Report: Knicks remain a cash cow, Nets losing money

new york knicks, julius randle

The New York Knicks may have missed the NBA playoffs, but James Dolan still raked in more money than Joe Tsai did with his star-studded luxury tax team Brooklyn Nets.

According to a New York Post report, the Knicks have brought in about $900,000 more than the Nets’ average gate receipts per game. A team headlined by struggling Julius Randle and ascending RJ Barrett at Madison Square Garden was the hotter ticket in town, drawing 18,621 fans per game, which ranked eighth in league attendance. On the other hand, the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving star power drew 17,354 spectators per game at Barclays Center, good for 13th in league attendance.

Those numbers translated to $3 million per game for the Knicks, a 9 percent jump from the pre-pandemic in the 2018-19 season. But while the Nets lagged with just $2.1 million per game, it was still much better than the pre-Durant-Irving era.

Before Durant and Irving chose Brooklyn over New York’s beloved Knicks, the Nets were only averaging $1 million per game from about 15,000 tickets sold, after giveaways, in the 2018-19 season. That 26-percent improvement represents the biggest bump in the league, which they share with the resurgent Phoenix Suns.

But still, Tsai, who bought the Nets franchise for a record $2.35 billion and the Barclays Center for $1 billion in 2019, is losing money with the second-highest payroll in the league.

Tsai bankrolled the Durant-Irving-Harden and later with unplayable Ben Simmons for a staggering $172,836,362 with an estimated tax bill of $97,731,568 this season. In contrast, despite his Knicks front office going on a spending spree in the last offseason, Dolan had the third-lowest payroll in the league, spending just $120,376,240, avoiding the luxury tax bill.

Now, Tsai and his GM Sean Marks, have a $247.6 million decision, among other things, to make this summer to retain the uber-talented but mercurial Irving.

Meanwhile, Dolan and his team president Leon Rose also have crucial decisions to make on their extension-eligible young core pieces, Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett.

Robinson is eligible for a four-year extension maximum of $58 million until June 30 while Barrett can be extended this summer up to five years, $181 million.

If not extended, Robinson will enter unrestricted free agency this July, while Barrett becomes a restricted free agent after next season.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

3 free agent tight ends the Giants could target to replace Evan Engram

mo alie cox, giants, colts

The New York Giants have not yet closed the door on bringing tight end Evan Engram back for the 2022 season. However, after four disappointing seasons, it would not be surprising to see the Giants move on from the 2017 first-round pick and look for a replacement. Free agency starts up next week, and there are a few tight ends that New York could potentially target to replace Evan Engram.

Three tight ends the New York Giants could target in free agency:

High-end option: Zach Ertz

Giants fans should be familiar with tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz spent the 2021 season in the desert with the Arizona Cardinals, but he spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants fell victim to many Zach Ertz touchdowns in big division-rivalry games over the years. Now they could attempt to turn Ertz to the light side.

Zach Ertz was a three-time consecutive Pro Bowl selection during the prime of his career in Philadelphia. He might not be that same high-caliber player, but Ertz is still bound to earn a pretty penny in this free agency period. In 2021, Zach Ertz played in 17 games with two teams, totaling 763 yards on 74 receptions with five touchdowns. This was a real bounce-back after an injury-plagued 2020 season that saw Ertz post career-lows in nearly every statistic.

Zach Ertz is 31-years-old, but he’s still got it. Ertz is a quality starter at the tight end position that would serve as an instant upgrade in the New York Giants’ offense. However, Ertz should have a decent market of teams interested in his services, pushing his potential price tag over the $10 million yearly average and potentially out of New York’s budget.

Mid-end option: Mo Alie-Cox

Considering their current salary cap situation, Mo Alie-Cox might still be out of the Giants’ price range. But if New York is going to pay up for a tight end during this free agency period, Alie-Cox might be the perfect target. Mo Alie-Cox is a veteran tight end with a well-rounded skill set that could make him a perfect fit in Brian Daboll’s new offensive scheme.

The Indianapolis Colts utilized Mo Alie-Cox in a 12-personnel heavy offense that featured him alongside Jack Doyle. With Doyle’s retirement announced this week, Mo Alie-Cox could be a priority re-signing for the Colts. But if he manages to hit free agency, the Giants should consider making Alie-Cox their top priority.

