New York Jets release several veterans, headlined by WR Quincy Enunwa

New York Jets

The New York Jets bid farewell to several veterans as they prepare for training camp, including the tenured receiver Quincy Enunwa.

In addition to the release of Quincy Enunwa, the New York Jets let several veterans go as they prepare for the process of training camp.

The Jets also announced the departures of running back Trenton Cannon, offensive lineman Ben Braden, and linebacker Wyatt Ray. C.J. Mosley was also placed on the team’s COVID-19 opt-out list after the linebacker’s announcement that he would skip the 2020 season over the weekend.

With the release of Enunwa, the Jets have no receivers leftover from Sam Darnold’s rookie season of 2018. Enunwa had inked a four-year, $36 million extension shortly before that season ended, but he suffered a neck injury in last season’s opener that kept him out for the remainder of the year. He was going to miss the entirety of the upcoming campaign as well, placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list in May. Enunwa’s 1,617 yards on 222 receptions are each good for fourth-best on the Jets since 2014. Since Enunwa’s release came after June 1, there are no cap savings or hits.

Cannon joined the Jets as a sixth-round draft pick (204th overall) in 2018 out of Division II Virginia State. He tallied 257 yards of offense over his rookie season, scoring one rushing touchdown. He appeared in four games in 2019 but was placed on injured reserve in November.

Braden will see his second tenure with the Jets end with a release. The Michigan alum joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent and spent parts of the next three seasons in their system. New York released him in September, after which he was added to the practice squad in Green Bay. Braden rejoined the Jets in November and partook in their season finale in December. He took part in three Jets games overall.

Ray had yet to partake in a regular-season NFL game. He ended his senior season (2018) at Boston College with nine sacks, good for fifth in the ACC. Ray had previously spent time on the Houston Texans’ practice squad.

With the release of Cannon, Braden, and Ray, the Jets save just over $2 million in 2020 cap space.

With these transactions, the Jets are down to 81 players on their roster. Three other players are on the COVID-19 reserve list (Bryce Hall, Ahmad Gooden, Skyheim Carter), but remain eligible to return. Training camp rosters are expected to include 80 players as the NFL prepares to navigate their season around the ongoing health crisis.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets release WR Quincy Enunwa

New York Jets, Quincy Enunwa

Another New York Jet has been released. Today, WR Quincy Enunwa joined veteran guard Brian Winters and others among those receiving their walking papers from Florham Park. After a severe neck injury hurt his highly anticipated year last season, Quincy Enunwa was shut down earlier this offseason. Now, the Jets decided to make the expected decision and release him.

What Happened To Enunwa

Enunwa had been a member of the organization since 2014. Alongside Winters, Enunwa was one of the longest-tenured Jets. The former 6th rounder out of Nebraska had all the physical capabilities in the world. He was a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, with a running back’s speed.

One could even say Enunwa had the most potential of the entire receiving corps at times while wearing the green and white. In his six years with the organization, Enunwa played in 41 games, had 119 receptions for 1,617 yards and 5 TDs.

Enunwa even played so well in 2018 that he earned a big deal from the former front-office regime. He was thought of as a building block, but that failed due to injuries.

Enunwa’s biggest pitfall was his durability. In that six-year span, Enunwa only played in more than 12 games in a season once. When on the field, Enunwa was electric. His inability to stay healthy hurt his long term value to the team, which makes this move explainable.

His other issue, though came with Adam Gase. After explaining he couldn’t attend his rehab, he was still fined for his missed appearance. This incident was made public by Enunwa and led to some bad blood within the organization. Which, almost certainly played a factor in the release.

What’s Next

For Enunwa, he will receive his $6M salary for 2020 since that was guaranteed. He also had a $4.1M injury guarantee for the 2021 season as part of the contract. So, the Jets will get no cap relief this year. Enunwa also has a tall task attempting to get back to football due to his chronic neck injury. It’s not an insurmountable task, but it’s a long road that won’t go through  New Jersey.

As for the Jets, all eyes turn to the current receiving group to step up and make up for the losses of Robby Anderson and Enunwa, who just a year ago, were the teams’ top two receivers. 

New York Jets: WR Quincy Enunwa addresses mental health in Instagram post

New York Jets, Quincy Enunwa

The New York Jets receiver took to Instagram after a long hiatus to address mental health and look back on his time in New York.

View this post on Instagram

#MinorityMentalHealthMonth⠀ I've been off IG for a long time, but I'll try to keep this post short. ⠀ •⠀ I was once somebody who didn't think I could be affected by symptoms of mental illness. I always believed that my will would pull me through any issue. If I was really a "Man," I could deal with my own problems. I managed to live that way for a while, and then I injured my neck again. Suddenly just being a man wasn't enough. I needed something more to help me figure out what I was going through. Long story short, I found therapy and in it a space to process not only what I was going through, but also my relationships, friendships, and being black in America. Some people may think, "But Q, you just signed a 4-year extension, I would have just wiped my tears with those dollar bills," and to that, I say you right, but mental illness doesn't discriminate. @kevinlove said it best, "Success is not immune to depression or mental illness." ⠀ • With that being said, My wife created and is selling #BlackFeelingsMatter masks. When people are continually looking for ways to give back, she's found an amazing one. 100% of proceeds will be donated to @therapyforblackgirls and @nqttcn , which aim to provide culturally affirming therapy to people of color.⠀ •⠀ As I continue to evolve and use my platform for change, I refuse to allow my community to continue to struggle in the dark. Asking for help isn't weak and you're not alone in your struggle. Like @beastmode said, "Take care of your mental"

A post shared by Quincy Enunwa (@quincyenunwa) on

New York Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa returned to Instagram after a 13-month hiatus this week to address his mental health and look back on his time in the metropolitan area.

In a multi-photo post, the 28-year-old Enunwa admitted to having suffered from mental illness in the past but was proud to disclose that he worked through it with the assistance of therapy and through the words of his fellow athletes. The accompanying photos feature Enunwa engaged in various activities in the New York area, including a lead photo of his time with the Jets.

“I was once somebody who didn’t think I could be affected by mental illness. I always believed that my will would pull me through any issue,” Enunwa’s caption says. “If I was really a “Man,” [sic] I could deal with my own problems. I managed to live that way for a while, and then I injured my neck again. Suddenly just being a man wasn’t enough. I needed something more to help me figure out what I was going through.”

His post coincides with Minority Mental Health Month, which was established in 2008 by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Enunwa’s words include a quote from NBA All-Star Kevin Love, reading “Success is not immune to depression or mental illness”. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward was one of the first and most renowned professional athletes to address his mental health publicly.

“Long story short, I found therapy and in it a space to process not only what I was going through, but also my relationships, friendships, and being black in America,” he continued. “Some people may think, “But Q, you just signed a 4-year extension, I would have just wiped my tears with those dollar bills,” and to that, I say you right, but mental illness doesn’t discriminate.”

The receiver was referring to a four-year, $36 million extension he inked with the Jets in December 2018 and the resulting neck injury in the Week 1 contest against Buffalo in the ensuing season. Placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list in May, Enunwa will also miss all of the 2020 campaign.

Enunwa then went on to reveal a new charitable endeavor, selling protective face coverings that read “Black Feelings Matter”. The masks are made by Enunwa’s wife and U.S. Army veteran Deanna. All of the proceeds will be donated to Therapy for Black Girls and the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. These organizations, according to Enunwa, “aim to provide culturally affirming therapy to people of color”.

“As I continue to evolve and use my platform for change, I refuse to allow my community to continue to struggle in the dark. Asking for help isn’t weak and you’re not alone in your struggle,” Enunwa concludes. “Like (All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch) said, “Take care of your mental”.

Numerous teammates left messages of support under Enunwa’s post, including Jamal Adams and Chris Herndon.

Enunwa was drafted by the Jets in the sixth round (209th overall) of 2014’s draft out of Nebraska. He has earned 1,617 yards on 119 receptions in his career to go with five touchdowns.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

New York Jets: UDFA Breakdowns, Lawerence Cager

New York Jets, C.J. Mosley

Over the coming weeks, I plan to breakdown the little known additions to the New York Jets, the UDFAs. The Jets added a couple of new players with varying levels of potential and talent at a few positions of need. The Jets have had UDFAs turn into key contributors in previous years like Robby Anderson, Damon Harrison, and even the legend, Wayne Cherbert. The first UDFA breakdown is Lawerence Cager, WR, Georgia.

Strengths

Lawerence Cager is a very unique player with his build. Similar to Quincy Enunwa, Cager is a speed threat with the body of a tight end. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands and can be a good fit in quick throw and bubble screen packages that Adam Gase likes to run. Cager has got a lot of heart, if you look at his track record, Cager has been a leader and willed his way onto the field despite injuries in the past. Lawerence Cager has the physical and mental makeup to be a contributor at the next level. With good coaching, his talent could be harnessed into a formidable outside option or a depth receiver.

Weaknesses

Although I mentioned the dynamic aspect of Cager’s game, he also lacks a developed route tree. He’s got very good hands and he’s a crisp route runner, but at times he relies on his natural abilities to make up for lack of advancement in turns of his route tree. Natural ability may work in college, but at the next level, it won’t be as easy. Cager needs to develop more in that aspect. Cager also has a talented outside threat opposite him in George Pickens. That drew a lot of guys towards Pickens and freed Cager up more. This gave Cager more capability to succeed against lower-level corners. That’s a minor note that could be something to watch though. Lastly, injuries may have been something Cager could overcome at times, but he still missed the end of last season with a serious ankle injury. It may not be that much of an issue on the surface, but deeper damage could’ve hurt the dynamic aspect of his game and slowed him down a bit. That will remain to be seen.

Overall Outlook

Lawerence Cager was a worthwhile flyer in a free agency. There are definitely good reasons for Cager to not get drafted. The concerns in his game and injuries are justified. Ultimately, Cager is not going to be counted on to contribute right away. If Cager wins a spot on the roster, Hines Ward will likely be a key guy to watch in his development. If Ward sees potential in Cager or any other young receivers, his eye will be trusted. Cager could be a Quincy Enunwa prototype at best, but at worst this was just a camp body. 

New York Jets: WRs Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy placed on PUP list, among other roster moves

New York Jets

The New York Jets placed two receivers on the PUP list on Tuesday, including Quincy Enunwa, whose New York career may be over.

The New York Jets announced on Tuesday that receiver Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy have been placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list. New York also waived receiver Keon Hatcher, running back Jalin Moore, cornerback Kyron Brown, and defensive lineman Charles Tapper.

This marks the latest injury blow for Enunwa, who will turn 28 later this month. After inking a four-year, $36 million contract extension at the end of the 2018 season, the Nebraska alum missed all but one quarter of last year after suffering a neck injury during the Jets’ Week 1 tilt against Buffalo. This ailment came two years after bulging discs in his neck cost Enunwa the entire 2017 campaign. Enunwa has since been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the same condition that forced New York Mets third baseman David Wright into an abbreviated career. Between the 2014 and 2016 seasons, Enunwa put up 1,172 yards on 80 receptions, respectively good for third and fourth in the Jets’ ledgers in that span.

With 2020 activity likely out of the question, Enunwa will nonetheless likely remain on the team, at least for this season. The Jets face $11.4 million in dead cap money if they release him now, but that number lowers to $3.6 million next year (and they will also save $6 million in cap space).

Bellamy signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Jets last offseason. He partook in seven games, mostly on special teams, in his first Jets season, earning 20 yards on a pair of receptions before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder ailment in early November. The Jets would save $2.25 million in cap space if they release Bellamy prior to June 1.

Of the players released, only Brown partook in regular season action in New York. Injuries pressed him into service in a Week 14 game against Miami, where he earned five tackles in a 22-21 Jets victory.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

 

New York Jets: What WRs Could Jets Draft?

The New York Jets lost their best receiver this week to Carolina. With Anderson gone, the Jets brought in Breshard Perriman on a one year deal. With him on a prove-it deal, Quincy Enunwa with injury question marks galore and Jamison Crowder best suited in the slot, the Jets need to add to their receiving corps in the draft.

Day 1

The Jets have pick 11. I’m a firm believer that they should take and offensive lineman with that pick. If they went receiver though, it’s between 3 guys. Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs are the top 3 guys in this LOADED class.

Jeudy stands out to me above the other two. Jeudy is versatile and can play in a lot or on the outside. Jeudy is one of the crispest route runners I’ve ever seen and he’s a future number 1 receiver.

