One New York Jets Receiver Enters A Make Or Break Season

New York Jets, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold

The New York Jets lost Robby Anderson this past offseason. The loss was one that set the Jets back at wide receiver. Anderson was the go-to target for Sam Darnold. He was a deep threat who could stretch the field and add another layer to the Jets passing game. The Jets return Jamison Crowder, a safety net for Darnold and a dynamic slot piece. They also added a presumed steal in rookie Denzel Mims. Mims brings a big red zone presence with his size and catch radius. Although he brings speed, he will be trusted to grow with Darnold and be groomed into a do it all number one receiver. The Jet receiver trusted to bring the deep threat presence and fill the void of Robby Anderson is Breshard Perriman.

Perriman Needs A Big Year

When Perriman signed with the New York Jets, just hours after Anderson inked a deal to defect to Carolina, I broke the news here at ESM. I touched on his inconsistencies in his past, but one thing I harped on was his recent successes. In 3 years, Perriman had 55 receptions for 916 yards and 5 TDs. Last season, he had 36 receptions for 645 yards and 6 TDs. In the final quarter of the season, Perriman didn’t have a game with less than 70 yards. Perriman was on fire and flashed the potential that got him picked by the Ravens with the 26th pick in the 2015 draft. Perriman parlayed those flashes into a 1 year deal with Gang Green. The Jets will give him the opportunity to start and earn meaningful reps. If Perriman can put up solid numbers, he could revitalize his career.

Perriman fits into the model Douglas is trying to build “prove it deals”. Perriman must put up a quality season in order to become a true fixture in this league. With all the speed in the world, if Perriman can continue to develop his route tree this offseason, similarly to what Anderson did last season. At 26, the best could be ahead for the Breshard Perriman.

New York Jets: Fake Sports Center account fools media over Colin Kaepernick signing

New York Jets

The world of misinformation strikes again. Today the New York Jets were tied to a situation that ended up trending nationwide. A Twitter account called SportsCenter with the real username being @SuperToughScene posted a tweet today stating, “JUST IN: The New York Jets have signed free agent QB Colin Kaepernick to a 1 year / $9 million contract.”

They even credited Adam Schefter on the story and used the old NFL graphic for new signings that featured the old Jets logo. The story then got picked up by a few local media outlets nationwide and ended up gaining significant traction. I then received multiple texts of people asking, “Woah, the Jets signed Kaepernick”. I then had to fact check this and within seconds I had my answer. So, to set the record straight, Colin Kaepernick is NOT a New York Jet and is still a free agent.

Where Is Kaepernick?

Colin Kaepernick was at a low point in his career following the 2014 & 2015 seasons. The 49ers went through a drastic change in their front office and coaching staff and Kaepernick was coming off 3 surgeries. They were beginning a season with their third coach in three seasons. Kaepernick became blacklisted after kneeling for the Star-Spangled Banner.

Since that moment Kaepernick has been one of the most controversial football players in the modern era. Kaepernick lost his job after Kyle Shanahan took over the team following the 2016 season. Kaepernick then ended up being released and he has remained a free agent since then.

His controversial actions, legal battles with the NFL, and tryout went wrong have made him an unattractive QB for most teams. Although some people think he’s still the Kaepernick they saw play in the Super Bowl in 2012, he’s now 32 and was heading downhill when released.

The fact is, political beliefs aside, the Jets would not make this move from a football standpoint. Nor would any team. Kaepernick would want A LOT of money when at best, he’d be a camp body competing for a backup job. His asking price won’t come down and teams around the league don’t want to pay him an immense amount of money to sit on the bench and draw boatloads of media coverage that could divide their fan base.

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. 

Are The New York Giants Setting Their Defense Up For Isaiah Simmons?

New York Giants looking at Isaiah Simmons in 2020 NFL Draft?

The New York Giants made a couple of big-splash signings on the first day of free agency. New York landed cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, both of which will be new starters on the defense making over $10 million per year.

What NFL teams do in free agency usually indicates what they are planning to do in the draft. The Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman once said, “You address issues with free agency so that you can set yourself up in the draft so you take the best player available.”

Who would be the best player available for the Giants with the fourth overall pick? Most likely, linebacker Isaiah Simmons. But the Giants just signed three linebackers: Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell, and David Mayo. Does this mean they will not be drafting Simmons? Well, it might actually indicate the opposite.

The Giants Did Not Improve Their Linebackers’ Coverage Ability

The biggest complaint Giants fans have with the Blake Martinez signing is not about the player’s actual talent level. Instead, it is about Martinez’s playing strengths and style. Blake Martinez is not a coverage linebacker. In 2019, Martinez allowed a completion percentage of 83.8% in his coverage. Giants fans will criticize this signing because Cory Littleton and Joe Schobert, linebackers who are known for being able to make plays in coverage, were signed to contracts similar in price to that of Martinez.

