Denzel Mims

AFC East Notes: Bills, Mims, Tua

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear that the Bills need to address their stadium situation in the near future to keep the club in western New York, and Bills ownership remains committed to that goal. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears from team and league sources that owners Terry and Kim Pegula have not even investigated the possibility of moving the team to a different city. Instead, the Pegulas continue to work towards building a new stadium near the current one.

The Pegulas will push for the issue to become a top priority for state and local government, and they are optimistic that the recent change in New York leadership will help their pursuit. New governor Kathy Hochul has strong ties to western NY and good relationships with many members of the Buffalo organization who would be working on the project, and as of now, the sense is that the Bills will be staying put.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • Much has been made of Denzel Mims‘ future with the Jets and whether the second-year wideout could be a trade candidate, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com hears that Mims is not going anywhere, which jibes with a recent report from the NFL Network. Indeed, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv writes, Mims is going to get a real opportunity to shine when Gang Green takes on the Titans this afternoon. Head coach Robert Saleh said Mims “is going to get some opportunities. Hopefully he takes advantage of them. We’re expecting him to.”
  • Cimini adds that, at this point, WR Jamison Crowder is the most likely player on the Jets‘ roster to be traded in the coming weeks. Although safety Marcus Maye could theoretically be on the move — his agent recently tweeted that Maye will be recovered from his ankle injury by the trade deadline, a clear attempt to drum up interest — his salary could be prohibitive for many clubs. Maye will still be owed another ~$6MM for 2021 by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
  • Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is eligible to come off IR for the team’s October 17 matchup with the Jaguars, and he will be ready to return to action by that date, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Of course, it remains to be seen if Tagovailoa — who is dealing with multiple fractured ribs — will be reinserted into the starting lineup at that time, or if Miami will continue to roll with Jacoby Brissett. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson trade rumors continue to swirl.

Jets Continue To Turn Down Trade Offers For WR Denzel Mims

Despite only seeing three snaps through the first two weeks of the season, Jets wideout Denzel Mims apparently remains in the team’s plans. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter), the Jets have continued to turn away trade suitors.

We previously heard that teams were keeping an eye on Mims’ status (and growing frustration) in New York, but Garafolo notes that teams keep “calling and calling and calling” the Jets about the receiver’s availability. That included this past week, which followed a Week 2 game where Mims was inactive. Still, Joe Douglas and the front office seemingly believe in the talented offensive weapon, as they’ve rebuffed all inquiries.

The Jets selected Mims in the second round of the 2020 draft, and following a rookie campaign that saw him finish with only 357 receiving yards, there was hope that he’d take a step forward with second-overall pick Zach Wilson under center. Instead, Mims has only seen three snaps (one of which resulted in a 40-yard reception) through two weeks.

According to Garafolo, the team is attributing Mims’ lack of playing time to a crowded depth chart. Since the second-year player is behind Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Elijah Moore on the depth chart, the coaching staff wants Mims to learn each of the receiver roles, something the 23-year-old has apparently yet to master. Crowder is doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Broncos, so there’s a chance that Mims could find himself getting some reps.

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Jets WR Denzel Mims A Trade Candidate?

In early August, we heard that Jets’ second-year receiver Denzel Mims could be on the roster bubble. Shortly thereafter, Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com reported that Gang Green had no intentions of moving on from Mims, and that he had only fallen down the club’s WR depth chart because a bad reaction to antibiotics caused him to lose a great deal of weight, which prevented him from fully participating in the offseason program and grasping the new coaching staff’s offense.

One week into the 2021 campaign, however, the rumors continue to persist. Mims, whom the Jets selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, saw only three snaps in New York’s season-opening loss to the Panthers last Sunday — one of which resulted in a 40-yard reception — and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says the Baylor product is frustrated with the situation.

In response to questions about Mims’ lack of usage, head coach Robert Saleh said that the backup wideouts like Mims need to understand how to play “multiple spots” in order to see the field more when one of the top three WRs needs a break. So while it seems that Mims still does not have a full grasp of the playbook, Cimini understandably wonders why the Jets are limiting themselves to a three-receiver rotation and why they can’t find more playing time for a player who, while still raw in some areas, offers plenty of size and athleticism and who showed some flashes as a rookie.

When one considers that New York also seems determined to transform rookie receiver Elijah Moore, whose skill-set seems best-suited to the slot, into an outside target, Saleh’s response becomes less defensible. And, as Cimini writes, Mims is unlikely to dress for today’s Week 2 battle with the Patriots.

The ESPN scribe says that other teams are monitoring Mims’ status, and that at least two clubs could have interest if he became available via trade. Indeed, Pauline’s report from last month said Mims’ stock league-wide was still high, and there’s no reason to believe that has changed in the last few weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Not Looking To Move On From Denzel Mims?

Got news for Jets fans, as we finally have a positive update to pass along on young receiver Denzel Mims. First we heard that he was falling behind on the depth chart in training camp, and then there were rumblings late last week that he might not be long for the team.

Apparently, the concerns have been overblown. The Jets “are not looking to trade or cut” Mims, sources tell Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com. New York drafted Mims in the second-round just last year, so it always would’ve been surprising if he had actually been on his way out. His stock apparently hasn’t taken much of a tumble league-wide, as a source told Pauline that “if the Jets want to trade or cut Mims, 31 teams in the league would line up for him.”

Additionally, Pauline has some more details on why Mims fell behind this offseason. Apparently he lost a ton of weight after having a bad reaction to antibiotics he was put on for food poisoning. That unfortunately left him “unable to participate in the offseason program properly.” Sources told Pauline that led him to fall behind on the installation of the new coaching staff’s offense.

Pauline says Mims is still a favorite of GM Joe Douglas, which will go a long way toward keeping him around. The Baylor product was limited to nine games as a rookie by a hamstring injury, but he was reasonably productive in those nine contests, finishing with 23 catches for 357 yards.

It sounds like Mims isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but he’ll still have his work cut out for him to get on the field. The Jets currently have at least free agent signees Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, veteran Jamison Crowder, and rookie Elijah Moore ahead of him in the pecking order.

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Jets WR Denzel Mims On Roster Bubble?

Last year, the Jets were ecstatic to nab one of the draft’s best wide receivers in the second round. Today, wide receiver Denzel Mims finds himself sixth or seventh on the depth chart, raising serious questions about his future with the team (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini).

He’s learning, he’s getting better,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “For him, I told him the other day, ‘The more you’re on your stuff, the more opportunities you’re going to get. And the more you’re on your stuff, the more you’re going to be the Denzel Mims that we all know.’ What I’ve really liked, he’s responded a lot in the last few days. He’s had better practices.”

Despite the encouragement, Mims finds himself behind Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, rookie Elijah Moore, Keelan Cole, and Vyncint Smith. On some days, he’s slotted below speedy journeyman Braxton Berrios, leaving him as the Jets’ WR7.

Mims was slowed by hamstring injuries last year and sidelined by an illness for much of the summer. That hasn’t given him much time to shore up his route running, which is vital to LaFleur’s West Coast scheme.

It’s different because in this system, we are much tighter and we’re more in a phone booth as wide receivers,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “It’s not just playing out in space and having easy releases and having wiggle room. There’s a lot more fighting for leverage..Your lower half comes into play a heck of a lot more, especially when you’re in a phone booth.”

Mims posted two 1,000-yard seasons at Baylor and scored 28 touchdowns over his final three seasons. As a rookie, he posted just 23 catches for 357 yards with zero TDs. In theory, the Jets could shop Mims around, but they won’t be able to recoup anything close to the second-round pick used to take him just last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Waddle, Howard, Jets, QBs, Mims

The Dolphins just made a massive investment in Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle by taking him with the sixth overall pick. While it’s too early to worry too much, it does sound like Waddle’s ankle may cause some anxiety for Miami fans. Waddle is “still not entirely back” from the broken ankle he suffered during his last season in college, Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network hears. He writes that it’s “still somewhat of an issue” nine months after the injury occurred.

Even though he’s participating in training camp practices, Beasley says he “still at times walks with a limp” and that “there are some within the organization who believe he doesn’t yet have the full explosiveness” he had with the Crimson Tide. Waddle said after a recent Dolphins practice that he was feeling good, but it sounds like this will be a situation to monitor. The injury was a devastating one, so it’s not all that shocking that it’s lingering.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Speaking of potential Dolphins drama, star cornerback Xavien Howard just gave his first press conference since formally requesting a trade. Howard was pretty terse in his media availability and didn’t reveal too much, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. When asked if he was optimistic that an agreement with Miami would be reached, Howard said “That’s up to the Dolphins,” he said. “I’m just here with my teammates.” Howard either wants more guaranteed money from the team, or a trade. He was also asked whether he hoped things would get worked out for him to stay, and he replied “yeah, I hope it gets better. It’s a process. I’m hearing this and that, but nothing is getting done right now.” When asked whether he had spoken to head coach Brian Flores, Howard said “we talked but didn’t go nowhere.” It sounds like things are at an impasse, with no end in sight. Buckle up.
  • One of the big questions surrounding the Jets this offseason has been whether they’ll add a veteran backup quarterback. Rookie second overall pick Zach Wilson will be the starter, but New York has very little experience behind him. 2018 fifth-round pick Mike White and 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan are the only two other options on the roster. First-time head coach Robert Saleh “seems oppposed” to the idea of adding a veteran signal-caller, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. If they don’t, “White is the favorite to be the regular season QB2,” Cimini says. White was originally drafted by the Cowboys, but came to New York in 2019. Cimini thinks the team may cut Morgan and try to add him to the practice squad.
  • This one will be a disappointment to Jets fans. 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims is “no better than fifth in the pecking order at wide receiver,” Cimini writes. The team obviously had much higher hopes for him when they drafted him 59th overall just last year. He’s understandably behind veterans Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder, but it sounds like Mims has also already fallen behind free agent signee Keelan Cole and 2021 second-round pick Elijah Moore. Injuries limited the Baylor product to only nine games as a rookie, in which he put up 23 catches for 357 yards.

Jets Activate WR Denzel Mims From IR

Denzel Mims is set to make his NFL debut Sunday. After spending six weeks on the Jets’ IR list, the rookie wide receiver is on the team’s active roster going into the Jets-Bills rematch.

A hamstring injury that turned out to be quite troublesome sidelined Mims during training camp. The Jets waited to place Mims on IR until Week 2, which sidelined him for the Jets’ first four games. He ended up missing six for a team that has struggled to keep its receivers healthy.

Mims, Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder served as the Jets’ optimal starting receiver crew. All have missed time due to injuries this season. The Jets drafted Mims in the second round, and with this becoming a full-on developmental year already, they will certainly be keen on seeing what they have in the Baylor prospect. Mims may have a bigger opportunity than expected. The Jets downgraded Crowder to doubtful to face the Bills. Crowder missed two games because of a hamstring injury earlier this season; he is now battling a groin problem.

The Big 12 product finished with two 1,000-yard seasons in college — as a sophomore and senior — and scored 28 touchdowns over his final three seasons. Although the Jets seem to be staring at a coaching change that will happen at season’s end at the latest, Mims will begin his development in Adam Gase‘s system.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Place WR Denzel Mims On IR

Denzel Mims‘ Jets debut will not happen until at least October. The Jets placed their second-round pick on IR Tuesday.

The Baylor product suffered a hamstring injury during training camp and missed Week 1. He will not be eligible to return until Week 5. The Jets placed Le’Veon Bell on IR as well and are signing running back Kalen Ballage.

Mims came to New York as one of the many highly coveted wideouts in this year’s historically deep receiver draft. But he has missed extensive time due to injury after the pandemic-altered offseason. Tuesday’s move will further delay Mims’ progress in his initial Jets campaign.

Ballage will rejoin Adam Gase, doing so after a rare Dolphins-Jets trade was nixed in late August. Ballage failed his physical due to a hamstring malady, leading to the Dolphins waiving the 2018 draftee. Ballage will join a Jets backfield that is down Bell and fourth-round rookie La’Mical Perine.

The Jets also placed linebacker Blake Cashman on IR. Cashman left Sunday’s game with an injury and will also be out until at least October.

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AFC East Rumors: Williams, Jets, Dolphins

The Patriots appear to be putting their cornerback depth to good use. One of the Pats’ corners, Joejuan Williams, is now attending meetings exclusively as a safety, Michael Giardi of NFL.com tweets. New England’s 2019 second-round pick, Williams only played 80 defensive snaps as a rookie. But the Vanderbilt product was stuck behind the likes of Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones. Those three are back in 2020, but the Pats’ safety group looks considerably different.

The team’s longtime Devin McCourtyPatrick ChungDuron Harmon trio is down to just McCourty, though the Pats did sign former Charger Adrian Phillips and drafted Kyle Dugger in Round 2. Dugger, however, played at a Division II school and has not had much time this offseason for on-field work. At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, Williams has the size to transition to safety. The Pats frequently used three safeties in coverage over the past several years.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Le’Veon Bell has not enjoyed a quality training camp, with Brian Costello of the New York Post rating the Jets‘ starting running back as the team’s third-most impressive back in camp — behind Frank Gore and rookie fourth-rounder La’Mical Perine. Bell enjoyed his worst season in 2019, but the Jets featured a bottom-tier offensive line. They have since made several upgrade attempts. The Jets have Bell under contract for three more seasons, but just one of them features guaranteed money. Bell, 28, is set to count $15.5MM against the Jets’ cap this season.
  • More than a week after bringing Donte Moncrief in for a workout, the Jets again summoned the wideout to their facility. Moncrief visited the Jets on Friday. This comes after the former third-round pick and veteran auxiliary wide receiver met with the 49ers. San Francisco went in a different direction, however. The 6-4 target amassed 668 receiving yards with the 2018 Jaguars but did not make an impact with the Steelers or Panthers last season.
  • The Jets’ wideout interest stems partially from being without Denzel Mims. The second-round rookie has missed all of the team’s work in pads, with The Athletic’s Connor Hughes noting Mims is not yet doing individual drills (subscription required). Mims suffered the injury during the team’s ramp-up period earlier this month. With 2020 already presenting unfavorable circumstances for rookies, Mims may well face an uphill battle to be an early-season contributor.
  • Dolphins first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene is competing with Jakeem Grant and recent addition Chester Rogers for return jobs, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. A cornerback out of Auburn, Igbinoghene notched two kick-return touchdowns in college. He did not return any punts at Auburn, however, so this would seemingly leave the punt-return competition to the two veterans. The elusive Grant has four NFL return TDs, including two on punt returns.
  • Fellow Dolphins rookie Solomon Kindley still has a chance to be one of the team’s starting guards, with Jackson noting that the fourth-round rookie may be a bit ahead of second-round O-lineman Robert Hunt. The Dolphins still view Hunt as a player who could contribute at both guard and tackle, while Kindley — the No. 111 overall pick out of Georgia — is showing well at right guard. The Dolphins signed Ereck Flowers to play left guard this offseason, and guard-tackle hybrid Jesse Davis may be set to again open as the team’s right tackle.

Jets Sign WR Chris Hogan

The Jets are adding a veteran to their WR corps. Per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Gang Green is signing 32-year-old wideout Chris Hogan (Twitter link).

New York is quite familiar with Hogan, who started seeing regular playing time with the division-rival Bills in 2014 and who became a key piece of the Patriots’ offense after New England signed him away from Buffalo in 2016 as a restricted free agent.

During his three-year tenure with the Pats — which included two Super Bowl wins — Hogan averaged a regular-season slash of 36/550/4 and averaged over 15 yards per catch (including a league-best 17.9 figure in 2016). He was equally valuable in the playoffs, recording 34 catches for 542 yards and four TDs in nine postseason games.

He hooked on with the Panthers last offseason, and while his 2019 campaign was largely ruined by injury, he could still be an important contributor for the Jets. As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes, promising but raw second-round rookie Denzel Mims is battling a hamstring injury, and beyond Breshad Perriman and slot man Jamison Crowder, the team’s receiver depth chart is incredibly thin.

This will sort of complete Hogan’s tour of the AFC East. In addition to his stints with the Bills and Patriots, Hogan, a 2011 UDFA out of Monmouth, spent some time on the Dolphins’ practice squad in the early part of his career.

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