Austin Seferian-Jenkins

East Notes: Cowboys, Cable, ASJ, Redskins

Having fired Frank Pollack last week, the Cowboys are casting a wide net as they search for a coach to lead an offensive line that was considered the NFL’s best as recently as 2016. Dallas has already interviewed former Bengal OL coach Paul Alexander last week, while incumbent Cowboys assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo is reportedly “in the mix” for the vacancy, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, Dallas had interest in meeting with former Seahawks OL coach Tom Cable before he was hired by the Raiders, but no formal interview was ever arranged, per Archer, who adds the Cowboys also plan to meet with Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • In addition to finding a new offensive line coach, the Cowboys are also looking for a new coach to head up the club’s wide receivers. Former Colts wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is interviewing to replace Derek Dooley, who was fired last week, as Archer reports. Lal, 48, originally joined the NFL ranks with the Raiders in 2007, and has since coached wideouts for Oakland, New York, and Buffalo. At present, the only other candidate to interview for the Cowboys’ WRs coach job is former Dallas pass-catcher Miles Austin, who is currently a scout for Dallas but has never coached in the NFL.
  • While the Jets have interest in re-signing pending free agent tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, general manager Mike Maccagnan & Co. have no intent of “going crazy” to retain the 25-year-old, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. Seferian-Jenkins, a former second-round pick who has overcome substance abuse issues, posted the best season of his career in 2017 by posting 50 receptions for 357 yards and three scores. While ASJ did tail off near the end of the year (he managed only 11 catches for 69 yards in New York’s final five games), his age and pedigree should allow him to garner a multi-year pact.
  • Stanford has hired former Redskins assistant offensive line coach Kevin Carberry as its new run game coordinator and offensive line coach, tweets Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports. To replace Carberry, Washington has inked ex-Broncos assistant Phil Rauscher as its next assistant OL coach, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

East Rumors: Giants, Jets, Bills, Flores

Here’s the latest out of the East divisions, with six of these teams early in their offseasons and two preparing for divisional-round games while grappling with possible coaching staff defections.

  • A Josh McDaniels/Giants union is at least a possibility, with Dave Gettleman and Co. interviewing the Patriots’ OC this week. But ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano does not foresee this hire happening, viewing McDaniels as likely to end up elsewhere and noting both he and the Giants might not be each other’s first choices (Twitter links). McDaniels has met with the Giants, Colts and Bears. Graziano speculates (via Twitter) the Colts are the likely frontrunners.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Demario Davis look to be in the Jets‘ plans prior to free agency opening. The team has held discussions with Seferian-Jenkins about a re-up, Newsday’s Calvin Watkins notes, and wants to retain Davis. A Jet in five of his six NFL seasons, the soon-to-be 29-year-old linebacker could be in line for a significant pay bump come March after finishing the season as the NFL’s No. 8 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. Davis, whom Watkins notes wouldn’t mind testing the market, took a pay cut prior to the 2017 season and earned just $900K in base salary. ASJ changed representation going into his UFA year. He caught a career-high 50 passes and gave the Jets a viable tight end weapon for the first time in years.
  • The Jaguars making the playoffs will slightly alter their trade for Marcell Dareus. The Bills received a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick for Dareus in the parties’ October trade, but now that the Jags ventured to the postseason, that pick will become a fifth-rounder, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Should Matt Patricia be hired as Lions HC as expected, the Patriots will likely promote linebackers coach Brian Flores to defensive coordinator, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Flores drew interest as a DC candidate last year, per Reiss, and was mentioned in a 49ers search that ended with Robert Saleh getting the job. The 36-year-old Flores, who interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job on Saturday, has been with the Patriots since 2004 and has been a position coach since 2012.
  • The Giants have not hired a GM that didn’t have ties to the team since George Young in 1979, and Tom Rock of Newsday notes Kevin Abrams may be in line to succeed Dave Gettleman down the line. The newly hired general manager is 66 years old and kept the 46-year-old Abrams on as assistant GM while firing another Giants GM interviewee in Marc Ross. Abrams has been the Giants’ assistant GM for the past 16 seasons, serving in this post now through three GMs’ tenures. The longtime exec has been sitting in on the franchise’s HC interviews this time as well.

