Report: New York Jets sign guard Greg Van Roten

New York Jets, Greg Van Roten

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

What Does Van Roten Bring?

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

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

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

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

What’s Next?

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

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

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

New York Jets: Efficient Free Agency Creating Draft Flexibility

New York Jets, Joe Douglas

The New York Jets missed out on some of their top targets, but they’ve filled major needs and created flexibility at the draft and beyond.

The New York Jets’ free agency yield to date is a lot like a child receiving fancy clothes, school supplies, or a toothbrush for Christmas…these aren’t necessarily the ones you want, but they’re what you need.

Patience has been the name of the game thus far as the Jets seek reinforcements for their quest to end a playoff dright approaching a decade. They’re not blessed with the surplus that led to the additions of Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley. But cap space funds, to the tune of circa $46 million, give Joe Douglas room to work with in his first offseason as general manager.

The Jets have the flashy toys everybody wants, particularly on offense. Bell is working alongside Sam Darnold, set to enter his third year as the Jets’ most legitimate savior at quarterback in who knows how long. In essence, however, the Jets bought themselves a pair of Cadillacs while ignoring the mold damage in their basement.

That latter, lingering problem has long personified by the offensive line meant to pave the way for Darnold and Bell. Darnold has shown progress over two seasons, but who knows how much potential is stifled by the fact he’s running for his life every Sunday. In two seasons, he has been sacked 63 times. 2019 backups Luke Falk and Trevor Siemian were brought down on an additional 18 occasions while Darnold sat with an illness for three games (all Jets losses). Meanwhile, Bell was forced into the lowest tallies of his career (789 yards, 3 touchdowns, 3.2 average).

The Mike Maccagnan era was defined by its negligence on the offensive line. Prior to taking Chuma Edoga in last year’s third round, the Jets hadn’t chosen a lineman during the draft’s first two days since 2010 (the forgotten Vlad Ducasse). It was the Jets’ big ticket players that wound up paying the price.

Getting offensive line help isn’t one of the more desirable tasks in football. Blockers, in general, may be the most unappreciated group in the major North American sports. Tackle-eligible plays and fumble recoveries in the end zone notwithstanding, there’s little chance to end up in the box score. It’s rare to see fans don the high numerals of linemen on their game day jerseys (Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson were welcome exceptions). The networks don’t cut to draft day parties to show fans going crazy over the selection of a lineman (a vocal few, in fact, jeered the choice of Ferguson as it ensured Matt Leinart would not wear Jets green).

But the early stages of the Joe Douglas era show that a new stanza of Jets history has begun. One of his first moves, for examples, was convincing Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil to come out of retirement. That move didn’t work out, but it set the stage for a changing of the guard.

With these needs being addressed, they can indulge in new fantasies dominated by skill players.

The earliest portions of 2020 free agency were dominated by the “same old Jets” narratives and tweets. One by one, the Jets’ favorite targets went off the board. Jack Conklin went to Cleveland. Joe Thuney was franchise tagged by the Patriots. Graham Glasgow joined up with Denver. It appeared the Jets would be forced to deal with their makeshift pieces for 2020. All the while, fellow AFC East competitors Buffalo and Miami got better, at least on paper.

Patience, however, was the name of Douglas’ game. It’s a virtue that has followed him from Pennsylvania. Super Bowl-winning general manager Howie Roseman couldn’t help but admire the patience and persistence Douglas, then the Philadelphia Vice President of Player Personnel, showed when they collaborated on the Eagles’ drafts that eventually led to victory in Super Bowl LII.

“We’ve put egos aside,” Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Zach Berman leading up to the 2017 draft. “Since he’s been here, have we done everything I’ve wanted to do? No. Have we done everything he’s wanted to do? No. But have we done everything right for the Philadelphia Eagles? Yes.”

“We want to do whatever it takes to bring a winning product to this city.”

Roseman’s comments could’ve well applied to the 2020 Jets. They missed out on their top targets, but they found serviceable veteran replacements. Their first addition was Seattle tackle George Fant. Tuesday brought about not only the return of solid substitution Alex Lewis but also the arrival of new center Connor McGovern.

New York Jets, Connor Mcgovern
Oct 1, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Connor McGovern (60) against the Kansas City Chiefs at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, the Jets filled another need by giving cornerback Brian Poole another year at an affordable $5 million.

Suddenly…the Jets have freedom and flexibility, especially when it comes to the NFL Draft.

New York mock drafts in recent years have been dominated by offensive linemen, but these predictions have often been proven wrong with “best player available” selection that didn’t make sense with the team so far from the Super Bowl. Plenty of draft study has since been dedicated to likes of blockers like Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs.

Now, the Jets have more room to work with when it comes to the 11th overall pick. A draft full of strong receiving talent like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs is now open to them, or at least more open when it comes to comfort at the pick and position. Further opportunities are there to perhaps even trade down and acquire more capital in the process.

Furthermore, the Jets’ remaining cap space (circa $25 million after the McGovern contract) can now be dedicated to, once again, needs beyond the line. Robby Anderson’s situation is currently in limbo, but the Jets have more needs that need fulfillment. Darnold could use a veteran mentor backup. Spell back Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery could hit the open market. Special teams needs might need an overhaul if Lac Edwards departs.

The Jets and their fans might’ve missed out on the gifts they really wanted…the Conklins, the Thuneys, the Dante Fowlers…but, at least on paper, this is a better team than the one that left the New Era Field gridiron with a meaningless win over the Bills.

In the end, that’s the greatest gift of all, at least at this time of the year.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

 

New York Jets: Reaction to Joe Douglas’s First 3 Days of Free Agency

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

Well it’s that time of the year again where every team in the league gives their fans hope for the new season by signing players to over-priced contracts but it seems the Jets didn’t get the memo. The Jets have gotten off to a sluggish start this offseason by being overly conservative in their approach towards free agents. General manager Joe Douglas has made some very savvy under the radar deals along with some deals that make you scratch your head.

Signing Brian Poole to a 1 year 5-million-dollar deal and Connor McGovern to a 3 year 27-million-dollar deal with 18 million guaranteed are key deals in Joe Douglas’s plan for the team, but he hasn’t been perfect. On the first day of the legal tampering period the Jets either whiffed on or completely ignored addressing either tackle spot and they got burned for doing so. The Jets missed out on solid players like Jack Conklin and Halapoulivaati Vatai who signed affordable deals that the Jets could’ve matched or even surpassed. The Jets ended up with George Fant who has been below average at best in Seattle and not only that, the Jets signed him to a 3 year 30-million-dollar contract with almost half of that guaranteed.

The patient and stable approach of Joe Douglas is a bit worrisome considering he was boasting about how the Jets would be major players in the offensive line market. In Joe Douglas’s defense it is very difficult to sell free agents on Adam Gase because he has shown his ability to alienate players no matter how talented they are. Joe Douglas has secured solid second tier players and still has more work to do in order to fill out the rest of this roster.

If Joe Douglas wants to have a successful free agency, I suggest that he becomes a little more proactive in his pursuit of talent that would fill the needs at cornerback and edge even if that means splurging a little.

New York Jets Resign CB Brian Poole (Report)

New York Jets, Brian Poole

The New York Jets secondary was very weak last year. They didn’t have a true number one or two corner. They continuously rotated guys in the spots to see who, if any, could cover on the outside. At nickel corner, however, the Jets were set. Brian Poole had a career year for the Jets and according to PFF, was ranked as one of the top 10 best corners in the league. This made him a priority on the Jets list this offseason. Now, the Jets locked Poole up, according to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes.

The Contract

Locking Poole up may be an understatement– the Jets inked Poole to a one year, $5 million dollar deal. The deal is actually a win-win for both sides. The Jets get stability at the slot corner position for another year on a very good value deal. Poole gets $5 million and another shot to cash in next offseason. The Jets likely used the fact that last year was his best year as a negotiating tactic for the 27-year-old corner. The Jets will now get him back on a team-friendly deal and Poole gets to prove his worth yet again.

What do the Jets do next?

The Jets made Poole a priority and got him back. Now the Jets can turn their attention to adding an outside corner to pair with Bless Austin. The Jets will likely sign one bigger name corner and maybe add a few lower-level guys with good potential. The Jets can now turn their focus to the edge rusher spot and outside corner spots as previously noted, as they await Robby Anderson’s decision. If Anderson doesn’t resign then expect the Jets to move quickly to ink another receiver like Phillip Dorsett and turn their attention towards the other side of the ball.

New York Jets & Jamal Adams are in Tough Spot

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets bonafide leader and a vital piece of this team’s minimal success over the past two seasons. Jamal Adams is electric, energetic, charismatic and an all-pro safely. However for the first time in his time with New York his allegiance to the squad has been question and drama for the first time surrounds him.

Owners and Gase To Blame

It’s often stated that organizations that can’t keep classified information are weak and unprofessional. The New York Jets succumbed to that level on trade deadline day. If any event was the greatest depiction of where this organization is currently at the negotiations and the drama that has followed it just shows how poorly run this team is.

Christopher Johnson, the main management core, and even the coaching staff should take this as a sign that they need to get their act together. Joe Douglas the man who is just doing his job by answering calls, fielding offers and looking for the best possible deals and opportunities shouldn’t have to answer for his actions because information was leaked. You don’t see Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft having to answer questions about their negotiations. Coaching needs to do a better job of supporting the players and keeping their heads in the game. Christopher Johnson and the powers that be need to get this organization back on track because it looks like a joke. Douglas looked like a consummate professional that didn’t belong to be affiliated with the green and white.

Jamal Adams Shouldn’t Have Opened Up

Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell received word that they would be staying in New York despite trade rumors, they jumped on social media and expressed their pleasure for staying in the green and white. Jamal Adams took to social media to voice his disscontempt for the handling of the trade deadline situation. The Jets and Jamal handles it poorly. The Jets should’ve been honest and upfront, Jamal shouldn’t have exposed conversations to social media. The fact is, the situation is now drama filled and a distraction for an already messy squad. There is no doubt that if struggles continue Jamal could be gone in the offseason. Ultimately, I believe the Jets dug themselves into a hole. Jamal Adams is special but he plays a position that is a premium for a rebuilding squad. It may make sense to trade Adams. Jamal needs to be a pro and understand that. His frustration is understandable and I still love him as a Jets fan and for any fans to call him a clown is rude. In the end I hope all works out but right now drama is prominent.

The New York Jets Success Hinges On Sam Darnold

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

Sophomore season is something I often talk about in my articles as often time a “slump” or a “breakout” year for players. The New York Jets now rest their hopes of a successful season on the shoulders of a talented QB heading into his sophomore season. That QB is Sam Darnold.

What’s Different For The Jets

Maybe the most loaded question one could ponder. The Jets improved on quite frankly every aspect. The Jets brought in an offensive-minded head coach with a solid track record in Adam Gase. He worked with Peyton Manning and plans to emulate some of that coaching style with Darnold. They then brought in superstar running back Le’Veon Bell who immediately takes the pressure off Darnold and adds a unique dynamic to the Jets offense. The Jets added speedy slot receiver Jamison Crowder who has already built up a good relationship with Darnold and the two click well already. The Jets brought in Ty Montgomery as well to be a dynamic weapon among others.

The New York Jets added new pieces to the offensive line like Kelechi Osemele and Ryan Kalil and will hope to give Darnold stability. The Jets then added the big piece to the front office with Joe Douglas being brought in to take the reigns of the franchise. The Jets brought in, as Jamal Adams calls them, “Dogs” and truly added guys who fit that mold. They’ve built a good group behind Darnold and are going to be able to take some pressure off of him by adding them.

Why Sam Darnold Is Special

Mobility: Darnold is able to change the plays with his feet. When the play breaks down he has the ability to continue to make plays by either running it or keeping calm and finding a spot for the ball. Darnold is deadly accurate on the move and is able to hit his guys and extend the play. It’s a special trait to have and it was something that became more apparent towards the end of the season.

Poise: If you listen to him speak or watch him play you can just see how special he is. He is able to be so calm and keep his poise despite all the obstacles in his way on and off the field. That trait sets him apart from a lot of QBs.

Arm: Darnold is not only accurate but throws a beautiful deep ball. Darnold has a special arm but it’s not his best trait. The fact is his arm is just second to everything else he can do so phenomenally.

Sam Darnold Is Special

What we’ve known all along is Sam is special. Those traits are just some of the many that set him apart. He was special towards the end of the season and now he has a chance to continue his momentum with even more talent around him. The season hinges on the success of Sam. So, Sam the balls in your court and the teams in your hands. What happens next is up to you.

New York Jets: Joe Douglas Expected to Bring Something New

New York Jets

The New York Jets rid themselves of their old regime and brought in a proven winner in Joe Douglas. Douglas was a part of two super bowl teams and he played a crucial part in the development of both. From Baltimore to Philadelphia, Douglas always knew the winning recipe. Now in New York, Douglas has more holes on the roster than most teams he has worked with before. With injuries and a few gaping holes, it’s time for Douglas to do something the old regime could never, roll the dice and make a move.

What is The Biggest Hole

Although most Jets fans would hate to admit it, the cornerback situation is a tough fix. I came up with a few solutions but they all were far fetched and unlikely. Gregg Williams is someone who firmly believes in a pass rush being able to compensate for secondary woes.  In a point in time where there may not be many suitable options at either corner or pass rush on the free agency market, the trade market features a prominent game wrecker who the Jets have been linked too.

Introducing An Answer

Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute monster. Clowney was one of the most highly regarded prospects in recent memory and in his time in the NFL he may not have been the elite pass rusher many expected. The three-time pro-bowler has a total of 64 TFLs, 205 tackles and 29.0 sacks in 5 seasons. However, his stats don’t speak for him entirely. In those 5 seasons, he has 67 QB hits, he is an absolute game wrecker and can be a force no matter where he lands.

What A Trade Could Look Like

Ultimately, despite the fact he would be a rental, he’d still be a costly acquisition. The Jets could offer some sort of package that includes a 1st round pick, a player (to shed cap for the Jets and fill a need for Houston) and a mid-late rounder. It may even require more than that. Then, the Jets would have to figure out ways to financially make room for him. It is feasible but could be a tough situation for Douglas to figure out.

The Overall Results

Clowney could fit great as an edge-rushing option and with the New York Jets strong defensive line, he would have a real opportunity for significant success. Clowney then would finish the season and be eligible for an extension or another franchise tag. The Jets could then choose to resign him or they could flip him in a tag and trade deal. They could recoup their value and then some and ultimately look like winners on the deal either way.

Conclusion

In the end, the New York Jets always have interest but never can get it done. This is a replay of the Khalil Mack situation last year and the Jets came in second in that race. This time around, they shouldn’t come in second. It’s to the good of a situation for the Jets to pass up and in the end, it seems likely not to happen but it would be a great way for Douglas to make a statement and significantly improve the Jets.

5 Things New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas Should Do

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

The New York Jets have hired Joe Douglas as their General Manager, he’ll be taking over a franchise that has been starved for any relevancy in the past 50 years. Here are some moves he can make to get the green and white back to the promised land.

1. Get some legitimate competition for the starting Center

One position that the New York Jets haven’t had an issue with over the past 20 years has now become their biggest weakness. The past two years former General Manager Mike Maccagnan has tried to patch up the center position with two massive failures in Wesley Johnson and Spencer Long. This year they have perennial backup Jonotthan Harrison listed as the starter with no real competition to compete against him. Some options for General Manager Joe Douglas to consider are John Sullivan and Gino Gradkowski who both have experience starting at center.

2. Find your No. 2 cornerback 

The second biggest need for the Jets is finding a corner that can play alongside Trumaine Johnson. Over the last couple of years, the Jets have had Morris Claiborne manning down that spot, but after not being re-signed the Jets were left with a big hole to fill. Some names the Jets could look at are Morris Claiborne, Sam Shields, and Artie Burns. Burns is especially interesting because of his age, potential, and price tag.

3. Don’t try to change the culture

The most important ingredient to a Super Bowl-winning team isn’t what Quarterback you have, how good your line play is or even if you have an all-star team like the Browns, it’s about how good the culture in your locker room is. Yes, obviously you can’t win a Super Bowl with a guy like Blake Bortles, but with a good young core of leaders like the Jets have they can compete in a year or two with a promising young QB like Sam Darnold.

4. Don’t become a buyer

The Jets are in a great position to make a playoff run this year, but that is no reason for them to become a buyer. There are many holes on this team, and they have many rookie contracts coming up, so those draft picks can be used to get replacements if they are not able to re-sign everyone they want. A big reason why the Jets hired Douglas was for his ability to evaluate talent, so why limit his options in the draft to have immediate success instead of long-term success and sustainability.

5. Fire Gase if he doesn’t make playoffs year one

This seems a little harsh but honestly its what needs to happen. Adam Gase went all in on making the playoffs this year after he orchestrated the coup that allowed the Jets to land Joe Douglas. Adam Gase has all the tools he needs to make playoffs and any competent Head Coach would be able to make the playoffs with a roster that consists of C.J. Mosely, Le’Veon Bell, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, etc.

This is the most pivotal point in franchise history, and they cannot afford to screw this up. If Adam Gase we’re to get fired a couple of candidates the Jets would look at would be Jim Harbaugh, Todd Monken, Matt Rhule, John DeFilippo, and Eric Bieniemy.