Jamison Crowder

Jets, Jamison Crowder Rework Contract

Jun. 20: Details are in on Crowder’s pay cut. As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, Crowder did indeed agree to reduce his 2021 pay to $5MM, $4.5MM of which is guaranteed (his original $10MM salary was completely non-guaranteed). He can still earn $500K in per-game roster bonuses.

As a result, Crowder’s cap charge for 2021 will drop from $11.375MM to $6.35MM.

Jun. 14: The Jets and Jamison Crowder have worked out a new contract (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Initially set to make $10MM in 2021, Crowder will now see a “significant” cut, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The exact terms of the deal are not yet known, but the Jets were reportedly pushing a 50% reduction. 

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Crowder was going to be released if he didn’t agree to the trim. Crowder had just $1MM guaranteed this year — releasing him would have saved the Jets $10.375MM.

Crowder, soon to be 28, probably couldn’t have topped $5MM on the open market. At least, not at this stage of the offseason, when most of the available dollars have been spent. Meanwhile, the Jets are growing increasingly confident in their other options. Second-round slot receiver Elijah Moore has drawn rave reviews in practice — ditto for ex-Patriots speedster Braxton Berrios. One or both of those players could have supplanted Crowder as a top option to go with Corey Davis and Keelan Cole.

Now, the Jets have more money to spend, which could enable them to sign free agent tackle Morgan Moses. If that happens, they’ll have Moses to start at right tackle opposite of Mekhi Becton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Want Jamison Crowder To Take 50% Pay Cut

We heard earlier this month that the Jets want slot receiver Jamison Crowder — who is entering the final year of his contract — to take a significant pay cut. Today, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports that New York wants to reduce Crowder’s 2021 salary by at least 50%.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old receiver is due to make a non-guaranteed $10MM this year, and the Jets want to pay him a maximum of $5MM instead. And it appears that Gang Green has plenty of leverage. At this point in the year, most teams don’t have a ton of money to spend, so it would be hard to imagine another club paying Crowder more than $5MM for the 2021 campaign. Plus, the Jets could clear over $10MM of cap space with a minimal dead money hit if they were to release Crowder, and New York reportedly feels comfortable with its receiving corps even without him in the picture.

According to Cimini, second-round rookie Elijah Moore — another slot receiver — was one of the best players on the field during OTAs, and fellow slot man Braxton Berrios also looked good. Of course, the Jets made a big-money free agent addition to the WR room in Corey Davis, and they also brought in Keelan Cole, so they’re content to play hardball with Crowder.

On the other hand, the team has plenty of cap space as is and will deploy rookie QB Zach Wilson under center. Even if there is some redundancy in the slot, it would be understandable if the Jets wanted to keep an established veteran like Crowder just in case Moore isn’t quite ready to shoulder the load. But since GM Joe Douglas doled out $80MM in guaranteed money in free agency, the club might prefer to save some cash, especially since it remains interested in free agent OT Morgan Moses (who recently visited with the Jets).

Cimini suggests that Crowder and the club could agree to a restructure, though such a maneuver wouldn’t preclude the Jets from trading Crowder if Moore continues to perform well in training camp and the preseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Newton, Bills

Although several veterans made a point to skip OTAs this year, Jamison Crowder is away from his team because of a contract issue. The Jets want their leading receiver of the past two seasons to accept a pay cut. Robert Saleh said the veteran slot receiver “definitely” has a role on the 2021 Jets, but SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes the pay reduction the Jets have in mind is “significant.” It would be interesting to see what the Jets do if Crowder balks, given their salary cap space (third-most in the NFL) and his potential value in helping Zach Wilson as a rookie. The 27-year-old wideout is due a $10MM base salary this season, which is the final year of his contract. GM Joe Douglas was not around when Crowder signed with the Jets, and the team used a second-round pick on presumptive Crowder slot successor Elijah Moore. The Ole Miss product stands to cut into Crowder’s workload this season, Vacchiano adds, so the Jets would appear to be comfortable moving on.

