Jets Rumors

Poll: Will Le’Veon Bell Return To The Jets?

Last year, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan signed Le’Veon Bell to a four-year, $52.5MM deal. Weeks later, Maccagnan was fired in a long-expected, yet ill-timed, move. Apparently, new head coach Adam Gase and GM Joe Douglas were not wild about Maccagnan’s moves, including the major expenditure for Bell. 

Unfortunately for Gase and Douglas, escaping Bell’s deal won’t be easy. The running back is slated to count for a $15.5MM cap figure in 2020 with similar numbers in 2021 and 2022. Shedding Bell this offseason would leave the Jets with $19MM in dead money and zero cap savings. The Jets’ best opportunity to dump Bell would come before the 2021 season, when they could save $9.5MM against $4MM in dead money.

Meanwhile, Bell underperformed in 2019 and reportedly clashed with team brass. He averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and his 66 catches for 461 yards out of the backfield weren’t nearly enough to offset that lack of efficiency.

Bell claimed multiple teams inquired about him before the October trade deadline. Douglas hinted that he would listen on calls after the season, though he later walked those comments back, saying that Bell is a valued member of the team.

Releasing Bell outright would result in $19MM in dead money. A trade would be less damaging – the Jets would absorb just $6MM in dead money while freeing up $9.5MM in cap room. Then again, the team taking on Bell would have to commit to his guaranteed $13MM for 2020, and that’s a tough sell. To offset that, the Jets would likely have to convert a portion of his 2020 pay into a signing bonus, which would add to the dead money total.

With all of that in mind, do you expect Bell to be in a Jets uniform in 2020? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On C.J. Mosley

The Jets only had stud linebacker C.J. Mosley in the lineup for two games in his first season with the team, but Mosley said he’s on track to start his second year on better footing and hopes to rebound from a frustrating 2019 campaign.

Mosley suffered a groin injury in an impressive season opener against the Bills, where he tallied six tackles and an interception for a touchdown before leaving the game late in the third quarter. He then returned for Week Seven in an ugly 33-0 loss to the Patriots, and then went right back onto the injury shelf shortly thereafter. While contemplating surgery, Mosley was hoping to return to the field before the end of the regular season. But instead of risking further injury, Mosley ultimately chose to undergo surgery and was placed on injured reserve in December. 

“It was pretty difficult, especially when I hit that target point where I thought I was going to be ready to play,” Mosley said.

Mosley told Jeanne Coakley of SNY that he’s “feeling well” and has started jogging “a little bit” six weeks after having the surgery. He also said that he’s on pace to be an active participant in the team’s offseason training program and hopes to be playing “spring football”.

Along with his recovery, the former Raven has also started a new vegan diet. “Anything to give me the edge to get myself on the field and stay on the field as long as I can,” Mosley said.

Last offseason, the four-time Pro Bowler signed a massive five-year, $85MM contract with the Jets that has $55MM in guaranteed money. Next year, Mosley’s cap number spikes from $13MM to $17.5MM, and practically speaking, the aggressive cash flow of the deal will not allow the Jets to escape the deal until sometime after the 2021 season, when they can release Mosley to save $15.5MM against $3MM in dead money. Without Mosley anchoring the defense for most of the year, the Jets were 26th in yards-allowed-per-game and 16th in points-allowed-per-game in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ first year with the team.

AFC Notes: Ravens, Brady, Mosley

We heard at the end of December that the Ravens are prepared to slap pass rusher Matt Judon with the franchise tag if they cannot work out a long-term deal with him, but recent comments from head coach John Harbaugh suggested Judon could be suiting up elsewhere in 2020. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic says Baltimore may be disinclined to use the tag, as it would take up a big chunk of their cap and could alienate the emotional and outspoken Judon.

On the other hand, Judon is the only proven pass rusher on the team, and there’s no guarantee the Ravens can win a bidding war for one of this year’s top FAs or land a player at the bottom of the first round of the draft who can make an immediate impact, so GM Eric DeCosta will have to carefully weigh a number of factors.

Let’s round up a few other AFC items, starting with several more nuggets out of Baltimore:

  • The Ravens and veteran CB Jimmy Smith have mutual interest in a reunion, per Zrebiec. However, if Baltimore brings back Smith, it’s unlikely that CB/S Brandon Carr also returns. Meanwhile, the Ravens will almost certainly cut safety Tony Jefferson.
  • Regardless of what they do with Judon, the Ravens will have to add three or four starting-caliber players to their front seven, so Zrebiec expects the team to focus on those areas heavily in the draft, and he fully expects DeCosta to draft a WR or two.
  • Add Jay Glazer of The Athletic to the list of pundits who believe a Tom BradyRaiders partnership makes sense. Like others, Glazer thinks the Chargers are an obvious non-Patriots landing spot, but given the international presence that the Las Vegas outfit is expected to have, both Brady and the team would stand to benefit from a Sin City marriage.
  • In a recent interview with Eddie Paskal of the team’s official website, Raiders GM Mike Mayock said he believes the move to Las Vegas will help the club attract top free agents, even those not named Brady. The fact that Nevada does not have a state income tax will obviously be appealing, as will the sleek new stadium and the general excitement surrounding the franchise. Mayock also noted that he will look to add wide receiver help this offseason.
  • Jets LB C.J. Mosley had to undergo groin/abdominal surgery about six weeks ago, but he expects to be ready for the team’s offseason program this spring, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. One of last year’s biggest free agent fish, Mosley played in just two games for Gang Green, and he has started a vegan diet in the hopes of giving himself an edge.

Could Jets Trade Le'Veon Bell?

  • Will the Jets be willing to eat a portion of Le’Veon Bell‘s contract in order to move on from the mercurial running back and increase their draft stockpile? Breer, speculatively, thinks it’s a possibility, and the Jets may see this as their chance to take advantage of whatever value the 28-year-old has left. Bell, coming off of a disappointing year, is due an $8.5MM base in 2020 with a $4.5MM roster bonus split between payments in March and October, plus $500K in per-game roster bonuses. In theory, the Jets could agree to pay the roster bonus, dangle him at $9MM to other teams, and eat $4.5MM.

Coaching Notes: Giants, Bengals, Titans

The Giants’ offensive line has been a bit of a mess the past few years, so who rookie head coach Joe Judge decides to hire as his O-line coach is a crucial call. One familiar name is getting consideration, as Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets that New York will interview Dave DeGuglielmo for the vacant job. DeGuglielmo has been in the NFL for the past 15 years, and was Miami’s offensive line coach this past season. The year before that he coached Indy’s league-best offensive line, but was surprisingly let go after the season. As Graziano points out, DeGuglielmo coached alongside Judge with the Patriots in 2014-15, so there’s plenty of familiarity there.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • The Bengals have a new cornerbacks coach, and it’s coming at the expense of the Jets. Cincinnati is hiring Steve Jackson to coach their cornerbacks, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Jackson had previously served as the Jets’ assistant defensive backs coach for the past two years. Jackson played with the Oilers/Titans for nine seasons from 1991-1999. He’s served as safeties coach for the Redskins and Titans in the past.
  • The Titans are also losing an assistant coach. Kerry Coombs, Tennessee’s secondary coach, is leaving to become the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports (Twitter link). There are plenty of connections between the two teams, as Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played at Ohio State and was an assistant coach with the Buckeyes before returning to the NFL. He brought a lot of guys from OSU with him to Tennessee, including Coombs.
  • In case you missed it, ESPN analyst and former backup NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky is drawing interest as a coach.

Jets' Douglas, Not Gase, Has Roster Control

  • When asked about the power dynamic between head coach Adam Gase and general manager Joe DouglasManish Mehta of the Daily News pointed to the lengths of their respective contracts. Gase, who came along first, received a four-year deal from the club. Douglas, who joined late in the 2019 offseason after Mike Maccagnan‘s ill-time ouster, got a six-year deal with Gang Green. Gase helped push the Jets to hire Douglas, and has influence on personnel decisions, but Mehta writes that Douglas indeed has the upper hand on 53-man roster matters. In other words, as Mehta writes, a tie goes to Douglas.

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

The stage has been set for the conference championships. The Titans, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers are moving on to the semifinals, while the Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, and Vikings will begin planning for the offseason ahead. Unfortunately for the Texans, their first round pick belongs to the Dolphins.

Here’s an updated look at the 2020 NFL Draft order from Nos. 1-28:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/9/20

The latest reserve/futures signings from around the NFL:

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Jets Plan To Keep Le’Veon Bell

The Jets might not have much choice in the matter, but GM Joe Douglas sounds like he expects Le’Veon Bell to return in 2020. In an interview with ESPN Radio, Douglas was complimentary of the temperamental star. 

[Bell is a] very good player…We value Le’Veon,” Douglas said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini). “We value the competitor, we value the teammate. We’re excited (for him) being in our program another year, going through our offseason again.”

Drama aside, Bell remains one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. He also has the Jets on the hook for oodles of money. Thanks to the four-year, $52.5MM contract handed to him by former GM Mike Maccagnan, Bell is slated to count for a $15.5MM cap figure in 2020 with similar numbers in 2021 and 2022. Shedding Bell this offseason would leave the Jets with $19MM in dead money and zero cap savings.

In theory, the Jets’ first real opportunity to dump Bell would come before the 2021 season, when they could save $9.5MM against $4MM in dead money. The Jets hope that won’t be necessary. Bell, who turns 28 in February, averaged just 3.2 yards per carry last year, though he still managed 66 catches for 461 yards out of the backfield.

Douglas was also asked about a potential extension for safety Jamal Adams, but he sidestepped the question. The GM only said that he’s “so happy” Adams is on the team and that the trade deadline tension “is in the rear-view mirror.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Maccagnan Objected To Rhule's OC Choice

  • Matt Rhule had issues with the Jets attempting to overrule him on staff decisions, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes the Giants would not do the same. The Giants would let Rhule select his assistants, and the Baylor HC is believed to have candidates in place to follow him to New York if hired. Former Giants assistant and current Lions QBs coach Sean Ryan and Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow are believed to be Rhule’s coordinator choices should he land either the Giants’ or Panthers’ HC jobs, Vacchiano reports. Ryan, 47, held a key role with the Texans from 2017-18 but was with the Giants for nine years, including in 2012, when Rhule was on staff. Snow, 64, has been Rhule’s DC at Temple and Baylor. He coached with the Lions from 2005-08.
  • Had the Jets hired Rhule last year, Jets management would have insisted Gregg Williams be attached as defensive coordinator, per Vacchiano. Previous GM Mike Maccagnan also had an issue with Ryan bringing brought aboard as OC. Ryan ended up in Detroit instead.