Lamb is a deep threat who can high point the ball like nobody’s business he’d fit Sam Darnold’s play style the best of the three and would give him that deep threat he had in Anderson and then some.

Ruggs is the most electric of the 3. He lit up the 40-yard dash and has flashed his in-game speed as well. If he developed as a route runner he’d have the most upside of the 3. They’re all phenomenal talents and would immediately bolster the Jets receiving corps now and in the future.

Day 2 & 3

This receiving class is loaded. That’s why I’d prefer the Jets to wait till day 2 & 3 to pick a weapon or two for the same. Rather than go through all the incredible talent I highlighted 4 guys I think would be the best fits or are my favorite receivers.

Justin Jefferson is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s a receiver’s best friend and if he slips to day 2 and the Jets pick, the New York Jets should take him. He’s got a great mix of size and speed and would immediately become Darnold’s favorite target.

Chase Claypool is a unique guy. He’s a lot like Evan Engram. Engram is a good tight end but sometimes he’s more like a receiver. Claypool is a good receiver but sometimes he’s more like a tight end. He’s a unique hybrid that is faster than most tight ends and could be both a great threat in space and a beast in the red zone.

Michael Pittman is a former teammate of Sam Darnold. His catch radius is off the charts. He’s dynamic and he’s got that connection to Sam. Pittman would become a great piece of this offense and he’s a good personality on and off the field.

Antonio Gandy Golden is a guy who’s going to be available later in this draft. Golden reminds me of a slightly shorter and at this timeless talented Megatron He’s physical, lengthy and can make plays happen. Golden can develop and become a key piece of any offense.

Other guys like Denzel Mims, Tee Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Brandon Aiyuk, and KJ Hamler are all beasts and guys I like as well. The point is with all this talent, the Jets have no excuse not to upgrade their receiving corps.

Report: New York Jets land talented WR Breshad Perriman on prove it deal

New York Jets, Breshad Perriman

Just as New York Jets nation pondered where Joe Douglas and the front office would go next at wide receiver, Douglas made a move. The Jets have signed wide receiver Breshad Perriman. Perriman had a phenomenal end to the season last year and now receives a one-year, $8 million dollar deal with $6 million guaranteed from Gang Green.

How Does Perriman Fit?

Quincy Enunwa is expected to be back next year, but with the injury question marks, he can’t be counted on right now. Jamison Crowder is a slot guy who had 833 yards and 6 TDs last season, but he’s not the outside deep threat. The Jets lost their number one receiver and key outside deep threat to the Panthers earlier today.

Now, that role will be filled by a former first-rounder in Perriman. Perriman was a first-rounder with the Ravens and was drafted while Douglas was there. At 26, he’s hitting his prime. He’s struggled in the past and ended up joining the Browns before finding a home in Tampa last year.

He had a really strong end to the season and now looks to build on that with the Jets. Perriman statistically produced similar numbers to Robby Anderson last season in 2 fewer games. Anderson had 52 receptions for 779 yards and five scores and played 91 percent of snaps. Perriman had 36 catches for 645 yards and six scores but played 56 percent of snaps. Perriman received a higher volume of targets than Anderson and still produced well.

What’s Next?

Well, Perriman must now be counted on to build off the strong finish he had to last season if he can then the Jets will have got a good player on a cheaper deal than Robby Anderson. Douglas said he wanted playmakers, and Perriman can fit that mold.

The Jets can now continue with their plan to target an offensive lineman with their first-rounder, but they need to grab one of the talented receivers in this class in the first three rounds. If the Jets can do that, then they will have a solid receiving corps.

As for other sides of the ball, the Jets finally have the answer to the Anderson question and can now try to add a complimentary piece or two to Jordan Jenkins on the edge. They can add some depth at other spots like corner and running back. They also should look to add a backup quarterback to ensure if Sam misses time they have a quality backup. Matt Moore could be a target.

New York Jets: What Can We Expect from Demaryius Thomas?

For the first time since 2000, the New York Jets and New England Patriots agreed to a trade, resulting in Demaryius Thomas suiting up for Gang Green. What type of impact can we expect from the 31-year-old veteran receiver?

Looks like Adam Gase was a man of his word after calling out the receiving corps following the New York Jets’ disappointing collapse against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. If Gase’s words rang loud and clear, then his actions surely followed it up. As a result of adding Antonio Brown, the New England Patriots followed by trading away Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets.

After seven straight seasons with the Denver Broncos (four of which were Pro Bowl seasons), Thomas has now found himself on four different teams in the past two seasons. (ProFootballReference).

After being traded midway last year from the Broncos to the Houston Texans, Demaryius Thomas suffered a ruptured Achilles that ended his season. After being signed, released, then re-signed with the Patriots this preseason, Thomas now finds himself as a New York Jet.

What type of production and impact can the Jets’ expect from the veteran wideout?

Prime Years Are in the Past

Demaryius Thomas accounted for five straight seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards from 2012-2016. He also accounted for double-digit touchdowns in three of the aforementioned five seasons. No surprise here, the Jets aren’t expecting to turn back the clock and revive the Demaryius Thomas of NFL past. Thomas wasn’t brought in to be the de facto number one wideout.

Even when he was racking up yardage and finding the endzone, Demaryius Thomas didn’t carry the reputation of having the most reliable hands. He averaged nearly 11 drops per season from 2012-2017, and his average career catch percentage is a mere 61%. Safe to say, the Jets are getting a Demaryius Thomas that his a shade of his former self.

Help Open Opportunities for Others

So the general consensus is that Thomas wasn’t going to be relied upon to suddenly handle the receiving load and lead the wideouts. But you don’t trade for him to ride the bench either. With the recent news of Quincy Enunwa likely to miss the remainder of the season with a neck injury, it is clear Demaryius Thomas will be up for filling the void.

So while Thomas won’t command double teams from opposing defensive backs, that doesn’t mean he can’t open opportunities for others. If he can prove to be reliable across the middle and with passes underneath, he can help keep defenses honest, possibly opening up Robby Anderson over the top as a deep threat.

Better yet, if he can prove reliable on the outside, it should give prized free-agent acquisition, Jamison Crowder, even more, room to work in the slot. Crowder had a whopping 17 targets and hauled in 14 of them for 99 yards receiving. The caveat: not a single touchdown reception. If there’s any way for Thomas to contribute, its to prove to be a reliable option, keeping defensive backs honest and allowing the other offensive threats the chance to exploit coverages.

 

New York Jets: What will Robby Anderson’s role be in 2019?

New York Jets, Robby Anderson

Robby Anderson has been a key asset for the New York Jets since his addition in 2016. During his rookie campaign, he burst onto the scene with 587 yards and two scores.

Anderson proved he had a boatload of potential with his dynamic skills, his breakaway speed, and his big play ability. The dynamic receiver followed that up with a near 1000 yard season in 2017 finishing with 941 yards and seven receptions (Sports Reference).

Then with all the eyes on Anderson now having to take a bulk of the targets, he struggled early but eventually found a rhythm with Sam Darnold. He finished his 3rd season with 752 yards and 6 scores. Now coming off an offseason overhaul within the organization and entering a contract year, this will be the biggest season of Robby Anderson’s career. 

The New York Jets are in a decent place:

A lot of people make the argument that quality is better than quantity, but I strongly disagree with the Jets case. The Jets have their main group of Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder and the second tier of Deontay Burnett and Greg Dortch.

The main group is essentially made up of three guys that are well respected but none as a clear cut #1 guy. The second tier is made up of two high potential guys who will see their fair share of reps this season. Anderson, however, has the most riding on this season. 

If the fourth-year pro can establish himself this season he can put himself in line for a big deal and also prove to the Jets he can be their main guy. He’s only missed two games in three seasons in the league and despite some minor off the field issues in the past, he continues to be one of the teams most reliable and productive weapons.

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Anderson even has some pressure taken off of him with the addition of Crowder and re-signing of Enunwa. In an organization where consistency is, well, inconsistent, a year where he is reliable as the number one option for a budding star QB should be heavily rewarded.

The fact is, a bulk of the Jets’ offensive success rides on the shoulders of Anderson. If the pass-catcher steps up and produces then it allows the rest of the Jets offense to run smoother. This season will be crucial not only for Anderson but his play will be crucial for the franchise.