New York Jets: Marcus Maye’s agent attaches curious tweet to injury news

Maye reportedly won’t don a New York Jets uniform for at least three weeks but his agent hinted it could be even longer.

A new year and new on-field management appear to have nonetheless begotten controversy in the New York Jets secondary.

A tweet from Erik Burkhardt, the agent of Gang Green safety Marcus Maye, seems to imply that one of the longest-tenured Jets could be on the movie by the time the NFL’s trade deadline rolls around. Burkhardt was referencing a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Maye would miss the next three to four weeks with an ankle injury.

He was particularly interested in Maye’s estimated return. Under the reported estimation, Maye would be back by the end of October, days before the moratorium on Nov. 2.

“Should be back fully healthy just before the trade deadline…” Burkhardt says, accompanying his tweet with a handshake emoji.

This isn’t the first time a Burkhardt tweet has caused a green stir. In March, Burkhardt expressed displeasure that the Jets hadn’t signed his client to a long-term deal, doing so in a reply to ESPN correspondent Field Yates’ tweet about the Jets’ $80 million in cap space after the release of defensive end Henry Anderson.

“(The Jets) refuse to take care of their best player, Captain, & team-voted MVP in his prime who had several All-Pro votes,” Burkhardt said. He also referenced Maye’s switch to his natural free safety spot after the team traded  “(He) played out his entire rookie deal and even changed positions on his contract year (after they got rid of last yrs [sic] All-Pro safety).”

Adams eventually burned down his metropolitan bridges through a series of disparaging social media posts. He got his wish for an expensive long-term deal after he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, who granted him a four-year, $70 million contract last offseason.

Maye is instead playing on a $10.6 million franchise tag in lieu of the long-term deal he sought. He has tallied 23 tackles and one sack through the Jets’ first three games. Maye, like Adams before him, has expressed a desire to become one of the highest-paid safeties in football but dedicated himself to a year on the tag shortly before the year opened.

“Winning games is first, that’s what you play the game for,” Maye said on Sept. 4, per team reporter Jack Bell. “Also, (you play it to) take care of your family and making sure you’re set up for the future. Control the controllable. If you have no control over something, there’s no point in getting all upset. If you’re not here to win games, then what are you doing this for?

“Once (contract talks) were over with, I just put it to the side and got back to the basics of playing football. Once I get on the grass I never worry about anything else.”

In lieu of Maye, the Jets welcomed back safeties Ashtyn Davis and Sharrod Neasman to practice on Wednesday after the two spent most of September on injured reserve. New York (0-3) returns to action on Sunday afternoon at home against the Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

How J.J. Watt’s “mitochondria” tweet invokes the Buffalo Bills

New York Giants, JJ Watt

Watt’s Tuesday morning science lesson sent Buffalo Bills fans into hysterics as the prized defender seeks his next destination.

The day elementary school science teachers prepared us for finally came on Tuesday morning.

Superstar free agent J.J. Watt set football Twitter ablaze with a cryptic posting that simply read “Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”. Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, offered no context for his scientific observation. Such labeling of mitochondria is common in biology textbooks and the phrase gained a bit of notoriety in 2013, when Tumblr users mocked the supposed uselessness of this information being taught in schools. Mitochondria are found in the cells of most eukaryotic organisms (whose cells contain a membrane encased nucleus).

With Watt set to move on from the rebuilding Houston Texans, fans and analysts couldn’t help but wonder if the prized defender was hinting at his new destination. The organelle held particular meaning for fans of the Buffalo Bills, as some fans pointed out that Buffalo is home to the Mitochondria Research Society. The MRS is described on the National Organization for Rare Disorders’ (NORD) site as “a non-profit, international organization of scientists and physicians. The purpose of MRS is to find a cure for mitochondrial diseases by promoting research on basic science of mitochondria, mitochondria pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment throughout the world”.

Buffalo fans were hardly alone in trying to decipher Watt’s tweet in their favor. Syracuse.com’s Ryan Talbot jokingly pointed out mitochondria’s bean-like shape, facetiously declaring that Watt was negotiating with Bills general manager Brandon Beane. Talbot’s mentions were quickly filled by overzealous fans of the Chicago Bears, who insisted that Watt was referring to the Windy City’s Cloud Gate sculpture, commonly referred to as “The Bean”. None of the league’s fanbases were truly without guilt in this endeavor, each stretching their own theory further than the last. Only Bills fans, it would appear, were able to find a local landmark to strengthen their case. 

Watt, 31, requested his release from the Texans after a decade in Houston. While a bittersweet breakup, the split appeared to be mutual, with Watt’s wish fulfilled by owner Cal McNair. Watt has earned countless accolades in his NFL career and departs Houston as the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101), tackles for a loss (172) and All-Pro nominations (5). He earned 52 tackles and five sacks, as well as the sixth touchdown of his career (and first since 2014) last season, as he partook in all 16 games after his 0219 campaign was mostly lost due to a torn pectoral. 

Despite Watt’s apparent hint, don’t expect the former Texan to make a decision any time soon. He indicated as such when responding to an impatient follower on Sunday night.

“I scroll through door dash for like an hour before I pick a restaurant man…” [sic] Watt told the fan. “You’re gonna have to give me a second to choose a new team and city.” [sic].