Mo Alie-Cox has the ability to impact the game as both a receiver and a blocker. This falls right in line with the Giants’ plans, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post. Dunleavy explains that the Giants are planning on moving on from both of their 2021 fullbacks where the thought is “to acquire a tight end who offers H-back flexibility.” Alie-Cox’s blocking abilities give him that flexibility.

In 2021, Mo Alie-Cox recorded 24 receptions for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns in a two-tight end system. He is a solid receiver with YAC ability. A player with talents like these will not be cheap, but given his lack of statistical productivity, Mo Alie-Cox could potentially be signed for a contract around $6-7M per year – a price that the Giants could reach if they deem a versatile tight end necessary.

Low-end option: OJ Howard

In 2017, three tight ends were drafted in the first round. Evan Engram, who seems bound to move on from the Giants, is a coveted free agent this year. David Njoku received the franchise tag from the Browns this week after a successful start to his career. But OJ Howard has struggled to get his footing at the professional level and is now looked at as a low-budget free agent this offseason.

OJ Howard is one of those potential low-risk, high-reward free agents. Howard did not reach his full potential with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but is the potential to become a quality starter still there?

Signing OJ Howard would likely be an inexpensive proposition. A one-year deal worth under $5M is a probable projection for Howard. The 2017 first-round pick totaled only 14 receptions for 119 yards and 1 touchdown as Rob Gronkowski’s backup in 2021. Howard has flashed talent and potential in the past, though, as he racked up 565 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2018. The Giants could bank on brian Daboll unlocking OJ Howard’s hidden talent with an inexpensive “prove-it” deal this offseason.

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New York Yankees scout free agent and former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander

Verlander

The New York Yankees are preparing for a very active offseason this year. Granted, their activity might be hindered in the short-term based on the lockout that could occur, but nevertheless, the Yankees know they have to make some upgrades and plan on doing so.

One of the most obvious areas for upgrades would be the starting rotation. Right now, there are once again a lot of question marks surrounding the Bombers rotation. Of course, you have Gerrit Cole who will be starting game one next season.

Behind him, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino figure to have spots in the rotation. Severino hasn’t started a game in a couple of years, but he did return and looked solid out of the bullpen in 2021. The Yankees are planning on slotting him back into the rotation.

Jameson Taillon will be a part of the rotation at some point, however, offseason ankle surgery will prevent him from starting the season. After that, you have options like Nestor Cortes, Domingo German, and Clarke Schmidt among others.

With the lack of certainty, the Yankees are already looking into the starting pitching market. The first guy they’ve looked at so far this offseason is someone that fans should be very familiar with. That pitcher would be former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.

Yankees in on Verlander?

This week, Justin Verlander had a bullpen session that was scouted by many teams in baseball. The Blue Jays and Mets were among the teams that sent scouts to watch Verlander who was apparently touching 95-96 MPH on his fastball.

The Yankees were also among the teams that sent out scouts to watch Verlander per Joel Sherman. The Yanks did this last year with Corey Kluber and they ended up signing Kluber to a one-year deal. While Kluber had moments, including a no-hitter, injuries plagued his time in pinstripes.

Verlander was shut down and was forced to get Tommy John surgery after one start in 2020. In that one start, Verlander got the win by going six innings and giving up two runs. Verlander also missed all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John.

His last full season came back in 2019 and he was sensational. Verlander edged Gerrit Cole for the Cy Young by going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and a historic WHIP of .803 while assisting in leading Houston to the World Series which included defeating the Yankees. The prior year, Verlander finished second in the Cy Young voting.

Verlander has stated that he’s ready to go and he’s actually said that he wants to pitch until he’s 45 years old. The former Cy Young winner will be 39 years old by the time of Opening Day next season. Despite missing the last two seasons, the Astros made Verlander a qualifying offer.

If the Yankees were to sign Verlander, they would have to give up draft compensation to Houston. At this moment, there’s no indication on how serious the interest is from New York. However, it is a very Brian Cashman-like signing. This isn’t Corey Kluber btw, I think if Verlander were to sign with New York, he would make a much bigger impact.

New York Jets to add former Giants LB (Report)

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

The New York Jets have begun to address their medically-induced defensive woes through the signing of former Giants starter B.J. Goodson.

B.J. Goodson is reportedly back in the New York groove, albeit in new colors.

The former New York Giants draft pick is coming back to the metropolitan area as one of four additions to the New York Jets’ active roster. Gang Green has picked up Goodson and punter Thomas Morestead from the free agency market while blocker Isaiah Williams and safety Jarrod Wilson were called up from the practice squad. These moves are in conjunction with the placement of Mekhi Becton, Blake Cashman, Lamarcus Joyner, and Braden Mann onto the injured reserve list.

Goodson originally donned blue in New York as a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2016. He spent three seasons with the Giants before spent the past two campaigns in Green Bay and Cleveland. The linebacker played a sizable role in the Browns’ playoff push last year, leading the team with 91 tackles and two interceptions. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Goodson’s one-year deal is worth $2.1 million.

In addition to Cashman, the Jets are also missing offseason arrival Jarrad Davis, who is not expected to play prior to the Jets’ bye in Week 6. Head coach Robert Saleh also said that another linebacker, rookie Jamien Sherwood (sprained ankle), will miss the next two weeks.

Morestead, a 2012 Pro Bowler, joins the Jets after 12 seasons in New Orleans. He’ll relieve Mann for at least the next four weeks after the 2020 draft pick suffered a knee injury on his second Sunday kick in Carolina. Placekicker Matt Ammendola took over for the remainder of the game before Morestead’s arrivals.

Williams will provide depth on the offensive line George Fant relieves Becton on the blindside and Morgan Moses takes over Fant’s regular duties on the right. The Akron alum has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game but joined the Jets’ practice squad after appearing in their preseason finale against Philadelphia. He had spent time on either a practice squad or training camp in seven different NFL locales and earned professional starting experience with the Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta Legends and the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers.

Wilson arrives as reinforcement to the Jets’ secondary after injuries to Joyner and Ashtyn Davis left Marcus Maye and newcomers Sheldrick Redwine and Adrian Colbert as the only healthy safeties on the roster. Formerly of Jacksonville, Wilson has seen action in 75 games since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan in 2016. Sunday starter Lamarcus Joyner (torn triceps) is out for the season.

In addition to the moves on the active roster, the Jets restocked their practice squad with the additions of blocker Elijah Nkansah and linebacker Noah Dawkins. The latter returns to the Jets after appearing in five games with the team last season.

The Jets (0-1) return to action on Sunday afternoon in their home opener against the New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Four skill player final cuts for the New York Jets to consider

New York Jets

The New York Jets continue to tinker with their roster after setting their original 53. Who could they target amongst the recent departees?

The New York Jets’ unveiling of their 53-man roster has been anything but final.

Joe Douglas and Co. have continued to tinker with the Jets roster as their Sept. 12 opener against the Carolina Panthers looms. New York wasted little time in attacking the waiver wire, primarily focusing on defensive replacements in the wake of several medical absences. Tim Ward came over from Kansas City on the line in hopes of replacing some of Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry’s production. Meanwhile linebacker Quincy Williams joins his brother Quinnen after two seasons in Jacksonville and can hold down the interior linebacker spot while Jarrad Davis heals. Reports have also linked the Jets to former Cleveland safety Sheldrick Redwine, though no official announcement has been made.

The active nature of Jets management suggests the team isn’t done making moves, even as the countdown to Carolina reaches single digits. ESM has compiled a list of final cuts from elsewhere that would improve the Jets’ immediate fortunes in the skill positions for the better. Some have been claimed for practice squads, but are eligible to be added to an active roster.

QB: Garrett Gilbert, Dallas

Gilbert enjoyed a lucrative run as the quarterback for the Orlando Apollos, the class of the short-lived Alliance of American Football. The Buffalo native played his AAF success into backup gigs with Cleveland and Dallas, performing respectably in a single start with the Cowboys while filling in for Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton last season. Dallas opted to go with Cooper Rush and waiver wire addition Will Grier as the backup for Prescott’s return. Gilbert has since been signed to the New England Patriots’ practice squad, where he and Brian Hoyer are the prime candidates to backup Mac Jones.

The Jets’ backup situation has been the subject of much scrutiny: the team opted to go with Mike White (he of a passable preseason but zero NFL regular season pass attempts) as their primary name behind Zach Wilson while keeping the well-traveled Josh Johnson amongst their own practice corps. Obviously, the Jets hope no backup will be necessary this year. Robert Saleh has made it clear that the team wasn’t going to add a veteran backup for the sake of having one on the roster with Wilson. But the Jets should no better than anybody about the importance of a reliable name in the second slot: no green quarterback has started a full season’s worth of games since Ryan Fitzpatrick went all 16 in 2015. Gilbert would a great addition that could fill in in case of a Wilson emergency.

alfred morris, new york giants

RB: Alfred Morris, NY Giants

Frankly, the Jets are very well equipped in their run game and might be better off exploring a trade involving their rushing surplus. Rookie Michael Carter is obviously off-limits but offering Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, or La’Mical Perine to a team in need of rushing (i.e. Jacksonville and/or Baltimore after respectively losing Travis Etienne and J.K. Dobbins to season-ending injuries) is an endeavor worth investigating.

If the Jets were to scour the rushing help from elsewhere, however, Morris (a bit of an early cut, as he was part of the Giants’ initial departures) would a strong candidate to help solve their woes in short-yardage situations. The veteran and three-time 1,000-yard rusher proved to still have some NFL mettle last season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry with the Giants (second-best on the team behind Wayne Gallman). New York has tried to address its short rushing game. One such step includes the continuation of the fullback experiment with tight end Trevon Wesco. If they want to go a more traditional route, Morris would be the best option from abroad.

WR: Keke Coutee, Houston

True to their nature, the football gods have thrown another wrench into the Jets’ best-laid opening day plans: reports from this week indicate that Jamison Crowder has tested positive for COVID-19 in an isolated case. Crowder has been the Jets’ most potent and consistent offensive weapon over the last two seasons and has established himself as one of the most reliable slot targets in the league.

On the current roster, this seems like a big opportunity for rookie Elijah Moore to make a name for himself. But if the Jets want to add someone with a little more experience in the short term, Coutee would be the way to go. The experienced slot man was part of Houston’s final cuts but was quickly added to the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad.

A fourth-round selection in 2018, Coutee had a roller-coaster career with the Texans but was capable of athletic plays (including offensive trickery) and making himself open. Coutee’s catch rate of 82.5 percent (33 receptions on 40 targets) was good for ninth in the league amongst qualified receivers.

TE: Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia

The Jets have granted TE1 duties to Tyler Kroft, solidifying the move by trading Chris Herndon to Minnesota. Formerly of Piscataway, Kroft has been a reliable red zone option in Cincinnati and Buffalo but it’s been a while since he held full-time primary tight end duties. Kroft and Wesco were the only tight ends kept amongst the original 53, but the Jets later re-added Daniel Brown and Ryan Griffin.

Speculation has surrounded one tight end from the City of Brotherly Love, as some have implored the Jets to trade for Zach Ertz. Those rumors have been quelled by Ertz himself (who insisted he wishes to retire in Philadelphia) But the Eagles also released a reliable veteran target, one capable of making big plays and is used to an expanded role in the starting lineup.

Rodgers previously worked with another Rodgers…the unrelated Aaron. In fact, Richard (no relation) is the recipient of one of Aaron’s most famous touchdowns (seen above). His career sputtered with consecutive years on injured reserve, but he filled serviceably when both Ertz and Dallas Goedert went down. During a three-game stretch in November (two starts), Rodgers tallied 161 on nine receptions, two of which went for touchdowns (his first since the 2017 season).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets continue to make moves after release of original roster

The New York Jets had an eventful Wednesday, making several adjustments to their active roster and naming their practice squad.


The New York Jets adhered to the NFL’s mandated cut down to a 53-man roster on Tuesday, but Wednesday saw them make several roster moves…

ashtyn davis, new york giants

Unrelated Davis defensive pair, McDermott to IR

Defenders Ashtyn Davis and Jarrad Davis were placed on injured reserve with tackle Connor McDermott. Since the moves were after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the trio is eligible to return after the third game of the season.

Ashtyn Davis spent all of training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and did not appear in any preseason games. Injury issues ate away at his rookie year, limiting him to 10 games. He earned 36 tackles, one for a loss, after the Jets chose him in the third round (68th overall) of the 2020 draft.

Meanwhile, Jarrad Davis was expected to take over one of the interior linebacker roles before he suffered an ankle injury in the second week of the preseason against Green Bay. Head coach Robert Saleh previously predicted that Davis would be unable to play prior to the Jets’ open date in Week 6. Davis inked a one-year, $5 million contract with the Jets in the spring after four seasons in Detroit.

McDermott was likewise injured in the preseason tilt against the Packers, sustaining a knee injury. He is set to enter his third season with the Jets, having entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick of New England. McDermott appeared in 15 games last season, starting one.

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends, Neasman return to active roster

Tight ends Daniel Brown and Ryan Griffin and safety Sharrod Neasman were all part of the Jets’ original final cuts but were re-added to the active roster on Wednesday. Brown and Griffin re-enter a tight end room that will be missing Chris Herndon after the fourth-year man was traded to Minnesota earlier this week. Neasman should help hold down the secondary fort while Ashtyn Davis heals. He previously worked with Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich in Atlanta.

(Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

Austin, Zuniga released

Two of the Jets’ more recent defensive draft picks were bid farewell, as cornerback Bless Austin (6th, 2019) and defensive end Jabari Zuniga (3rd, 2020) were both released.

Austin was expected to take one of the Jets’ starting cornerback roles alongside Bryce Hall. He gained a reputation as a strong hitter but struggled in coverage. Zuniga appeared in only one preseason game this summer (earning one tackle in the exhibition opener against the Giants) after dealing with a knee issue. Injuries were also a common theme in his rookie year, as a quad ailment limited him to a half-season with only eight tackles.

Waiver wire pickups join the fold

The Jets confirmed the arrivals of two players released from elsewhere on the waiver wire, adding former Kansas City defensive end Tim Ward and ex-Jacksonville linebacker Quincy Williams. Ward was tied for second amongst preseason defenders in sacks (3) while Williams is the older brother of Jets star Quinnen. The elder Williams made eight starts during his rookie season out of Murray State, chosen 95 picks after his sibling went third to the Jets in 2019.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets release CB Bless Austin, add three defenders

New York Jets, Bless Austin

The New York Jets wasted no time getting to work in the post-cutdown roster landscape and bid farewell to their most experienced cornerback.

Their first 53-man roster only came out yesterday, but the 2021 New York Jets already look different.

Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Jets are releasing cornerback Bless Austin. The Rutgers alum and Queens native was projected to be one of the team’s defensive starters in his third NFL season. With Austin gone, the Jets wasted no time in adding defensive reinforcements, picking up defensive lineman Tim Ward, linebacker Quincy Williams (per waiver claims released by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network), and safety Sheldrick Redwine (per ESPN’s Adam Schefter). Each defender was released as part of Tuesday’s cutdown to 53-man rosters across the league.

Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed the departure of Austin shortly after Garafolo’s report. Per DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News, Saleh was “appreciative” of what the 25-year-old Austin brought to the team but wanted to work with some of their even fresher talents. Sophomore Bryce Hall is now the most experienced cornerback on the roster, while the Jets also kept drafted rookies Michael Carter II, Jason Pinnock, and Brandin Echols. New York also opted to keep undrafted freshman Isaiah Dunn.

Despite an injury-plagued career in Piscataway, Austin was chosen in the sixth round (196th overall) by the Jets in the 2019 draft. He developed a reputation as a strong hitter but struggled in coverage. His New York career ends with 88 tackles (three for a loss) over 18 career games in green.

The Jets’ new additions continue to work toward the goal of bolstering the top defensive unit after the medical departures of Carl Lawson and Jarrad Davis. Ward, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, had three sacks this preseason while Williams (the older brother of Jets defenders and fellow 2019 draftee Quinnen) is an experienced option that can help the defense tread water until Davis returns. Redwine has worked as a free safety and slot defender during two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

New York’s 2021 regular season opens in Charlotte against the Panthers on Sept. 12 (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

Carl Lawson to IR among New York Jets’ roster moves

New York Jets

The New York Jets placed Carl Lawson on injured reserve and signed a lineman on both sides of the ball on Monday.

The New York Jets announced a series of roster moves on Monday, headlined by the placement of defensive end Carl Lawson on injured reserve. Lawson, signer of a three-year, $45 million contract over the offseason, ruptured his Achilles tendon during a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers last week.

New York also added defensive end Aaron Adeoye and offensive lineman Isaiah Williams while waiving cornerback and kick returner Corey Ballentine.

A previous report from ESPN Adam Schefter indicated that the Jets would seek pass rushing help in the wake of Lawson’s injury and the arrival of Adeoye appears to be their first step in that endeavor. Adeoye, a basketball player at several Division I programs, has spent the last two seasons in Baltimore’s system, partaking in a single game with the Ravens last season. His previous professional stops include Champions Indoor Football with the Salina Liberty, The Spring League, and the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron. He earned 20 tackles and a forced fumble for the Iron, who had clinched an AAF playoff spot at the time of the league’s shutdown in April 2019.

Meanwhile, Williams has spent time on and off the practice squads of seven NFL teams and also has professional spring football experience through the AAF (Atlanta) and XFL (Tampa Bay). Williams’ most recent NFL time came with the San Francisco 49ers, where he signed in December and was waived on August 10.

The Jets also bid farewell to Ballentine, a former New York Giants draft pick who established himself as a kick returner after joining the team in November. Ballentine averaged 26.2 yards on 12 returns last season and took back a Green Bay kickoff 73 yards in Saturday afternoon’s victorious exhibition. His runback set up the Jets’ second and final touchdown of the day, an 18-yard Zach Wilson pass to tight Tyler Kroft.

New York (2-0) ends its preseason on Friday night at MetLife Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

New York Jets to seek pass rush help after losing Carl Lawson (Report)

New York Jets

With Carl Lawson done for the year, the New York Jets are looking for help from abroad to strengthen their pass rush.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New York Jets are looking for help from abroad to find pass rushing reinforcements after losing prized acquisition Carl Lawson for the entire 2021 season. Lawson, signed to a three-year, $45 million deal in March, was carted from the field after he ruptured his Achillies during a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.

The Jets do have a decent pass rush even with Lawson done for the year. They are set to welcome back 2020 breakouts Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, and Foley Fatukasi while former New Orleans Saint Sheldon Rankins also joins the front four. Bryce Huff has likewise earned positive reviews for his training camp efforts.

But the defense struggled without Lawson’s prescience in Saturday’s preseason game against the Packers, allowing a Green Bay offense consisting mostly of backups to score on two of four drives in the first half. The latter scoring drive saw Green Bay embark on a 19-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Kurt Benkert’s five-yard touchdown pass to Jace Sternberger. New York (2-0) also tallied only one sack (via safety J.T. Hassell in the fourth quarter) after earning five against the Giants last weekend. The Jets ranked 25th in pressure rate last season (21.7 percent) and 20th in opposing hurry rate (8.8 percent).

If the Jets were to seek out a late offseason trade, there is plenty of draft capital to work with. New York owns 13 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including Seattle’s first-round choice obtained through the Jamal Adams deal. A notable name to keep an eye on could be 2017’s sack leader Chandler Jones of Arizona. Jones, formerly of the New England Patriots, reportedly requested a trade from the Cardinals earlier this summer, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Jets will conclude their preseason slate on Friday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets down to 85 players after roster moves

New York Jets

The New York Jets made the mandated cutdown to 85 players on Tuesday through three waivings and an IR placement.

The New York Jets announced the waivings of defensive lineman Michael Dwumfour, safety Bennett Jackson, and running back Austin Walter on Tuesday. With offensive lineman Cameron Clark also placed on injured reserve, the Jets made the NFL’s mandated cutdown to 85 players on training camp rosters by 4 p.m. ET.

Dwumfour had a solid showing in the Jets’ preseason victory over the New York Giants on Saturday night. The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers recovered a red zone fumble forced by fellow freshman Hamsah Nasirildeen and later united with another first-year, Jonathan Marshall, for a sack at the end of the first half. However, he was unable to make an impact in the latter stages after leaving the game due to a calf injury.

Jackson played six games with the Jets over the past two seasons, earning two tackles in that span. He entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Giants in 2014.

Walter spent a good portion of Saturday’s second half in the Jets’ backfield. The former XFL participant and San Francisco practice squad representative lost three yards on four carries (fumbling one that was recovered by Corey Levin) though he jumped on a Mike White fumble and later gained a first down on an eight-yard aerial hookup with James Morgan, one that was granted an extra yard for a new set of downs through head coach Robert Saleh’s first unofficial challenge.

The wait continues for Clark’s NFL debut, as he did not dress in any regular season games after the Jets chose him in the fourth round of 2020’s virtual draft. Clark suffered a scary injury during August 3’s practice, one that was diagnosed as a spinal cord contusion. Despite his placement on the IR, the Charlotte alum is expected to make a full recovery.

New York (1-0) continues its preseason slate on Saturday night, as they head to Green Bay to battle the Packers in both joint practices and an exhibition contest (4:25 p.m. ET, WLNY/NFL Network).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags