Jamison Crowder

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.

WR Notes: Thomas, Adams, Chiefs, Ruggs

Several teams’ receiving situations remain in flux going into the Sunday leg of Week 3. Here is the latest from the marquee pass-catcher position:

  • The Saints will continue to be patient with Michael Thomas. The high ankle sprain the All-Pro suffered will keep him out of Sunday night’s game against the Packers. This will mark just Thomas’ second missed game since his 2016 rookie year and will leave Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith as Drew Brees‘ top receivers.
  • In that game, Aaron Rodgers appears set to work with his younger wideouts. Davante Adams is doubtful for the Packers‘ game in New Orleans, leaving Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the top targets for the Sunday night game’s other first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback.
  • With the Raiders attempting to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2002, they will be without Henry Ruggs. The speed merchant played Monday night but suffered a hamstring injury during Las Vegas’ Thursday practice, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com notes. Ruggs is also dealing with a knee issue, which he aggravated in the first half of Monday’s win.
  • Ahead of the game of the 2020 season to date, the Chiefs have their No. 2 wide receiver in concussion protocol. Sammy Watkins‘ status is uncertain for Kansas City’s game in Baltimore, and Andy Reid said the seventh-year wideout has encountered a neck problem as well, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. The Chiefs are better insured here than most, with 2019 second-round speedster Mecole Hardman on track to play a bigger role were Watkins to miss time. Watkins left the Chiefs’ Week 2 win early after suffering the head injury.
  • As the Cardinals look for their first 3-0 start in five years, Kyler Murray will be without one of his top three receivers. Christian Kirk did not practice this week and is out with a groin injury. The third-year wideout has three receptions for 57 yards this season.
  • The Jets will be without their top receiver Sunday. Jamison Crowder‘s hamstring injury will sideline him for another week. Gang Green already has Denzel Mims on IR and Breshad Perriman out potentially beyond this week, while Crowder replacement Braxton Berrios is questionable to face the Colts.

AFC Notes: Titans, Henry, Jets

Derrick Henry had a very interesting 2018 season. He started off very slowly and grew frustrated with his role splitting time with Dion Lewis in the Titans’ backfield. In eight of the team’s first 12 games, he had 46 or fewer rushing yards. Then he caught fire over the final month of the season, putting in consecutive performances of 238 and 170 yards on the ground. In that 238-yard game he had one of the most electrifying plays of the entire NFL season, with his 99-yard instant-classic touchdown run where he threw multiple defenders to the ground. Henry became the team’s featured back down the stretch, and Lewis got reduced to a bit role.

It created an interesting situation heading into 2019, as Henry enters the final year of his rookie deal. We’ve already heard that Lewis’ roster spot is safe, but it’s unclear how they plan on splitting up work, especially with offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur now gone to Green Bay. Speaking of his contract situation, Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com writes that it will be “complicated.” Kuharsky opines that “if he has the big year they need from him, he will command more money than he is worth. And if he doesn’t, then he won’t be worth having.” A second-round pick in 2016, Henry will likely be seeking a big payday next offseason. The coaching staff and front office have never seemed completely enamored with him even when he’s producing, and it’ll be fascinating to see how they handle his free agency. Kuharsky is vehemently against the Titans using the franchise tag on the Alabama running back, writing that the “best hope for the Titans regarding Henry going forward is that he had a very good year and the market is soft for him anyway” next spring.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Speaking of the Titans, it sounds like third-year receiver Taywan Taylor could be ticketed for a bigger role in 2019. The Titans’ receiving situation has been inconsistent at best the past couple of years, and they still need to figure out a starter opposite Corey Davis on the outside. “Honestly, I just think we need to give him more opportunities,” Tennessee’s receivers coach Rob Moore said recently of Taylor, per Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. Taylor has shown a lot of promise since entering the league as the 72nd overall pick back in 2017, but hasn’t gotten a ton of consistent looks. The Titans signed Adam Humphries to a big contract this offseason, but he’ll be playing mostly out of the slot. Taylor had 466 yards in just 13 games last year, and it sounds like he could have a leg-up on the competition for the starting spot opposite Davis.
  • It sounds like Jamison Crowder is going to have a big role with the Jets. Crowder was always highly regarded during his time in Washington, but never truly broke out and injuries ruined his 2018 campaign. He signed a three-year, $28.5MM deal this offseason, and New York is apparently very high on him, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta writes that new coach “Adam Gase has made no secret about how much he’ll lean on pass catchers inside the numbers in his scheme.” Crowder will be operating out of the slot, and it looks like he might thrive in Gase’s offense. That spot is important to us,” Gase said of slot receivers. “(It) really kind of creates the tempo of the offense.” He continued by saying “a lot of the slot receivers, historically have been not guys that are threats down the field. He’s a threat down the field, but at the same time he can catch it and create, which is going to be interesting for us because we’ve never had a guy who can really juice it up.” Mehta also writes that Sam Darnold already feels fondly toward his new safety blanket.
  • In case you missed it, Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum is unlikely to be back with the team in 2020.

Contract Details: Ford, Mosley, Crowder

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Jets, Jamison Crowder Agree To Deal

The Jets are adding a weapon for Sam Darnold. Jamison Crowder and the Jets agreed to terms on a three-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Crowder’s contract is worth $28.5MM, with $17MM fully guaranteed at signing, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

This will help a Jets receiving corps light on surefire long-term pieces. Crowder will join the recently extended Quincy Enunwa as parts of the next Gang Green aerial attack.

