Bilal Powell

Jets Notes: Douglas, Powell, Darnold

We learned earlier today that NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah wouldn’t be joining Joe Douglas‘s staff in New York, but the Jets’ new GM could look to another TV analyst. ESPN’s Todd McShay told ESPN’s Rich Cimini that he’s under consideration for a front office role (Twitter link).

“Joe is considering multiple options and I’m one of the options,” McShay said.

The two go far back, as Douglas and McShay were teammates at the University of Richmond. The ESPN draft analyst is expected to meet with the general manager later this week.

Let’s check out some more notes coming out of New York…

  • Count Sam Darnold among those who are excited to have Bilal Powell back in green. The Jets announced yesterday that they re-signed the veteran running back to a one-year deal. “Great to have BP back,” Darnold told Cimini (Twitter link). “Can’t wait to get to work with him. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’s going to be nice to just be able to see him. BP is a great guy and obviously a great player, so it’s great to have him back.” Cleared from a scary neck injury that was believed at one point to be a career-threatening malady, Powell will now be preparing for his ninth season in New York. The 30-year-old finished the 2018 season with 11 receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown in seven games (seven starts). He also added 343 rushing yards on 80 carries.
  • Darnold was also optimistic about the team’s hiring of Douglas. “I know that he’s done great things with the Eagles,” Darnold told Cimini (Twitter link). “Every other place he’s been, he’s done a great job, as well. Looking forward to working with him and seeing what he can do for our team.” It’s worth noting that Darnold and Douglas are both represented by agent Jimmy Sexton (along with head coach Adam Gase).
  • Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman released a statement regarding the hiring of the Eagles’ former vice president of player personnel. “We want to thank Joe Douglas for his contributions to our organization,” Roseman said. “We will miss Joe personally and professionally…He’s a tireless worker who played an integral role in helping to construct our Super Bowl-winning roster. He deserves this opportunity and the Jets are lucky to have him as their GM just like we were to have him in Philadelphia.”
  • It sounds like Gase will already have a task for Douglas. The head coach told Brian Costello of the New York Post that the team is thin at cornerback. “I think we’re thin at more than just corner,” Gase said. “There’s some other spots where if we have some injuries, it could be an issue. That’s why we have to keep finding ways to create competition.” Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts and Brian Poole are currently slotted in as the team’s starting cornerbacks.
  • Either way, Gase is confident that the organization can find another defensive back as other teams begin trimming their rosters. “You kind of get in the middle of June and all of a sudden some guys get cut free due to salary issues, you get the waiver wire, you’ll just always comb that thing, see if you can create competition whether it’s a corner or at any other position,” Gase said. “That’s why the pro department’s got to do a great job going through, you know, when we get closer to those cuts and training camp, of just keeping their eyes open, and then you always have to be alert for if any trades pop up. I mean, you just never know the amount of phone calls that go in and out between organizations. It’s a lot more than what people realize sometimes, and we just have to be ready to be aggressive if we need to be.”

Jets Re-Sign RB Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell will return to the Jets. The team announced the veteran running back reached an agreement to re-sign. Powell worked out for the Jets on Friday. It’s a one-year deal, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter), and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Powell will receive a $90K signing bonus. That’s not a huge guarantee, but it is sizable for this time of year, and it likely speaks to the Jets’ belief in Powell’s health.

Cleared from a scary neck injury that was believed at one point to be a career-threatening malady, per Rapoport (on Twitter), Powell is now signed on to play a ninth season in New York. The backfield has obviously changed since Powell’s last time in a Jets uniform, with Le’Veon Bell now almost certainly set for a three-down role, and Powell’s addition crowds the group.

Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon and Ty Montgomery join Bell on New York’s depth chart. Adam Gase said this week he wanted increased competition at certain spots, and despite this looking like a fairly well-stocked backfield, the 30-year-old Powell stands to provide some. He holds a career 4.4-yard average per carry and combined for more than 2,100 yards from scrimmage between 2016-17.

A fourth-round pick during the Rex Ryan years, Powell recently wrapped up a three-year, $11.25MM deal. He will team with another Pro Bowl back, having already worked with LaDainian Tomlinson and Matt Forte. While Powell does not figure to be a lock to make the Jets’ roster, he provides far more experience than any of Gang Green’s other backup candidates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Work Out Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell‘s run with the Jets might not be over. On Friday, the Jets will audition the running back, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter). 

Powell is working his way back from a neck injury suffered in October against the Vikings. Initially, it was believed that the Jets would be moving on from him, especially since they have added Le’Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery to the RB depth chart. But, injuries happen, and there could be room for the veteran to squeeze into the picture along with Elijah McGuire.

