Lorenzo Mauldin

Jets’ Lorenzo Mauldin Likely Done For Year

Lorenzo Mauldin‘s season has likely ended before it could even start. The linebacker was informed today that he will likely need back surgery, coach Todd Bowles told reporters. Lorenzo Mauldin (Vertical)

Mauldin was placed on injured reserve before the season opener and, at the time, there was some hope that he could return from IR. Unfortunately, that won’t be possible after he undergoes a major operation.

The Jets selected Mauldin in the third round of the 2015 draft. Although he has been a regular on defense, nagging injuries limited his production over the last two seasons. He was on the field for 34% of the Jets’ defensive plays last year, a step up from his playing time as a rookie, but he missed five games and appeared to regress. He drew subpar ranking from Pro Football Focus for the second straight year, as the outlet placed him 80th in performance among 110 qualified edge defenders.

When Mauldin returns to action in 2018, he may face league discipline for an off-the-field incident.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/4/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Browns claimed offensive lineman Zach Banner off waivers from the Colts, who cut him despite drafting him in the fourth round this year. Cleveland made room for Banner by placing offensive lineman Rod Johnson on IR. Additionally, the Browns continued their busy offseason regarding secondary turnover by releasing former safety starter Ed Reynolds from IR.
  • The Steelers re-signed linebacker Steven Johnson and waived safety Jordan Dangerfield with an injury designation. Johnson initially saw his name appear on Pittsburgh’s cut list Saturday, but the backup will return. Pittsburgh also placed cornerback Cameron Sutton, a rookie third-rounder, on IR.
  • Jacquies Smith will move from the PUP list back to the Buccaneers‘ 53-man roster. The team reinstated the defensive end on Monday. A fourth-year player, Smith is expected to be a rotational player in Tampa Bay this season.
  • The Dolphins re-signed tackle Sam Young. Miami cut the offensive lineman on Saturday but will keep him around for now. Miami guaranteed Young’s salary, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets, signing Young this week instead of next because an unspecified team wanted him. This will mark Young’s eighth NFL season. The Dolphins signed him to an extension in December.
  • Quarterback Jeff Driskel will land on the Bengals‘ IR list. The former 49ers sixth-rounder has yet to play in a game.
  • A starter in three games last season, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin landed on the Jets‘ IR Monday. To replace the third-year player, Gang Green re-signed linebacker Bruce Carter. Now a seventh-year veteran, Carter played a depth role with the Jets last season.
  • Wide receiver Chris Matthews re-signed with the Ravens, who made room on their 53-man roster by placing cornerback Maurice Canady on IR.
  • The Falcons released defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who resides on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as a result of misdemeanor charges from 2016. While Hageman is on that list, the Falcons will not have to pay Hageman.
  • The Chargers claimed linebacker Hayes Pullard off waivers from the Jaguars. A former Browns seventh-rounder in 2015, Pullard started two games for the 2015 Jags and played in all 16 Jacksonville contests last season.
  • Jelani Jenkins was expected to start for the Raiders, but the former Dolphins linebacker found himself on the team’s cut list Saturday. The Raiders, though, reached an injury settlement with the fifth-year linebacker, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (on Twitter). Jenkins suffered a groin injury during the preseason. Oakland also reached an injury settlement with Jaydon Mickens, per Gehlken, who adds Mickens suffered an ankle injury.
  • The Seahawks waived cornerback Demetrius McCray with an injury settlement, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Redskins reached an injury settlement with center Ronald Patrick, waiving the interior blocker from IR as a result.

Lorenzo Mauldin’s Roster Spot In Jeopardy

Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was arrested on an assault charge in June, but it may be injury issues – not off-field troubles – that lead to his ouster from their roster, according to Laura Albanese of Newsday. Mauldin has dealt with a back injury this summer, one likely to keep him out of the Jets’ preseason game against the Giants on Saturday, while fellow OLBs Freddie Bishop, Dylan Donahue and Josh Martin have perhaps done enough to justify roster spots over the past month.

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Moving on from the 24-year-old Mauldin would mean abandoning hope on a recent high draft pick. The Jets chose Mauldin in the third round (No. 82 overall) in 2015, a class that included other disappointments in wide receiver Devin Smith (second round) and quarterback Bryce Petty (fourth round).

Mauldin has totaled 6.5 sacks across 26 games with the Jets. The majority of those sacks (four) came during Mauldin’s 15-game rookie season, though he only played 24 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps that year. His on-field action increased last season (34 percent of defensive plays), but he missed five games and saw his production go backward. Mauldin also drew a subpar ranking from Pro Football Focus for the second straight year, as the outlet placed him 80th in performance among 110 qualified edge defenders.

Regardless of whether he plays this year with the Jets or another team, Mauldin is unlikely to face NFL-imposed discipline for his arrest until the 2018 season. He’s accused of punching a man in a New York nightclub in early April, and he allegedly broke several bones in the man’s face.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, McCown, Patriots, Bills

Although Josh McCown is the heavy favorite to open the 2017 season as the Jets‘ starting quarterback, Gang Green’s signal-caller competition hasn’t been resolved just yet, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. Given that head coach Todd Bowles is unquestionably on the hot seat — and needs victories to retain his job — New York could be loathe to bench McCown if the club gets off to an (admittedly unexpected) fast start. In such a scenario, second-year quarterback Christian Hackenberg might not get the type of long audition period required to show Jets management if they need to find another passer.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Although Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was arrested on assault charges last month (and is facing a civil suit stemming from the same incident), he’s not expected to face a suspension until at least 2018, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Mauldin is accused of punching a man in a New York nightclub in early April, and allegedly broke several bones in the man’s face. A third-round pick in 2015, the 24-year-old Mauldin hasn’t registered much production thus far in his NFL career, as he’s managed only 6.5 sacks as a backup in two seasons.
  • Given that the Patriots are only likely to retain six wide receivers on their initial roster, veteran Andrew Hawkins doesn’t seem likely to make the squad, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com details. Hawkins signed a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal with New England over the offseason, so the club will experience a minimal dead money hit if it cuts ties. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell, and special-teamer Matthew Slater are Patriots roster locks, per Reiss, so there’s no room for Hawkins barring an injury.
  • New Patriots linebacker David Harris will earn a base salary of $1MM in 2017, reports Miguel Benzan of PatsFans.com (hat tip: Reiss). He can also bring in $500K in per-game roster bonuses, plus another $750K via incentives. In 2018, Harris is scheduled to make a $1.75MM base salary, plus $500K in per-game roster bonuses, and $1.05MM via incentives. As previously reported, Harris also received a signing bonus of $1.25MM.
  • While Preston Brown, Lorenzo Alexander, and Ramon Humber served as starters during minicamp, the Bills‘ linebacking corps battle is “wide open,” per Canio Marasco of BuffaloBills.com. Reggie Ragland, the club’s second-round pick a year ago, missed his entire rookie campaign with injury, but could be in line for playing time in 2017. Buffalo also signed veteran Gerald Hodges, who posted excellent results with the 49ers last season, to a low-cost deal.

Jets Notes: Bowles, Martin, Skrine, UDFAs

Some fringe NFL players have difficulties finding a job after their NFL career has seemingly come to an end. However, Jets placekicker Ross Martin seems to have it all figured out. The former undrafted free agent out of Duke already has a job lined up at IBM if/when his football opportunities have dried up.

“Throughout my senior year, my first and foremost passion was to make it to the NFL, but I also wanted to have a contingency plan,” Martin told Ethan Greenberg of NewYorkJets.com. “I did a couple interviews with a couple different firms and ended up getting the offer from IBM with a start date in October last year. I went the whole course with the Jets through the preseason and everything. I got cut and started working for IBM in October of last year all the way up through April.”

Martin is hoping for a different outcome this time around. The 23-year-old is competing with Chandler Catanzaro in what special teams coordinator Brant Boyer described as a “wide open kicking competition.”

