Bryce Petty

Jets Rumors: Mayfield, Hackenberg, Teddy

As the Jets prepare to reconvene on Monday for their first day of the offseason program, here’s where their quarterback situation stands — both in terms of veterans and the player they’re eyeing at No. 3.

  • While it’s not certain if Baker Mayfield would win out in a Mayfield-or-Sam Darnold scenario, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes the Oklahoma-developed passer would be Gang Green’s preferred option over Josh Allen. The Jets will be prepared to go with Mayfield’s accuracy — back-to-back seasons with a 71 percent completion rate, albeit in the Sooners’ air raid attack — and his career winning games for the Big 12 school over the Wyoming product with the tantalizing upside. Although, at just 6-foot, Mayfield would be the shortest quarterback the Jets drafted since Jeff Blake in 1992, Cimini writes. Blake did end up having a 14-year career, despite only one of those seasons occurring with the Jets.
  • If the Browns take Allen and the Giants draft Darnold, Cimini expects the Jets to stay with Mayfield if confronted with a Mayfield-or-Josh Rosen decision (Twitter link). While the Jets held a higher opinion of the latter going into the offseason, Mayfield may well have usurped the UCLA product as the draft nears.
  • Lamar Jackson is not under consideration for the Jets at No. 3 overall, per Cimini (on Twitter). While Jackson has met with the Browns, it hasn’t been reported that he visited the Jets, Giants or Broncos. His known meetings have come with the Ravens, Chargers and Saints thus far. And the Patriots have interest in the Louisville standout.
  • Todd Bowles expects Teddy Bridgewater to throw passes this spring, but it’s uncertain how much the recently signed QB will participate in the team portions of these voluntary workouts, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. The Jets signed Bridgewater to an incentive-laden contract, doing so after the Vikings expressed concern about his knee this offseason. For now, Josh McCown is preparing to start for a second season in green.
  • While both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty could be on their way out of the Big Apple soon, Costello writes Petty is the likeliest to be given walking papers before camp commences. As for Hackenberg, there remains a contingent at Jets headquarters hoping he can be salvaged to some degree. However, once the new quarterback arrives, the 2016 second-round pick will be the fourth-string quarterback going into camp. The statuses of these incumbent backups could be determined by how Bridgewater looks in camp. Hackenberg has still yet to play in a regular-season game. Petty finished the past two seasons for the Jets, but has led them to one win in seven starts and last season finished with a 49 percent completion rate.

Jets Notes: Wilkerson, Bowles, QB’s

Jets embattled defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was inactive for the second game in a row in the team’s loss to the Chargers in Week 16. While Wilkerson did sign a lucrative $86MM contract extension about a year and a half ago, it’s unlikely that the former first round pick will be back in New York next season, opines Rich Cimini of ESPN.com.

Heach coach Todd Bowles was unsure whether the healthy scratch trend would continue for Wilkerson in the final week of the regular season, noting to reporters simply that “We’ll see.” Cimini also points out that the decision to keep Wilkerson off the field appeared to come directly from Bowles himself and not the front office.

“I made him inactive,” Bowles said. “Coach’s decision.”

Wilkerson did practice during the week, but notably arrived late for a team meeting, which may have ultimately titled Bowles’ decision to sit his highest-paid player. Cimini further reports that the Jets plan on cutting the 28-year-old before his $16.8MM salary becomes guaranteed in March.

The Jets decided to extend Wilkerson after a 12.5 sack performance in 2015. But he’s disappointed since then, collecting just eight sacks in 28 games, including only 3.5 sacks this season.

Here’s more stories surrounding Gang Green:

