney could face a ton of single blocking. And Watt might be a year away from being his dominant MVP-like self.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Ajayi would have to enjoy a helluva campaign to be named MVP — but why not? The Dolphins made the playoffs last season despite every member of the offense still learning in the team’s first year in coach Adam Gase’s system. We’ve seen Ajayi be a workhorse of epic proportions against the Steelers (204 yards on 25 carries in Week 6) and Bills (420 yards on 60 carries combined in Weeks 7 and 16). Could he do it over a full season?

Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears: While everyone was watching Aaron Rodgers toss 40 touchdowns, Matthew Stafford pull games out of his butt and Sam Bradford complete a record number of 2-yard slant routes, Howard played out of his mind. He averaged more yards per carry than Zeke Elliott (5.2 to 5.1) on his way to 1,313 rushing yards. You don’t like this choice? I’ll take your Bears suggestions here.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: The only rookie on this list, Fournette has the best opportunity to win league MVP among the incoming freshmen. Christian McCaffery will split carries with Jonathan Stewart in Carolina. Who knows if any rookie QB will start? Expect the Jags to greatly reduce Blake Bortles’ pass attempts.

Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Yeesh. Don’t yell at me. This was between Bradford and an ascending player in safety Harrison Smith. Bradford should enjoy more protection with the arrivals of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers on the offensive line. Maybe he’ll push the ball downfield more. If not, Bradford won’t win nine games, much less league MVP.

Not in this football lifetime … or at least, this season
Welp, there are three teams left. Three outfits that very well could be picking in the top five in next year’s draft. Again. Instead of just going quarterback (Brian Hoyer, Cody Kessler and Josh McCown?), how about a handful of off-the-beaten path — make that waaaaaaaaay off-the-beaten path — MVP candidates?

Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Will Hyde thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s offense? He should. The 49ers’ RB1 rushed for 988 yards in only 13 games last season, an impressive feat when you consider how often his team trailed (badly). GM John Lynch and Shanahan have said they would like to get more out of Hyde, which could mean a huge season, albeit for a 5-11 team. More likely scenario: Pro Bowl.
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns: Who to go with here? Isaiah Crowell? Jamie Collins? With the quarterback position up in the air and the roster filled with young players, the most talented prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft has as much chance as any Brown to be named league MVP. Of course, he would probably have to pull a Jevon Kearse, piling up 14.5 sacks with Cleveland going to the Super Bowl. More likely scenario: Defensive Rookie of the Year.

UPDATE: Garrett limped off the field with an apparent foot injury on Wednesday.

Leonard Williams, DE, New York Jets: Work with me. Please? The Jets are in rebuilding mode. Williams is as likely to steal the NFL MVP as the Jets are to, uh, take the AFC East. That said, at times, Williams plays like a first-team All-Pro. He improved in Year 2. If any Jet could pull this off, maybe it’s him. Or not. More likely scenario: DPOY.

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jamal Adams passed his first test.

Even though it’s hard to get an accurate read on players in non-padded practices, the New York Jets’ prized rookie provided a snapshot of his potential in the team’s three-day minicamp, which concluded Thursday. The former LSU safety displayed his physical skill, making an interception and breaking up a pass. What stood out in particular, though, was his mental game, especially pre-snap.
Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams didn’t hesitate to take charge on a few plays at minicamp. AP Photo/Julio Cortez
On a couple of sequences, Adams figured out the offensive play and barked directions to his teammates, alerting them on what he saw. He took charge of the situation, showing no rookie hesitation whatsoever.

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“I’m not to the point where I’m seeing a lot of things right, but I’m seeing some things,” he said. “I’m always working on that every day, being a student of the game.”

The Jets have big expectations for Adams, who worked with the first-team defense throughout the offseason practices. He will be a Week 1 starter at safety, along with fellow rookie Marcus Maye. Adams admitted he was indecisive in the early practices, but he outgrew that phase quickly.

“Now I’m moving around, I’m flying to the ball, calling out plays, just knowing the playbook,” he said. “There are still some wrinkles, some mistakes that I’ve made. I’m trying to get better each and every day. When we come back for training camp, everything has to be perfect.”

Here’s a look at some of the players who helped their stock in minicamp — and some who didn’t.

RISERS

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: He was the top skill-position player, displaying the kind of pass-receiving talent that would fit nicely in a West Coast-style offense. He dropped 25 pounds and quit drinking, earning praise from teammates and coaches. It’s a feel-good story. Let’s see if he can keep it up when the pads come on in training camp.

CB Juston Burris: He got beat deep once on Thursday (lucky for him it was an overthrow), but Burris has worked his way into the conversation at cornerback. He was used as the No. 3 corner behind Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine. In nickel, Skrine played the slot, with Burris and Claiborne on the outside. Burris had one of the six interceptions in camp.

OLB Josh Martin: Used last season on special teams, Martin worked with the starters in the base defense, replacing Jordan Jenkins. Martin is a cerebral player and could get a chance to contribute on defense.

FB Julian Howsare: Yes, the Jets have a fullback on the roster, and they’re planning to use him. A linebacker in college, Howsare has improved as a pass-catcher. In fact, he scored a couple of touchdowns in a red-zone drill.

DE Muhammad Wilkerson: He passed the eye test, looking quicker and slimmer than a year ago. Coming off a bad year, Wilkerson should be back to his 2015 form now that he’s 17 months removed from leg surgery.

FALLERS

TE Jordan Leggett: Because of his athleticism and receiving skills, he should’ve jumped out in non-contact practices, but it was a quiet camp for the fifth-round pick from Clemson. Eric Tomlinson and Jason Vander Laan, a college quarterback in 2015, outplayed Leggett at tight end.

WRs ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen: They didn’t do anything wrong, they just got hurt. Stewart (thumb and groin surgery) missed the minicamp and the 10 OTA practices, a big setback for the first-year wideout. Hansen injured his knee on the first day of minicamp and didn’t return. The two rookies — third- and fourth-round picks, respectively — are being counted on to contribute.

CB Marcus Williams: He could find himself in a battle to retain his spot in the pecking order. Darryl Roberts, who had an interception and a pass break-up, could overtake Williams as the No. 4 corner.

The offensive line: Again, this is injury-related. Brian Winters (rotator-cuff surgery) and Ben Ijalana (knee scope) sat out, and Kelvin Beachum (sore knee) was limited. There’s no reason to panic because they should be ready for training camp, but they missed out on a chemistry-building opportunity. The upside was that Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale and Dakota Dozier got extra reps.