Jonathan Kraft

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Dolphins

It wasn’t a huge surprise when the Patriots dealt star defender Chandler Jones to the Cardinals this offseason. After all, the organization has multiple defenders who are impending free agents, so it was unlikely to retain the entire core. Furthermore (as Jones previously pointed out), New England doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to re-signing their own guys.

Appearing on Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, president Jonathan Kraft addressed the circumstances that surrounded the Jones trade (via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss):

“We’ll end up being pretty close to the [salary] cap this year, I’m sure. Whatever money we don’t use, we roll over,” Kraft said. “We use every cap dollar that we can have, but there are just different strategies for how you deploy it. Chandler is a great football player and it will be fun to see him that opening day [Sept. 11]. And Chandler did wonderful things in the community here too; he’s a good man.”

“Obviously, when you have great football players, given the constraints of the salary cap, you want to try to keep all of them. You keep as many as you possibly can, and in some cases you have to make difficult decisions,” Kraft added. “Chandler Jones is a great football player and was an important part of the Patriots for the last [four] years. But you have to look at everything and weigh the amount of capital you’re going to have available and what all your choices are, and how deep your team is at certain positions, and what the value can be for somebody else, and how you can take that value and use it for your own team.

“That’s a good example where we tried to do something that allowed us, looking forward, to take all the assets associated with the team and end up with the best possible scenario in terms of what you could actually have on the club.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the AFC East…

  • Kraft also admitted that the Jones trade was partly motivated by future transactions. “If Chandler is going to be an unrestricted free agent … you know what, he’s going to get paid on the open market — and you look down on your roster and see who else is coming [up to free agency], and you see the type of depth you have at certain positions — if there wasn’t the salary cap, you might make different decisions,” he said.
  • Linebacker Julian Stanford is an under-the-radar player making a case to make the Jets‘ 53-man roster, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. A third-year free agent from New York’s Wagner College, Stanford tied teammate Rontez Miles for the most special-teams snaps in Thursday night’s preseason opener (17) and has impressed in practice. For a full view of the Jets’ depth chart, check out their page on Roster Resource.
  • Dolphins rookie safety Jordan Lucas is likely headed to the practice squad, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Assuming Chris Culliver starts the season on the PUP, the final defensive back spot could come down to Chimdi Chekwa or Brandon Harris. “Harris is a veteran guy that knows how to play,” said defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. “There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a great kid, hard worker and he knows how to play with leverage.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

 

AFC Notes: Browns, Pats, Raiders, Ravens

There was speculation late last season that Peyton Manning would retire and take a prominent front office position, perhaps in Cleveland. Manning has since retired and the Browns’ presidency is currently vacant, but it doesn’t sound as if the 39-year-old will end up with them.

“Whatever Peyton decides to do, and I have no idea what that is, I have not literally talked to him since wishing him good luck before the Super Bowl,” owner Jimmy Haslam, a friend of Manning’s, said (link via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com). “Whatever organization gets him will be fortunate whether it’s a pro organization, a business, media, but I think we’ve got a great organization in place in Cleveland and we’re excited to go forward.”

Here’s more form the AFC:

  • Even though Patriots owner Robert Kraft has made an effort to persuade the NFL into giving back the first-round pick it took from the team as a result of the Deflategate scandal, club president Jonathan Kraft told Tom Curran of CSNNE.com that it’s a losing battle. On why the Pats haven’t sued the league in an effort to recoup the pick, Jonathan Kraft said, “It’ll take longer than the time before the draft happens and the money isn’t the issue here, the issue is getting your draft pick back and at some point you have to realize it’s not gonna happen and the best revenge will be putting the best team on the field next year and hopefully having a very successful season.”
  • The Raiders have made some major additions in free agency this year, but they swung and missed on landing safety Eric Weddle – who signed with the Ravens. Not surprisingly, then, head coach Jack Del Rio acknowledged Tuesday that safety is an area of concern for the club, saying, “[W]e need to acquire some people” (Twitter link via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle).
  • Safety issues aside, the Raiders’ roster looks more impressive on paper than it has in years. However, the organization’s future in Oakland remains uncertain. When asked to update the Raiders’ situation there, owner Mark Davis said, “There’s nothing … I’m still trying to get something with the stadium” (link via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com). Davis also spoke highly of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as potential homes for the Raiders, as Maiocco writes, but he shot down the notion of relocating the franchise to St. Louis. “The Raiders brand is a different brand, I believe,” he said. “I just don’t believe St. Louis would maximize it.”
  • Ravens head coach John Harbaugh suggested Tuesday that there would be competition at the left tackle spot going into next season, implying that Eugene Monroe isn’t locked in as the starter, but owner Steve Bisciotti sang a different tune. Bisciotti said “without hesitation” that the job is Monroe’s, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter).
  • In Ravens-related draft news, Bisciotti stated that he doesn’t expect the club to trade up from the sixth pick and into the top five, but he wouldn’t be averse to moving back (Twitter link via Zrebiec).

