New York Jets LB Jordan Jenkins moves on to Houston

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins, the longest-tenured member of the New York Jets, is moving on to the Houston Texans on a two-year deal.

A New York Jets staple is moving on to the Lone Star State.

Per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, linebacker Jordan Jenkins is moving on from the Jets to the Houston Texans through a two-year, $8 million deal. Jenkins, 26, had been the longest-tenured member of the Jets at five seasons.

The defender bid farewell to New York in a heartfelt Twitter post, which included a photo of Jenkins walking through the halls of MetLife Stadium clad in his No. 48 uniform.

“Put it all out there on the field during my time with the Jets, battle through torn labrums, bruised ribs, etc,” Jenkins wrote. “Will always be thankful for the (Jets) for drafting me. Excited to start this new chapter in life.”

Jenkins began his career as a third-round pick (83rd overall) out of Georgia. He would go on to earn 189 tackles in five seasons, including 22.5 sacks. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 with a career-best eight sacks, which earned him a new one-year deal at $3.75 million. Alas for New York, Jenkins failed to build on that prior season and would up landing on injured reserve with a shoulder injury in December.

He had four multi-sack games in green, including two big takedowns of Daniel Jones in a November 2019 win over the New York Giants.

With Jenkins’ departure, the title of longest-tenured Jet now belongs to Marcus Maye, who accepted his franchise tag at just over $10 million. Maye is thus set to enter his fifth season with the team. Jenkins also closes the book on the Jets’ underwhelming 2016 draft class, which also included Darron Lee, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Brandon Shell, Lachlan Edwards, and Charone Peake.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: 3 free agents to target at start of free agency

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

The New York Giants will enter free agency with minimal financial flexibility, despite making several cuts on Wednesday. With free agency opening up on March 17, we should expect the Giants to have around $20 million available, but they will likely restructure existing contracts to create even more space.

The team released wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo, opening up a tad more than $8 million to work with the moment FA starts. The expectation is that they will allocate immediate resources toward the retention of interior defender Leonard Williams, but they will also have to find a way to retain Dalvin Tomlinson if they see fit.

The reality is, the Giants are going to have to get creative with how they maneuver this free agency, and they may have to settle on bargain deals to fit a few weakened positions.

Three free agents the New York Giants should target at the start of free agency:

1.) Kyle Van Noy

The Miami Dolphins released Kyle Van Noy just one year into a four-year deal worth $51 million. After spending the first 2.5 seasons in Detroit, he took his talents to New England, where he became a productive player that made a significant impact.

As an outside linebacker, he would fit perfectly with the Giants, and his connection with head coach Joe Judge makes the possibility of him signing on with Big Blue even more likely. The problem, he might be out of the Giants’ price range, as he was expected to earn over $10 million in 2021 and had an average AAV of $12.5 million per season.

However, there’s always a possibility they back-load the contract, or he’s willing to settle for less money, and that if that is the case, the Giants should offer him a multi-year deal that keeps his cap hit lower in the short term.

2.) William Jackson

One underrated cornerback is former Cincinnati defender William Jackson. At 28 years old, Jackson is coming off a productive year with the Bengals, playing in 14 games and totaling 11 passes defended and 45 combined tackles. He allowed a 51.4% completion rate and four touchdowns, which might be a bit problematic, but under the right circumstances and coaching, he could become an above-average CB.

One thing to like about Jackson, he is young and a former first-round pick, indicating he has the talent to be a solid player in the NFL. According to PFS, Jackson finished the 2020 campaign with a 72.4 overall coverage grade and allowed 537 yards. He enjoyed five performances over 14 games with 30 yards allowed or less.

I believe he might be one of the cheaper CBs on the market with upside, and the Giants might consider signing him to compete at CB2 alongside James Bradberry.

3.) Jordan Jenkins

One solid scheme fit for the Giants would be former Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins Jenkins, who signed a one-year, $3.75 deal with the Jets last year, and as you might expect, his production fell off.

Considering the Jets had one of the worst defenses in football and a simply inept offense, Jenkins wasn’t able to play to his full potential. In 2019, he recorded 8.0 sacks and 13 QB hits. Considering his down year, the Giants might be able to scoop him up on an extremely affordable contract to replace Kyler Fackrell.

