Kelechi Osemele

AFC East Notes: Brady, Pats, Jets

With the departures of both Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown, Tom Brady has grown increasingly “frustrated” with the turnover at wide receiver, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It has been no secret that Brady invested a large amount of time in trying to mesh with both Gordon and Brown and get them up to speed with the offense. At one point, Brady even offered to have Brown stay at his house after he was signed.

With the recent trade for Mohamed Sanu, Brady is now left with having to get yet another receiver up to speed with the offense. The two already sound like they’re already building a strong connection, and ultimately Sanu should prove to be a much better fit in the offense than Gordon ever was, and much more reliable and durable than him or Brown could have been. Through seven games, Sanu has 33 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown.

With the reports that Brady’s future with the Patriots after this year is uncertain, this “frustration” is sure to add fuel to the fire that the six-time Super Bowl winner may be elsewhere at the start of the 2020 season.

Here are some more developments from the AFC East:

  • Although it is common for some players to still take part in team meetings and be around their club while being on IR, that will not be the case for Josh Gordon, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Sources told Reiss that there were multiple factors that ultimately led to Gordon being placed on IR, with what was viewed as an overall decline in his dependability as part of the tipping point for Belichick to make the decision.
  • C.J. Mosley, who has missed the majority of the season with a groin injury, is expected to be out a few more weeks, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It has been speculated that Mosley, who signed a big deal with the Jets this past offseason, could end up missing the rest of the season if the groin injury does not improve. In the two games he’s played this season, Mosley has compiled nine tackles, with one interception and a fumble recovery.
  • With the release of Kelechi Osemele after he elected to undergo an unapproved shoulder surgery, the way the Jets handled the situation has raised some eyebrows around the league, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. One personnel executive told Cimini that: “It’s a bad optic for the team and it sends a bad message to the locker room. What are they thinking?” It remains to be seen what effect, if any, this saga has on future players signing with the Jets.

Jets Release Kelechi Osemele

The Kelechi Osemele saga took another turn Saturday. The Jets released the veteran guard, who recently underwent a shoulder surgery that has been a point of contention between he and the team.

Osemele is set to miss the rest of the season, and this transaction will be a key point in an off-field battle between the eighth-year guard and the Jets. Gang Green promoted linebacker James Burgess from its practice squad to take Osemele’s roster spot.

With this move coming instead of an IR designation, a grievance will follow. A $579K fine came Osemele’s way last week, with Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reporting the Jets docked him a full game check — the maximum amount possible in this case. Osemele was set to earn $5.2MM over the rest of this season, which contained a $9.85MM base salary.

The Jets owe him the balance of his contract both under the standard injury guarantee provision of the player contract and under termination pay. We will pursue … all fines to be rescinded through grievances,” said Andrew Kessler, one of Osemele’s agents (Twitter link via Cimini).

The Jets acquired the 30-year-old blocker from the Raiders this offseason, with the move requiring only a Day 3 draft pick. The two-time Pro Bowler started in three Jets games but did so despite shoulder pain. He left the Jets’ Week 3 game due to the injury and said he needed surgery. The Jets pivoted to Alex Lewis at left guard but soon contested Osemele’s stance, with reports circulating the team and doctors believed he could play through the pain. Osemele’s camp insisted that was not the case, indicating even painkillers were not allowing him to perform effectively. A successful surgery commenced Friday.

The NFLPA announced it would back Osemele in this process, which has certainly accelerated Saturday. The former second-round pick was playing on the then-guard-record five-year, $58.5MM deal he signed with the Raiders in 2016. Osemele was due an $11.35MM non-guaranteed base salary next season, but the Jets were expected to release him after this season. Osemele’s team and the NFLPA are also considering to-be-determined actions against the Jets’ team doctors, with the surgery revealing more damage than anticipated.

This saga has not painted the Jets in the best light, with the issue raising eyebrows among current Jets players and respective agents. The team is unlikely to prevail in the forthcoming grievance, barring evidence indicating Osemele encountered the injury away from the team or sought surgery in order to preserve himself for free agency, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap tweets.