Let’s check out some more notes out of the Jets organization…

  • In the unlikely event that Jets coach Todd Bowles loses his job, Darryl Slater of NJ.com believes that general manager Mike Maccagnan should have a major say in hiring the team’s replacement. Bowles and Maccagnan were hired together before the 2015 season, and it’s clear that owner Woody Johnson is still running the show. However, considering the organization’s wish to rebuild next season, it seems unlikely that the team wouldn’t consider bringing Bowles back for the 2018 campaign.
  • Looking at holdovers from last season’s team, Slater makes it clear that Jets veteran running back Matt Forte will not get cut. Considering Lorenzo Mauldin‘s legal issues, the writer can envision the team moving on from the linebacker. The writer also points to cornerback Buster Skrine, who he assumes will be gone next offseason, anyway. Cutting the veteran defensive back would create nearly $6MM in cap space, which the Jets could carry over into next offseason.
  • Among all of the Jets’ undrafted free agents, Connor Hughes of NJ.com believes offensive lineman Chris Bordelon has the best chance of making the 53-man roster. While the Jets starting offensive line is seemingly set, the Nicholls State product could catch on as a reserve. The writer also lists wideouts K.D. Cannon and Gabe Marks, fullback Anthony Firkser, cornerback Xavier Coleman, and linebacker Connor Harris as potential candidates to make the team.
  • In case you missed it, free agent linebacker Zach Orr is set to meet with the Jets today.

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin Arrested For Assault

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself into Manhattan authorities after being charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from an incident in a New York club in early April, according to a report from TMZ.Lorenzo Mauldin (Vertical)

Jean Lopez accuses Mauldin of punching him after he spilled champagne on the Gang Green defender, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Lopez, who claims to have suffered several broken bones in his face, also filed a civil suit against Mauldin earlier this month. Both Mauldin and his lawyer have denied the charges, but Mauldin could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

Mauldin, a third-round pick in 2015, could be subject to a league-imposed suspension (even if he’s not found guilty of assault). The 24-year-old hasn’t registered much production thus far in his NFL career, as he’s managed only 6.5 sacks as a backup in two seasons. Mauldin is signed through the 2018 campaign with cap charges below $900K in each season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Lorenzo Mauldin Accused Of Attacking Man At Nightclub

A man is accusing Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin of attacking him at a New York-area nightclub earlier this year, according to Larry Celona, Paul Schwartz and Bruce Golding of the New York Post.

The alleged attack occurred on the morning of April 2, and the man, 22-year-old Jean Lopez, has filed a lawsuit against Mauldin and another man he attests was responsible for the attack. The suit alleges Mauldin attacked Lopez after the victim spilled champagne on the linebacker. Lopez, whom the Post reports stands 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds, underwent facial surgery to repair multiple fractures. The 24-year-old Mauldin, who was a third-round Jets pick in 2015, is 6-4 and weighs 259 pounds.

The Jets are aware of the situation, the Post reports. Mauldin has started four games for the Jets during his two-season tenure.

Lopez’s lawyer, Glenn Race, said Mauldin punched Lopez “without provocation.” Lopez said he was punched twice during the attack. No charges were filed at the time after Lopez couldn’t identify the attacker, the Post reports, adding that Mauldin’s lawyer said this suit is “without merit.”

Another individual struck the plaintiff,” defense attorney Mitchell Schuster told the Post, “and that will be borne out by the witnesses and other parties involved. We have a very strong case and I look forward to pursuing it. Lorenzo’s anxious to being exonerated. He was not involved.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Texans

On the heels of finishing with the second-fewest sacks (21) in the NFL last season, the Bills spent the 19th overall pick on ex-Clemson edge rusher Shaq Lawson. Unfortunately, Lawson underwent right shoulder surgery after the draft and will be out until October, leaving the Bills without any real pass-rushing upgrades entering the season (plus, Mario Williams is gone). To fill Lawson’s void, the Bills could turn to IK Enemkpali, according to Joe Buscaglia of WKBW. Although the former Jet is known more for breaking quarterback Geno Smith‘s jaw with a punch last summer than anything he has accomplished on the field, Enemkpali impressed head coach Rex Ryan during spring workouts and garnered some first-team reps, per Buscaglia. As a result, the rush-needy Bills could platoon Enempkali and Manny Lawson at linebacker – using the latter on rushing downs – Buscaglia writes.

Notes on a couple other AFC linebackers:

  • The Jets are counting on second-year man Lorenzo Mauldin to evolve into a more complete linebacker this season, writes Brian Costello of the New York. The 2015 third-round pick emerged as a pass-rushing threat in racking up four sacks while playing just 24 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps as a rookie. On the negative side, the team has concerns about Mauldin’s abilities in coverage and against the run, according to Costello, who nonetheless adds that the 23-year-old is the favorite to start on the weak side for Gang Green.
  • Similarly, the Texans “expect a lot from” sophomore inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney, LBs coach Mike Vrabel told the Houston Chronicle. McKinney, whom the Texans want to use more in pass-rushing and coverage situations, has drawn praise from head coach Bill O’Brien this offseason. “I would say one guy on defense that I haven’t been asked a lot about that I think has really improved during the offseason and was improving at the end of last year is Benardrick McKinney,” said O’Brien. The 43rd pick in last year’s draft, McKinney started in 11 of 14 appearances as a rookie, picked up 63 tackles and a sack, and ranked an outstanding 17th among 97 qualifying linebackers at Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
  • In case you missed it, the chances of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady avoiding a four-game suspension this year don’t look good.

Draft Pick Signings: Thursday

Over the course of the next few weeks, as the league’s 32 teams lock up their draft picks, we’ll dedicate individual posts to first- and second-round picks reaching agreements with their respective clubs. Already today, for instance, we’ve passed along word of Trae Waynes signing with the Vikings and Nelson Agholor reaching a deal with the Eagles.

However, given the lack of drama involved in rookie contract negotiations under the new CBA, news on players who were selected in the third round or later will be relegated to round-up posts. Here are Thursday’s mid- to late-round picks who signed their deals, with any additional updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

4:52pm:

  • In addition to confirming the signing of Deon Simon (noted below), the Jets also announced the signings of third-round outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and fourth-round quarterback Bryce Petty, per a team release.
  • The Vikings are gradually agreeing to terms with nearly their entire draft class over the course of the day. Chris Tomasson (Twitter links) has updates on two more, reporting that fifth-round tight end MyCole Pruitt, fifth-round wideout Stefon Diggs, and seventh-round offensive lineman Austin Shepherd have all reached deals with the club.
  • The Ravens have signed fifth-round guard Robert Myers and sixth-round wide receiver Darren Waller, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).
  • The Seahawks have signed fifth-round cornerback Tye Smith, tweets Terry Blount of ESPN.com.

3:50pm:

  • The Vikings have officially added three more draftees to the roster, agreeing to terms with sixth-round defensive lineman B.J. Dubose and seventh-round linebacker Edmond Robinson, according to reports from Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). In addition to those late-rounders, fourth-round offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings has signed his deal, tweets agent Mike McCartney.
  • Sixth-round lineman Kristjan Sokoli has signed his four-year rookie deal with the Seahawks, tweets agent Brett Tessler. A defensive lineman at Buffalo, Sokoli will be moving over to the offensive line in Seattle.
  • Jets seventh-round defensive tackle Deon Simon and Patriots seventh-round defensive end Xzavier Dickson have signed their rookie deals, according to tweets from their respective agencies. Simon will get a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $73K, while Dickson’s bonus will be worth about $53K.

2:43pm:

  • Sixth-round offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson has agreed to terms with the Vikings and will officially sign when he arrives at the team’s facility, tweets Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Thompson is the second Vikes draftee to reach a deal with the club.
  • Another Packers draftee has agreed to terms with the team, per Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Post-Gazette, who tweets that the club has struck a deal with sixth-rounder fullback Aaron Ripkowski. Ripkowski was the first of three players selected by the Packers in the sixth round, and is also the first one to reach an agreement with the team.
  • The Browns have signed sixth-round tight end Randall Telfer, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Telfer will receive a signing bonus of just under $118K.

1:48pm:

  • The Packers have agreed to terms on four-year rookie contracts with fifth-round quarterback Brett Hundley and fourth-round linebacker Jake Ryan, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). Green Bay is expected to lock up most or all of the rest of its late-round picks by the end of the day, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • The Ravens have agreed to contract terms with fourth-round defensive back Tray Walker, reports Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link). The final player selected in the fourth round, as a supplemental pick, Walker will count for about $521K against the cap in 2015.
  • Seventh-round center Austin Reiter has agreed to terms on his rookie contract with Washington, tweets John Keim of ESPN.com. Reiter will receive a signing bonus worth just under $75K.