Lucky Whitehead

Jets Place Matt Forte On IR

Matt Forte‘s second Jets season will end prior to Week 17. The team placed the 10th-year running back on IR, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).

The Jets promoted wide receiver/return man Lucky Whitehead and running back Jahad Thomas to the active roster, per Costello (on Twitter), and placed running back Akeem Judd on IR.

Struggles with injuries derailed Forte’s 2017 campaign, and it’s uncertain if he will be back with New York next season. Forte has not had any discussions with the Jets about his 2018 status yet, he said (via Costello), but has indicated he wants to play next season. Costello notes Forte would probably like to return to the Jets, but team can save $3MM by cutting Forte prior to the final season of his three-year deal.

Forte finished this season with 381 rushing yards — over 500 fewer than his previous career-low figure of 813, which came last season for the Jets — and received just 103 carries. Bilal Powell and rookie Elijah McGuire ate into Forte’s workload, and the usually durable back found himself in a committee. Forte played in at least 15 games in each of his first seven seasons and suited up for 14 in his Jets debut. Knee pain limited him to 12 this season; he underwent knee surgery last offseason but said he doesn’t expect to need another operation prior to the 2018 season.

McGuire has three years remaining on his rookie deal, and Powell will make $4MM in base salary next season. Forte’s due $3MM in base, but this injury-plagued season and a non-guaranteed salary could induce the Jets to part ways with him.

The Jets signed Whitehead to their practice squad in late November.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Sign Lucky Whitehead To P-Squad

The Jets eyed Lucky Whitehead as their return man coming into this season, but the former Cowboys specialist broke his foot to nix that idea.

However, Whitehead appears to have healed up and will return to the Jets as part of their practice squad, the team announced. The Jets waived linebacker Jeremy Cash to make room on the 10-man unit.

Whitehead ventured to the Jets’ facility for a visit earlier this month, and that looks to have sparked a reunion. The third-year wide receiver/return man suffered the broken foot in August and was waived with an injury settlement in September as the Jets organized their regular-season roster.

Dallas used Whitehead as its primary return man from 2015-16, but a case of mistaken identity induced a split between the parties earlier this year. The Jets then claimed him on waivers. The Jets are currently without punt returner Jeremy Kerley due to suspension.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/21/17

Here’s the workout news from Tuesday.

Buffalo Bills

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

New York Jets

AFC Notes: Kizer, Jackson, Bowles, Whitehead, Jags, Grissom

The Browns are in the midst of another season in the cellar of the league and while the 49ers are also winless, the teams’ quarterback situations have Cleveland looking like a much less hopeful franchise moving forward. The Browns struggles in finding a franchise quarterback have been been well documented over the years, but despite a botched midseason trade for A.J. McCarron, head coach Hue Jackson still believes that current rookie starter DeShone Kizer has the ability to end the team’s long QB issues, reports Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I think this guy is going to be a really good player in time, but there’s work to be done,” Jackson said. “We all want the instant success, but it’s going to take a little bit of time because I think it’s not just him. I think the whole offensive team has to do their part, too. But does he have to play better? Yes, he does.

Ulrich relays that while Jackson did push for the McCarron trade, it was was a move that the head coach wanted to make in order to help better his team in the short-term, full knowing that Kizer still had a lot of development to do this season.

“My job as a head coach is to always push for better talent on this football team,” “You’re talking about a young player in the National Football League who has had [seven] starts, compared to other players who have either played for me or players that I have seen that have done it week in and week out. I don’t think that’s a knock on DeShone.”

  • Sticking with the Browns quarterback situation, Mark Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com explained the team’s potential interest in some veteran signal callers this offseason in a video posted to the website. Cabot didn’t shoot down the notion that the Browns could conceivably after names such as Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith, which would be a major upgrade over what the franchise has this season. The reporter even threw out Andrew Luck as being a potential target if the Colts were to make him available if they have interest in a QB prospect at the top of the draft. She does also note that the team could look at taking another signal caller high in the 2018 NFL Draft. There will be many quarterback options available, but it’s looking likely that the Browns may have a few new faces on the QB depth chart by the time their 2018 training camp begins.
  • While the Browns have performed close to their already low expectations, the Jets have been one of the bigger surprises in the NFL thus far. After seemingly starting the year trying to tank, the Jets are right in the thick of the AFC wild card race after beating the Bills last week for their fourth victory of the season, which has Ralph Vacchiano of theJetsBlog already saying that head coach Todd Bowles has proven that he’s the man to lead this team into the future. Vacchiano argues that although the Jets are just sniffing the playoff hunt, this season was never really about winning, but instead proving to the front office that he is the right head coach for the years to come. He notes that Bowles has the team playing loose and free after a tumultuous 2016 season. The third-year head coach has one more year left on his current deal, but Vacchiano states that he thinks the Jets should invest longer than even 2018 given the way the team has overachieved over the first nine weeks. There is still lots of games to be played and the Jets schedule does get tougher from here, but there is no doubt that the team is playing harder and better even with so many unproven players all over the roster.
  • The Jets will have to shake up special teams return unit for this Sunday’s game with wide receiver Jeremy Kerley suspended. To potentially remedy this, the team will bring in veteran return man Lucky Whitehead in for a visit on Saturday, according to Howard Balzer of Sports on Earth (Twitter link). Whitehead, 25, fielded 25 punt returns for Dallas last season and would make for an easy slot-in given his experience level with returning in his third year in the league.
  • The Jaguars have three starting lineman listed as questionable for Sunday’s affair vs. the Chargers, according to the team’s website. Guards Patrick Omameh and A.J. Cann, along with tackle Jermey Parnell are uncertain to play, which would make it much more difficult for the team to establish a ground game even with Leonard Fournette likely returning after missing the team’s last two games with an injury and suspension due to team rules. Jacksonville has five reserve offensive lineman on the roster, so depth is not a huge issue even if the offense is missing 3/5th’s of its normal group up front.
  • Recently released Patriots defensive end/special teamer Geneo Grissom has cleared waivers, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Grissom was removed from the active roster to make room for new signee Martellus Bennett, who made some interesting comments today with how he perceived the Packers medical staff misguiding him with his injury. Meanwhile, Reiss notes that New England can now bring Grissom back to the practice squad if they so choose.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/7/17

Today’s workout updates:

Arizona Cardinals

  • QBs Joel Stave, Alek Torgersen; WRs Harvey Binford, Dante Edwards (link via Balzer)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

  • WR Dominique Young (link via Wilson)

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/11/17

Monday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Promoted from practice squad: DT Tyrique Jarrett

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Geremy Davis
  • Waived: CB Jeff Richards

Minnesota Vikings

  • Released with injury settlement: QB Taylor Heinicke

New Orleans Saints

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Adam Bighill

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jets Make 23 Moves, Reach 53-Man Limit

The Jets waived 17 players, released three, placed two on the suspended list, and waived/injured one player in order to reach the 53-man maximum. Here’s the complete breakdown:

Waived:

Reserve/Suspended:

Waived/Injured:

Released:

Purdum was the longest-tenured player on the Jets’ roster, but he wasn’t performing up to standards this offseason. When the Jets acquired long snapper Thomas Hennessy in a trade with the Colts in late August, it was clear that Purdum’s time with the organization was coming to a close.

AFC Notes: Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Bills

Free agent running back Ryan Mathews may be a fit for the Ravens, but signing him would require the club to overlook his ball security issues, observes Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Mathews has fumbled a league-high 20 times since 2010, notes Hensley, who adds that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh cut the playing time of Ray Rice, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Javorius Allen in recent years after each had problems in that department. “You play the best players, and at running back, the best players don’t fumble,” Harbaugh said in 2015. While Mathews has his flaws, including injury concerns, he has nonetheless averaged a lofty 4.4 yards per carry on nearly 1,200 career attempts. A Ravens team that tied for 20th in YPC last year (4.0) and won’t have the injured Kenneth Dixon in 2017 could use the type of per-carry production Matthews’ brings to the table.

More from the AFC:

  • The Steelers invested a second-round pick in Senquez Golson in 2015, but the cornerback’s lack of availability could bring an end to his time with the team, according to defensive coordinator Keith Butler (via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette). “If he can’t stay on the field we can’t keep him,” said Butler. “That’s just the fact of the matter. That’s not threat or anything like that. That’s just the fact of the matter. It’s just the way it is for all of them.” Injuries prevented Golson from playing a down in either of his first two seasons, and a hamstring issue has kept him out for almost all of training camp this year.
  • Jets wide receiver/return man Lucky Whitehead will undergo surgery on his broken foot, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Wednesday (via Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press). While it’s unclear exactly how much time Whitehead will miss, he’ll be on the shelf for a while. Bowles said that Whitehead “could potentially” play this year, per Waszak. The late-July waiver claim from the Cowboys had been in line to begin the season as Gang Green’s top returner. With would-be replacement Jalin Marshall out the first quarter of the season because of a suspension, the Jets could turn to one of Frankie Hammond, Romar Morris, Chris Harper or Marcus Murphy, Waszak suggests.
  • Fifth-round rookie Nathan Peterman has passed T.J. Yates on the Bills’ depth chart at quarterback, leading Mike Rodak of ESPN.com to argue that the team should release the veteran. The Bills would only have the untested Peterman behind starter Tyrod Taylor at that point, but as Rodak writes, the loss of Taylor for an extended period would kill their already slim hopes of contending anyhow. Further, cutting Yates would allow Buffalo to keep another player at a position of need, and it’s possible the team would be able to re-sign him at a later date if an emergency were to arise under center. Yates nearly went without an employer last season until the Dolphins signed him in mid-December, after all, though he did suffer an ACL tear late in the previous year.

Jets’ Lucky Whitehead Suffers Broken Foot

Lucky Whitehead has not had good fortune this offseason. The wide receiver suffered a broken foot in practice, coach Todd Bowles told reporters. Lucky Whitehead (vertical)

Whitehead made national headlines earlier this summer when a case of mistaken identity led to an arrest warrant and his release from the Cowboys. The Jets used their high waiver priority to snag Whitehead after he was dropped by Dallas and, at the time, it seemed like he had a pretty good chance of making the team. Unfortunately, his injury will sideline him for a good chunk of time, meaning that he will not be on the Week 1 53-man roster.

In theory, Whitehead’s injury could help 2016 seventh-round pick Charone Peake and other wide receiver hopefuls in their bid to make the cut. However, the Jets may want to look out-of-house for a return specialist who can offer what Whitehead would have brought to the table.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Kap, Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, Pats

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith became $2MM richer when he showed up to training camp Thursday, making his reporting bonus the largest in the NFL, per Field Yates of ESPN (on Twitter).

With Smith and first-round pick Patrick Mahomes in the fold, the Chiefs aren’t in the market for a signal-caller, but there would be “no hesitation” to sign polarizing free agent Colin Kaepernick if they were, owner Clark Hunt told NBC Sports Radio in San Francisco on Wednesday (via Scott Gleason of USA Today).

While Kaepernick’s political activism has made it difficult for him to find work since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March, that wouldn’t have deterred the Chiefs from pursuing him. Clark noted that “there are certain circumstances where guys get in trouble off the field, and that is something as an organization and as a family we care about,” but Kaepernick isn’t someone who has been a problem away from the gridiron.

Notably, Kaepernick was teammates with Smith when the two were 49ers from 2011-12. Kaepernick took the No. 1 job from Smith during that stretch, which led San Francisco to trade him to Kansas City, but there’s no chance of the two appearing on the same depth chart with the Chiefs.

More on KC and a few other AFC franchises:

  • Free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin‘s workout in Buffalo this past Monday hasn’t led to a deal, though head coach Sean McDermott hasn’t closed the door on the 36-year-old signing with the Bills. McDermott told Mike Rodak of ESPN.com and other reporters Thursday that the two sides are still determining whether they’re the right match for each other. McDermott also called the meeting with Boldin a “nice visit,” according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
  • The Ravens were the only team other than the Jets to put him in a claim for wide receiver Lucky Whitehead, tweets Field Yates of ESPN. Whitehead hit waivers after the Cowboys cut him Monday, and he joined the Jets on Wednesday.
  • The Chiefs promoted Mike Borgonzi from co-director of player personnel to director of player personnel on Wednesday, per BJ Kissel of the team’s website. Borgonzi had shared the position with Brett Veach, who took over for the fired John Dorsey as Kansas City’s GM earlier this month. Veach beat out Borgonzi and others for the role.
  • Undrafted rookie Austin Carr could benefit from Andrew Hawkinsretirement more than any other Patriots receiver, observes Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. The Pats are still loaded at receiver, where they’ll primarily rely on Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola, but Hawkins’ exit leaves Carr as the next man up, writes Reiss. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Carr was the Big Ten receiver of the year last year, when he piled up 90 catches, 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns at Northwestern.