The San Francisco 49ers have entered a dead period, with four weeks left until the team reports for training camp. Since we know the schedule, and most 90-man rosters are just about set, now seems like a good time to start previewing each of the 49ers opponents heading into training camp. With the help of the other 31 SB Nation blogs, we’ve come up with preview content breaking down where things stand for each team on a variety of issues. We’ve got a template looking at key additions and departures, big storylines and under-the-radar storylines heading into camp, and injuries to consider.
We’re going to run down the schedule, but I will be saving the divisional opponents for the end. We started with the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Chicago Bears. Today we move on to the 49ers Week 14 opponent, the New York Jets. The 49ers host the Jets, four years after traveling to the Meadowlands and stomping them 34-0. This game marks the first time the 49ers will face head coach Todd Bowles, whom they interviewed once during the process that eventually resulted in Jim Tomsula.
The Jets training camp is all about the quarterback position. They have plenty of other questions, but quarterback is a huge one. Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned, and with training camp three weeks away, there is no sign anything will happen. My guess at this point is that Fitzpatrick will wait for injuries elsewhere, but maybe he or the Jets end up caving by the starting of camp.
Here is what our friends at Gang Green Nation had to say about their New York Jets.
Notable free agent additions: Matt Forte, Khiry Robinson, Steve McLendon
Notable free agent departures: Chris Ivory, Damon Harrison, DeMario Davis
Trades: Jets acquired Ryan Clady from Denver for a late round pick.
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
Darron Lee: The first round pick is expected to begin the season playing situationally on passing downs. Can he eventually take Erin Henderson’s starting job and show enough to be a three down linebacker? That is the question.
Jarvis Jenkins: The third round pick plays a position, outside linebacker, where the Jets do not have a single player with a proven track record in the NFL. He has a real chance to win a camp competition and begin his rookie season as a starter.
Biggest offseason addition:
Matt Forte is the most significant addition. The Jets offense took off in November as Bilal Powell emerged as the third option in the passing game. The Jets re-signed Powell to continue contributing out of the backfield, but they also added one of the most decorated pass catching backs in the league today.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Who is the quarterback? After a career year, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still unsigned. There doesn’t seem to be interest outside of New York in his services, but he still isn’t happy with what the Jets are offering. Team management is on record saying the deadline for any deal is the start of training camp. Will something get done?
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
Can Marcus Williams adjust to a bigger role? The third year cornerback impressed last season in his role as number four on the depth chart with six interceptions. There is a big leap in responsibilities between the fourth spot and the third spot in Todd Bowles’ defense, however. The number three corner is essentially a starter. Can Williams become more than a role player in this league? It will have a big impact on the team’s success.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
Muhammad Wilkerson is recovering from a broken leg suffered in the season finale against Buffalo. Darrelle Revis is recovering from a wrist injury he apparently played through last season. Clady is coming off a torn ACL.