Trevon Wesco

AFC East Notes: Brady, Jenkins, Lotulelei

Patriots QB Tom Brady will play against the Cowboys this afternoon, but as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) notes, the team will need to closely monitor Brady’s elbow moving forward. Brady was unable to finish practice on Friday due to elbow pain, and while he was able to take all necessary reps on Saturday, he will continue to get work on the elbow as the season goes on.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • It’s not unusual for teams to distance themselves from certain prospects in the pre-draft process in order to hide their interest in those prospects, and that’s exactly what the Patriots did with punter Jake Bailey, as Mike Reiss of writes. New England neither interviewed nor held a workout with Bailey, but it traded up in the fifth round of this year’s draft to select him. That move paid off, as the rookie specialist has two AFC Special Teams Player of the Week nods and is currently a favorite for the Pro Bowl.
  • Rich Cimini of expects the Jets to make a concerted effort to re-sign linebacker Jordan Jenkins this offseason. Jenkins, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time, has steadily improved during his first four years in the league, and despite missing two games this season with a calf injury, he has posted five sacks, just two shy of his career-high of seven (which he set last year). Jenkins will likely command a contract paying him over $10MM per year.
  • The Jets will have a lot of positions to address this offseason, but tight end isn’t one of them. As Cimini tweets, the club appears set at TE with Ryan Griffin — who agreed to a three-year extension on Saturday — Chris Herndon, and improving rookie Trevon Wesco.
  • Bills fans have been less than impressed with the performances of front-seven defenders Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy, but Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Lotulelei will definitely be back with the team next year (the Bills could save $10.1MM against the 2020 cap by cutting Lotulelei after the season, but they would also take on a $7.8MM dead cap charge). Murphy’s status is a bit tougher to predict, but if the Bills move on from Shaq Lawson, Murphy is likely to be back for the final year of his contract.

AFC Draft Pick Signings: 5/9/19

The latest 2019 draft pick signings from around the AFC:

  • Tight end Trevon Wesco is now the first Jets rookie under contract, as the West Virginia product signed his deal today, tweets Brian Costello of the New York Post. A more-than-willing blocker, Wesco didn’t post much production at West Virginia, managing only a single reception in both 2016 and 2017 before totaling 26 catches last year. Still, in a New York offense that’s set to run through Le’Veon Bell, Wesco could see the field, especially given that incumbent Jets tight end Chris Herndon graded as one of the NFL’s worst run-blockers in 2018, per Pro Football Focus.
  • The Steelers announced that they’ve signed a pair of draft choices, inking both fifth-round tight end Zach Gentry and sixth-round linebacker Ulysees Gilbert to rookie deals. Of the two, Gentry likely has the easier path to playing time not only due to his draft status, but because Gilbert is stuck behind Devin Bush, Mark Barron, and Vince Williams, and Tyler Matakevich at linebacker. Gentry, who posted 32 receptions for 514 yards during his final season at Michigan, will likely see a good deal of special teams duty, but could be involved in Pittsburgh’s offense if Vance McDonald — who has never completed a full 16-game slate — goes down.
  • The Texans have signed fifth-round defensive end Charles Omenihu and sixth-round cornerback Xavier Crawford, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link). Houston inked a number of draft picks earlier today, leaving only third-round tight end Kahale Warring unsigned.
  • The Chargers have signed seventh-round defensive tackle Cortez Broughton, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Broughton is the first Los Angels draft choice to sign his rookie deal.