New York Jets: LeVeon Bell to return in week 5

New York Jets, Leveon Bell

The New York Jets have been without their former All-Star running back since week one of the season. In the Jets’ 27-17 loss to the Bills, Bell seemed to have an awkward fall in the midst of running a route.

It ultimately ended up being  a hamstring injury that sent him to the IR. Now, before the Jets take on the Arizona Cardinals, Bell will be joining them.

What’s This Mean?

This is great news for the Jets organization for multiple reasons. The first that tomorrow marks the first start for Joe Flacco while Darnold sits with a shoulder injury, so adding a playmaker like Bell back into the fold could ease some of the pressure. Especially with a veteran quarterback who is coming off an injury himself, having Bell can open up things more for him.

The next reason this is so important, is because of the impact Bell has when healthy. Without Bell for the past few games, the Jets have accumulated only 263 yards on the ground from running backs.

Sam Darnold is currently the team’s leading rusher with 117 yards, while Frank Gore sits at 74 yards on 55 carries. It’s safe to say the Jets need a boost out of the backfield and Bell could provide that.

The last reason this is crucial is because of a potential trade. With Bell likely out the door after this season, the team could use the next two or so games as a showcase for what Bell can do. If he’s the key cog in the offense for the next couple of games, don’t be surprised because that may be an order from management. A trade of Bell could shed around eight million dollars of cap space for the organization and potentially nab a mid rounder. It may not be the route the team goes, but it’s certainly a possibility.

One thing is for sure though, the Jets need some kind of fire on offense right now. That’s a fire that Bell can bring. Who knows, his return may just make this offense competitive.

New York Jets will start QB Joe Flacco on Sunday

New York Jets, Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco will make his first start in green, as the New York Jets prepare to face an angry Arizona Cardinals squad on Sunday.

The New York Jets announced on Wednesday that Joe Flacco will start Week 5’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Sam Darnold is considered “week-to-week” and will miss Sunday’s game (1 p.m. ET, Fox) with a shoulder ailment.

Flacco, 35, will make his first NFL start for the Jets after signing a one-year deal with the team back in May. He has established himself as one of the more successful postseason quarterbacks in recent NFL memory, earning a 10-5 record as a playoff starter with the Baltimore Ravens. Seven of those victories have come on the road, an NFL record. Flacco was the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII, helping the Ravens top the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. It capped off a trek that saw Flacco tie Joe Montana’s NFL record with 11 touchdowns in a single postseason.

After he was supplanted by Lamar Jackson in Baltimore’s franchise spot, a role he had held since his first-round drafting out of Delaware in 2008, Flacco signed with the Denver Broncos last season. He started eight games, throwing for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions before a neck injury ended his season. Flacco underwent surgery prior to being signed by the Jets and was cleared to play last week.

Darnold is now set to miss games in each of his three NFL seasons. He left the game late in the first quarter of the Jets’ showdown against Denver on Thursday after getting thrown down on his throwing shoulder during a sack by Alexander Jones. Darnold went to the locker room but returned to finish off the Jets’ next drive before the first half let out. Flacco completed two passes for 16 yards while Darnold was being evaluated. The latter would finish the game, a 37-28 New York loss.

The Jets (0-4) are 0-6 over the prior two seasons when Darnold has missed his starts. Josh McCown took over for three games when Darnold hurt his foot in his rookie season, while a mononucleosis diagnosis saw Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk take over in a matching three-game absence.

Mike White will serve as the Jets’ backup against Arizona, reprising a role he held over the first three weeks of the season while Flacco recovered from neck surgery. 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Joe Flacco ACTIVE and set to serve as New York Jets’ backup

New York Jets, Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco’s first time in a New York Jets gameday uniform will come against one of his former teams on Thursday night.

While Thursday night’s primetime matchup between the New York Jets and Denver Broncos (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network) may lack that championship feeling, but Super Bowl flair will be on display on the home team’s sideline.

For the first time in his New York career, former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco will dress for the Jets and serve as Sam Darnold’s backup. Flacco was sidelined by a neck injury for nearly a full year but was signed by the Jets in May.

