Power Rankings: Jets Squeak by with a Win in Cleveland

Ranking All 32 Teams Based on Week 8, and Previous Performances:


 

  1. New England Patriots (7-1)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
  3. Denver Broncos (6-2)
  4. Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
  5. Oakland Raiders (6-2)
  6. Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
  7. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
  8. Green Bay Packers (4-3)
  9. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1)
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
  11. Houston Texans (5-3)
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3)
  13. New York Giants (4-3)
  14. Washington Redskins (4-3-1)
  15. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1)
  16. Buffalo Bills (4-4)
  17. Tennessee Titans (4-4)
  18. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
  19. Detroit Lions (4-4)
  20. Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
  21. New Orleans Saints (3-4)
  22. Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
  23. Indianapolis Colts (3-5)
  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)
  25. Miami Dolphins (3-4)
  26. New York Jets (3-5)
  27. Carolina Panthers (2-5)
  28. San Diego Chargers (3-5)
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)
  30. Chicago Bears (2-6)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-8)

#26 New York Jets (3-5): After losing four in a row, the Jets have won their last two games. While the Jets did escape with a 31-28 win against the Cleveland Browns, it was hardly an encouraging win. The Jets were thoroughly outplayed in the first half. Ryan Fitzpatrick was highly inaccurate and ineffective going 3-14 for 30 yards. He didn’t have any help either as nearly every receiver had at least one drop. Darrelle Revis was getting dismantled by Terrelle Pryor, a former quarterback. It was an all around ugly first half. Players claimed that Todd Bowles told them “Don’t come back without a win” at halftime; it must have lit a spark under them because it was like they were a rejuvenated team in the second half. The Jets scored 24 unanswered points, and held onto the win after a late score by the Browns. If the Jets want any hope of making the playoffs they need to continue to play like that rejuvenated second half team. Next up a trip to Miami, then back home against the Los Angeles Rams. If the Jets can win their next two, they’ll enter the week 11 bye at 5-5.

Rankings Going into Previous Weeks:

Week 1: #10

Week 2: #13

Week 3: #9

Week 4: #17

Week 5: #21

Week 6: #27

Week 7: #30

Week 8: #28

New York Jets Report Card: Week 8

New York Jets Report Card

Week 8: New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns

10/30/2016

Quarterback: C-

Fitzpatrick: 16/34, 228 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 4 rushes for 13 yards

Fitz started off poorly and at one point missed 8 straight passes. But he did avoid the costly turnover and led three touchdown drives in the 2nd half. He was under steady pressure despite the quick passes and did attempt to force a few throws in there that could have gone back the other way, particularly some 1st half passes to rookie WR Robby Anderson, but rebounded when he started mixing Anderson in with other targets.

RunningMatt Forte JN Backs: A-

Forte: 25/82/2, 2 receptions for 16 yards

Powell: 6/76/1, 1 reception for 3 yards

Forte and Powell took advantage of every hole they were offered and showed tremendous vision on draw plays. The Jets netted 4.9 yards per rush and the running back duo combined for 3 touchdowns on the ground, though they weren’t as involved in the passing game as they usually are.

 

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B

Enunwa: 4/93/1

B. Marshall: 4/68/0

R. Anderson: 3/31/0

Peake: 1/13/0

Bostick: 1/4/0

Bostick provided 4 receiving yards from the tight end position… a record for the Jets this season? I’m just kidding, but seriously… we saw some nice work from Enunwa, Marshall and Anderson who had a tough time gaining separation in the 1st half but picked things up considerably in the 2nd. There were some drops, but also a couple of interceptions broken up. The Jets top 3 sans Decker are proving themselves to be threats in the open field.

Offensive Line: C-

Once again, some aggravating penalties along the line set the Jets back. Up front, the Browns provided pressure on Fitzpatrick rather easily, but the line, playing without Mangold, still managed to open up some holes in the running game.

Defensive Line: C

Do I really need to see Wilkerson celebrating a non-turnover play when the Jets are down by two scores in the 1st half? Apparently, because I’m not seeing him celebrate much otherwise. With the Browns calling just 18 running plays, the Jets D-Line should have been able to get a better push into the backfield, but the Browns were sacked only once while going for 341 yards in the air on 49 passes. It’s one thing for the sacks to be missing, but where are the pressures even?

Linebackers: B-

Mauldin pulled in a pick, the first time a Jets linebacker had accomplished that feat in a whopping 49 games. The backers got beat in coverage more than once yet again, but, coming off a dominant performance against the run vs. Baltimore, the Jets held Cleveland to only 68 net rushing yards on the day.

