The Jets off-the-field issues got off to a quick start following their playoff exit in last year's AFC Championship game. Head coach Rex Ryan was photographed flipping his middle-finger at a Dolphins fan at an MMA event in January. The NFL deemed the act unsportsmanlike and fined Ryan $50,000.
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Jets fans were up-in-arms over the possibility that Darrelle Revis, the best defensive player in the league (according to Ryan), could holdout for the 2010 season. Revis, owed only $1 million in the fourth year of a six-year contract, wanted a 10-year, $162 million extension (with over $40 million guaranteed) that the Jets turned down. The seven-month soap opera and 35-day holdout consisted of explored trades by GM Mike Tannenbaum, $578, 305 in fines for holding out and a last-minute visit to Revis' home by Ryan and team president Woody Johnson. Revis signed a four-year $46 million contract, with $32 million guaranteed in early September, right before the season opener.
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Thomas Jones and LaDainian Tomlinson
After rushing for over 3,714 yards and 27 touchdowns between the 2008 and '09 seasons, Thomas Jones declined to take a pay cut and was let go by New York in the offseason. He was replaced by an aging LaDanian Tomlinson, who was coming off a career worst season. Jones was signed by Kansas City and proved he still had some gas in the tank. LT didn't disappoint either.
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Rex Ryan and Tony Dungy
If Rex Ryan got a nickel for every foul word he used in the season-premiere of HBO's Hard Knocks , he could've met Darrell Revis' contract demands himself. Ryan used multiple explicative's in the first episode, and while many Americans were amused, respected former coach Tony Dungy said he "would not hire someone" who used such language. Dungy found Ryan's choice of words inappropriate for the Jets' fan base, especially kids. Grab the soap, because an apologetic Ryan learned his mother also didn't approve of the vulgarity.
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An offseason trade that netted Antonio Cromartie generated headlines when he apparently couldn't remember all the names of his nine children on the second episode of Hard Knocks . The Jets reportedly fronted Cromartie $500,000 of his $1.7 million salary in advance so he could pay outstanding child support fees.
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The heralded run-defense took a 360-pound blow to start the season when nose tackle Kris Jenkins suffered a torn ACL on the sixth play of Game 1, ending his 2010 comeback. The dominant tackle only played six games in '09.
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The Jets were caught offside in August when the team was accused of sexual harassment against Ines Sainz, a reporter for TV Azteca. Jets players were said to have made "catcalls and rude comments" in the locker room. Team owner Woody Johnson apologized to Sainz after the fallout.
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Randy Moss and Darrelle Revis
Happy with his new contract, Darrelle Revis welcomed Randy Moss to Revis Island in Week 2. Moss didn't forget that Revis had called him a "slouch,"and got revenge by making one of the more memorable receptions of 2010, a one-handed touchdown catch where he seemingly palmed the ball in midair.
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Santanio Holmes and Braylon Edwards
While big-name receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes combined for 13 touchdowns in 2010, their seasons weren't without controversy. Holmes served a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy and Edwards was arrested for a DWI, blowing a .16 blood alcohol level. Edwards responded by apologizing, shaving his beard and catching a 67-yard touchdown pass the next game.
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Sideline reporters and New York Jet players apparently do not mix well. Following the Sainz fiasco, Deadspin.com circulated rumors in October 2010 that former Jets quarterback Brett Favre sent text messages, left voicemails and texted inappropriate pictures to then Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger. The case lingered for months and ended in December when Favre was fined $50,000 by the NFL for not cooperating with the league.
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Mark Sanchez and Brian Schottenheimer
Sanchez started the season as an early MVP candidate and ended it by nearly getting benched in a Week 14 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Sanchez had thrown for 637 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions during Weeks 2-4, which included an upset win over the Patriots. But as defenses caught up to Sanchez, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had to tinker with the offense. The work paid off as Schottenheimer trusted Sanchez to call his own play on a game-winning drive against the Colts in the first round of the playoffs.
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Rex and Michelle Ryan
Deadspin could not get enough of the Jets in 2010. In December, the site posted alleged videos of Rex's wife, Michelle, making foot-fetish videos for the world to enjoy via YouTube. Rex refused to comment on the issue, repeatedly calling the subject a "personal matter."
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Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi was caught tripping a player in a Dec. 12 game against the Dolphins. The league later learned that he routinely had players stand side by side on the sidelines, forming a wall to deter opposing special team players on punt returns. His actions resulted in a $100,000 fine and an indefinite suspension.
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Nick Roach, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and LaDainian Tomlinson
Despite a poor showing in the season opener, the Jets railed to win nine of the next 10 games. During the run the Jets tallied a series of streaks: a five-game winning streak following the opening loss, two-straight overtime victories, and a five-game road winning streak. But the 9-2 Jets hit a wall when they traveled to New England, getting blown out 45-3 on a Monday nigh. A team burial of the game ball at practice didn't help the hangover; New York lost two of the next three games. But thanks to a Jaguars loss, the Jets clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the Bears in Week 16.
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Rex Ryan and Peyton Manning
Even though they'll never face each other man-to-man on the field, head coach Rex Ryan believed the wild-card matchup against the Colts' Peyton Manning was "personal." Manning had beaten Ryan in five of their six meetings and Ryan was prepared to exact revenge, which he did with a last-second, game-winning field goal by Nick Folk in the opening round of the playoffs.
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Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan
In another proclamation that has took pregame playoff attention from his players to himself, Ryan said this week that the AFC Divisional matchup against the Patriots was another "personal" test between himself and New England head coach Bill Belichick.
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Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes
Ryan ended up passing the test with flying colors as the Jets upset the Patriots, 28-21, in Foxboro. Receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes combined for two touchdowns in the victory. The duo will face off against Troy Polamalu and the Steelers on Sunday.
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