Breece Hall

AFC East Rumors: Bills, Achane, Hall, Judon

A Bills team that is looking to win their fourth-straight division title lost a crucial piece of their defense when veteran cornerback Tre’Davious White suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon. With Christian Benford and Taron Johnson already starting so far this season, the team will be relying on backups to step up in White’s absence.

Last year’s first-round pick Kaiir Elam has been a healthy-scratch for the first four games of the season but may be forced into action now that it’s necessary. Dane Jackson was the one who saw increased snaps upon White’s departure last weekend. Siran Neal and Cameron Lewis also have an opportunity to contribute. Head coach Sean McDermott, while maintaining that the Bills have faith in the guys already in their building, didn’t rule out the potential of a free agent signing to help reinforce the group, according to The Athletic’s Tim Graham.

If Buffalo is interested in veteran options, former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris is available after coming off the practice squad for the Saints to start four games last season. Veteran free agent Casey Hayward is also available after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury last year. Either option would provide veteran, starting experience for the Bills in place of White.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC East, starting down in Dade County:

  • Dolphins rookie running back Devon Achane has exploded onto the scene in the past two weeks. After only registering two touches over the first two games of the season for Miami, Achane has totaled 353 total yards and six total touchdowns in the last two games alone. Needless to say, the Dolphins are looking to get the ball in Achane’s hands more often, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The only issue is that starting running back Raheem Mostert has been impressive in his own right so far this year, and the team also likes Jeff Wilson and Salvon Ahmed, who are each trying to shake off injuries. Regardless, it’s going to be tough to keep Achane off the field.
  • The Jets have been managing second-year running back Breece Hall on a limited snap count so far this season as he comes back to full strength from last year’s season-ending ACL tear. According to Schefter, head coach Robert Saleh informed the media that Hall will not be playing on a limited workload any longer. Hall’s early effectiveness, combined with the initial disappointment of the Dalvin Cook-addition, has prompted the team to increase the role of the player it views as the team’s primary rusher.
  • We knew that the serious injury to Patriots pass rusher Matt Judon would majorly impact his ability to make an impression for his next contract. Thanks to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, we have some details on how it affects him now, as well. His recent restructure presented the opportunity for Judon to make up to $3MM in incentives. Since he won’t be able to play for 75 percent of the team’s defense snaps and will likely miss the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro selection, Judon is likely to miss out on $2MM of those incentives. Additionally, he’ll be out approximately $766K in per game active roster bonuses that he wouldn’t qualify for over the rest of the year, if he can’t make a return this season.

Jets Activate RB Breece Hall

One day after making a high-profile addition to their running back corps, the Jets’ backfield is now at full strength. The team announced on Tuesday that Breece Hall has been activated from the PUP list.

The long-anticipated deal sending Dalvin Cook to New York may have signaled that Hall was not as far along in his recovery as the team hoped. Instead, it simply confirmed the team’s all-in approach for 2023, which will involve a two-pronged approach in the running game. Hall has been expected to suit up for Week 1 throughout the offseason.

The 2022 second-rounder has impressed coaches while doing individual work, adding to the optimism surrounding his ability to return to full health following an ACL tear. That injury ended a promising rookie campaign, one in which Hall averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored five total touchdowns in seven games. Resuming that level of production should allow him to continue operating as the team’s lead back.

However, the Jets gave Cook $7MM (with the potential for more), making him a pricey backup option. It will be interesting to see how the four-time Pro Bowler is used with Hall now back in the picture. Cook has eclipsed 1,100 rushing yards every year since 2019, averaging over 42 catches per season over that span. His pass-catching role faded to an extent over his final two campaigns with the Vikings, though, and the Jets have a re-vamped array of receivers to begin the Aaron Rodgers era.

Hall, meanwhile, caught 82 passes in three years at Iowa State, then 19 in his shortened rookie season last year. The way in which carries and targets are divided between he and Cook could go a long way in determining the effectiveness of the tandem, and thus New York’s offense as a whole. The competition for snaps and roster security between Zonovan Knight and Michael Carter will also be worth following with Hall now back in the fold.

The latter will continue to rehab while taking part in team drills during the remainder of training camp. Presuming he is green-lit to return for the start of the season, the Jets will have their ideal RB tandem in place ahead of a campaign where the team faces substantial expectations.

Jets To Sign RB Dalvin Cook

Shortly after the Patriots reached a deal with Ezekiel Elliott, the Jets will finalize an agreement with their long-rumored target. Dalvin Cook agreed to a one-year deal with the Jets on Monday, Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report.

This wraps a long-running saga for Cook, who has been a free agent for several weeks now. The Jets had loomed as a Cook suitor for most of this span, and while the former Vikings Pro Bowler had been closely connected to his hometown Dolphins, the Jets were the only team to bring him in for a visit. That meeting has eventually produced a deal.

In terms of base value, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio adds this agreement will be worth $7MM (Twitter link). The contract will be worth a maximum of $8.6MM, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. Midway through the Jets’ preseason slate, Cook will sign on with the rising team. Aaron Rodgerspay-cut agreement will lead to a high-profile weapon signing on, with the Jets securing an elite Breece Hall insurance option.

While the Dolphins had talked terms with Cook, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds they were never on this level. The Vikings will also benefit, with a $2MM offset in place, per ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert (Twitter links). Despite not having a locked-in starter option on Hall’s level, the Dolphins had viewed Cook as a luxury. Mike McDaniel‘s team will stand pat with its re-signed duo of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, along with third-round rookie Devon Achane.

Even though the Dolphins were the only known team to discuss a Cook trade with the Vikings, they are standing down. Additionally, the chance to face the Bills twice was also important to the veteran, per Fowler, with younger brother James Cook set to start for the three-time defending division champs.

The Jets have been bullish on Hall’s chances of returning by Week 1, and the New York Post’s Brian Costello notes this Cook addition does not reflect a change in that stance. Hall is still on track for the opener (Twitter link). The 2022 second-rounder suffered an ACL tear during the Jets’ Week 7 win against the Broncos. Cook’s arrival will allow the Jets to slow-play Hall’s return, and it is also worth wondering what kind of rotation will form during the Iowa State product’s first season back from the injury. Cook’s contract points to a regular role, as opposed to a change-of-pace backup, in his seventh NFL season.

Cook’s deal represents a rare 2023 win for backs. Coming after countless setbacks for the RB market, Cook securing $7MM in base value provides him with a parachute after the Vikings cut bait on his $12.6MM-per-year deal. Prior to Monday, none of this year’s free agent backs secured more than $6.3MM per year. While Miles Sanders did see more guaranteed — on a four-year Panthers agreement — the Jets are giving Cook upper-middle-class money on a one-year accord to help their 2023 Super Bowl push.

The Patriots gave Elliott $4MM guaranteed, which is also more than a few starter-caliber backs — including Mostert and Wilson — received this year. Neither Mostert nor Wilson landed $3MM locked in, but the Jets placed a high value on Cook, who will leapfrog the likes of Zonovan Knight and Michael Carter upon signing. The Pats pursued Cook as well, and Kareem Hunt has now visited three teams. But the Jets were not believed to have been interested in the non-Cook wing of free agent backs.

Going into his age-28 season, Cook is riding the NFL’s only active streak of four straight 1,100-yard rushing slates. He has also been an effective receiver at points, though the Vikings did not utilize him in this capacity consistently. The Vikings viewed the explosive back’s contract, which had been agreed to just before the 2020 season, as a luxury they could no longer afford. Minnesota instead re-signed Alexander Mattison to a two-year, $7MM deal that is almost entirely guaranteed. As the Vikings joined other NFL teams in skimping on RB costs, the Jets now have one of this era’s better backs supplementing a recent second-rounder.

While Cook is set to give the Jets a Hall security blanket, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (via Twitter) he will not practice immediately. Cook underwent shoulder surgery — to fix an issue that had lingered for multiple seasons — in February. But the standout back has never been mentioned as a candidate to miss time because of the procedure. His signing delay and the additional time off needed will allow Cook to skip training camp. Though, it should be expected Cook will be the subject of a few Liev Schreiber-voiced sentences before this year’s Hard Knocks concludes.

Cook helped the Vikings to two playoff berths in this span, giving Kirk Cousins an upper-crust option on which to lean. Rodgers had a strong RB duo in recent years as well, with AJ Dillon joining Aaron Jones over the past three seasons. Should Hall regain his rookie-year form at some point in 2023, Rodgers will once again have a top-end RB duo in place. The Jets have some questions up front, but Cook loads up a skill-position corps that also features Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman and Corey Davis. Once a rumored cap casualty, Davis remains with the Jets on the three-year deal he signed in 2021. The Jets turned the Quinnen Williams extension into cap space, with Rodgers agreeing to trim his guarantee total in order to help fit in vets like Cook.

The Jets would still have the option of placing Hall on the reserve/PUP list, which would allow him an onramp — in the form of a four-game absence — into his second season. That would be a bit of a surprise, though, even considering Cook’s $7MM payment. But after a highly publicized free agency stay, Cook has joined an expected contender and will have a chance to make an impact alongside Rodgers.

Latest On Dalvin Cook’s Jets Visit

By all accounts, Dalvin Cook‘s visit with the Jets went well. However, the free agent running back ended up leaving New York without a deal. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter), Cook is traveling home to Florida after spending all day Sunday visiting the Jets.

[RELATED: Jets To Meet With Dalvin Cook]

Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter), Cook “enjoyed” his visit with the Jets yesterday and “there’s still mutual interest” in adding the All-Pro running back to the roster. Cimini also cautions that Cook continues to mull his options before making a final decision. Cook previously mentioned that he didn’t have any other visits on his docket. Josina Anderson adds (on Twitter) that the Jets didn’t “sense an immediate rush from Cook’s side” to immediately agree to a contract.

Interestingly, we’ll soon get an extensive look at Cook’s visit with the Jets. Per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), the Hard Knocks crew followed the free agent RB for the entirety of his visit. The first episode of the series is set to air next Tuesday on HBO.

While the Dolphins were initially considered the favorites in the Cook sweepstakes, the Jets have come on strong in recent weeks, with the running back hinting that New York could ultimately be his landing spot. Aaron Rodgersrecently restructured deal opened up a significant chunk of cash, and the Jets could immediately use those funds to lure the long-time Vikings RB.

After his rookie campaign ended with a torn ACL, the door remains open for Breece Hall to be ready to go to start the regular season. Still, the Jets haven’t been shy about adding depth at the skill positions, and a hypothetical Cook signing would likely result in a two-headed monster at the RB position (vs. one of the players emerging as a clear-cut bell cow).

Speaking of Hall, coach Robert Saleh said yesterday that he remains optimistic about the player’s availability for Week 1 (via Cimini on Twitter). The head coach added that Hall could be cleared for practice in a couple of weeks. Hall is currently stashed on the PUP as he continues to recover from his knee injury.

Jets To Meet With Dalvin Cook; Patriots Remain In Talks With RB

JULY 28: Cook appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Friday, and discussed his upcoming Jets visit. He said the odds of a deal being worked out with New York in the near future are “pretty high,” providing an additional sign of where this situation appears to be headed (video link). Cook would give the Jets high-end insurance against Hall not being available to start the season (or at least not immediately returning to his pre-injury form), along with another contributor to their all-in approach.

Cook did add, however, that a deal with his hometown Dolphins remains a consideration and that he is still “weighing [his] options.” Only his Jets visit is currently on the books, and it would certainly come as little surprise at this point if it yielded an agreement. Others could follow, though, meaning this three-way AFC East competition remains ongoing.

JULY 27: Aaron Rodgers‘ long-rumored restructure coming to pass will lead to an immediate meeting with the highest-profile free agent remaining. Dalvin Cook intends to visit the Jets, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

The six-year veteran running back will visit with the team this weekend, per Pelissero. Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter), the meeting with take place Sunday. The AFC East has seen by far the most Cook connections, with the Dolphins and Patriots in this mix as well. But the Jets have loomed for a while. Rodgers’ restructure doubled as a pay cut, and the Jets will see if they can put the funds freed up from this agreement and the Quinnen Williams extension to immediate use. Cook’s visit adds to the momentum the Jets had established here.

Cook has said he wants to land with a contending team that carries a clear backfield need. The Jets have starter Breece Hall returning from an October ACL tear. While the 2022 second-round pick has long been expected to be back by Week 1, he began training camp on the team’s active/PUP list. The door remains open for Hall to be ready to go to start the regular season, but the Jets have not been shy about pursuing ex-Rodgers teammates or big names on offense this offseason.

In addition to the Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman and Billy Turner additions, the Jets looked like the lead candidate for Odell Beckham Jr. this spring. Beckham scheduled a Jets visit but did not end up taking it, with the Ravens submitting a big offer that redirected the talented wide receiver to Baltimore. The Dolphins were long viewed as the lead Cook suitor, and Cook has discussed a deal with his hometown team. Miami’s first offer clearly did not impress Cook, who will give the Jets an opportunity to make a pitch soon.

While a Dolphins meeting could commence, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds the Patriots are the other Cook suitor attempting to set up a visit (Twitter link). They are in talks with Cook about bringing him to Foxborough for a meeting. The Pats already worked out Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson. Cook would be a splashier (and costlier) addition. New England hosted the other big-ticket summer free agent — DeAndre Hopkins — but did not come too close to matching Tennessee’s offer.

Despite the Patriots’ interest, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline notes the purveying view around the league is the Jets will win this race and could wrap it up by week’s end. The team not wanting to rush Hall back represents the key reason for the Cook pursuit.

News of Cook setting up visits comes at an interesting time for the running back position. In addition to the Vikings bailing on Cook’s $12.6MM-per-year contract, the market led to multiple pay cuts, a free agency period that did not produce one $7MM-AAV accord and the franchise tag deadline passing with all three tagged backs attached to the $10.1MM number. Running backs have since discussed their status as a coalition, gathering for a recent Zoom call, as their value has taken more hits this offseason. Cook has not been expected to come too close to his Vikings AAV, and it will be interesting to see what terms it will take for him to sign.

The Jets and Rodgers coming to an agreement provided long-awaited clarity for the team, and its $15.98MM in available funds sits 11th. Gang Green has also been connected to a Corey Davis pay-cut request. Carl Lawson accepted a pay reduction, and the veteran defensive end stands as a more valuable piece for the sudden AFC contender. Davis is tied to an $11.18MM cap hit this year, and the Jets signed three wideouts in free agency. The seventh-year vet accepting a trim would free up more space, though the RB market crashing makes it unlikely Cook will be able to command an especially lucrative deal.

New England sits 12th in cap space, holding just more than $12.5MM. The Pats let Damien Harris leave for a low-level Bills contract but have seen Rhamondre Stevenson become one of the NFL’s best young backs. Two years remain on Stevenson’s rookie contract. The Pats have continued to explore an addition to their backfield, with second-year man Pierre Strong sitting as their top backup.

Cook would impact Stevenson’s role but give the Pats a clear RB2 upgrade. The Dolphins lack a starter on the level of Stevenson or Hall, though Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson have played for Mike McDaniel with two teams. It would seem Cook will attempt to use this Jets and Pats interest to push the Dolphins, who have been in on the accomplished vet since March and may or may not have explored a Saquon Barkley trade, to increase their offer.

Opting to save money by going with longtime Cook sidekick Alexander Mattison (at two years and $7MM), the Vikings joined the Cowboys in shedding a top-five RB contract this year. Cook, however, delivered better returns on his second contract compared to Ezekiel Elliott. Cook is the only back who has surpassed 1,100 rushing yards in each of the past four seasons. Going into his age-28 slate, the Florida State alum remains an intriguing piece. He may finish the summer having a significant say in a loaded AFC East.

Jets Place Chuck Clark On IR, Stash Breece Hall On Active/PUP List

Chuck Clark will not make a late-season comeback for the Jets. After suffering an ACL tear in June, Clark landed on the Jets’ injured reserve list Wednesday.

Since the Jets are not carrying Clark over to their 53-man roster, this IR move will end his season. It would have represented a long shot for the veteran safety to return this year anyway, and this transaction buries that notion. The Jets also placed receiver/returner hopeful Diontae Spencer on IR.

The Jets traded for Clark, 28, in March and were preparing to use him as a full-time player alongside Jordan Whitehead. Clark’s knee injury prompted the team to bring in yet another ex-Packer, Adrian Amos, to fill that role. Amos had received interest from the Ravens, visiting his hometown team twice. But the Jets suddenly having a clear need helped them land the eight-year starter.

Upon acquiring Clark, the Jets took on his three-year, $15.3MM Ravens contract. Only one season remained on the deal, and rather than the former Baltimore starter playing his way into a nice Jets extension, a trip to free agency coming off a severe injury may be in the cards.

Gang Green also placed Breece Hall on its active/PUP list. Unlike the reserve/PUP list, this is a training camp-only designation. Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any point during camp. The Jets also placed Randall Cobb, C.J. Uzomah and defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converse on the active/PUP list.

Hall suffered a torn ACL in October of last year, but the Jets have maintained the second-year running back will be ready for Week 1. A delayed start to camp will be part of the former second-rounder’s ramp-up period. New York has been connected to Dalvin Cook for an extended stretch, with Hall’s recovery likely a factor in the team’s pursuit of the accomplished ex-Viking. The Dolphins and Patriots are also interested in Cook, though New England worked out two more affordable options — Leonard Fournette and Darrell Hendersonon Wednesday.

Jets Set To Hold RB2 Battle

The Jets are working with a deep, young running backs room, forcing each back to prove his mettle early and often. Michael Carter answered that call as a fourth-round rookie in 2021. Last year was supposed to be the takeover of rookie second-round pick Breece Hall, but a torn ACL ended his season after only seven weeks. Hall should return to the starting role, but with their No. 1 coming back from a serious injury, the RB2 spot becomes that much more important.

Despite falling off a bit in production last season after a strong rookie year, Carter is currently in line to enter training camp as the No. 2 back, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Carter started 11 games in his rookie year, racking up 639 rushing yards and four touchdowns, along with 325 yards receiving. He had seized a lead-back role, and many expected him to take a step forward in his sophomore season. This led to a bit of a surprise when New York took Hall 36th overall in last year’s draft.

Carter started off the 2022 season splitting carries with Hall but taking the majority of the workload. Eventually, Hall took the reins and became a bell-cow back for the four remaining healthy games of his season. Hall’s injury opened the door for Carter to return to the spotlight. Instead, Carter’s usage stayed stagnant as backs like James Robinson and Ty Johnson were given opportunities to split the load with him. Eventually, undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight was elevated from the practice squad and took the majority of the carriers for the final seven weeks of the season.

Knight should be one of Carter’s competitors for the primary backup role. Knight came in last year and, over his first four games, ran the ball 59 times for 253 yards, ending his season with 300 total rushing yards and a touchdown. Costello posits that Carter’s confidence was shaken a bit when the team traded for Robinson and then turned to Knight. Regardless, Knight outperformed Carter in that final stretch of the season, and if that’s any indication of how the position battle will go, Carter has his work cut out for him.

The other name competing for the spot is a newcomer. The Jets selected Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda in the fifth-round of the draft this year. Abanikanda declared for the draft after a breakout junior year in which he rushed for 1,431 yards for an incredible 20 rushing touchdowns for the Panthers. He’ll be green to the game at the professional level, but he’s got plenty of tread left on the tires after only starting 17 games in his college career.

Carter should have a bit of a leg up on Knight and Abanikanda. He has more experience than Knight and Abanikanda to begin with. He also offers a bit more to his game. Throughout their careers, both college and NFL for Knight, the two younger backs have not had near the success receiving out of the backfield as Carter has. Carter’s ability to catch the ball may have pigeon-holed him into a third-down back role only in some situations, but combined with his early success rushing the football in New York, it should set him up nicely for a solid chance to regain his footing as the team’s No. 2 back.

Jets Notes: WRs, Hall, Brown, Whitehead

The Jets have been mentioned as a potential suitor for DeAndre Hopkins, but head coach Robert Saleh made it clear today that he’s perfectly content rolling into the 2023 campaign with his current grouping of receivers.

“No, we love our current group,” Saleh told reporters (via Yahoo’s Jori Epstein on Twitter). “I know there was some stuff with Odell [Beckham], but other than that, we love our group.”

Saleh is referring to the team’s pursuit of OBJ, which ultimately resulted in the WR landing in Baltimore. Unlike that sweepstakes, the Jets haven’t been definitively connected to Hopkins; it’s merely been speculation that the receiver could team up with Aaron Rodgers in New York.

While the veteran QB would surely welcome in as many weapons as he can get, the Jets don’t have a major need for another receiver. The team has been busy this offseason adding Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb to a grouping that already features Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, and Denzel Mims.

More notes out of New York…

  • Speaking of offensive weapons, Saleh told reporters that he’s “very optimistic” that running back Breece Hall will be on the field for Week 1. “I’m very optimistic on that one,” the coach said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “I don’t want to jinx it. (Knocks on wood) I mean, the kid’s already hitting over 22 (mph) on the GPS, so he looks frickin’ good.” The 2021 second-round pick was averaging more than 97 yards per game last season before suffering a torn ACL. Saleh noted that the running back is already hitting 22 miles per hour on the GPS, which is faster than his top speed from last season.
  • Offensive tackle Duane Brown underwent offseason rotator cuff surgery after injuring his shoulder last season. Entering his age-38 season, the veteran easily could have hung up his cleats, but he told reporters that he decided to keep playing in 2023 because he wants to win (per ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter). Brown also admitted that he’s unsure if he’ll be ready to go for the start of training camp, noting that it will be up to the team’s doctors.
  • The Jets depth at edge could mean more inside opportunities for John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons, according to defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich (via Brian Costello of the New York Post on Twitter). JFM ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 18 edge defender (among 119 qualifying players) following a 2021 campaign that saw him finish with five sacks. Clemons was 23rd on that same list, with the 2022 fourth-round pick finishing with 2.5 sacks in 16 games.
  • Safety Jordan Whitehead restructured his contract today, opening $5.3MM in cap space, per Cimini (on Twitter). Since the team converted Whitehead’s non-guaranteed base salary into a signing bonus, the player’s salary is now guaranteed for the 2023 season (per Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com on Twitter).

Jets Expect RB Breece Hall To Be Ready For Week 1

The Jets lost their promising running back investment early last season, seeing Breece Hall‘s rookie year end in October due to an ACL tear. The team plans to slow-play the talented back’s return.

Hall will not play in preseason games for the Jets, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello, who adds the Iowa State alum will probably spend a chunk of training camp on the Jets’ active/PUP list. A stay on the Jets’ reserve/PUP list — a designation that mandates a four-game absence to start the regular season — should not be expected, as of now.

This gradual reintegration is not expected to involve regular-season absences, Costello adds, with the Jets believing Hall will be ready by Week 1. That September date will mark nearly 11 months since Hall’s tear (Oct. 23, 2022). That is generally viewed as well within the rage for players to come back from ACL tears, barring extreme damage. Hall, 21, said in January he expects to be ready for the Jets’ opener. Once back in uniform, Hall will be a key part of the Jets’ equation on offense.

The Jets considered trading back into the first round to make sure they landed Hall last year, but after making three first-round picks, the team was able to select him at No. 36 overall. Hall started slow but was beginning to look like an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate at the time he went down. Hall rushed for 213 combined yards in Jets wins over the Dolphins and Packers in Weeks 5 and 6, and he ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run against the Broncos before going down during that game.

New York has been linked to Ezekiel Elliott, but Robert Saleh poured some cold water on that prospective signing recently. The Jets should be considered unlikely to add a high-profile veteran, per Costello. The team re-signed Ty Johnson last month and still has Zonovan Knight and Michael Carter on rookie contracts. Hall coming back to team with Garrett Wilson, who ended up winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and, in all likelihood, Aaron Rodgers, will represent a rather notable set of offensive pillars for a Jets franchise mired in major American sports’ longest active playoff drought.

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.