Mauldin is looking to bounce back from a shaky pre-season.
Mauldin intercepted McCown, breaking a long streak of games without an interception for Jets linebackers.

Secondary: C-

Right off the bat, the secondary was beat through the air deep twice – leading to a touchdown on the Browns first possession. Cleveland QB McCown would eventually settle down, completing just over 50% of his passes (25/49), but not before doing major damage to a reeling Jets secondary. 4 different Browns had longs of 25 or better on the day. The Jets put together a noticeably improved performance against the pass in the 2nd half, with Gilchrist hauling in an interception, but where were the corners and safeties in the 1st half? Calvin Pryor in particular has a Jekyll and Hide syndrome going on as he bounces back and forth between boneheaded plays and flashy ones.

Special Teams: C-

Edwards nearly lost another snapped punt. Folk was 4/4 on XPs and 1/1 on his field goal attempts. The return and coverage teams continue to be mired in mediocrity, though New York was able to down a punt at the Cleveland 1.

Coaching: C

The Jets came out listless and confused as they have in each of their 8 games, but 2nd half adjustments both offensively and defensively turned the tide and the  team was able to rally from a 20-7 deficit to get the win. This is of special note on offense, considering how much they’ve struggled to score in the 2nd half this season.

Jets Bounce Browns, 31-28

It took awhile, but the New York Jets got it together and remembered they were playing the Cleveland Browns in time to win their second football game in a row this week, 31-28.

Cleveland scored a touchdown on its first possession, easily, with the big play coming on a 32 yard gain on a connection between Browns quarterback Josh McCown and tight end Gary Barnidge.

The Browns had added to their lead with a field goal before the Jets even gained a first down, but after starter turned back up turned starter again quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got checked for a concussion after losing his helmet being hit rushing the ball.

The Jets finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when sparsely used running back Bilal Powell took a handoff from Fitzpatrick 35 yards to the end zone behind an excellent block from wide receiver Brandon Marshall, whose numbers have suffered since wide receiver Eric Decker hit the IR a couple weeks back.

The Browns figured out that the best way to gain yardage was to throw to wide receiver to Tyrelle Pryor, who was overmatching once elite cornerback Darrelle Revis on almost every down. They scored another touchdown near the end of the half, with Pryor gaining huge chunks of yards.

With 1:51 to go, the Jets managed to give the ball back to the Browns with a minute left, and the Jets defense, which was awful, allowed more points in less than a minute. Cleveland led 20-7 at the half.

Having chosen to defer at the start of the game, the Jets received the ball to start the second and scored on a drive that hinged on two big plays by wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. Early in the drive, he ripped a short Fitzpatrick throw out of the defenders arms, preventing a sure interception, and at the end, evaded the defense on a short catch for a 24 yard touchdown.

After holding the Browns off the board again, the Jets managed another touchdown on their next possession. After a bad spot from the ref and baffling time out from Todd Bowles (instead of challenging the spot), running back Matt Forte scored on 4th and 1, but the big play of the drive came again from Enunwa, who caught another pass and ran, this time for 57 yards.

In what can be described as a borderline miracle, the Jets scored another touchdown on their third possession of the second half.  They led 28-20 in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Browns, who by this time had clearly remembered they were the Browns, turned the ball over on their next possession when McCown threw a pass intended for Pryor that safety Marcus Gilchrist picked off.

They didn’t score on the ensuing possession, but they trapped the Browns on the punt at their own 1 yard line. After a would be first down catch was overturned on a challenge, McCown was picked off again when safety Calvin Pryor knocked a pass for running back Duke Johnson out of his hands and into the arms of diving  linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin. Per the CBS broadcast, it was the first interception by a Jets linebacker in 49 games.

The Jets kicked a field goal after running off some of the clock, and led 31-20 with 4:04 to play. The Jets, naturally, played soft defense and allowed a touchdown and a two point conversion on a drive where the Browns showed absolutely no urgency and chewed up almost the entire clock.

With 12 seconds remaining, the Brandon Marshall recovered the onside kick for the Jets, and the game was over.

It was a Jekyll and Hyde week for Ryan Fitzpatrick – Hyde in the first half and Jekyll in the second. His final line on the day was 16 of 34 for 228 yards with 1 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Matt Forte led all rushers with 25 carries for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bilal Powell followed with 6 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Quincy Enunwa led Jets receivers with 4 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown. The only receiver with more yards was Terrelle Pryor. Marshall followed Enunwa for Jets receivers with 4 catches for 68 yards.

Defensively, Darrelle Revis had a rough afternoon but led the team with 9 tackles. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson had the Jets only sack of McCown this afternoon. It was Wilkerson’s first sack since Week 01. Gilchrist and Mauldin had the interceptions.

