Denzel Mims

AFC East Notes: Jets, Chubb, Hines

The Jets pulled off an upset win over the Bills today, despite the absence of wideout Corey Davis. The 2021 free agent signing ranks second on the team with 351 receiving yards, but has been unavailable since suffering a knee injury in Week 7.

That has allowed Denzel Mims to occupy a roster spot on gamedays, something which had yet to take place prior to the injury. The 2020 second-rounder saw a drastic drop in his playing time last year compared to his rookie campaign, which fueled a summer trade request. In the build-up to this year’s deadline, the possibility of a deal sending him out of New York remained, but nothing took place, perhaps as a reflection of his situation beginning to change.

Head coach Robert Saleh indicated that “something switched” recently with respect to Mims’ attitude and approach (Twitter link via SNY’s Connor Hughes). As a result, Saleh added that there is a strong possibility the Baylor alum will remain active for games even after Davis returns.

Here are some other notes from around the AFC East:

  • While the Jets were without Davis on offense, a notable member of their defense was back in action this afternoon. Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson returned after a three-game absence, something which was expected to take place today, per Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. Part of New York’s vaunted 2022 rookie class, the first-rounder recorded a sack in the win over the Bills, bringing his total to 2.5 on the year. The Jets’ decision to trade away Jacob Martin will likely open the door to a larger role for Johnson moving forward.
  • More details have emerged regarding the Bradley Chubb extension he signed upon being acquired by the Dolphins. As detailed by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the new pact includes a fully guaranteed salary of $19.4MM next season. In March of 2023, his 2024 compensation will also become fully guaranteed. Overall, the Pro Bowler is in line for a steady base salary throughout the life of the deal; likewise, his cap hit is scheduled to remain very consistent, ranging from $22.2MM next year to $23.2MM in 2027, the final year of the deal.
  • The Bills were among the teams making notable additions on Tuesday, trading for running back Nyheim Hines. The veteran is known as an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield, but also for his special teams contributions. To no surprise, then, PFT’s Michael David Smith noted before today’s game that the ex-Colt was expected to serve as Buffalo’s punt returner. Indeed, Hines accounted for his new team’s only punt return, taking over that role from rookie Khalil Shakir.

AFC East Rumors: Jets WRs, Davis, Collins, Jones

Second-year wide receiver Elijah Moore made headlines yesterday when he became the second Jets pass catcher to request a trade in the past two months. The frustration leading to the request had been building for weeks, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, as Moore hasn’t quite found the success and production he saw in his rookie season. The team sent him home from practice for a “personal day” yesterday and are not considering trading the 22-year-old.

The other receiver who requested a trade was New York’s second-round draft pick from the year before the Jets selected Moore in the second round: Denzel Mims. Mims has been a healthy scratch for the team’s first six games of the season and, according to him, a trade is “still on the table.”

Here are a few other rumors out of the AFC East, starting with some injury details up in Massachusetts:

  • Patriots safety and core special teamer Cody Davis was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. According to the Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the move is a result of season-ending surgery Davis must undergo to repair a knee injury. It’s a tough loss for the Patriots, who have always valued special teams experts, and a return to the NFL next season will pose a difficult test for Davis, who will turn 34 before he can return.
  • Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins has been serving time with his first career stint on an NFL practice squad during his tenth year in the league. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seemed to indicate that Collins’ offseason surgery is the reason he’s not on the active roster, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Belichick insinuated that there’s a conditioning process that Collins will have to go through in order to earn a promotion to the active roster.
  • Although Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones is eligible to return from the team’s physically unable to perform list, the veteran starter is still not ready to play, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. Jones is still recovering from a March surgery on his ankle/Achilles area, even though head coach Mike McDaniel claimed multiple times that the team expected Jones back in time for the regular season. Instead, Jones remains on PUP and there is, reportedly, no timeline for his return.

Latest On Jets WR Denzel Mims

Despite his trade request last week, wideout Denzel Mims remained on the Jets as teams set their 53-man rosters. Speaking with reporters today, Mims expressed frustration at his situation and reiterated his desire to start.

“I feel like I already pretty much [showed I could start], from OTAs until now,” Mims said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). “I mean, they’re pretty set on who they want.

“I feel like, yeah, I feel like [the coaches] have made their mind up, honestly. But I feel like I can change their mind on that. I feel like I’ve been doing that. Their minds are pretty made up, though.”

Mims also mentioned that he expects to be inactive for the Jets Week 1 contest against the Ravens, and he noted that he doesn’t have any issues playing special teams. However, the receiver made it clear that he wants to play, something that probably won’t be possible when he’s behind a deep wide receiver group of Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, and rookie Garrett Wilson. Those frustrations have led the organization to surmise that Mims doesn’t necessarily want to play elsewhere.

“I wouldn’t say he wants to be somewhere else; he wants to play,” GM Joe Douglas said. “He wants to start. Denzel is very confident. He has voiced that, that he wants to be a starter. Ultimately, you want a team full of guys that feel like they should be the No. 1 guy.”

While the Jets didn’t end up trading the former second-round pick, they still fielded calls on the wideout. According to Connor Hughes of SNYtv (on Twitter), the Vikings, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Panthers were among the teams that reached out to the Jets. However, New York was seeking a fourth-round pick in return for the receiver, and no team was willing to meet that asking price.

Panthers Call Jets On WR Denzel Mims

As the acquisitions of Haason Reddick, Robbie Anderson, Matt Ioannidis and others have shown, Matt Rhule has been quite eager to bring in his former college players. The former Temple and Baylor head coach appears to have one of his Waco charges on the radar now.

The Panthers have contacted the Jets on disgruntled wide receiver Denzel Mims, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. Rhule has eyed Mims since last season, according to’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter).

This would seemingly be a nice landing spot for Mims, who at least knows Carolina’s third-year HC well. Rhule was at Baylor during Mims’ final three seasons at the Big 12 program; the 6-foot-3 target eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards during the 2017 and ’19 seasons with the Bears. His NFL stay has not produced anything close to this production.

Mims has just 31 catches for 490 yards in two seasons; he has yet to score an NFL touchdown. Long a release candidate, Mims is now on a team that used a top-10 pick on a wideout (Garrett Wilson) and re-signed Braxton Berrios this offseason. Corey Davis and Elijah Moore‘s statuses do not appear to leave Mims much room for work. Then again, the Jets — perhaps as a trade-value booster — view Mims as a player they would like to have on their 53-man roster. Robert Saleh said as much Friday, via SNY’s Connor Hughes (on Twitter). They are open to moving him as well. Mims is also not giving the Jets enough on special teams, though Saleh said (via Hughes) the Baylor product has improved.

Carolina extended D.J. Moore this offseason and has Temple alum Anderson alongside him. Rhule signed Anderson after his four-year Jets tenure elapsed in 2020. The team also drafted Terrace Marshall in last year’s second round. Marshall has missed time due to a hamstring injury in camp, however. This came after a low-key rookie season, one in which Marshall caught just 17 passes for 138 yards. Shi Smith, chosen four rounds after Marshall last year, has played well during camp, per Person.

Joe Douglas and Scott Fitterer obviously have a recent history on the trade front, having negotiated a Sam Darnold swap that saw three picks — in multiple drafts — going from Carolina to New York. Two years remain on Mims’ second-round contract.

Jets Open To Granting Denzel Mims’ Trade Request

AUGUST 26: The Jets plan to grant Mims’ request, Connor Hughes of SNY tweets. Although the team is obviously not planning to unload him for the sake of doing so, Mims’ career to this point will not yield the Jets much in a trade. That said, Hughes adds the team likes Mims’ fit as part of its receiving corps.

AUGUST 25: A former Jets second-round pick wants out of New York. Wide receiver Denzel Mims has requested a trade, according to agent Ron Slavin (via Brian Costello of the New York Post on Twitter).

“It’s just time,” Slavin wrote in a statement. “Denzel has tried in good faith but it’s clear he does not have a future with the Jets. Denzel vowed to come back better than ever this season and he worked extremely hard in the offseason to make that happen. Still, he has been given no opportunities to work with the starting offense to get into a groove with them. We feel at this point a trade is our only option since the Jets have repeatedly told us they will not release him. [General manager] Joe Douglas has always done right by Denzel and we trust that he will do everything in his power to find him another team where Denzel can be a contributor.”

This news doesn’t come as a shock to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, with the reporter tweeting that this has been building for a while. Slavin met with Douglas a few weeks ago, and Mims “has expressed his frustration” to head coach Robert Saleh. The receiver clearly remains unsatisfied with his role, leading to today’s trade request.

Mims had a standout career at Baylor, leading to the Jets selecting him in the second round of the 2020 draft. He didn’t do anything memorable as a rookie, but he still hauled in 23 receptions for 357 yards in nine games following a delayed start to his season. With a new coaching staff in New York for the 2021 campaign, Mims had a tough time carving out a role. While he got into 11 games, he finished with only eight receptions for 133 yards.

It’s been more of the same during training camp and preseason, as Mims has rarely participated with the first-team offense. He does lead the Jets with five preseason receptions (for 68 yards), but he’s clearly behind Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and rookie first-round pick Garrett Wilson on the depth chart. Braxton Berrios, who finished last season with 46 receptions, was also brought back this offseason on a two-year deal, meaning Mims was eyeing a role as WR5 at best. According to Cimini (on Twitter), Mims was the seventh wideout to see the field during the Jets’ preseason opener, and he effectively held the same spot on the depth chart in the second game (when the starters didn’t play).

As a result of his apparent standing with the team, Mims already found himself on the roster bubble heading toward the end of preseason. Based on his agent’s statement, it’s a bit surprising that the Jets are apparently refusing to cut the WR. The team would see a cap savings of about $700K in 2022 and more than $1.3MM in 2023 (with only $378K in dead cap). Perhaps the front office is hoping to squeeze one more year out of Mims as some extra depth before inevitably cutting bait with him next offseason.

While the Jets can’t expect to recoup the second-round investment, there’s surely a team out there that would bank on Mims’ untapped potential. The situation isn’t entirely unlike that of N’Keal Harry and the Patriots. The former first-round pick requested a trade last year, but the receiver ended up sticking around New England for the 2021 campaign. Harry was finally traded to Chicago for a seventh-round pick this offseason.

Jets Notes: Brown, Becton, Mims, Curry

Earlier today, the Jets turned a visit from offensive tackle Duane Brown into a two-year deal. He will fill an urgent roster void in the absence of Mekhi Becton, and could provide the team with high-level play if he maintains his Pro Bowl form of last season.

The veteran showed interest in joining the Jets not long after his free agent workout, something which comes as little surprise considering today’s news of a deal. Brown did have other options on the table, though. He had offers outside of New York, including “contending teams,” reports SNY’s Connor Hughes (Twitter link). He adds that Brown admits the playoffs are an unlikely target for the team in 2022, but that the 36-year-old wanted to head to the Big Apple.

Expectations have been raised for Robert Saleh‘s team this year; a campaign which doesn’t result in a postseason berth wouldn’t be considered a failure, but a significant step forward from last year’s 4-13 finish is considered the minimum performance. Brown could help stabilize the OT position, in turn giving a boost to the team’s offense.

Here are some other notes from East Rutherford:

  • The player Brown was signed to replace, Bectonis scheduled to undergo knee surgery next week (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). The 23-year-old was limited to one game last season, and is expected to be sidelined for all of 2022 after he suffered an avulsion fracture of his right kneecap. Per Rapoport, the procedure will be done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles; its success will go a long way to determining the former first-rounder’s health (and career future) moving forward.
  • Denzel Mims remains in trade talk. The 24-year-old wideout has had an underwhelming start to his NFL career, with only 31 catches in two years. He has frequently been named as a standout in training camp, though, something which could boost his trade stock. ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that Mims could be the victim of a “numbers game” at the position, one which is headed in New York by Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson and Braxton Berrios“It’s up to them if they play me or not,” Mims said, when asked if he has earned a starting role.
  • In a similar vein, the Jets could be forced to move on from one or more notable names along the defensive line when roster cuts take place at the end of the month. Cimini names Vinny Curry as a cut candidate, given the team’s depth amongst other, younger options. Curry, 34, re-signed on a one-year deal in April, but since he missed the 2021 campaign due to a number of health issues, he has yet to play a game with the Jets. Unless the team opts against carrying three QBs, for instance, the Super Bowl winner could find himself on the outside looking in shortly.

AFC East Notes: Jets, White, Eichenberg

The Jets have moved Mekhi Becton to right tackle, with Robert Saleh citing George Fant‘s athleticism as making him a better blindside fit. Although the second-year Jets HC said Becton is appropriately athletic for the left tackle post, the former first-round pick has faced steady scrutiny regarding his weight. Becton was rumored to be over 400 pounds last year, and Rich Cimini of notes the third-year blocker was thought to be in the 390s as recently as minicamp, when he would not confirm his weight. That said, Cimini adds Becton looks slimmer at Jets training camp. Saleh said the Louisville product has “got himself into football shape.” While Becton would not confirm his training camp weight, he said he hit the goal he targeted. Becton’s listed weight is 363 pounds. Given the rumblings about Jets dissatisfaction with their largest player’s frame at points, this will continue to be an issue to monitor as he transitions to a new position.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • James White signed a fourth Patriots contract this offseason, agreeing to a two-year deal worth $5MM. But the longtime Pats passing-down back is recovering from a September 2021 hip subluxation injury, one that could land him on the reserve/PUP list to start this season. The ninth-year vet was still walking with a noticeable limp barely a week before training camp, according to Mike Reiss of White signed for only $500K guaranteed, and the Patriots drafted two running backs — Pierre Strong (Round 4) and Kevin Harris (Round 6) — this year. With the team already having Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson locked into roles, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed wonders if White is a release candidate. White led all backs in receiving yardage from 2015-20 (3,161), Reiss points out, but Strong — he of a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, this year’s top running back time — stands to be another option the Pats could use. The Pats slow-played both White and Shane Vereen‘s debuts as passing-down backs, but White’s injury could force the team’s hand.
  • The Dolphins are moving closer to giving Liam Eichenberg another try as a starter. The 2021 second-round pick is the clear frontrunner to be the team’s left guard starter, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Eichenberg and 2020 fourth-rounder Solomon Kindley are vying for that job, and while pronouncements about O-line battles before padded practices are premature, the Dolphins have more invested in the Notre Dame product. Eichenberg spent more time at left tackle last season, but Terron Armstead will take over there this year.
  • Denzel Mims has been attached to trade/cut rumors for a bit now, and Cimini predicts the Jets will end up trading the former second-round pick before Week 1. Mims delivered a solid offseason, but his lack of a special teams role and clear place out of the Jets’ top three at the position has long made him vulnerable. The Jets have four receivers they figure to look to before Mims, with Garrett Wilson joining a stable of Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and the recently re-signed Braxton Berrios. Despite being the 2020 No. 59 overall pick, Mims (31 career catches for 490 yards) would not fetch much in a deal.
  • The Jets plan to use John Franklin-Myers as a defensive end in base sets and inside on passing downs, with Saleh calling the veteran the team’s Justin Tuck– or Brandon Graham-type D-lineman, per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes (on Twitter). This year will feature a more crowded Jets D-line, with Carl Lawson back and first-rounder Jermaine Johnson in the fold. Franklin-Myers, whom the Jets extended last year, will still have a key role.

Latest On Jets’ Denzel Mims

Expectations were understandably high for Jets receiver Denzel Mims when he was drafted in 2020, but he has yet to live up to his billing in the NFL. With questions continuing to be asked about his future with the team, things may have taken a positive turn this offseason. 

ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the 24-year-old is in better shape physically than he was last year, which was marred by multiple health issues. In part due to those factors, and, more importantly, his inability to translate an intriguing size-speed combination from college to the NFL, Mims hasn’t seen much of the field through two seasons as a pro.

The former second-rounder flashed potential as a rookie, starting eight of the nine games he appeared in. He averaged 15.5 yards per reception, albeit on just 23 scoreless receptions. This year, after the Jets signed Corey Davis and drafted Elijah Moore, Mims saw a drastically reduced role, playing only 40% of offensive snaps. As a result, the Baylor alum has totalled less than 500 career yards after 20 NFL contests.

Amidst frustration regarding his limited opportunities, Mims was understandably considered a trade candidate throughout the 2021 season. In the build-up to the trade deadline, it was reported teams were inquiring about his availability, but New York elected to hold on to him. That didn’t point to a level of complacence at the position, of course; the Jets made a strong push to acquire Deebo Samuel, and used the No. 10 pick in the draft to select Garrett Wilson.

With a long road still in front of him to land a starting role (the Jets also re-signed Braxton Berrios this offseason), Mims is nevertheless receiving high praise as a result of his work during OTAs. Head coach Robert Saleh described him as being “a lot further along than he was a year ago” and in “fantastic shape”. Still, as Cimini writes, the team could simply be “talking him up” right now in an effort to boost his value in a potential trade, given that little has changed since January when his future was thought to be in serious doubt.

Mims has two years left on his rookie deal, but where those are played will remain an important story to monitor throughout the remainder of the offseason. If he does remain in the Big Apple, there is at least some cause for optimism he could perform closer to the level expected of him not long ago.

New York Jets Notes: Receivers, Mims, Trades, Harris

After losing the team-leader in receptions, Jamison Crowder, to free agency, the Jets have been looking to improve their wide receiver room this offseason. The Jets’ top five receivers’ season totals were within 107 yards of each other. Unfortunately for New York, their top receiver, Elijah Moore, totaled only 538 yards last year, followed by Corey Davis with 492 yards, Keelan Cole with 449 yards, Crowder with 447 yards, and Braxton Berrios with 431 yards. With Cole being a free agent, the Jets return a top-three group of Moore, Davis, and Berrios.

Many suspected that New York would address the position through free agency, but, while they were linked to essentially every available wide receiver, the only move they made was re-signing All-Pro return man Berrios. ESPN’s Rich Cimini posits that this may be a vote of confidence in third-year receiver Denzel Mims. In two years in the league, Mims has caught 31 balls for 490 yards, but Mims has cut his body fat to 8% this season and Jets’ coaches are liking what they’re hearing about the 24-year-old this offseason.

Veteran free agents are still available with the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, and even Antonio Brown still sitting on the open market. More likely would be the Jets addressing the position using the 2022 NFL Draft. The Jets have been linked to names like USC’s Drake London and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, but they’ve also expressed interest in trading one of their two top-ten picks for a veteran receiver. According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Jets general manager Joe Douglas doubled down on that interest, claiming that conversations with other general managers about draft trades have been heating up. Douglas didn’t go into specifics, but, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, in response to the news that Deebo Samuel is seeking a trade, Douglas said, “My job is to get the team better. If the opportunity presents itself, we are going to be aggressive.”

One other note concerning the Jets’ new addition to the defense, Marcell Harris:

AFC Rumors: Bengals, Colts, Chark, Jets

The Bengals‘ Super Bowl LVI performance made their offensive line need known worldwide. While the team is not traditionally known for big-ticket free agency splashes, it has spent to fortify its defense over the past two offseasons. O-line reinforcements may be coming, too. At least, a growing expectation exists the Bengals will try to add multiple blockers in free agency, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. Cincinnati still has Joe Burrow tied to a rookie contract through at least 2022 and holds nearly $35MM in cap space, as of Saturday. The Bengals have not been much for spending on guards, letting both Evan Mathis and Kevin Zeitler leave in free agency during the 2010s, but they may need to deviate from that blueprint soon. Cincinnati has been connected to centers ahead of the market’s opening, being mentioned as interested in Ryan Jensen and Bradley Bozeman. Not usually a closely monitored team in free agency, at least nationally, the Bengals will see their O-line strategy spotlighted soon.

With the legal tampering period less than 48 hours away, here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Mentioned in this week’s Amari Cooper trade talks, the Dolphins saw the Browns acquire the veteran from the Cowboys. The Dolphins also may have their eye on a cheaper option. They have been connected to D.J. Chark ahead of free agency’s outset, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus tweets. Despite changing coaches again, the Jaguars would like to re-sign Chark. The Dolphins’ 2021 receiver plan partially worked out, with Jaylen Waddle showing immediate promise. But Will Fuller bombed on his one-year Miami deal. The Fins also have DeVante Parker headed into his age-29 season. Chark suffered a fractured ankle in October but surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in 2019. He may not have to settle for a prove-it deal in free agency.
  • In what would make for interesting trade talks, Gardner Minshew is a name to watch for the Colts, La Canfora tweets. Not only did the Colts acquire Carson Wentz from the Eagles last year, they faced Minshew during the 2019 and ’20 seasons when he piloted bad Jaguars teams. Of course, Minshew went 2-0 as a starter against Indianapolis during his Jacksonville stay. The Colts landed a surprising return for Wentz, but they now have a glaring QB need again. One year remains on Minshew’s rookie contract.
  • Some of Joe Douglas‘ top draft choices have fallen out of favor with the Jets. Not only has Mekhi Becton struggled with injuries and his weight, but Connor Hughes of The Athletic notes the Jets were close to benching the former first-round left tackle before his Week 1 injury last year (subscription required). Becton reporting to the team’s offseason program and training camp in less-than-ideal shape irked the Jets, and the knee injury sustained cost him 16 games. The mammoth edge blocker showed promise when available as a rookie, but going into 2022, he appears behind George Fant to be Gang Green’s left tackle.
  • While Becton has displayed starter-caliber talent, Denzel Mims has barely seen the field. The 2020 second-round pick has clashed with coaches during practices, Hughes adds, leading to a real chance he will not be with the Jets when they set their 53-man roster in September. Mims caught eight passes for 133 yards last season. Although the Jets are holding out hope the 6-foot-3 wideout will pan out, his future is very much in question.