  • In another story from Cimini, he passes along that while the Jets will finish under-.500 for the second season in a row, Bowles should still be the team’s head coach come Week 1 next year based on what Jets ownership has said throughout this season. Acting owner Christopher Johnson emphasized early on the word “progress” over “playoffs” and it seems like the team has made a lot of strides in Bowles’ third go around with the franchise. The Jets have been in nearly every game this year without the talent you expect from a at least a mildly competitive team. “You just keep your head down and just keep working,” Bowles said. “We’re in every game. We’re not closing them out. We’re not finishing them. For whatever reason, we’re not making plays in the fourth quarter to finish these games. You keep working and you keep trying to find a solution.” Cimini only sees the Jets ownership firing Bowles if there is a dramatic shift in philosophy, even though there’s be nothing to signal that there is a change in the way Johnson is thinking about the future of the organization.
  • Former fourth round pick Bryce Petty continues to struggle in a starting role for the Jets. Cimini notes that since he made his first start in 2016, the former Baylor quarterback has thrown at least one interception and no more than one touchdown in every start he’s made. Without veteran QB Josh McCown, the team has taken a major step back with Petty under center, which has caused a lot of frustration around the team, according to Brian Costello of the Brian Costello of the New York Post“Bryce needs to work his way through things,” Bowles explained. “It’s only his second game starting this year. He needs to go through that.” However, it’s clear that after two separate tryouts in the past two seasons, Petty doesn’t look like he’s going to be a major factor on the Jets QB depth chart moving forward.
  • Costello also reports that backup quarterback Christian Hackenberg was close to relieving Petty at some point in the second half, but Bowles ultimately decided to keep him on the sideline. “Bryce is the backup quarterback,” Bowles explained. “He won it in the summer. You put the backup in. You don’t put a three over a two. Christian is not that bad. Bryce did not have a good ballgame. It’s only his second start. I’m not going to sit here and condemn the guy because he didn’t play well in week two of starting this year after not playing all year.” Hackenberg has been notably absent from the quarterback conversation since he was drafted by New York in the second of the 2016 NFL Draft. Many pundits understood that he was raw coming out of Penn State, but it’s been surprising that he has gotten zero snaps in what’s been two lost seasons for the franchise. The lack of playing time certainly points to the Jets looking for another long-term option either in the draft or the free agent market for next year’s team.

Extra Points: Anthem, Raiders, Bengals, Jets

Discussion about who stands and who sits for the national anthem could come to an end next season if the owners have their way, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske hears. Maske reports that some NFL owners think there is a “strong possibility” they could enact a change to the league’s policy next season that could keep players off the field during the playing of the national anthem.

Maske quoted one person familiar with the owners’ deliberations saying, “I think that if players are still kneeling at the end of the year, then it could very well happen.” He continued with the source, who said, “I think most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”

The thought this action could quell attention from the league’s anthem issues is a naive one. Players in favor of demonstrating their right to protest are sure to feel disrespected, while having no one standing for the flag is certain to draw ire from a wide range of fans. Whatever the decision, the NFL isn’t likely to escape the spotlight anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Raiders  head coach Jack Del Rio issued a statement on Wednesday stating “nobody should feel comfortable” following the team’s firing of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., NBC Sports’ Scott Blair reports. Del Rio continued, saying, “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.” After starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations, the Raiders are holding out hope for a second-half revival to contend for a wildcard spot.
  • Former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey sat down with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his Know Them From Adam Podcast to give his first interview since being fired in June. In the interview, which the Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff recapped, Dorsey didn’t address his departure much outside of saying he’s had better days. He did claim he wanted to make a return to football, however. “I know I can do my job with the best with my peers in the National Football League,” Dorsey said. “I’m very proud of being able to help an organization re-establish their winning ways, and I think that’s important.”
  • When asked if the team was committed to kicker Randy Bullock for the remainder of the season, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said they were committed to him “for the week.,” ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reports. Bullock has connected on 8-of-10 field goals on the season but has missed an extra point in each of his last two games.
  • It’s getting close to time for the Jets to see what they have in Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. Though Josh McCown has played well, Mehta claims it is time to call the kids up from “Triple-A” to see what they can do.

East Notes: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Eagles

The Dolphins have limited options with linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who left the team on Sunday and forced Miami to file am missing person report, but one avenue could be the left squad list, tweets Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. That mechanism would force Timmons’ contract to toll, but only if he doesn’t return to the club within five days of notice, per Beasley. The Dolphins could also suspend Timmons for up to four games for conduct detrimental, a move that would void the remaining guarantees in the veteran defender’s deal, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes.

