John Franklin-Myers

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 ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com. 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.

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 Rumors: Poyer, Franklin-Myers, Joyner, Hall

Bills safety Jordan Poyer ended his hold out last month, attending mandatory minicamp in order to avoid the roughly $90,000 in fines he would have been liable to pay for an unexcused absence. He’s also not likely to return to his hold out once camp begins for a similar reason, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News.

Poyer had skipped OTAs in May after he had decided to push Buffalo for a contract extension. The deal would likely benefit both parties. Poyer would get a raise while the Bills would have an opportunity to lower Poyer’s cap hit and keep one of the NFL’s best safety tandems together for a few more years (as fellow safety, Micah Hyde, is under contract through next season).

If Poyer balked and ended his hold out at $90,000 to attend minicamp, it’s had to imagine that he would be willing to shell out the $50,000 daily fine that would hit him as a player not on a rookie contract missing camp. Poyer has recently doubled down on his assertion that he truly wants to remain in Buffalo, so moving forward in good faith puts the pressure on the Bills to provide him with a deal to keep him from walking at the end of the season..

Here are a few other rumors from out of the AFC East, specifically coming out of the Garden State:

  • The Jets brought in edge defender Carl Lawson last offseason to improve their pass rush but, unfortunately, saw his season end before it had a chance to begin. With Lawson coming back healthy and looking to start, New York will have to figure out who to start opposite Lawson on the line. Despite some initial thought that rookie first-round pick Jermaine Johnson II would slide into the starting position, it’s looking like veteran John Franklin-Myers will show early dividends on his recent four-year, $55MM extension and earn the starting job, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Johnson will likely rotate in off the bench along with Jacob Martin and Bryce Huff.
  • The Jets brought in veteran cornerback Lamarcus Joyner last offseason in hopes that he could move to safety and start alongside Marcus Maye. Similar to the loss of Lawson, though, New York saw Joyner suffer a Week 1 injury that would hold him out for the remainder of the season. Despite the loss of Maye to free agency, the Jets are still hoping Joyner can start for them at safety, this time alongside free agent addition Jordan Whitehead, according to Costello. New York still has depth at the position with Ashtyn Davis and Elijah Riley both earning starts throughout last year, but the Jets are hoping they can rely on the veteran 1-2 punch of Joyner at free safety and Whitehead at strong safety.
  • Last year’s fourth-round pick, running back Michael Carter, performed admirably over his rookie season showing he can be effective at the NFL-level. But Carter is extremely likely to take a back seat this upcoming season to the team’s second-round pick from this year’s draft, Breece Hall, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic. While Carter was good in his debut season, the Jets fully expect Hall to be a Pro Bowler and a home run hitter. Hall is expected to receive the majority of the carries for New York’s offense and Carter will be a bit more of a role player in his sophomore season.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/30/21

Here are Thursday’s reserve/COVID-19 list updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from virus list: OL Cody Ford, CB Cam Lewis
  • Activated from practice squad virus list: TE Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Placed on practice squad virus list: LB Omari Cobb

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Jets To Extend DL John Franklin-Myers

John Franklin-Myers has gotten off to a strong start in his fourth season, and the Jets are rewarding the veteran defensive lineman. The parties have agreed on an extension, D.J. Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News tweets. A 2018 fourth-round pick, Franklin-Myers was set to become a free agent in 2022.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport initially reported that it was a four-year, $55MM deal with $30.2MM guaranteed (via Twitter). Connor Hughes of The Athletic later tweeted more details, including Franklin-Myers’ base salaries from 2022-25 ($1.5MM, $11.4MM, $13.3MM, $14.3MM), and signing bonus ($2MM). Franklin-Myers will also get a $10MM roster bonus for the 2022 season, and he can earn $500K in per-game roster bonuses each year.

The Jets picked up Franklin-Myers via waivers ahead of the 2019 season. He represents one of Joe Douglas‘ first notable acquisitions as Jets GM. The Rams drafted Franklin-Myers out of Stephen F. Austin and used him as a backup throughout their 2018 NFC championship season. Despite Franklin-Myers sacking Tom Brady once in Super Bowl LIII, the Rams cut him prior to his second season.

A rotational player prior to 2021, Franklin-Myers has already matched his career high with three sacks this season. Pro Football Focus grades Franklin-Myers as a top-25 D-linemen through four games; his 17 hurries rank 11th thus far this season. He has helped a Jets pass rush in need after the loss of big-ticket free agent Carl Lawson. PFF graded Franklin-Myers as a top-35 edge defender in 2020, when he played 44% of New York’s defensive snaps.

Franklin-Myers participated in the Jets’ seven-sack romp against the Titans, dropping Ryan Tannehill for a sack and hitting the besieged Tennessee quarterback three times. He joins a few pieces on Gang Green’s defensive line signed beyond 2021. Quinnen Williams‘ rookie deal runs through 2022, and the Jets’ top D-lineman can be controlled on his rookie deal through 2023 via the fifth-year option. Lawson is signed through 2023, Sheldon Rankins through 2022.

Jets Designate Two For Return

The Jets are getting some reinforcements in the trenches. The team is getting back a member of the offensive and defensive lines, as defensive end John Franklin-Myers and offensive tackle Brent Qvale have both been designated for return from injured reserve.

Both can now begin practicing with the team, and this starts a three-week window for them to be activated. Franklin-Myers was a fourth-round pick of the Rams in 2018, and had a solid rookie season in Los Angeles. He appeared in all 16 games as a situational pass-rusher, and notably had a strip-sack of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Because of a numbers game on the Rams’ defensive line he was surprisingly released at final cuts, and was quickly scooped up by the Jets.

It was a nice under the radar acquisition for New York, and he should have the chance to earn some playing time assuming he’s activated. Qvale was undrafted out of Nebraska in 2014, and has been with the Jets ever since. After spending his rookie season on the practice squad he made the team in 2015, and has started multiple games in each of the past three seasons. He was carted off with a knee injury during training camp, and then placed on IR. The Jets have been banged up on the offensive line and starting right tackle Chuma Edoga was recently ruled out with a knee injury, so they could use some added depth.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/4/19

Here are Friday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day.

Cleveland Browns

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Rams Sign Entire Draft Class

As they seemingly do every year, the Rams have officially signed all of their draft picks on one day. Kristen Lago of TheRams.com reports that the organization inked all 11 rookies to their contracts yesterday. The list of players includes:

The Rams didn’t have picks in the first two rounds due to trades for wideouts. They were without a first-rounder due to the Brandin Cooks trade with the Patriots, and their second-rounder was used in the Sammy Watkins deal.

The trio of rookie linemen (Noteboom, Allen, and Demby) could end up seeing some playing time should anything happen to the Rams’ starters. The three players are ultimately competing with Cornelius Lucas, Austin BlytheAaron Neary, and Jake Eldrenkamp for backup reps.

Okoronkwo could see some time at outside linebacker if projected starters Matt Longacre or Samson Ebukam need to be replaced. The Oklahoma product is competing with Ejuan Price and Trevon Young for playing time.