New York Jets: silver lining Marcus Maye speaks after defeat

On his first day as the defensive headliner, Marcus Maye served as one of the lone silver linings for the New York Jets’ Week 1 endeavors.

Getting the New York Jets’ “game ball” in the locker room after Sunday’s game in Orchard Park may be more of an insult than honor at this point.

The first game of the green decade was one to forget, its 27-17 final score in favor of Buffalo Bills nowhere near as indicative of just how one-sided the game really was. Buffalo scored the first 21 points to bring the nonexistent home crowd to its feet and relatively waltz through the remainder of the game.

In a game like that, silver linings are few and far between. The 69-yard scoring hook-up between Sam Darnold and Jamison Crowder seemed wildly out-of-place in such a one-sided affair. New York (0-1) could perhaps at least take assurance in the fact that Mekhi Becton played a relatively decent game on the offensive line. The box score, however, was relatively low on condolences.

A welcome exception to the trend was safety Marcus Maye.

Sunday marked perhaps one of the most important games of Maye’s NFL career. While it was the fourth season of his NFL career, it was perhaps his first as a defensive headliner. With Jamal Adams napalming his bridges to New York and C.J. Mosley opting out, Maye likely had the brightest green spotlight on him during Sunday’s proceedings. Only more eyes will linger on Maye this season because of his contract status; his rookie deal ends after Week 17.

For all intents and purposes, Maye impressed his suitors, both domestically and abroad. He led all defenders with 10 tackles and also earned two sacks of Josh Allen. Two quarterback knockdowns likewise awaited Maye, who also successfully defended two passes and forced a fumble.

According to Jets PR, Maye is “the 10th Jet since 1994 to record a sack, forced fumble, TFL and a PD in the same game”. Notable fellow Jets to achieve the feats in that span include Darrelle Revis, John Abraham, and Muhammad Wilkerson (who did it three times).

Maye felt that Buffalo didn’t do anything truly special in victory, instead claiming blame on behalf of the Jets.

“(Buffalo wasn’t) doing anything schematically. (Allen) was extending plays with his legs and getting guys open with his feet,” Maye noted in transcripts provided by the Jets. “The penalties hurt us on our end, but other than that, that was really it. We shot ourselves in the foot in the first half.”

To Maye’s point, the Jets lost 95 yards on nine penalties. Buffalo (1-0) earned six first downs through laundry alone. Two of those instances came from the defense on either third downs or with at least 10 yards to go.

Overwork may have contributed to the defensive woes as a whole. The Jets earned only one first down on their first five possessions, forcing the defense back on the field as quickly as they left it. Maye wasn’t looking for excuses, however. With the Jets likely positioned as underdogs for the foreseeable future, Maye knows that better starts will be vital to making the most out of this trying season.

“You have to come out hot. You have to come out fast. You can’t wait until things get tough to get going. From the first play you have to come out,” Maye noted. “You know he’s going to run. You know he’s going to extend plays. You know he’s not going to stay in the pocket. So, we just have to execute and be disciplined in our rush lanes. When the ball is in the air, just be composed and be smart.”

The Jets’ confidence in Maye was apparent when the team granted him defensive captaincy honors alongside 12th-year veteran Steve McLendon. It was Maye who spoke not only for the Jets’ defensive shortcoming but for their pregame demonstration as well.

With athletes across North American sports engaging in demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice, the Jets opted to remain in the locker room during the opening ceremonies. According to Maye, team unity was the catalyst behind the decision.

“We just decided as a unit that we were going to hold out and stay inside during the National Anthem. We all decided that was something big for us to do. We did it as a group, as a team. Obviously, people had different perspectives on being out there on the sidelines, so we made an emphasis on just staying inside and keeping everybody together inside.”

The Jets will get a chance to redeem themselves at home next weekend against the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: LB Avery Williamson speaks after roster reinstatement

New York Jets

New York Jets linebacker Avery Williams is back on the active roster after missing the entire 2019 season due to injury.