  • Rob Gronkowski left the Patriots‘ win with a groin injury on Sunday, but the superstar tight end says the issue is “nothing serious,” according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com“Super relieved,” Gronkowski said. “I knew there was nothing really wrong from the beginning, so I’m good.” Despite not playing the fourth quarter, Gronk managed six receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown against the Saints. If Gronkowski does miss time, New England would turn to Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister at tight end.
  • Third-year pro Bryce Petty will be the Jets‘ No. 2 quarterback for the “foreseeable future,” head coach Todd Bowles told reporters, including Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Petty, who drew trade interest over the summer, was inactive in Week 1 as he recovered from a MCL sprain, but he’s now healthy and set as Josh McCown‘s backup. New York has given no indication that it’s comfortable putting 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenbergh on the field.
  • The Eagles won’t see rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey again this season, as head coach Doug Pederson said Pumphrey’s hamstring tear is a season-ending injury, reports Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Pumphrey was originally thought to be dealing with a four-to-six week issue, meaning he could have been a candidate to return from injured reserve after an eight-week absence. Instead, Philadelphia will go forward with Darren Sproles, LeGarrette BlountWendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement in the backfield.

Two Teams Inquired On Jets QB Bryce Petty

Two unidentified teams inquired on Jets quarterback Bryce Petty‘s availability this summer, but were told New York has no interest in dealing the third-year signal-caller, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Bryce Petty (Vertical)

Petty, a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft, started four games for Gang Green a season ago, completing 56.4% of his passes for 809 yards, three touchdowns, and seven interceptions. The 26-year-old finished dead last in DVOA among quarterbacks with fewer than 200 pass attempts, and ranked second-to-last in total quarterback rating among passers with at least four starts.

Still, Petty could conceivably be part of the Jets’ long-term plans, as he’s signed for two more seasons at cheap rates. His starts in 2016 represented the first action of his NFL career, so his poor results could be chalked up to growing pains. And Petty wasn’t blessed with the most talented of offensive weapons, and was playing behind an offensive line that ranked just 20th in adjusted sack rate.

Jets starting quarterback Josh McCown is notoriously prone to injuries, and given that New York hasn’t shown any inclination to put 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg on the field, Petty could see starts again this year. He’s inactive today against the Bills, however, as he’s presumably still recovering from a Grade 1 MCL sprain sustained during the preseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Name Josh McCown As Starting QB

With one more preseason game on the docket, the Jets’ quarterback competition is already over. Josh McCown will be the team’s starter in Week 1, head coach Todd Bowles announced. Josh McCown (vertical)

[RELATED: Jets, Colts Complete Trade]

This was the expected outcome for the Jets’ QB battle as Christian Hackenberg has struggled and Bryce Petty has failed to really pull away from the pack. Petty did perform better than Hackenberg this offseason, but he is currently nursing a knee injury suffered in Saturday night’s preseason contest against the Giants. With that in mind, Bowles says that no determination has been made about the team’s No. 2 QB role.

McCown, 38, joined the Jets on a one-year, $6MM contract this offseason, turning down opportunities to serve as a backup on a contending team for less money. He’ll have the opportunity to start for the Jets until they figure out the future of the position for 2018 and beyond.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bills, Petty

The Patriots waived/injured Matt Lengel earlier today, leading ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss to wonder whether the team will carry three tight ends heading into the regular season. Behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, the team is now rostering third-year player James O’Shaughnessy and undrafted rookies Jacob Hollister and Sam Cotton. Reiss writes that O’Shaughnessy’s special teams prowess makes him the favorite for the third tight end spot, but he adds that Hollister did earn the praise of coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots also have fullback James Develin, who often spends time practicing with the tight ends.

Reiss also notes that the Patriots carried four tight ends heading into last season, but they whittled that number down to two following the A.J. Derby trade and release of Clay Harbor. Ultimately, the writer believes the team will carry a third tight end, but he warns that the organization could carry two as they look to keep an extra player elsewhere.

