Jets Rumors

Jets Rumors: Gase, Harbaugh, McCarthy

The Jets’ coaching search technically started with the firing of Todd Bowles on Dec. 30, but they were mulling their options much earlier than that, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY hears. Although Bowles had a contract through the 2020 season, the Jets started doing their homework in mid-November after an embarrassing 41-10 home loss to the Bills.

Despite their denials, the Jets had early interest in Jim Harbaugh, Vacchiano hears. The Jets did background work on the Michigan head coach, but ultimately concluded that he wasn’t the right fit, possibly due to his desire for too much power, too much money, or a lack of desire to leave Ann Arbor.

Here’s more on how the Jets’ coaching search unfolded, plus other news out of New York/New Jersey:

  • The Jets started asking around about Mike McCarthy after he was fired by the Packers in December, but they were concerned about his sensitivity to criticism and how it might be amplified by the New York press, Vacchiano hears. There were also reports that McCarthy would consider sitting out the 2019 season, which may have given the Jets additional pause. McCarthy’s interview was not bad, per se, but Vacchiano hears that he did not hit it out of the park.
  • Adam Gase, on the other hand, leaped over McCarthy with a strong interview in which he displayed the energetic personality that the Jets wanted. Even though Gase went 23-25 in three years with the Dolphins, the Jets did not forget about his reputation as a hot offensive assistant just three years ago, Vacchiano writes.
  • New Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has agreed to a three-year deal with the club, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Before the Jets hired him, the Redskins made a push to land him as their DC.

Jets To Hire Gregg Williams As DC

The Jets are finalizing a deal with former Browns’ interim head coach Gregg Williams to become their defensive coordinator, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Williams was the defensive coordinator the Jets were targeting no matter who their head coach was, Schefter adds. 

The Jets have denied pushing certain assistants on candidates Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy. Whether you choose to believe the Jets on that front is up to you, but it appears that they had a heavy hand in marrying new head coach Adam Gase and Williams.

Williams was widely mocked during the year for his assertion that several teams wanted him as a head coach. He may have been pumping himself up a bit, but things improved on both sides of the ball during his eight-game run as the Browns’ interim coach in 2018. Ultimately, the Browns chose interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens as the man to run things going forward, but Williams managed to boost his stock a bit in the latter half of the year.

With the Jets, Williams inherits an iffy defense, but one that has potential in the secondary and a solid defensive lineman in Leonard Williams. The Jets have no real pass rush to speak of, but they hope to change that with upwards of $100MM in cap room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Colts, 49ers, Dolphins

The Colts are letting offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo go elsewhere, sources tell Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Even though the Colts’ OL improved greatly in 2018, head coach Frank Reich wants to bring in his own guy, Garafolo hears. DeGuglielmo, who was originally selected by would-be coach Josh McDaniels, is being recommended by Reich to other coaches around the league.

The move comes as a surprise given the results that DeGuglielmo was able to get out of his group last season. However, Reich and DeGuglielmo were not on the same page. You can expect a healthy market for DeGuglielmo’s services and he shouldn’t be unemployed for long.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods will interview with the 49ers on Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Woods is not expected to return under new head coach Vic Fangio, but he’s not receiving DC interest from other teams either. In addition to the SF interview, Woods has also spoken with the Redskins and Cardinals about positions on their staff.
  • New Jets coach Adam Gase says he did not ask for control of the 53-man roster (via Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald). He also says that he never requested that power with the Dolphins; rather, it was something offered up to him during negotiations with Miami.
  • Terry Robiskie is expected to become the Jaguars‘ new running backs coach, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM (on Twitter). Robiskie has played and coached the position before at the NFL level and the Jags apparently believe that he can get the most out of star rusher Leonard Fournette.

Coaching Rumors: Vikings, Kubiak, Dolphins

Here are the latest coaching rumors from around the NFL:

  • The Vikings are in play for Gary Kubiak, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The OC job is already occupied by Kevin Stefanski, but Kubiak could work with him on that side of the ball. Kubiak’s son, Klint, was on the Vikings’ staff in 2013-14 and worked with Stefanski during that time, so there’s some degree of familiarity there.
  • Jim Caldwell is expected to join the Dolphins‘ staff in some capacity, though it won’t necessarily be as offensive coordinator, Albert Breer of The MMQB hears. The Dolphins could go with a younger coordinator and have Caldwell serve in a mentor-type role, but Caldwell could also don the headset after Miami missed out on guys like Greg Roman and Kliff Kingsbury.
  • Christopher Johnson says the report the Jets tried to tell Matt Rhule or Mike McCarthy who to hire is completely untrue (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). If he is to be believed, then new head coach Adam Gase will have a good degree of freedom to fill out his staff. If you choose to believe the reports, then Gase will probably have to work off of a limited list of options provided by GM Mike Maccagnan and the rest of the front office.

 

2019 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Tracker

While eight NFL teams are making a head coaching change this offseason, the number of clubs replacing offensive and/or defensive coordinators figures to be much higher than that. In addition to all those teams hiring new head coaches, who may want to bring in their own assistants, several clubs also figure to make changes on one side of the ball or the other after getting disappointing results in 2018. And, of course, the teams whose coordinators landed head coaching jobs will need to replace them.

With reports circulating on potential candidates, interview requests, and actual meetings, we’ll use the space below to keep tabs on all the latest updates on teams hiring new offensive and/or defensive coordinators. This post, which will be updated daily, can be found under the “PFR Features” menu on the right-hand side of the site.