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Latest On Jets, Kelechi Osemele

Kelechi Osemele’s Friday surgery went well, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. As a result, his season is over, but his fight in the trenches against the Jets is just getting started.

Osemele’s reps and the NFLPA are now “considering specific action against the Jets’ team doctor for violations of State Medical Board Regulations,” Schefter reports. Osemele’s camp says that the damage found in his shoulder was more extensive than anticipated and he is expected to argue that the Jets were acting irresponsibly by trying to force him back on the field prematurely.

The Jets traded for Osemele in the offseason and inherited the remaining two years on his contract. At this point, it seems like his Jets tenure will be capped at three games.

Moving forward, the Jets will deploy Alex Lewis at left guard as they duke it out with Osemele off of the field.

Jets’ Kelechi Osemele Undergoes Surgery

Even though the Jets have oddly listed Kelechi Osemele as doubtful for Week 8, the veteran guard has a clearer timetable now. Osemele followed through with the shoulder surgery he planned to have, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. He will certainly not be playing in Week 8 or for the foreseeable future.

Osemele and the Jets have been at odds over his injury, with the team taking the stance the offseason trade acquisition could play through this pain while Osemele has contended he could not. It’s certainly possible his Jets tenure will be capped at three games.

The Jets were rumored to be considering Alex Lewis to start over Osemele anyway, and the ex-Ravens guard will continue to man the team’s left guard spot. The Jets fined Osemele for not practicing last weekend, taking an unusual position on this matter — one the NFLPA will contest on Osemele’s behalf, if necessary. The Jets are expected to release the 30-year-old lineman in the offseason, doing so rather than having to pay his $11.35MM 2020 salary. None of that money is guaranteed.

The former All-Pro blocker has battled injuries over the past two years, and his camp indicates even with pain-killing assistance he could not play through this pain. The Jets’ stance may not be going over especially well with some of their roster, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweeting the team’s actions have raised eyebrows.

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NFLPA Supports Kelechi Osemele

The Jets and Kelechi Osemele disagree on the best treatment for his injured shoulder. Osemele plans to have surgery to repair it while Jets team doctors feel that it’s an unnecessary procedure and the franchise has fined the offensive lineman for conduct detrimental to the team as a result of the disagreement. Now, the NFL Players Association has weighed in (via Twitter).

“Our union supports every player’s right to a second medical opinion, workers’ compensation and the best medical care,” the statement reads. “It is not appropriate or ethical for employers in any line of work to dictate the medical care and treatment of any employee. We are considering all options to protect Kelechi Osemele, as we would for any of our members.”

Jets coach Adam Gates has refused to comment on the situation. “I haven’t been involved in this. My job is coaching the team,” Gase said (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Per Cimini, Osemele hasn’t spoken to Gase in “weeks” but the guard has no beef with the coach.

Jets’ Kelechi Osemele Expects To Be Released

Kelechi Osemele says he “100%” expects the Jets to release him this offseason (Twitter link via Dennis Waszak of the Associated Press). This comes after a bitter back-and-forth between Gang Green and the guard regarding his readyness from shoulder surgery.

Meanwhile, Osemele’s agents say he will undergo surgery on Friday, with or without the Jets’ approval, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. If the Jets push back, they say “he will have all of his rights under the CBA enforced through the legal process.”

The Jets fined Osemele this week and it seems likely that the veteran will respond for a grievance. At this point, it would be surprising if the Jets didn’t also suspend Osemele for conduct detrimental to the team.

Osemele, who has been one of the game’s better interior linemen throughout his career, seems ready to move on from the Jets.

It’s been killing me,Osemele said Friday. “I’m just trying to get this done. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been at work every day, waking up at 5 in the morning, doing all the rehab and the treatments and stuff like that. I’m like the last dude out of here at night. I’m doing everything I can. I’m working with my agent. We’re communicating with the team. There’s just not communication between the team and my doctor and my agent. It’s just been butting heads for whatever reason. Hopefully, it gets resolved soon.”