More notes from around the AFC East…

  • The Patriots are more likely to make an external addition to replace Julian Edelman at wide receiver or Kony Ealy at defensive end than to give an incumbent player more snaps, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Edelman is lost for the season after tearing his ACL over the weekend, while New England waived Ealy on Saturday. At wideout, specifically, Austin Carr and Devin Lucien are more likely to earn a spot on the Patriots’ practice squad than make the club’s 53-man roster, per Reiss.
  • With both Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates in the concussion protocol, the Bills are considering signing another quarterback, head coach Sean McDermott told reporters, including Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). At present, Buffalo only boasts one healthy quarterback in rookie Nathan Peterman, meaning it could be difficult for the club to even get through a practice session. As such, the Bills are likely looking at camp arms or developmental options, not a Colin Kaepernick-level addition.
  • McDermott also confirmed that 2016 second-round linebacker Reggie Ragland is fighting for a Bills roster spot, as Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets. Playing behind Preston Brown and Gerald Hodges, Ragland has been mentioned as a trade candidate, but it’s also possible he’s simply waived. Ragland, 23, missed the entirey of his rookie campaign with an ACL injury, and neither McDermott nor general manager Brandon Beane has any allegiance to the Alabama product given the he was drafted by Buffalo’s previous regime.
  • Bryce Petty survived an injury scare following last night’s preseason game, as the Jets quarterback escaped with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who adds Petty is hopeful he’ll be able to play in New York’s final exhibition contest on Thursday night. The 26-year-old Petty performed admirably against the Giants, completing 15 of 18 pass attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns (although that action came against Big Blue’s backups). Jets head coach Todd Bowles is expected to announce the club’s starting quarterback early this week, with Petty, Josh McCown, and Christian Hackenberg among those in contention for the job.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

East Notes: Jets, Blount, Cowboys

It has been assumed for some time that Josh McCown would at least open the 2017 season as the Jets‘ starting quarterback, but the team needs to give Christian Hackenberg a look this year in order to see what they have in him, and to that end, Hackenberg got a surprise start in last night’s preseason matchup against the Lions.

It did not go well. Hackenberg took a big step backward from his solid outing last week, going 2-for-6 for 14 yards. He was sacked twice, he fumbled once, and four of his five drives were three-and-outs. Although head coach Todd Bowles attempted to take some of the heat off Hackenberg by pointing out that the offensive line did not give him much of a chance, Brian Costello of the New York Post believes McCown won the team’s starting job last night, and he didn’t even have to take a snap to do it.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with more from Gang Green:

  • McCown was initially supposed to take more snaps in last night’s game than he did in the Jets‘ first preseason contest, but Bowles said he changed his mind on Thursday night, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Bowles said McCown “has played in a million preseason games” and therefore elected to give Hackenberg a shot. However, Mehta reports that McCown was told by a media relations advisor to not speak with reporters after the game, even though McCown was apparently open to talking. It is unclear what the team’s motivation in “censoring” McCown would be, but it is an interesting move just the same.
  • Unlike Hackenberg, Jets No. 3 signal-caller Bryce Petty performed fairly well last night, going 15-for-24 for 160 yards and leading two field goal drives. Per Mehta, Petty has secured a roster spot unless he suffers a complete meltdown over the next several weeks.
  • Mehta also observes that Ross Martin, who made a pair of short field goals last night to go along with a miss from 56 yards, remains the front-runner to win the Jets‘ kicking job over Chandler Catanzaro, who missed a 55-yarder in the preseason opener but did not get an attempt last night.
  • Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount is coming off one of his best seasons, but he struggled to find a new home in free agency this offseason, and the short-yardage specialist may be on the roster bubble in Philly, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (citing Matt Lombardo of NJ.com) writes. Although Blount does not really fit the Eagles’ offense, it may not be wise to cut him, as Wendell Smallwood has had difficulty staying healthy, Darren Sproles is 34, and Donnel Pumphrey is a fourth-round rookie.
  • Cowboys No. 2 QB Kellen Moore turned in another poor performance during last night’s contest against the Colts, and while the team continues to publicly support him, an unnamed source tells Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Moore will be the subject of conversation at personnel meetings this week. It is unclear what that means at this point, because the team will certainly not promote undrafted rookie Cooper Rush to the backup job, no matter how well he has played, and the Cowboys have not yet considered adding a proven free agent to compete with Moore.
  • It was a different story for Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, who finally played in a football game last night after 596 days on the sidelines. Smith, who suffered a gruesome knee injury during the final game of his collegiate career on January 1, 2016, saw his draft stock plummet as a result and was ultimately scooped up by Dallas in the second round of the 2016 draft (he was originally considered a top-10, or even top-5, talent). The Cowboys knew 2016 would essentially be a medical redshirt year for Smith, but they also knew that, if Smith could overcome the injury, they could have something special on their hands. The nerve in Smith’s leg continues to regenerate, and as Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News writes, Smith looked solid in last night’s preseason game. He was in for 12 snaps, he moved well, and he was quick to the ball, further solidifying the team;s belief that he will be a significant contributor this year.

