Jets Rumors

Jets Notes: Anthem, Hackenberg

The NFL’s new policy will impose fines on teams when players kneel or otherwise “disrespect” the anthem. From there, teams can choose whether or how to discipline players who run afoul of the rules. Jets chairman Christopher Johnson says he will not be among those fining players who demonstrate during the anthem.

I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson said (via Calvin Watkins of Newsday). “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

Johnson voted to ratify the anthem policy on Wednesday in Atlanta, but he wasn’t necessarily thrilled about the end result.

I seriously struggled with this,” he said of the anthem modifications. “You know my position on the anthem, and you have to understand that the plan we ended up with, due to some serious work in the [meeting] room, was vastly less onerous than the one that was presented to me late last week. In the end, I felt I had to support it from a membership standpoint.”

Here’s more on Gang Green:

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/23/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jets Tried To Trade Hackenberg During Draft

  • The Jets tried to trade Christian Hackenberg during the draft, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports. This began after Sam Darnold went to the Jets at No. 3, per Cimini, but judging by the terms of Tuesday’s trade, no strong interest came New York’s way for its 2016 second-round pick. “We had one too many (quarterbacks) to get all of them reps,” Todd Bowles said Tuesday. “We just want to go with the three quarterbacks we have and let these guys battle it out. … I like the talent (Hackenberg) had. Obviously, it didn’t cultivate here. Sometimes it takes a team or two or three to find your spot.” After cutting Bryce Petty and trading Hackenberg, Gang Green’s quarterback setup is clear now. Darnold, Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater will likely be the team’s three passers heading into training camp. However, as Calvin Watkins of Newsday notes (on Twitter), Bowles aid the Jets are open to adding another quarterback. This could be contingent on Bridgewater’s health.

Latest On Christian Hackenberg Trade

Christian Hackenberg‘s final days as a Jet were rather interesting. After the team added Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, essentially admitting a second-round misfire, it was revealed Hackenberg worked with an independent passing coach and changed his throwing motion. And he did so unbeknownst to Todd Bowles.

Earlier on Tuesday, when he was still a Jet, the third-year quarterback pointed to a lack of consistent instruction from the team’s coaching staff as a sign of frustration.

I don’t know,” Hackenberg said (via Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News) when asked why he overhauled his passing motion this offseason. “I think there were some times where I threw it really good throughout my first two years here, so that was the frustrating part for me, is the ups and downs and not knowing why, if that makes sense, and not really getting any information from anybody on how to fix that and how do address it.”

Hours after those comments, the Jets made the deal with the Raiders. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) this move did not come as a result of those comments. The Jets held Hackenberg out of Tuesday’s seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills because they’d worked out a deal with the Raiders earlier today, Darryl Slater of NJ.com reports.

We did everything we could to try to help him as best we could,” the fourth-year HC said, via Slater. “He’s allowed to be critical. We suggested things, and we try to fix every player possible that we have. It just didn’t work out here.”

While the timing is interesting, this move also comes after Bridgewater participated fully in an OTA workout for the first time since 2016. That shouldn’t be viewed as a sign the former first-round pick has put his severe knee injury completely behind him, but it’s a positive development. And if Bridgewater is healthy during training camp, there wouldn’t be room for Hackenberg on Gang Green’s roster.

Rapoport adds the Raiders will not immediately release one of their quarterbacks to accommodate Hackenberg, who still has not thrown a pass in a regular-season game. Oakland still has Connor Cook and EJ Manuel behind Derek Carr. Manuel played ahead of Cook last season and was summoned into duty when Carr went down early in the season. Cook, however, played as a rookie when both the players ahead of him suffered injuries. There won’t be room for all three of these backups on Oakland’s 53-man roster, though. And Jon Gruden did not make the decisions to acquire Cook or Manuel, perhaps giving Hackenberg a good chance of usurping one of them this summer.

Additionally, the trade involves a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019, per Rapoport, and the compensation is tied to Hackenberg’s playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Trade Christian Hackenberg To Raiders

Christian Hackenberg is headed to the opposite coast. The Jets have traded the quarterback to the Raiders for a conditional seventh-round pick, coach Todd Bowles announced. 

Hackenberg was considered to be an extreme longshot to make the Jets’ final cut following the re-signing of Josh McCown, the free agent addition of Teddy Bridgewater, and the drafting of Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick. The waiving of Bryce Petty gave the former Penn State signal caller some reason for hope, but the Jets probably saw little need to keep Hackenberg around after Bridgewater took the practice field on Tuesday with no ill effects from his surgically-repaired knee.

Hackenberg, the No. 51 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has yet to throw an NFL pass. In an effort to get his career on track, Hackenberg recently revamped his throwing motion – without first consulting Jets coaches.

“[Hackenberg] hasn’t talked to me about it,” Bowles said earlier this month. “He’s just worked on it and I learned about it after the fact.” 

Hackenberg’s odds of making the Raiders’ final cut are stronger than they were in New York, but it’s far from a guarantee that he’ll be in Oakland come September. The Raiders already have EJ Manuel and Connor Cook battling for time behind starter Derek Carr.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jets’ Teddy Bridgewater

For the first time in two years, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is participating fully in OTAs (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Bridgewater took the field on Tuesday morning as the No. 2 QB behind last year’s starter Josh McCown. The early word is encouraging as he ran a few bootleg passes and showed no signs of favoring his surgically-repaired knee. 

[RELATED: Jets’ Terrelle Pryor Dealing With Injury]

The Jets signed Bridgewater to a one-year, $6MM in March with the potential to make significantly more based on playtime and performance. However, the $500K signing bonus in the deal represents the only guaranteed portion of the deal. Considering the presence of McCown and No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold, it seems like Bridgewater will have to show that he is no less than 100% healthy in order to keep his place on the roster.

During his two years as the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Bridgewater was competent, but not a world-beater. In 28 starts, Bridgewater completed 65% of his passes and averaged 3,075 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Since 2015, he has attempted just two passes in live action.

While Bridgewater was able to take the field on Tuesday morning, fellow newcomer Terrelle Pryor was not a participant thanks to an ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets’ Terrelle Pryor Dealing With Injury

Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor suffered another ankle injury this offseason and was unable to join his team for OTAs on Tuesday morning, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but it’s not a great sign for the Jets newcomer after he underwent ankle surgery in November. 

Pryor joined the Jets on a one-year, $4.5MM deal this offseason after a disappointing year with the Redskins. Pryor had just 20 catches, 240 yards, and one touchdown in nine games for Washington last year, but the Jets took a small gamble on him with the hope that he could reprise his 2016 showing with Cleveland when he posted more than 1,000 yards receiving.

On paper, the Jets have a solid group of receivers headlined by Pryor, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and a healthy Quincy Enunwa. However, Pryor’s health and Anderson’s ongoing legal issues could put the Jets behind the 8 ball as the season starts.

If Pryor or Anderson miss time, that could open up opportunities for veteran Andre Roberts as well as 2017 picks ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. For a complete look at the Jets’ depth chart, you can check out their page on Roster Resource.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Sign Chris Herndon

The Jets announced they have agreed to terms with fourth-round tight end out of Miami Chris Herndon on Monday. That leaves just first-round quarterback Sam Darnold as the lone player from the team’s draft class to be signed. 

Herndon starred out of the slot in 2017 as a junior, catching 35-of-43 targets to lead all college tight ends with an 81.4% catch rate from the slot. He tallied 40 total receptions in his final season and found the end zone four times.

He suffered a knee injury in his final collegiate game and has been limited throughout the offseason. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said the team expects to take it slow with the athletic pass catcher, who did take part in some drills during the team’s rookie minicamp.

The Jets don’t have much at the tight end position, with Eric Tomlinson and Clive Walford as the only players projected above Herndon at the position, according to roster resource.

 

Jets To Work Out Jonah Trinnaman

  • The Packers will work out former BYU wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman as a cornerback this week, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The Jets also plan to audition Trinnaman in the near future, although it sounds like New York will take a look at the ex-Cougar at his natural pass-catching position.While Trinnaman didn’t put up much in the way of production during his collegiate career, he exploded during his pro day with a 4.30 40-yard dash, 12-foot broad jump, and a 40.5-inch vertical jump.

Poll: Which Team Best Addressed QB Spot This Offseason?

This turned out to be an important year for quarterback acquisitions. Many teams’ short- and long-term futures will depend heavily on the players they added over the past two months.

A fourth of the NFL made major investments in outside talent at the quarterback position this offseason. Which team did you think is in the best position after all the dominoes fell?

Three teams acquired their unquestioned starters via trade or free agency. The Redskins’ trade for Alex Smith ensured they were not going to pick a quarterback in the draft. As did the Vikings’ subsequent Kirk Cousins agreement. The Broncos entered the draft as a borderline QB destination, but John Elway valued Bradley Chubb more than Josh Allen or Josh Rosen, eschewing a Bills offer that would have given his team extra first- and second-round picks. So, Case Keenum is going to be Denver’s starter.

Four of the five teams that used first-round picks on quarterbacks made sure to add bridge-type solutions, with the Browns moving first to get Tyrod Taylor. The Jets and Cardinals then respectively proceeded to bring in Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. And the Bills made the final stopgap addition in A.J. McCarron. But these players, for the most part, are 2018 placeholders — at best.

Was Baker Mayfield worth the No. 1 overall pick? Or did the Browns make what could turn out to be the costliest of their spree of modern quarterback misjudgments last month? Several Cleveland executives independently rated Mayfield as the draft’s premier passer, going against the grain of the many teams that viewed Sam Darnold as this year’s top passing prospect. The Jets appear to have appreciated this bold move, and Darnold is almost certainly going to see extensive time in 2018. PFR readers believe he will.

The Bills worked the phones relentlessly in an effort to install Allen behind McCarron, and the Cardinals reportedly had the Wyoming prodigy rated as their top QB as well. But Allen could need extensive seasoning, and as of now, a returning playoff team has a fifth-year player with 133 career pass attempts set to open the season and possibly close it as the starter.

Conversely, the player the Cardinals invested in was tabbed by many draft experts as the readiest pro. And Bradford being in front of Rosen for 16 games may be asking a lot from the injury-prone veteran. The Ravens are already planning Jackson packages, and although the player whom some teams wanted to work out as a wide receiver may need a season to develop, this draft’s most dominant college QB resides in Baltimore behind Joe Flacco.

Armed with one of the league’s most talented rosters, Minnesota had the most obvious case to pursue a veteran. And the Vikings made history by authorizing a $28MM-AAV fully guaranteed deal for the soon-to-be 30-year-old Cousins, who may be the safest option among all of these players. But he’s now the league’s second-highest-paid passer and tethered to the Vikings through 2020. Smith is coming off his best NFL season, but his Chiefs teams disappointed in two home playoff opportunities. Washington could also be much further away from contention than Minnesota, and the Redskins have now brought in quarterback who for all the stability he offers is four years older.

It’s debatable the Broncos’ contention window could still be open, with many of their core Super Bowl 50 performers still on the team and having played the past two seasons without much help at quarterback. But a 5-11 team armed with only its second top-five pick since 1992 passing on two coveted QB prospects to pursue the 30-year-old Keenum, a late-blooming talent or a player who benefited from better circumstances, could also be classified as a bold choice as Rosen and Allen’s careers unfold. The Broncos only committed to Keenum for two years and are paying Football Outsiders’ No. 4 2017 DYAR passer $10MM less per year than Cousins commanded.

So, with all things considered, which of these franchises is best set up after this offseason? Did one of the teams that spent a first-round pick on a QB ensure a decade and then some of stability and promise? Or did the teams that went strictly for vets get this right? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.