While the Josh McCown–Christian Hackenberg battle for this season’s quarterback job looks closer than expected exiting minicamp, the Jets‘ focus could be on the 2018 crop of passers. As of now viewed as a better quarterback draft class than 2017’s, the 2018 contingent is where the Jets are expected to look for their next starter here, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Hackenberg’s development is the caveat here, Cimini writes, with the former Penn State starter still tentatively the quarterback of the future entering this season. Noting the Jets could have upwards of $80MM in cap space in 2018, Cimini doesn’t hear Gang Green planning for a monster offer to Jimmy Garoppolo or Kirk Cousins — should those players become available.
This draft-based thinking follows an Albert Breer TheMMQB.com report that indicated many in the league are under the impression the Jets are positioning themselves to make a run for the No. 1 pick and use this as a developmental year. Tanking, essentially. Specifically, Breer wrote that owner Woody Johnson, and not the football staff, has his eyes on the No. 1 pick and a potential franchise quarterback. USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen are the early prizes, but Breer cautions in planning too far ahead, noting Mitch Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes were not thought to be first-round picks a year ago.
Here’s more from the AFC East.
- New Bills HC Sean McDermott expects Cordy Glenn to be ready for training camp, but the cornerstone left tackle spent all three minicamp practices in a walking boot, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports. Glenn suffered a high ankle sprain during training camp last year and missed five regular-season games. This ankle problem intervened last season and has plagued the sixth-year left tackle for many months now. The Bills drafted Dion Dawkins in the second round and re-signed right tackle Jordan Mills, so they have a bit more depth this year on the edge.
- The NFL is investigating an alleged incident that took place between Jets linebacker Darron Lee and his girlfriend at a music festival earlier this month. Todd Bowles described it as an argument between Lee and his girlfriend, and Cimini (Twitter link) doesn’t expect a suspension to come for the second-year inside linebacker. Lee was a part-time starter last season, but now that David Harris is off the roster, Cimini expects the ex-Ohio State standout to be a locked-in starter.
- DeVante Parker has drawn immense praise from the Dolphins this offseason. OC Clyde Christensen said he expects the third-year wideout to have a “gigantic year.” Breer wonders where Jarvis Landry fits into this equation, especially if Parker follows through on this offseason promise. Miami re-signed deep threat Kenny Stills to a four-year, $32MM deal. Parker would be on course to surpass that should he progress, but the 24-year-old wideout is under team control through 2019 — provided the Fins pick up his fifth-year option next May. Landry is entering a contract year and confirmed the team and his camp are discussing an extension, but the slot dynamo said those talks aren’t in the serious stage yet. Landry does not plan to hold out, but with the 24-year-old wideout having been the Fins’ most reliable receiver over the past three years, this wideout contract puzzle is a situation worth monitoring.
- The veteran purge the Jets have orchestrated this summer could conceivably include Buster Skrine, but Cimini doesn’t expect the cornerback to be cut (Twitter link). Skrine is signed through 2018, and it would cost the Jets $5MM in dead money to cut him. That number drops to $2MM next year. He’s owed $8.5MM in each of the next two years. New York, which has created significant cap space this offseason, has Morris Claiborne and Marcus Williams signed through this season. Skrine is the only notable Jets corner signed beyond 2017.