The Giants’ inability to guard athletic tight ends and receiving running backs has been the Achilles heel of the defense for years. Former Giants’ linebacker Alec Ogletree allowed a completion percentage of 83.0% in his coverage in 2019. The Blake Martinez signing (83.8%) does not exactly fix this error in the Giants’ defense. But there is another linebacker who will be available this season that could fix that error.

Isaiah Simmons’s top strength is his ability to make plays in coverage. Simmons, the Swiss-Army-Knife defender out of Clemson is the top linebacker prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is expected to be on the board when the Giants are picking fourth overall and he is expected to be the best defensive player available. Gettleman wants to take the best player available, but after investing heavily in the linebacker position in free agency, will he? Many fans believe Gettleman’s moves in free agency signal that he will be going offensive tackle in the first round of the draft. Here is why that might not be true:

Isaiah Simmons Would Mesh Perfectly With The Giants’ Linebackers

Blake Martinez and David Mayo are prototypical run-stuffing inside linebackers. Martinez racked up 144 tackles in 2017, 155 tackles in 2018, and 144 tackles in 2019. He is known for being a stalwart run-defender. But he is also known, as stated above, for struggling in pass-coverage.

In 2019, David Mayo totaled 82 combined tackles in 13 games. Additionally, Mayo had 5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. However, Mayo’s coverage was targeted 29 times and he allowed 19 completions, a 65.5% completion percentage. His poor performance in coverage makes it hard to imagine the Giants relying on him and Martinez as their primary inside linebackers. Neither Martinez nor Mayo are proficient in coverage. But Isaiah Simmons is.

According to Pro Football Focus, Isaiah Simmons has allowed only 6.0 yards per target and has earned a PFF coverage grade of 92.5. Isaiah Simmons is exceptional in man-coverage. He has the coverage-ability of a safety but has the size to play linebacker in the NFL. Simmons is no pushover in run-defense either, totaling 104 tackles in 2019 to go along with his 3 interceptions.

All of this falls perfectly in line with what head coach Joe Judge said during his introductory press conference:

Let them play to their strengths. Don’t sit in a meeting and tell me what you don’t have in a player. Don’t tell me they can’t do certain things, tell me what they can do and then we’ll figure out as coaches, because that’s our job, how we can use that. –Joe Judge, head coach of the New York Giants

The Giants’ new head coach plans to play his players to their strengths. If that holds true, do not expect to see Blake Martinez and David Mayo lined up in man coverage on tight ends and slot receivers very often. If the Giants do in fact draft Isaiah Simmons, he will be lining up in man coverage while Martinez plugs the gaps in run defense and blitzes on passing downs. Adding Simmons into the fold masks Martinez’s weaknesses and allows the defense to operate at an efficient level with the linebackers playing to their strengths.

OT George Fant signs with the New York Jets

New York Jets, George Fant

The New York Jets have made a move. They have signed offensive tackle George Fant. Fant has signed to a 3 year 30 million dollar deal with 13.7 million guaranteed.  Fant was a Seahawk since joining the team as a UDFA in 2016. Fant was a basketball player converted to a Tight End and then a tight end converted to an offensive tackle. Fant is athletic and a very good blocker. So what does Fant add to the team and where does he fit in the line?

Is Fant A Good Offensive Tackle?

George Fant is very talented. The jury is still out on how good Fant really is. Despite battling injuries, when Fant has played he has consistently shown signs of development. Fant was good rotating across the line and filling in for various players. Questions surround his durability as he has very few starts. However, when he has played he has been a great pass blocker. He has played 266 pass-blocking snaps and only allowed 2 sacks and 2 QB hits. If Fant can stay on the field he will be a good offensive tackle for the New York Jets. If he doesn’t work out, the Jets structured the deal to get out of it with a minimal cap hit next season.

How Does Fant Fit With The Team

Fant will immediately become a starter on the offensive line. He will likely be the left tackle until the presumed draft pick is prepared. When the pick is ready, he will likely move over to the right side. This move gives the Jets an option and as I’ve been saying for a while, the Jets needed a valuable offensive tackle. Fant will improve the tackle spot if healthy and allow the Jets to move to the interior offensive line and other spots. Fant is a potential value signing but if he can’t stay healthy then this move will have been a waste.

Recapping the New York Jets’ first day of free agency

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets have expressed a lot of interest but done very little, so here’s a breakdown of all that’s gone down in regards to the Jets today for both sides of the ball. As for tomorrow, Gang Green needs to wake up.

Offensive Line Rumors

The Jets were in on three key offensive linemen — Graham Glasgow, Joe Thuney, and Jack Conklin. All three are not going to be joining the Green and White. Despite prioritizing building through the trenches, the Jets added one offensive lineman today, and it was a guy they could’ve waited to scoop up in George Fant. The Jets need to add interior offensive linemen and are reportedly targeting C/G Steven Wisniewski & G Greg Van Roten. Van Roten is a longtime Jets fan and great pass protector, Wisniewski is a veteran with Douglas connections.

Wide Receiver Rumors

The Jets are devoted to helping Sam, but at what cost? The Jets missed out on adding either Stefon Diggs, Amari Cooper, and DeAndre Hopkins. All three would’ve been legit number one receivers. Now the Jets head towards day two of free agency looking to add playmakers. Phillip Dorsett is reportedly a big target. Dorsett is the only guy the Jets have publicly been linked to, but expect more to emerge tomorrow and keep an eye on Emmanuel Sanders.

Edge Rusher Rumors

The Jets have been very active in expressing interest here. The Jets have shown interest in Dante Fowler Jr as expected. However, the Jets have also shown SERIOUS interest in Jadeveon Clowney. If the money is there and feasible, the Jets should go after him. He would be a monster for Gregg Williams to have fun with on defense. Fowler and Clowney would immediately add more star power on defense. The Jets also seem inclined to let Jordan Jenkins walk per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.

As for lesser names, the Jets had shown interest in Kyle Van Noy before the Dolphins added him. Expect them to target Markus Golden as well.

Cornerback Rumors

The Jets were in on both James Bradberry and Byron Jones, but it seemed more than likely they would target lesser corners. Desmond Trufant was released by Atlanta today and has already been linked to the Jets. As has Chris Harris Jr. and Prince Amukamara. Brian Poole is a guy the Jets would like to bring back, but cost is debatable. Corner is a priority for the Jets, and their goal is to find value guys.

New York Jets are stifled by New England in pursuit over top offensive guard

New England Patriots, Joe Thuney

The New York Jets can no longer sign  New England guard, Joe Thuney. Thuney was a player the Jets really really liked and he now remains in the AFC East with the Patriots. Thuney has consistently ranked as one of the best guards in football. He has played every game in the last four years for New England. He would’ve been a great addition but now the Jets have to adapt and overcome. So, where do the Jets go from here?

Other Options

Graham Glasgow and Greg Van Roten have both been linked to the Jets and Connor Hughes reports that the Jets are expected to ramp up their pursuit of Glasgow. The Jets will likely aim to add Jack Conklin as well. If the Jets can add a guard and Conklin then this would be a major success. However, losing out on Thuney is missing out on a guy who immediately would’ve bolstered the line and provided leadership. The Jets now have to adapt and change their plans and aim to find other solutions like Conklin and a guard.

The State Of The AFC East

There are suggestions the Pats tagged Thuney to prevent him from staying in the AFC East with the Jets or Dolphins. The Pats could trade him which is  likely because if he remains, he and Shaq Mason take up a lot of their cap for the guard slots. With their re-signings and now Thuney, the Patriots need to do something to achieve cap feasibility. Whether that is trading Thuney or trading or releasing other pieces, they’re in a tough spot. If they keep Thuney then it’s less feasible for Brady to return and this move as a whole could drastically alter the climate of the AFC East.

New York Jets Roadmap To a Ring: Free Agency Predictions

New York Jets, Vic Beasley

This is section three of my multi-part series dedicated to laying out a blueprint for the New York Jets this offseason. It is essentially a blueprint of what I would do if I were in Joe Douglas’s shoes. Most moves are realistic, but keep in mind; there is A LOT of offseason to go. Part three is devoted to the “dawgs” the Jets should bring in during free agency.

Estimated Cap After Resigning Players & Cuts: $47,317,397

Joe Thuney G

Estimated Deal: $14 million a year for five years

Thuney is one of the best guards in football. He hasn’t missed a single game in his career, and he’s been one of the most efficient offensive linemen. Thuney is going to command BIG money, but that’s what you have to pay to get the best. Douglas needs to splurge and get a beast to pair with Alex Lewis on this offensive line. This would be a phenomenal move.

Ronald Darby CB

Estimated Deal: $5 million a year for two years

Darby was a very talented corner for the Eagles, but he had an awful campaign last year. He still has potential mainly because he played banged up most of last year, and in a Gregg Williams defense, Darby should be successful. Offensive line was prioritized, so the Jets subsequently miss out on Bradberry and Jones in this scenario, but the low-cost option in Darby is a good one.

Vic Beasley EDGE

Estimated Deal: $7.5 million a year for three years

Beasley is an underrated productive edge rusher. In his career, he’s had 37.5 sacks. He had eight sacks last season, and he is a major Swiss Army knife that Gregg Williams would love to have. Adding two low-cost, efficient players in Darby and Beasley immediately improves the defense. Pairing Beasley with Jenkins could be the edge-rushing answer for the short term.

Demarcus Robinson WR

Estimated Deal: $4 million a year for two years

Robinson can be a cheap asset for this team, and he allows for draft flexibility. Robinson would be able to slot in with Crowder, Doctson, and likely two draft picks and immediately become a vital piece of the offense. Gase would be able to have fun with a young receiver like Robinson, who is a dynamic playmaker.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai OL

Estimated Deal: $9.5 million a year for four years

Vaitai is an underrated value signing that I would be ecstatic for. Vaitai is a Super Bowl Champion who filled in admirably for Jason Peters in the past. Vaitai is versatile and has a connection to Douglas. By signing Vaitai, you add a starting-caliber lineman who can play wherever. Adding a guy like him makes Beachum less important and nearly expendable. Beachum could be a reliable mentor at left tackle for a rookie and excellent backup. Overall, Vaitai and Thuney immediately makes the offensive line more suitable for Sam Darnold. With the two of them, Alex Lewis, Chuma Edoga, and Kelvin Beachum, the Jets have a solid offensive line before the draft, where I plan to try to add two more linemen. This eases pressure, however, and makes offensive line less prioritized.

EDIT: Kelvin Beachum resigning becomes unnecessary, but in this case, I worked it into the team as depth.

Overview:

This would be a great free agency for the Jets. They would add two great offensive linemen and three low risk/high reward players. All of these moves lead up to the big event… the Draft.

New York Giants Could Pursue Byron Jones And James Bradberry In Free Agency

New York Giants, Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys

The New York Giants are reportedly planning on prioritizing the cornerback position in free agency this offseason (Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post). Luckily for New York, there are plenty of talented cornerbacks set to be available.

Two of the top cornerbacks for the Giants to target will be Byron Jones and James Bradberry. Both will have very competitive markets but would be massive upgrades to add to the Giants’ young and upcoming secondary.

Byron Jones

The Dallas Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.

The 27-year-old cornerback out of Connecticut has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league with the Cowboys. Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback at the professional level and has done both exceptionally well. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He’s a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends. Finally, the Giants could get a coverage-man to shut down opposing tight ends.

James Bradberry

In Ryan Dunleavy’s report, he listed Byron Jones and James Bradberry as two potential cornerback targets for the Giants in free agency. Dunleavy described Bradberry as a “coveted option.” There should be a competitive market to sign James Bradberry.

But James is expected to cost a pretty penny. According to a report by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Bradberry is seeking a contract worth approximately $15 million per year. This might be a bit expensive for a 27-year-old cornerback that has never been to a Pro Bowl.

In 2019, Bradberry recorded 3 interceptions, and 12 passes defended. James is not exactly an elite talent, but he is a reliable veteran that would be a considerable upgrade in the Giants’ secondary. If they can acquire Bradberry for the right price, it might be worth the investment.

New York Jets: Should the Jets Pursue Vic Beasley in Free Agency?

New York Jets, Vic Beasley

Pass rusher is one of the biggest needs the Jets need to conquer this offseason and it just so happens that a promising young pass rusher will hit the market in free agency. Vic Beasley is not expected to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons and is set to hit free agency. The New York Jets should try to get Beasley but the question is how much do they value him?

Production

Vic Beasley came was once thought of as an up and coming superstar after a terrific 15.5 sack sophomore season. Unfortunately, Beasley never came anywhere close to that production ever again and has been average the past 3 years. Beasley has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme and he is supremely athletic. The 2019 season was Beasley’s best since his sophomore year, he racked up 8 sacks and notched 42 total tackles and 12 QB hits. Beasley is only 27 and is in his prime if the Jets think that he can make a comeback then this move is worth the risk.

Contract

Beasley is going to enter a crowded pass-rusher market which will initially drive his price down unless teams get desperate after all the top pass rushers are gone. A contract for Vic Beasley is very tough to gauge because his value is dependent on what players like him will earn in free agency. The perfect contract comparison for Beasley is Dante Fowler Jr who got a 1 year 12-million-dollar deal with the Rams last offseason. The Jets might find that too pricey for a player who has been inconsistent his entire career and may opt to go with a safer yet more expensive option like Yannick Ngakoue.

Prediction

I believe the New York Jets will do their due diligence with Vic Beasley and offer him a 1 year prove-it deal for around 10-12 million dollars with 3 million guaranteed at signing. The Jets will consider Beasley’s inconsistency and injury history and potential when offering him a contract, but he will most likely be a fall back option in case Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue are gone.