Soon, the Jets may move on from him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Mosley, Fitzpatrick

C.J. Mosley was one of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason. The Jets poached the inside linebacker from the Ravens for a record-setting contract. His career in New York has struggled to get underway due to injuries. Playing in just his second game of the season on Monday against the Patriots, Mosley re-aggravated his groin injury.

According to Rich Cimini of NFL.com, the organization is concerned about Mosley’s health. Head coach Adam Gase told reporters that “It might be more than the groin.” In fact, Gase’s comments suggested there is a certain level of uncertainty and that doctors are in the middle of a “deep dive” into his health.

Here is some more news from around the AFC East:

  • Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is limited and limping after a toe nail removal procedure, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The report notes that the operation does not put Darnold at risk of missing any upcoming games, but the injury will limit him in practice. Darnold returned to action in Week 6 after missing over a month recovering from mononucleosis.
  • In a separate tweet, Cimini noted that there was no sign of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele at Jets practice today. When Gase was asked the organization’s stance on Osemele, he refused to comment. Osemele has been refusing to practice with a shoulder injury that it appears the team believes he can play through. The team has since fined him and this case could very well be headed towards a grievance. Regardless, a recent update from Pro Football Talk has reported that Osemele plans to proceed with shoulder surgery this week.
  • The Dolphins hapless season has had few storylines worth following. However, after stepping in for young quarterback Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a strong performance against a very good Bills defense. Head coach Brian Flores told reporters that Fitzpatrick earned another start, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Going forward, Fitzpatrick will prepare to play the Steelers next week on Monday Night Football.

AFC East Notes: Watson, Brady, Osemele, Fins

When the Patriots released veteran tight end Benjamin Watson earlier this month, it seemed it may be the end of the line for the 38-year-old. However, the Patriots ended up re-signing Watson a week later. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Watson told him this week that if he played in 2019, it would have only been in New England because of family considerations.

“There were some other teams that called,” he said while preparing to take on the Jets this Monday, “But at this point, it would have been very difficult for me to go somewhere, no matter where it was, and have them be here. We just moved, and we weren’t going to move anywhere else. There are some other organizations I have a lot of respect for, but at this point, being that the season has started, school has started, we weren’t going to move. My desire to play wasn’t going to trump the commitment we made as a family that we were not going to be separate for two months.” 

The Patriots gave him $800k in guaranteed money to return, which provides some reassurance he’ll be around for the season. His return also helps fill the void with tight end Matt LaCosse sidelined with a knee issue.

Here are some more developments from around the AFC East:

  • Tom Brady explained his cameo appearance in the new Netflix comedy series “Living With Yourself,” expressing disgust Saturday with those who thought he was taking a shot at Robert Kraft, relays ESPN’s Mike Reiss“It was agreed to a year ago. It was written four years ago,” he said. “Again, it’s unfortunate that people would choose to think I would ever do something like that about Mr. Kraft. I think that’s a very bad assessment of my relationship with him. I would never do that.”  Although the scene was written years ago, it wasn’t filmed until after the allegations came out against Kraft. Director Timothy Greenberg told Refinery29 that he thought Brady would pull out of the Netflix project once charges were filed against Kraft.
  • After the Jets followed through on their threat and fined guard Kelechi Osemele for refusing to practice this week due to a disagreement regarding his shoulder injury, it is possible Osemele could now file a grievance with the Players Association against the Jets to try to fight the fine and resolve the issue of whether he does need surgery. “We will always act accordingly and protect all of Kelechi’s rights under the CBA,” said Osemele’s agent, Andrew Kessler. With the trade deadline just days away, it stands to reason that Osemele could be shopped to clubs in need of interior line help.
  • With the Dolphins making it very clear to the rest of the NFL that they are stripping their roster down in hopes of a full rebuild and a chance at a top quarterback in next year’s draft, the rest of the NFL has taken notice, with some supportive and others critical of this decision, according to Barry Jackson and Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. Many of the league’s owners were in Fort Lauderdale this week for the NFL’s fall meetings. When questioned by reporters regarding the Dolphins, both Jeffrey Lurie and Arthur Blank were understanding of the situation. ”I think they’ve got a great strategic plan,” said Lurie. “Well managed. I have high hopes for the future of the Dolphins.” With Blank adding: “Every coach, every general manager, every owner has both a short-term view and a long-term view and you have to balance all of that out, depending on where your franchise is.” The winless Dolphins take on the Bills today in Orchard Park.

