Dan Leberfeld's Blog

I don’t get this sympathy card stuff 07.28.16

Florham Park – Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in Jets camp, so Geno Smith is now the backup quarterback.

Todd Bowles and Jets players were asked numerous questions along the lines of, “Do you feel sorry for Geno?”

Feel sorry for Smith having to be a #2 quarterback in the NFL?

What the heck is wrong with that job?

Do you know how many men would do anything to have a vocation like that?

That is a great job.

If you want to feel bad for people in this world, especially in its current state, Smith having to be a #2 quarterback wouldn’t be high on the list.

I honestly don’t get this “feel sorry for Geno Smith” angle at all.

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Fitzpatrick has a little leverage 07.26.16

For the people that say Ryan Fitzpatrick has no contract leverage because there are no other suitors, that might not be entirely accurate.

When you are a team’s best option at quarterback, in a quarterback-driven league, there is some leverage.

Also, I’ve heard that Fitzpatrick had his best season last year against a weak schedule.

Even if that is the case, do you think it’s a good idea to move on to a lesser quarterback, a younger quarterback, against a tougher schedule?

That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The Jets need Fitzpatrick.

And fact that he’s their best option at quarterback, and they know it and he knows it, gives him some leverage.

Not a lot, but some.

Enough perhaps to increase the guarantee from $15 million, and bump it up a few million.

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The details of NFL/NFLPA New Concussion Protocol 07.25.16

The NFL and NFLPA announced an agreement to enforce the NFL Game Day Concussion Protocol and discipline clubs that violate it. Under the new policy, the NFL and NFLPA will follow a strict and fair process to investigate incidents and determine appropriate discipline, including club fines and possible forfeiture of draft picks.

The NFL and NFLPA, in conjunction with their medical advisory committees, implemented the NFL Game Day Concussion Protocol to address the diagnosis and management of concussions. The parties consistently review the Concussion Protocol to ensure that players are receiving care that reflects the most up to date medical consensus. The new policy sets forth disciplinary action against a club should a member of its medical staff or other employee fail to follow the Concussion Protocol.

According to the policy, the NFL and NFLPA will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed. Following the investigation, the NFL and NFLPA will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter will be brought to a third party arbitrator. After conducting a thorough review, the arbitrator will issue a report to the Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director and the involved parties.

As jointly agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, the Commissioner retains absolute discretion in determining penalties for violations of the concussion protocol. Potential disciplinary action includes:

· A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club.

· Second and subsequent violations of the concussion protocol will result in a minimum fine of $100,000 against the club.

· In the event the parties agree that a violation involved aggravating circumstances, the club shall be subject, in the first instance, to a fine no less than $50,000. The Commissioner shall determine appropriate discipline for subsequent violations involving aggravating circumstances.

· In the event that the Commissioner determines that the club’s medical team failed to follow the protocol due to competitive considerations, the Commissioner may require the club to forfeit draft pick(s) and impose additional fines exceeding those amounts set forth above.

He must prove he can catch consistently to land the job #nyjets 07.25.16

The Jets’ punt returning job is wide open.

The candidates include veteran Jeremy Ross and rookie Jalin Marshall.

Marshall, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, has the potential to be a special returner. He has loose hips and is very shifty in the open field. Marshall’s also thickly built which will aid in him breaking tackles.

However, he needs to show this summer he can catch the ball consistently.

In the Jets’ spring practices he was a little inconsistent fielding punts.

If he has a good summer catching the ball, he has a decent chance of landing the job.

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NFL Statement on Peyton Manning and HGH 07.25.16

NFL Statement on Peyton Manning:

“Following a comprehensive seven-month investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America, the NFL found no credible evidence that Peyton Manning was provided with or used HGH or other substances prohibited by the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, it was announced today.

“The Mannings were fully cooperative with the investigation and provided both interviews and access to all records sought by the investigators.

“Initiated in January, the investigation was led by the NFL’s security and legal teams with support from expert consultants and other professionals. The investigation involved witness interviews, a review of relevant records and other materials, online research, and laboratory analysis and review.

“Separately, the NFL’s investigation continues into the documentary’s allegations made against other NFL players, which involve different lines of inquiry and witnesses.”

NFL hires Jocelyn Moore as VP 07.07.16

*JOCELYN MOORE, former Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Finance Committee and, most recently, Managing Director in The Glover Park Group’s Government Affairs Division, has been named the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, the NFL announced today.

