Report: New York Jets sign guard Greg Van Roten

New York Jets, Greg Van Roten

The New York Jets have added another offensive lineman. Greg Van Roten was one of the top offensive lineman available, and the long islander is now a Jet.

What Does Van Roten Bring?

Greg Van Roten is a 30-year-old guard who will now likely become the Jets’ newest starter. He can also swing out and play tackle if need be, which provides more flexibility on the line. Van Roten will be receiving a three year deal with money not yet known.

Van Roten is a superb run blocker and pass protector. He’s only allowed three sacks and 5 QB hits in the past two years. He’s also been flagged once in 5 years. Van Roten has taken over as a starter in Carolina and not looked back. Van Roten immediately establishes the interior with Alex Lewis and Connor McGovern and makes it a much-improved one.

The Jets would still have room to grab an interior lineman on day 2 or 3, but it is no longer a necessity. Presumably, the Jets will aim to grab a rookie to compete with Lewis at the guard spot, along with the tackle they’ll likely grab at 11.

The Jets offensive line has been massively upgraded by Douglas in free agency, and adding a long time Jet fan and solid offensive lineman in Van Roten has furthered that.

What’s Next?

Now with all the offensive line additions, this makes longtime Jet Brian Winters expendable. Winters will likely be cut now and could find a market elsewhere.

The Jets now legitimately turn their attention to other areas. They could add a tackle, but they may focus on that more in the draft with pick 11. As for now, the Jets will likely continue to wait out the decision from Robby Anderson. If he doesn’t return, expect the Jets to move quickly to fill the speed receiver slot he will leave.

The Jets will also have to aim towards adding another outside corner. Prince Amukamara has been linked to the Jets a lot and could be a good fit to pair with a pick, Bless Austin and Brian Poole. The Jets also need to target an edge rusher or two. Lastly, the Jets should target a backup QB to upgrade over Siemian in case Darnold gets hurt or mono again. Douglas achieved his first goal and did a damn good job of it with the offensive line. 

New York Jets sign versatile offensive lineman Josh Andrews

New York Jets, Josh Andrews

The New York Jets have signed versatile offensive lineman Josh Andrews. Andrews was an undrafted free agent from Oregon State in 2014. He received interest from 3 teams and ultimately chose to join the Eagles. That Eagles team led him to Joe Douglas.

According to Andrews agent, he’s excited to reunite with Douglas in NY.

Who Is Josh Andrews?

Andrews played in Philly for four years and in Minnesota before he landed in Indy with the Colts. Andrews has never been a starter, but he’s had experience and never allowed a sack or been flagged. Joe Douglas wants versatile guys who can bring in competition for the line. The Douglas mentality is evident with this signing. Andrews will be a guy who will fight for a roster spot and fight to carve out a role. With so much turnover on the line, he’ll have a shot to earn starting reps potentially. More than likely, he will provide depth. He’s got a very high football IQ along with being a great athlete. Jim Schwartz said he would play on their scout team and go out of his way to diagnose weak spots on the defense and how they could make Fletcher Cox and other defensive linemen more productive. That level of IQ is something that can provide value to both the offense and the defense. Andrews is a solid depth addition.

What’s Next For The Jets?

The Jets continue to wait on Robby Anderson’s decision before allocating money elsewhere. The WR market hinges on the money Anderson locks up. The Jets plan A is to hope that Anderson re-signs on a solid deal that is fair for the team and Anderson, and then allocate money to more depth on the offensive line and the defense. The Jets issue is that signing Anderson will be to a deal within the range of $8.5 million to $12 million. That’s a lot of money to add to the payroll, which explains their reluctance to make deals before knowing his destination. Their plan B, if they don’t lock him down, will likely be Phillip Dorsett and aiming to add one or more playmakers in the draft and then allocating the money towards defense. Until he makes a decision, it is unclear exactly how much money the Jets will have to spend on other spots. Until then, expect more depth signings.

New York Jets add another blocker, welcome back LB Neville Hewitt

The New York Jets’ free agent spending spree continues over the weekend, as the team added another lineman and welcomed back a defender.

The New York Jets have continued to adjust their roster over the weekend. New York has agreed to terms with offensive lineman Josh Andrews and has re-signed linebacker Neville Hewitt.