A native of Audubon, NJ, Flacco is set to enter his 13th NFL season. Flacco is best known for his 11-year tenure with the Baltimore Ravens, where he sits atop nearly every statistical list in the team’s passing record book. He helped guide the Ravens to their second Super Bowl in 2013, capturing MVP honors in the team’s 34-31 win over San Francisco.

Making his Jets debut against Denver carries a hint of Flacco irony. After Baltimore made the switch to Lamar Jackson at quarterback, he was signed by the Broncos to serve as a placeholder quarterback to 2019 first-round choice Drew Lock. Flacco started eight games in orange, throwing for 1,822 yards and six touchdowns before sustaining the aforementioned neck injury in an October loss to Indianapolis. Denver released Flacco last March, sticking with Lock, Jeff Driskel, and Brett Rypien on their quarterback depth chart. Rypien is set to make his first NFL start on Thursday with Lock injured.

The Jets (0-3) will still be without top receiving option Breshard Perriman, who will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury. Others on the New York inactive list include Jordan Willis, Marqui Christian, Quincy Wilson, and Nathan Shepard, as well as rookies Ashtyn Davis and James Morgan.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets Position Group Grades: Quarterback

New York Jets, Sam Darnold, James Morgan

As the season looms, I decided to take a deep dive into each New York Jets position group within the organization and grade each group. The quarterback position, aside from Sam Darnold, has lacked depth in recent years. That was ever apparent last season with the poor play of quarterbacks in Darnold’s absence. This offseason, the Jets looked to address that problem with the additions of Joe Flacco and James Morgan.

QB 1: Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold enters year 3 with incredibly high expectations. Darnold has his work cut out for him. The Jets receiver room is incredibly thin and lacks a true number one receiver. The running back room and tight end rooms are more than formidable. The offensive line is presumably improved, but ultimately the team has no sure things for him. Coming off a solid finish to a year hindered by mono, Darnold has reportedly shown growth in the offseason as both a leader and an athlete. Now, it’s time to put it to the test in Orchard Park in 2 or so weeks. For now, though, his factor into the grade is based on both the potential, end of season, and early career woes.

QB 2: Joe Flacco

Once Joe is healthy, the job is his. Flacco wasn’t brought in to sit behind two young third-string caliber QBs and a rookie. He was brought in because a former Super Bowl champion who can mentor Sam and also step in if need be. Flacco provides stability at the backup position that the Jets didn’t have last season with Trevor Siemian. Still, how stable is Flacco truly? Last season he was less than impressive in Denver. Then he got hurt. Coming back from injury and exiting his prime doesn’t give me much excitement for Flacco, still, his veteran experience earns him decent points for me when grading the group.

QB 3: Mike White

Surprise! White has caught the eye of many in camp. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what I’ve seen in terms of footage. White is only 25, but after being released from the Cowboys, he’s been a practice squad fixture. Now, White came into the season more in shape than ever and throwing a great ball. He’s never stepped on an NFL field, but he got an opportunity to go against the starting defense and impressed in a scrimmage. White might not know the offense as well as Fales, but if he can even remotely perform on the field, he’s the best option at backup for now until Flacco is healthy. White is unproven, but I’ve been impressed, so he’ll do okay for me in terms of grading.

QBs 4 & 5: James Morgan and David Fales

Neither guy has been very bad or outstanding in camp. The decision on who gets the third spot likely comes down to investment, thus, Morgan will stay on the roster. White, Fales, and Morgan is all about preference. I talked about White’s good ball. Fales knows the system like the back of his hand. Morgan has all the size and leadership to be an excellent backup. I like Morgan a lot and hope he gets a shot to be the main back up soon. I wouldn’t doubt that Fales will be gone after camp, but once again, it’s all about what Gase thinks fits best. For that reason, I’m grading this purely on potential as a backup for each individual.

Final Grade: C+

I think Sam Darnold is a B-B+ QB, but he can’t carry the uncertainty of the rest of the room on his back. With Flacco injured and the unproven nature of Fales, White and Morgan, there is no sure thing to backup Sam. As last season proved, the backup is key, and without a sure thing, I don’t feel comfortable giving this group a great grade. Still, if Flacco is healthy and one of the other three can step up, this room isn’t awful, so a C+ feels right.

New York Jets: Joe Flacco is ready to take on a support role with Sam Darnold

New York Jets, Joe Flacco

The signing of Joe Flacco by the New York Jets was a fantastic move to back up Sam Darnold in his development. Darnold has yet to play a full 16 games over his first two seasons in the NFL, missing three games in 2019 due to mono. Having a capable backup as essential, as we have seen in recent years with Nick Foles winning a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles and even how integral Josh McCown was in Darnold’s progression.

However, Flacco is keen on playing in the NFL for many more years, but coming off a severe neck injury is problematic. The Jets can ease him into their offense and utilize him to supplement any injuries throughout the 2020 campaign. Flacco isn’t just trying to play, though, he is also on board with helping the Jets’ young franchise quarterback develop further and cement himself on the team. Darnold has yet to show his elite side on a consistent level, failing to throw more than 19 touchdowns over the last two years.

“I want to, first and foremost, help the team in any way possible, but also be a guy that Sam can lean on and can learn from,” Flacco said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I would say those are the two most important things: to help out the guys on the team and to help out Sam to do all he can.”

Helping Darnold will be Flacco’s primary task with the New York Jets, and that will give him the time to recover properly from his injury and return to football shape. He is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and an MVP, attesting to his quality and what he brings to the table. This could also indicate the Jets are confident they can win now, and having a capable backup would be essential in a potential playoff situation (given an injury).

“[I] took a while to really think about what I wanted to do,” he said. “My mind was just all over the place even a couple of months into the offseason. I was kind of going crazy about the whole thing.”

“For me personally, I want to play football,” Flacco said. “I’ve had some things happen and got injured and had to have surgery. I’ve got to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of whatever my situation and whatever my role ends up being.”

General manager Joe Douglas did a phenomenal job bringing in an experienced quarterback like Flacco to help the offense. While he might not be throwing a football in a live game anytime soon, his experience is essential and will give them the confidence to move forward knowing they have quality depth of the quarterback position.

New York Jets signing former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to one-year deal

New York Jets, Joe Flacco

In a surprising move, the New York Jets are signing former Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to a one year deal, per Adam Schefter. The Jets previously had Josh McCown behind franchise passer Sam Darnold, helping him adjust to the NFL and learn the ropes. Nonetheless, Flacco offers competition for Darnold and an experienced mentor for one year.

Flacco played in just eight games for Denver in 2019, amassing 1822 yards. He threw six touchdowns and five interceptions before rookie Drew Lock took over and Flacco headed to the bench due to injury. Ultimately, it was in the best interest of Denver to start their young quarterback and begin developing under him.

I don’t believe this move puts Darnold at any risk of losing starting snaps, but rather just a contingency plan in case he succumbs to injury. Flacco is extremely knowledgeable having played in 12 seasons. At 34 years old, he is still in suitable condition to continue playing in the NFL.

Following Flacco’s neck injury last year, he seems to be prepared to start training camp, according to Adam Schefter. This is a good sign for the Jets and he will likely be a cheaper back up with plenty of experience the whole things down.

New York Jets Resign QB David Fales

David Fales has been a well-traveled backup for Adam Gase and the New York Jets. He’s followed Gase and now got to sit behind Darnold for a bulk of last year as both of the other backups going down last year. Fales is reportedly a high IQ guy and the former San Jose State product with good knowledge of the offense will return to fight for the backup job next season.

Career Numbers

Fales played two years at San Jose State as the starter. In those two years, Fales threw for 8,382 yards, 66 TDs, and 22 INTs. Although San Jose State is not a big school, those numbers are very impressive. Fales hasn’t gotten a lot of reps in the pros. He did get some legitimate reps in 2018 and he did ok. He had 265 yards, 1 TD and an INT in 2018. Fales is a backup caliber player. He may have untapped potential. At 29, time is winding down to tap into that potential.

How Does He Fit For Next Season

Fales will compete for the backup QB job. He doesn’t seem like the best guy to be the backup for Darnold. He can’t provide mentorship because he’s played less than Darnold. He does have knowledge of the offense and that is a favorable trait because of the presumed lack of preparation that the Jets will have due to COVID-19. Fales will compete, be given a shot to take the job, but he should not be counted on if Sam goes down. The New York Jets should bring in another body whether in the draft to develop into a good backup or bring in a vet to mentor Sam. Some guys who could be good guys are Joe Flacco, the former starter in Baltimore that struggled in Denver last year and Matt Moore a career backup with ties to Gase.

New York Jets: Should the Jets Target Joe Flacco?

New York Jets, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold

The New York Jets are in the market for a backup QB this offseason and they’re in luck because the Denver Broncos just released former Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco. Over the last couple of seasons, Joe Flacco has been average at best as a starter, his recent stint in Denver was a complete failure and more likely than not ended his career as a starting quarterback. Last season the Jets learned the importance of backup QB’s when they struggled to put any points on the board for four straight weeks due to Sam Darnold being out with mono. Should the Jets look into Joe Flacco to be their next backup QB?

Flacco’s Profile

Joe Flacco was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens, this is important because Jets GM Joe Douglas was a scout for the Ravens from 2000-2014. Over the past 4 seasons, Joe Flacco has 56 touchdowns to 39 interceptions and an average quarterback rating of 83.3. Flacco has always been clutch in big moments and is a good leader that is well respected throughout the league.

Contract

If the Jets want to sign Joe Flacco, they’d have to be willing to pay him around 5-7 million dollars fully guaranteed. There is a surplus of backup quarterbacks on the market which may even bring down the price tag for the Jets if they choose to sign Flacco.

Likelihood

Flacco would be the ideal QB to backup Darnold since he has so much experience in the league. However, it is very unlikely the Jets reach out to Joe Flacco for the job considering they have a bunch of other holes to fill out first. Adam Gase would also most likely want someone who is familiar with his system such as Matt Moore.

Why the New York Jets Should go After Joe Flacco

The New York Jets may have been gifted a golden opportunity with Joe Flacco’s most recent headline. It would provide stable depth at the QB position for the next 2 years while saving more draft capital to build an O-line through the draft.

Flacco Would Consider Being a Backup

We all know that Joe Flacco isn’t having the easiest time in the league. Injury paved the way for Lamar Jackson to usurp his position in Baltimore, before being traded to Denver. Moreover, injury this season allowed Drew Locke to step up and show that “I’m here now, and it’s my job to keep.” Flacco could very easily be back for the 2020 season by training camp, but a herniated disk in his neck is no laughing matter. Which is why, in an interview on Monday, Flacco was quoted as saying:

“If that’s what it has to be — (a backup) whether here or wherever — I want to play football. If that’s what it has to take for me to get back in and start playing again, then yeah, I’d go that route.”

What We Stand to Gain

We stand to gain a veteran QB presence who can give guidance to a still developing, Sam Darnold. He has a career 84.1 QB rate, according to Pro-Football.Reference.com, with over 200 touchdowns, a Super Bowl championship to boot. Because we’d be potentially alleviating salary against Denver’s cap, we could also stand to pick up a draft pick or two.

What We Stand to Lose

Adam Gase has made no bones about his dissatisfaction with Le’Veon Bell on the team. His end of the season press conference was… well, telling. So trading Bell seems like the logical move that Gase will be pushing. A player of Bell’s caliber could give us the leverage to pick up those extra picks.

As would Jamal Adams. Adams would be an excellent complement to Denver’s already potent defense. And with Von Miller not getting any younger, the Bronco’s maybe looking for his heir apparent.

But Sam’s health problems (mono and an injury that sidelined him for more than a few games in 2018), coupled with our lackluster backups… yea, Flacco makes more sense than no for the Jets to pursue this offseason.