Josh Martin

Jets Designate LB Josh Martin For Return

The Jets have designated linebacker Josh Martin to return from injured reserve, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link).

Martin was placed on IR in early October after suffering his second concussion in five weeks. Given that New York clearly isn’t heading for the postseason, Jets management must feel as if Martin is fully recovered from his brain injury. Because he’s already missed eight weeks of action, Martin is eligible to return to the active roster at any time.

Now that he’s back at practice, the Jets have a three-week window during which they must either place Martin on their 53-man roster, or leave him on injured reserve for the rest of the year. Each NFL club is allowed to bring two players back from IR, and Martin will join running back Elijah McGuire as injured Jets who will have been — at the least — designated for return. Other ailing New York players, such as defensive back Doug Middleton or tight end Neal Sterling, will stay on IR for the rest of the 2018 campaign.

If he is able to get back on the field, Martin could potentially aid a Jets pass-rushing unit that ranks bottom-10 in sacks, adjusted sack rate, and pressure rate. Martin, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013, is scheduled to become a free agent next spring.

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Jets To Place LB Josh Martin On IR

The Jets are putting outside linebacker Josh Martin on IR, head coach Todd Bowles announced. Martin suffered his second concussion in five weeks on Sunday, so the Jets had little choice but to put Martin on the sidelines for now. 

Per league rules, Martin can return from IR after a minimum of eight weeks. If he is still exhibiting any ill effects the brain injury and the Jets are not in playoff contention, this could mark the end of Martin’s season.

Martin missed the first three games thanks to the first concussion and was making his season debut on Sunday against the Jaguars. Unfortunately, he was forced out of the game in the third quarter after suffering significant head trauma.

The Jets will turn to Frankie LuvuBrandon Copeland, and others to handle OLB duties opposite of starter Jordan Jenkins. You can also expect them to add an OLB, though it’ll probably be a depth signing.

The 1-3 Jets will look to snap their three-game losing streak on Sunday against the Broncos.

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Spring Practice Notes: Jets, Darby, Ebron

Now that mandatory minicamps have wrapped up around the league and players have returned home for a few weeks, the NFL will experience something of a lull until we get closer to the start of training camp in July. In the past couple of days, however, beat writers have shared some lessons learned during spring practices, offered some insight as to what OTAs and minicamp revealed about the upcoming season, and discussed some questions that remain unanswered. So let’s dive right in:

  • Terrelle Pryor‘s injury concerns have been well-documented, but as Darryl Slater of NJ.com observes, the Jets are also dealing with injuries to CB Morris Claiborne and OLB Jordan Jenkins. Both Claiborne and Jenkins are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, while the status of Pryor and starting free safety Marcus Maye is still up in the air. Slater also wonders who will start at OLB alongside Jenkins. David Bass and Josh Martin are candidates, as is Lorenzo Mauldin, though Slater suggests Mauldin is on the roster bubble.
  • Slater also indicates that Henry Anderson may have the leg up in the battle for the Jets‘ starting defensive end position opposite Leonard Williams — New York desperately needs someone to take double teams away from Williams — and that Andre Roberts appears to be leading the competition for Gang Green’s punt returner job. He adds that wideout Chad Hansen has impressed this spring after being a non-factor in his rookie campaign last year.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com also likes what he sees from Hansen, and he says TE Neal Sterling and RB Elijah McGuire are other under-the-radar players to impress for the Jets this spring. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, is very much on the radar, and Cimini says Darnold has done nothing to suggest he cannot be a quality starter in the NFL.
  • The most important lesson learned during the Eagles‘ spring practices, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that Carson Wentz is progressing in his recovery from an ACL tear and could be ready to go in Week 1. However, as Berman points out, the defending champs have plenty of injury concerns outside of Wentz, though no key players appear at risk of missing any regular season time at this point.
  • Berman also writes that Jay Ajayi is the Eagles’ unquestioned No. 1 running back — in stark contrast to the summer of 2017, when the team was emphasizing a committee approach to the offensive backfield — and he names De’vante Bausby, Nate Gerry, and Dallas Goedert as young talents who have stood out in the spring. Gerry, a 2017 fifth-rounder who converted from collegiate safety to professional linebacker, could compete for a starting LB job this year, Berman says.
  • Speaking of Bausby, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com is also impressed with the 25-year-old’s work this spring, which may be enough to allow the Eagles to trade Ronald Darby.
  • Seahawks‘ 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough stood out this spring and has a legitimate chance to be Russell Wilson‘s backup this year, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta also notes that Seattle’s first-round choice, Rashaad Penny, has looked the part and has also shown improvement in his pass-blocking technique, which will help him see more of the field this year.
  • TE Eric Ebron has been perhaps the most impressive newcomer for the Colts this spring, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who also says 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines was the most exciting rookie to watch. Hines, a running back from NC State, has the explosiveness and versatility to thrive in new head coach Frank Reich‘s scheme.
  • Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com says Harold Landry, the Titans‘ second-round draft choice this year, is living up to his draft pedigree and that, while he may have a hard time unseating veterans Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo as a starting OLB, he should see plenty of action as a situational pass rusher to begin his career. Wyatt also says Tennessee’s cornerbacks have been the most impressive position group of the spring.

