Jets Rumors

Chris Herndon, Brian Winters To Miss Time

Chris Herndon‘s second NFL season may end up including just one game. Adam Gase said Monday the promising tight end suffered a fractured rib in his Week 10 debut, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).

Guard Brian Winters‘ season is also in jeopardy. The seventh-year blocker is unlikely to play again in 2019 after he suffered a dislocated shoulder, Gase said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, on Twitter). Surgery is in play for Winters, Cimini tweets. Shoulder trouble sidelined Winters over the summer, and Mehta notes (via Twitter) he has been playing through pain all season and was told to have surgery earlier. But Winters started all nine Jets games this season.

Herndon began his season with a four-game suspension but did not debut until Week 10 because of a hamstring injury. He may have 10 months before he can rebound. Two seasons remain on Herndon’s rookie deal. Winters, however, has a non-guaranteed $7MM remaining on his Jets pact. Considering how new GM Joe Douglas has proceeded with Mike Maccagnan offensive line investments, Winters may have played his final down as a Jet.

Winters is the longest-tenured Jets offensive lineman, beginning his career when Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson anchored the group. He’s made 79 starts for the Jets since joining the team as a third-round pick in 2013. Gang Green has already experienced issues across their O-line this season. They have shuffled players at left tackle, right tackle and left guard. Tom Compton took Winters’ place at right guard Sunday and figures to start in Week 11.

The Jets added Ryan Griffin as a Herndon stopgap this offseason, and the veteran will continue to play a key role in New York’s passing game. He’s caught 20 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Herndon snared one pass Sunday. His 502 yards last season were the third-most most by a Jets rookie tight end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Gronkowski, Darnold, Folk, Dolphins

It’s no secret that the Patriots have been searching for a weapon to replace the production they received from now retired tight end Rob Gronkowski. Wide receivers Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown both looked like solutions at various points earlier in the season, but neither remain on New England’s roster. However, it appears the team’s owner Robert Kraft still hopes to get Gronkowski back on the field.

When Gronkowski was cleaning out his locker after announcing his retirement in March, Kraft told him the team would remain hopeful that he would return late in the season for another playoff run, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While it has been known that the organization hoped Gronkowski would change his mind, no one had reported Kraft’s involvement.

Rapoport notes in his story that, according to sources, Gronkowski remains content with his decision, but if he wants to return this season he has to decide soon. The deadline for retired players to return during the season and play is November 30. New England will obviously plan ahead without him, but they surely will be hoping for a change of heart.

Here more from around the AFC East:

  • Kicker Nick Folk has meshed into the Patriots locker room well, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Folk already knew the man he replaced, Stephen Gostkowski, and offensive lineman Joe Thuney and Ted Karras. All four had been enrolled in some of the same classes as they worked toward master’s degrees in past offseasons. Folk was signed after Gostkowski suffered a torn labrum in his left hip. Reiss also notes that Folk suffered the same injury in 2009 and could offer Gostkowski valuable insight during his recovery.
  • Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is “taking charge” in the locker room, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. After Darnold’s poor performances against both the Jaguars and Patriots, he has become more assertive in meetings with the coaching staff. Cimini reports that Darnold had previously been very deferential to head coach Adam Gase, but now offers feedback and his own opinion more readily.
  • NFL draft experts and scouts were watching this weeks game between LSU and Alabama closely. The Dolphins sent an especially large contingent, which included two scouts and general manager Chris Grier, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Miami has long been tied to Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa through the #Tank4Tua trend. However, even if Miami does have the top pick in the draft, some experts are beginning to place LSU’s quarterback Joe Burrow above Tagovailoa. It appears Miami’s top brass got an up-close look at both players on Saturday.

Latest On Adam Gase, Jets

Things certainly haven’t worked out during Adam Gase‘s first season in New York, but it sounds like the Jets head coach isn’t at risk of losing his job. Sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that “Woody and Christopher Johnson currently have no plans of making a coaching change at the end of the season.”

Even with the team’s putrid performance in 2019, it’s not entirely shocking that Gase will get at least a second season with the Jets. The team made a relatively big commitment to the coach when they signed him to a four-year deal that’s estimated to be worth upwards of $20MM. Considering the front office turnover and injuries throughout the roster, you can’t necessarily blame the organization for giving Gase another chance.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped fans and pundits from calling for Gase’s firing. In fact, a plane was seen pulling a ‘FIRE ADAM GASE NOW’ banner over New York City this week (via the NYDN). This came after a (somewhat) surprising loss to the rebuilding Dolphins, dropping the Jets to 1-7 on the season.

Mehta also provides a long list of damning stats: the Jets rank last in the NFL in scoring, passing, and rushing. Considering Gase’s reputation as an offensive guru, the results are disappointing. Further, the head coach has been unwilling to take responsibility for the team’s performance, with one rival GM referring to Gase as “a professional excuse maker.”

Despite all of this, ownership isn’t ready to pull the plug. We all know things can change quickly in New York, but it’s sounding like Gase will be on the sideline come Week 1 of the 2020 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falk Files Injury Grievance Against Jets

Despite the Bengals being 0-8 and the only winless team in the league, La Canfora doesn’t think Cincy owner Mike Brown would pull the plug on Zac Taylor given his penchant for loyalty. Brown gave Marvin Lewis nearly two decades, so that isn’t too surprising. Interestingly, La Canfora seems to float the possibility of a second Bruce Arians retirement after just one year in Tampa Bay. If the Buccaneers don’t show improvement and are forced to tear it all down, JLC wonders whether Arians would “want to endure a rebuild in 2020.” He adds that “this situation is being watched closely around the league.” La Canfora also seems to think there’s a real possibility the Jets and Browns move on from Adam Gase and Freddie Kitchens respectively, which isn’t all that shocking.

  • Just when you thought the Jets couldn’t get more dysfunctional, quarterback Luke Falk is filing an injury grievance against the team, sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. New York cut Falk prior to Week 6 after he started two games for the team. Falk, who had a disastrous couple of outings under center, has a hip injury that requires surgery, sources told Mehta. Apparently Falk feels that the Jets released him outright instead of placing him on injured reserve to avoid paying him. Of course, the franchise is already dealing with an ongoing injury grievance filed by offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/7/19

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

  • Waived from injured reserve: S Damian Parms

New York Jets

  • Activated from non-football injury list: CB Bless Austin
  • Placed on injured reserve: S Rontez Miles
  • Waived: LB B.J. Bello

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/6/19

Today’s minor moves:

Miami Dolphins

  • Claimed off waivers (Seahawks): WR Gary Jennings

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Promoted from practice squad: DE Kahzin Daniels

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/6/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: DE Chuck Harris

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

  • Signed: OL James Murray

Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell Expected To Play In Week 10

  • Le’Veon Bell did not suffer any structural damage to his knee in the fourth quarter of a Week 9 loss to the Dolphins, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. While Bell didn’t practice on Wednesday, he is expected to be ready when the Jets face the Colts on Sunday. Gang Green did promote running back Josh Adams from its practice squad earlier this week, but that move was likely executed as a fail-safe against a possible Bell absence.

Adam Gase Discusses Job Security

  • The Jets fell to 1-7 after losing to the rebuilding Dolphins, meaning Adam Gase has naturally found himself on the hot seat. However, the head coach told reporters that he isn’t focused on his job security. “It’s just something that I don’t really focus on,” Gase said (via Brian Costello of the New York Post). “My job is to try to get the team prepared every week, get them ready to go, get them focused on the game that we have to play. One and seven is not fun to go through. Things haven’t gone the way that we wanted to. It’s just that’s what happens in the NFL sometimes and unfortunately, we’re going through it right now.” Gase joined the organization back in January on a four-year contract that’s rumored to be worth upwards of $20MM.

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Jets Place Trumaine Johnson On IR

It looks like the Trumaine Johnson era in New York is coming to an end. The Jets placed Johnson on injured reserve today, as well as receiver Josh Bellamy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Johnson was a monster flop in the Big Apple after signing his massive free agent deal, and as Rapoport writes, “it’s safe to say Johnson has played his last down with the team.” Johnson is set to have $11MM in salary for 2020 become guaranteed in March, so he’ll almost certainly be cut by then. All told, Johnson will have received $34MM to appear in 17 underwhelming games for the Jets. New York apparently tried desperately to trade him at the deadline, but couldn’t find any takers.

After having a solid first six years in the league with the Rams, Johnson inked a five-year, $72.5MM deal last offseason. Things got off to a rocky start, and although he picked off four passes in ten games last year, he didn’t play up to standards. He was benched for a couple of weeks earlier on this season before ultimately regaining his starting role, and he clearly didn’t get along well with the new regime in New York.

Johnson has been graded very poorly by most observers this season, and he missed last week with an ankle injury. Still only 29, he should draw some interest on the open market. Bellamy is a former UDFA who had the occasional moment with the Bears over the past few years. He inked a two-year, $5MM deal with the Jets this offseason, but will finish 2019 with only two catches for 20 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.