Agent Brett Tessler confirmed that Andrews would sign with the Jets.

Andrews, a six-year NFL veteran, will reunite with Jets general manager Joe Douglas. It was Douglas, then the Vice President of Player Personnel with the Philadelphia Eagles, that helped give Andrews his first NFL opportunity. Andrews partook in two different tenures with the Eagles, first from 2014 through 2017 and then a stretch on their practice squad last season. Each of them partook in the Eagles’ victorious trek to Super Bowl LII.

The signing of Andrews appears to be one for depth. A Los Angeles native and Oregon State alum, Douglas has played 98 regular season snaps in his NFL career, including a career-high 61 with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Andrews is the latest newcomer to the Jets’ offensive line, as the team previously added George Fant from Seattle and Connor McGovern from Denver. The team also brought back lineman Alex Lewis after acquiring him from Baltimore in a trade last summer.

Meanwhile, the Jets also opted to welcome back the veteran linebacker Hewitt, who is set to play his third year with the team. Hewitt set new career-highs with 75 tackles, five pass, deflections, three sacks, and two interceptions.

Formerly of the Miami Dolphins, Hewitt has risen to the occasion when injuries struck the defense over the past two seasons. He has put up 124 tackles and 4.5 sacks over his Jets career, which began when they signed him in March 2018.

Other Jets linebackers still up for free agency include Jordan Jenkins and Paul Worrilow.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankees: What they need to have a realistic shot at a World Series in 2020

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees made improvements this offseason, but will they be enough to lead them to a World Series in 2020? That’s the question we are all asking ourselves.

Investing $324 million in Gerrit Cole was a significant first step in bolstering the starting pitching unit, and knowing that Luis Severino and James Paxton would be featuring right behind Cole was a grand reality. However, that reality has quickly dissipated into a puddle of injury and concern.

Severino has officially been ruled out for the entire 2020 season after succumbing to Tommy John surgery, and Paxton is expected to return to full form in early-May. While these two injuries bred negativity, the Yankees are capable of making a run at a World Series appearance in 2020 nonetheless.

Health is the most crucial factor, especially for the Yankees’ sluggers. Both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have dealt with injuries this spring, but the extra time to heal will prove to be significant.

What do the New York Yankees need to make a serious playoff run?

Aside from consistent health, they need their best hitters to pick up where they left off in 2019. DJ LeMahieu is arguably the most valuable player on the team, as he can fill multiple roles defensively and hit at a high level. His numbers in 2019 were impressive – .327 BA, 26 homers, 5.4 WAR (Fangraphs).

If LeMahieu can come close to replicating those numbers next season, the Yankees will be in good shape, as betting on their sluggers to remain healthy is becoming problematic. Throw Luke Voit into the injury pot as well, as sustained a sports hernia last season, which forced him out for quite some time.

The Yankees have attempted to deal with their injury concerns by means of Eric Cressey, a renowned strength and conditioning coach. So far, his abilities have no made much of a difference, as Stanton picked up a calf strain before spring training even began. Judge’s injury can be blamed on the doctors evaluating his CT scans — they recently discovered a stress fracture on his top right rib and a collapsed lung that had recovered.

Overall, health is the most significant factor in the Yankees making a run in 2020, but they need their historically consistent players to rise to the occasion once more. Before the MLB suspending operations, the Bombers were prepared to toss Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, and clint Frazier into the outfield, all reserve options.

New York Giants could still land Jadeveon Clowney after market tumble

New York Giants, Jadeveon Clowney, Markus Golden

The New York Giants remain a pass-rusher needy team after signing Kyler Fackrell and allowing Markus Golden to hit the open market. However, it’s still possible they retain the veteran linebacker. Golden has not seemed to hit the free agency market with enthusiasm most imagined, and it possibly suggests that the Giants are looking to retain him on a multi-year deal.

Despite his lack of attention, Golden has competition by the name of Jadeveon Clowney. The former Seahawks defender hit free agency with an expected price-tag of $22 million, but the market has not developed in his favor. Clowney is receiving options in the $12-14 million range, far less than what was expected.

If Clowney can’t command more than $15 million, there’s little to suggest Golden should even approach that number over multiple-years. The situation unfolding is interesting, as Clowney is by far the best pass-rusher on the market, considering his ability to stop the run and lock down a side of the defensive edge.

Is it possible the New York Giants land Jadeveon Clowney after market tumble?

The market not responding to Clowney’s demands leaves the door open for the Giants, but Clowney’s representation will not accept a lesser deal just four days into free agency. A team will eventually come calling with a higher number. I anticipate he will land in the $18 million per season range, a bit out of the Giants’ price-range.

Golden ultimately represents the better option based on a variety of factors — price, leadership, familiarity with the Giants and their young players. The jury is still out on Golden, as some believe a majority of his sacks were a result of good coverage. However, Golden’s unstoppable motor and 27 QB hits suggest he was in the backfield quite a fair amount.

If the Giants can lock up the former Arizona Cardinal OLB on a multi-year deal averaging about $11-12 million per season, they shouldn’t hesitate. With Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, and Oshane Ximines featuring at the OLB position, the Giants desperately need to add more talent, otherwise, they risk having a minimal pass-rush in 2020.

New York Giants: Russell Shepard Announces Departure From Team

New York Giants, Russell Shepard

The New York Giants may have had some problems at receiver for the last season, but they’ve had a competitive group and a number of players have stepped up over the past year to fill in for injuries and other absences that have held the Giants back at the position – and one of those players who helped with the team’s depth last year was Russell Shepard, who only appeared in three games last season but remained an option on the Giants’ depth chart even when players such as Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Corey Coleman, and Cody Latimer were unavailable.

However, not everyone can return to the team following the offseason and one of the players that will be departing the Giants is apparently Shepard, who announced his departure on Instagram and will be free to sign with another team as a free agent.

Shepard spent two years with the Giants after signing for them in 2018, but his 2018 season was more eventful than his 2019 one – he played in 12 games rather than 3 in 2018, and had two touchdowns compared to none, as well as substantially more yards with 188 yards compared to 25.

Part of the reason Shepard had lower production was the rise of Darius Slayton as an option in the receiving game in his rookie season, as well as the arrival of Golden Tate, who became the de facto number two receiver for the time when he was available in 2020.

It remains to be seen where Shepard will sign, but with his departure, it looks like the Giants might have another spot for a rotation receiver – that could be filled by a new addition, or potentially even someone already on the roster who hasn’t gotten to shine, such as current free agent Corey Coleman.

New York Yankees: Two exciting prospects to keep eyes on

New York Yankees, Jasson Dominguez

The New York Yankees are known to have one of the best – if not the best – farm systems in baseball. They are loaded with young talent which is why they were able to bring up so many players from triple-A last year and still be successful. These two prospects in the New York Yankees’ system have bright futures ahead of them and the front office and fans need to keep a close watch on them.

Jasson Dominguez

One of the most hyped-up young players in all of baseball, Jasson Dominguez has already been compared to MLB stars like Mike Trout and Bo Jackson. His scout numbers are already comparable to some of the premier players in the Major Leagues.

“We watched him hit and he looked good,” said Yankees’ coach Carlos Mendoza. “He was impressive for being 16 years old. He’s a strong kid with great bat speed and power. We only saw him take BP, but he was hitting balls with Gary and Miggy. He looks like one of them. For that age, he’s pretty advanced.”

Anthony Volpe

After being selected in the first round of the 2019 draft with the 30th pick, Anthony Volpe ended his first professional year batting .215 with two home runs and 26 hits in 34 games. Volpe was limited during his first pro year after being diagnosed with mono.

Volpe has an above-average bat and can make plays effortlessly at shortstop. However, he may be moved around in the infield because of the Yankees’ infield depth. Volpe has said he’s looking forward to his first fully healthy season this year and thinks he can significantly boost his numbers.

Where exactly are the Jets with Robby Anderson?

New York Jets, Robby Anderson

The conversation surrounding the future of Jet’s wideout Robby Anderson has been considerably undetermined since the start of the league year. And with free agency officially underway, his future with the Jets is still very unclear.

There has been a lot of action so far in free agency, such as DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Cardinals, the Rams releasing Todd Gurley II and the bombshell of Tom Brady leaving New England to sign with the Buccaneers. Big names have been coming off the market faster than we can keep track of, and the Jets, thus far, have been relatively quiet. There remains a lot of questions moving forward, and the team progress in addressing them is moving slower than fans would hope.

So what’s the latest with Robby Anderson?

Since the end of the 2019 season, Anderson has been a popular trade candidate for the Jets, but so far, it doesn’t look like much progress has been made. According to Connor Hughes, the lead Jets writer for The Athletic, there has been “radio silence” when discussing possible interest for Anderson.

This actually benefits the Jets. The longer Anderson remains unsigned, the longer the market dries up for him, and the longer the money appears to not be there. And the Jets genuinely like Anderson and what he brings to the team, so getting a deal done is not out of the question, it is just a matter of the right price. At this point, maybe returning to the Jets on a one year deal and try to prove his worth in 2021 is the best move.

With the signings of Seahawks’ tackle George Fant, Broncos center Connor McGovern, and re-signing guard Alex Lewis, they may take their focus off of the offensive line in the draft and look to take one of the exciting receiver prospects a la a Jerry Jeudy or a CeeDee Lamb. Perhaps after that, then they can be more frivolous with Anderson.

As premier free agent wide receivers such as Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs, and DeAndre Hopkins getting deals done, we may see Anderson in green for at least one more year, and that might not be such a bad thing.

How can we keep the Yankees off the IL?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Since the very beginning of spring training for the New York Yankees we already started to wonder, does the “ next man up “ mantra continue into 2020? 

Right now it feels like déjà vu, with 5 players already out with injuries, including big name players like Right Fielder Aaron Judge, starter Luis Severino (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery) and former NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.  

The injury bug hit the Yankees hard last year sending 37 players to the IL in 30 IL stints. Still the Yankees were able to overcome all the injuries and finished with over 100 wins last season.  

Following the record breaking number of injured players last year, the Yankees fired their strength and conditioning staff. Now a days players seem to be getting hurt a lot more often. The days of high consecutive games played seems to be in the past. 

So how could we keep these players on the field and off the IL ?

We know our players love to hit the gym and lift weights to stay in shape, but what about yoga? I know yoga might be the last thing you would think players with big frames like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton should be doing. But really the question should be why not yoga? 

Will we see Yankees on the Yoga mat?

Yoga works on your core, agility, endurance, strength and most importantly flexibility, which helps prevent injuries. 

For years professional athletes and teams have been using yoga to improve their game and prevent injuries. Big name players in the NFL and NBA like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and even New York Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold.

I think the Yankees can really benefit from this and maybe should add this into their routine. 

Opening day was set to start a week from today, but has now been pushed back to a date that has not been determined yet. With there being a delayed start to the season, maybe we will see Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton Opening Day after all. And maybe they can all use this extra time to work on some yoga. 

Hopefully baseball will be back soon. And I’m hoping you all stay safe. 

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge receives great injury news

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees might be holed up in Tampa, but players recovering from injuries are getting all of the attention they need to make it back for the start of the 2020 regular season. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stated that Opening Day would be pushed back at least eight weeks, giving players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and James Paxton ample time to heal.

Judge received a positive update on Friday to finish what has been a stressful week across the globe. A scheduled CT scan on his top right rib provided proof of recovery. However, it unearthed a previously unrevealed Pneumothorax problem — a collapsed lung.

Luckily, the lung has healed entirely, and the Pneumothorax is no longer an issue. He will remain at Steinbrenner Field for the time being to continue his rehabilitation program and begin light baseball activities.

Tyler Wade stated, according to NY Post:

“He looks great. His rehab, as far as I know, has been good,’’ Wade said inside the players’ parking lot while talking with reporters through a chain-link fence. “You know how he is. He doesn’t say much. It’s probably a blessing in disguise with all this stuff going on we get everybody back healthy.’’

According to MLB insider, Bryan Hoch, Judge experienced “slight improvement.”

Judge, who the Yankees need to be healthy for 2020, suffered the injury last September supposedly when diving for a fly ball. He had felt discomfort for months until they finally unveiled the source of the injury a few weeks ago. It’s crazy to think that the slugger had a collapsed lung but was still participating in regular activities.

The good news extracted from the most recent scan should indicate his readiness for the start of the season in what could be a few months. Starting pitcher James Paxton is also on pace to make a return in early May.