West Notes: Los Angeles, 49ers, Maclin

The Carson presentation drew laughs from the owners once Disney Chairman Robert Iger mentioned how he’d paid the owners plenty of money over the years. That comment, and a Jerry Jones joke following Iger’s exit from the room, helped escalate the downward-trending Carson initiative’s demise, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

He said he paid us. Last time I checked, that money is coming from Disney shareholders, not him,” Jones told his fellow owners during Tuesday’s relocation summit in Houston, per Farmer.

The owners voted 19-13 on whether their votes would be secret. After two votes, the Inglewood project received 21, three shy of the majority needed to relocate the Rams.

Roger Goodell then ushered Stan Kroenke, Dean Spanos and Mark Davis into a private room for an hour-long negotiation. Upon the trio’s return, Davis announced the Raiders were pulling out of the race, Farmer reports. The agreement that gives the Chargers a one-year window to decide on relocating to Inglewood had been discussed for more than six months.

Farmer also notes Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who had been vocal about his support for the Carson project and helped attach Iger to it, was silent most of the day.

Here is some more on Los Angeles and the latest on the Western-stationed franchises.

  • With economists estimating the Chargers can expect three to five times more revenue in Los Angeles than in San Diego, a source tells Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune “at least 10 teams” would be lining up to take the joint-tenant deal in Inglewood if the Chargers wouldn’t. Acee also reports there’s talk of a bit more than the $100MM the NFL offered to help keep the Raiders and Chargers in their respective cities available to the Chargers if they were to make things work in San Diego. Spanos could leverage San Diego with the deal the Chargers would be in line to receive alongside the Rams if in fact San Diego is serious about keeping the franchise, Acee writes. But San Diego now will entertain the notion of bringing another team to the city.
  • Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said Kroenke will be spending between $3 billion and $3.5 billion to relocate the Rams, factoring in the $550MM relocation fee and the Rams’ new stadium (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, on Twitter).
  • Several members of the 49ers‘ staff from last season has reportedly packed up and moved their things out of the team’s facility, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports (on Twitter). Chip Kelly met with defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, per Maiocco, but the future of the San Francisco coaching staff is highly uncertain at this point. Kelly will meet with running backs coach Tom Rathman next week, Maiocco tweets. The former 49ers fullback’s been on the 49ers’ staff since 2009 and had to instruct one of the most injury-ravaged units in the NFL this season.
  • Former Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is under consideration for the job of 49ers offensive coordinator, ESPN reports (via Maiocco). A former New Hampshire player under Kelly, Day joined Kelly with the Eagles last season after being Boston College’s OC in 2013-14.
  • Both Eagles defensive line coaches, Jerry Azzinaro and Mike Dawson, are the most likely coaches to follow Kelly from Philadelphia, Maiocco reports. Azzinaro’s been Kelly’s D-line coach for the past seven seasons, doing so at Oregon from 2009-12 and with the Eagles since 2013.
  • Maiocco also reports (via Twitter) the 49ers could be considering Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree for a spot on their staff if Dirk Koetter doesn’t retain him. The Colorado head coach in 2011-12, the 50-year-old Embree’s coached tight ends for the Chiefs, Washington, Browns and Bucs since 2006. He’s been with Tampa Bay since 2014.
  • A mutual interest in acquiring players with length and size could help Kelly and GM Trent Baalke work well together with the 49ers, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch notes.
  • The Chiefs declared Jeremy Maclin active for today’s game against the Patriots, but their top wideout reportedly had trouble walking during the week of preparation, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Maclin did not practice this week due to the high-ankle sprain he suffered last Saturday against the Texans.