Jacoby Brissett

Extra Points: Brissett, Hackenberg, Cowboys, Seahawks, Bears

We heard yesterday that the Colts‘ had rejected the Seahawks offer of a second-round pick for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. However, Colts general manager Chris Ballard is saying the front office never talked trade with Seattle. The executive told ESPN’s Booger McFarland that the two sides had never discussed a trade for the 24-year-old (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com).

We learned back in March that the Colts had rejected a pair of trade offers for Brissett, who they acquired from the Patriots last year. Colts owner Jim Irsay recently said that his club wouldn’t trade Brissett for a first-round pick, so it sounds like the organization is content with the quarterback as their potential longterm backup to Andrew Luck. Brissett was solid as a starter last season, compiling 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also rushed for an additional 260 yards and four scores.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • After being released by the Raiders and before joining the Eagles, we had heard quarterback Christian Hackenberg had worked out with the Patriots. Well, it sounds like another team expressed interest in the former second-rounder, as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Hackenberg had worked out for the Texans. Houston’s interest in the quarterback could indicate that the team isn’t happy with the current backups to Deshaun Watson, a grouping that includes Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb.
  • The Cowboys added one safety today when they signed Dominick Sanders. However, it sounds like the team is still seeking some reinforcement at the position, as Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets that the team will audition Jeron Johnson tomorrow. The former undrafted free agent out of Boise State has managed to appear in 64 games since entering the league in 2011, but he’s only appeared in four games over the past two years. His best season came in 2015 with the Redskins, when he compiled 27 tackles.
  • While the Cowboys continue to seek safety help, there apparently hasn’t been any progress with the Seahawks in regards to an Earl Thomas trade. Watkins tweets that “nothing new is happening” with Seattle, meaning there may not be an end in sight when it comes to the ongoing Thomas saga. The veteran Pro Bowler has sat out the first part of the preseason, and he’s requested a new contract or a trade.
  • The Bears announced (via Twitter) that cornerback Deiondre’ Hall has been suspended for the first game of the upcoming season for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The 2016 fourth-rounder has appeared in 10 games through two seasons with Chicago, collecting nine tackles, three passes defended, and one interception. He was already on the roster bubble for the Bears, and his suspension might improve Doran Grant or Jonathon Mincy‘s chances of making the roster.

Colts Rejected Seahawks’ Offer For Jacoby Brissett

From a statistical standpoint, Jacoby Brissett was not especially impressive as the Colts’ starting signal-caller last season, but teams apparently saw enough in the former third-round pick to try and pry him away from Indianapolis this year. We heard back in March that the Colts had rejected two trade offers for Brissett — though the identities of the two teams and the strength of the offers were not known — and Colts owner Jim Irsay recently said that his club would not even trade Brissett for a first-round pick.

While it’s unlikely that the Colts have been tempted with a first-rounder, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that the Seahawks did recently offer a second-round choice to Indianapolis in exchange for Brissett, and the Colts declined. Seattle, of course, does not need a starting quarterback with Russell Wilson under center, but the team apparently believes it could upgrade its backup situation. Austin Davis, who served as the team’s No. 2 QB last year, has not attempted a regular season pass since 2015, and the other quarterback on the roster, Alex McGough, is a rookie and was a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft. Seattle recently worked out Josh Johnson, which also suggests the team is not sold on either Davis or McGough should Wilson be forced to miss time.

The Colts, meanwhile, are thrilled to have Andrew Luck back and apparently healthy, but given his serious and well-documented shoulder problems, it is understandable that they would like to have a capable backup should Luck suffer any more setbacks.

Brissett is under contract through the 2019 season. Last year, his first as a full-time starter, he complied a 4-11 record and an 81.7 quarterback rating, throwing for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He did rush for an additional 260 yards and four scores, and given his relative inexperience, the Colts’ porous offensive line, and the fact that he was traded from New England to Indianapolis just before the 2017 regular season began, he did about as well as could be expected (as evidenced by the trade interest he has generated).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Irsay: Colts Unlikely To Trade Jacoby Brissett For First-Round Pick

Andrew Luck has not experienced any setbacks in a long-awaited recovery thus far during Colts camp, but his 2017 absence allowed for a one-time third-string quarterback to see nearly a full season’s worth of starts.

And Jim Irsay doesn’t want to part with Jacoby Brissett, regardless of Luck’s status. The Colts rebuffed trade offers during the spring for their current backup quarterback, but it’s unclear what teams proposed. However, the outspoken owner said he has no plans to trade Brissett — even for a first-round pick.

All of a sudden, we have the best backup quarterback in football,” Irsay said, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t think we’d accept a (first-round pick in a trade) for him, we think he’s that good.”

That would seem like a lofty asking price for a former third-round pick, but the Colts obviously have a strong reason to employ a quality backup. Despite being a preseason trade acquisition, Brissett started 15 games last season. While his 39.6 Total QBR ranked 27th last season, the former N.C. State passer did not have an offseason to acclimate to his new offense.

Brissett is under contract through the 2019 season and doesn’t have any $1MM-plus base salaries on his rookie deal. While it would be surprising if the Colts legitimately turned down a first-round pick in this case, teams have been protective in the recent past regarding backups — the Bengals with A.J. McCarron coming to mind. Though, the 49ers acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo — stationed in front of Brissett in 2016 — for a second-rounder may make Irsay’s first-round pledge moot.

Brad Kaaya and Temple-produced UDFA Phillip Walker are the other QBs on the Colts’ roster.

Irsay went on to express confidence in Luck’s health, indicating he has “no doubt” about his starter’s arm strength despite the immense layoff. Irsay admitted Luck’s inability to return to action last season surprised him, but now the Colts have a remarkably better signal-caller situation than they did a year ago at this time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Reject Trade Offers For Jacoby Brissett

The Colts have received two trade offers quarterback Jacoby Brissett, according to Stephen Holder of the Indy Star. The identities of those teams and the strength of those offers are not known, but the Colts declined those overtures with the idea that they will retain him this season. 

Given Andrew Luck‘s health issues, it’s no surprise that the Colts are putting a great emphasis on the backup quarterback role. Brissett is not a world beater, but he is a capable QB who can fill in if needed. He’s also significantly cheaper than other signal callers at his level. The former third round pick is slated to earn just $735K this year and $890 in 2019.

Brissett, who is still just 24, threw 13 touchdowns against seven interceptions for the Colts last season. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 29 ranked quarterback out of 39 qualified players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jacoby Brissett Cleared To Play In Week 12

It appears the Colts will have quarterback Jacoby Brissett ready to start in the team’s Week 12 matchup versus the Titans, after the second-year quarterback was cleared by an independent neurologist today, reports Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com (Twitter link).

Jacoby Brissett (Vertical)

Brissett had suffered a concussion against the Steelers two weeks ago, but with the help of the bye week, is on track to not miss his start this weekend. Despite some drama around the way the Colts handled the concussion, with team doctors allowing him to return to the game and then being unavailable to the press after due to concussion-like symptoms, it looks like the correct remaining protocol has been taken in the weeks since.

The 23-year-old signal caller has been a bright spot in what’s been a down year in Indianapolis. Without Andrew Luck it would be tough to expect the Colts to make a run at a playoff race, but the former Patriots QB has stepped up as a nice fill-in since getting his first start in the second week of the season.

Brissett’s total QBR of 39.1 does not look all too good, but he’s shown improvement in recent weeks, throwing six touchdowns compared to just two interceptions in his past three games. The 2016 third-round selection has shown a nice arm and quality mobility during his short stint with the Colts, which certainly helps the team’s outlook on the position moving forward, knowing that they have a quality backup already in place if Luck were to unfortunately get hurt again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Winston, Jones, Montgomery, Freeman, Brissett

Despite putting an end to their five-game losing streak this afternoon, the Buccaneers did it without their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The former first overall pick was expected to miss “a couple of weeks” with a shoulder injury, but general manager Jason Licht admitted during the team’s pre-game show that their franchise signal caller may actually miss more time than that, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

“There is no time line on this, Licht said. “This may be an extended period.” Stroud did relay that Licht revealed his quarterback had no new damage to his shoulder, which is certainly encouraging news for his potential return.

However, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-0 as a starter this season, it’s been a disappointing campaign for a Tampa Bay squad that was expecting to be playoff contenders after barely missing the postseason a year ago. Apart from the injury, Winston himself has not shown the development many thought he would in his third-year in the league. The 23 year-old has continued to turn the ball over this season (6 INT, 5 fumbles) and has accumulated a career-worst QBR of 41.3 in 8 games this season.

