Chris Herndon

Vikings To Trade For Jets TE Chris Herndon

In the wake of Irv Smith Jr’s knee injury, the Vikings are making a significant move at tight end. Minnesota is making a trade for the Jets involving draft pick compensation for tight end Chris Herndon. The Jets are sending Herndon and a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Vikings for a 2022 fourth-round pick (via Tom Pelissero on Twitter).

Smith was supposed to take over as the team’s starter after the offseason departure of longtime starter Kyle Rudolph, but we heard just a couple of days ago that Smith was having surgery for a meniscus injury that will sideline him for the early part of the season.

The depth chart got pretty thin after that, so some sort of move was always likely. Herndon was a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2018, and he flashed major potential as a rookie. In his first year as a pro he put up 502 yards and four touchdowns, very impressive numbers for a rookie tight end.

Unfortunately he was suspended for the first four games of 2019 for a substance abuse policy violation, and then played in only one game that year after hurting himself. He returned to play all 16 games last year, but had only 287 yards as the Jets’ whole passing game struggled.

He’s still only 25 and has always been talked about as a potential breakout guy, so the addition makes a lot of sense for the Vikings. It’s also a big opportunity for Herndon as he’s set to hit free agency for the first time next offseason. The Jets will now move forward with Tyler Kroft as the unquestioned starter at tight end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Start Morgan Moses At RT, Tyler Kroft Could Start At TE?

On a quiet Tuesday afternoon, we’ve got news on a couple of Jets position battles to pass along. New York just signed tackle Morgan Moses on Friday, and the initial assumption was that he might compete with George Fant to be the Jets’ right tackle opposite Mekhi Becton.

Apparently, it won’t be much of a competition. “Even if the Jets tout this as a competition, Moses is the starting right tackle,” Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. He says the team “might try to sell this as a competition in training camp to soothe Fant’s ego and also avoid the embarrassing questions about paying a backup tackle an $8.5 million salary,” but that Moses will be the starter when it’s all said and done.

Moses got a $3.6MM base with incentives up to $5.3MM on his one-year deal. He was cut by Washington last month after not missing a start in six straight seasons for them. Meanwhile, Costello writes in a separate piece that Tyler Kroft may end up as the team’s starting tight end.

He says Kroft “has been one of the bigger surprises of the spring,” has received plenty of reps with the first-team in practices, and “could beat out Chris Herndon for the job if Herndon does not shake out of the funk he was in last year.”

The Jets didn’t get much from the position last year, (Herndon had 31/287/3 in 16 games), so it’s not shocking they’re considering other options. Kroft didn’t do too much with Buffalo the last couple years, but he had 42/404/7 when he was last a starter with the Bengals in 2017. He signed a one-year deal with the Jets back in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Thomas, Njoku, Watt, Jets

Saints head coach Sean Payton has said his team has no interest in trading star receiver Michael Thomas, though Thomas’ camp was recently said to be looking for potential deals. There has been no movement towards a Thomas trade, and whether that’s because New Orleans has no interest in dealing him or because the club has not received an offer it likes, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Thomas will stay put.

With the trade deadline two days away, let’s round up a few more rumors on players who could be on the move:

  • The Browns don’t want to trade tight end David Njoku, but Njoku has renewed his request to be dealt, and Rapoport says Cleveland has been fielding calls on the former first-rounder. It may take at least a fourth-round pick to get a deal done, but with Austin Hooper set to return and with the emergence of rookie Harrison Bryant, the Browns may elect to move Njoku.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the Texans are at the center of the trade market, with one executive saying Houston could move as many as five players if it wants to. Rapoport expects the Packersinterest in Will Fuller — which dates back to the summer — to ramp up, but it will likely take a high pick to convince the Texans to move Fuller. Fellow WR Kenny Stills has also drawn some interest, though rival clubs see the contracts for Stills and Randall Cobb as prohibitive. DE J.J. Watt may be receptive to a trade, but considering his contract and age, other teams probably don’t value him like the Texans do.
  • The Jets have received calls on LB Avery Williamson, OTs George Fant and Chuma Edoga, and CB Quincy Wilson, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says the Steelers — who recently lost Devin Bush for the season — could be in the market for Williamson, and Edoga also seems like a good bet to be dealt since he does not look like a fit with the current regime.
  • La Canfora says teams have also called the Jets about WR Breshad Perriman and TE Chris Herndon, though Breer notes that safety Marcus Maye has not drawn much interest.
  • Rapoport names Dolphins RB Jordan Howard and Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister as two other players who could be moved. And though the Bengals are shopping disgruntled wideout John Ross, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com says there hasn’t been interest in Ross (Twitter link).

