Haason Reddick's attendance for mandatory minicamp looms for Jets

Why Stephen A. is fine with Rodgers' backing of Hackett (2:26)

Stephen A. Smith has full trust in Aaron Rodgers' ability and says that if Rodgers wants Nathaniel Hackett, so be it. (2:26)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1.Trouble brewing? The team's mandatory minicamp begins Tuesday, and the big question is whether edge rusher Haason Reddick will show up after skipping the voluntary portion of the offseason -- a two-month absence that cost him a $250,000 workout bonus.

If Reddick blows off minicamp, shortened from three days to two, it will result in more than $50,000 in fines. Money aside, it would escalate the situation. Right now, it's mostly smoke. If he no-shows, it'll spark some fire. Coach Robert Saleh said he expects Reddick to attend, but he also said he's had no communication with the two-time Pro Bowl selection.

From all indications, Reddick -- acquired in a March 29 trade -- wants a new contract. He's due to make $14.25 million in base pay in the final year of his deal. It's easy to see why he'd want a nice raise. He's fourth in sacks (50.5) over the past four seasons and has no guaranteed money left on the contract he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

At the same time, it would be out of character for general manager Joe Douglas to extend or sweeten the contract, considering his history with players 30 and older (Reddick turns 30 on Sept. 22).

Since becoming the general manager in 2019, Douglas has extended only one veteran in that age group -- tight end Ryan Griffin, who received a three-year, $9.6 million extension in 2019. Griffin was a marginal player at the time of the deal, and he remained a marginal player until he was cut.

Douglas has been burned by throwing big money at older players. In free agency 2022, he signed guard Laken Tomlinson (three years, $40 million) and tackle Duane Brown (two years, $20 million) when they were 30 and 37, respectively. Neither one worked out. In 2023, he traded for a 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, who missed the past 16 games with a torn Achilles. That one still has a chance for a big payoff.

The Jets had to know what they were getting into with Reddick because his desire for a new contract was widely known before the trade. Maybe they're planning to reward him with new money and this is just part of the negotiating dance. Maybe they will convert the $14.25 million into signing bonus as a good-faith gesture. Maybe Reddick will show up to minicamp and clarify his position.

Stay tuned.

2. Poised for big year: For weeks, tight end Tyler Conklin heard the speculation about Brock Bowers, how the Jets were supposedly considering the Georgia star with the 10th pick in April's draft.

"It's not something you want to hear," Conklin said. "It's obviously motivation to go out there and make people change that thought process."

The Jets passed on Bowers, clearing the runway for Conklin to have another productive season. In two years with the Jets, he ranks seventh among tight ends in receptions (119) and 10th in receiving yards (1,173). And that happened with no stability at quarterback. If Rodgers stays healthy, it should raise everyone's numbers.

Conklin, entering a contract year, expects to take "a big step" in 2024.

3. Style change: Keith Carter's first season as the offensive line coach didn't go well. The line was crushed by injuries and performed poorly. After the season, he was jabbed on social media by tackle Mekhi Becton and running back Breece Hall. Privately, some players chafed at Carter's aggressive style of coaching, saying he unfairly called out players. Sources said his most frequent target was Becton, who wound up signing with the Eagles.

After the season, Saleh defended Carter's acumen, but acknowledged he's a "hard-charging coach" and that "sometimes messaging can get lost in tone. I know he's working on all that stuff."

Carter, speaking for the first time since last season, said he's trying to make changes.

"We've got to be men of our word," Carter said this week. "We're asking the players to constantly improve and get better. So do we as coaches. I am, I'm a hard charger. I'm a yeller even sometimes when I don't mean to be. So I am, I'm focusing on making sure my timing is right and I do it the right way."

Carter said he sought advice from some of his mentors, including former longtime line coach Tom Cable. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. The current line, with the additions of Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, both 33, is much more seasoned than last year's group. It probably won't need hard coaching. Older players also are more likely to speak out if they don't like the way they're being treated.

4. A big lift: Smith has made quite an early impression on his new team, which is what you'd expect from an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Saleh was in the weight room where he noticed Smith "repping out over 400 pounds on the bench" press. Smith also has received praise for his understated leadership.

5. Baltimore chip: Safety Chuck Clark still is rankled by how things ended with the Baltimore Ravens, who phased him out and traded him to the Jets in March 2023.

"I haven't forgotten about that," Clark said. "I've still got that chip on my shoulder."

He didn't get to show it last season because he suffered a major knee injury last June on the final play of OTA practices. Talk about rotten luck. He actually walked off the field and felt OK; the diagnosis came a few days later.

Now healthy, Clark, 29, is the favorite to win the starting job alongside Tony Adams.

6. Tight budget: Clark, who re-signed for one year, $2 million, certainly fits within the salary structure at safety. It's a fact: The Jets don't like to dole out big bucks at safety. Their payroll at the position is a league-low $4.9 million, according to OverTheCap.com. That really jumps out, especially since they have one of the highest-paid defenses.

7. From the outside looking (to get) in: Here's a leaguewide trend that bodes well for the Jets' chances. For 34 straight seasons, at least four teams have made the playoffs that didn't make it the previous year. The Jets were one of those teams in 2009, 2006, 2004 and 1998. What are their chances in 2024?

Per ESPN's Football Power Index, the 2023 nonqualifiers with the best chances this season are the Cincinnati Bengals (73%), Atlanta Falcons (67%), Jets (53%), Los Angeles Chargers (45%) and Chicago Bears (42%).

8. Slow sign: Wide receiver Malachi Corley, the top pick in the third round, is one of only four unsigned draft picks in Round 3. It raises eyebrows because there isn't much room for negotiation under the league's slotting system. We know he will sign a four-year deal for $6.07 million, but sometimes teams and agents haggle over contract language and payment schedule.

There's no reason to be alarmed. It will get done before training camp.

9. Cool scene: At the last open practice, former Jets center Nick Mangold -- a Ring of Honor member -- spent some time with center Joe Tippmann. Mangold, on the field, got into his stance and gave pointers to the second-year center. It's always nice when current players can interact with those who came before them.

10. The last word: "I've got to be honest with you guys. Last year I was bogged down with all kinds of s--- where I was before, so I don't know what happened here." -- newly hired receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, who was an assistant last season with the Carolina Panthers, on his evaluation of Allen Lazard