  • The Packers lost two running backs in today’s win over the division rival Bears. Ty Montgomery left the game with an apparent rib injury, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. While not ideal, it’s an ailment we’ve seen him overcome earlier in the season. But while his outlook remains unclear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears that fellow back Aaron Jones looks to have a sprained MCL. Rapoport reports that the rookie will undergo an MRI on Monday, but has likely avoided a serious injury, even though he may miss a few weeks regardless. Third-string running back Jamaal Williams finished out the contest, but look for the team to add more depth to the position during this coming week.
  • Rapoport also passes along that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was forced into concussion protocol during the first quarter of today’s game vs. Dallas. One of the best running backs in the NFL last year, Freeman has taken a step back along with the entire Atlanta offense in 2017. Predictably, Tevin Coleman got the bulk of the carries after Freeman left the game, and would be in line for major work in the team’s Monday night tilt vs. the Seahawks next week should Freeman not clear concussion protocol before then.
  • The Colts suffered a concussion scare of their own when starting QB Jacoby Brissett appeared lightheaded after a big hit during today’s tilt with the Steelers. However, the second-year signal caller didn’t miss much playing time after he supposedly cleared concussion testing during the team’s subsequent defensive series. But in a twist, Brissett wasn’t available for postgame comments because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after the close loss, according to Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central on Twitter. The Colts have since released a statement on their own Twitter account indicating that Brissett passed two concussion tests during the contest, but then started to experience side effects after the game. It seems like a murky situation at the moment, but at the least add this development to a number of other instances this season where there was at the least some confusion regarding the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Colts To Start Jacoby Brissett At QB

The Colts are planning on starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Sunday against the Cardinals, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Scott Tolzien, who started for the Colts in Week 1, will head to the bench. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) hears that Brissett was actually informed of the team’s decision on Monday. Jacoby Brissett (vertical)

The Colts were criticized this offseason for not upgrading their backup QB situation. Right around the 53-man cutdown deadline, the Colts acquired Brissett from the Patriots in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. Brissett was supposed to be Tolzien’s backup while Andrew Luck recovered from injury, but Tolzien’s putrid performance in the season opener has vaulted Brissett into the starting job.

Earlier this week, Colts coach Chuck Pagano admitted that he was thinking about starting Brissett.

He’s got a sense of calm to him, poise,” Pagano said of Brissett. “Obviously, you love his physical traits, he’s a big man. He can see over things. … Been there before, so obviously it’s not too big.”

Tolzien went 9-of-18 in the season opener for 128 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked four times. Brissett was called in at the end and completed two of three passes for 51 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots, Colts Swap QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Phillip Dorsett

The Patriots and Colts have completed an unexpected swap. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter), the Patriots are dealing quarterback Jacoby Brissett to Indy for wideout Phillip Dorsett.

Jacoby BrissettThere were whispers that Brissett might not make the Patriots 53-man roster, despite the fact they used a third-round pick on the Florida/North Carolina State product in 2016. The 24-year-old got an opportunity to play during his rookie campaign, starting a pair of games for the depleted Patriots. He ultimately completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 400 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also added 83 rushing yards and one score on 16 attempts.

Brissett’s season ended early after he underwent thumb surgery, and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve. However, the second-year player looked fully recovered this preseason, and he threw for 341 yards and four scores during the team’s finale. While Bill Belichick has carried three quarterbacks in past seasons, he traditionally likes to carry a single backup behind starter Tom Brady. With Jimmy Garoppolo healthy and ready to go, the Patriots clearly wanted to carry an extra player elsewhere.

Now, Brissett could find himself thrust into a starting role with the Colts. With Andrew Luck‘s status up in the air for the team’s season opener, Indianapolis might view Brissett as a better starting option than Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris.

Dorsett had spent his entire two-year career in Indy after being selected in the first round of the 2015 draft. He didn’t live up to his draft position during his rookie campaign, but the 24-year-old showed signs of improvement during his second year in the league. Dorsett ultimately appeared in 15 games (seven starts) last season, hauling in 33 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.

With Julian Edelman out for the season, Dorsett will provide the Patriots with an experienced replacement. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old’s status with the Colts was up in the air. Roster Resource listed Dorsett as the team’s fourth wideout behind T.Y. HiltonDonte Moncrief, and Chester Rogers. The team is also rostering receivers Kamar AikenJoJo Natson, and Quan Bray.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Brissett, Ajayi, Bills

We heard last week that Jacoby Brissett‘s place on the Patriots‘ roster may not be safe, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe doubled down on that report this week. Volin reiterated that Brissett’s performance in the spring and in training camp has left much to be desired, and he says it is fair to wonder whether the Patriots refused to deal Jimmy Garoppolo because they believe Garoppolo represents their future, or because they have no faith in Brissett should Tom Brady be forced to miss time (in truth, it is surely some combination of the two). In any event, Volin opines that New England may have to keep Garoppolo next year, even if that means putting the franchise tag on him (at an estimated $25-26MM cost). After all, the team will still be loaded with talent and should be a championship contender in 2018, but a Brady injury could waste all of that talent if the No. 2 QB cannot adequately replace him.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is still in concussion protocol, but he did practice today and the team is excited about his progress, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Ajayai left practice early with a trainer, but that was due to a hydration issue, Jackson notes.
  • Dolphins second-round draft choice Raekwon McMillan, who was expected to see significant time at middle linebacker this season, tore his ACL while playing on the punt coverage team in Miami’s first preseason tilt Thursday night. He will now miss his entire rookie season, and head coach Adam Gase has been predictably criticized for using a player of McMillan’s importance on special teams. Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders believes such criticism is unwarranted, writing that a head coach cannot field kickoff, kickoff return, punt coverage, and punt return teams without playing first- or second-year guys. Likewise, you cannot expect those players to perform well on special teams in the regular season if they do not see live action in the preseason.
  • Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News offers his take on which wide receivers will make the Bills‘ roster after the team dealt Sammy Watkins and acquired Jordan Matthews. Skurski says Matthews, Zay Jones, and Anquan Boldin will make the club, which is a given, and he adds that Rod Streater is likely to earn a spot due to his excellent camp. Skurski says he currently projects Andre Holmes and Brandon Tate to round out the WR corps, but the fact that cutting Holmes could help the team land a high compensatory draft choice next season certainly works against him. If Holmes should be cut, Walter Powell could find himself on the 53-man come Week 1.
  • Christian Hackenberg played fairly well in the Jets‘ first preseason game last night, thereby creating more fodder for Gang Green’s starting QB discussion. But as Laura Albanese of Newsday writes, there are other competitions worth watching. For instance, the battle for the team’s starting center position is tighter than originally anticipated, as Jonotthan Harrison is putting pressure on presumed starter Wesley Johnson. Likewise, Albanese writes that Brent Qvale and Brandon Shell appear to be neck-and-neck in their race for the Jets’ right tackle job.

AFC Notes: McCown, Cutler, Brissett, Ochi

Regardless of what head coach Todd Bowles says, the Jets‘ QB battle is not an open competition, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello writes that Josh McCown has taken about 99% of the first-team reps in training camp, while Christian Hackenberg has worked almost exclusively with the second unit. Unless Hackenberg excels during New York’s first two preseason games, Costello expects McCown to be under center come Week 1, which is what we expected all along.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes from the AFC:

  • Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald says Dolphins brass hopes to resolve the Jay Cutler question soon, and that resolution could come as early as today (Twitter link).
  • Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola accepted a pay cut to remain in New England for the third consecutive season, but as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, the 31-year-old Amendola (32 in November) never considered retirement, nor did he consider suiting up for anyone other than the Patriots. He again projects as the team’s fourth or fifth option at wide receiver, but he has grown comfortable with his limited role and at this point in his career he appears content to get a little burn while playing in a winning environment.
  • Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots No. 3 signal-caller who got two starts last season in the wake of Tom Brady‘s suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury, is in danger of being cut, as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes. Brissett did not have a strong spring, and with Brady showing no signs of slowing down and Garoppolo back as the No. 2 QB, New England could look to use Brissett’s roster spot on a linebacker, receiver, or defensive back.
  • Titans LB Victor Ochi tore his ACL in Friday night’s practice, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (via Twitter). Ochi is a small school (Stony Brook) product who has spent time with the Ravens, Jets, Chiefs, and Titans in his brief career, appearing in two games with the Jets last season. He has a great deal of raw pass-rushing ability, but it seems he will have to wait until 2018 to put that ability back on display.
  • Dan Graziano of ESPN.com says Tyler Ervin, whom the Texans selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, could fill in for Will Fuller while Fuller recovers from a broken collarbone. Ervin is a running back by trade, but he has tremendous speed and the club was already planning to use him in multiple roles to utilize his athleticism (he returned 27 punts and 14 kickoffs last season). With Fuller out for awhile, Houston could give receiver reps to Ervin with an eye towards making him a full-time slot receiver.