Cincinnati Bengals' C.J. Uzomah celebrates a touchdown catch against the...

Cincinnati Bengals' C.J. Uzomah celebrates a touchdown catch against the Las Vegas Raiders on Jan. 15, 2022. Credit: AP/AJ Mast

The new Jets tight ends are talking "dirty" and they believe they will have opposing defenses talking to themselves.

C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin were signed to fill an important role in the Jets’ offense and help young quarterback Zach Wilson. Uzomah’s deal was done first. When he heard Conklin was joining him, Uzomah immediately reached out to Conklin with a message.

"I got the news, and I was like, ‘I need his number,’ " Uzomah said. "I need to talk to my guy real quick and let him know we got this tandem in the tight end room that’s about to be dirty. I’m excited that we get to play with one another."

Conklin and new edge rusher Jacob Martin signed their contracts with the Jets on Friday.

The Jets needed upgrades at tight end, which is a huge part of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system. LaFleur wants to use two tight-end sets, known as 12 personnel, and create mismatches.

The system, which Kyle Shanahan ran with the 49ers, Falcons and Washington, has always been tight-end friendly. Among those who have shined in this version of the West Coast offense are George Kittle and Jordan Reed.

Last season, in LaFleur’s first as a coordinator, the Jets got very little production from their tight ends. Wilson has to take some of the blame for that as he went through his rookie growing pains and wasn’t as quick with his decisions or made the wrong read.

The Jets’ two primary tight ends last season, Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft, combined for 67 catches, 434 yards and three touchdowns. Uzomah had 49 receptions for 493 yards and three TDs with Cincinnati. Conklin caught 61 passes for 593 yards and three scores with the Vikings, who ran a similar scheme.

Both are coming off career years and Conklin agrees with Uzomah.

"I think me and C.J. are going to turn around the whole 'tight end not being productive thing,' " Conklin said. "Like he said, it’s going to be dirty. We’re going to go produce at a high level."

The Jets haven’t had a true tight end threat since Dustin Keller, who caught 241 passes and 17 touchdowns from 2008 to 2012.

Chris Herndon flashed as a rookie in 2018, but a suspension and injuries limited his growth. The Jets traded Herndon to Minnesota last year. Griffin had five touchdown catches for the Jets in 2019, but his usage and production dipped since then.

Conklin feels he and Uzomah will do "a lot of damage" in this offense.

"Unlimited," he said. "Me and C.J. can be one of the best if not THE best tight end duo," Conklin said. "I think we are both very talented. We can both do a little bit of everything. I feel like we can do a lot of damage."

The Jets also could add another tight end in the draft. They want their tight ends to be threats as receivers, and also good as run blockers and in pass protection. Uzomah and Conklin fill those job requirements.

"They’re going to get somebody who’s going to be a force blocking and someone who when I get the ball in my hands I don’t like being tackled," Uzomah said. "I’m not trying to get tackled. I’m trying to make a 5-yard out route, in-breaking route, whatever, and go the distance.

"They’re going to get someone who’s one of the best damn tight ends in the league."

Uzomah and Conklin said they’re excited to play with Wilson, and they want to do anything to make his job easier.

"I’m hoping I can kind of be a crutch for him, if he needs anything, if he wants anything," Uzomah said. "Hopefully I can be a security blanket for him on the field as well. I think he’s an incredible talent and he’s just going to grow."

Jets coach arrested for DUI

Jets offensive line coach John Benton was arrested Thursday night and charged with driving under the influence, according to a police spokesperson.

Benton, 58, was stopped for a motor vehicle violation at 11:52 p.m. while traveling on I-287 northbound in Morristown, New Jersey. State police suspected that Benton was under the influence, the spokesperson said.

"We are aware of the situation and have no further comment," a Jets spokesperson said.

Benton is entering his second season with the Jets as their offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Jets head coach Robert Saleh brought Benton with him from San Francisco where the two spent the previous four years working for the 49ers. Benton has also worked for the Rams, Texans, Jaguars and Dolphins.

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