November 15th, 2020 at 6:11pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Jets still haven’t won a game, and it’s being treated by many like a foregone conclusion they’ll draft Trevor Lawrence if they get the first overall pick. But at least publicly, the team is still making it sound like they believe in Sam Darnold long-term. Speaking to the media recently, GM Joe Douglas indicated he doesn’t think Darnold is the problem. “I certainly haven’t done a good enough job of surrounding Sam with the weapons he needed last year or this year,” Douglas said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “I’m looking at what I can do better moving forward in terms of making sure that we have the right skill and the right protection for him.”
Interestingly, Vacchiano writes that Douglas “expressed regret” about misreading the contract market for receiver Robby Anderson this past offseason. The Jets, of course, let Anderson walk to the Panthers back in March, and apparently Douglas thought he was going to get a bigger deal. Vacchiano writes that Douglas made “it sound like he would’ve been interested if he knew Anderson would only command $10 million per year.” That probably won’t satisfy New York fans. The cupboard has been pretty bare, with Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman operating as their top two wideouts when healthy.
Here’s more from the AFC:
The Jets just got cornerback Corey Ballentine off waivers from the Giants, and they weren’t the only AFC teams interested. The Ravens and Texans also put in claims for the young corner, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. The Texans are toward the top of the waiver wire themselves, but they couldn’t beat out the winless Jets. Ballentine was drafted in the sixth-round by the Giants in 2019. He started two games as a rookie and the first two games of this season before quickly falling out of favor with Joe Judge’s staff.
The Patriots look to be in the midst of a rebuilding year, which is a big disappointment after they got off to a 2-1 start with Cam Newton. If Newton doesn’t show enough down the stretch to get brought back in 2021, all eyes will turn to what Bill Belichick does in the draft. The Pats could be picking toward the top of the first-round for the first time in many years, providing them with a rare opportunity. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe recently took a look at the quarterback market for 2021, and NFL Network Daniel Jeremiah thought North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance makes a lot of sense for the Patriots. “I think Lance would be an incredible fit,” he said. “Big, strong, athletic, and smart. He has been in a complex system with a lot of responsibility on his plate. His competitiveness and toughness would be appreciated by Bill Belichick.” Lance is regarded by many as the third-best quarterback in this draft class behind Lawrence and Justin Fields.
The Giants announced this morning that starting quarterback DanielJones has been ruled out for Monday’s game against the Eagles. This means EliManning will get the start for New York.
We heard rumblings earlier this week that Manning could get the start for the Giants. Jones was continuing to recover from a mild high-ankle sprain, and the injury was expected to knock the rookie out of the lineup.
So in comes Manning, who will get his (presumable) farewell tour with the organization. It was clear that the 38-year-old’s time with the organization was coming to an end when they selected Jones with the sixth-overall pick in this past year’s draft. The veteran got a pair of starts for the Giants before giving way to the 22-year-old, who has started the last 10 games.
Manning hasn’t seen the field since that Week 2 start against the Bills. Up to that point of the season, Manning had completed 62.9% of his passes for 556 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. However, in 2018, the 38-year-old raised his completion rate to a career-high 66%, and his 7.5 yards-per-attempt average was considerably higher than it was in the previous two seasons. He also dropped his interceptions total (11) to the lowest its been during his 14 seasons a full-time starter.
Manning will now have an opportunity to show teams that he’s still capable of playing in the NFL. The veteran says he plans on playing through at least the 2020 season, but it’s unlikely to be with the Giants. His $23.2MM salary limited his trade appeal this year – and Manning wouldn’t have waived his no-trade clause, anyway – but there figure to be many QB-needy teams speaking with the future Hall of Famer in March.
Jones won’t be the only Giants player missing Monday’s game. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets that tight ends EvanEngram (foot) and RhettEllison (concussion), as well as cornerback CoreyBallentine (concussion), have also been ruled out.
The Giants have signed sixth-round cornerback Corey Ballentine, according to a team announcement. Ballentine was shot in a tragic event that took the life of his friend and teammate on the night he was drafted, but he is expected to play at some point in the future.
The Washburn University product is still recovering from the incident, both physically and mentally. The Giants instructed him to stay home for the early portion of the team’s workouts, but he’s now on hand to observe the second phase of the offseason program. He should be cleared to participate at some point this offseason, but there’s no definitive timetable yet.
Ballentine was one of three cornerbacks drafted by the Giants this year, along with Georgia’s Deandre Baker (first round) and Notre Dame’s Julian Love (fourth round). Love has signed, but Baker is one of the Giants’ four remaining unsigned selections.
In accordance with his slot, Ballentine will earn $2.7MM over the course of his four-year deal.
Prior to the Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones, the Bills were engaged in talks to move down from their No. 9 spot. In a must-watch piece for Bills fans and draft buffs, Brandon Beane allowed partial access to his team’s draft room (video link). Buffalo scrapped talks to trade down once New York selected Jones, with Beane zeroing in on Ed Oliver shortly after. It appeared the Bills, despite taking Dawson Knox in Round 3, did not have interest in T.J. Hockenson, the Lions’ selection at No. 8. Applause occurred after Detroit left Oliver on the board.
The Bills also offered an undisclosed team picking in the 20s, which initiated the talks, picks 40, 131 and 147. (Beane said multiple teams contacted him to inquire if the Bills wanted to move back into Round 1.) But said team did not believe that was enough to move out of the round. This move was likely for Cody Ford. The Bills attempted to trade up higher than they did in order to land Ford in the second round, with members of their draft room showing relief the Panthers — whom Bills execs assumed were taking the Oklahoma lineman — before striking a deal with the Raiders for No. 38. The Bills also rebuffed a Bears offer to move out of No. 74, which ended up sending running back Devin Singletary to Buffalo.
Moving to an NFCer’s defensive line situation, here is the latest from the East divisions:
The Eagles released Timmy Jernigan but brought him back at what turned out to be a substantial discount. After signing a four-year, $48MM extension late in 2017, Jernigan had to settle for a one-year, $1.25MM deal, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. This comes with $1MM guaranteed, including a $250K signing bonus. Another $750K is available in incentives, per Frank. Jernigan now enters what will be a significant season for his career trajectory. A full-time starter for the Super Bowl champion Eagles edition, Jernigan will only be 27 by the time free agency opens in 2020.
Currently at the Vikings‘ rookie camp, Sean McGuire appears to have another suitor in the event Minnesota does not sign him. The Dolphins are interested in adding the Western Illinois quarterback prospect, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). The Dolphins want to add a quarterback before their rookie camp begins May 10, Jackson continues. Miami now has Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Lions backup Jake Rudock on its roster. The Dolphins cut Luke Falk earlier this week. McGuire would seemingly compete for a third-string job or practice squad slot in Miami.
Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine did not show for their rookie minicamp this weekend. The team wants the recent gunshot victim to stay in Kansas and be with family, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The Washburn-developed cornerback is expected to make a full recovery and attempt to make Big Blue’s 53-man roster — one without many surefire answers at corner.
Former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is officially listed on the Giants’ roster as a quarterback/tight end, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Dungey was a dual-threat player for the Orange, finishing his career with 1,993 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns.