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Jets, Fans Look to the Offseason Sked Ahead

Posted Jan 6, 2014

In this year-round business that is the NFL, even the “offseason” gives football fans plenty to get excited about. Here are a few of the bullet points for Jets Nation to mark on their calendars taking us through mid-May:

January — Senior Bowl; Pro Bowl; Jets House

■ February — Super Bowl; Combine

March — Free Agency

■ April — Jets Offseason Conditioning Program

■ May — NFL Draft

Senior Bowl

Three weeks from now, on Saturday, Jan. 25, the top 110 collegiate seniors will be in Mobile, AL, for the annual Senior Bowl, a North vs. South all-star game designed to give NFL personnel and fans a first-hand glimpse of what these talented kids have to offer.

Thinking the Jets might need to target a specific position but not quite sure who that player might be? This is your chance to watch the best of the best and begin to form your own opinion.

Senior reporter Eric Allen and our multimedia crew will be at Ladd-Peebles Stadium to cover the game, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 25. It can be seen on NFL Network.

Atlanta Falcons HC Mike Smith and his staff will coach the North, while Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley’s staff will coach the South.

Last year, fifth-round T Oday Aboushi from Virginia and seventh-round FB Tommy Bohanon out of Wake Forest both started for the South and helped lead them to a 21-16 victory.

Pro Bowl

As Jets fans know, some of our deserving players didn't get initial invitations to the Pro Bowl and at the moment, no one is guaranteed to represent the Green & White in the all-star game, although DE Muhammad Wilkerson and C Nick Mangold are both first alternates and CB Antonio Cromartie is a second alternate.

Still, the high-scoring battle is generally an entertaining and fun matchup to watch. Plus, this year it’s “unconferenced,” meaning AFC and NFC players will be mixed into one common pool from which they will be drafted.

Fans can turn to NFL Network for the first ever Pro Bowl draft at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 22, and they can tune in to NBC at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, for the game.

Jets House

Looking for a way to enjoy the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII? Stop by Jets House at Lugo Caffe at 1 Pennsylvania Plaza in Manhattan from Tuesday to Sunday, Jan. 28–Feb. 2. You'll get a chance to eat and drink, meet Jets players, coaches and cheerleaders, listen to live TV and radio broadcasts, and more.

Tickets are sold by day sessions (9 a.m.–3 p.m.) and night sessions (6 p.m.–1 a.m.).

Fans interested in finding out more about this week-long party and premier destination for the Jets community the week before the game can click here.

Super Bowl XLVIII

The Jets and Giants will co-host this year's big game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Will it be Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers or Andrew Luck quarterbacking the AFC’s representative? In the NFC, it could be Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick. The matchup will be compelling regardless, as this season’s two best square off in what could be a cold, snowy battle.

Kickoff will be around 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast this year by Fox.

NFL Scouting Combine

The combine, taking place Feb. 19–25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, will provide collegiate players the opportunity to shoot up draft boards by showing off their wide range of skills.

Whether it’s a sub-4.4 40-yard dash or 30-plus reps on the 225-pound benchpress, this is their moment to prove they’ll stack up physically on the game’s highest level.

Unrestricted Free Agency

Player contracts for 2013 expire and 2014 free agency begins Tuesday, March 11, at 4 p.m. ET.

Who will the Jets bring back, let go, trade for, or sign off the open market?

“We’re going to improve the skill positions,” GM John Idzik said. “Improvement comes in many forms. It could be a new face from free agency, it could be a new face from the draft, it could also be right in our locker room. It will come by way of looking at how we can improve through free agency, the draft, potential trades, but also how we can get the fine nucleus that we have here to improve.”

Offseason Workouts

While clubs that hired new head coaches can begin their offseason workouts on Monday, April 7, head coach Rex Ryan is returning to lead the Green & White and that means the Jets will have to wait till Monday, April 21, to start their offseason workouts.

“When I say the gavel has dropped on 2013,” Idzik said, “we expect our players to come back better. We expect them to come back rarin' to go in our offseason program. We won’t know that until we get to the start of that program in April. We won’t know until we get to OTAs in May and minicamps in June. I guess what we’re saying is, let’s just let this thing unfold.”

NFL Draft

It’s the most wonderful time of the new year: NFL Draft Weekend.

This year's draft will take place in early May, as opposed to late April. Round 1 will be held on Thursday, May 8, Rounds 2-3 the next night, and the final four rounds on Saturday, May 10.

Those players you oohed and aahed over during the Senior Bowl perhaps will end up as the newest members of the New York Jets.

“We have a full array of draft picks going into this year,” Idzik said, “and so we feel like we’re equipped to help our team going forward.”

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