Jets Exercise Option For DT Steve McLendon

The Jets have exercised their 2018 options for defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).Steve McLendon (Vertical)

McLendon, 32, will now earn a $3.125MM base salary and a $250K roster bonus while counting for $4.25MM on the Jets’ cap. His option was fully expected to be picked up, as he helped New York field one of the best defensive lines in the NFL a season ago. Gang Green ranked sixth in adjusted line yards in 2017, and McLendon — who graded as the league’s No. 29 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus — was a large part of the club’s success.

Martin, meanwhile, only played 489 defensive snaps last year, but his playing time steadily increased as the season progressed. By the end of the 2017 campaign, Martin was a starter, and had collected 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 14 total games. Martin, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013, will now earn a $1.8MM base salary in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Re-Sign Josh Martin

The Jets are bringing back linebacker Josh Martin on a two-year, $4.3MM deal, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Josh Martin

The 25-year-old Martin is coming off his first season as a member of the Jets, with whom he totaled a career-high 15 appearances. While Martin was barely a factor on defense, having registered just one tackle and a half-sack, he was a key special teams cog. Martin took part in 76.9 percent of the Jets’ ST snaps.

Before joining the Jets last year, Martin divided his first three seasons between the Chiefs and Buccaneers. He originally signed with Kansas City as an undrafted free agent from Columbia University in 2013.

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Free Agency Rumors: Charles, Peterson

The latest free agent rumors:

  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that players in need of medical clearance (Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, T.J. Lang) will take visits but won’t sign quickly. The reporter also notes that Peterson could ultimately stay with the Vikings.
  • When it comes to offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, the Saints, Lions, Seahawks, Colts, Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, and Falcons are among the potential teams to watch, according to Josina Anderson on Twitter.
  • The Jets have expressed interest in re-signing linebacker Josh Martin, a source tells Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter), but he’s poised to hit the open market. Martin stands as the team’s top special teams player.
  • The Giants have expressed some initial interest in tight end Anthony Fasano, an NFL source tells Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Jets also have some interest in the blocking specialist.
  • The Steelers have interest in re-signing veteran tight end David Johnson, reports ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. Johnson played in 16 games (five starts) during his first season in Pittsburgh, collecting seven receptions for 80 yards.

Latest On Jets’ Offseason Blueprint

The Jets are without a surefire quarterback option and are up against the cap going into the 2017 league year. But Gang Green looks to be attempting to keep some key role players.

Career swing tackle Ben Ijalana stepped into the Jets’ starting lineup last season after Ryan Clady went down, and the team is looking to retain the veteran, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports. The Jets are also interested in re-signing UFA outside linebackers Josh Martin and Mike Catapano, per Cimini.

Martin may be a more pressing target than Catapano, with Cimini reporting the team is trying to reach an agreement with the special-teamer. The reporter adds that the former UDFA might want to test the market, though, in hopes of being able to compete for a linebacker job elsewhere.