Adding competition to the OLB position is essential, especially with Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines returning from season-ending injuries. I do expect the Giants to allocate a draft selection toward the position, but you can never have enough talent at a spot that suffered injuries in 2020 and doesn’t have an established starter.

5 impending free agents the New York Jets should bring back

With the start of free agency inching closer, the New York Jets have some decisions to make. With 17 unrestricted free agents, and some more restricted, some are going to walk and some are going to return. The question is: who are they going to bring back?

Not all of them should, obviously, but odds are a good number of them will. The number of players that should be brought back is somewhat small compared to the overall list, in all honesty. So, these are five players that the team should re-sign:

S Marcus Maye

This is an obvious one. In fact, it’s the most obvious thing the Jets should do this offseason. Marcus Maye was easily the best player on the team this past season, at least on defense. While playing in all 16 games, he compiled 82 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 11 passes defended, all career highs. He also added four tackles-for-loss and two QB hits.

Filling the hole left by Jamal Adams wasn’t going to be easy, but Maye made it look like it was. He did everything on the field. That’s why I have him listed as a safety and not restricted to free or strong. He can play both well.

The highlight of his season, though, was an image that resembled a real throwback.

Everyone remembers the infamous “butt-fumble” from the Mark Sanchez. This past season, Marcus Maye introduced the world to the “butt-pick.” That alone should have him resigned.

In all seriousness, though, Marcus Maye needs to be resigned. He is extremely vital to the defense and the overall team’s success.

CB Brian Poole

Brian Poole has unarguably been the team’s best cornerback the past couple of seasons after coming over from Atlanta. This past season, however, he only played in nine games. In those nine games, he had 44 tackles (2 for loss), 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 2 QB hits and a sack.

The Jets wouldn’t have to break the bank to bring him back, making him a smart re-sign. He’s a very capable and productive player for the cost and, to be honest, the team doesn’t have many reliable options in the secondary at this point.

Poole didn’t necessarily “prove it” after his one-year, $5 million deal. However, he showed enough to at least come back for another year.

LB Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins is another player who wouldn’t “break the bank” in a return. He has spent his entire five-year career with the Jets and should be brought back to continue with them. The only problem is, he had a noticeably down year after a great 2019 season.

This past season, he had, in 12 games, 32 combined tackles (3 for loss), 2 sacks, 6 QB hits and a forced fumble. The sack number is what really sticks out. In 2018 and 2019 he had 7 and 8 sacks, respectively. That number dropping to just 2 is not a good sight. However, I don’t think that’s enough to prevent them from bringing him back.

Jenkins is still under 30 and can provide nice production for a reasonable price. He should be brought back by the Jets.

LB Harvey Langi

Langi, being an inside linebacker, got substantial playing time with absences, specifically the opt-out of C.J. Mosley and the trade of Avery Williamson. Regardless, while on the field, he made an impact that was hard to ignore.

He had 60 total tackles, but other than that his number don’t fly off the page. Something that does fly, however, is him while on the field.

Harvey Langi isn’t the kind of player that’s going to break records or put up Pro Bowl statistics. His play style doesn’t really allow for that to be the case. Regardless, his play style and services can be valuable. He’s shown that.

While he doesn’t rack up very high tackle numbers, he’s always in the vicinity. While he doesn’t get a ton of sacks, QB hits or passes defended, he causes pressure. He does the type of things that lead to wins but don’t necessarily show up on stat sheets. As a result, the Jets could bring him back on a very team-friendly deal to help the defense.

CB Arthur Maulet

To end off the list, I’m sticking with defense. As I mentioned when making the case for Brian Poole, the New York Jets don’t have much to be excited about at cornerback. They have some young talent, but if they don’t make a big addition in free agency, Arthur Maulet could be a solid player to bring back.

Maulet re-signing wouldn’t be a headline, but it could be extremely beneficial for the defense. In 11 games last season, he had 29 total tackles, a QB hit, a sack, 5 passes defended and an interception. He was, whether it’s believable or not, one of the best players in the secondary for the Jets throughout the season.

He played last season on a one-year, $875,000 deal, which is not a big dent in the cap whasteover. If they can re-sign him to a similar deal, even if it’s slightly more money, it’s well worth it.

Maulet, along with Marcus Maye, Brian Poole, Jordan Jenkins and Harvey Langey all should be re-signed. If they all will, however, remains a mystery at this point.

New York Jets positional preview 2021: Linebackers

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

New head coach Robert Saleh has plenty of questions to address when it comes to the New York Jets’ linebacking corps.

The Position: Linebacker
On the Roster: C.J. Mosley, Blake Cashman, Sharif Finch, John Daka
Free Agents: Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham, Neville Hewitt, Patrick Onwuasor, Harvey Langi, Bryce Hager, Frankie Luvu
Reserve/Future: Noah Dawkins

The world was a lot different this time a year ago, unaware of the upheaval and interruption to daily life that 2020 was going to bring. It obviously pales in comparison to other items affected by the past year’s propensity for chaos, but the New York Jets’ situation at linebacker seemed to be trending in the right direction.

C.J. Mosley seemed destined to come back after an impressive debut in Week 1 of 2019, a year mostly most due to injury. Avery Williamson was establishing himself as a leader. Jordan Jenkins, fresh off a career-best eight sacks, was brought back on an affordable one-year deal at just under $4 million. Depth options Neville Hewitt and Blake Cashman were also returning through a new contract and new health respectively. The unit appeared to be trending in the right direction.

But things have drastically changed over the past year, with calamities brought on by both external sources and problems on the homefront leaving the linebacker corps in relative shambles. Mosley (understandably) opted out of the 2020 season due to the ongoing health crisis. Williamson was part of the Jets’ in-season fire sale in a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jenkins failed to build on the last two seasons and ended up injured reserve with Cashman, who was limited to three defensive snaps by another injury. Hope did emerge in the form of Tarell Basham, who set career-bests in a contract year, but nothing that would truly solidify the Jets’ outlook.

Joining the Jets as defensive coordinator is Jeff Ulbrich, a decade-long linebacker in San Francisco fresh off a defensive coordinator stint under Raheem Morris’ brief watch in Atlanta. Both he and head coach Robert Saleh (having overseen linebackers in Jacksonville for three seasons) have their work cut out for them as they seek to gain clarity on a team in upheaval.

Free Agents-to-be

Tarell Basham

Basham took the most of extended opportunities, setting new career-bests in tackles (36), quarterback hits (13), and sacks (13). He notably served as the main catalyst behind the Jets’ Week 16 win over playoff-participant Cleveland, forcing two fumbles of Baker Mayfield late in the game. At the right price, Basham can serve as a veteran, situational pass rusher.

Bryce Hager

Mostly working on special teams, injuries forced the veteran Hager to start the final two games of the season at linebacker, earning credit for half-a-sack (the first of his six-year career) in the season finale in New England. Brant Boyer’s return could grant him at least a camp opportunity.

Neville Hewitt

Over the past three seasons, Hewitt has established himself as a very reliable depth option in green. Hewitt started all 16 games for the first time in his career last season, leading the Jets with 91 solo tackles (fourth in the NFL). While Hewitt has more than earned a new contract in New York, his strong showings off the bench may lead him to seek more permanent starting roles in a new locale.

Jordan Jenkins

Jenkins’ $3.75 million deal was seen as a steal, especially for a guy that earned 15 sacks over the prior two seasons. But subsequent shoulder issues stifled his 2020 endeavors, causing him to miss four games and earn only two sacks. Fresh off surgery, the Jets will probably let him walk, unless Saleh and Ulbrich view him as a veteran reclaimation project.

Harvey Langi

A restrcited free agent, Langi was another backer who enjoyed career-best number after taking over for fallen comrades (60 tackles) before landing on injured reserve himself. His familiarity with the Jets’ special team works could certainly afford him a new opportunity.

Frankie Luvu

Luvu has turned himself into a bit of a fan favorite over the past few preseasons, earning a roster spot through his tenacious pass rushing from the fringe. As an exlusive rights free agent, Luvu will probably gain another chance this summer in camp.

Patrick Onwuasor

Injuries limited Onwuasor to a mere single game and eight snaps last season…none of which came on defense. The former Raven could get another chance in New York if the team wants to keep some veteran guidance in tow.

Will They Draft?

Depends on what the Jets glean from a sizably talented free agency class, but with so many potential departures, they’ll certainly do their due dilligence this offseason. The threat of seeing multi-talented quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa (who could become Deshaun Watson if Miami convinces the Texans to bargain), outside edge help would likely be the way to go. It’s unlikely that the Jets will use the No. 2 pick on a linebacker, but options with the late first from Seattle could include Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah or versatile Zaven Collins out of Tulsa.

Veteran Possibilities

Matt Judon, Baltimore

Through Mosley and Onwuasor, it appears the Jets have studied the Ravens’ linebackers extensively. It’s possible they could return to Baltimore’s fountain of defensive prowess through Judon, who will likely be the most-sought after linebacker prospect on the free agent front. They could go after Yannick Ngakoue again, but considering Baltimore sent over two picks to get him, they’ll likely be all-in on his re-signing, leaving Judon to test the open market (especially with only one franchise tag). At 28, Judon has plenty left in the tank and can give the young Jets a taste of success. The cap hit (over $16 million in Baltimore last season) could scare some suitors off, but Jets certainly have the funds available.

De’Vondre Campbell, Arizona

A former fourth-round pick out of Minnesota, Campbell got his start under Ulbrich in Atlanta. Prior to Campbell’s departure for the Cardinals last offseason, Ulbrich discussed his appreciation for Campbell and just how personal their relationship grew during their shared time with the Falcons.

“He’s a guy where my daughter watches his kids, babysits his kids and we have a deep connection in that way,” Ulbrich said last March, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “To see him grow as a player and as a man, it’s a guy that I would love to continue on with.”

With Campbell hitting free agency again, Ulbrich may have a chance to reopen that opportunity.

Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay’s defense, one fresh off stifling the mighty Chiefs in the Super Bowl, is young enough that they could be poised to be a problem for a long time. But Barrett can be the threat off the edge the Jets have been seeking for a long time, a role he filled in brilliantly during Tampa’s championship run. Barrett can be particularly dangerous in the 4-3 set that Saleh desires.

Outlook

The Jets have some big decisions to make at linebacker, a vital spot with defenseive masters Saleh and Ulbrich taking over. There’s certainly some changes to make in this area with so many names up for free agency. Focus has previously centered on offense, but the Jets have the necessary cap room (and could gain more with some releases) to make a play at some of the big names on the linebacking front. Either way, the relative stability they felt at the end of the 2019 toward the group seems like an attainable, if not vital, goal.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: 3 pass rushers to target in free agency

New York Giants, Yannick Ngakoue

It is no secret that the New York Giants desperately need help at outside linebacker, considering their pass rush was limited at times due to injury. Early on in the season, both Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, the Giants’ starters at OLB, went down with individual ailments.

Carter tore his Achilles against the Dallas Cowboys, and Ximines suffered a shoulder injury that landed him on IR. Ultimately, both of them missed the remainder of the season, forcing players like Carter Coughlin and veteran Jabaal Sheard to earn more minutes than expected.

Surprisingly, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham managed to curate a pass rush without depth at OLB. Thanks to a strong interior pass rush and well-schemed games, the Giants still managed to produce more than 40 sacks this past season.

However, there is little justification to continue relying on Carter and Ximines as their primary pass rushers, considering their injuries. This free agency could represent a solid opportunity for the Giants to acquire an above-average pass rusher, so let’s take a few available options on the market.

Three free-agent pass rushers the New York Giants should consider:

1.) Yannick Ngakoue

One of the bigger names is Yannick Ngakoue, a 6-foot-2, 246-pound defensive end. He has the ability to play in the dirt and also outside linebacker. Having a pass rusher who can play three-technique, five-technique, and OLB is extremely valuable. Graham loves to use his players in multiple ways, so Ngakoue would be a perfect fit for the Giants, but his price tag likely won’t be. Spotrac has him valued at $12 million for 2020, but after posting 8.0 sacks and 10 QB hits this past year, I expect him to land a multi-year deal worth at least $16 million per season.

With the salary cap expected to drop exponentially and the Giants projected to re-sign Leonard Williams on a big deal, I don’t believe Ngakoue will be within their price range. In addition, he has been inconsistent over the past few seasons but does represent one of the better options on the market at just 25 years old — I love his versatility and diversity when playing in different techniques, but again, the Giants simply don’t have the money available, especially with wide receiver being a significant need.

2.) Leonard Floyd

Another adequate option for the New York Giants is Leonard Floyd, who was previously of interest back in 2016 before the Chicago Bears leapfrogged Big Blue and selected him. After four inconsistent seasons with Chicago, Floyd has catapulted to another level in 2020. The 28-year-old linebacker recorded 10.5 sacks, 55 combined tackles, 19 quarterback hits, and 11 tackles for loss this season. In other words, he has taken his game to another level, and having a good interior defense around him has only benefited his development.

With the Giants expected to retain Leonard Williams and potentially Dalvin Tomlinson, Floyd could fit the bill perfectly as a standup pass rusher. In addition, he can also play a variety of roles, dropping back into shallow coverage and covering the flats, which is something that Patrick Graham likes to do with his OLBs.

However, given Floyd’s breakout season, he could be in line for a big contract. The Giants could offer him a deal worth $14 million per season that might get it done, but he also might be out of their price range.

3.) Jordan Jenkins

The first two options are a bit more pricey, but the Giants could look to Jets’ outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins as a potential supplement. Jenkins is only 26 years old and has good size at 6-foot-3 and 259 pounds. In 2019, he recorded 8.0 sacks and 13 quarterback hits, but his production fell off this past season, recording just 2.0 sacks and six quarterback hits.

Nonetheless, the Jets were extremely disappointing, and with a better team around him and some motivation, Jenkins can be an extremely productive pass rusher. In addition, he could be a very cheap alternative for the Giants, we are likely going to move on from Kyler Fackrell this off-season.

A two-year deal worth $7 million could get it done after he signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Jets this past off-season. I think Jenkins can actually be quite a productive player when given the tools, and Graham is known for extracting the most out of his defenders.

New York Jets: Is this the end of the road for Jordan Jenkins in green and white?

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins has been regarded as the New York Jets‘ best pass rusher for the past few years. Jenkins was rumored to be leaving the team last season, but Jenkins came back for another year under Gregg Williams on a prove-it deal. Jenkins was projected to be the lead disruptor for the team this season. Instead, amongst all the bad on the team this year, his underwhelming performance has flown under the radar.

His Poor Performance

Last season, Jenkins hit career highs in sacks, TFLs, deflections and tied his career high in forced fumbles. He ended the season with 32 tackles, 8.0 sacks, 9 TFLs, 2 FFs and 3 deflections. The years before that, in 3 seasons, he showed consistent production increases in his pass-rushing stats. In his rookie year, he put up 2.5 sacks, 2 TFLs, and 3 QB Hits. Then, he had a sophomore jump slightly to 3.0 sacks, 5 TFLs, and 9 QB Hits. Then, prior to his big year last year, he had 7.0 sacks, 6 TFLs, and 15 QB Hits. Jenkins was evidently growing and at 26, was projected to be the potential lead pass rusher for the Jets.

Then, this season he has taken a big production hit. In 12 games, Jenkins has 31 tackles, 2.0 sacks, a FF, 2 TFLs, and 6 QB Hits. Jenkins still has 4 games left to take a statistical jump, but he has not been able to replicate any disruption that he shown in previous seasons. Jordan has failed to bring any sense of true disruption in the backfield this season and it is rather concerning. So why did Jenkins take a big dip this season?

Why the dip in production?

Coming into the season on a prove-it deal, Jenkins needed a big year. The thing is, the Jets significantly depleted the resources around him. The Jets most prolific disruptor the past few seasons was Jamal Adams. When Adams was shipped to Seattle, the Jets pass rush took a hit. As one of the leading pass rushers for the team in the past few years, there is a deep background to why he is called, “Blitz Boy” now. In all honesty though, where Adams excelled and still does excel in Seattle is in the pass rush. Teams knew this and worked to prevent him from breaking through. This opened up a huge opportunity for a guy like Jenkins to step up and capitalize off the attention Adams garnered.

Without Adams, Jenkins has drawn a lot more attention from opposing teams this season facing more double teams then he did in past years. Not only that, but the Jets have had some low level secondaries during his time in New York, but this season they have one of their worst yet. Simply put, Jenkins has a lot less time to rush the passer than before and a lot more work to do to get there.

This is in no means an excuse for his dip though, this was purely the reasoning. With that said, the Jets have relied on Jenkins to be a key piece in this defense for the past few years. He has been a leader and a vocal one at that. The thing is, the Jets don’t need a complimentary pass rusher, they need a dominant one. Jenkins deserves to go to a competitive football team and get a chance to succeed. He is a talented piece, he needs help around him to succeed though in terms of an outside pass rush and the Jets don’t have that. The Jets will look to get that kind of player this offseason to capitalize off the massive jump Quinnen Williams has taken with his interior pass rush. However, the Jets don’t need to throw money at a complimentary pass rusher that is not as imperative to success as some other positions. Jenkins deserves to get to play that compliment role elsewhere and the Jets deserve a chance to allocate resources elsewhere.

The Good and The Bad of New York Jets First Scrimmage

New York Jets, Nate Hairston

A number of things stood out to me from today’s first team scrimmage for the New York Jets, and for the most part they were not very good. So, let’s breakdown what went right and what went wrong for the Jets today.

The Good

Frank Gore

Gore reportedly looked “terrific” according to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes among others. Gore has been fantastic to this point according to Gase in terms of leadership impact and on the field performance. The ageless wonder continued to amaze and I’m excited to see him debut with the Green and White.

LaMical Perine

Sticking with the running backs, Perine was impressive today ripping off a 20 yard gain and then a 79-yard score. Perine was known for his breakaway speed at Florida and he flashed that today. The Jets know they have a unique blend of speed and size in that running back room and the perfect definition of that is Perine. I’m intrigued to see how he continues to grow from here as the season progress.

Mike White and James Morgan

The little known former 5th rounder was a practice squad fixture last season. Then this season, Gase said it’s been like two different quarterbacks. He’s thrown the ball very well in camp to this point and that reportedly continued today with another solid showing. Morgan also dominated the first-team defense which is impressive but also scary.

Ashtyn Davis

Davis continued his impressive camp with a pick-six today. Davis has been working side by side with the Jets defensive coaches in order to maximize his potential early on. It’s clear the organization has high hopes for him.

The Bad

Turnovers

The Jets first-team offense turned the ball over 3 times today against the second-team defense. That’s inexcusable and something that you’d expect earlier in camp, not two weeks away from the season. That’s an issue that needs to be worked on quickly.

First Team Defense Pressure

The Jets reportedly had no pressure in the backfield today. Presumably, Tarell Basham was set for the second pass rusher role, but with his injury, Jenkins will get targeted all the more. So, this makes pressure a difficult thing for the Jets to sustain right now. A move might need to be made for a pass rusher if Basham won’t be ready by week one.

Injuries

It seems like every day more injuries occur. Today, Lawerence Cager caught bad luck during his excellent camp with swelling emerging around his knee. That’s the latest receiver out and latest important piece. Then, new guard, Greg Van Roten got hurt as well. The Jets need to find ways to minimize injuries or this will be a long year.

Wide Receivers

I touched on the injury to Cager, but with Crowder and Hogan having a bad record with injuries and both fumbling during the scrimmage, it’s apparent the Jets need more insurance. Perriman and Mims will be back soon, but the Jets could use another vet to provide more insurance.

Lev Bell

Lev was pulled after just a few reps. It was reportedly to keep him loose, but he refuted those claims on Twitter immediately. He claimed that he needs reps to get going and the Jets were mismanaging him. All I can say is, welcome to Jets football. 

Report: New York Jets in on Yannick Ngakoue sweepstakes

New York Giants, Yannick Ngakoue

Well, this is something. The New York Jets are reportedly “deeply involved” in talks with the Jaguars for the services of Yannick Ngakoue per Michael Lombardi. The former exec previously reported he foresees a deal occurring for Ngakoue very soon. Ngakoue has been a rumored trade candidate all offseason, and could finally be heading to a new location. Ngakoue heading to New York would change the organizational landscape.

What It Would Mean

Adding Yannick would absolutely reshape the defense. For starters, the Jets would have their first true pass rusher in years. At just 25, Yannick has barely scratched the surface of what he could be. In just four seasons, Yannick has 122 tackles, 37.5 Sacks, 14 Forced Fumbles, 42 TFLs, and 2 INTs. Yannick is an absolute freak who would be an impact player immediately.

Not only that but adding a pass rusher like Yannick changes the way opposing offenses game plan for this defense. This then allows guys like Jordan Jenkins, who’s always been better suited as a number two pass rusher, to truly flourish. You’d also see a guy like Quinnen Williams, who’s already showing an impressive level of growth in training camp, take a huge step up with less attention on him. The whole defense would benefit from a pass rush. The weak secondary would be able to be masked all the more. Most of all, Yannick would bring the star-like presence that the Jets lost just a few weeks ago in the Adams trade.

Will It Happen?

It remains to be seen if Douglas will pull off such a deal. The move seems out of character for him on the surface. However, Douglas is the kind of negotiator capable of magic, as seen in the Adams deal. The rumored compensation is a 2nd rounder. If the Jets can walk out of this deal without parting with a first and get Ngakoue, then Douglas deserves a statue. Not only that but then they can keep those firsts for a draft that will likely be very interesting without college football in the fall. The move would be great, so hopefully, it’s not just a report with no true grounds. 

New York Jets: Jordan Jenkins can lead a defensive revolution

New York Jets, Jordan Jenkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Report: New York Jets signing veteran corner Logan Ryan to prove it deal

New York Jets, Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

Throughout this offseason, New York Jets GM Joe Douglas has been very active in signing players to prove it deals to attempt to fill critical needs. He’s also been very aggressive in trying to fill one of the Jets’ biggest voids. Last season the Jets’ cornerback group was one of the worst in football. With minimal depth and no proven entities, the Jets had to upgrade the position this the offseason.

They released Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, two bad signings from the old regime, and added Pierre Desir on a one year deal. They also brought back Brian Poole on a one year deal as well. The Jets still have Bless Austin, Nate Hairston, and Arthur Maulet, but they looked to upgrade the position in the draft.

The Jets then came out of the draft with two more new corners—Bryce Hall from Virginia and 23-year-old former second-rounder from the Colts, Quincy Wilson. Although there were reports before the draft of the Jets’ interest in CB Logan Ryan, it seemed as though the team was comfortable with their corners. Well, apparently they were not. The New York Jets have reportedly signed Logan Ryan to a one year deal per Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News.

Who is Logan Ryan?

As we’ve covered extensively here at ESM, Logan Ryan is a reliable veteran coming off a very successful season. Ryan is a hometown kid who attended Rutgers University. After a solid career there, Ryan was drafted in the 3rd Round of 2013 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. When Ryan debuted, he immediately carved himself a role with the Pats. Ryan was an excellent corner with them until he left in 2016.

He then joined the Titans, where he’s been coached by Mike Vrabel. He comes from a very good coaching tree, and he’s got a championship pedigree with two rings under his belt. Ryan is also 29 years old; he’s still got a few years of good football left. After remaining unsigned for the first two months or so of free agency, he now goes to a team in need of a reliable lead corner.

How Will Ryan Fit?

Logan Ryan is coming off a season where he had 113 tackles, 4 INTs, and 4 TFLs. In one of the best years of his career, he also picked off his former teammate, Tom Brady, in what was ultimately the last play of Brady’s time in New England. Now the former Patriot is coming home to the Jets.

Ryan will be tasked with leading a young cornerback group while also trying to perform well to earn himself a long term deal. What better coach to have with that pressure then one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, Gregg Williams. The opportunity to play under Gregg has been a critical reason that players like Brian Poole and Jordan Jenkins took such cheap deals to return to the Jets and is likely a reason Logan Ryan is coming to Gang Green. Williams gets the best out of his players, and he will try to do that with a veteran player who’s had a lot of success.

Even if this move bombs, the Jets have loads of young talent in the secondary that need mentorship. Bryce Hall and Bless Austin could both benefit from learning behind an experienced player, and even Quincy Wilson and Pierre Desir could pick up a thing or two from Ryan. Overall, the Jets have solidified their secondary for the upcoming season and formulated serious competition for the starting roles.

If there is anything you can pull from this offseason, it’s that Joe Douglas likes two things, leadership and establishing competition. By adding a talented player like Logan Ryan, he did just that.