Braxton Berrios

Dolphins Notes: QB, Gaskin, Berrios, LG

In most cases, the Dolphins aren’t utilizing camp position battles to determine starting roles. But as the deadline to cut the roster down to 53 players draws nearer and nearer, decisions have to be made throughout the roster. Here’s a look at who’s battling for a roster spot as the preseason continues, thanks to some helpful analysis from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

  • At quarterback, the starter is set, but the backup job may be closer than you’d think. Miami signed quarterback Mike White in the first hour of free agency, making it seem like they were dead set on him taking over at QB2. Last year’s backup, Skylar Thompson, doesn’t seem willing to go down without a fight, though, making the battle more competitive than some would assume. White is the presumed winner of this position battle, but if Thompson has a stellar preseason, he has a chance to surprise.
  • After failing to sign free agent running back Dalvin Cook, the room is shaping up to hold Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and third-round rookie De’Von Achane, at the very least. If the team is going to open up a fourth roster spot for the position, it’s likely that one of Myles Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed will fill the role while the other will be on the chopping block, if not both. The Dolphins will have to determine if a fourth running back will help the team, and if not, Gaskin or Ahmed’s time in South Beach may be over.
  • Behind the team’s top two wideouts, there are a number of options to plug in. According to Jackson, AFC East mainstay Braxton Berrios seems to be taking direction from wide receivers coach Wes Welker well, giving him an edge on the depth chart. He’s competing with Cedrick Wilson, Erik Ezukanma, and Chosen Anderson for the WR3 role, and seems to have a handle on it. Anderson has been making up for a slow start to camp lately but may need to compete with River Cracraft if the team only decides to keep six wide receivers.
  • At tight end, the battle for the third tight spot poses the most intrigue, assuming the team only takes three tight ends. The starter, Durham Smythe, and the rookie, Elijah Higgins, are likely to make the roster, leaving backups Eric Saubert and Tyler Kroft fighting for what is likely going to be the final roster spot at the position. Neither is much of a factor in the passing game, so whoever shows the best blocking ability throughout the rest of camp may be rewarded the short-term job security.
  • The biggest battle on the line is the battle for the starting left guard spot. Liam Eichenberg and Isaiah Wynn appear to be in a dead heat for the job, according to Jackson. Wynn has more NFL starting experience, but Eichenberg is more familiar with the franchise. Aside from that, the other big battle is for the swing tackle role. Veteran and former starter Kendall Lamm reportedly has established a lead over Cedric Ogbuehi for the job. Seventh-round rookie Ryan Hayes could also contribute to the team depth at the position if he makes the roster.

Dolphins Taking Calls On Cedrick Wilson; Chosen Anderson Reached Out To Team

Cedrick Wilson signed a three-year, $24MM Dolphins deal 13 months ago, but the former Cowboys wide receiver is believed to be available. GM Chris Grier addressed Wilson’s status Wednesday.

The Dolphins have indeed taken calls on their No. 3 wideout, who is due $7MM base salaries in 2023 and ’24. While Grier said the expectation is Wilson will be back for a second Miami season, the possibility of a trade appears to remain.

Teams have called; we’re not shopping him,” Grier said, via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “We’ve had a couple teams reach out. He’s a real good guy. We’re trying to do right by him.”

Grier’s comments come a few weeks after the Herald report indicated Wilson was available. Since that report, the Dolphins have signed Chosen Anderson. The team already added Braxton Berrios, whom Grier said will play some slot receiver — while pointing to the ex-Jets target being locked in as the Dolphins’ new return man — and has Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle entrenched atop the depth chart.

A 2018 sixth-round pick, Wilson, 27, disappointed during his first Dolphins season. In 15 games, Wilson caught just 12 passes for 136 yards and no touchdowns. Those numbers are obviously out of step with the contract Wilson signed and stand to drive down Wilson’s trade value. Grier’s comments on the team’s auxiliary receivers point to (via Outkick.com’s Armando Salguero) neither Wilson nor Anderson having a guaranteed place on the 53-man roster.

Anderson, 29, reached out to the Dolphins about a potential deal, Grier said, and spent multiple days in talks with wide receivers coach Wes Welker — in addition to talking with Mike McDaniel — before the Dolphins brought him aboard. Anderson is three years removed from his best season — a 1,096-yard year with the 2020 Panthers — but has not come close to replicating that performance since. Carolina interim HC Steve Wilks dismissed Anderson from the sideline during a loss to the Rams; the team traded him to Arizona a day later. A South Florida native, Anderson caught just seven passes in 10 Cardinals games.

I told him don’t rush through this decision just because it’s home,” Grier said. “Talk to other teams. We have two dynamic players that are starters. We told him what the role would be and he’s excited and all in. We’re excited to add him. We didn’t promise him anything. We have good young players. He understood that.”

Beyond Waddle, the Dolphins do not have other notable rookie-contract wideouts on their roster. Trent Sherfield, who totaled 417 yards last season, signed with the Bills. That leaves the door open for Wilson, Anderson or Berrios to pick up the slack as a tertiary Tua Tagovailoa target.

WR Notes: Hopkins, Cardinals, Chiefs, Ridley, Browns, Slayton, Texans, Dolphins

The Brandin Cooks trade domino dropped Sunday morning, leaving DeAndre Hopkins as the only clear-cut impact receiver trade chip available. The Cardinals continue to shop the 11th-year veteran, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes talks are ramping up (Twitter link). Hopkins is amenable to adjusting his contract to facilitate a deal, and Rapoport adds an adjusted contract is likely. As is, Hopkins’ through-2024 contract calls for a $19.45MM base salary this season. That will likely be untenable to interested teams.

As far as interested parties go, the Chiefs are viewed as a team angling to acquire a veteran. Whether it is Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr., veteran NFL reporter Mike Jurecki adds (on Twitter) Kansas City is on the market for an addition. With JuJu Smith-Schuster signing with the Patriots, it is unsurprising the defending champions are interested in upgrading. Mecole Hardman remains a free agent, and while the Chiefs were expected to move on from the speedster, his price range may have dropped considering his extended stay in free agency. Patrick Mahomesrestructure created $9.6MM in cap space for the Chiefs, though they sit at just more than $9MM as of Tuesday.

Staying on the Hopkins front, here is the latest from the receiver scene:

  • The Browns are not believed to be interested in reuniting Hopkins with Deshaun Watson, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. Cleveland has a big contract at receiver (Amari Cooper‘s) already, though the team could benefit from a veteran presence alongside its No. 1 target. The Browns did host Marquise Goodwin on a visit that has spanned from Monday to today, Anderson adds (on Twitter). Goodwin spent last season with the Seahawks, catching 27 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns. The former Olympic long jumper is going into his age-33 season.
  • Darius Slayton is back with the Giants, re-signing on a two-year deal worth $12MM. That contract includes $4.9MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets. This can be treated more like a one-year deal; the Giants can save $6MM by cutting Slayton in 2024. That said, Slayton said (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) he received other offers in free agency. The Giants, despite burying him on their initial 2022 depth chart and cutting his pay, reached out early and will have the former fifth-round pick back in the fold. The team’s improvement last season helped convince Slayton to stay.
  • A year after he signed for the exact terms Slayton reached (with the Jets), Braxton Berrios is now in Miami. The ex-Hurricanes receiver agreed to terms with the Dolphins on what KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes is a one-year, $3.5MM pact (Twitter link). Berrios will receive $3MM guaranteed, giving him a good chance of being part of the Dolphins’ 53-man roster. The Dolphins still have Cedrick Wilson and brought back River Cracraft and Freddie Swain last week.
  • Noah Brown‘s one-year Texans deal is worth $2.6MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The longtime Cowboys wideout received $2.25MM guaranteed and can add an additional $500K through incentives.
  • Addressing his season-long gambling suspension recently, Calvin Ridley said he deposited $1,500 into an unspecified betting app and, after making approximately $200 worth of NBA bets, he included the Falcons in a parlay. Denying he had inside information, Ridley said (via a piece on The Players’ Tribune) he had been away from the Falcons for a month, was not talking to anyone on the team and made the bet to root for his teammates. Regarding Ridley’s midseason Falcons exit in 2021, the former first-round pick said he was dealing with depression and anxiety. Ridley said he played most of the 2020 season (a career-high 1,374-yard slate) on a broken foot, but he was not informed of the break until June 2021. He underwent surgery, which was described as a minor procedure, but said he was not close to 100% by Week 1. This and Ridley’s house being robbed on that Week 1 Sunday intensified his anxiety. The NFL reinstated Ridley, now with the Jaguars, earlier this month.

Dolphins To Add WR Braxton Berrios

Hours after offensive lineman Dan Feeney left the Jets to join the Dolphins, Miami will add another recent Jet to its equation. Braxton Berrios is signing with the Fins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

A slot receiver and All-Pro return man in New York, Berrios played his college ball in Miami. The Hurricanes alum will join a Dolphins team rostering Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Cedrick Wilson at receiver. Berrios’ latest AFC East contract is a one-year agreement.

The Dolphins have now added Berrios and claimed Freddie Swain off waivers from the Broncos this week. Complementary target Trent Sherfield is a free agent. Berrios will now step in as a tertiary option in this star-studded receiving corps. The 5-foot-9 pass catcher/returner has now joined his third AFC East team. The Patriots drafted Berrios in the 2018 sixth round, but he never played in a game with the team.

Released ahead of the Jets’ Allen Lazard signing, Berrios had re-signed with the team on a two-year deal worth $12MM. He commanded that kind of cash after earning first-team All-Pro honors as a kick returner in 2021 while also aiding Gang Green in the slot. Berrios established new career-high marks in receptions (46) and receiving yards (431) for the 2021 Jets, adding a 102-yard kick-return TD that helped the team to a win over the Jaguars.

Berrios, 27, did not fare as well last season. Although he played all 17 Jets games, he only totaled 18 catches for 145 yards. The Jets featured a dismal passing attack for much of last season, leading to this all-fronts Aaron Rodgers pursuit, but Berrios did not make the kind of impact the team sought when it re-signed him. He will attempt to do so in Miami.

Wilson served as the Dolphins’ primary punt returner last season, while the team sent out Raheem Mostert as its primary kick returner — despite his extensive running back duties. Berrios has returned kicks and punts extensively as a pro, and his two seasons in Mike LaFleur‘s Jets offense would make for a natural fit into Mike McDaniel‘s scheme. The two were each Kyle Shanahan lieutenants for years.

Jets To Release WR Braxton Berrios

A year after giving Braxton Berrios a $12MM deal, the Jets will part ways with the young wide receiver. They are releasing Berrios, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

This separation comes after the sides attempted to rework the slot receiver/returner’s deal, per Schefter. The Jets will save $5MM by cutting Berrios, who had agreed to a two-year, $12MM contract ($7MM fully guaranteed) to stay in New York last year. This release will move the Jets past $6MM in cap space. The team will undoubtedly be creating more space in the days to come.

A first-team All-Pro return man in 2021, Berrios did not make the same type of impact in the passing game he had prior to re-signing with the Jets. Following a 431-yard receiving season in 2021, Berrios totaled just 145 yards and no touchdowns through the air in 2022. The Jets reduced Berrios’ workload, playing him on just 297 offensive snaps — nearly 100 less than his 2021 total.

Berrios, 27, will try his hand in free agency again. Although this year’s wide receiver market has not generated much buzz, Berrios may find it difficult to land a $6MM-per-year accord after the season he just completed. But the former Patriots draftee should have a chance to catch on elsewhere soon. The 5-foot-9 pass catcher spent the past four seasons with the Jets, working as their primary return man during that span. Berrios’ 102-yard kick-return score helped the team to a win over the Jaguars in 2021, propelling him to All-Pro status.

The Jets still have Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Elijah Moore among their receiving corps. Despite being connected to trades for a while, Denzel Mims also remains on the roster.

Jets Rumors: QBs, Offseason, Injuries

After a season that saw the Jets start four different quarterbacks throughout the year, general manager Joe Douglas knows that New York has “a lot of work to do” at the position, according to Connor Hughes of SNY. Of the four passers who started games for the Jets this season, only second-year starter Zach Wilson and practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler are set to return to New York in 2023, after Streveler was announced to have signed a futures contract earlier this week. Veterans Joe Flacco and Mike White, on the other hand, are set to hit free agency.

Wilson was benched midway through the season and saw White take over starting duties. When White was injured, Wilson took over as the primary backup but was soon relegated back to the bench as White got healthy and Flacco started the season finale. Despite rumors that the Jets could move on from Wilson in the offseason, Douglas iterated that New York has “never been a team that has given up on talent early.” Hughes claims that the team expects to continue to work with Wilson moving forward. As for Wilson’s chances of starting, Douglas washed his hands of the decision, deferring the call to head coach Robert Saleh, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

Cimini also noted last week a comment from then-offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, who speculated that it “would’ve benefited” Wilson to allow him to sit and learn from a veteran. Unfortunately, when the team drafted Wilson, they had no such veteran. White had no NFL experience at the time, despite having been in the league for three years, and the only other quarterback on the roster was James Morgan. The team eventually brought in that experience, signing Josh Johnson late in that year’s training camp and trading midseason to bring in Flacco. LaFleur claimed he hasn’t done a good enough job of developing Wilson, saying that if any position player isn’t producing to the expected level, it’s a failure of the coach.

Wilson could potentially see his competition from this season return. White, who took the reins from Wilson this year, told Cimini that there is mutual interest in his return to the Jets from free agency. He also noted that situations change quickly in the league, hinting that he will keep his eyes open for other opportunities.

Here are a few other rumors from the Jets’ building as the franchise readies for the offseason:

  • Cimini took to ESPN as the Jets’ regular season came to an end and laid out the offseason plan for New York. Setting aside the search for a starting quarterback, mentioned in part above, and the search for a new course on offense after the firing of LaFleur, the Jets’ biggest focus will be free agency and salary cap space. To create cap space for free agent shopping, some guys with big cap hits may find themselves on the chopping block. Cutting players like wide receiver Corey Davis and offensive tackle Duane Brown could result in cap savings of $10.5MM and $5.3MM, respectively. Even players who have made significant contributions may find themselves in danger because of their salaries. Defensive end Carl Lawson could provide $15MM of cap savings, safety Jordan Whitehead $7.5MM, and return specialist Braxton Berrios $5MM. Not to mention star linebacker C.J. Mosley who is set to have a 2023 cap charge totaling $21.5MM.
  • In terms of what to look for in free agency, offensive line struggles severely hampered the team’s success this year. Starting guards Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker should return next season. After undergoing triceps surgery, Vera-Tucker is expected to be back in time for training camp, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Tackle Mekhi Becton is a question mark after missing the team’s last 33 games due to injuries and weight issues. Becton told Hughes he feels “real good” after losing a “lot” of weight and will be ready for Organized Team Activities. If Becton can’t deliver, the Jets are in trouble as they will watch tackle George Fant hit free agency and Brown could be a cap casualty or could just retire. Starting center Connor McGovern is also set to hit free agency.
  • While offensive line will be an important position to build, their most important signing may come on the defensive line. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will be with the team through next year due to the fifth-round option of his rookie contract, but that may not be enough to satisfy Douglas and company. Williams has established himself as one of the best at his position and will likely expect to be paid like it. Douglas will want to find an extended contract for Williams long before the idea of free agency enters his mind.
  • Lawson had a strong first year in New York despite coming back from an Achilles injury. Lawson’s recovery hit a snag when he needed a second surgery. He even tweaked something in rehab and was expected to miss a chunk of the season, according to Hughes. Despite not even running until about a month before camp, Lawson started all 17 games and recorded his highest sack total since his rookie season.
  • Running back Breece Hall‘s rookie season was cut short after the second-round pick suffered a torn ACL in October. According to Costello, Hall claims that he will be ready for the start of next year.

Jets Rumors: Whitehead, Franklin-Myers, Berrios

The Jets signed former Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead early in free agency this offseason, hoping to pair him with last year’s free agent addition Lamarcus Joyner. They’ll depend on Whitehead to provide some consistency and a winning-pedigree to a position group that lacked both last season, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Last year saw a revolving door at the safety position for New York. Joyner didn’t get the opportunity to help improve the group after suffering a Week 1 injury that would hold him out for the rest of the year. Marcus Maye, now with the Saints, also saw an early injury end his season after only appearing in six games. This left the Jets to rely on backups and depth players. Ashtyn Davis and Elijah Riley holdover from last year’s roster as the two safeties who started the most games last year, while reserves like Adrian Colbert, Jarrod Wilson, and Will Parks found themselves starting games for the Jets at some point during the season.

Now with a healthy Joyner and the newly-signed Whitehead, New York hopes to have a strong starting duo with last year’s starters, Davis and Riley, serving as experienced backups.

Here are a few other notes from Costello’s roster breakdown:

  • New York rewarded the recent efforts of defensive end John Franklin-Myers with a midseason four-year, $55MM extension last season. Costello points out that the structure of the contract allows the Jets to move on from Franklin-Myers fairly easily if the deal doesn’t pan out, but the team is set up for the fifth-year defender to succeed in perhaps the best situation of his career. Franklin-Myers strength lies in his rush defense. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 11th best run-defender out of 108 edge defenders (subscription required), but he didn’t disappoint in the pass rush either, grading out at 30th. The addition of a healthy Carl Lawson should help take some attention off of Franklin-Myers, but there’s another way he can see a bit more success rushing the passer. Franklin-Myers has shown a valuable versatility in playing both inside and outside on the defensive line with the Jets liking to utilize him on the inside to exploit mismatches against guards. With the selection of rookie Jermaine Johnson II in the first round this offseason, the Jets can have Franklin-Myers and Lawson start in normal packages then bring in Johnson on passing downs and shift Franklin-Myers inside. This way you get the benefit of Franklin-Myers well-rounded play every down and can utilize the team’s best three pass rushers on passing downs.
  • After a season that saw him earn first-team All-Pro honors as a return man, wide receiver Braxton Berrios was rewarded with a two-year, $12MM extension. There’s no question that he’ll return next year as the team’s primary returner on both punts and kickoffs, but he may also see an increase in his usage on offense, too, according to Costello. Working behind Jamison Crowder in the slot, Berrios recorded 46 receptions for 431 yards and two touchdowns, adding 40 yards and two more touchdowns in the rushing game on seven carries. Despite the departure of Crowder, Berrios still sits at fourth on the depth chart behind Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and rookie Garrett Wilson. Berrios will once again be the first slot receiver off the bench behind Moore, but he’s shown the ability to play outside throughout his career, as well, and may be the preferred option as an outside replacement over Denzel Mims or Jeff Smith. Berrios also showed potential and ability last year on end-arounds and trick plays, giving the Jets even more excuses to get him on the field. In his fifth year out of Miami (FL), Berrios will look to build off his chemistry with quarterback Zach Wilson and reward the Jets for their dedication to him.

AFC East Notes: Poyer, Becton, Jets, Patriots

Jordan Poyer continues to pursue a new contract, but that won’t keep him away from mandatory minicamp. The Bills All-Pro safety is in attendance for practice this week, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

The impending free agent is seeking a new deal, and the Bills have been in communication with the player’s camp. According to ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg, Poyer’s participation may be limited in a pseudo-holdout move.

“I think Jordan is in a good place mentally,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. “He’s still staying in touch with his teammates, and hopefully, we’ll see him soon.”

Poyer has been a consistent starter on the Bills defense since joining the organization in 2017, missing only a pair of games. After collecting 100+ tackles between 2018 and 2020, the safety earned his first career All-Pro nod in 2021 after finishing with 93 tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions. The veteran inked a two-year extension with the organization in 2020.

More out of the AFC East:

  • The Jets could turn to a committee approach as they look to replace Jamison Crowder‘s spot at slot receiver, writes ESPN’s Rich Cimini. Many assumed that Braxton Berrios would slide into the role, but head coach Robert Saleh admitted the team is “working through it” and prefers to slide players in and out of the spot to keep things unpredictable. Elijah Moore and rookie Garrett Wilson are among the receivers who could join Berrios in the slot rotation.
  • Jets defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd rejected a better offer to re-sign with the Jets on a one-year, $1.1MM deal, according to Cimini. Incredibly, the 2018 draft pick is the team’s longest-tenured player, and he’s earned a reputation as a hard worker and loyal player. As Cimini notes, Shepard is now the biggest player on the team with Folorunso Fatukasi gone, and that could mean the veteran will see a more significant role in run-stopping situations.
  • Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton made it to mandatory minicamp after having sat out previous voluntary sessions, tweets ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The lineman didn’t practice, presumably because he’s still rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. Meanwhile, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes that the player’s ability to return to the field could ultimately influence the left tackle competition between Becton and George Fant. “The faster that you can stamp ‘Hey, this is what we feel like is going to be our best going into Week 1 vs. Baltimore,’ the faster we can do that the better,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said (via Vacchiano). “I think it will play itself out fairly quickly. When we get back (for training camp), we’re rolling, we’re running the football, and we’re going to see. It’ll all play itself out.”
  • At least one “prominent” member of the Patriots offense believed the coaching staff was unprepared at the start of the team’s offseason workout, according to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus. Following Josh McDaniels move to Las Vegas, the Patriots haven’t replaced anyone as their offensive coordinator, with former ST coordinator Joe Judge and former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia apparently taking on larger roles on offense. However, it sounds like the coaches are settling into roles, with Kyed describing Judge as the “passing game coordinator” and Patricia as the “running game coordinator.” Naturally, head coach Bill Belichick recently swatted away any questions about the offensive play calling. “If you’re asking about game plans, we’re months away from that — months,” Belichick said. “Months away. Months. What plays are we calling? Mini-camp plays?”

Jets To Re-Sign Braxton Berrios

The Jets are re-signing Braxton Berrios (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). The wide receiver will stay on a two-year deal worth $12MM with $7MM fully guaranteed, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Berrios’ new contract does provide an out after the 2022 season. Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter, the wideout will earn a $5.5MM base salary in 2023 and will be attached to an $8.3MM cap hit. However, only $500K of his base salary is guaranteed, meaning the Jets could cut Berrios and save $4.5MM.

Berrios posted solid numbers in 2021, thanks in large part to some big second-half performances. Heading into this week, there was buzz that Berrios could fetch something in the $9MM/year neighborhood, though the Jets were not willing to go that high. Ultimately, Berrios’ market was a little cooler than that, but the 26-year-old (27 in October) still managed to earn the biggest contract of his career by a wide margin.

The ex-Miami Hurricane scored five touchdowns, in three varieties, in his third Jets season. He also finished as the NFL’s leader in yards per kick return (30.4), bolstered greatly by his 102-yard TD against the Jaguars in Week 16. He also held down the fort while Corey Davis and Elijah Moore were out, notching 46 catches for 431 yards and two scores. One of those TDs came in the Jets’ near-upset win the Buccaneers in the season finale. Berrios also had two rushing TDs on the year, and he’ll look to bring more of that to Gang Green in 2022.

AFC East Rumors: Bills, Jets, Douglas, Jackson

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul made comments that all but guaranteed that an agreement for a new stadium for the Bills will be made soon, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Highmark Stadium (previously Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New Era Field) has been the home of the Bills since 1973. The Bills’ current lease on Highmark expires in 2023 and the franchise has been pushing with many government entities to build them a shiny, new stadium. The team has used the very real looming threat that there are plenty of other markets in the country that can support an NFL franchise.

Hochul commented on that threat saying, “That’s why we’re negotiating very intently, to make sure we have the right outcome for this community.” The new stadium will partially be funded by the public to the tune of about $850MM. The Governor claims that a deal will be done by April 1, in time for the annual budget.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC East, starting with a couple of notes that keep us in the Empire State:

  • The Jets are planning to use this offseason to add some weapons to the roster for quarterback Zach Wilson. They currently have Corey Davis and Elijah Moore sitting atop the depth chart. They would love to bring back Braxton Berrios as a fourth-receiver/gadget player and they haven’t yet given up on Denzel Mims. Still, New York will have ample opportunity to add a potential No. 1 receiver to the roster, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. The free agent market is home to many household names like Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Mike Williams, and, potentially, Amari Cooper. Players like Calvin Ridley and Cole Beasley have been rumored to be available via trade. The 2022 NFL Draft is also so rich in talented receivers that many believe some first round talent could fall to the second round where the Jets have two high picks, if they don’t choose to take a top prospect like Garrett Wilson or Drake London with the 10th overall pick.
  • That being said, Vacchiano also reports that, despite their vast spending ability, general manager Joe Douglas has been preaching the maintenance of financial flexibility. Though the Jets rank in the Top 5 in the NFL in salary cap space, Douglas rejected the notion that their $50-60MM in cap space will be dedicated to big spending in free agency. Douglas acknowledged free agency as just one of “a lot of different tools to improve your roster” and pointed to the Bengals as an example of responsible free agent spending. “I think Cincy did great in free agency last year,” he said. “They didn’t blow the doors off in terms of signing super high-priced guys. They brought in guys who fit exactly what they wanted to do.”
  • According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, Patriots’ cornerback JC Jackson is likely headed for free agency with some lofty expectations. While Jackson still likes the Patriots, money is a big factor for the 26-year-old. Giardi claims that Jackson is strictly seeking compensation similar to Jalen Ramsey. New England won’t bring that money to the table and it sounds like they won’t be utilizing their franchise tag on Jackson, either. That information could lead to a tag and trade situation if other teams aren’t willing to shell out for Jackson in free agency.