A fourth-round pick back in 2011, Powell just wrapped up his three-year, $11.25MM deal with the Jets. Powell isn’t the flashiest running back out there, but he does have a career average of 4.4 yards per tote and he is a quality pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Still, the Jets want to verify Powell’s health and assess what he has in the tank. Last year, he finished out with just 343 yards and eleven catches for 110 yards before being placed on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bilal Powell Fully Cleared From Neck Injury

Back in October, there were rumblings that Bilal Powell‘s neck injury could threaten his career. Fortunately, it sounds like the veteran running back is on the road to recovery. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the free agent back has been fully cleared from his neck injury and is “really looking forward to getting back to work.”

Powell suffered the injury during a mid-October contest agains the Vikings, and that may have ultimately marked the end of the running back’s tenure with the Jets. A fourth-round pick back in 2011, Powell just completed his three-year, $11.25MM deal, making him a free agent. While he had been a staple of the Jets’ backfield for years, it’s possible that the Jets are content rolling into next season with Elijah McGuire and Ty Montgomery serving as Le’Veon Bell‘s backups.

Powell’s never established himself as a household name, but he’s been consistent through his eight-year career. Powell has rushed for an average of 4.4 yards per carry, and he’s emerged as one of the more capable pass-catchers out of the backfield. In 2016, he caught a career-high 58 passes for 388 yards and two receiving scores.

Powell ultimately finished the 2018 season having run for 343 yards on 80 carries. He also hauled in 11 catches for 110 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jets RB Bilal Powell

Despite some initial concern to the contrary, running back Bilal Powell’s neck injury is not career-threatening, Jets coach Todd Bowles told reporters (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). Powell suffered the same injury that wide receiver Quincy Enunwa suffered last year, which means that it is a serious neck injury, but one that Powell can come back from after taking time to recover. 

The Jets placed Powell on IR this week after learning that he would be unable to play again this year. It’s possible that Powell has played his final down in a Jets uniform since he is in a contract year, but, fortunately, it sounds like he will be able to play football again.

The quietly productive running back will turn 29 over the weekend, meaning that he’ll hit free agency still on the right side of 30. He’ll still be in the recovery process during the first and second waves of free agency, but he could be available for clubs near the start of the season.

The Jets, without the services of Powell, will face the Bears in Chicago on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Rumors: Jets, Nagy, Conley, Bengals

Todd Bowles and Matt Nagy will face off Sunday when the Jets head to Soldier Field, but this matchup’s visiting coach wanted Nagy to be his offensive coordinator last year, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports. The Jets ended up hiring the since-fired John Morton to be their OC in 2017, but Mehta writes Bowles’ top choice to replace Chan Gailey was Nagy, whom he’s known for decades. However, Nagy did not take an interview, continuing as Andy Reid‘s top offensive lieutenant with the Chiefs. Reid did not want to lose Nagy, per Mehta. Nagy stayed in Kansas City and served as a part-time play-caller last season. That ended up being a critical decision, with Nagy overseeing a dynamic Chiefs offense — one that continued to incorporate college concepts and doubled as one of the league’s most innovative attacks — and the season leading to the Bears hiring him as their head coach. Jeremy Bates is now the Jets’ OC.

Here’s the latest out of the Big Apple and other AFC cities:

  • Bilal Powell‘s career may be in jeopardy. The Jets placed their longtime passing-down running back on IR today, and the neck injury Powell’s sustained will need to be surgically repaired. Bowles said (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, Twitter link) this could be a career-threatening setback. Powell’s played with the Jets since arriving in New York as a fourth-round pick in 2011. He’s by far the longest-tenured Jet, having served as a backfield complement to the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Chris Ivory and Matt Forte.
  • Patrick Peterson is either off the market, or the Cardinals are orchestrating an impressive smokescreen, so cornerback-needy teams will need to look elsewhere. Some are gauging whether the Raiders would trade another Reggie McKenzie first-round pick, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeting teams are inquiring about Gareon Conley. Janoris Jenkins is the other player contenders are monitoring, but Conley is only in his second season. He is, however, one of the many Raiders who’ve seen their stock drop under Jon Gruden. The Raiders benched Conley prior to their London game; he’d started the previous five Oakland games after missing almost all of his rookie season due to a shin injury. However, the Raiders aren’t believed to be ready to part with Conley. JLC adds the Eagles, Patriots and Steelers are among the teams exploring what it would take to land a corner.
  • An NFLPA grievance against the Bengals filed on behalf of Eric Reid did not go in the union’s favor, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports. An arbitrator denied the grievance, ruling the Bengals were within their rights to ask the then-free agent safety if he planned on continuing to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. The NFLPA argued the Bengals passed on Reid solely because of the anthem controversy, per Garafolo. Now on the Panthers, Reid has knelt during the anthem with Carolina. His collusion grievance against the NFL is still pending and isn’t expected to be heard in the near future, Garafolo adds.

Jets Place RB Bilal Powell On IR

The Jets placed running back Bilal Powell on injured reserve, according to a club announcement. Powell suffered a neck injury on Sunday against the Vikings, and the injury will bar him from returning this season. 

Sunday’s game could mark the end of Powell’s tenure with the Jets. Powell, a fourth-round pick of Gang Green in 2011, is in the final year of his three-year, $11.25MM extension. While he has been a staple of the Jets’ backfield for years, it’s possible that they’ll go in another direction this offseason.

Powell has never been the most exciting player or much of a household name, but he has been quietly consistent for the Jets. Powell has rushed for an average of 4.4 yards per carry over the course of his eight-year career and been a consistently capable pass-catcher out of the backfield. In 2016, he caught a career-high 58 passes for 388 yards and two receiving scores.

Powell’s 2018 season has come to a close after racking up 343 yards off of 80 carries. He found pay dirt once on a receiving touchdown and he had eleven grabs for 110 yards on the whole.

Without Powell, the Jets may consider adding a running back to add support behind Isaiah Crowell. For now, they’re using the spot to sign safety Ibraheim Campbell. Rookie Trenton Cannon is technically the only other running back on the roster, but Eli McGuire is back practicing and eligible to come off of IR next week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Pats, Von, Steelers, Jets

Mike Klis of 9News obtained a report from a non-Broncos scout who observed linebacker Von Miller nine times last season and concluded that the 27-year-old is a “Hall of Fame-caliber performer.’’ Meanwhile, former Patriots general counsel/player personnel Jack Musa told Klis that the Pats – who are known for preemptively cutting bait on stars – would shop Miller if they were in a similar situation as Denver is now.

“I’m not saying not signing Von Miller is the wrong thing to do. I’m not saying that at all,” said Musa, who was with the Patriots for a decade. “But if you don’t and you’ve moved on from him, you certainly get something from him. You don’t have him sitting out a year and improving his own negotiating leverage – that’s not something we ever experienced in New England but that’s a very real possibility in Denver.’’

The Broncos and Miller are currently in a contract-related showdown, one which they’re running out of time to resolve. If the reigning Super Bowl champions and the franchise-tagged superstar don’t reach an agreement on a long-term deal by July 15 at 4 p.m. ET, they won’t be able to negotiate again until the offseason. That would leave Miller with two options: 1. Continue sitting out in lieu of signing the franchise tender. 2. Sign it and make in the $14MM neighborhood to play this year. If Miller opts for the first choice, the Broncos wouldn’t have the ability to slap the exclusive franchise tag on him next offseason, though they could give him the non-exclusive version. However, the compensation from a team that signs Miller to an offer sheet would decrease in value by a substantial amount, going from two first-round picks to a first- and third-round selection. The Broncos hit Miller with the exclusive designation this year to stop him from trying to hammer out an accord with another team.

Elsewhere around the AFC…

  • The Browns picked up quarterback Robert Griffin III in free agency and ex-Baylor receiver Corey Coleman via the first round of the draft, but they’re nonetheless “going to be a run-oriented football team,” run game coordinator Kirby Wilson told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. As Roster Resource shows, the Browns’ top two rushers from last season – Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson – remain in the equation, and three former undrafted free agents trail behind them. Given that trio’s lack of pedigree and the fact that neither Crowell nor Johnson eclipsed 3.8 yards per carry last season, it’s not exactly the most promising group on paper. Johnson, to his credit, caught 61 passes as a rookie, leading Wilson to call the 2015 third-rounder from Miami “an ultimate weapon.”
  • The five-year, $41.9MM deal – including $8.5MM guaranteed – all-world wide receiver Antonio Brown signed in 2012 is the most team-friendly contract the Steelers have, argues Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap. Brown was behind Mike Wallace on the Steelers’ wideout pecking order at the time, but the former has since combined for a stunning 375 receptions, 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns going back to 2013. Although Pittsburgh took a risk at the time, it now has the biggest veteran bargain in the league, Fitzgerald opines. Conversely, linebacker Lawrence Timmons‘ contract (five years, $47.8MM, $11MM guaranteed) is the Steelers’ worst. While Fitzgerald doesn’t have a problem with the value, he’s critical of the way the Steelers have handled the pact. The club has restructured it three times in a four-year span, effectively guaranteeing four of its five seasons and leaving Timmons without an incentive to accept an extension and lower his cap number – which is the most among inside linebackers this season by over $5MM.
  • Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey could have a harder time dividing touches between his top two running backs this year than he did in 2015, posits Brian Costello of the New York Post. Last season’s Jets prominently featured the duo of bruiser Chris Ivory and dual-threat option Bilal Powell, but the former is now in Jacksonville. The Jets replaced him with Matt Forte, who – like Powell – can do damage both as a rusher and pass catcher. Regardless, Costello argues that New York has a valuable player on its hands in the 27-year-old Powell, without whom it went 1-4 in 2015. As a result of his 11-game, 701-total yard, 47-catch season, the Jets re-signed Powell to a three-year, $11.25MM deal with $6MM in guarantees over the winter. Forte landed a somewhat similar contract at three years, $12MM and $8MM guaranteed.

Contract Details: Smith, Martin, Sweezy, Thornton

Here are some of the latest details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All Twitter links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…

  • Sean Smith, CB (Raiders): Four years, $38MM. $20MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. 2016 $5.75MM base salary is guaranteed. 2017 $5MM salary guaranteed against injury upon signing. 2018 base: $8.25MM. 2019: $8.75MM. $500K annual Pro Bowl incentive. Smith has $4.25MM roster bonus guaranteed on third day of 2017 league year. (Twitter links). $15.25MM fully guaranteed in first 12 months of the deal, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter)
  • Byron Maxwell, CB (Dolphins): As part of restructure, gave back $1.5MM in cash on 2017 salary in exchange for $2MM guaranteed in ’17, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter)
  • Doug Martin, RB (Buccaneers): Five years, $35.75MM. $15MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus on March 14. Guaranteed base salaries of $4MM, $7MM in 2016, 2017. Salaries from 2018-20: $6.75MM, $7MM, $7MM. $1.44MM escalator for stats, playing time, Pro Bowls from 2017-20 (Twitter links)
  • J.R. Sweezy, G (Buccaneers): Five years, $32.5MM. $14.5MM guaranteed. $5MM roster bonus on March 15. Base salaries from 2016-20: $4.5MM, $2.5MM, $6.5MM, $5.75MM, $5.75MM. $2.75MM roster bonus in 2017. (Twitter link)
  • Cedric Thornton, DE (Cowboys): Four years, $17MM. $9MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. Base salaries 2016-19: $1MM (guaranteed), $3MM (guaranteed against injury), $4MM, $4MM. (Twitter link)
  • Tracy Porter, CB (Bears): Three years, $12MM. $4.25MM guaranteed. $900K signing bonus. $1.6MM roster bonus on March 30. Base salaries from 2016-18: $1.5MM, $3.5MM, $3.5MM. $1MM Pro Bowl bonus in each year. (Twitter links via Wilson and Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Bilal Powell, RB (Jets): Three years, $11.25MM. $250MM signing bonus. 2016 base salary of $850K, which is guaranteed. $2.5MM of $3.75MM 2017 base salary guaranteed. (Twitter link)
  • Tony Bergstrom, C (Texans): Two years, $5.75MM. $750K signing bonus. $1.5MM guaranteed. Base salaries in 2016-17: $1.23MM (guaranteed), $2.63MM (guaranteed against injury). $750K roster bonus April 18. (Twitter links)
  • Johnson Bademosi, DB (Lions): Two years, $4.5MM. $2.9MM guaranteed. Base salaries in 2016-17: $1.1MM, $1.3MM. $50K annual workout bonus. $400K Pro Bowl incentive. (Twitter link)

Jets To Re-Sign Bilal Powell

7:11pm: Powell’s new contract with the Jets is a three-year pact worth $11.25MM, with $6MM in fully guaranteed money, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today.

11:28am: The Jets lost one key running back to free agency, but they refused to lose another. Gang Green and Bilal Powell have reached agreement on a new deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Bilal Powell

Powell will now join free agent acquisition Matt Forte in what is shaping up to be a formidable backfield. Chris Ivory, of course, has moved on to the Jaguars, but Forte and Powell should give the Jets two different running styles to throw at opposing defenses. The Jets still have one more free agent tailback to address in Stevan Ridley, though he is considered to be less pivotal to the Jets’ offense than Powell.

Powell averaged a career-high 4.5 yards per carry on 70 attempts last season and added a personal-best 47 receptions. Jets head coach Todd Bowles has been a vocal supporter of the running back and is undoubtedly happy to have him back in the fold.

“He’s been more of a complete back than even I thought he was coming in. He can block. He can run. He’s not just a pass catcher. He does a bunch of things for us,” Bowles said in January.

The 27-year-old has spent all five of his career NFL seasons with the Jets. In terms of overall yards and usage, his best season came in 2013 when he carried the ball 176 times for 697 yards and one touchdown. Last season, Powell had 70 rushing attempts for 313 yards, giving him a 4.5 yards-per-attempt average.

The Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens, and Broncos also showed varying degrees of interest in Powell this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.