Extra Points: Browns, Pryor, Jets

In a reply to on an Instagram post by Duke Johnson, Terrelle Pryor seemed to hint at having interest in returning to the Browns, as ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon writes. The Browns did express interest in reuniting with Pryor before the trade deadline, but it’s not clear whether new GM John Dorsey would want to sign him.

Pryor, who is scheduled to be a free agent in March, had a breakout season with the Browns in 2016, catching 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. This past year, however, he had only 20 catches for 240 yards and one score in nine games.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has hired Doug Hendrickson as his agent in advance of free agency, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter) wonders if ASJ could be a fit for the Seahawks and notes that Hendrickson has gotten deals done for Michael Bennett, Marshawn Lynch, Dion Jordan, and other players in Seattle.
  • The Seahawks could be looking to replace kicker Blair Walsh and punter Jon Ryan, as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes. This week, the team is meeting with kicker Jason Myers and punter Jeff Locke. Myers was with the Jaguars from 2015 through the first six games of the 2017 season. He was released after missing three pivotal field goals, though they were all from 52 yards or longer. All in all, he connected on 64-of-79 field goal attempts (81%) and 76-of-88 extra points (86.4%) in 38 games with the Jags. Locke, meanwhile, appeared in five games for Detroit.
  • Center Corey Linsley‘s new three-year deal with the Packers is worth $27.3MM and includes an $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel). His cap numbers are: $3.85MM in 2017, $4.85MM in ’18, $8.15MM in ’19, and $10.5MM in ’20.

AFC East Notes: Pats, Ayers, Jets, ASJ, Fins

In the wake of Dont’a Hightower‘s season-ending injury, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes Akeem Ayers would be a logical candidate for the Patriots should the team look to add a hybrid-type linebacker. Reiss notes that Ayers, who was a part of New England’s Super Bowl-winning team in 2014, was in for a workout prior to the start of the season but the Patriots decided to pass at the time. A second-round selection in 2011 by Tennessee, Ayers last played with the Colts in 2016 and posted two sacks and an interception.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Despite Josh McCown performing well, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty could see action down the stretch should the Jets falter with a tough upcoming schedule, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini writes. Cimini notes that though McCown ranks 13th in passer rating (91.5), the fact remains that the 38-year-old quarterback is not in the team’s long-term plan. The veteran also is owed $125K per start, so New York could save a little money while also getting a better look at the team’s two young signal-callers.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins is happy in New York and would love to be with the Jets for the foreseeable future, the tight end told Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media.”I would love to be here long term,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I love this place. I consider this home for me.” After being cut from the Buccaneers in 2016 following an arrest for suspicion of DUI, the tight end was signed by the Jets and has reignited his promising career with a touchdown in three consecutive games this season.
  • Dolphins starting left guard Anthony Steen had surgery on his left foot and will be out indefinitely, Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post reports. Miami used undrafted rookie Jesse Davis in Steen’s stead on Thursday vs. Baltimore, and Habib speculates veteran Ted Larsen, who started the season on IR with a torn biceps, could see time at the spot.

East Rumors: Giants, Fins, Jets, Cowboys

Justin Pugh‘s contract year could well include a lengthy stay at right tackle. The Giants‘ starting left guard slid to his original position on Monday night and will do the same Sunday against the Eagles. Big Blue plans to start Brett Jones at left guard and does not plan on ditching Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes. Pugh’s versatility will allow the Giants, per Ben McAdoo, to keep the “best five” on the field rather than the team having to use a swing tackle. Usual right tackle Bobby Hart will miss Week 3, and D.J. Fluker — a four-year Chargers starter — is apparently the Giants’ seventh offensive lineman. He’ll profile as the backup guard behind Jones and John Jerry, Raanan writes.

Here’s more from the Eastern divisions in advance of Week 3’s Sunday slate.