AFC East Notes: Brady, Jenkins, Lotulelei

Patriots QB Tom Brady will play against the Cowboys this afternoon, but as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) notes, the team will need to closely monitor Brady’s elbow moving forward. Brady was unable to finish practice on Friday due to elbow pain, and while he was able to take all necessary reps on Saturday, he will continue to get work on the elbow as the season goes on.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • It’s not unusual for teams to distance themselves from certain prospects in the pre-draft process in order to hide their interest in those prospects, and that’s exactly what the Patriots did with punter Jake Bailey, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. New England neither interviewed nor held a workout with Bailey, but it traded up in the fifth round of this year’s draft to select him. That move paid off, as the rookie specialist has two AFC Special Teams Player of the Week nods and is currently a favorite for the Pro Bowl.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com expects the Jets to make a concerted effort to re-sign linebacker Jordan Jenkins this offseason. Jenkins, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time, has steadily improved during his first four years in the league, and despite missing two games this season with a calf injury, he has posted five sacks, just two shy of his career-high of seven (which he set last year). Jenkins will likely command a contract paying him over $10MM per year.
  • The Jets will have a lot of positions to address this offseason, but tight end isn’t one of them. As Cimini tweets, the club appears set at TE with Ryan Griffin — who agreed to a three-year extension on Saturday — Chris Herndon, and improving rookie Trevon Wesco.
  • Bills fans have been less than impressed with the performances of front-seven defenders Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy, but Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Lotulelei will definitely be back with the team next year (the Bills could save $10.1MM against the 2020 cap by cutting Lotulelei after the season, but they would also take on a $7.8MM dead cap charge). Murphy’s status is a bit tougher to predict, but if the Bills move on from Shaq Lawson, Murphy is likely to be back for the final year of his contract.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/13/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promoted from practice squad: T Chandler Brewer, DB Donte Deayon

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chris Herndon, Brian Winters To Miss Time

Chris Herndon‘s second NFL season may end up including just one game. Adam Gase said Monday the promising tight end suffered a fractured rib in his Week 10 debut, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).

Guard Brian Winters‘ season is also in jeopardy. The seventh-year blocker is unlikely to play again in 2019 after he suffered a dislocated shoulder, Gase said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, on Twitter). Surgery is in play for Winters, Cimini tweets. Shoulder trouble sidelined Winters over the summer, and Mehta notes (via Twitter) he has been playing through pain all season and was told to have surgery earlier. But Winters started all nine Jets games this season.

Herndon began his season with a four-game suspension but did not debut until Week 10 because of a hamstring injury. He may have 10 months before he can rebound. Two seasons remain on Herndon’s rookie deal. Winters, however, has a non-guaranteed $7MM remaining on his Jets pact. Considering how new GM Joe Douglas has proceeded with Mike Maccagnan offensive line investments, Winters may have played his final down as a Jet.

Winters is the longest-tenured Jets offensive lineman, beginning his career when Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson anchored the group. He’s made 79 starts for the Jets since joining the team as a third-round pick in 2013. Gang Green has already experienced issues across their O-line this season. They have shuffled players at left tackle, right tackle and left guard. Tom Compton took Winters’ place at right guard Sunday and figures to start in Week 11.

The Jets added Ryan Griffin as a Herndon stopgap this offseason, and the veteran will continue to play a key role in New York’s passing game. He’s caught 20 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Herndon snared one pass Sunday. His 502 yards last season were the third-most most by a Jets rookie tight end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Activate TE Chris Herndon

Chris Herndon may be in line to finally make his 2019 debut. The Jets activated the tight end Monday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. The team waived linebacker Frankie Luvu.

Suspended for four games to start the season, Herndon experienced hamstring discomfort last week. That led to the Jets keeping him off their active roster. Now that Herndon is back on their 53-man squad, he stands to soon reclaim his starting tight end post.

Although it’s not a lock Herndon makes his sophomore-season debut next week, due to the uncertainty surrounding his injury, Adam Gase hopes he will practice in the lead-up to the Jets’ rematch with the Patriots. Herndon’s roster exemption expired today. The Jets and Patriots have the New Jersey leg of their season series on tap for next Monday. The home team is a 9.5-point underdog.

Herndon caught 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, doing so despite being a fourth-round pick. That yardage total was third-most in Jets history for a rookie tight end, trailing Pete Lammons (1966) and Dustin Keller (2008).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Chris Herndon To Miss More Time

The Jets could use all the help they can get. But, for this week, and probably next week, they won’t be getting any aid from tight end Chris Herndon, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Herndon suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain while running routes late last week, ruling him out for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys and, in all likelihood, the Week 7 Monday night game against the Patriots. It’s the latest setback in a frustrating season for both the Jets and the NFL sophomore. Herndon missed the first four games of the season thanks to a suspension and the Jets are 0-4.

Last year, Herndon finished out with 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns. Unless he goes on a tear in a rocky Jets offense across the final ten games of the year, he probably won’t top those totals this year.

On the plus side: quarterback Sam Darnold is ready to rock and roll and running back Le’Veon Bell says he has no reservations about his workload.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Chris Herndon Suspended By NFL

Jets tight end Chris Herndon has been suspended for four games by the NFL. Herndon’s ban stems from a drunk driving arrest and subsequent guilty plea. 

Ordinarily, Herndon would be facing a two-game ban for the violation. However, a woman at the scene of the crash later claimed bodily harm, raising the suspension to four games.

As a rookie, Herndon tallied 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns across a full 16-game slate. This year, he won’t be eligible to play until Oct. 13, but can participate in preseason contests.

It’s a bad blow for the Jets as Herndon is among their most promising young offensive players. They’ll have to get by without him for games against the Bills, Browns, Patriots, and Eagles before he can return to face the Cowboys.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Foles, Woods, Jets, Bills

Nick Foles played a major role in ensuring the Super Bowl champions could attempt to defend their title in this year’s playoffs, and the Eagles want to compensate him accordingly. The veteran quarterback came four plays short of a $1MM bonus in Week 17, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the Eagles are trying to find a solution to pay him that bonus. The Eagles sweetened Foles’ deal this past offseason, after he’d led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title. One of these incentives would have triggered had the Eagles made the playoffs with Foles playing 33 percent of the snaps. With Carson Wentz‘s backup being required to start and finish the season, that became attainable. But Foles went down during the Eagles’ Week 17 win over the Redskins.

Here is the latest from the Eastern front:

  • Jay Gruden will remain in Washington, but one of his assistants will not. The Redskins are letting secondary coach Torrian Gray go, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Washington appears to have two-year Denver defensive coordinator Joe Woods in mind for this job, but the Jaguars are also eyeing Woods, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Broncos’ hiring of Vic Fangio would appear to point to Woods being free to seek work elsewhere. Gray coached Washington’s DBs the past two years.
  • The Bills extended in-season quarterback acquisitions Derek Anderson and Matt Barkley recently, and the Buffalo backups’ salaries are now known. Barkley signed a two-year extension that will produce non-guaranteed base salaries of $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com notes, adding Barkley will receive a $600K signing bonus ($200K of which counts against Buffalo’s 2018 cap). Near-$1MM incentives exist in each season of this deal, too. Anderson signed a one-year extension for the veteran minimum ($1.03MM), per Rodak (on Twitter). He received a $90K signing bonus.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon pleaded guilty to a New Jersey DWI charge, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. This comes from a June 2018 arrest following a car accident. This will likely result in a 2019 suspension for the Jets’ top tight end.