BREAKING: Jets Sign WR Corey Davis to 3-year deal

New York Giants, Corey Davis

The Jets have made their first big move! The team has reached a deal with WR Corey Davis for 3 years and 37.5 million, with 27 million guaranteed. The Jets lacked a true number one wideout, and with Davis, they have one. Davis, at 26 years old, is coming off a career year with the Tennessee Titans. Now, the Jets will hope the former fifth overall pick can repeat that success in the green and white.

What This Means

Corey Davis had a quiet start in his first year in the league with only 34 receptions for 375 yards. However, in his sophomore year, he put up 891 yards and four scores. Then, the receiver had a down third year eclipsing 600 yards with two scores. This past season though, Davis lit it up. Davis finished the season with 65 receptions for 984 yards and 5 TDs. He also hit career highs in yards per reception and receptions per game. Davis is a big-bodied receiver at 6 foot 3, 209 pounds, and his big frame should compliment Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder very nicely.

The Jets finally have a legitimate target for whoever their quarterback is at the start of next season. This opens things up for the entire offense and gives the Jets a sense of comfort heading into next season. The work should not stop here, though. With more money to spend, the team will likely look to make an upgrade at the edge position. Look for Trey Hendrickson as a potential target at the spot.

Who’s next? The New York Jets’ potential cap cuts

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

Henry Anderson was the first player let go in the New York Jets’ 2021 roster purge. Who might be next as free agency looms?

When the latest offering a playoff drought reaching double figures is a two-win campaign, changes are inevitable. The New York Jets officially got those changes, at least those made in 2021, underway last week with the release of three-year defensive lineman Henry Anderson. This process more or less began with an in-season fire sale that saw the New York careers of Le’Veon Bell, Avery Williamson, and Steve McLendon come to an end, but the future planning began in earnest with Anderson’s departure.

After a career-best seven sacks in 2018, his debut New York season after a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, Anderson failed to duplicate those numbers over two additional seasons. The $8.2 million added to the Jets’ cap space made him an essential candidate to open their transactions. New York now has over $77 million in cap space to work with, still second-best in the NFL behind Jacksonville. Even so, when you’re coming off a two-win season in a perpetual rebuild one can use all the resources they can get to crawl their way out…especially when you’re a team cursued with as many holes as the Jets. Thus, Anderson might not be the only to see his New York career cut short.

As the NFL’s pre-free agency period winds down, a tumultuous week potentially awaits with teams preparing to adjust their roster to drastically reduced salary cap. Who be next on the Jets’ free agency block? ESM investigates…

(all figures via Over the Cap)

WR Jamison Crowder 

(Cap Savings: $10.375 million; Dead Money: $1 million)

Save for the uncertainty around the quarterback situation, what the Jets do with Crowder will be one of their most intriguing sags of the offseason. Crowder has established himself as one of the most reliable slot receivers in the NFL during his time in New York. He has been the Jets most potent offensive weapon by far over the last two seasons with 1,532 yards on 137 receptions, a dozen of which went for touchdowns. Those numbers are even handicapped by the fact Crowder was listed as a starter in only 19 games, missing four entirely due to injury.

Crowder has been the Jets’ most potent offensive weapon over the last two seasons…but does that say more about the state of the New York offense than it does about Crowder? No matter who the quarterback is next season, he’s going to need weapons. Should the Jets start completely fresh or perhaps take care of a need by keeping Crowder? With the same saving stipulations involved, another avenue for Crowder could be a trade, as potential dealing partners (Houston/Seattle, anyone?) could use a veteran producer for their weaponry.

T George Fant

(Cap Savings: $7.85 million; Dead Money: $2 million) 

General manager Joe Douglas has made efforts to revamp the Jets’ blocking, an admirable cause after the previous regime took a neglectful approach that has proven costly. But another renovation could well underway, as Douglas’ first full-time free agency haul mostly underwhelmed, and that included the former Seahawk Fant.

Last season probably showed that Fant’s long-term future is probably better suited for the role of a reliable backup. While it’s great to have depth, as well as Fant’s veteran leadership, is this worth resisting the additional funds that can be used to plug holes on the offensive line and beyond?

G Alex Lewis

(Cap Savings: $5.1 million; Dead Money: $1.6 million)

Lewis is a bit symbolic of Douglas’ admirable yet fruitless efforts to improve the blocking. When he took the general manager position in the latter stages of the 2019 offseason, one of his first moves was a trading a late pick to Baltimore to obtain Lewis, who inked a three-year last March after taking on a larger role in the offense in the Kelechi Osemele aftermath.

But Lewis failed to build on his debut season and spent the latter portions of the season on the reserve/non-football injury list. The Jets have appeared committed to Lewis as a bit of a blocking project of sorts, but his tantalizing cap savings make him a prime option for release.

G Greg Van Roten

(Cap Savings: $3.4 million; Dead Money: $250,000)

Another yield from the 2020 free agency haul, the Long Island native Van Roten was at least passable, earning a decent pass blocking grade (71.5) on Pro Football Focus and partaking in every offensive snap over the Jets’ first 11 games. It’s possible he could survive another season of the Jets’ rebuild, if only to erase a box on the offseason checklist. There’s also no dead money left on his deal if the Jets were to cut him loose this time next year.

TE Ryan Griffin

(Cap Savings: $1.8 million; Dead Money: $1.4 million)

Time will tell how the Jets’ tight end situation works out, but the top two options, Griffin and Chris Herndon (over $2 million in savings) would provide extra offseason funds. With Herndon starting to show flashes of reverting to his rookie form in the late stages of the last season, not to mention his youth and and potential upside, the Jets would probably be more likely to end the Griffin experiment after he struggled to stay on the field after inking a three-year extension in 2019.

DE Foley Fatukasi

(Cap Savings: $2.1 million; Dead Money: $43,564) 

The Jets’ front four, which will take on greater importance in Robert Saleh’s new systems, is an area that, surprisingly, needs little refurbishment. Keeping Fatukasi, who rose to the occasion when granted an extended opportunity after injuries and moves, would be a nice show of faith to a day three draft pick that has made a home for himself in the New York area in more ways than one. Fatukasi was born in Far Rockaway and his brother each star on Rutgers’ football team in Piscataway. After the eldest Fatukasi posted career-best numbers with the Jets, no use in breaking this family reunion.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Henry Anderson released; What it means for the New York Jets

With the veteran Anderson out and over $8 million of cap space in, ESM ponders what’s next for the New York Jets.

The New York Jets bid Henry Anderson farewell on Tuesday night, releasing the three-year veteran. With the release, the Jets now save about $8 million in cap space, bring an already robust number to just under $76 million to spend this offseason…the second-best purse in the NFL, behind only Jacksonville.

How does this change the Jets moving forward? ESM investigates…

This becomes a bigger year for Kyle Phillips

Phillips was turning into something that worked for the Jets over the past two seasons…so, of course, football misfortune befell him. This diamond in the rough emerged as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2019, and he went on to make the most of the time afforded to him. Playing 50 percent of defensive snaps, Phillips became a menacing prescience in opposing backfield, earning 39 tackles (7 for a loss, including 1.5 sacks, led the team) over 15 games (4 starts). The Jets’ defensive staff had high hopes for him entering the 2020 season.

Being an undrafted free agent, he’s just a guy who’s so mature for his age. He’s one of those players you hope can play 10 years,” then-defensive line coach Andre Carter, now holding the same position at LSU, said of Phillips to team reporter Jack Bell. “He just works hard. He’s old school. He can play in various packages. He’s smart. He’s the least of my worries. He’s one of those players you enjoy having in the room because he asks intelligent questions.”

Alas for Phillips, he was never able to make an impact in 2020 due to lineup shuffling and an ankle injury that prematurely ended his season. But as the immediate name behind Anderson on the depth chart, this season takes on greater importance, as the transaction shows the Jets have extended a new brand of trust unto him. His development under Robert Saleh and his 4-3 tendencies will certainly be something to keep an eye on once the team reconvenes.

Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New York Jets defensive end Henry Anderson (96) celebrates after a fumble recovery against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There are more funds to work with

The Jets’ cap situation has been discussed and sung about ad nauseam in the metropolitan postings, but the question becomes how they can wisely spend and distribute that money. New York is far removed from the proverbial “one move away” from the Super Bowl…heck, they might be several moves away from merely sniffing a wild card spot at this point. But the release of Anderson will allow them to address perhaps some under-the-radar needs they would be unable to obtain without the $8.2 million afforded to them through this transaction.

For example, the Jets could be well settled in their tight end spot, hoping that Chris Herndon has regained his rookie year form. This extra cap room, though, could perhaps give them the means to seek out some veteran help. Same with the running back spot, where they have plans for La’Michael Perine but are stretched thin with Le’Veon Bell gone and both Ty Johnson and Josh Adams up to hit the market. Now armed with nearly $75 million in cap space, they might also be able to afford multiple marquee free agents.

With the potential to add more weapons, it is in fact possible that the possibility of Sam Darnold staying has been raised ever so slightly.

Dec 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (82) is tackled by Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The purge has begun

Obviously, there are exceptions, but the purge of almost anything relating to the Adam Gase era is officially underway with the release of Anderson. It informally began with the in-season release/trades of Le’Veon Bell, Steve McLendon, and Avery Williamson, but now a new cutdown to add even further to the salary cap surplus.

While Anderson’s time in New York was probably up…he earned only a single sack after the career-best 7.5 in 2018…the Jets might be tempted to dismiss some rare, reliable silver linings in an attempt to fatten their wallet even further. The team has a major decision to make on Jamison Crowder, who has been by far their most consistent offensive weapon over the last two seasons. But with a $10 million addition to their cap space picture due upon his release, he could be the next to go (though they could gain back the same amount in a trade). Others potentially on their way out include blockers George Fant ($7.8 million) and Alex Lewis ($5 million). The Jets’ cap picture is very healthy, but when one is cursed with as many issues as they are, every little bit helps. The mandated departure of Anderson is just the beginning.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

The New York Jets have a decision to make on Jamison Crowder

Crowder has been one of the most reliable weapons the New York Jets have had over the last two years, but a major decision looms.

Even before the nightmarish two years of the Adam Gase era, the New York Jets and offensive firepower have been like oil and water. In a modern NFL ruled by fantasy football, the Jets’ struggles on offense and low win totals are no coincidence.

Jamison Crowder, however, has been a welcome exception to the hard times. After four seasons in Washington, where he made an immediate impact by breaking a rookie receptions record previously held by Art Monk, Crowder joined the Jets on a three-year deal worth $28.5 million. As the team faltered, Crowder has developed himself into one of the most reliable slot receivers in the NFL. He is one of only 36 receivers throughout the league to earn at least 1,500 cumulative yards, a number not only achieved with four different quarterbacks in tow but one that could’ve been much higher had Crowder not missed four games wth an ankle injury last season. His 699 yards and six touchdowns still managed to lead the team in 2020.

With the horrors of last season behind, the purge of anything related to the prior regime has been well underway. All but one of the fired Gase’s assistants (special teams coordinator Brant Boyer) were bid farewell, and an in-season fire sale put Steve McLendon and Le’Veon Bell on a collision course for the Super Bowl (Avery Williamson was likewise involved). On the offseason front, 25 Jets are up for free agency, but save for a select few (Brian Poole, Marcus Maye) there’s no one the list that screams priority re-sign.

Crowder, however, is ensnared in a tricky situation as a new unit, one that could include yet another quarterback, starts to assemble. He is under contract for another season, but, with the aforementioned contract guaranteeing $17 million, Crowder could be bid farewell if the Jets are looking to send a a few further millions to an-already healthy cap situation. If Crowder is removed, be it through trade or outright release, the team would save just over $9 million.

What are the Jets to do? ESM investigates…

The Case To Keep

When you’re a team like the Jets, a team that failed to pass the 14-point plateau in nine games last season, are you really in any position to turn down any source of firepower? Never mind four digits in yardage; Crowder and free-agent-to-be Breshad Perriman were the only ones to crank out 500 yards on the New York roster last season…and Perriman only broke the threshold by five taillies.

No matter who starts under center for the Jets in 2021…be it Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson, or a spring draftee…they’re going to need weapons to work with. Drafting Mekhi Becton was a good start, even if it meant passing on some of the name-brand receiver talent available at No. 11. But, if the Jets were to release Crowder and let Perriman walk, the top returning receiver would be Braxton Berrios (394 yards last season). Sure, there’s cap space to add a talented slot option like Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or Curtis Samuel. But if you keep the reliable Crowder, a team with a ridiculous amount of holes to fill has one less spot to worry about. The quarterback will also have a guaranteed, established weapon to work with rather than relying on a big score in free agency.

Crowder’s status as a seasoned veteran and one of the rare Jets on the current roster with playoff experience (earning a trio of receptions in Washington’s loss to Green Bay in the 2016 Wild Card round) could have a calming effect on some of the younger names on the roster like Denzel Mims, whom the Jets envision as a long-term, big-play option.

The Case To Cut

Crowder has established himself as a serviceable receiver and a reliable slot man. But if Jamison Crowder is your top receiver, that might say more about the state of your team than it does the receiver.

The Jets are not the proverbial “one move away” from the Super Bowl. In fact, they’re several moves from merely sniffing Wild Card weekend. They can use all the help they can get. Sure, their circa $68 million cap space is a wonder to behold and gives the team some solid funding to work with this offseason. But any little bit can only help this team carry on into the future. The Jets have to ask themselves if a potential top ten slot receiver is worth keeping as they move on. Samuel, for example, could step in as the slot man while the Jets take their semi-replenished funds and go after an elite big-play name like Chicago’s Allen Robinson, who has held no secrets about his thoughts on the Jets’ offseason endeavors.

Many hypothetical trades for, say, Watson also seem to center of the Jets’ surplus draft capital. But with the same cap relief afforded to Jets if they include Crowder in a deal, they may be able to keep a precious pick if you include the receiver in such a deal.

Crowder has undeniably served as a silver lining during the latest stages of the Jets’ perpetual rebuild. Is that really worth keeping him around for the potential good times ahead?

The Verdict

No matter how many opportunities the Jets have to stock up on offensive weaponry this season, they’re in no position to refuse help that’s already available to him. This New York makeover, now overseen by Robert Saleh in addition to Joe Douglas, can not afford to focus on one area. It’d be great if the path back to contention required only replenishing the offensive weaponry. But the Jets have further questions to answer with their run game, the non-Becton blocking, their defensive back seven, and their kicker. There’s no use in adding slot receiver to that last when a name like Crowder is already there.

If the Jets are able to persuade Houston in a trade for Watson…and there’s no indication the stubborn Texans are willing to budge just yet…then trading Crowder would wind up being wise if it saves them an excess first-rounder. Otherwise, let him stick around and provide reassurance to a returning Darnold or the new guy.

Keep Him 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets positional preview 2021: Wide receivers

The New York Jets may have found a big-play man in Denzel Mims, but the receiving picture behind him is far murkier.

The Position: Wide Receiver
On the Roster: Braxton Berrios, Lawrence Cager, Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims,
Free Agents: Breshad Perriman, Jeff Smith, Vyncint Smith
Reserve/Future: Josh Malone, D.J. Montgomery, Jaleel Scott

With the offense at a crossroads of sorts, the New York Jets are looking for playmakers. When it comes to their receivers, they may have uncovered a diamond in the second-round rough in Denzel Mims, but things behind him a lot murkier.

Part of the reason why it’s been so hard for Sam Darnold to develop a true rhythm as the Jets’ franchise quarterback is that his targets have undergone a ridiculous amount of turnover. Upon the departures of Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, no receivers from Darnold’s rookies season of 2018 remained on the roster. In the of the 2020 season, Mims eventually found his NFL footing after missing the early stages due to injury, vindicating general manager Joe Douglas’ decision to pass on first-day talents like Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Justin Jefferson.

But Douglas’ free agent options didn’t fare as well. Breshad Perriman, for example, failed to recapture the glory of his final Tampa Bay days, earning only 30 receptions over 12 games. New England castaway Chris Hogan failed to make a difference and the injury bug refused to leave the Jets alone. The most consistent part of the unit, slot man Jamison Crowder, led the team in all major receiving categories for the second straight season. Crowder is under contract for one more year, but the Jets would save just over $9 million in cap space if they moved on from him through a release or trade.

Even if Darnold doesn’t return under center, the Jets needs to freshen the receiving situation for the newcomer. The unit’s last 1,000-yard endeavors came through the Brandon Marshall/Eric Decker pairing during the doomed 2015 campaign.

Free Agents-to-be 

Breshad Perriman

Signed to a one-year deal worth $8 million ($6 million guaranteed), Perriman was brought in as the potential top target after ending his single season in Tampa in style (506 yards, five touchdowns in his final five games in 2019). But he never lived up to that billing in New York. He sustained an injury in the early going and never gained any momentum, save for strong performances in the New England games (8 receptions, 185 yards, 2 touchdowns).

With a new regime coming in and Perriman struggling in his lone green season, he is likely destined to hit the market.

Jeff Smith

Undrafted out of Boston College, the former quarterback has turned into a fun project in New York. Injuries have stunted his true potential, but Smith earned 167 yards on 17 receptions last season. That included a strong 81-yard showing when he was called upon to take extended duties when ailments ate up the top of the depth chart. He could potentially return as a depth option under new receivers coach Miles Austin.

Vyncint Smith

After getting some extended playing time when injuries struck in 2019 (joining in-season from the Houston practice squad), Smith himself landed on injured reserve in the early going and was limited to seven games, during which he only earned a single reception and lost his return duties to Braxton Berrios and Corey Ballentine. It’s possible he could get another go at it if the Jets want to create a special teams competition.

Will They Draft?

While there are plenty of names available to the Jets through free agency…and there are plenty of resources to bring in an elite name…the Jets’ receiving corps needs a complete makeover. With an extra pick in two of the first three rounds, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them use one on a receiver. In the event they get Watson…a happening made increasingly remote but the Texans’ apparent stubbornness to hold on to the disgruntled thrower…they likely wouldn’t have the second pick to use on Heisman winner Devonta Smith, but Jaylen Waddle, his Tuscaloosa partner-in-playmaking, might be around if they hold onto the 23rd pick send from Seattle. The speedy Waddle has seen his projections fall after enduring an ankle injury in Alabama’s October tilt against Tennessee.

Day two options open to the Jets could include Kadarius Toney, Rondale Moore, Sage Surratt, and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Veteran Possibilities

Allen Robinson, Chicago

Unlike Watson, Robinson is set to be a free agent and isn’t held back by stubborn management if he wants to find new opportunities. Fresh off a career-best 102 receptions despite the Bears’ unstable quarterback situation, Robinson could be a game-changer for the Jets no matter who’s throwing to him. Additionally, Robinson hasn’t exactly been subtle about his approval of the Jets’ offseason thus far. Twitter sleuths uncovered that some of Robinson’s recent “likes” involve calling for Watson to go to New York and approval of the Robert Saleh hire.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh 

If there’s one thing Darnold needs right now, it’s consistency. Bridges are burned with, say, Anderson (who has become a selling point in Carolina’s ongoing rebuild), but Smith-Schuster’s Sothern California collaborations with Darnold earned rave reviews. Smith-Schuster caught some of Darnold’s earliest passes as the two guided USC to a 10-win season in 2016, capped off by the epic 52-49 thriller against Saquon Barkley and Penn State in the Rose Bowl. Smith-Schuster and Darnold united for 133 yards on seven hook-ups in that game, which afforded the Trojans the third slot in the final AP poll from that season. Some will point to Smith-Schuster’s propensity for pregame TikToks as an excuse to stay away, but that’s a small price to pay compared to the comfort and stability Smith-Schuster could provide to a quarterback in desperate need of those feelings…be it Darnold or otherwise.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay

For all intents and purposes, Godwin should be one of the biggest household names in football. Through no fault of his own, Godwin often gets lost in the headlines, but that might happen when your catching cohorts are Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski. Godwin also missed four games with a hip/quad injury but still managed to post 840 yards after a breakout year in 2019. Godwin has played a major role in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl endeavors as well; he scored a touchdown that put them ahead for good in the Wild Card round against Washington and led the team with 110 yards in the NFC title clinch against the Packers. If Godwin is looking for a place to prove he can be a No. 1 receiver, New York would be a strong place to do it.

Outlook

A makeover is definitely coming to the Jets’ receiving corps. Free agency would certainly be the better way to go, as it would provide Mims a good mentor and give the team so much-needed, experienced stability. Whoever comes into the Jets’ quarterback spot is going to be thrown into a roaring green fire. They need to do whatever they can to make Darnold or the incoming new party to feel as comfortable as possible. Providing him with a strong, elite receiving talent would be the best way to do that.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Jamison Crowder had a busy Sunday

The New York Jets’ second straight victory was fueled by Jamison Crowder contributions from every end of the box score.

On Christmas weekend, the only man busier than Jamison Crowder was probably Santa Claus himself.

The New York Jets’ slot receiver left his mark on Sunday’s 23-16 win over the Cleveland Browns. Crowder put up 149 yards of offense and reached the end zone twice, each score serving as a turning point in the Jets’ second consecutive victory.

Crowder conjured up some holiday nostalgia and magic for his first score, called upon to pass with the Jets trailing 3-0. He wound up launching a 43-yard score to Braxton Berrios to give the Jets a permanent lead. It was only the second pass of his NFL career and first since an incompletion in October 2015 while repping Washington…ironically in a contest against the Jets.

This ensuing toss was far more successful and harkened back to his days at Duke. Crowder threw four passes through trickery in his career in Durham, his last being a 21-yard touchdown in the 2014 Sun Bowl.

“I told him next series you might think about going back there and playing some snaps at QB,” quarterback Sam Darnold joked in a report from Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “What a dime though. He threw it perfectly and, yeah, it was awesome to see.”

“I’ve never really played quarterback. But, you know, I’m an athlete,” Crowder said with a smile in another report from Andy Vazquez of NorthJersey.com. “I was just telling myself, ‘Just throw a dart,’ just make sure I put it where it needs to be.”

According to Crowder, the Jets (2-13) ran the trick play in practice on several occasions, but things never truly panned out. The complex duplicity involved rusher Ty Johnson faking a jet sweep before flipping the ball back to Crowder, a strong threat to unleash a reverse. Crowder would later show off his rushing prowess with a 14-yard sweep carry of his own to open the Jets’ next possession, setting the pace for another score (Darnold finding Chris Herndon to inflate the lead to 13-3).

 Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

But the plan went perfectly by design, as Crowder launched to an open Berrios, who had snuck by the unsuspecting Cleveland defense. Berrios then beat out Sheldrick Redwine to the pylon to complete the score and give the Jets the lead.

“You can’t really overthink it. You’ve got to just let things play out,” Crowder said, per Vazquez. “We ran it in practice a few times, and we connected in practice, but it really wasn’t where the ball should have been in practice. But I had all the confidence in myself that I was going to put it where it needed to be, and I had all the confidence that Berrios was going to catch it.”

Crowder would later help the Jets open the second half on the right note, this time returning to more traditional ways of scoring. His 30-yard scoring grab from Darnold was his team-high sixth of the season and put the Jets ahead 20-3. He wound end the day leading all receivers with 92 yards on seven receptions as the Jets eventually held on to a 23-16 triumph.

In the midst of two of the more difficult seasons in Jets history, Crowder has turned himself into one of the more dependable slot receivers in the NFL. He led the Jets in all major receiving categories last season (78 receptions, 833 yards, 6 touchdowns) and seems well on-pace to do it again in 2020 (55 receptions, 668 yards, 6 touchdowns). He’ll have one more opportunity to build on his stats in the Jets’ season finale in New England next weekend (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Crowder is signed through the 2021 season, but could become a cap savings casualty with the Jets poised to save $10.5 million in space if he is moved. Nonetheless, the team has been impressed by the sense of stability he has brought to times of green chaos.

“The thing that I’d say about Crowder is that, over the last two seasons, he is so consistent,” head coach Adam Gase said in Braziller’s report. “You can always count on him. The quarterback can definitely count on him being in the right spot, right time. Make the play that needs to be made in the moment, especially when it’s a critical one.”

“When we need a big play, whether it’s the perfect coverage or the perfect route, it seems like he comes down with the ball. He makes something happen when something needs to happen.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: 3 stars from Sunday’s win vs Cleveland

The New York Jets took advantage of a depleted Cleveland Browns squad to earn their second consecutive victory in their home finale.

For their role as spoilers, the New York Jets might be gaining some extra Christmas presents across the NFL. 

Jamison Crowder earned touchdowns through both passing and receiving, while the defense sacked a beleaguered Baker Mayfield four times as the Jets (2-13) earned their second straight victory, topping the Cleveland Browns 23-16 in their 2020 home finale. Sam Darnold also threw two touchdown passes (the other going to Chris Herndon) while Frank Gore (48) became the third rusher in NFL history to surpass 16,000 rushing yards. The ensuing loss of the Browns (10-5) was welcome news for their fellow wild-card combatants in Miami and Baltimore, as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers, who clinched the AFC North title with the Cleveland defeat.

ESM has a trio of game balls to hand out in the wake of another big victory.

3rd Star: DL Nathan Shepherd

3 tackles, 1 sack

Shepherd, a Canadian import out of both Fort Hays State and Simon Fraser, is one of several Jets establishing himself as essential personnel as the Jets go through the macabre process of free research and development. He was a constant prescience in the Cleveland backfield on Sunday, earning three tackles, a sack, and two other pressured hits on Mayfield, making sure the polarizing thrower was even more uncomfortable without his top receivers in tow.

2nd Star: LB Tarell Basham  

5 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack

There no greater defense than Basham’s antics as Cleveland’s comeback fell just short. The Ohio alum ended each of the Browns’ final two drives, forcing a pair of Mayfield fumbles that secured the final score. His first, recovered by John Franklin-Myers, allowed the Jets to add Sam Ficken-induced insurance, while the other was recovered by the Browns, but unable to be advanced due to rules enacted inside the final two minutes of the second half.

1st Star: WR Jamison Crowder

7 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD
1 carry, 14 yards
1-for-1, 43 yards, 1 TD

Could it be that the Jets’ new franchise quarterback has been on their roster the whole time?

Obviously, Crowder isn’t that man, but the Jets were happy to provide Duke fans with a blast from the past during Sunday’s festivities. New York trickery was likely the first sign to the Browns faithful that Sunday was not going to be their day, as his 43-yard strike to Braxton Berrios put the Jets ahead for good. It was Crowder’s first touchdown pass since the 2014 Sun Bowl, when he gave the Blue Devils a late lead over Arizona State with a 12-yard scoring toss.

Crowder, who has turned into one of the NFL’s most dependable slot receivers, also got his name in the scorebook through his traditional aerial ways, nabbing a 30-yard scoring grab from Sam Darnold to conclude the Jets’ first drive of the second half.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Should the Jets re-sign Breshad Perriman?

New York Jets, Breshad Perriman

This season has been very tough for the New York Jets. With the Jets already out of playoff contention for this season, they need to start working for next season. Should the Jets lockdown Breshad Perriman to a long-term deal and keep him with Sam Darnold?

Perriman has been battling injuries this season, missing four games this season. Before Week 9, Perriman only averaged 2.75 catches a game, with only 29.5 yards per game in the other four games he started in. With his poor performance at the beginning of the season, why should the Jets re-sign him?

Why should the New York Jets re-sign Perriman?

Pros

Perriman signed a one-year deal with the Jets this past offseason for $6.5 million. Perriman in the past two weeks has been the deep threat the Jets have needed. Perriman has caught seven out of his 11 targets for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the last two weeks. Perriman has easily been the bright spot of this poor Jets offense.

Think about this trio of receivers, if they all can be healthy. Perriman, rookie Denzal Mims, and Jamison Crowder. That is a solid trio that can stay with Darnold for years. With all three receivers all playing at once, the Jets’ offense average 27.5 points in all three of their games. Gang Green needs to keep these three together.

Cons

Perriman has only been successful in two games this season. He has been terribly inconsistent. If you want a multi-year extension, you have to play consistently week in and week out. Perriman has only tallied at least four receptions or 60 yards only twice this season. Perriman consistency is going to have to change for the last six games for the Jets if he wants that contract.

Not only Perriman has not been the best player on the field earlier in the season, but he has also missed a bunch of games. Perriman missed four games this season due to ankle, knee, shoulder, and concussion injuries. Perriman needs to stay healthy for the next six games if he wants that multi-year deal.

The New York Jets have a lot to think about this offseason. Perriman is a player that needs to be thought about for the Jets and personally a player that the Jets need to bring back. To have that trio of Perriman, Mims, and Crowder could be solid for Darnold in years to come.

New York Jets: 2 players who could be traded before the deadline

The New York Jets are now 0-6 with yesterday’s loss to the Dolphins. Surprisingly, the amount of points they scored yesterday is the same amount of wins they still currently have. Okay, maybe it’s not that surprising.

On another note, it seems as though they are in full “sell” mode.

Jamal Adams, Le’Veon Bell, and most recently Steve McClendon, have all been removed from this team one way or another this season. It seems as though no one is safe right now, as linebacker Avery Williamson has already pointed out.

The Jets and general manager Joe Douglas appear to be leaning towards a rebuild now, potentially without Sam Darnold, but that’s a worn-out conversation already. So, let’s look at two other players that could be off the team come the deadline.

Jamison Crowder

Crowder is unarguably the team’s best receiver and potentially their best player overall. Through four games played, as he’s missed two, he’s totaled 29 receptions for 383 yards and 2 touchdowns. Before finishing with 48 yards yesterday, he was leading the NFL with 111.7 receiving yards per game.

His services could potentially come down to a bidding war among teams pushing for the playoffs this season, especially if they need a proven offensive piece. Crowder, who mostly lines up in the slot, wouldn’t force a team to make him the top target outside of the numbers. When he’s lined up in the slot, he’s been very productive and reliable.

Potential contenders, such as the Packers, would benefit instantly from acquiring him. However, injury-riddled teams, such as the Eagles, could be in play as well.

Being the team’s best asset at the moment, he would probably allow for the most return in any trade. Almost immediately after the Le’Veon Bell release, Crowder was named as one of two players on the trade block.

Brian Poole

With Crowder as one of two players named on the trade block, Poole joined him as the other. Poole is the Jets’ best cornerback, and it isn’t close. He was the ninth highest-graded cornerback in the entire league last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Also, before yesterday’s game, he was ranked fifth in the league with a coverage grade of 81.6.

Poole was re-signed in the offseason to a one-year, $5-million deal. If he’s dealt before the deadline, it’s most likely because of his contract. Corner-needy teams won’t have to spend any sort of drastic money for him, making him even more desirable.

Teams such as the Chiefs, Packers, Seahawks, Cardinals and Raiders could all upgrade their slot-corner position with Brian Poole, to name a few. That doesn’t mean that any of these teams go for him, but they are some potential teams to watch.

Right now, all the talk and rumors surrounding Jamison Crowder and Brian Poole is speculation, but with the direction things seem to be heading, they could realistically be gone before the end of the reason. If they are, it’ll be interesting to see what Joe Douglas can get in return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four plays that decided the New York Jets’ Sunday fate vs. Arizona

Another painful loss awaited the New York Jets in their return to MetLife Stadium. ESM takes a look at the plays that changed the game.

There was a new quarterback and new men on the offensive line thanks to injuries. But the New York Jets were forced to endure the same result.

Kyler Murray tallied 401 yards of offense, with 131 of his passing haul going to DeAndre Hopkins. Their Arizona Cardinals tallied a 30-10 road win over the hapless Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Jets (0-5) earned a nominal bright spot in the form of Jamison Crowder, who reached triple digits in receiving for the third time this season (116 yards on 8 receptions).

As we do each week…someone’s got to do it…ESM looks back on four big plays, one from each quarter, that are shaping the Jets’ present and future for better or worse…

1st Quarter: Chase Hit

The Jets’ defense rose to the occasion in the early going, forcing Arizona into a three-and-out on their opening drive. A Joe Flacco-led offense was struggling to get things rolling, but Braden Mann helped the defense out with a 54-yard punt that situated the Cardinals on their own 11. Alas, it only signaled the start of New York’s demise.

Arizona would embark on a scoring drive, needing only eight plays to go 89 yards. The Cardinals (3-2) faced only one third down on the drive, and that was only when they needed a single yard at the cusp of the Jets’ 30. It also brought forth a 29-yard touchdown run from Chase Edmunds, giving the Cardinals a lead they would never relinquish.

Alas for the Jets, long drives and defensive lapses, even if they’re brought forth by short three-and-outs from the offense, have become far too common. When the inevitable purge comes to both the roster and staff, members of the defense should not be exempt.

2nd Quarter: 4th-and-Done

The Jets should be commended for their reckless abandon on fourth down in recent weeks. They know that the playoffs are but a pipe dream and more than likely will be destined for a high draft pick. With all due respect to Mann, a serviceable draft pick to date, he shouldn’t be seeing the field once the Jets cross their own 40. The same could go for Sam Ficken if it’s a long situation, though he continued his perfect streak in the early going with a triple in the first half.

Faced with a single yard to go on the Arizona 13, the Jets opted for an unusual option, handing the ball off to tight end-turned-fullback Trevon Wesco. The intention was pure…Wesco’s brief time in the backfield yielded a couple of first downs last season…but the execution simply wasn’t there. Starting the 6-foot-6-inches Flacco in place of the injured Sam Darnold, the time was perfect for a quarterback sneak. Flacco even showcased some hidden rushing talents to the tune of 20 yards on a quartet of carries. Instead, they tried to force nearly the exact same play, only this time with Le’Veon Bell. The Jets’ willingness to take risks is admirable, but ended a 14-play trek with no points on two failed rushes only adds to their plethora of embarrassment.

3rd Quarter: Manhattan Jam Crowder

The Jets have been through a lot this season, and there’s still a dozen weeks left on the horizon. Their most consistent silver lining has by far been Crowder, who had one of his strongest games of the season. He came up particularly big in the third quarter, first accounting for Flacco’s longest pass of the day at 52 yards, setting the Jets up in Arizona territory. Three plays later, Crowder dodged a pair of Cardinal defenders to earn an 11-yard touchdown that narrowed things to a single possession.

New York has been through a lot this season, much of it showing just how far they are from mere playoff contention, much less a Super Bowl. But the veteran Crowder is making himself essential as a presumed purge lures on the horizon.

4th Quarter: Buried by Kingsbury

Sunday’s second half featured plenty of instances where one could declare “only the Jets!”. For example, an untimed down at the end of the third quarter led to a false start. That duplicated an incident in the second quarter when they took a delay of game after an interception (on a red zone drive that eventually led to Ficken’s field goal). But a neutral zone infraction after Arizona’s final touchdown (a 37-yard hookup between Murray and Hopkins) led to Kliff Kingsbury opting to go for two despite owning a 30-10 led that became the final margin. Who knows what the Jets did to Kingsbury, who pair of NFL passes came in New York, but it was enough to try and help anyone who had Arizona -21.5 out and goes to show how far the Jets have fallen.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags