Jets Rumors

Jets Notes: Johnson, Bell, Maccagnan, Bates

The Jets signed Trumaine Johnson to a five-year, $72 million contract this past offseason, and they were surely hoping that the veteran cornerback would provide some stability to their secondary for the foreseeable future. Well, through his first five games with New York, it looks like the team’s assessment may have been a bit off.

Of course, this fact isn’t lost on the organization. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets that Johnson has been “profoundly disappointing to people inside the organization.” One source told the reporter that they “[t]hought he’d be better.” Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com writes that “many league observers” have believed that Darryl Roberts (who’s playing on a minimum salary) has been more productive than his richer teammate.

In five games this season, Johnson has compiled 16 tackles, two passes defended, one forced fumble, and one interception, and the defense has look significantly better when the veteran was out of the lineup.

Let’s check out some more notes out of New York…

  • Responding to a reader’s mail, Mehta writes that the Jets have to pursue Le’Veon Bell this offseason, or else the “rebuilding talk has been nothing but lip service.” The running back is undoubtedly the most talented impending offensive free agent, and the team is sitting with more than $90MM in cap space. Most importantly, the front office should be focused on providing Sam Darnold with as many reliable options as possible, and they have a three-year window to do some spending before they have to ink the franchise quarterback to a lucrative extension.
  • With Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan‘s tenure with the organization potentially coming to an end, Darryl Slater of NJ.com graded each of the executive’s notable transactions during his four-year stint. Some of his best moves included the acquisitions of quarterbacks Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teddy Bridgewater, and Darnold, while the signings of Darrelle Revis, Terrelle Pryor, and Johnson each earned “F” for a grade.
  • Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com takes a look at some offensive coordinator candidates if the Jets ultimately fire Jeremy Bates. The writer ends up pointing to a long list of quarterback coaches, including Zac Taylor (Rams), Press Taylor (Eagles), Mike Kafka (Chiefs), Dave Ragone (Bears), Kevin Stefanski (Vikings), Greg Knapp (Falcons), and Joe Lombardi (Saints). Other notable names on Stypulkoski’s list include former Browns head coach Hue Jackson and former Jets offensive coordinator John Morton.

Jets May Be Top Suitor For Le'Veon Bell

  • As for who will pay Bell, the Colts and Jets stand to possess more than $100MM in cap space in 2019. The Bills and Raiders will also have plenty of money to spend, though both teams have needs at several positions. Kaboly pinpoints the Jets, who don’t have much in the way of long-term solutions beyond Sam Darnold, on offense. While the Jets also have needs at just about every position on offense, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes they should sign Bell — even if it forces an overpay — citing Darnold’s rookie contract as a window for bigger free agent moves. This may be the team that would make Bell’s plan worthwhile. They gave out lavish deals to Darrelle Revis and Trumaine Johnson, and now Mike Maccagnan may be entering a win-or-else offseason. The Colts have not spent wildly in free agency in Chris Ballard‘s first two seasons, however.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/13/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Tennessee Titans

Jets To Work Out Marcus Smith

Former Eagles first-round defensive end Marcus Smith will work out for the Jets on Tuesday, Manish Mehta of the Daily News tweets. This is the first we’ve heard of Smith since his release from the Seahawks in August.

Towards the end of the summer, Smith was said to be considering retirement. The Seahawks were cautiously optimistic about what he could do this season, but they cut ties as his motivation was called into question.

In three seasons with the Eagles, Smith never made a start and registered only four sacks. In 2016, the 26-year-old Smith played on only 20% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps.

The Seahawks scooped up Smith after he was released in the summer of 2017 and he showed some promise in a limited role. In 252 snaps, Smith had 14 tackles and 2.5 sacks, and he was re-signed to a one-year deal that could have paid him up to $2.7MM this year.

The Jets are also taking a look at outside linebacker Marquis Flowers and it seems likely that they’ll made at least one addition to their pass rush this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Work Out LB Marquis Flowers

The Jets’ search for linebacker depth has led them to a former Patriot. On Tuesday, the Jets will audition outside linebacker Marquis Flowers, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). 

Flowers joined old friend Matt Patricia by signing with the Lions after he missed the Patriots’ initial cut this year. In October, the Lions cut him loose in order to claim cornerback Lenzy Pipkins, putting him back on the workout circuit. Over the last four weeks, Flowers has auditioned for the Texans, Chiefs, and Jaguars, but has yet to find a new home for the 2018 season.

Flowers has spent most of his career as a special teamer, but he did record 3.5 sacks for the Pats in 2017. If signed by the Jets, he’ll likely chip in on special teams while offering depth behind starting OLBs Brandon Copeland and Jordan Jenkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Unlikely To Fire GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets are unlikely to fire GM Mike Maccagnan, several sources familiar with the Jets’ thinking tell Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Head coach Todd Bowles, however, is on the hot seat. 

Vacchiano hears that Maccagnan’s long-stated plan has been to compete for a playoff berth in 2019 and therefore his roster has not fallen short of expectations in the eyes of ownership. The Jets will enter the offseason with upwards of $100MM in cap space and they have a promising young quarterback in Sam Darnold, so they could conceivably put themselves in the postseason mix next year.

Still, Maccagnan’s lack of success in the draft has been alarming. Only 12 of the 22 players picked in his first three drafts (2015-2017) remain on the team and the wisdom of some of his hits can be questioned. For example, second-year safety Jamal Adams has promise, but the Jets passed on the opportunity to take Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson when they took him at No. 6 overall in 2017.

It’s also worth noting that Maccagnan had a boatload of cash to work with this past offseason, but failed to fix the team’s porous offensive line or improve the team’s stable of receivers. The club’s biggest expenditure was free agent Trumaine Johnson, a $72.5MM cornerback who has struggled to stay healthy and has done little to impress in his five games on the field.

Despite all of that, the Jets appear willing to exercise patience and stay the course with Maccagnan. Unfortunately for Bowles, that patience will probably not extend to the head coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/12/18

Here are today’s tryouts:

Buffalo Bills:

Carolina Panthers:

Cleveland Browns:

  • T Chris Durant; DB John Franklin III, CB Josh Thornton

Green Bay Packers:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

  • G David Bright; LB Kennan Gilchrist; S Terrell Williams

New York Jets:

 

 

Jets Unlikely To Fire Bowles During Season

Jets head coach Todd Bowles is on the hot seat, but he’s unlikely to lose his job before the end of the calendar year. If a change is made, it will likely come after the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

Bowles and CEO Christopher Johnson met on Monday morning to discuss the future, which invited speculation of a coaching change during the team’s bye week. Even after the Jets made Bills quarterback Matt Barkley look like Jim Kelly, the Jets plan to keep their embattled head coach for at least the next couple of months.

Jets owner Woody Johnson generally does not believe in firing head coaches during the season. In 2014, Johnson ignored calls to fire Rex Ryan after a 1-8 start to the year and did not dismiss him until after the season when the Jets finished 4-12.

It’s also likely that the Johnsons do not see a logical replacement for Bowles on the coaching staff. The team has struggled on both sides of the ball, so neither offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates nor defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers would make sense as a temporary solution. And, even if Rodgers was viewed as an interim candidate, his health situation would complicate matters.

The locker room is said to still hold Bowles in high regard, but he’s as good as gone if the team cannot rally over the final six games of the season. After the bye, the 3-7 Jets will face the Patriots on Nov. 25.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bowles, Jets

Jets coach Todd Bowles was already on the hot seat entering today. Then the Jets were demolished at home by the Bills, and Bowles’ seat got even hotter. Seemingly everyone is assuming Bowles will get fired, and it appears to be just a matter of time before there’s an opening in New York. With that in mind, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY took a look at possible candidates to be his replacement.

  • Speaking of Bowles, the embattled coach will meet with Jets CEO Christopher Johnson Monday morning, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini noted that a “lack of energy on the Jets’ bench” was noted by the team’s higher-ups, which doesn’t “bode well” for Bowles. Nothing is certain, but it’s definitely possible Bowles is relieved of his duties this week as the team enters its bye.

Jets Could Look At DeFilippo

  • If the Jets decide to fire coach Todd Bowles this year, as many expect, “John DeFilippo would fit the bill” for what the Jets would be looking for in their next head coach, according to Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com. DeFilippo, the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, has been widely praised for his work with Carson Wentz and now Kirk Cousins, so it makes sense why New York would want to pair him with Sam Darnold.