[Updated: 1/16/19, 12:27pm CT]

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Steve Sarkisian)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Marty Mornhinweg)

  • Greg Roman, assistant head coach/tight ends (Ravens): Promoted

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Bill Lazor)

Cleveland Browns (Out: Freddie Kitchens)

  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Hired
    • Head coach Freddie Kitchens will call plays.
  • Jim Bob Cooter, former offensive coordinator (Lions): Interviewed

Denver Broncos (Out: Bill Musgrave)

Detroit Lions (Out: Jim Bob Cooter)

  • Nathaniel Hackett, former offensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Steve Sarkisian, former offensive coordinator (Falcons): Mentioned as candidate

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Philbin)

  • Nathaniel Hackett, former offensive coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
    • Head coach Matt LaFleur will call plays.
  • Mike McDaniel, run game coordinator (49ers): Mentioned as candidate
  • Todd Monken, former offensive coordinator (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Scott Milanovich)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Dowell Loggains)

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets (Out: Jeremy Bates)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Todd Monken)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Matt LaFleur)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Al Holcomb)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Marquand Manuel)

Chicago Bears (Out: Vic Fangio)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Marvin Lewis)

Cleveland Browns (Out: Gregg Williams)

Denver Broncos (Out: Joe Woods)

  • Ed Donatell, secondary coach (Bears): Hired

Miami Dolphins (Out: Matt Burke)

New York Jets (Out: Kacy Rodgers)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Mark Duffner)

  • Todd Bowles, former head coach (Jets): Hired

Jets Extend ST Coach Brant Boye

  • The Jets have signed special teams coordinator Brant Boyer to an extension, a source tells Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Boyer had been signed only through 2019, and rival NFL teams had already begun to express interest in case Boyer wasn’t retained by new head coach Adam Gase. A longtime NFL linebacker, Boyer joined Gang Green in 2016, and last season coached a unit which ranked first in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA. Return man Andre Roberts earned first-team All-Pro honors under Boyer’s direction, while kicker Jason Myers received a Pro Bowl nod.
  • The Jets have signed special teams coordinator Brant Boyer to an extension, a source tells Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Boyer had been signed only through 2019, and rival NFL teams had already begun to express interest in case Boyer wasn’t retained by new head coach Adam Gase. A longtime NFL linebacker, Boyer joined Gang Green in 2016, and last season coached a unit which ranked first in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA. Return man Andre Roberts earned first-team All-Pro honors under Boyer’s direction, while kicker Jason Myers received a Pro Bowl nod.
  • Former Broncos offensive line coach Sean Kugler drew plenty of interest around the NFL after being released from his contract, but the Cardinals were able to lock him down. Arizona announced that’s it hired Kugler as OL coach, Brian Natkin as his assistant, David Raih as receivers coach, and retained Steve Heiden as tight ends coach. Kugler received an early look from the Buccaneers (and early reports even indicated he joined Tampa’s staff), while the Bills, Vikings, Browns, and Jets also checked in, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Latest On Matt Rhule, Coaching Staff

  • Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, whom the Jets reportedly preferred to Gase, confirms that he did not join Gang Green because the team wanted to pick his staff for him. Per Jake Nisse of the New York Post, Rhule said, “[a]t the end of the day, I’m never going to be in an arranged marriage.” 
  • Dolphins LB coach Frank Bush is expected to follow Adam Gase to the Jets, and while DL coach Kris Kocurek may do the same, Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio says that four to five teams are interested in Kocurek’s services (all Twitter links).
  • Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, whom the Jets reportedly preferred to Gase, confirms that he did not join Gang Green because the team wanted to pick his staff for him. Per Jake Nisse of the New York Post, Rhule said, “[a]t the end of the day, I’m never going to be in an arranged marriage.” 

Jets Working To Hire Gregg Williams As DC

The Jets are negotiating to hire Gregg Williams as their defensive coordinator under new head coach Adam Gase, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Williams has interest from other clubs, and if the deal with New York doesn’t get done, he could take an interview with the Redskins, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. 

Williams, 60, took over as the Browns’ interim head coach following the firing of Hue Jackson, and subsequently lead the club to a 5-3 finish. A former head coach with the Bills and a defensive play-caller for a number of NFL clubs, Williams handled a Cleveland defense that ranked near the the bottom of the league in scoring and yardage, but still finished 12th in DVOA, meaning the team was efficient overall.

Other candidates for the Jets’ DC gig have been mentioned, but Williams appears to be the heavy favorite. Former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was potentially in the running, but he’s the new defensive play-caller for the Cardinals. Former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was also identified as a possible candidate.

Jets May Shop DT Leonard Williams?

The Jets may place defensive tackle Leonard Williams on the trade block in the coming months with the hope of receiving at least a second-round pick, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com.

If Gang Green does shop Williams, it appears the club’s motives would be mostly financial in nature. As a former first-round pick, Williams is under contract in 2019 via a $14.2MM fifth-year option. That figure alone would rank Williams ninth among all NFL interior defensive lineman, and he’d only get more expensive in the following years.

New York could potentially reach a long-term extension with Williams at some point in the next year-plus, but a franchise tag could also be in the cards. If he’s franchised in 2020, Williams would collect 120% of his 2019 salary, meaning he’d earn roughly $32MM over the next two seasons combined. A $16MM average annual value would rank sixth among defensive tackles on a league-wide basis.

Thus far, the Jets haven’t had any extension negotiations with Williams, although those talks are expected to occur in 2019. Williams, who has acknowledged New York’s head coaching change will affect his decisions going forward, doesn’t sound interested in giving the Jets any sort of hometown discount. “It’s one of my goals to be one of the best players, one of the best defensive linemen,” Williams said in June“When that comes, then I think the money comes with it.”

Williams is still only 24 years old, and has never missed a game during his NFL career. In 2018, Williams managed five sacks and tied for 18th among defensive lineman with 20 quarterback hits. Pro Football Focus ranked Williams as the 31st-best interior defender among 121 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.