Crowder broke into the role of Washington’s slot receiver early in his career, posting multiple seasons north of 775 yards — the first of which on a Redskins offense that still had Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Crowder’s best season came when he was working with Kirk Cousins and that duo, an 847-yard, seven-touchdown 2016.

He struggled to stay healthy last season, playing in only nine games but is likely to see a hefty payday. Mike Maccagnan said the Jets were going to be aggressive in free agency, and the market’s top slot receivers were viewed as players set to cash in this year.

The Jets are in position to have Enunwa, Crowder and Robby Anderson in the fold for 2019, with the latter being given a second-round tender. Though, with the team still connected to Le’Veon Bell, it is unlikely the Jets are done adding skill-position talent this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Peat, Cowboys, Eagles, Crowder

Andrus Peat committed four penalties during the Saints‘ divisional-round win over the Eagles, and part of the reason for his struggles surfaced. The veteran guard suffered a broken hand in Week 17, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein notes the Saints’ starting left guard broke his right hand. The injury during New Orleans’ meaningless regular-season finale led to Peat undergoing surgery during the bye week, Schefter adds. Against the Eagles, Peat played through “serious pain.” It is unclear if or how much Peat aggravated his injury on Sunday, and it’s not certain if he will be available to face the Rams. Though, Peat’s postgame comments do not point to him resting against Los Angeles. He played through ankle and quadriceps injuries this season and suffered a concussion. This was also the second straight year the Saints’ playoff opener has involved a Peat injury. The former first-round pick suffered a broken fibula during New Orleans’ wild card-round win last year and missed the Saints’ divisional game in Minnesota.

As the coaching carousel spins, here is the latest from the NFC’s non-coaching news cycle:

  • The Cowboys are among the league leaders in projected cap space, at $54MM-plus, but they are not expecting to be major players in free agency. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t play free agency at all; we just won’t be paying a high-profile free agent, more than likely,” VP Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan (via Jon Machota of the Dallas News on Twitter). “Never rule anything out all the way, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s going to be our strategy going into the offseason.” Dallas is likely saving money to pay its glut of extension-eligible young talents. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and Jaylon Smith are now all eligible for re-ups. With Dallas also making Zack Martin the richest guard in football last year, big outside investments may not be realistic this offseason.
  • Speaking of playing through injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery played through cracked ribs against the Saints, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. An MRI last week revealed the injury. Jeffery dropped a Nick Foles pass that ricocheted into Marshon Lattimore‘s arms. This setback likely will not be nearly as troublesome for Jeffery to surmount as the one he played through in 2017. Jeffery’s previous shoulder issue caused him to miss all of Philadelphia’s offseason program and sidelined him into the 2018 season.
  • While a scenario may exist involving the Eagles franchise-tagging Foles and attempting to trade him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link) expects the quarterback to hit the free agent market. Foles’ impending exit would further tether the Eagles to Carson Wentz, who has suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. But Wentz said Monday doctors have assured him this back injury is not expected to linger long-term.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Redskins do not want to let another of their mainstay wide receivers walk as a free agent. Washington allowed both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to depart in 2017, and while neither 30-something pass-catcher has matched his Washington work since, the Redskins have not been the same at wideout either. Jay Gruden said (via ESPN.com’s John Keim) the team wants to try to re-sign Jamison Crowder “for sure.” Crowder will not be looking at Jarvis Landry money but is a sneaky-interesting name that could be on the market. Although injuries plagued Crowder this season, limiting him to nine games (career-low 388 receiving yards), it will not be especially cheap for Washington to bring him back. “It’s a great time to be a slot receiver,” Crowder said, via Keim.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at ProFootballTalk.com.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

NFC Notes: Hardy, Crowder, Falcons

Earlier today, we heard that the Tom Brady decision by Judge Richard Berman had prompted Greg Hardy‘s camp to reconsider whether or not to challenge his own suspension in court. The Cowboys defensive end appealed his 10-game suspension and had it reduced to four games, but there was a belief that he and the NFL Players Association would consider a lawsuit for anything over two games.

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (via Twitter), it has seemed all along as if Hardy would rather not go to court over the suspension, preferring that the issue is laid to rest instead. The NFLPA, on the other hand, would like to fight the ruling.

As we wait to see which side wins out, let’s check in on a few more odds and ends from around the NFC….

  • An NFL spokesman has told Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that Washington receiver Jamison Crowder won’t face league discipline stemming from a domestic violence accusation on social media.
  • Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio last night, with Marvez and Gil Brandt speaking to him about the team’s extension with Julio Jones, how player evaluation has changed under Dan Quinn, and the club’s up-and-down offensive line. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a transcript of some of the GM’s more notable comments.
  • In the wake of Dimitroff’s comments, Ledbetter published a second AJC story wondering aloud if it was a mistake for the Falcons to cut veteran linemen Sam Baker and Justin Blalock.
  • Andrew Kulp of CSNPhilly.com examines whether or not the Eagles should have any interest in trying to acquire Robert Griffin III, who is a candidate to be traded or waived by Washington.