Latest On Jets’ Kelechi Osemele

The Jets have followed through on their threat to fine guard Kelechi Osemele, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes. Osemele refused to practice this week and, according to agent Andrew Kessler, it’s due to a dispute about his shoulder injury.

Osemele’s doctors told him that he needs season-ending surgery. The Jets, meanwhile, ordered him to retake the field. Osemele refused, hence the fine.

He only previously had been able to play this season by taking Toradol, given to him by the team doctor before every game,” a source close to the situation told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). “Despite taking those extremely strong pain masking narcotics, he still was in a great deal of pain while playing and is no longer able to continue doing that.”

Osemele has also been open about his level of pain and frustrations with the team.

It’s been killing me,” Osemele said Friday (via Brian Costello of the New York Post). “I’m just trying to get this done. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been at work every day, waking up at 5 in the morning, doing all the rehab and the treatments and stuff like that. I’m like the last dude out of here at night. I’m doing everything I can. I’m working with my agent. We’re communicating with the team. There’s just not communication between the team and my doctor and my agent. It’s just been butting heads for whatever reason. Hopefully, it gets resolved soon.”

With the trade deadline just days away, it stands to reason that Osemele could be shopped to clubs in need of interior line help. Or, before the Tuesday deadline, the Jets could suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team.

Jets, Kelechi Osemele Disagree On Surgery Decision?

The belief that Kelechi Osemele needs surgery does not appear to be universal at Jets headquarters. While the veteran guard said he needs to undergo a shoulder operation, the team is not in lockstep here, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).

The Jets have instead cleared Osemele to play, per Costello, who adds there may be consequences coming for the former All-Pro blocker. Determining this was a pre-existing injury, and deeming it as something Osemele can play through, the Jets want him to practice on Saturday. Should this not occur, Costello adds Osemele will face discipline for conduct detrimental to the team (Twitter links). A team doctor and an independent doctor have cleared Osemele, according to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini.

Osemele, however, said those doctors informed him he did, in fact, need surgery for an injury suffered Aug. 5. He aggravated the injury in Week 3. The Jets believe Osemele initially suffered the injury when he was still a Raider, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. This could become a contentious situation.

I think they just want me to play through the injury, but obviously I tried to go and I can’t go,” Osemele said Friday. “I’ve been doing everything I can and it’s just not there. I can’t control that. It’s an injury. It’s torn. So until it’s fixed, I can’t really do anything… It’s pain; it’s strength; it’s instability. I can’t lock my arm out. I can’t stop a guy from bull-rushing me. I just can’t do my job.”

This news comes on the heels of the eighth-year guard being mentioned in trade rumors. Were Osemele to be traded, he must pass a physical. The 30-year-old lineman does not believe he would do that. This obviously hurts any trade value the high-priced blocker would have.

The Jets added Osemele via offseason trade, which Mike Maccagnan orchestrated. He is signed through 2020, still tied to the massive contract the Raiders gave him in 2016. Osemele is making $9.8MM this season and is in line for a non-guaranteed $11.3MM salary — one the Jets are unlikely to pay when it comes time to determine Osemele’s place on their 2020 team. In three starts, Osemele graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 45 overall guard, which followed an injury-plagued 2018 season that saw him fall off his Pro Bowl-caliber perch. A Joe Douglas trade acquisition, Alex Lewis has started the past two games at left guard for the Jets. He is in line to make a third start Monday against the Patriots.

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