With preseason games eliminated this summer, strapping on the pads and donning the game jerseys for Week 1 in the NFL will feel just a little bit more special this time around. For some, the waiting will be a bit longer than others.

If linebacker Avery Williamson suits up for the New York Jets’ September 13 opener against Buffalo, it will have been 388 days since he suited up for an NFL game. Williamson had a decent first season with the Jets, leading the team with 120 tackles in 2018 after coming over from Tennessee on a three-year, $22.5 million deal. However, his second season was wiped out by a torn ACL sustained in last summer’s preseason visit to Atlanta. The injury cost him the entire 2019 campaign.

Williamson began training camp proceedings on the physically unable to perform list but was activated earlier this week. It’s safe to say that the veteran defender is aching to make up for lost time.

“It’s been a long journey, definitely,” Williamson said in camp this week, per SNY’s Garrett Stepien. “From that point, just didn’t know, didn’t realize the amount of work I was going to have to put in to get back to this point, to get back to my old self. I thought it was going to be a lot faster. I thought I was going to be running by December, but everybody’s different and I just wasn’t healing as fast as I thought I would.”

The 28-year-old was eager to test things out upon returning to the practice field. He admitted things got a little difficult, especially with his rehabilitation coming during on the ongoing health crisis. But he was quite enthused upon taking to the field at One Jets Drive.

“You’ve just got to get practice,” Williamson said in SNY’s report. “You’re going to find out real quick how good it’s doing and didn’t feel any pain today, pretty much did everything from a perspective of past and it’s feeling great. So just going out and keep getting in shape, at this point, but my knee’s healthy.”

Williamson went on to praise the job his fellow defenders did in his absence, as players like Jordan Jenkins, Neville Hewitt, and James Burgess all rose to the occasion. That will only increase the on-field competition, as players on the Jets battle for the opportunity to remain on the team for the potential good time ahead.

Entering a contract year, Williamson is one of many Jets who will be auditioning for a chance to solidify their future. He’s embracing every single opportunity but feels like things haven’t changed a bit when it comes to the way he’ll approach a most unusual, and personally vital, season.

“Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve got to prove myself (but) that’s every year,” Williamson said. “It’s always going to be competition, guys trying to take your spot.

“The guys last year, they played well. Give them credit. They definitely played well. So I’ve just got to make sure I know the playbook, early, make sure that when I get my opportunity, I’m going to make it count.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Jordan Jenkins can lead a defensive revolution

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

Displeased with losing, New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins, one of the longest green veterans, is ready to change the NYJ perception.

Jordan Jenkins partook in 13 losses during his four seasons with the University of Georgia Bulldogs. It took only a year and three weeks to match that total with the New York Jets.

Jenkins was among the first New York Jets to emerge from isolation to speak publicly this week. His words when asked about the Jets’ last decade of distress, would likely be better suited for HBO rather than NFL Network or SNY. But Jets fans of all ages may nonetheless see them as essential listening.

“I know that the Jets didn’t have really a winning history and it really sucks that in the last four years we couldn’t get it done,” Jenkins remarked in a report from SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.” But me being back here, been here four going on five years, and I’m tired of (expletive) losing so, you know, now just gotta ramp (expletive) up and, you know, try and get the ball rolling.”

“No one is used to losing, and no one likes losing,” Jenkins continued, this quote from Olivia Landis of NYJets.com. “The sentiment is, losing sucks and no one wants to come out here and play a game just to lose every game. Ultimately, we want to go out there and win. I’m not from New York, but I’m pretty sure they’re tired of it too.”

For all of the losses the Jets have suffered in Jenkins’ tenure, the linebacker has been a rare silver lining of consistency since his arrival as a third-round pick (83rd overall) in 2016. Over the past two seasons, Jenkins is one of 17 outside linebackers throughout the league to earn at least 15 sacks.

