Quincy Enunwa

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Rizzi, Bills, Jets

The Dolphins are one of three teams which still has yet to hire a new head coach, but they will meet with another potential Adam Gase replacement this week. Incumbent special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi will interview for the position on Friday, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. As Garafolo adds, other candidates that Miami has met with are still coaching in the postseason, so the club may not announce its next head coach any time soon. A former collegiate head coach at New Haven and Rhode Island, Rizzi is the only internal candidate the Dolphins are considering. Rizzi, 48, has been with the Dolphins since 2010, and last year led Miami to a No. 21 ranking in special teams DVOA.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Ex-Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong recently interviewed for the same role with the Bills, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Armstrong, who had been Atlanta’s ST coach since 2008, was fired last week as the Falcons cleared out each of their coordinator roles. Based purely on performance, Armstrong posted a strong effort in 2018, as Atlanta ranked 10th in special teams DVOA. The 55-year-old Armstrong took two interviews for the Cardinals’ head coaching job last season, and was one of two candidates Bruce Arians personally recommended as a successor (the other being incumbent DC James Bettcher). He’s also been linked to Tampa Bay, where Arians is now head coach.
  • Quincy Enunwa‘s four-year extension with the Jets is worth $33.4MM in total and contains $10MM in full guarantees, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The 26-year-old wide receiver received a $9MM signing bonus, meaning his remaining guarantee will likely come via his 2019 base salary. Enunwa will collect a $6MM base salary in 2020, but that figure — for the time being — guaranteed for injury only. It’ll become fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2020 league year.
  • In case you missed it, Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard may not be a serious contender for the Jets‘ head coaching job, but he could the favorite to land the top gig with the Dolphins.

Jets Place Claiborne, Enunwa On IR

While Quincy Enunwa signed an extension to be part of the Jets’ long-term future, Morris Claiborne is again finishing out a one-year contract.

Both will end the season on IR. The Jets placed Enunwa, Claiborne and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis on IR Saturday. All were declared out going into the team’s season finale in New England. Replacing them on the roster: defensive back Brandon Bryant, wide receiver J.J. Jones and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao.

Claiborne started 30 Jets games over the past two seasons but is again set for free agency, barring an extension. He signed a one-year, $7MM deal to stay in the Big Apple in March. No extension talks are known to have taken place, and with a new coaching staff set to arrive, Claiborne’s place on the Jets may be less certain exiting this contract year than it was in 2017.

Enunwa’s four-year, $36MM deal makes him the highest-paid skill-position player the Jets have. He bounced back from a season-nullifying injury in 2017 to catch 38 passes for 449 yards this year, doing so despite dealing with more injuries in a 10-game slate.

The Jets acquired Bryant after he went undrafted in this year’s supplemental draft, guaranteeing $70K of his contract. He has spent the season on the practice squad.

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Jets Notes: Enunwa, Tomlinson, Offseason

The Jets signed receiver Quincy Enunwa to a multi-year contract extension yesterday, with the four-year pact coming in at $36MM (and about $20MM in guaranteed money). The 2014 sixth-round pick out of Nebraska has spent his entire career with the Jets, and he’s excited to stick with the organization for the foreseeable future.

“I knew when I got here that I wanted to be a Jet for a very long time,” Enunwa told the team website. “Now, I’ll get my opportunity and it feels really good.”

The 26-year-old broke onto the scene in 2016, when he hauled in 58 receptions for 857 yards and four scores. He missed the entire 2017 season with a neck injury, and he’s appeared in only 11 games this year. However, he’s clearly gaining the trust of quarterback Sam Darnold, and Enunwa is confident that the duo will continue to improve.

“I’m excited for the future and for some more big plays,” Enunwa said. “And I think there is a lot in store for us as a team.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of New York…

  • The Enunwa extension was the “first big contract” that was negotiated by Dave Socie, points out Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). Socie was hired as the team’s Senior Director of Football Administration during the summer after previously serving in the role back in 2006. In this role, Socie works with general manager Mike Maccagnan on all things contracts and salary cap.
  • The Jets placed tight end Eric Tomlinson on injured reserve earlier this week, but it doesn’t sound like the 26-year-old suffered his injury on the field. Rather, Costello tweets that Tomlinson dropped a weight on his foot, leading to a pair of lacerated toes. The accident forced the tight end to undergo surgery, ending his season. Tomlinson had started 12 of his 15 games this season, serving mostly as a blocking tight end. The former Texas-El Paso standout has 16 career receptions for 193 yards and one touchdown.
  • Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.TV believes the Jets should be prioritizing experience as they search for a new head coach. The writer opines that the organization “can’t afford to be wrong with their next hire,” as they’ll be risking Darnold’s formative seasons. Fortunately, Vacchiano believes Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson recognize this, as the team has already been connected to experienced coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Mike McCarthy. The writer also believes the team should give a look at former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the Jets should use their draft picks and $100MM+ in cap space to build a formidable team around Darnold. Specifically, Cimini says the team should make a “serious run” at running back Le’Veon Bell, and he also lists offensive line, receiver, and edge rusher as positions of need. The writer also suggests shopping defensive end Leonard Williams, who is set to earn $14.2MM next season.

Jets Sign WR Quincy Enunwa To Extension

The Jets are locking up one of Sam Darnold‘s weapons longterm, signing Quincy Enunwa to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Friday. A source told Brian Costello of the New York Post that Enunwa, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the year, is getting a four-year $36MM deal (Twitter link). Rich Cimini of ESPN noted in a tweet that the deal includes “about $20MM in guarantees.”

Enunwa missed the enitre 2017 season with a neck injury and appeared in only 11 games this year, so the team clearly thinks very highly of him to sign him to this deal despite his injury history. $20MM guaranteed is a lot of money to commit to any player, yet alone one who hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Enunwa broke out in 2016, his last full season, when he caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns. Along with Robby Anderson, he’s formed a solid receiver duo for the team to build on around Darnold, although reports have consistently indicated that the team values Enunwa more than Anderson.

“Quincy is a key part of our foundation, and we are thrilled that this contract will keep him here for years to come,” Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said in a statement given to the team’s official website. Although he’s been plagued by injuries the past couple of seasons, Enunwa has been a consistent target for Darnold when he’s been out there. He was ruled out for Week 17 with an ankle injury earlier today, meaning he’ll finish the 2018 season with 38 catches for 449 yards and one touchdown.

A 2014 sixth round pick from Nebraska, Enunwa had at least eight targets and 50 yards in each of the Jets’ first four games this season, but a serious high ankle sprain quickly derailed his year. It was reported last month that the two sides were discussing a deal, and things finally got ironed out just before the end of the year. While coach Todd Bowles is looking like a lock to be fired, it seems as if Maccagnan, who announced the new deal, will get at least one more year at the helm to try and right the ship.

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Jets, Quincy Enunwa Discussing Extension

The Jets and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa are discussing a new deal, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News. Enunwa is set to hit free agency in March after playing out his one-year, $2.914MM tender. 

Enunwa, 26, bounced back from a scary knee injury to lead the Jets in targets (55) and receptions (29) this year. He may also lead the team in receiving yards by the end of the season – he’s only one yard behind Robby Anderson for the top spot.

Before the lost season, Enunwa had 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns, so the Jets know what he’s capable of when fully healthy. With upwards of $100MM in cap space this offseason, the Jets can surely spare a couple of bucks to keep one of their best offensive players.

The Jets have other receivers to consider beyond Enunwa as Jermaine Kearse is a fellow unrestricted free agent and Anderson can be retained with a restricted free agent tender.

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Jets, WR Quincy Enunwa Have Talked Extension

Quincy Enunwa has been injury-plagued the past two seasons, but that hasn’t prevented the Jets from viewing the young wide receiver as part of their longterm plans. The team has “initiated contract extension talks” with Enunwa, sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

The 2014 sixth round pick has missed a couple games with a high ankle sprain and hasn’t been near 100 percent when he’s played the past couple of weeks, but he’s been Sam Darnold‘s most trusted weapon when healthy. When he was at full strength at the beginning of the year he got off to a torrid start, catching at least four passes in each of the first four games and going for at least 57 yards in all four.

Enunwa still leads the team in receptions and targets despite his ankle injury and Mehta notes the team values his “leadership qualities”, so it’s not a huge surprise they’re considering locking him up. Enunwa did have to miss the entire 2017 season with a neck injury, but he appears to be fully recovered from that. Enunwa burst onto the scene in 2016 with 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns, but had to settle for his one-year restricted free agent tender offer this offseason due to concerns about his neck.

While Mehta cautions that it’s not a guarantee a deal will get done, sources have told him “both sides would indeed like to find a fair landing spot” in terms of a contract. It’s unclear what type of money he would get, but it’s safe to say it’d be a substantial increase on his current $2.9MM salary. The Jets have a long way to go still in their rebuild, but making sure Darnold still has his safety blanket over the middle is a good step in the right direction.

 

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Injury Updates: Fins, Peters, Wright, Jets

Although Brock Osweiler and some pivotal run-after-catch action from his receivers came through to help the Dolphins to key win over the Bears, Ryan Tannehill has obviously been the better quarterback since these two began their careers six years ago. But Tannehill’s dealing with another injury, a shoulder malady, after two years of knee trouble. Adam Gase did not do much to squash the notion his starter’s dealing with a long-term malady, but Miami’s third-year coach said he has “complete confidence” Tannehill will play again this season (Twitter links via the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley). Despite being listed as one of the longest-odds Super Bowl teams coming into the season, the Dolphins are 4-2 and in early contention for a playoff berth. They host the Lions on Sunday, and Osweiler may have to prepare for another week as the starter.

Here’s the latest from injury news cycles:

  • Jason Peters is dealing with a partially torn biceps muscle but may not have to miss any games because of it. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland (via Jeff McLane of Philly.com, on Twitter) does not expect his left tackle to miss time. The 15th-year veteran was already afflicted with quadriceps injury, missed most of the Eagles’ Super Bowl run last season and is now in his age-36 season. But Peters has started all six games for this year’s Philadelphia squad.
  • The Jets will be without their leading receiver for some time. Quincy Enunwa suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. He’s likely going to miss at least three games, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Enunwa missed all of last season because of a neck injury. In a contract year, Enunwa returned to be Sam Darnold‘s top target thus far. He’s hauled in 22 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown. The Jets have turned to Terrelle Pryor more over the past two games, with the former Browns and Redskins wideout catching a touchdown pass in each, and he’ll be relied upon more in the immediate future.
  • Pete Carroll had hoped his top outside linebacker would be ready to start his season sometime in September, despite undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery just before the season. But K.J. Wright‘s missed six games. the Seahawks coach revealed Tuesday (Twitter link via the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen) Wright encountered a setback during Week 3 practice to delay his recovery. But he’s back on track now. The Seahawks have their bye this weekend and may be ready to finally see Wright in action in Week 8. The second half of the season will be critical for the 29-year-old linebacker, who is in a contract year.
  • Shane Ray‘s also in a contract campaign and looks to be auditioning for other teams after the Broncos didn’t pick up his fifth-year option following their first-round selection of Bradley Chubb. Ray’s now run into more injury trouble, suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Rams, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The likely free agent-to-be seems certain to miss Denver’s Thursday game in Arizona, if not more time.
  • The Bengals are now down to their third-string tight end, C.J. Uzomah, as the starter after losing both Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft. However, Marvin Lewis does expect Kroft — out because of a broken bone in his foot — to return this season. Kroft, too, is in a contract year.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Brady, Jets, Dunlap

Bill Musgrave, who was elevated to Broncos‘ offensive coordinator once Mike McCoy was dismissed after Week 10 of the 2017 campaign, could not effectuate many wholesale changes to the offense midseason. But as Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Musgrave is installing an almost completely different offense this year. “Yeah, it’s pretty much all different,” Musgrave said.

Denver ranked 27th in the league in scoring last season, and everyone from the front office down believed that McCoy’s complex system was a big reason for that, although the team’s offense has been in a funk since the second half of the 2014 season. However, the Broncos hope that Case Keenum will bring much-needed stability to the quarterback position, and that Musgrave’s more streamlined offense — which was developed along with GM John Elway, head coach Vance Joseph, and personnel advisor Gary Kubiak — will lead to improved results in 2018.

Now let’s take look at a few other AFC notes and rumors:

  • Although Tom Brady has not announced when he will return to the Patriots, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, just like owner Robert Kraft, expects him to be present for the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. Brady’s backups, Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling, have gotten increased work in Brady’s absence, and it remains unclear as to how Brady will be received by head coach Bill Belichick when he returns. While Brady will likely not have much trouble making up for lost time, his absence has created plenty of buzz in the NFL world, and it is not helping the already palpable tension between him and his coach.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Patriots second-year TE Jacob Hollister, who made the team as a UDFA last year, has added some noticeable weight and strength and has looked good in OTAs. Hollister will compete for No. 3 TE reps with free agent signee Troy Niklas, who comes with a better draft pedigree but who has not done much in his first few professional seasons.
  • Jets CEO Christopher Johnson‘s pro-player stance on the national anthem issue will likely not be a major factor when it comes to luring free agents, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says it is suggestive of a player-friendly environment, which could be a selling point if a player has narrowed his choice to a couple of teams. In the same piece, Cimini notes that the team is rededicating itself to a physical and prominent running game, which free agent signee Isaiah Crowell will lead, and that Quincy Enunwa still expects to be ready for the start of training camp.
  • Steelers‘ 2018 second-round choice James Washington is the presumptive favorite to assume the team’s No. 3 WR job following the draft-day trade of Martavis Bryant. But as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes, Justin Hunter — a former second-round pick of the Titans whose star never rose like some expected — has been getting a few first-team reps during this year’s OTAs, and he is making the most of them. Hunter, like Bryant, is a lanky deep threat capable of making plays downfield, and he hopes to become a consistent target for Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are entering the final year of their respective contracts, and as Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes, the Bengals clearly want to keep Atkins around long-term. Whether or not they want to keep Dunlap could hinge not only on the performance of the young defensive lineman already on the roster, but on next year’s crop of rookies. 2019 is already being labeled “the year of the defensive lineman,” and if the 2019 crop of collegiate prospects lives up to its billing, Cincinnati could be perfectly content to let Dunlap walk. We learned yesterday that Dunlap would end his short-lived holdout and report to the team.
  • In the same piece linked above, Dehner names Bengals‘ 2018 fifth-round choice Darius Phillips as the late-round pick who has stood out the most thus far. Phillips has been deployed as a slot corner in spring practices and has looked sharp and instinctive. He also has been getting a shot at punt returner, as he is reportedly electric with the ball in his hands.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Enunwa, Patriots

A neck injury sidelined Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa for the entire 2017 season, but it’s an issue that he’s been dealing with for years, as Manish Mehta of the Daily News writes. Enunwa says the pain dates all the way back to 2015 when the Jets beat the Titans in Week 14.

Interestingly, the 26-year-old says that he has not done any post-surgical rehab over the last eight months.

I had the surgery. I had a brace for a little bit. I didn’t have the brace for long,” Enunwa said. “I had to sleep a certain way for a few days. After that, it was nothing. I wasn’t allowed to run (in the beginning). Otherwise, there was no rehab. Everything I did was for my legs, so when I got back I could run.”

This year, Enunwa says that his goal is to be a “difference maker” for Gang Green. A big year could also make a difference in his wallet. Enunwa is slated to earn $2.91MM on his restricted free agent deal and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2019.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Patriots guard Shaq Mason could be one year away from becoming one of the league’s highest-paid guards, Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes. Mason probaly won’t approach Andrew Norwell‘s five-year, $66.5MM deal ($30MM guaranteed), but Howe estimates that he should see no less than $9MM/year with about 40% of his deal fully guaranteed. Right now, there are eleven guards who make at least $9MM per season, so it’s fair to assume that Mason – who will turn 26 just before the ’19 season – will hit that mark if he performs in 2018. Last year, Mason graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 10 ranked guard in the NFL.
  • With seven running backs on the Patriots‘ roster, something has to give. Doug Kyed of NESN can envision a scenario in which Mike Gillislee is cut in favor of former Bengal Jeremy Hill. First-round pick Sony Michel is obviously safe and the same goes for pass-catching specialist James White. After that, Hill, Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, and Brandon Bolden are competing for no more than three spots. Burkhead had a productive first year with the Pats and Bolden has been tremendous on special teams, so Hill and Gillislee are probably squaring off for one final place on the roster. The seventh running back under contract, undrafted free agent Ralph Webb, seems unlikely to make the cut.
  • On Thursday, the Bills reached an injury settlement with retired center Eric Wood.
  • The Dolphins were one of five teams to utilize the post-June 1 release designation this year.

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa Signs RFA Tender

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Enunwa will now be paid $2.914MM for the 2018 season.

Enunwa was one of 14 NFL restricted free agents to be tender at the second-round level, and he’s the fourth — following Falcons guard Ben Garland, Jaguars running back Corey Grant, and Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman — to officially sign his tender. There was no rush for Enunwa to ink his tender, as RFAs have until April 20 to work out offer sheets with other clubs. However, it was always unlikely that any NFL team would have been willing to sacrifice a second-round pick in order to land Enunwa.

A second-round pick is a steep price for any restricted free agent, but even more so for Enunwa given his recent health issues. Enunwa, 25, is coming off neck surgery for a bulging disc, and while Schefter reports the fourth-year wideout is experiencing full range of motion, no club was likely to take a risk on Enunwa while giving up a second-rounder.

That’s not to say Enunwa isn’t talented, as the former sixth-round pick broke out for 58 receptions, 857 yards, and four touchdowns in 2016 before missing all of last season. If healthy, he’ll be part of a Jets wide receiver depth chart that includes two new additions in Terrelle Pryor and Andre Roberts, plus holdovers Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen, and ArDarius Stewart, among others.

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