  • Lawrence Timmons‘ pre-Week 2 disappearance will be costly. The Dolphins linebacker signed a two-year, $12MM deal but will lose money because of the suspension his new team handed down this week. In addition to voiding the $4.5MM in guaranteed money attached to his 2018 salary, Timmons stands to lose as much as $235K in base salary this season — since he can only be suspended for four weeks under the CBA — and could be set to forfeit signing bonus money, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. Volin adds the linebacker could be forced to refund 4/17ths of this year’s portion of his $5.5MM signing bonus. This team-imposed ban could cost Timmons $882K this season before giving Miami greater leverage over him in 2018 because of voided guarantees.
  • Jay Cutler reached out to Matt Forte about a possible Jets path, but his longtime Bears teammate couldn’t provide many details about an offensive system about to change, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports. Although the Jets and Cutler had multiple visits scheduled, neither came to fruition and the interest wasn’t heavy on either side. Cutler also talked with former Broncos and Bears quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, Gang Green’s current QBs instructor, throughout his first free agency process, per Mehta. But with Bates not calling plays in New York, that connection didn’t have the kind of appeal that would have induced Cutler to sign with the rebuilding team. Instead, Cutler’s second wave of free agency became a Dolphins-centric odyssey.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins weighed over 300 pounds in the recent past, according to Calvin Watkins of Newsday. The Jets tight end dropped a staggering 60 pounds, per Watkins, and is down to 262 as he comes off his two-game suspension for substance abuse. A May report indicated Seferian-Jenkins was down 25 pounds. A year ago Saturday, Seferian-Jenkins was arrested on suspicion of DUI. The Buccaneers cut him, routing the formerly coveted prospect to the Jets. As of this week, ASJ is approaching 250 days sober, Watkins reports.
  • The Cowboys struggled to stay with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in a Week 2 loss in Denver, and the team will take a shorthanded cornerback group to Arizona as well. Both Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie are out for the Cowboys’ Monday-night tilt against the Cardinals, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News tweets. A hamstring injury will shelve Awuzie, and Carroll’s in concussion protocol.

Jets Make 23 Moves, Reach 53-Man Limit

The Jets waived 17 players, released three, placed two on the suspended list, and waived/injured one player in order to reach the 53-man maximum. Here’s the complete breakdown:

Waived:

Reserve/Suspended:

Waived/Injured:

Released:

Purdum was the longest-tenured player on the Jets’ roster, but he wasn’t performing up to standards this offseason. When the Jets acquired long snapper Thomas Hennessy in a trade with the Colts in late August, it was clear that Purdum’s time with the organization was coming to a close.

East Rumors: Jets, Pats, Switzer

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com recently expounded on last week’s discussion of the Jets‘ QB battle, and while he does not believe the team’s insistence that it will be an open competition is a charade, he does reaffirm his (and everyone’s) belief that Josh McCown is the heavy favorite to open the season under center. But in his latest post, Cimini goes into a little more detail as to how he believes the next few months will play out. He believes that, by the end of minicamp in mid-June, McCown will be the clear-cut front-runner and Christian Hackenberg will be the No. 2. When training camp opens, head coach Todd Bowles will remove Bryce Petty from the starting competition, as it’s hard enough to have a competition among two quarterbacks, much less three. Cimini also believes Hackenberg will get plenty of action in the team’s first two preseason games, but that Bowles, with his job on the line, will ultimately give the job to McCown, though Hackenberg will get the nod at some point this year.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • The Jets picked up tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins after he was waived by the Buccaneers last September, and while he posted only 10 catches in seven games for New York last season, the team believes the light has finally come on for the former second-round pick. As Cimini writes, ASJ has dropped 25 pounds, he was a diligent participant in the offseason conditioning program, and his performance has caught everyone’s eye at OTAs. Now that the Jets have an offensive coordinator who utilizes the tight end as a pass catcher, ASJ is a dark horse candidate for a breakout season, especially as he enters his contract year.
  • Mike Reiss’ of ESPN.com reports that Andrew Hawkins‘ one-year deal with the Patriots is a minimum salary benefit pact, meaning his base salary will be $900K, his bonus won’t exceed $80K, and his salary cap charge won’t be more than $695K. Reiss says that Hawkins passed up more lucrative opportunities with other clubs because New England was his top choice.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe applauds the Patriots‘ recent decision to add a healthy incentive package to Rob Gronkowski‘s current contract even though they had no need to do so, as he believes it’s simply smart business to keep Gronk healthy and motivated. Volin does wonder, though, whether the incentives will compel Gronkowski to push himself more than he otherwise would throughout the regular season, thereby reducing his effectiveness when the playoffs roll around.
  • Ryan Switzer, whom the Cowboys selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft, took first-team reps as the slot receiver during the first week of OTAs, as Cole Beasley was held out due to hamstring soreness. But as Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes, the Cowboys have big plans for Switzer even when Beasley returns, and they are working on packages for both to be on the field at the same time. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Switzer, “He’s a classic slot receiver. He has a similar game [to Beasley], but he has his own things. We would really like those two guys to be able to complement each other and run real similar route trees. He complements Beasley and also gives us some big-time needed depth at that position.”

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins Suspended

The Jets announced tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended two games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Seferian-Jenkins was arrested for DUI in September 2016.Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vertical)

A former second-round draft pick of the Buccaneers, Seferian-Jenkins was waived by Tampa Bay following his arrest last year. Claimed by the Jets, ASJ played in seven games (two starts) for Gang Green and managed 110 yards on 10 catches.

Seferian-Jenkins is still the top tight end on New York’s depth chart, but the club will have to rely on Eric Tomlinson and Braedon Bowman for the first two games of the 2017 season. By missing two games, ASJ will forfeit two game checks totaling roughly $125K.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Austin Seferian-Jenkins Avoids Jail

The Jets have seemingly been in the news for all the wrong reasons this week. Here’s the latest item: tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has cut a plea deal in his DUI case from last year, according to TMZ. Under the terms of the agreement, he will not spend any time in jail. Instead, he will have one year of probation and commit 50 hours of community service. He’ll also attend DUI classes and pay a $500 fine.Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vertical)

[RELATED: Jets’ Darrelle Revis Facing Four Felony Charges]

Of course, the agreement with prosecutors does not mean that Seferian-Jenkins is out of the woods in terms of punishment from the league office. Because this was his second DUI arrest, it seems likely that the tight end is in store for a multi-game suspension.

As it stands, Seferian-Jenkins is under contract with the Jets through the 2017 season with a $1.061MM base salary and $1.136MM cap number. None of that cash is guaranteed, however, so the Jets could cut him without any fiscal penalty.

Seferian-Jenkins, 24, hauled in 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. In 2015, he had a similar stat line across seven games as he caught 21 balls for 338 yards and four scores. This year, he recorded three catches and one touchdown for the Buccaneers before he was thrown overboard. With the Jets, he had 10 catches for 110 yards in seven games.

Photo via Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

East Notes: Bush, Watkins, Jets, Dez

Upcoming roster decisions involving Marcell Dareus and Seantrel Henderson could put Reggie Bush‘s status with the Bills in jeopardy, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Bush has three carries for minus-4 yards and did not play in the Bills’ 33-18 win over the Cardinals.

Buffalo handed the former No. 2 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner a $375K signing bonus despite signing him late in the offseason but has given Mike Gillislee the backup job behind LeSean McCoy. Last week, fifth-round rookie Jonathan Williams saw action ahead of Bush as well.

Rex Ryan hinted that Bush had a role as a slot receiver set for last week but the team never got to it. The 31-year-old Bush also has not seen action on special teams to this point despite an extensive history as a punt returner.

Here’s more from the Eastern divisions.

  • Sammy Watkins has not sustained any further damage to his foot, structurally speaking, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (video link). It will continue to be about pain tolerance for the Bills’ talented wide receiver, per Garafolo. Watkins suffered the foot fracture in May and hasn’t been effective this season, by his standards. The former top-five pick has six receptions for 63 yards through two games.
  • Jets No. 4 wide receiver Jalin Marshall suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, Todd Bowles said (via Connor Hughes of NJ.com). The 21-year-old made the Jets as a UDFA out of Ohio State. Hughes notes the team is not ready to put Marshall on IR yet but adds the Jets could be looking to add a wide receiver soon since Eric Decker is also battling an injured shoulder. Brandon Marshall practiced fully today but was questionable for Week 3 after suffering a knee injury against the Bills.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com was surprised that the Jets claimed Austin Seferian-Jenkins off waivers. Late last week, the tight end was arrested and charged with DUI, leading to being waived by Tampa Bay. The Jets have been taking a conservative approach toward players with character issues under the new regime, but the ASJ acquisition is a clear departure from that mindset. On the other hand, none of his $677K salary is guaranteed for this season, making this a low-risk move from a fiscal standpoint.
  • While Watkins’ issues may well stem from pain management, Dez Bryant isn’t as fortunate at this juncture. The Cowboys‘ top wideout has a hairline fracture in his knee, but instead of a two-to-three-week timetable previously reported, Bryant’s injury could keep him out more than a month, per Dr. David Chao (via Sirius XM Radio, on Twitter). Bryant missed seven games last season due to a broken foot.

Zach Links contributed to this report.