Contrary to popular belief, Jamal Adams wasn’t the Jets’ 2019 sack master wasn’t the departed Jamal Adams, but rather Jenkins, who earned a career-best eight quarterback takedowns (good for sixth amongst AFC linebackers). Among those sacks was a vital third-down stop of Daniel Jones in the battle of MetLife Stadium last November. Jenkins’ strong efforts were rewarded with a new single-year contract worth $3.75 million.

That showdown against the Giants led to a rare win in Jenkins’ era. Since 2016, only the Cleveland Browns have a worse winning percentage than the Jets.

“No one is used to losing, and no one likes losing,” Jenkins said in Landis’ report. “The sentiment is, losing sucks and no one wants to come out here and play a game just to lose every game. Ultimately, we want to go out there and win. I’m not from New York, but I’m pretty sure they’re tired of it too.”

Set to enter his fifth season in green, several releases have transformed Jenkins into the longest-tenured Jet alongside fellow defender Steve McLendon. Jenkins’ role as a team leader will likely only increase with Adams traded and linebacker compatriot C.J. Mosley opting out of 2020. With so many newcomers in tow, many of whom are inexperienced and raw, the Jets need some semblance of sanity to work their way through an AFC full of changing offenses.

Jenkins’ skills in the pass rush may be more vital than ever with new developments in the AFC East. Recent NFL Top 100 Players nominee Josh Allen returns to Buffalo, New England filled the Tom Brady-sized gap with former NFL MVP Cam Newton, and Miami drafted former national champion Tua Tagovailoa. Each of the newcomers has been shown to be capable of changing the course of games through the air and on the ground.

The linebacker believes that the Georgia alum is more than ready to accept the challenge and be that source.

“That’s, honestly, a really great factor for this defense. We’ve got some new faces in here and being able to have the same defensive scheme,” Jenkins said of Williams and his system through Matt Howe of 247Sports. “It sort of puts you ahead of the ball. And the way we do stuff, the way we go through the plays and whatnot, we’re ahead of the curve than we were this time last year.”

“Having Gregg back is going to be a great asset to the defense. It gives guys comfort in that you already know what you’re supposed to do, so go out there and just do it.”

Head coach Adam Gase himself was high on the idea of Jenkins making a bigger impact in the New York stoppage.

“Jordan has these subtle, little pass-rush moves that guys sometimes don’t understand that he’s really effective with,” Gase remarked upon Jenkins recommitment to the Jets. “He gets his hands on you and then he throws you. He’s a very strong player.”

“The sack is never good enough for him. He’s always trying to get the ball out.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants Heading Into 2020 With Versatile, Young Secondary

The New York Giants have built up their defensive secondary in the past few years. The Giants have invested numerous assets into their secondary, both through the NFL Draft and free agency. New York has added a lot of young, talented players to their defensive secondary. But the best part about all of these players is how extraordinarily versatile they are.

Maximum Versatility

The Giants’ secondary will be versatile in 2020. Head coach Joe Judge emphasized versatility in his introductory press conference and he has just the right group of guys in the secondary to fit that mold. James Bradberry, Xavier McKinney, Jabrill Peppers, Darnay Holmes, and Julian Love are all young, versatile talents that will help the defense succeed next season.

Xavier McKinney

According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier McKinney played everywhere for Alabama — 323 snaps in the box, 227 in the slot, and 271 deep. Many Giants fans had hoped the team would select Isaiah Simmons fourth overall. Simmons was the ultra-versatile linebacker prospect that ended up with the Cardinals. The Giants took Andrew Thomas, passing on Simmons and his versatility, but they were able to land the next best thing in Xavier McKinney in round two.

Darnay Holmes

The Giants’ other exciting draft pick in the secondary, Darnay Holmes, is also a versatile player. Holmes spent his entire collegiate career playing outside cornerback. Entering the NFL this season, Holmes will likely make the transition to the inside and be the team’s nickel cornerback. However, Darnay could compete for the second outside cornerback position. Do not rule him out as an outside cornerback just yet- Darnay has the talents to play both positions.

James Bradberry IV

James Bradberry was another new addition for the Giants’ defense in 2020. Bradberry was a splash signing for New York in free agency and he will serve as the team’s primary cornerback on the outside. But James is another player that has the versatility to play both inside and outside. He rarely played slot cornerback in Carolina, but he was sufficient when lined up there. Another aspect of James’s versatility is his ability to shadow any receiver. Bradberry followed the opposing team’s top receiver in each game with the Panthers. He will likely play a similar role in the Giants’ defense.

21% of James Bradberry’s career coverage snaps have been while aligned against Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, or Mike Evans. James Bradberry also recorded 9 pass-breakups last year, tied for 16th in the NFL. Also 20th in NFL passer rating against (78.9) min of 550 snaps (PFF). Bradberry is also the oldest player in the Giants’ secondary at only 26-years-old.

Jabrill Peppers

Jabrill Peppers displayed his versatility in his first season with the Giants in 2019. Entering the NFL Draft in 2017, Peppers was considered a “Swiss Army Knife.” He truly did it all in college, lining up all over Michigan’s defense and making a significant impact on special teams. Peppers was mainly a box safety with the Giants last season, but he did line up in the slot and at free safety on numerous occasions.

Julian Love

In 2019, rookie defensive back Julian Love was a pleasant surprise on the Giants’ defense. The fourth-round pick was projected as a slot cornerback upon being drafted. However, he ended up converting to the safety position in the NFL. But Love still has his coverage skills from college and could compete for the Giants’ second outside cornerback position in 2020.

Julian Love could potentially line up all over the defense in 2020. He could line up as an outside cornerback, move back into the slot, and continue to play both free and strong safety. Adding Xavier McKinney into the mix with an already strong tandem in Love and Peppers could give the Giants one of the best safety groups in the NFL.

New York Jets: Three new Patriots to fear more than Cam Newton

Cam Newton certainly complicates matters for the New York Jets’ AFC East chances, but he’s far from their only new problem.

Cam Newton cast his shadow over the AFC East and announced six more years of New England Patriot dominance.

Fans of the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins sang of liberation after Tom Brady announced his departure from Foxboro for the warmer fields of Tampa Bay. After passing on a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and signing only career journeyman Brian Hoyer on the throwers’ market, the assumed successor to the Brady throne was Jarrett Stidham, he of a 2019 fourth-round selection whose third NFL pass was taken back by Jamal Adams for.a touchdown. The arrival of Newton seemed to restore the Patriots to their former glory without even suffering a single instance of on-field regression.

But the fact remains…just because Brady left doesn’t mean the glory ever did.

It’d be foolhardy for even Brady’s biggest detractor to call him a bad quarterback, but there’s no denying that the six-time Super Bowl champion’s 2019 ledger wasn’t what football surveyors were accustomed to. Brady posted a passer rating under 90 in 10 games last season (in comparison, he had only 10 such games in 2017-18 combined), and the Patriots still managed to go 6-4 in such events. Even during New England’s most recent Super Bowl run, Brady had a combined 74.6 rating in the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII.

It’s undeniable that Newton does make the Patriots a better team. This is, after all, a dual-threat not far removed from a legendary MVP campaign. Time will tell if he can fully recover from injuries that limited him to two games last season, but if you have to replace arguably the greatest quarterback in football history, you can do far worse than Cam Newton.

But, as New England’s recent track record proves, success wasn’t determined by a single name. Whoever the new quarterback was, be it Newton, Stidham, or some third party, he was going to walk into a strong situation where he would work with veteran receivers (Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, first-round project N’Keal Harry), a multi-faceted run game (James White, Sony Michel), and a strong, tenured defense and offensive line…and a Bill Belichick in a pear tree.

In fact, there are other New England newcomers that should warn the Jets and their East brethren that their Patriot problems were still active long before Newton’s arrival…

S/PR Kyle Dugger

The Patriots’ never-ending dynasty has been kept running by countless diamonds in the draft’s rough. No school is exempt from examination from Belichick’s relentless scouts, not even tiny Lenoir-Rhyne University football. The Division II program yielded New England’s first pick in Dugger (37th overall), who shot up the draft board after a strong showing at Senior Bowl week. New England was already relatively set in the secondary (Devin McCourty was re-signed) so the scariest part about Dugger is that he’s a potential force to be reckoned with down the road. Scouts have praised his size and speed, and he’ll have an elite group of mentors working with him (Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Chung, Devin and his brother Jason). More immediately, Dugger can make in the return game, serving as the primary punt man with the Bears.

S Adrian Phillips

Further depth was added in the form of Phillips, the ex-San Diego/Los Angeles Charger. A safety who has made a name for himself as a strong special teams defender, Phillips is coming off a lost 2019, limited to seven games after suffering a broken arm in Week 2. It overshadowed a breakthrough year in which he earned a career-best 94 tackles (an NFL-best 17 coming on special teams) and nine pass breakups. For his efforts, Phillips was named to his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams. Quarterbacks also posted a mere 44.8 passer rating when throwing into his area. Defensive upgrades seem redundant for the Patriots, but, Brady or no Brady, they seem to be operating on a time-honored axiom that should be obvious: can’t win if you can’t score.

LB Josh Uche

The Jets spent a good portion of the 2020 offseason upgrading their offensive line, which makes all too much sense when you look back on what Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell had to deal with last year. New England earned 6 of their 47 sacks (second-best in the AFC) in the pair of matchups against the Jets, and while Darnold was the victim of only one, as Luke Falk was the unfortunate soul who started the original game, the relentless pass rush had him infamously “seeing ghosts”. One could see the Patriots losing a defensive edge with their sack leaders Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy respectively leaving for Detroit and Miami, but the Patriots restocked by taking Uche out of Michigan. Reuniting him with fellow former Ann Arbor resident Chase Winovich, Uche can fill the roles the absconders left behind. His speed was particularly impressive, breaking into backfields for 14.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Uche’s arrival ensures that the numerous newcomers on the Jets’ frontline will still have a lot to deal with, as will the new mobile franchise quarterbacks in Buffalo (Josh Allen) and Miami (Tua Tagovailoa).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Defensive expectations for upcoming season

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets‘ defense played well last season, ranking seventh in the NFL in fewest yards allowed. The defense kept the team in games and was one of the few somewhat-consistent areas of the team. The team should be bolstered with some new additions, both in the draft and free agency, and some returning players. I won’t mention every player, but let’s take a look at the expectations for each defensive position group for this upcoming campaign:

This is assuming no additions or changes will be made from this point, i.e. Jamal Adams will be on the team

 

Defensive Line

The defensive line had some positives, and negatives, last season. The main positive is that they contributed greatly to allowing the second-fewest amount of rushing yards last season, behind only the Buccaneers. The line, led by Steve McLendon and Quinnen Williams played well in that regard. McLendon totaled 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks while Williams produced 28 total tackles, one fumble recovery and 2.5 sacks as well. Keep in mind, Williams played in only 13 games last season, as a rookie, due to an ankle injury which kept him off the field weeks two, three and four. Barring any injuries or suspension, he should be expected to improve. He should be expected to total around 40 tackles and 5 sacks across a full season in year two.

One player I expect to get more consistent playing time is Foley Fatukasi. The third-year man out of UConn played in 14 games last season, totaling 26 tackles, in which 7 were for a loss, and a sack. To top it off, from weeks six through nine, he was the third-highest graded defensive lineman in football, behind only Aaron Donald and Calais Campbell. That is some outstanding company to be in, especially for someone who is mostly a rotational player. As a result, I believe he gets more consistent playing time, although he will not be a starter.

The team also added defensive end Jabari Zuniga in the third round of the draft. In 42 collegiate games at Florida, he totaled 118 tackles, in which 34.5 were for a loss, and 18.5 sacks. Depending on his field time and progression, he can add somewhat of an edge rush, which the defense needs. Overall, expect the run defense to remain in the top-five.

 

Linebacker

The linebacker group is going to be an interesting one leading up to, and throughout, the season. The group, led by C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, could be set up for a strong campaign. Both players are coming off of injury-riddled seasons and should be expected to bounce back. Mosley played in just two games while dealing with a recurring groin injury. In the first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, Mosley showed why he was signed to lead the linebacker group. Before leaving the game, he totaled 6 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pick-six. If he remains healthy and plays all 16 games, Mosley should be expected to total no less than 90 tackles and a couple of sacks and interceptions. He should have a well-rounded season as he is accustomed to having.

Avery Williamson missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. The year before, he totaled 120 tackles, 6 for a loss, and 3 sacks. There’s no reason to believe that, if he’s healthy, he won’t be near those numbers again. While he may not exactly replicate them due to the number of talented linebackers around him, he should be able to put up numbers near those that Mosley should be expected to.

The team brought back a few players from last season during free agency as well. They brought back James Burgess, Jordan Jenkins and Neville Hewitt. Jenkins, an outside linebacker, had a career-high in sacks last season with eight. His returning outside rush will be one of the top options this upcoming season. For a team that doesn’t have the strongest presence of outside pass rush, Jenkins returning was a nice touch. He shouldn’t be expected to repeat and have a career-high in sacks again, but he should be expected to have between 5 and 6 sacks easily. As for Hewitt, he played the most snaps out of any Jets linebacker last season with 718. He shouldn’t be expected to play the same amount or even have the same amount of production, especially if the main starters remain on the field. He should be a rotational player.

 

Cornerback

The cornerback group played better than many people thought they did. With that being said, they were a middle-of-the-pack group. The team ranked 16th in the league in passing yards allowed per game. The group, led largely by Brian Poole last season, has him returning on a one-year deal. Poole is arguably their best cornerback and should be expected to retain that title throughout the season. He should be expected to have a slight increase in passes defended with more depth and talent around him in the secondary.

The Jets also added veteran Pierre Desir to the group. Desir, who recently played for the Colts, is not necessarily a team-changing addition. However, he does add experience and depth to the thinnest part of the defense.

One of the most interesting additions to the cornerback group is rookie Bryce Hall. Before the 2019 season, Hall was projected to be a potential first-round draft pick by some mock drafts. However, his season was cut short due to injury, and, as a result, he fell to the fifth found. While on the field, Hall, who transitioned to cornerback after originally playing wide receiver, has shown good ball skills and coverage. During his junior season, he led all collegiate players in pass breakups. If he can stay healthy, the Jets may have drafted a day one talent in the fifth round. Hall shouldn’t be expected to be a day one starter, but rather a rotational corner who can produce. In all, the Jets should be expected to have a more productive and stronger year from their corners.

 

Safety

Jamal Adams is the leader in the secondary, on defense and the team as a whole. He has even been in the discussion for being the best safety in the league. After not making the Pro Bowl as a rookie, he has made it in each of the last two seasons. He should be expected to be a Pro Bowler once again and be among the top safeties in the league.

Marcus Maye has been a nice complimentary piece to Jamal Adams since they were both drafted in 2017. Maye bounced back with 65 total tackles, 7 passes defended and one interception after his season before was cut short due to injury. Maye is more than capable of increasing his tackle amount to above 70, as he showed his rookie season. He should be expected to approach the 75 tackle mark and have a few interceptions.

Now we get to Ashtyn Davis, who was drafted by the Jets in the third round of this past draft. Davis is somewhat of a mystery in the secondary. He can play safety, of course, but he could also be moved to play slot corner or nickel. He is extremely versatile and can provide help anywhere. Whether it be rotational help at safety or fill-in time at corner, Davis should provide help everywhere. In all, the Jets’ safety group should be expected to be one of the best in the NFL.

 

Bottom Line

The New York Jets’ defense should be better as a whole this upcoming season. Their run defense should be expected to remain top-five and their pass defense should show improvement. A defense that has some big-time players, such as Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosley, now has a better infusion of talent and help around them. Expect the defense to move up a few spots in the rankings next season.

 

Report: New York Jets have had trade discussions about Marcus Maye

New York Jets, Marcus Maye

The New York Jets could in a bit of a bind when it comes to their top free safety, who is set to be a free agent in 2021.

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the New York Jets have engaged in trade talks centered around starting free safety Marcus Maye.

Maye has been a solid contributor to the Jets since joining the team a second-round draft pick (39th overall) in 2017. The Florida alum has earned 178 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and four interceptions over the last three seasons. He has formed a strong relationship with fellow starting safety and SEC alum Jamal Adams, with the two forming a formidable duo in the secondary.

But with both defenders set to enter the final year of their rookie contracts and a big payday potentially coming Adams’ way, it appears that the Jets will at least try to get something for Maye before he potentially leaves for nothing in free agency. Mehta’s report said that both head coach Adam Gase and general manager Joe Douglas engaged in trade talks involving Maye, but no such deals were made. Maye would recover from an injury-riddled 2018 campaign to pick up 65 tackles, seven breakups, and an interception last year.

Adding to the case in trading for Maye is the fact the Jets bolstered their secondary depth this offseason. During the third round of last month’s draft, New York chose versatile safety Ashtyn Davis from Cal-Berkeley (68th overall). Davis earned all-Pac-12 honors over his last two seasons with the Golden Bears and also doubled as the team’s returner. The Jets also added cornerbacks in both the draft (fifth-rounder Bryce Hall) and free agency (Pierre Desir, Brian Poole).

Adams’ fifth-year option would set the Jets back $9.8 million if they choose to pick it up in 2021. Preliminary discussions have been held about a long-term extension or the franchise tag could be used (at the risk of an Adams holdout).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: What to expect from Patrick Graham based on his time in Miami

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants‘ defense in 2019 ranked among some of the worsts teams in the league (25th). The Giants’ defense in 2019 was coached by James Bettcher. James was the defensive coordinator for the 2018 and 2019 season.  In 2019, the Giants’ defense ranked 28th in takeaways and in point differential they were ranked 28th, among the lowest in the league. The Giants fired Bettcher this offseason along with Pat Shurmur after a brutal year for the Big Blue defense. Patrick Graham was hired to the Joe Judge staff this offseason. Graham is coming off his first defensive coordinator job which was with the Miami Dolphins in 2019.

Miami’s Defense

After starting off the season 0-7, the Dolphins were able to cover some ground and finish off the season 5-11. Miami’s defense was ranked among some of the worst defensives in the league. This was not because of the defensive coordinator, however, it was because of the way the Dolphins’ roster was constructed. Many of the players on the Dolphins’ roster were inexperienced and undrafted free agents, not a team fit for a well ran defense by coach Graham.

Patrick Graham’s defense with the Miami Dolphins

Graham had a great defensive scheme in place. The two major play calls of the Miami defense were blitzing and man to man coverage. Graham was very clever with his blitzing packages, using a variety of linebacker and defensive back blitzes. In Miami, Graham would also send in delayed blitzes to really disturb an offense. This was not just done in between the gaps; the blitzes came from different spots on the field. The Dolphins Blitzed on 35% of their snaps, 41% on third down (which was the third-most in the league). The Dolphins ran man to man coverage 50% of the time in the 2019 season and would often show blitz and drop back into coverage. This was a great strategy in the Graham defense, keeping opposing offenses on their toes because of the constant blitzing formations.

What Graham’s defense will do for the Giants

What Graham did with Miami’s lower end defense shows a lot of upside for the Giants in 2020. The new Giants defensive coordinator will use multiple fronts and base his decision off personnel regarding what players are on the field. These defensive fronts will combine with a lot of linebacker blitzes and cornerback blitzes. Graham will have a lot of talent and speed in the secondary, making things interesting when he dials up a blitz package. With the Giants making a splash in free agency and the draft in the secondary unit, Grhaman will have multiple guys to choose from to play man and press coverage.

Giants fans should expect a defense that plays tough and physical and flys all over the field. Expect to see a lot of man coverage and numerous blitz packages that will throw off an offense’s game plan. The Giants have a lot of young talent that is mixed with a great amount of speed. Graham was often seen showing blitz and having his players drop back into zone coverage on several occasions with Miami.

Patrick Graham and Joe Judge will be reuniting. The two spent some time together back in New England (2012-2015). Graham was also the Giants’ defensive line coach in 2016 and 2017 under head coach Ben McAdoo. Giants fans should be happy with the hiring of coach Graham as he will bring the physicality and burst of energy the Giants’ defense has been searching for in years past.

New York Jets Draft Pick Bryce Hall Shares Marriage Proposal on Instagram (Video)

After he was chosen by the New York Jets, Bryce Hall’s week got even better, as he shared a video of a successful proposal to his girlfriend.

No matter how your week is going, it’s going to very hard to stop how the past few days have gone fro Bryce Hall.

The former Virginia cornerback was first chosen by the New York Jets last Saturday afternoon in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hall has now donned a ring before playing his first professional down.

On Instagram, Hall revealed that he proposed to his girlfriend, fellow Virginia Cavalier Anzel Vilojen. Like Hall, Vilojen partook in Virginia athletics, representing the school’s field hockey team as a back. She led the team with 26 points (7 goals, 12 assists) and helped them reach the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship in November. The New Zealand native also earned second-team All-ACC honors.

Hall shared his surprise proposal, which Viojen accepted, on Instagram.

“She’s in it for the long Hall,” Hall declares in his caption “excited [sic] and ready to start this next phase of life with my best friend, lover, ride or die and answer to all of my prayers!!”

In the video, Hall is asked by an unseen party what convinced him that Violjen was “the one”. He happily recalled Vilojen visiting him in the hospital after a broken ankle suffered in an October tilt against Miami ended his season.

“When she came to my hospital after I had broken my ankle, that’s when I was like, yeah this is the one, “It was 11:00 at night, everybody else went home and it was just me and her chatting it up. So I knew she was one to keep then.”

Hall’s engagement comes five days after he was the penultimate pick (158th overall) of the Jets’ 2020 draft proceedings. He put up 154 tackles and five interceptions during his four-year tenure in Charlottesville to go with 38 pass breakups. Of that latter tally, 21 came in 2018, which led the nation.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NFL Draft Watch: Top 3 DL Rankings

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, over the next few days I plan on breaking down the best and brightest talents in this years class. The defensive line class has a few solid guys, and one superstar, so where do they rank in my eyes?

1. Derrick Brown, Auburn

Pro Comparison: Fletcher Cox

Derrick Brown is heavily slept on. With Okudah, Simmons, and Young stealing a lot of the headlines, Brown has flown under the radar. Brown is a beast at defensive tackle. He’s versatile, at nose tackles he’s a force and when pushed a crossed the line he is a nightmare for running backs. Brown is a beast against the run with a bright future. Cox is incredible at establishing interior pressure, that’s the kind of thing Brown is excellent at which makes them an obvious comparison.

2. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Pro Comparison: Grady Jarrett

Javon Kinlaw is a physical anomaly. Kinlaw is a good athlete in the interior. Kinlaw is a run stuffer and a matchup nightmare. Kinlaw is a dangerous player, but he’s flashed a lot of inconsistencies. Kinlaw can be a matchup nightmare similar to Grady Jarrett. At times, Jarrett can be nothing more than a drawer of doubles teams to free up other guys. Kinlaw can do that and continue to grow and become a better prospect.

3. Ross Blacklock, TCU

Pro Comparison: Henry Anderson

I believe there is a talent drop off after Kinlaw. Blacklock is a talented player with a very high ceiling but he has some issues that need to be worked on. His football IQ could stand to grow, but that will develop with time. He could use some technical refinement, but aside from that, he’s a physical specimen. He creates interior pressure with his blend of size and speed and he’s a low-risk high reward prospect that could be a contributor early and often at the next level. Henry Anderson strikes me as a solid comp because of his ability to create interior pressure and be moved all around the line.