Crowder may end up hitting free agency at an inopportune time, should he not approve the team’s pay-cut request. If the Jets release Crowder, they would not incur any dead money. Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The hand injury Cam Newton suffered will end up impacting his offseason status. The Patriots quarterback is expected to miss time, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. Given Newton’s extensive injury history, this would be notable even without Mac Jones‘ presence. But the prospect of Jones going through the rest of OTAs and minicamp with Newton sidelined figures to impact the Pats’ quarterback competition. New England’s minicamp is scheduled to run from June 14-16.
  • Staying on the quarterback subject, the Jets may need to consider an addition. Wilson’s two backups — 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan and former UDFA Mike White — are not ready for a QB2 role, Connor Hughes of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The Jets, in Hughes’ view, need to acquire Nick Foles from the Bears. Douglas was with the Eagles during Foles’ memorable second Philadelphia stint, and Foles has become a nonfactor in Chicago. The Jets, however, are not planning any additional costly moves this year; Foles comes with an $8MM price tag. Foles-Jets buzz began brewing shortly after the Bears’ Justin Fields pick, however, and may continue if Morgan and White prove unqualified at Gang Green’s minicamp.
  • The Bills will rely on a group effort to replace Dan Morgan, who left his VP of player personnel gig in Buffalo to become Carolina’s assistant GM. Terrance Gray, Malik Boyd and ex-Texans GM Brian Gaine will split Morgan’s duties, according to Brandon Beane (via Maddy Glab of BuffaloBills.com). The Bills interviewed both Gray and Boyd and promoted each. Gray will rise from college scouting director to assistant director of player personnel; Boyd will shift from pro personnel director to senior director of pro scouting. Gaine remains in his senior personnel advisor role. Boyd interviewed for the Texans’ GM job earlier this year.
  • Buffalo also hired Princeton quality control coach Sophia Lewin as an offensive assistant, according to NFL senior director of diversity, equity and inclusion Sam Rapoport (Twitter link). Lewin and Andrea Gosper, who will rise from Bills scouting intern to player personnel coordinator for the team, caught on with the Bills through the NFL’s Women’s Careers in Football Forum.

Jets Seeking Jamison Crowder Pay Cut

The Jets have added some big names to their receiving corps this offseason, leaving their most productive target of the past two years in a bit of an uncertain place. Jamison Crowder is away from Jets OTAs and discussing his contract, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com.

The team is seeking a Crowder pay cut, Cimini adds. Crowder is entering the final season of a three-year, $28.5MM contract, but no guaranteed money remains on the deal. The Jets could release their top slot receiver without incurring any dead money, though Robert Saleh said Friday that Crowder will “absolutely” be with the Jets this season.

New York signed Corey Davis and used a high second-round pick on Elijah Moore, who resides as a presumptive Crowder long-term slot replacement. Gang Green also added Keelan Cole on a one-year, $5MM deal. Crowder came into the offseason as a potential cap casualty, but the Jets kept him. Their cap situation did not make cost-cutting moves necessary, but the seventh-year veteran wideout’s place with the team does not appear entirely secure.

Crowder’s 2021 cap charge ($10.375MM) is the third-largest figure on the team’s payroll; only recent signings Davis and Carl Lawson top that number. The Jets discussing a Crowder pay cut in June does not leave him with great options, considering he would not do as well on the open market at this juncture of the offseason. Only the Jaguars and Broncos have more cap space than the Jets’ $27MM-plus number, however.

Crowder has totaled 137 receptions for 1,532 yards and 12 touchdowns as a Jet. In a receiving corps that otherwise lacked reliability, the former Washington fourth-round pick provided the best semblance of pass-catching consistency on the Jets during their Sam Darnold years. As of now, Crowder will be set to work with new quarterback Zach Wilson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Aiming To Add Multiple WRs

The Dolphins have DeVante Parker signed long-term, but they appear set to devote free agency funds and/or draft capital to addressing their other wide receiver spots.