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Joe Douglas comments on the Jamal Adams trade

New York Jets, Joe Douglas

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has made his first public comments since dealing Jamal Adams to Seattle.

The deed is done. Now, Joe Douglas speaks.

The New York Jets general manager took to the team’s social media account to release his first statements after dealing face of the franchise Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks. New York received three Seattle picks, including two first-rounders, and safety Bradley McDougald.

“This trade provides us with a unique opportunity to improve our team with multiple first-round picks in each of the next two years and the flexibility to continue to build this team for the future,” Douglas said. “Adding Bradley McDougald’s consistency and production to this year’s team was an important piece that gives us more experience on defense.”

Addressing the departure of Adams, Douglas reiterated the previous hope that the team would’ve been able to make him, as he said in February, “a Jets for life”. Adams’ tenure ends after four seasons in green.

“While we had maintained interest in Jamal Adams having a long and successful career with the Jets, we know it’s important to be prepared and willing to adjust to new offers and circumstances. As I have always said, my job is to listen to calls and this offer was one we could not ignore.”

The departed Adams was critical of Adams in the bombshell report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, saying that Douglas created the schism that eventually sent Adams to the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s definitely mixed feelings,” Adams told Mehta. “But at the end of the day, my happiness is more important. I know my worth. I’m going to stand on my beliefs. I’m going to stand on who I am as a person. And I’m not ever going to change who I am for somebody who’s judging me. Either you accept me for who I am and you work with me and support me or you don’t. It’s okay if you don’t.

The trade of Adams is only the second deal in Jets history to net them two first-round picks, the first being the April 2000 transaction that sent another face of the franchise, receiver Keyshawn Johnson, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those picks were subsequently used on defender John Abraham (13th overall) and tight end Anthony Becht (27th overall).

Geoff Magliocchetti

New York Jets RB Le’veon Bell laughs off spot in Top 10 rushers’ poll

Le’veon Bell of the New York Jets appeared in an ESPN poll ranking the league’s top rushers but didn’t appear satisfied with his slot.

An appearance in a top-ten list organized by ESPN would be cause for celebration for many NFL running backs. As Le’veon Bell has proven, however, he’s not like most professional rushers.

The New York Jets starter showed up on the list organized by the network, polling 50 NFL personnel to determine the league’s top rushers. Such a list was bookended by New Yorkers, with Saquon Barkley topping the list and Bell rounding things out. The rankings premiered on ESPN’s morning talk show Get Up!.

Bell was smiling upon learning his spot…but only in the form of sarcastic laughter.

Bell’s reaction was mocked by some, some of whom felt the slot should’ve gone to someone else (Green Bay’s Aaron Jones was a popular proposed substitute). The second-year Jet responded by expressing hope that this season will be played and vowing to right the wrongs of 2019.

Added to the Jets on a four-year, $52.5 million deal last offseason, Bell, 28, ran for only 789 yards last season, his lowest full-season tally since entering the league in 2013. That came after he sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute with his original employers from Pittsburgh. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that Bell channeled his inner Bart Scott and texted him “can’t wait” after the Jets selected Mekhi Becton in the first round of April’s draft.

The 2020 outlook is a bit brighter for Bell after the Jets upgraded their offensive line. He currently ranks sixth amongst active NFL rushers in career yardage (6,125). The leader of that list, Frank Gore (15,347) joined the Jets as a spell option earlier this offseason.

New York is currently slated to open their season on September 13 at Buffalo.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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.

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#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 Draft Pick Bryce Hall Shares Marriage Proposal on Instagram (Video)

After he was chosen by the New York Jets, Bryce Hall’s week got even better, as he shared a video of a successful proposal to his girlfriend.

No matter how your week is going, it’s going to very hard to stop how the past few days have gone for Bryce Hall.

The former Virginia cornerback was first chosen by the New York Jets last Saturday afternoon in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hall has now donned a ring before playing his first professional down.

On Instagram, Hall revealed that he proposed to his girlfriend, fellow Virginia Cavalier Anzel Viljoen. Like Hall, Viljoen partook in Virginia athletics, representing the school’s field hockey team as a back. She led the team with 26 points (7 goals, 12 assists) and helped them reach the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship in November. The New Zealand native also earned second-team All-ACC honors.

Hall shared his surprise proposal, which Viljoen accepted, on Instagram.

“She’s in it for the long Hall,” Hall declares in his caption “excited [sic] and ready to start this next phase of life with my best friend, lover, ride or die and answer to all of my prayers!!”

In the video, Hall is asked by an unseen party what convinced him that Viljoen was “the one”. He happily recalled Viljoen visiting him in the hospital after a broken ankle suffered in an October tilt against Miami ended his season.

“When she came to my hospital after I had broken my ankle, that’s when I was like, yeah this is the one, “It was 11:00 at night, everybody else went home and it was just me and her chatting it up. So I knew she was one to keep then.”

Hall’s engagement comes five days after he was the penultimate pick (158th overall) of the Jets’ 2020 draft proceedings. He put up 154 tackles and five interceptions during his four-year tenure in Charlottesville to go with 38 pass breakups. Of that latter tally, 21 came in 2018, which led the nation.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags