The Jets have re-signed outside linebacker Brandon Copeland, according to a team announcement. The club also retained tight end Neal Sterling, per the press release.
Copeland, who had a career-high five sacks in 2018, also drew interest from the Patriots, Redskins, and Lions during the free agent period. Ultimately, he decided to return to the Jets, where he enjoyed the most productive season of his career.
After going undrafted out of Penn in 2015, Copeland spent three seasons with the Lions as a special-teamer, topping 300 ST snaps in both 2015 and 2016. He suffered a torn pectoral the following year and missed all of the 2017 campaign, and subsequently signed a one-year deal with Gang Green in 2018. Last year was a breakout season for Copeland, as he saw action on a career-high 611 defensive snaps and tied for the third-highest sack total on the Jets’ roster.
The Jets may still be in the market for edge rush help, but Copeland’s return will go a long way towards addressing that void. They’re also still in the hunt for cornerback and center help, so the re-signing of Copeland could allow them to prioritize those needs moving forward.
Antonio Brown was a victim of one of linebacker Vontaze Burfict‘s many dirty hits, going down with a concussion after Burfict arguably head-hunted the former Steelers wideout in the 2015 playoffs. But now that Brown and Burfict are now teammates on the Raiders, the ex-Bengals linebacker isn’t worried about getting along. “It’s all positive, man,” Burfict said, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal. “He’s a great player. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. Honestly, I’m just going to approach him like I do all my other teammates, introduce myself, all that good stuff. There’s nothing negative over here. We’re all on the same team.” Burfict, 28, inked a one-year deal with Oakland on Tuesday just one day after being released by Cincinnati.
The Chiefs met with tight end Neal Sterling on Tuesday, reports Howard Balzer (Twitter link). If signed, Sterling would compete with the likes of Alex Ellis and Deon Yelder to replace Demetrius Harris — who recently signed with the Browns — as Kansas City’s No. 2 tight end behind Travis Kelce. A seventh-round pick of the Jaguars in 2015, Sterling played for the Jets in each of the past two seasons. He managed six catches in five games last year before going down with a season-ending concussion.
Former Raiders/Chiefs corner Sean Smith has been reinstated by the NFL, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Smith was suspended indefinitely in November 2018 after being charged with felony assault. He spent part of last year in prison, but was released over the summer. Now entering his age-32 campaign, Smith’s play had already begun to deteriorate even before his ban, meaning he’s unlikely to ever return to the NFL.
With Sam Darnold doubtful for tomorrow’s contest against the Bills, the Jets are added a reinforcement. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that New York is planning on promoting quarterback Davis Webb from the practice squad.
The Jets followed through with the move. Webb is back on a New York active roster. Gang Green placed tight end Neal Sterling on IR to make room for Webb, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello (on Twitter).
Darnold is currently dealing with a foot sprain that was already expected to sideline him for this weekend’s game. The Jets have a Week 11 bye, but there isn’t a lot of optimism that the rookie quarterback will be back in time for the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Patriots. In that case, Darnold could end up being sidelined until the beginning of December. Barring some unexpected signing, the Jets will surely roll with veteran Josh McCown as their starter until Darnold is healthy.
Webb certainly has the draft pedigree to earn some snaps, but he hasn’t been able to put it together as a professional. The 2017 third-rounder didn’t end up seeing the field as a rookie for the Giants, although there were rumblings that he was going to eventually replace Eli Manning. However, plans changed when the Giants fired both head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
While Webb seemed to have the support of interim coach Steve Spagnuolo, he was seemingly on the outside looking in when the team hired Pat Shurmur. The Giants ended up waiving Webb at the end of the preseason, and he subsequently caught on with the Jets practice squad.
October 28th, 2018 at 9:40pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Patriots are annually one of the most aggressive teams in the league when it comes to adding talent, as evidenced by their recent trade for Josh Gordon. With the trade deadline now just a couple of days away, New England is looking to make more moves. The team wants “to acquire some help in the defensive front seven by the deadline Tuesday”, and “they’ve had internal discussions about trading for linebacker Jamie Collins“, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
The Patriots traded Collins to the Browns in 2016, and now apparently have some interest in bringing him back. It would be an unusual move with a player being traded twice between two teams, but the Browns would likely welcome the relief of getting out of Collins’ contract, and it sounds like the Patriots are interested. Collins signed a four-year $50MM deal with Cleveland in 2017, and hasn’t lived up to that deal so far. Whatever happens, it sounds like the Patriots’ defense will look a little different by this time next week.
Here’s more from the AFC East:
Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes “has been a hot name on the trade market”, but the “Bills have been reluctant to part with him”, a source told Howe. Howe thinks that Hughes would “be a good fit for the Patriots”, but doesn’t think Buffalo will decide to part with him. Hughes has been having a good season, notching 4.5 sacks in seven games.
Jets tight end Neal Sterling “suffered his second concussion of the season” today against the Bears, and “likely will be lost [for] multiple games”, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link). The Jets are very thin at tight end, so this is a somewhat significant loss for New York.
Bills running back LeSean McCoy has cleared the concussion protocol and will play Monday night against the Patriots, the team announced in a tweet. It’s a huge boost for Buffalo’s struggling offense as they look to pull of the massive upset in primetime.