AFC Notes: Browns, Texans, Jags, Jets

Second-round signal-caller DeShone Kizer is in the mold of Super Bowl-winning division rivals Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) and Joe Flacco (Ravens), according to Browns quarterbacks coach David Lee, but it doesn’t sound as if he’ll see the field for a while. “He’s got a great future,” Lee told reporters, including Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “He’s just a long way from being ready. He’s not ready, but he’s climbing on it, and he’s making progress.”

Kizer, the 52nd overall pick from Notre Dame, is competing against Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler to open the season as the Browns’ starter. Osweiler has impressed Cleveland’s coaches since coming over in March in a surprising trade with Houston, and the fact that he’s the most experienced and accomplished of the Browns’ QBs matters to Lee. “You can say what you want, but the guy in the last two years has taken two different teams [Texans and Denver Broncos] to the playoffs, and there’s nobody else in that room that can say that,” Lee pointed out. “Plus, this is his sixth year of experience. [The other guys have] got [little or] no experience. … So he’s the senior citizen. He looks like a guy who’s played before. He’s great at the line of scrimmage. He’s great in the huddle, I mean calming effect. Is he the quarterback? We don’t have one yet, but he’s in the mix for sure.”

  • The Texans worked out safety Jaiquawn Jarrett on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Jarrett, a former second-round pick, spent the first two seasons of his career with the Eagles before joining the Jets from 2013-15. He didn’t appear in the NFL in 2016. A veteran of 47 career games, Jarrett boasts nine starts through five pro seasons. Houston has no plans to sign either Jarrett or fellow defensive back Aaron Williams, whom the Texans hosted earlier this week, as Wilson writes in a full article.
  • Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey underwent core muscle surgery Thursday, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafalo, who adds that he should be ready for the regular season (Twitter link). Ramsey also dealt with a notable injury last spring, a torn meniscus that required surgery and kept him out of organized team activities and minicamp, but still went on to post an excellent rookie season. Last year’s fifth overall pick, Ramsey started all 16 of the Jags’ games, intercepted two passes (one of which he returned for a touchdown) and ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 21st-best corner.
  • Josh McCown has a smaller-than-anticipated lead over Christian Hackenberg as the Jets’ training camp quarterback battle approaches, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. McCown wasn’t all that sharp in minicamp, whereas Hackenberg exceeded expectations, per Cimini, who notes that Bryce Petty is a clear third in the race. The Jets invested a second-rounder in Hackenberg only a year ago, but it seems the ex-Penn State Nittany Lion is widely regarded as a lost cause after he couldn’t crack the lineup last season for a club whose QB play was among the worst in the league. But Hackenberg should get on the field sometime this year for a team that’s now in a full-scale rebuild.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC East Rumors: Jets, Richardson, Patriots

Tell us what you really think, Sheldon Richardson. On Tuesday, the Jets defensive lineman ripped former teammate Brandon Marshall. He says the Jets’ locker room atmosphere is better than it was last year. He elaborated by saying, “Let’s just say there are 15 reasons why it’s better” (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News). The mention of “15” was a clear reference to Marshall’s jersey number.

The locker room may be better, but it’s not clear if the team will be any better than it was last year. As it stands, the rebuilding Jets might have the least talented roster in the NFL.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Andrew Hawkins declined four other offers so that he could play with the Patriots and catch passes from Tom Brady, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Hawkins inked a one-year deal with New England, but his place on the 53-man roster is not a sure thing given all of the talent New England has.
  • Jets offensive coordinator John Morton says quarterbacks Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg will all get first team reps, as Peter Schrager of NFL.com tweets. It seems that the Jets have an open competition going for the starting job, though I personally view McCown as the odds-on favorite.
  • Jets safety Calvin Pryor, who has been the subject of trade talk, showed up for OTAs on Wednesday (Twitter link via Mehta).