The Jets take the field in Miami next week against the division rival Dolphins. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM.

Inactives Report: Mangold and Skrine Out, Wilkerson Active

Nick Mangold will miss his fifth game in 11 seasons with the Jets. Wesley Johnson will start in place of Mangold at center. Fellow lineman Breno Giacomini recently returned from the PUP list, and will start in place of Ben Ijalana at right tackle. Marcus Williams will start for Buster Skrine at cornerback, likely moving rookie Justin Burris into the nickel. The Jets are banged up, and have a number of contributors out today against the Cleveland Browns.

Other inactives include: Brent Qvale, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bruce Carter, Darron Lee, and Christian Hackenberg

Brent Qvale will miss his second week in a row. Qvale would likely sit out today anyway with Giacomini returning to the lineup. Both Qvale and Ijalana played well while filling in for Giacomini and also playing for Brian Winters when he was out.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has played in one game since he was signed, and has two receptions for 17 yards. Seferian-Jenkins has been listed as doubtful with an ankle injury the past three weeks, even though he was a limited participant in practice last week.

Both middle linebackers Bruce Carter and Darron Lee will be out today. Julian Stanford will start in place of Lee, and recently promoted linebacker Victor Ochi will likely see a little time on the field as well.

It was pretty obvious that the right choice was to make Bryce Petty the backup quarterback, so it’s strange why Todd Bowles didn’t announce it earlier this week. Petty has a year under his belt, while the rookie Hackenberg would benefit from a red shirt season. There’s no reason for the Jets to play Hackenberg this season unless they’re forced to.

The Jets rebounded from a four game losing streak at home last week, but if they can’t string together a few wins before the upcoming bye the season is lost. If the Jets can enter the week 11 bye at 5-5 they’d have some serious momentum heading into the home stretch. They have three relatively easy games before then, today against the Browns, then the Miami Dolphins, and then the Los Angeles Rams. If the Jets can’t win today against the 0-7 Browns, they might as well turn to one of their younger quarterbacks to look towards the future.

 

Power Rankings: Jets End Four Game Skid

Ranking All 32 Teams Based on Week 7, and Previous Performances:


 

  1. New England Patriots (6-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
  3. Denver Broncos (5-2)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
  5. Green Bay Packers (4-2)
  6. Oakland Raiders (5-2)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)
  9. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
  11. Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
  12. Buffalo Bills (4-3)
  13. Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1)
  14. New York Giants (4-3)
  15. Detroit Lions (4-3)
  16. Washington Redskins (4-3)
  17. Houston Texans (4-3)
  18. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
  19. San Diego Chargers (3-4)
  20. Miami Dolphins (3-4)
  21. Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
  22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
  23. Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
  24. Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
  25. Tennessee Titans (3-4)
  26. New Orleans Saints (2-4)
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
  28. New York Jets (2-5)
  29. Carolina Panthers (1-5)
  30. Chicago Bears (1-6)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-7)

#28 New York Jets (2-5): The Jets finally ended their four game losing streak, just not the way they had hoped. Geno Smith was named the starter for the Jets’ week six match up against the Baltimore Ravens, unfortunately for Smith that only lasted about a quarter and a half of football. Smith was sacked by Ravens linebacker Matt Judon and landed awkwardly, twisting his knee. After going to the locker room and returning in street clothes Smith spent the rest of the game on the sidelines. On Monday an MRI revealed that he had torn an ACL. It’s an extremely tough break for Smith who has had a difficult start to his professional career. It’s likely that Smith will be playing for another team next season, as he’s slated to become a free agent this offseason. The defense and the run game carried the Jets to a win against the Ravens, and breathed life into the Jets’ dwindling playoff hopes. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starter once again as the Jets head into Cleveland to take on the Browns.

Rankings Going into Previous Weeks:

Week 1: #10

Week 2: #13

Week 3: #9

Week 4: #17

Week 5: #21

Week 6: #27

Week 7: #30

Monday Notes: Schedule Breakdown, Predictions

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Jets are Handed a Difficult 2016 Schedule

 

The 2016 NFL schedule was released on Thursday, and the Jets’ schedule is a daunting one. In 2015 the Jets were given a relatively average SoS (strength of schedule) rating at .488, ranked 18th most difficult schedule in the league. This season they weren’t as lucky, getting a .531 rating, good enough to tie for the seventh most difficult schedule in the league. The SoS rating is based on all 16 opponent’s combined overall records from the previous season. The Jets will play six of their first nine games on the road. Five of their first six opponents are playoff teams from last season, the exception being the Buffalo Bills. The season will end with back-to-back short weeks and three games in the span of 13 days. The Jets will have five prime-time games for only the third time in franchise history: two Monday night games, two Thursday night games (one on Saturday), and a Sunday night game. Here’s some thoughts and predictions on each game:

 

  • Week 1: 9/11, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Cincinnati Bengals – The Jets will open the season at home against the Bengals on the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th. It will be an emotional atmosphere, and a difficult game for Todd Bowles and the Jets to start the season with. The Bengals will be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict, giving the Jets a slight advantage. It will be difficult for the Jets to contain Andy Dalton and a diverse offense, but the Jets get it done at home. Score: 27-21, Record: 1-0

 

  • Week 2: 9/15, Thursday, 8:25 p.m., at Buffalo Bills – The Jets will take a trip back to where their season ended in dismal fashion last year. Rex Ryan will be eager to keep his undefeated streak alive against his former team, and will have his players fired up for the early prime-time match up. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback for the Jets this coming season, the outlook is bleak for this game. Fitzpatrick has a 1-8 record against Rex Ryan coached teams. The trip back to where their season ended will be too much for the Jets, and Rex will keep his streak against the Jets alive. Score: 28-10, Record: 1-1

 

  • Week 3: 9/25, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., at Kansas City Chiefs – The Jets will head into one of the most difficult stadiums to visit in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium. They will get a few extra days to prepare for the contest after a Thursday night game. Although Arrowhead and Andy Reid will give the Jets some troubles, they will pull off the upset. Score: 21-14, Record: 2-1

 

  • Week 4: 10/2, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll and the Seahawks will visit MetLife Stadium for the first time since their Super Bowl XLVIII victory. The last time the Jets played the Seahawks they were crushed 28-7, although that was at Century Link Field in Seattle. This will be the only home game in a five game span, but the Seahawks and Russell Wilson will overpower the Jets. Score: 35-13, Record: 2-2

 

  • Week 5: 10/9, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Pittsburgh Steelers – The Jets are historically bad against the Steelers, only winning five of the 24 match ups since 1970. The offense will need to be firing on all cylinders to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown at home. The trend will continue and the Jets won’t be able to stop the Steelers. Score: 21-20, Record: 2-3

 

  • Week 6: 10/17, Monday, 8:30 p.m., at Arizona Cardinals – This will be one of the most interesting games of the season as Todd Bowles faces off against his mentor in Bruce Arians. Bowles and Arians have a long history together. Bowles played for Arians at Temple, and most recently Bowles served as the defensive coordinator for Arians in Arizona. It will be a great clash between two great coaches out in the desert. The pupil will defeat the mentor this time, with the defense making enough plays to take the day for the Jets. Score: 16-14, Record: 3-3

 

  • Week 7: 10/23, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Baltimore Ravens – In recent history the Jets have had a difficult time against the Ravens as well, with the last win coming in 1997. Joe Flacco and the Ravens had some serious struggles last season with injuries, and will definitely have a better season than their 5-11 record from a year ago. With a healthier roster the Ravens will give the Jets a run for their money at home, but the Jets will clinch it late in the game. Score: 28-24, Record: 4-3

 

  • Week 8: 10/30, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Cleveland Browns – The Browns are in full rebuild mode with new head coach Hue Jackson. The Browns have been pushovers in the league for a long time now, and that won’t change any time soon. The Jets will beat up on the Browns’ mediocre roster. Score: 38-6, Record: 5-3

 

  • Week 9: 11/6, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., at Miami Dolphins – The Jets have won four out of the last six games against the Dolphins, including two last season. This should be a go ahead win for the Jets, but they will fall to their rivals in Miami. Score: 17-14, Record: 5-4

 

  • Week 10: 11/13, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Rams – The newly relocated Rams will have a rookie quarterback at the helm after trading up for the first pick in the upcoming draft. In all likelihood the Rams will have either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz at the helm. The rookie quarterback will have a tough game against Todd Bowles’ blitz-happy defense. The Jets take it in a low-scoring affair. Score: 13-3, Record: 6-4

 

  • Week 11: The Jets get a break with a bye week.

 

  • Week 12: 11/27, Sunday, 8:30 p.m., vs. New England Patriots – Recent match ups between the Jets and Patriots have been very close games. The Jets haven’t won against the Patriots twice in a row since 2008-2009. Todd Bowles will end that streak with a big victory in a prime-time match up with the Jets’ biggest rival. Score: 30-23, Record: 7-4

 

  •  Week 13: 12/5, Monday, 8:30 p.m., vs. Indianapolis Colts – Last season the Jets took Andrew Luck and the Colts behind the woodshed in a 20-7 victory. Andrew Luck hasn’t beaten the Jets since entering the NFL, including the most recent 20-7 loss, and another 35-9 loss in 2012. This time Luck and the Colts will get the better of the Jets. Score: 35-28, Record: 7-5

 

  • Week 14: 12/11, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., at San Francisco 49ers – After playing on Monday night, the Jets will take a trip out west to San Francisco on Sunday. It will be difficult to fly west after having a short week, but the Jets will be able to handle Chip Kelly’s new team. Colin Kaepernick will get benched for Blaine Gabbert after throwing three interceptions to seal the win for the Jets. Score: 24-17, Record: 8-5

 

  • Week 15: 12/17, Saturday, 8:25 p.m., vs. Miami Dolphins – The Jets will be playing Saturday night after two short weeks in a row. The Dolphins have a new head coach in Adam Gase after firing Joe Philbin. Although Miami will have a new head coach, the tough schedule will catch up to the Jets as they let another close game slip away. Score: 20-17, Record: 8-6

 

  • Week 16: 12/24, Saturday, 1:00 p.m., at New England Patriots – The Jets will play the Patriots on Christmas eve. The last time the Jets squared off against the Patriots during a holiday was on Thanksgiving in 2012. That game was one of the Jets’ worst in recent memory, a 49-19 trouncing. As much as the Jets would like to make it a three game win streak, Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense will get the better of the Jets in New England. Score: 38-24, Record: 8-7

 

  • Week 17: 1/1, Sunday, 1:00 p.m., vs. Buffalo Bills – For the second year in a row, the Jets will end the season against their former head coach Rex Ryan. Rex would love nothing more than ending the Jets’ season with a defeat twice in a row. This time the Jets will prevail at home against their former head coach and end the season on a high note. Score: 28-21, Final Record: 9-7

 

With a significantly tougher schedule it’s possible the Jets could take a step back. Play makers such as Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Eric Decker will keep the Jets in contention, but it might not be enough. It would be tough to say whether or not a 9-7 record will be good enough to earn a playoff berth, but in the competitive AFC conference it might be a stretch. Last season the Jets were kept out of the playoffs with a 10-6 record. At this point it’s difficult to make accurate predictions seeing as the Jets starting quarterback spot is still up in the air. The Jets’ playoff chances could vary greatly depending on who they have starting under center.

 

Other Notes

 

Other than the schedule release it was quiet week for the Jets. The Jets announced the signing of backup tackle Ben Ijalana who will likely retake his spot at left tackle behind newly acquired Ryan Clady. Paxton Lynch visited with the Jets during the week. Lynch is the only quarterback out of the top three in the draft that has a realistic chance of being on the board at 20 when the Jets are on the clock. There have been rumors that the Jets inquired about moving up to the #1 spot in the draft before the Rams made the move. This has fueled speculation that not only are the Jets trying to move up to draft a quarterback, but also that Muhammad Wilkerson was a part of the deal. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Jets move Muhammad Wilkerson before the draft, and if so, for what price. News broke Sunday that the Houston Texans are releasing Brian Hoyer. Hoyer was targeted by the Jets last off-season before they traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hoyer could be a fallback option for the Jets, or at the very least a means to try to gain more leverage in negotiations with Fitzpatrick. According to the NFLPA the Jets have $3.8 million in cap space, enough to sign all six of their current draft picks.

 

Jets Re-sign Henderson, Restructure Carpenter’s Contract

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Jets Bring Back Middle Linebacker Erin Henderson

 

Last season the Jets took a chance signing middle linebacker Erin Henderson, who had sat out the entire 2014 season due to off-the-field issues. Henderson was a starter for the Minnesota Vikings before two separate arrests related to alcohol that led to him being released from the team. After spending the 2014 season in rehab, the Jets offered him a one-year prove-it contract for the veterans’ minimum ($745,000). Henderson didn’t disappoint having a solid season in 2015 with 45 combined tackles and two forced fumbles. As the season went on Henderson began to get more reps, and his role with the defense grew from a backup into a rotational player. After the Jets lost Demario Davis to the Cleveland Browns, re-signing Henderson became a real priority. There were rumors that the Jets were fighting with the Oakland Raiders to retain Henderson. The Jets were able to bring him back on a two-year $3.1 million contract with incentives that could bring it up to a $5 million deal. Entering his eighth season, Henderson has experience as a starter and is the favorite to start alongside David Harris. Throughout his career, Henderson has 333 combined tackles, eight-and-a-half sacks, eight forced fumbles, two interceptions, 23 run stuffs, and nine passes defended.

 

James Carpenter Agrees to Restructure Contract

 

There has been speculation for a while now that the Jets would restructure some of the contracts on the offensive line. Interestingly though, it wasn’t who many thought the Jets would target for a restructured contract. All signs pointed to D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Breno Giacomini as candidates, particularly Ferguson who has a staggering $14.1 million cap charge for the 2016 season. Carpenter had a solid debut for the Jets last season starting all 16 games. The Jets created $2.46 million in cap space by converting $3.69 million of his $4.45 million base salary into a signing bonus which lowered his base salary to $760,000. While this helps free up some money for the 2016 season, Carpenter’s cap charge increases by $1.23 million in 2017 and 2018. The Jets still haven’t announced the signing of defensive end Jarvis Jenkins although the two sides have agreed to terms on a two-year $7 million contract. According to overthecap.com, the Jets are a hair over $3 million in cap space. The Jets will have to make a few more moves if they intend to re-sign free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick.

 

Other Notes

 

General manager Mike Maccagnan signed a familiar face last Friday with the addition of cornerback Darryl Morris. Morris spent the past two seasons with the Houston Texans, including 2014 while Maccagnan was a scouting executive with the team. Morris is a nice depth signing, but his main contributions will likely be on special teams. The Jets will need all the help they can get to improve a sub-par special teams unit from last season. Morris will be able to contribute on the defense as a rotational player, he has experience playing both in the slot and outside. Morris’ best season was in 2014 when he recorded 31 combined tackles, an interception, a run stuff, and seven passes defended. With the addition of Morris, the Jets get even deeper at the cornerback position. After the departure of Antonio Cromartie, the starting position opposite Darrelle Revis is up for grabs and coach Todd Bowles said there will be ‘competition’ for the spot. It will be interesting to see whether or not Buster Skrine, who normally plays in the slot, will get the nod or if someone else in the group will earn the spot. As of right now the Jets cornerbacks include: Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dee Milliner, Dexter McDougle, Kevin Short, and Darryl Morris.

The annual NFL owners meeting was held in Boca Raton, Florida and ended with a few interesting changes to the rules. The biggest and possibly most controversial change was the decision to move the touchback on a kick return up to the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line. Two other significant changes were the approval of an automatic ejection of a player who commits two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and making all chop blocks illegal. Owner Woody Johnson spoke to the media giving his endorsement for a Ryan Fitzpatrick return saying “come back to the Jets.” Johnson also mentioned that the Jets “could have drafted Russell Wilson,” obviously lamenting the quarterback struggles the Jets have gone through. Johnson was also asked about Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract situation, Johnson said “He’s been franchised, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s on the team right now. He’s on it. He’s a great player. Love to have him. He had a great year last year, 12 sacks. That little break he’s recovering from, from what I’ve been told, he’s recovering well from. So, yeah, if he’s in, I’m not going to be disappointed at all.” It doesn’t sound like Johnson is exactly thrilled with the situation. Head coach Todd Bowles also spoke to the media at the owners meeting. Regarding Brandon Marshall’s push for the return of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bowles said “My sons wants certain things, too, that his dad says no to. It really doesn’t matter. I love Brandon to death and he’s a good player. That’s all I can tell you. He doesn’t make the decisions for this team.”

 

 

 

Monday Notes: Players Earn Performance-Based Pay, Jets Make Moves

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Quincy Enunwa and Others Earn Salary Bonuses

 

Performance-based pay is extra money doled out to players who’s playing time is disproportionate to their current contract. The money is taken from a fund given to each team. Each team is given roughly $3.8 million to distribute to players. The system aims to reward up-and-coming players who have high snap counts, but low salaries. The Jets had 60 players who received some compensation through the PBP. The players with the highest payouts were Quincy Enunwa ($296,712), and Brian Winters ($204,226). Throughout the NFL, 2,050 players were compensated and the average amount of compensation was $59,396. The player who received the most money from the PBP was Denver Broncos center Matt Paradis with $391,647. The player who received the smallest amount from the PBP was Buffalo Bills quarterback Matt Cassel who received $58. Cassel only took one snap all season, while Paradis was on the field for every snap during the season. Paradis played last season with a veteran minimum contract, making him a candidate for a large payment from the PBP.

 

Jets Make Low Profile Moves

 

After rebuilding their backfield, the Jets have made some ‘bargain bin’ signings. With the departure of Damon Harrison, the Jets signed former Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon. In another move to sure up the defensive line depth, the Jets also signed former Chicago Bears defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. McLendon’s deal is a three-year deal with a $10.5 million base salary over the three years, and the potential to reach $12.5 million with $4 million guaranteed. Jenkins’ deal is a two-year deal for $7 million, with $3 million guaranteed. Tight end Kellen Davis was brought back into the fold on a new deal, adding more depth to the position. Davis, not exactly a receiving threat, fills the blocking tight end role. The Jets do have an unknown in Jace Amaro and recently re-signed Zach Sudfeld at the tight end position, but they may make another move to add some proven talent.

 

Other Notes

 

It was recently discovered that Darrelle Revis played through most of the season with a wrist injury. Revis had surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. If the Jets were aware of the injury during the season they’re liable to receive punishment handed down by the league. According to general manager Mike Maccagnan, the Jets became aware of the injury “about a week or so ago.” When asked why the injury never appeared on the injury report, Maccagnan said, “It really wasn’t on our injury report because we never really treated it during the season. I think the most we probably did with it was tape his wrist up for game day, which is what we did as a regular practice, nothing out of the ordinary.” The injury could have been partially responsible for some of Revis’ sub-par games last season. It will take two to three months for Revis to have his hard cast removed. It’s expected that he’ll be ready for training camp in July.

The Jets had three free agent visits recently. The free agents included: former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw, former New Orleans Saints tight end Josh Hill, and former Denver Broncos punt returner Jordan Norwood. While the Jets have been doing their ‘due diligence’ they’ve lost two more of their free agents. Both Demario Davis and Antonio Allen have signed contracts with other teams. Demario Davis signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Browns worth $8 million and $4.2 million guaranteed. Antonio Allen signed a one-year contract worth $800,000 with the Houston Texans. The departure of Davis leaves a hole in the linebacker group, particularly if Erin Henderson doesn’t return. The Jets are trying to re-sign Henderson, but it’s been said that the Raiders are also pursuing the linebacker’s services.

 

 

Monday Notes: Jets Hire Three Assistant Coaches, Brian Winters Gets Pay Raise

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Jets Sign Two New Assistant Coaches and Promote One

 

Todd Bowles continues to flesh out his coaching staff with the hiring of two new assistant coaches, and promoting John Scott Jr. from defensive quality control coach to assistant defensive line coach. The two new assistant coaches are David Diaz-Infante, and Tim Atkins. Diaz-Infante was hired as the new assistant offensive line coach, replacing Ron Heller who was fired at the end of the season. As a player Diaz-Infante won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos playing on the offensive line at both guard and center. Bowles had gotten to know Diaz-Infante while in Arizona where he was the assistant offensive line coach from 2013-14. John Scott Jr. was promoted to assistant defensive line coach replacing Ryan Slowik who left for an outside linebackers coach position with the Cleveland Browns. Scott’s former position of defensive quality control coach was filled by Tim Atkins. Atkins was a football operations assistant for the Buffalo Bills.

 

Winters Cashes in Due to NFL’s Rookie Wage Scale

 

Instead of his previously scheduled salary of $675,000, Brian Winters will make $1.696 million dollars on the final year of his rookie contract. Winters is receiving a pay bonus of over one million dollars due to the “proven performance escalator.” Winters qualified for the pay raise by playing over 35 percent of the offensive snaps in two of the three seasons he’s had so far. The “proven performance escalator” was included in the 2011 CBA. All players on a rookie contract that were drafted in rounds three through seven after 2012 are included. Winters is the only player who received the pay increase. Tommy Bohanon was close, but missed his pay raise due to a broken collarbone injury last season. It’s a nice bonus for Winters, but the Jets will have to spend another one million or so even though they’re tight on cap space.

 

Other Notes

 

The Jets don’t exactly have a ton of cap space to work with this off-season, particularly with multiple impact players slated to hit free agency. The good news is that the other three teams in the AFC East have it worse than the Jets. The Dolphins have $167 million in cap commitments for the 2016 season, The Bills have around $166 million, while the Patriots have $159 million. The Jets have nearly $145 million in cap commitments next season. The NFL salary cap for the 2015 season was $143.28 million, and the number for the 2016 season is rumored to be up to $153.4 million according to CBSSports.com. It’s clear the Jets will have to make some in-house moves before free agency to free up some cap space, but their division rivals will have a tougher time finding solutions to their cap issues.

It’s been over a week since the 2015 season officially ended and news in the NFL is scarce, but some important events aren’t too far off:

  • On February 16th teams can designate players with a franchise tag.
  • From February 23rd to the 29th the annual NFL scouting combine will be held in Indianapolis.
  • March 1st teams can no longer designate a franchise player.
  • March 7th teams are permitted to contact free agents and come to informal agreements.
  • March 9th the 2016 league year officially begins and free agency opens. Teams are permitted to sign players and make trades after 3 pm CT.
  • March 20th to the 23rd the annual Owners meeting will be held in Boca Raton, Florida
  • April 22nd is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
  • April 28th to the 30th the NFL draft will be held in Chicago

 

 

 

 

Monday Notes: Broncos Win Super Bowl, Jets Make Future/Reserve Signings

A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:

 

Broncos’ Defense Leads Them to a Championship

 

The Denver Broncos dominated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 with a 24-10 victory, earning Peyton Manning his second Lombardi Trophy. It was one of the most defense oriented Super Bowls in recent memory, one in which neither quarterback scored a touchdown. It wasn’t exactly a beautiful game, but it did keep the notion that ‘defense wins championships’ alive. There were seven fumbles, two interceptions, and 12 sacks between the two teams. With the Super Bowl now in the rear view mirror, the off-season has officially begun for 31 teams, the exception being the Broncos who will take time to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. The biggest question everyone wanted to know prior to the game was whether or not quarterback Peyton Manning would retire. Manning didn’t give a direct answer, saying he wanted time to reflect. His father though, Archie Manning, was more blunt stating “I think Peyton is done in Denver. He may be done everywhere. So that’s my — you know what? I don’t stick my nose in it, so I don’t know that. I don’t know that. But that’s my guess.” Interestingly, in a recent interview Joe Namath endorsed the idea that the Jets should take a look at Peyton if he doesn’t decide to retire. “If he’s physically fit and the Broncos don’t want him, I’d give him a good look right out there in New York Jet territory.” The scenario is highly unlikely, but is interesting nonetheless.

 

Jets Make Multiple Future/Reserve Signings

 

The Jets have already made a number of under-the-radar moves so far this off-season. In the past week the Jets signed three players to future/reserve contracts including: Freddie Bishop, Kyle Brindza, and Dri Archer. The most tantalizing signing of the three is running back/kick returner Dri Archer. The Jets desperately need a game changer on special teams and Archer has the skill set to be just that. Archer posted the second fastest 40-yard dash time ever recorded at the combine in 2014 at 4.26 seconds, only .02 seconds behind Chris Johnson’s record. Archer was a third round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was released for never living up to his expectations. Kyle Brindza was a kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had a lowly 6-12 field goal conversion record last season. Freddie Bishop was an undrafted free agent who was signed by the Detroit Lions coming out of the draft in 2013. The Lions cut ties with Bishop and he was picked up by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Bishop recorded 11 sacks last season with Calgary.

 

Other Notes

 

The Jets’ special teams coach position was filled by former Indianapolis Colts assistant special teams coach Brant Boyer. It’s an interesting move to say the least. The Colts weren’t exactly effective on special teams last season giving up three punt returns for a touchdown, a fake field goal conversion, and a debacle of a fake punt play. The fake punt was a play in which the Colts lined up nine players to the right of the field, leaving safety Colt Anderson and the long snapper alone in the middle of the field. Needless to say, the play was unsuccessful and one of the strangest plays ever called. Strangeness aside, Boyer received high praise from the Colts staff and was a good special teams player during his ten year career in the NFL. Boyer met Todd Bowles as a player for the Cleveland Browns while Bowles was the secondary coach. Obviously Boyer made a good impression on Bowles. Even a decent season in special teams would be a significant improvement over recent years. This will be the Jets’ fifth special teams coach in five years. The Jets also hired their new assistant special teams coach, Jeff Hammerschmidt. Hammerschmidt spent the last four seasons as the special teams coach for Colorado State.

There was a rumor circulating earlier in the week that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wanted out of San Francisco, and preferred to land with the Jets. The report came out Tuesday evening from an article written by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. It wasn’t long until conflicting reports came out with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora stating that “Kaepernick has wanted out of San Francisco for quite some time” but that the Jets “have not been and are not interested.” Both Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan have stated that they want to bring Ryan Fitzpatrick back with a new contract, which instantly made the initial report seem questionable. The move also wouldn’t be too cap friendly for the Jets seeing as Kaepernick’s cap hit is north of $15 million next season. As of right now the Jets are projected to have around $14 million in cap space, less than Kaepernick’s due salary. There are many reasons why bringing Kaepernick to New York wouldn’t make much sense, although the Jets could use a young quarterback of the future. Fitzpatrick is 33 years old, so ideally the Jets could use a talented quarterback to take over within the next year or two but not for the price tag Colin Kaepernick would demand. The Jets are likely hoping that Bryce Petty or a future draft pick can develop into a franchise quarterback for them at some point. For now it seems that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the guy for the foreseeable future.