New York could be without both starting tackles from the 2016 season. The team already passed on Ryan Clady‘s option and is expected to cut Breno Giacomini, who joined Clady on IR by season’s end. Ijalana cost just $840K on a one-year deal last year, but after making 13 starts should be more expensive due to demand, Cimini notes.

The Jets jettisoning Giacomini would save them $4.5MM but deprive them of their only tackle with significant starting experience. The 13 starts the 27-year-old Ijalana made double as the only ones in his six-year career, but the team is devoid of options heading into free agency. Clady could loom as a fallback option after the draft if the Jets are unable to land a suitable replacement, but it would be on a much cheaper deal. And it’s possible the 30-year-old Clady could be a mid-level target for another team, the now-injury-prone left tackle being a two-time first-team All-Pro.

Even after moving on from Clady, the Jets are projected to have less than $2MM in cap space. And they will likely add a veteran quarterback, being linked to Mike Glennon and Jay Cutler, so the team will have to create some additional cap space. But the free agents the team plans to retain won’t cost much.

Neither Martin nor Catapano will require a significant financial commitment, with both being career backups. Both finished up their four-year rookie contracts last season. The Jets still have Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Mauldin under contract. Fellow linebacker Bruce Carter also looms as a UFA, but Cimini notes there’s no urgency to get a deal done since Carter is likely looking at a veteran-minimum deal. The former Cowboys starter is entering his age-29 season.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 11/24/15

Tuesday’s minor signings and cuts from around the NFL:

  • The Seahawks are bringing back running back Bryce Brown, a source tells Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Brown will give Seattle additional depth at the position given Marshawn Lynch‘s uncertain status. Head coach Pete Carroll indicated that Lynch was unlikely to go this week, so Brown’s return is not an indication of whether Lynch will undergo surgery.
  • The Seahawks also signed wide receiver B.J. Daniels to the active roster, as Brady Henderson of ESPN Seattle tweets.
  • The Raiders cut linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Armstrong got in hot water earlier this month for taunting a police dog in Pittsburgh.
  • The Eagles signed wide receiver Jonathan Krause from the practice squad and released linebacker Emmanuel Acho, as Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com tweets.
  • The Jets announced that they have signed outside linebacker Josh Martin off the Colts‘ practice squad to their active roster. Martin got his start as a UDFA with Kansas City in 2013 before moving on to the Bucs this season. After he was waived/injured by Tampa Bay, the Colts scooped him up soon after. For his career Martin has played in 21 games (one start) with a half-sack, a forced fumble and 28 tackles, all with the Chiefs.
  • The Dolphins have waived cornerback Zackary Bowman, as Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel tweets.
  • The Seahawks have waived defensive lineman A.J. Francis, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets.

South Notes: Colts, Martin, Saints, Texans

Having fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and replacing him with Rob Chudzinski earlier this week, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano explained on Wednesday that he felt he had no choice but to make a move to try to shake up a stagnant offense, as Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes.

“I think when you keep seeing the same thing over and over again, through the course of time, we needed a change,” Pagano said. “We’ve got the talent, the grit and the character (to win), and this was something I just felt like we needed to do.”

While we look forward to seeing if the move pays dividends in the short term, let’s round up some other items from out of the NFL’s South divisions….

  • The Colts are paying linebacker Josh Martin more than $34K weekly, making him the highest-paid practice squad player in the NFL, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. As Yates observes, the salary is the same as Martin would earn if he were on the team’s 53-man roster.
  • Mike Triplett of ESPN.com examines four of the Saints‘ most noteworthy trades from 2015, evaluating how acquisitions of Kenny Stills, Max Unger, and others are working out so far for New Orleans. Triplett views two of those deals as wins for the Saints, and says the other two are also looking good so far.
  • Weighing in reports of discord between his general manager and head coach when it came to releasing Ryan Mallett, Texans owner Bob McNair denied that Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien disagreed on how to handle the team’s former backup quarterback. “If they disagree on something they come to me,” McNair said, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “They’ve never come to me.”

Workout Notes: Patriots, Texans, Chargers

The latest workouts from around the NFL: