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Buffalo Bills 2017 opponent preview: New York Jets

The New York Jets come to Buffalo in Week 1. We preview the game during the offseason.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The 2017 Buffalo Bills season is right around the corner. Their Week 1 opponent, the New York Jets, have been accused of tanking by some. We went to the source and asked our Jets blog, Gang Green Nation, to update us on what is happening in New Jersey this offseason.

New York Jets

Notable free agent additions: QB Josh McCown, CB Morris Claiborne, OT Kelvin Beachum, PK Chandler Cantanzaro

Notable free agent departures: WR Brandon Marshall (released), CB Darrelle Revis (released), OC Nick Mangold (released), LB David Harris (released), WR Eric Decker (released), OT Breno Giacomini (released), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, PK Nick Folk

Trades: First-round bust SS Calvin Pryor was traded to the Cleveland Browns to reacquire linebacker Demario Davis

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:

S Jamal Adams: If you draft a player in the top ten, he is expected to contribute. Many felt the Jets got a steal with the LSU safety at 6. He is expected to take a leadership role on the defense from day one.

S Marcus Maye: The Jets double-dipped at safety. Todd Bowles likes versatility in his safeties, and both Adams and Maye can do a little bit of everything. The departures of Pryor and Gilchrist mean Maye will receive a baptism by fire.

WR Ardarius Stewart and WR Chad Hansen: The departures of Marshall and Decker have opened up playing time for the team’s third- and fourth-round draft picks, although they will need to beat out other youngsters to get a shot.

ER Dylan Donahue: It’s a lot to ask a fifth-round rookie to contribute much of anything, but the Jets do have a hole at outside linebacker. Donahue is a favorite of the team’s position coach and has been receiving first team reps in the offseason.

Biggest offseason addition:

Morris Claiborne has the highest upside of any veteran addition the Jets made. He was viewed as the NFL’s next great cornerback when he was drafted in 2012. After years of disappointment, he finally started looking the part last year with the Cowboys before an injury. Can he build on that for the Jets? That is one of the questions of the season.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp:

It is always the quarterback position for the Jets. Christian Hackenberg earned a one-year reprieve when the team didn’t draft a quarterback in 2017. He has to both beat out Josh McCown for the starting job and show he has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback to prevent the team taking one from what could be an excellent draft class in 2018.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:

Will Sheldon Richardson be on the team once the season starts? The 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year doesn’t seem to have a fit in the defense the way it is currently constructed. His production has dropped the last two years. Beyond that, he has managed to turn himself into a distraction in a negative way time after time from an arrest to being late for team meetings to public criticisms of teammates. On top of this, he is in the final year of his contract and has stated multiple times he is looking for a huge payday. There isn’t much logic behind the Jets giving it to him. A trade should probably be worked out, but the Jets will be looking at quarters and dimes on the dollar for a talented player due to the other issues.

Notable injuries heading into training camp:

Right guard Brian Winters is recovering from a shoulder injury that ended his 2016 season.

The Bills host the Jets in Week 1 and travel to the Meadowlands in Week 9. Buffalo went 0-2 against New York in 2016, with their final loss of the season happening under interim head coach Anthony Lynn. Thanks again to Gang Green Nation.