AFC East Notes: Marshall, Jets, Alonso

The Jets don’t have much in the way of team-friendly contracts, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap opines, but Brandon Marshall‘s deal is the de facto best of the bunch. Marshall came to the Jets via trade with the Bears, but the wide receiver and Gang Green hashed out a new deal as a condition of the swap. The deal wound up becoming a one-year trial as they nixed real guarantees for year two of the three-year pact. As it turns out, Marshall flourished and he now appears to be a bargain at $9.5MM in 2016.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • More from Fitzgerald, who linebacker David Harris‘ deal is the worst contract the Jets currently have. Harris signed a three-year, $21.5MM contract extension with the Jets in March of 2015. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald writes that comparable players would earn in the $5MM/year range with a much lower guarantee. Harris has inked two favorable deals with the Jets over the course of his career but Fitzgerald believes the buck will stop soon with the Jets releasing the veteran before the start of 2017 season. Last year, Harris graded out as the 32nd best linebacker in the NFL out of 97 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Linebacker Kiko Alonso is starting over again with the Dolphins after being traded to Miami in March and there is a lot of positive buzz surrounding him right now, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Injuries have held Alonso back over the last couple of years, but he now seems to have his knee problems behind hm. Alonso came out firing in his rookie year in 2013 and one GM allegedly told Alonso’s agent prior to the draft that Alonso was the best linebacker prospect he had seen since Brian Bosworth.
  • If Sheldon Richardson is suspended to start the year, the Jets may have to give a bigger role to defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins than they had anticipated, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. Losing Richardson to suspension is obviously not ideal, but the Jets are high on Jenkins and they see him as a younger and faster version of last year’s backups Leger Douzable and Stephen Bowen. “Jarvis is a three-down player,” coach Todd Bowles said. “He can move across the line of scrimmage. Good interior pass rusher. Has power and has some speed. We thought we upgraded there a little bit from a backup standpoint, that can come in and play.”
View Comments (5)
newest oldest

5 comments on “AFC East Notes: Marshall, Jets, Alonso

  1. Scott Grossman

    Jason Fitzgerald clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. David Harris is one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. He is the glue of the Jets defense. I, and any other person who actually watches the Jets play would give that contract to Harris again in a heartbeat.

  2. DLC

    The comments in this article about David Harris having the worst contract on the Jets illustrate perfectly why an approach to analyzing football that is too dependent on the analytics offered by organizations like Pro Football Focus is an exercise in futility.

    As the article points out, the designation of Harris’ contract as the worst on the team by Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap rests on Harris’ ranking by PFF as the 32nd best linebacker in the NFL out of 97 ranked LBs, and points out that other LBs ranked close to 32 are being paid in the range of $5Million per year, which is much less than Harris is getting, and that Harris is getting more guaranteed money than those other similarly ranked LBs. On the surface, this sounds very logical.

    But the PFF rankings don’t take into consideration a lot of other very important variables that SHOULD be considered in determining a players true value to a team.

    First of all, when Harris signed that deal, he was pretty much the QB of the defense, as he was heavily involved in communicating the plays being called to the rest of the defense and in positioning players properly for those plays. He had functioned in that role for years, and he continued that function last year, which was the first of the “terrible contract” in question. Secondly, last year also saw the hiring of a new Head Coach, Todd Bowles, as well as a new coaching staff (not to mention a new GM as well). Although Bowles is similar in his X’s and O’s defensive philosophy to his predecessor Rex Ryan, a new staff meant a new playboy and new verbiage to learn. Having a guy like Harris around who was both a great teacher and a well respected veteran leader both on the field and in the locker room was invaluable to that task. Thirdly, Harris had been an exemplary player throughout his career, perhaps the prototypical NYJ defensive player almost since he got here. Although he wasn’t grossly underpaid by the team in his career, you could easily make the argument that he over performed his contracts before this one. Rewarding a guy like that with a deal that is better than what he would’ve probably gotten elsewhere sends a great message to the other guys in the locker room: do your job, produce, work hard, and be a good representative of the team, and the team will notice and take care of you. I think this is an important facet in signing a guy like Harris, and it’s far too often undervalued by both fans, analysts and others in the media.

    Some have said that the Jets blundered with this contract because even with all the things that Harris brings, no other team would’ve paid Harris this much, and all he would’ve gotten was the $5 Million per year that the article cites. While it’s true that Harris would not have come close to getting a deal like this with any other team, and that his stats alone dictate that he should receive significantly less than he did, I don’t think Harris is overpaid at all, and I dont think you’ll find any knowledgeable coach in the NFL or anybody in any front office who doesn’t rely strictly on a PFF style approach in his analysis who would disagree with me.

    Don’t get me wrong, PFF style analytics are very useful, and I believe they should have a significant place in all NFL front offices. Analytics are important, and I agree with that statement 100%. But they are only 50% of the story, at best, and anyone who thinks that analytics alone should be the only effective guide for building a team and making personnel decisions just doesn’t understand the NFL.

    • Scott Grossman

      If I had an account I would like your comment. Spot on. Some guy just tried to find someone who had a bad contract based on some analytics but there are so many things that these analytics don’t take into account. The only thing I disagree with you on is your point that no one was going to pay Harris as much as the Jets did. From what I heard Rex was very interested in bringing him to Buffalo.

  3. Bodyshamen

    I agree with others here about the Harris contract. I watch enough of the Jets to know what he does for the defense. Being a stats guy, I’ve never felt that PFF adequatley ranks individual players, especially O and D lineman, but LB’s too. They don’t to a great job accounting for scheme and game variables in my opinion. Their analytics are better suited for skill positions/fantasy.


Leave a Reply