Moore will lead the league’s public policy and legislative agenda and coordinate closely with NFL clubs on local and salient legislative and regulatory issues. Based out of the NFL’s Washington, D.C. office, she will report to JOE LOCKHART, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs.

“Jocelyn’s wide-ranging knowledge and experience will serve to advance our policy priorities in Washington and around the country,” said Lockhart.

“The NFL’s platform has the ability to drive progress on a number of critical and complex issues,” said Moore. “I look forward to working with Members of Congress to help shape policy in a number of important areas facing not only sports, but our country more broadly.”

Moore spent 15 years in the United States Senate. As a member of Senator Ron Wyden’s senior leadership team, Moore advised on all issues before the Senate Finance Committee relating to taxes, health care, energy, human services, pensions, Social Security, transportation and trade.

Prior to joining the Senate Finance Committee, Moore served as Senator Wyden’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director and as Legislative Director for Senator John D. Rockefeller IV while he served as Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Previously, as Senator Rockefeller’s long-time health policy advisor, she led the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, helped write key portions of the Affordable Care Act, and led bipartisan efforts to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Moore began her career in the office of her home state Senator Zell Miller and later worked as a senior policy advisor to Senator Bob Graham. She is a two-time graduate of the University of Florida.

*Press Release

NFL Game Officials Set 07.07.16



The NFL roster of game officials for the 2016 season will include three first-year NFL officials among the group of 124, the league announced today.

Side judge ALAN ECK (Big 12), umpire RAMON GEORGE (Conference USA) and head linesman JEROD PHILLIPS (Big 12) will make their NFL officiating debuts this season.

All 17 referees from 2015 will return in 2016 and lead seven-person on-field officiating crews, led by the dean of NFL officials, WALT COLEMAN, who enters his 28th season. Five officials will not be assigned to crews and will work as “swing” officials, officiating with different crews throughout the season.

In addition to the five “swing” officials, there will be more rotation of officials amongst the crews to ensure the most consistent officiating across the league.

Three sets of fathers and sons are included among the roster of officials: Coleman and his son, WALT COLEMAN IV; ED HOCHULI and his son, SHAWN HOCHULI; and STEVE FREEMAN and his son, BRAD FREEMAN.

Steve Freeman and PHIL MC KINNELY are the only current game officials to have also enjoyed NFL playing careers. Freeman played for 13 seasons, including 12 as a defensive back with the Buffalo Bills from 1975-86. McKinnely played for seven seasons on the offensive line from 1976-82, including five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1976-80.

*Press Release

Marshall makes his debut in Lake Tahoe event 06.30.16

(Press Release) – Lake Tahoe, NV, June 30, 2016 – New York Jets Pro Bowl
wide receiver Brandon Marshall is making his debut in the American
Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe next month.

Marshall will be joined by Justin Timberlake, Charles Barkley, Jerry
Rice, Emmitt Smith, Roger Clemens, Ray Romano and John Elway among 90
sports and entertainment stars. The full player field is available at

Now in its 27th year, the 54-hole tournament at the Edgewood Tahoe
Golf Course airs Friday, July 22 – Sunday, July 24, on NBC and NBC
Sports Network (NBCSN). The players compete for $600,000 in prize
money and the tournament has raised over $4 million for charities.

American Century Championship Airtimes
Friday, July 22 4-7 p.m. ET / 1-4 p.m. PT (live) NBCSN
Saturday, July 23 3-6 p.m. ET / Noon-3 p.m. PT (live) NBC
Sunday, July 24 3-6 p.m. ET / Noon-3 p.m. PT (live) NBC

**All three rounds will replay on Golf Channel

Fans can vote for three classic Jets game to appear on YouTube 06.23.16

(Press Release) For the first time ever on YouTube, the NFL will upload full network broadcasts of 3 games for each NFL team. Fans can vote for their favorite games by visiting NFL.COM/YOUTUBEGAMES. The page provides links to each team’s Facebook page where a poll is posted asking fans to vote for their favorite game. The 3 most-voted games per franchise (5 options are provided in each poll) will be uploaded to the NFL’s official YouTube account (youtube.com/nfl) prior to the start of the 2016 season.

Voting is currently open and will run through early next week.

For the Jets, fans can vote on the following games:

– Super Bowl III
– 2002 AFC Wild Card Game vs. Colts
– Monday Night Miracle
– 2010 AFC Divisional Round vs. Patriots
– 1998 Week 14 vs. Seahawks

Again, fans can submit their vote on the Jets’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jets/posts/10153556437241231). The 3 games with the most votes will be uploaded to the NFL’s YouTube page.

The five games were chosen in collaboration with NFL Films and the Jets.

Jets announce partnership deal with Porsche 06.23.16

(Press Release) – The New York Jets today announced a new multi-year partnership with Porsche Cars North America, Inc. The agreement marks Porsche’s first NFL partnership and first exclusive sports sponsorship in major U.S. sports. Porsche is the official sports car and luxury vehicle of the New York Jets.

As the official sports car and luxury vehicle of the Jets, Porsche will be the presenting partner of the Jets Green Room – the Jets all-inclusive hospitality lounge and ultra-exclusive club inside MetLife Stadium. The premium indoor space, with a large outdoor patio and private seating, has a high-energy bar atmosphere where former Jets players, celebrities, and corporate partners mingle, network and cheer on the Jets.

The new deal will also provide select Jets suite partners, premium season ticket holders and corporate partners the opportunity to participate in a unique driving experience in Porsche vehicles at a local track along with Jets personalities. During the season, the Porsche brand will be incorporated into special events at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center including Jets Training Camp and a co-developed Intelligent Performance themed camp, during which best practices will be shared with Jets Partner Alliance members, team personnel and Porsche guests.

“This truly unique partnership provides us with the opportunity to leverage the strength of the Jets and Porsche brands to provide an enhanced experience for both of our fans,” said Jacob Harb, Vice President, Area East for Porsche Cars North America.

Has Mo softened his position?#nyjets 06.20.16

Has Mo Wilkerson softened his stance a little?

Last Wednesday he told the New York Post about his contract dispute – “It’s shocking. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I’m dominating and it’s showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do? You know what I mean?

“Do I feel that they want me back? As of right now, no. I don’t feel like they want me. I’m a talented guy. Everybody knows that. I feel like they’re going to get the best they can out of me and just let me go. That’s how I feel. Do I like that feeling? No. I’m a New Jersey guy, born and raised and would love to raise my family here.”

But on Friday at a charity bowling event in Linden, he seemed to tone down the vitriol, telling the AP, Newsday and NJ.com, “Yeah, I’m surprised, frustrated. But what can I do? What can I say?

“It’s out there and I feel like I deserve it, you know, a deal. I understand it’s a business, but my focus right now is just rehabbing the leg and getting ready.”

The last line of that quote sums it up best – “it’s a business” and “my focus right now is just rehabbing the leg.”

And it’s tough from a business standpoint for the Jets to give Wilkerson $63 million in guaranteed money when he’s rehabbing a broken leg. It’s not his fault he broke his leg, but it happened.

So it’s likely he’ll have to play this year under the $15.7 million franchise tag, and get a long-term deal next year, with the Jets or elsewhere.

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This factor hurts Wilkerson’s desire for long-term deal . . . 06.16.16

Mo Wilkerson has every right to be frustrated over not landing a long-term lucrative contract yet.

“It’s shocking. It’s frustrating,” Wilkerson told The New York Post. “Because I feel like I’ve earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I’m dominating and it’s showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do?”

Unfortunately, one more thing he needs to do is show he can be just as dominating coming off a broken leg.

He broke his leg in the Jets’ 2015 season finale.

Hey, the injury wasn’t his fault, but it happened, and he’s still rehabbing as we speak. Todd Bowles said today that even if Wilkerson wasn’t holding out, he still wouldn’t have participated in the veteran mini-camp. He’s still not 100 percent.

Now there is an excellent chance Wilkerson comes back from this injury and plays like his old self.

But would it be smart business for the Jets to give a player rehabbing a broken leg, who hasn’t been back on the practice field yet, over $60 million guaranteed?

That’s a tough one.

So for 2016, Wilkerson might need to play for the $15.7 million franchise tag, prove he can dominate like the past on his repaired leg, and get a long-term deal next off-season with the Jets or elsewhere.

*****The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine will be mailed on Monday. It’s loaded with great info on Gang Green. A must-read for Jets fans. To subscribe, and get a free Jets calendar (a $10.95 value), click below.

Position change for a Jets lineman 06.14.16

Florham Park – The Jets picked Texas A&M guard Jarvis Harrison in the fifth round last year.

Now you can call “offensive tackle Jarvis Harrison.”

After being developed as a guard last year, splitting time between the regular roster and practice squad, he’s now playing right tackle.

He played some offensive tackle in college, so the position isn’t totally foreign to him.

And the highly-athletic 330-pounder definitely has the feet for the position. He’s very light on his feet for his size.

Harrison will compete with Brent Qvale and Brandon Shell for the Jets’ backup right tackle job.

What should Jets do about their best defensive lineman? 06.13.16

Mo Wilkerson is the Jets’ best defensive lineman.

Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams are terrific players, but right now Wilkerson is the best of the trio.

Wilkerson is right out of central casting to play 3-4 end – long arms, feet of a dancing bear, powerful, great technique and can play the run and pass rush with equal proficiency. He’s also the most consistent of the Jets’ troika up front.

But with that being said, it would be hard for the Jets to give him between $50-60 million guaranteed, like Olivier Vernon (Giants), Marcell Dareus (Bills) and Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins) are getting.

Just because other teams go overboard with contracts, why do the Jets have to follow suit?

You are starting to see more and more teams saying to players, “Heck no, we aren’t give you the money that so-and-so got!”

You saw that with the Carolina Panthers and cornerback Josh Norman. He wanted Darrelle Revis-money, and the Panthers moved on. He signed with the Washington Redskins. You might see the Panthers take the same approach with defensive tackle Kawann Short. Those talks reportedly aren’t going well.

You are seeing that with the Denver Broncos and linebacker Von Miller, who is essentially being offered a two-year deal for $39 million guaranteed, nowhere near what he wants in an upfront guarantee.

The deal New Orleans gave defensive end Cameron Jordan seems fair for Wilkerson – a five-year contract for $55 million with $34.5 million guaranteed. Perhaps sweeten the pot a little, but what is wrong with that kind of deal?

I know he’s not going to take that, but if I’m running the Jets, I don’t care about Vernon, Dareus and Suh are making. Why copy profligate spending?

For now, it’s more than likely that Wilkerson will play the 2016 season on the franchise tag, especially since he’s still rehabbing a broken leg, which further complicates his contract situation.

But the Jets should definitely keep him in the fold this year. He’s their best defensive lineman right now, and probably their best defensive player.

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Should Rex be on the hot seat in just his second year? 06.10.16

According to Buffalo football legend Jim Kelly, Bills coach Rex Ryan probably needs to make the playoffs in 2016 to keep his job.

“I think we need to do it [make the playoffs],” Kelly said on CBS Sports Radio. “I think we have to do it. If we don’t, I think Rex will probably be looking for another job. I think everybody knows that, including Rex.”

Is it fair to give a second-year coach that kind of edict?

Probably not, especially when you don’t have a franchise quarterback.

The Bills will start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. He’s good, not great.

Just like with the Jets, in Buffalo, Ryan doesn’t have an elite quarterback. He’s never had one as a head coach. How would Ryan, considered a top-shelf defensive coach, do with a franchise quarterback? It would be interesting to see that at some point.

So is it fair for Ryan to be on the hot-seat in just his second season in Buffalo?

Probably not, but the fact that he tends to create a circus atmosphere around his teams, in part due to his verbose, braggadocio nature, can lead to him wearing out his welcome faster than other coaches.

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Are some reporters biased towards Fitz?#nyjets 06.09.16

Some fans think their might be a media agenda in the coverage of the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract saga. These fans believe some in the media are on Fitzpatrick’s side because they like him personally.

“Fitz must be the most charming man in the world cause NY sports writers love him,” tweeted one fan at me.

“I don’t know him I just know press wants him to play,” tweeted another fan at me.

I can assure you that I have no personal agenda here.

I barely know Fitzpatrick.

That might sound strange to some people, but let me explain.

Yes, I attended most of his press briefings last year, but I’ve never had a one-on-one conversation with him in my life.

Yes, I was with the scores of reporters surrounding him at his locker when he addressed the press, but does that qualify as knowing someone?

That would be like being in the first few rows of a concert and claiming you know the singer.

So I have no relationship with Fitzpatrick. I just think he’s the Jets’ best option at quarterback this year, and the team should up their offer a little, not a lot, but a little. Get it closer to the Sam Bradford deal.

And watching the OTA practices this off-season, confirms he’s the best man for the job. He’s much more advanced than the Jets’ other signal-callers, and is better at going through his progressions.

None of this is personal.

I’m “just going by what I see” to use an old Bill Parcells’ quote.

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