Jamison Crowder

AFC East Rumors: Bills, Wilson, Hall, Pats

The Bills have an obvious 1-2 punch at wide receiver in Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. In the slot, though, it has looked, recently, like Buffalo may be moving towards a bit of a position battle, according to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic.

After initially favoring Isaiah McKenzie in the first few weeks of the season, the Bills moved closer to an even split of snaps between McKenzie and Jamison Crowder in the team’s win last week over the Titans. Buscaglia notes that, in the game, the duo were only on the field at the same time for three snaps, indicating a one-or-the-other situation. In the remainder of the game, excluding garbage time, Buscaglia counted 21 offensive snaps for McKenzie and 16 for Crowder, a stark difference from the snap advantage McKenzie enjoyed to begin the season. This could lead one to believe that Buffalo is becoming more comfortable with the consistency it gets out of Crowder than the all-or-nothing, big play potential it gets out of McKenzie.

This theory failed to hold up in today’s loss to the Dolphins. Though snap totals have yet to be reported, quarterback Josh Allen clearly favored McKenzie today, targeting him nine times to only three for Crowder. McKenzie rewarded the extra attention with seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, tacking on a six yard rush, while Crowder only reeled in one pass for nine yards. If the Bills staff needed to see consistent production out of McKenzie, today was a good start.

Here are a few more rumors from the AFC East, starting with some usage notes from the Jets:

  • There was early concern surrounding New York’s usage of rookie first-round pick Garrett Wilson after the tenth-overall pick only saw the field for 38 of the offense’s 79 snaps in Week 1, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. Two weeks later any concerns have certainly been quelled for the time being. Wilson’s playing time did increase to over 50% of the team’s offensive snaps, increasing to 61% in Week 2. While Jets fans may want to see him on the field even more often, he’s made the most of his playing time, becoming the favorite target for quarterback Joe Flacco. After three weeks, Wilson’s 32 targets and 214 receiving yards outpace Elijah Moore‘s 22 targets or Corey Davis‘ 187 receiving yards, both second on the team, despite both older receivers spending more time on the field.
  • There’s been an unpredictable fall from grace this year for Jets cornerback Bryce Hall, according to Cimini. Last year, Hall was fourth in the entire league for defensive snaps played. So far this year, it’s been a completely different story. Hall understandably lost his starting job to rookie fourth-overall pick Ahmad Gardner, but after three weeks, it appears that he’s also fallen behind the other four cornerbacks on the roster. Hall only played five defensive snaps in Week 1 and has been a healthy scratch for the past two games.
  • According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots were experiencing some punter-envy today. Reiss reported that Ravens rookie punter Jordan Stout was “highly regarded by the Patriots in this year’s draft.” Stout entered the week ranking 30th in the league for average punt distance, but, even after a dismal 23 yard punt today, he was able to improve to 20th in the league with a 45.9 yard average.

AFC East Notes: Bills, White, Moss, Patriots, Jets

The Bills are hoping Tre’Davious White can avoid a stint on the PUP list to begin the regular season. While speaking to reporters, GM Brandon Beane said the team is going to “run out the clock” when it comes to White’s roster spot in the hope that he’ll progress over the next week.

“We don’t have the final answer,” Beane said (via Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic on Twitter). “I can’t sit here and say, ‘He’s going to be here on this day.'”

The cornerback tore his ACL last November, and while reports have indicated that he’s progressing well in his return to the field, it’s still uncertain if he’ll be ready to go for Week 1. White landed on the PUP to start training camp, but the team will have to make an important decision on him as they reduce their roster to 53 players. If White is placed on PUP to begin the regular season, he’ll miss Buffalo’s first four games.

The former first-round pick has spent his entire career with the Bills, earning All-Pro nods in both 2019 and 2020. In 11 games last season, White collected 41 tackles, six passes defended, and one interception.

More notes out of the AFC East…

  • To enter Bills camp, there was an expectation that free agent acquisition Jamison Crowder would battle with holdover Isaiah McKenzie for the starting slot receiver role. As Buscaglia writes, the team has given every indication that McKenzie has won that position battle, and Crowder’s training camp struggles may have put him on the roster bubble. Despite his assessment, Buscaglia later opined that the veteran’s experience will ultimately earn him a spot on the 53-man roster.
  • Elsewhere on offense, it sounds like the Bills are ready to roll with a RB committee. Buscaglia writes that both Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook could end up seeing extensive work outside of the red zone, while Zack Moss is expected to serve as the team’s goal-line running back. Moss has gotten an extensive look during the preseason, and while the writer hints that the coaching staff could be showcasing him for a trade, he also acknowledged that the team has been happy with the RB’s performance during training camp and preseason.
  • Before rookie wideout Tyquan Thornton went down with a shoulder injury, the Patriots were fielding offers on their receivers, according to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus. However, it now “seems unlikely” that the Patriots would subtract from the grouping of Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, and Nelson Agholor. Meanwhile, the trio of Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Kristian Wilkerson, and Tre Nixon are competing for limited roster spots, while Ty Montgomery‘s best chance of making the roster may be as a running back.
  • While cornerback Sauce Gardner and wideout Garrett Wilson are expected to play important roles for the Jets next season, their other first-round pick may see more of a complementary role. Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes that Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, and John Franklin-Myers are expected to start along the defensive line, meaning Jermaine Johnson will have to compete with Jacob Martin for the role of “situational rusher.” “However I can help the team win is honestly how I look at it,” Johnson said. “I practice like I’m a [undrafted] free agent anyway, so I don’t really care. It’s like I’m fighting for my life. That’s how I am, what I believe and how I practice — and it just lines up perfectly with what Coach Saleh is all about: Practicing hard, balls to the wall, giving 110 percent not only for yourself but for the team.”

Latest On Bills’ WR Competition

The Bills are in line to once again have one of the league’s most prolific passing attacks in the NFL in 2022. They have undergone some changes at the receiver position, though, setting up a competition for the starting role in the slot to replace Cole Beasley

Isaiah McKenzie “appears to have an early lead” to land that role, based on his usage during the spring, according to ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg. The 27-year-old has been a starter for only 18 of the 53 games he has played in with the Bills, so seeing first-team reps on a full-time basis would be somewhat new. McKenzie has played just one-quarter of Buffalo’s offensive snaps the past two seasons, totalling 50 receptions, 460 yards and six touchdowns.

The former fifth-rounder has, of course, showcased his speed on special teams as well. He turned 24 kick returns into 584 yards last year, adding 147 yards on punt returns as well. As a result of his overall production, McKenzie earned a two-year, $8MM extension this offseason. His speed gives him a complimentary skillset to No. 1 wideout Stefon Diggs, and a very different profile to his primary competition for the slot role.

The Bills added veteran Jamison Crowder in free agency, after a three-year stint with the Jets. He had a down year in 2021, but was a consistent presence in New York’s offense the two prior years (137 catches, 1,532 yards, 12 touchdowns), giving him the opportunity to replace Beasley as a dependable chain-mover. In addition, Getzenberg notes that the 29-year-old has stood out during his first spring practices with the team.

Between Diggs and Gabriel Davis, the Bills are set on the perimeter at the WR position. As Getzenberg predicts, though, the competition between McKenzie and Crowder to determine the pecking order in the slot will be one of the most intriguing ones in training camp next month.

Bills Sign WR Jamison Crowder

Jamison Crowder is switching AFC East teams. After spending three season with the Jets, the veteran wideout is signing a one-year deal with the Bills, reports Josina Anderson (on Twitter). NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the deal has a max value of $4MM.

After spending four seasons in Washington to start his career, Crowder inked a three-year, $28.5MM deal with the Jets in 2019. He ended up seeing time in 40 games (23 starts) during his three seasons in New York, hauling in 10 receiving touchdowns.

Between five missed games and the team making investments in Corey Davis and Elijah Moore via free agency and the draft, respectively, Crowder’s production fell off in 2021. The receiver finished last season with 51 receptions for 447 yards and two touchdowns, his lowest output during his stint with the Jets.

In Buffalo, Crowder will be joining a depth chart that lost a major piece following the release of Cole Beasley. Still, the Bills have plenty of depth at the position in Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, and Emmanuel Sanders.

Jamison Crowder Likely To Hit Free Agency

The Jets have plenty of room for improvement on offense, but one of their most experienced players on that side of the ball could very well be on the way out. According to DJ Bien-Aime II of The New York Daily News, wideout Jamison Crowder is expected to hit the open market. 

The 28-year-old’s contract is set to expire next week. He signed a three-year, $28.5MM deal with New York in 2019, after four solid seasons in Washington. His first year with the Jets was his most productive, as he posted 78 catches for 833 yards and six touchdowns. Since then, however, injuries have become an issue for the veteran.

Between five missed games, and the team making investments in Corey Davis and Elijah Moore via free agency and the draft, respectively, Crowder’s production fell off in 2021. Before the start of the campaign, he agreed to take a pay cut, an early sign that his days in the Big Apple may have been numbered. With Moore under contract for at least three more seasons on his rookie deal, the team is in capable hands with regards to the slot receiver position.

In Crowder’s absence, the Jets could be in the market for another starting-caliber wideout, though they are thought to be on the lookout for a pass-catching tight end as well. In any event, Crowder would represent an experienced, consistent producer on the open market for teams looking to add depth at the position.

Teams Showing Interest In Jets WRs Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, teams are looking toward New York for some receiver help. According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, Jets wideouts Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims “have emerged as hot names on the market.” The Saints and Packers are among the teams seeking help at the position, per the report.

However, while teams may have interest in the two receivers, they’re also skeptical if the Jets will be willing to trade the duo. While Zach Wilson is currently out of the lineup, the team is still looking to put him in a position to succeed, and removing two wideouts certainly wouldn’t help that cause.

Mims has been mentioned as a potential target for some time. He was a second-round pick by the Jets in 2020, but he’s been limited to only 14 games through one-plus season. He’s been buried on the depth chart in 2021, although he got his first start during yesterday’s win over the Bengals, hauling in a pair of receptions. Considering Mims’ draft stock, it’d be surprising to see the organization bail on the player this early in his career.

Crowder, 28, makes a bit more sense as a trade piece. The veteran missed the first four games of the season, but he’s been productive since returning to the field, hauling in 23 catches for 203 yards. Crowder is set to hit free agency following the 2021 season.

Meanwhile, it sounds like the Jets will continue to hear offers on safety Marcus Maye. ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the Jets want a second- or third-round pick in return, but the team is struggling to find a team that will give up those assets. Some suitors want the Jets to eat part of Maye’s salary, which could end up holding up a trade.

AFC East Notes: Bills, Mims, Tua

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear that the Bills need to address their stadium situation in the near future to keep the club in western New York, and Bills ownership remains committed to that goal. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears from team and league sources that owners Terry and Kim Pegula have not even investigated the possibility of moving the team to a different city. Instead, the Pegulas continue to work towards building a new stadium near the current one.

The Pegulas will push for the issue to become a top priority for state and local government, and they are optimistic that the recent change in New York leadership will help their pursuit. New governor Kathy Hochul has strong ties to western NY and good relationships with many members of the Buffalo organization who would be working on the project, and as of now, the sense is that the Bills will be staying put.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • Much has been made of Denzel Mims‘ future with the Jets and whether the second-year wideout could be a trade candidate, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com hears that Mims is not going anywhere, which jibes with a recent report from the NFL Network. Indeed, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv writes, Mims is going to get a real opportunity to shine when Gang Green takes on the Titans this afternoon. Head coach Robert Saleh said Mims “is going to get some opportunities. Hopefully he takes advantage of them. We’re expecting him to.”
  • Cimini adds that, at this point, WR Jamison Crowder is the most likely player on the Jets‘ roster to be traded in the coming weeks. Although safety Marcus Maye could theoretically be on the move — his agent recently tweeted that Maye will be recovered from his ankle injury by the trade deadline, a clear attempt to drum up interest — his salary could be prohibitive for many clubs. Maye will still be owed another ~$6MM for 2021 by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
  • Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is eligible to come off IR for the team’s October 17 matchup with the Jaguars, and he will be ready to return to action by that date, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Of course, it remains to be seen if Tagovailoa — who is dealing with multiple fractured ribs — will be reinserted into the starting lineup at that time, or if Miami will continue to roll with Jacoby Brissett. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson trade rumors continue to swirl.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

New York Giants

New York Jets

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/3/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Deon Cain

Houston Texans

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Jamison Crowder; Crowder contracted the coronavirus, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Jets, Jamison Crowder Rework Contract

Jun. 20: Details are in on Crowder’s pay cut. As Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, Crowder did indeed agree to reduce his 2021 pay to $5MM, $4.5MM of which is guaranteed (his original $10MM salary was completely non-guaranteed). He can still earn $500K in per-game roster bonuses.

As a result, Crowder’s cap charge for 2021 will drop from $11.375MM to $6.35MM.

Jun. 14: The Jets and Jamison Crowder have worked out a new contract (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Initially set to make $10MM in 2021, Crowder will now see a “significant” cut, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The exact terms of the deal are not yet known, but the Jets were reportedly pushing a 50% reduction. 

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Crowder was going to be released if he didn’t agree to the trim. Crowder had just $1MM guaranteed this year — releasing him would have saved the Jets $10.375MM.

Crowder, soon to be 28, probably couldn’t have topped $5MM on the open market. At least, not at this stage of the offseason, when most of the available dollars have been spent. Meanwhile, the Jets are growing increasingly confident in their other options. Second-round slot receiver Elijah Moore has drawn rave reviews in practice — ditto for ex-Patriots speedster Braxton Berrios. One or both of those players could have supplanted Crowder as a top option to go with Corey Davis and Keelan Cole.

Now, the Jets have more money to spend, which could enable them to sign free agent tackle Morgan Moses. If that happens, they’ll have Moses to start at right tackle opposite of Mekhi Becton.