In addition to seeking help opposite Parker on the boundary, the Dolphins believe they need to upgrade in the slot as well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. The franchise plans to address both positions, be it in free agency or the draft. With several receivers set to be available in unrestricted free agency and other pass catchers on the cap-casualty radar, this is a good year to need help at this position.

Prior to the franchise tag deadline, the receiver market is set to include Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Will Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Corey Davis, Antonio Brown, Curtis Samuel, Nelson Agholor, Sammy Watkins and A.J. Green. Potential cap casualties, like the Jets’ Jamison Crowder or Bills’ John Brown, may join this list and further create a buyer’s market for receiver-needy teams. While most of this group’s futures remain uncertain, the Buccaneers are not planning to let Godwin become available. Though, Tampa Bay has several high-profile free agents of note.

Multiple players in this group already have interest in Miami, per Jackson, who adds that Jones and Hilton have the Dolphins on their respective radars. (The Jaguars are also on Jones’ radar, according to Jackson.) While both Jones and Hilton are over 30, neither’s price should be expected to approach the high-end WR1 ranks. The Dolphins currently sit eighth in cap space, though other receiver-needy teams — like the Jaguars, Colts, Jets and Patriots — reside on a higher tier in terms of offseason funds.

The Dolphins currently hold two first-round picks (Nos. 3 and 18) and two second-rounders (Nos. 36 and 50). With another strong receiver class set to enter the league, the team would be well positioned to address either its slot or boundary needs here. Though, the Texans making Deshaun Watson available could change the Dolphins’ draft outlook. Miami resides at or near the top of the disgruntled quarterback’s destination list. But whoever the Dolphins slot at quarterback next season should have a better arsenal to target.

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AFC Rumors: Ravens, Crowder, Chiefs, Pats

Orlando Brown has issued an unusual ultimatum to the Ravens: move him full-time to left tackle or trade him. But with the team just extending one of the best left tackles in football, Ronnie Stanley, accommodating Brown on a position move is a non-starter. Baltimore, however, is listening on offers for its three-year right tackle, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Ravens will certainly want a big haul for their contract-year edge protector. However, the new CBA further protecting teams against holdouts will limit Brown’s options, and the Ravens already have questions up front. Their strength at tackle somewhat offsets issues inside, but dealing Brown would further weaken a line that lost some punch after Marshal Yanda‘s retirement.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Jamison Crowder‘s six touchdowns led the Jets last season, and he added a passing TD in one of the team’s two wins. The veteran slot receiver is by far Sam Darnold‘s most proven weapon, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes Crowder is vulnerable to cap-casualty status because of his team-high $11.4MM cap number. With Crowder’s $10MM salary not guaranteed in the final year of his deal, cutting him would free up eight figures in cap space for the Jets. While this would create another skill-position need for a team with numerous deficiencies, there will be several starter-caliber receivers available. It is not like the Jets need cap space, with only the Jaguars holding more, but Crowder predates GM Joe Douglas‘ arrival. He could soon join a loaded free agent receiver class.
  • The University of Tennessee offered Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House its defensive coordinator job, but House turned down the Volunteers, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter). House has been with the Chiefs for two years, coming to Kansas City after a three-year stay as the University of Kentucky. He was the Wildcats’ DC for two of those slates.
  • Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is recovering from surgery on both knees, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets. While this certainly sounds serious, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets these operations were minor. Brown missed early-season time with knee trouble but returned before the midway point and made his first Pro Bowl.
  • Former Dolphins quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree will join the Patriots‘ staff, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This comes after 2020 Pats QBs coach Jedd Fisch agreed to become head coach at the University of Arizona. Hardegree spent the past five years in the AFC East, working under Adam Gase at each stop. Hardegree, 36, also worked with the Broncos and Bears under Gase, beginning his NFL run in 2014.

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: