Quincy Enunwa

AFC Rumors: Enunwa, Steelers, Harris

Quincy Enunwa missed all of the 2017 season and 15 games last year because of a neck injury, and the Jets have ruled him out for the 2020 campaign by placing him on the reserve/PUP list. While the veteran wideout will only turn 28 Sunday, he already faces the prospect of his career being over. Enunwa, however, is not conceding that yet.

If I’m capable of playing, then that’s what I’ll do,” Enunwa said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can’t, there’s not much I can do. There’s really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to [play], the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.”

Enunwa signed a four-year, $33.4MM extension in December 2018. That deal included $20MM in guarantees, which have become crucial for the embattled receiver. The former sixth-round pick will earn $6MM in base salary this year and has a $4.1MM injury guarantee for 2021. Despite the Jets fining him $27K for missing two rehab sessions last year, Enunwa would like to stay with the team for the remainder of his career. It is unlikely, however, Enunwa — drafted two regimes ago — will be with the Jets in 2021. They can save $6MM by releasing him after this season.

I’m under contract. I want to be a Jet for life,” Enunwa said. “I saw Eli Manning say something. On his Twitter page he wrote, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant, only a Giant.’ It would be cool to say that as a Jet.”

Here is the latest from the AFC, shifting first to Pittsburgh:

  • Ben Roethlisberger has progressed to the point he would have been ready to fully participate in Steelers OTAs, had those been non-virtual endeavors, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Roethlisberger threw with teammates recently and appears on track for Pittsburgh’s training camp. This would be big news for a team that did not address its quarterback situation this offseason.
  • One of Big Ben’s top targets underwent surgery earlier this offseason. Diontae Johnson went under the knife for a core muscle injury in February, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Johnson said he suffered the injury in Week 2. That did not deter him from leading all rookie wideouts with 59 catches — while posting 680 yards and five touchdowns — for a team that played most of the season two backup quarterbacks. Johnson hopes to be medically cleared within days, Fittipaldo adds.
  • Chris Harris confirmed he will play a familiar role with the Chargers. The ex-Broncos standout will play both outside and in the slot, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (on Twitter). While Harris played mostly on the outside in 2019, he earned All-Decade acclaim by playing both roles during his previous Broncos seasons. With Casey Hayward and Desmond King in the fold, the Bolts figure to have considerable versatility in their Derwin James-led secondary this season.

Jets Place Quincy Enunwa On Reserve/PUP List

The Jets are placing Quincy Enunwa on the Reserve/PUP list, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Fellow wide receiver Josh Bellamy will also be parked on PUP. 

[RELATED: Jets Sign Frank Gore]

After signing a four-year, $36MM extension with the Jets in late 2018, Enunwa was expected to be a primary target for quarterback Sam Darnold. Sadly, those plans came to a halt when Enunwa suffered the second neck injury of his career in the 2019 season opener against the Bills. Later on, the Jets restructured his deal, keeping him in the fold as he works his way back. Thankfully, Enunwa’s extension gave him financial security, including $10MM in fully guaranteed money.

Injuries have plagued Enunwa throughout his career, but he showed serious promise when he was healthy. In 2016, he played in all 16 games and tallied 58 catches for 857 yards. After missing the ’17 campaign, he looked like his old self in ’18. Hopefully, he’ll be able to resume his career sometime soon, though that will probably not be with the Jets. Per Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets are likely to cut Enunwa after the 2020 season.

Bellamy, who turns 31 later this month, joined the Jets in 2019 on a two-year deal. Previous to that, he spent four seasons with the Bears and notched at least 200 receiving yards in three of those Chicago seasons. Even though his offensive numbers took a step back in 2018, he’s shown to be a valuable special teamer. Last year, he appeared in seven games for Gang Green before landing on IR with a shoulder injury.

The Jets’ current WR depth chart includes free agent pickup Breshad Perriman, second-round pick Denzel Mims, former Redskins Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, and one-time Patriots speedster Braxton Berrios.

Jets Explored DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs Trades

Once again, the Jets have a need at wide receiver. Robby Anderson‘s free agency departure expanded the void Gang Green features at this position.

Prior to the Jets losing Anderson to the Panthers, they were one of the teams to explore trades for DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs. Joe Douglas confirmed Wednesday the Jets did their due diligence on Hopkins and Diggs, per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes (via Twitter).

Both surfaced in trade rumors midway through last month and were gone within hours of said rumors. The Cardinals sent the Texans a package highlighted by a second-round pick and David Johnson — a deal that shocked the league — and the Bills pried Diggs away from the Vikings for a first-rounder and a host of Day 3 picks. The Vikings reduced their Diggs asking price over the past several months. The Patriots also showed interest in Diggs; the Bills landing him stands to increase their chances to win the AFC East.

The Jets did add Breshad Perriman as an Anderson replacement, doing so at a much cheaper rate, and still have Jamison Crowder in the slot. Quincy Enunwa‘s status is up in the air, Douglas confirmed (Twitter link via Hughes), after he missed 15 games last season because of a neck injury. Enunwa missing the entire 2017 slate because of a neck malady obviously puts his career in jeopardy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jets, WR Robby Anderson

Wide receiver Robby Anderson is a free agent, but a market has yet to develop for his services, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic. None of Hughes’ sources have heard of a team making a legitimate run at Anderson, which is somewhat surprising given that the big-play threat represents the best WR on the open market.

Indeed, Anderson was widely regarded as a nice consolation prize for WR-needy teams that were unable to land a top free agent like Amari Cooper or A.J. Green. Both of those players remained with their current clubs, several other teams filled receiving needs with splashy trades, and Anderson is still looking for a deal.

All of that is good news for the Jets, who legitimately like Anderson and who were always open to re-signing him if his price did not exceed $10MM per season. Now, it’s looking as though he will fit in their budget, and it will be interesting to see if clubs like the Ravens and Texans start to show interest.

Speaking of Jets receivers, Quincy Enunwa‘s $6MM salary for 2020 becomes fully-guaranteed today, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com observes. There was some speculation that Enunwa could be cut, but since he is still recovering from a serious neck injury, he would have been entitled to $10.1MM in injury guarantees if he were released. He has yet to be cleared for football activities, so his playing career is still in doubt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Rhule, Meyer, Jets

Despite reports connecting the Cowboys to Lincoln Riley and Urban Meyer, team owner Jerry Jones on Saturday downplayed the notion that he would pursue a college coach this offseason. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says Jones remains interested in Riley, and he is also paying close attention to Baylor head coach Matt Rhule.

Rhule was a hot name on the NFL head coaching circuit last year and reportedly could have had the Jets’ job if he agreed to certain appointments to his coaching staff. He signed an eight-year extension with Baylor in September, but pro teams are still interested in him. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network shot down recent speculation that the Cowboys would pursue Sean Payton, but he says Dallas made it known through back channels last offseason it was interested in the Saints’ HC, which helped Payton land his extension with New Orleans in September (video link).

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • The Cowboys may not be the only team interested in Meyer. As JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington tweets, Meyer is at FedEx field for the Redskins‘ contest against the Eagles today, and Washington would love to land Meyer as its next HC. Meyer, of course, served as Dwayne Haskins‘ head coach at Ohio State, but it seems like the Redskins don’t really meet Meyer’s criteria for coming out of retirement.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com expects the Jets to overhaul 50% of their roster this offseason, and he unsurprisingly names Brian Winters and Quincy Enunwa as two of the big-name players who could be cut. He also says that, if New York retains Le’Veon Bell, it should bring in another RB with the speed to run outside the tackles.
  • Though the Patriots just cut kicker Josh Gable two days after adding him to the practice squad, head coach Bill Belichick suggested that Gable could be back in 2020 as possible competition for Stephen Gostkowski, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes.
  • In the same piece linked above, Reiss says Patriots D-line coach Bret Bielema, a former collegiate head coach with Wisconsin and Arkansas, is generating interest from college teams. Bielema is said to be open to such an opportunity if the right one presents itself.
  • The NFL’s decision on the Patriots‘ punishment for Spygate 2.0 is expected shortly.

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa Plans To Return From Neck Injury

On Twitter last week, Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa revealed that doctors told him there was only a 50-50 chance that he would be able to come back and play with his injury. Enunwa was placed on injured reserve after reinjuring his neck in Week 1 this season. Still, he remains steadfast in his plans to return to the field next season, according Zach Brazziler of the New York Post.

Last week, he was in the news for publicly declaring his frustrations with the Jets organization after he received a fine for missing a rehab appointment. In a series of tweets, the wideout revealed the severity of his injury and how committed he was to working his way back to the field.

After signing a four-year, $36MM extension with the team last December, Enunwa was expected to be a primary option for sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold. Instead, his early-season injury has left New York shuffling through other receiving options. Even though Enunwa’s recovery remains uncertain, his contract structure will likely keep the Jets from releasing him this offseason. Per Over the Cap, New York would save $2.4m in cap space by cutting the receiver this offseason, but would incur $5.4m in dead money.

While injuries have plagued Enunwa throughout his career, he flashed brillance early on. At the age of 24, during the 2016 season, Enunwa played in all 16 games and caught 58 passes for 857 yards. His development stalled after suffering a serious neck injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, but he looked back to form in 2018. Enunwa played in 11 of the Jets first 13 games and caught 38 receptions for 449 yards before signing his extension. While it’s difficult to foresee him taking the step in his development that some had thought he could, New York remains hopeful that he will return to the field as a productive receiver.

AFC East Notes: Gronk, Jets, O-Line, Enunwa

Although Rob Gronkowski issued another reminder he will not come back this season, the former Patriots tight end has not closed the door on a 2020 comeback or beyond.

I wouldn’t say ‘never coming back,'” Gronkowski said Tuesday, via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. “I’m 30 years old. I’m young. I still stay fit, still watch the game whenever I can, still enjoy it. I’m feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man. It’s always an option in the back of my head.”

Robert Kraft was hopeful Gronkowski would return this season. He would need to do so by November 30, due to league rules. The Patriots, who have struggled to generate consistent offense against the better teams on their schedule, have certainly missed perhaps their future Hall of Famer this season. Gronk jokingly acknowledged this, but it looks like the will-he/won’t-he rumors will continue into next year.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • It is possible every Jets offensive line starter from Week 1 will not be part of the 2020 team. The Jets cut Kelechi Osemele, and the rest of that September group — Kelvin Beachum, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell — are either free agents (Beachum, Kalil, Shell) or players without any guaranteed money left (Winters). It would not be a surprise if all were elsewhere next year, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. Third-round pick Chuma Edoga can be expected to start next season, and trade-acquisition guard Alex Lewis has intrigued the team. But beyond that, GM Joe Douglas will be looking to overhaul the unit. The Jets’ $61MM in projected cap space is less than they’ve possessed in recent years, however.
  • Quincy Enunwa‘s fines for missing rehab sessions involved some shaky communication, per Cimini, who adds that the wide receiver was told to talk to three different staffers — wideouts coach Shawn Jefferson, HC Adam Gase and then Douglas — before receiving clarity on this matter. While Enunwa’s second neck injury in three years puts his career in jeopardy, this process and the one that led to Osemele’s exit may factor into how free agents view the Jets.
  • Isaiah Wynn can come off IR this week, and Bill Belichick confirmed (via NESN.com’s Zack Cox, on Twitter) the Patriots do plan on activating him when he’s ready. The 2018 first-round pick has played in only two games, missing all of last season with an Achilles tear and the past eight weeks because of turf toe.
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill has become an Eagles linebacker starter, but the former sixth-round pick was once in the Patriots’ plans. The Pats drafted Grugier-Hill in the 2016 sixth round but cut him before that season. They wanted to pass the Eastern Illinois alum through to their practice squad, viewing him as a developmental piece (per Reiss), but the Eagles claimed him.
  • The Dolphins recently agreed to an extension with Allen Hurns, making every member of their current receiver nucleus signed through at least 2020.

Jets Notes: Enunwa, Gase, Winters

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was fined $27,900 by the team for missing two days of treatment, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The wideout later took to Twitter to blast the team for the punishment.

“I normally chill on putting issues on twitter, but this doesnt sit right with me,” Enunwa wrote. “Given everything that’s going on around the team I thought this could’ve been handled so many different ways…I missed those two days, because I took my VETERAN wife out for Veterans Day lunch and because I had to handle an emergency in my house. I let the team know this after the fact, and yes, I should have told them beforehand, but I feel like this was excessive…I’m on IR trying to get back to play so I never thought that they’d be worried about me missing, but obviously I was wrong.”

Enunwa, who’s currently on the injured reserve with a neck injury, revealed that there’s only a 50% chance he ever sees the field again.

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

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News uses Enunwa’s outburst as an example for how players don’t respect head coach Adam Gase. Following the receiver’s comments, Mehta observed that Gase “displayed poor leadership for unofficially the 1,969th time Friday with an arrogance and defiance that simply reinforced that he hasn’t learned a damn thing.” Gase was quick to dismiss the story, telling reporters that they generally settle these types of grievances in-house. As Mehta writes, this type of logic has led to three players taking action against the organization in the past four weeks.
  • Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters was recently placed on the injured reserve, and Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com wonders if the veteran has played his final game for the organization. The 28-year-old is the team’s longest-tenured lineman, as he joined the organization back in 2013. Winters will be entering the final year of his contract in 2020, and Stypulkoski opines that it may be in the Jets’ best interest to move on from the veteran as they look to revamp the entire unit (the Jets would save around $7MM by cutting Winters). The writer also explored the pros and cons of making such a move.
  • Winters’ recent injury emphasizes that general manager Joe Douglas needs to focus on improving the offensive line this offseason, writes Mehta. As the writer notes, four of the team’s five starting offensive linemen to begin the season have missed time thanks to injury, and the team has had to rely on six different groupings this year. While injuries are obviously unavoidable, Mehta believes Douglas needs to invest resources into building a reliable offensive line in front of Sam Darnold.

Jets Claim DL Jordan Willis, Send Quincy Enunwa To IR

The Jets have claimed DL Jordan Willis off of waivers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). New York is placing WR Quincy Enunwa on IR in order to accommodate the move.

Willis was a third-round of the Bengals back in 2017 and he played in 32 games during his time with the club. The Jets weren’t the only team to put in a waiver claim for Willis. The Dolphins also tried to land the defensive lineman, Field Yates of ESPN tweets.

Enunwa has a neck injury and was deemed out for the year so the news to place him on injured reserve comes as no surprise. The franchise recently traded for Demaryius Thomas to add to their depth at wide receiver.

 

Jets’ Quincy Enunwa Done For Season

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa will miss the remainder of the season with a neck injury, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. Sadly, given Enunwa’s previous neck injury, this could be a career-ender for the 27-year-old. 

This is the second time in three seasons that Enunwa’s season ended prematurely due to a neck injury. In 2017, it cost him the entire campaign.

Enunwa suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Jets’ season-opening loss to the Bills. Somehow, he managed to return to action later on, but was targeted just three times in total.

The Jets inked Enunwa to a four-year, $36MM extension back in December. There is no good news here, but the silver lining is that Enunwa will collect on at least $10MM, the fully-guaranteed amount of the pact. He also has $6MM guaranteed for injury in 2020.

The Jets traded for Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas this week, a move that was a bit of a head-scratcher at the time. Now, we know that the deal was about more than Adam Gase reuniting with an old friend – Thomas will attempt to step in for Enunwa, one of the Jets’ most talented offensive players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.