Dan Leberfeld's Blog

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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Could NFL Network feature impact Fitz negotiations? 06.07.16

On July 5, an NFL Network Show called “NFL 360” will air a feature on the solid work of the Jets’ passing game trio in 2015.

Here is what the press release said:

“Jets On a Bench – The New York Jets’ passing game in 2015 was the best it had been in many years. Mark Kriegel sits down with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to discuss what brought them together.”

Fitzpatrick is currently unsigned and not participating in the team’s off-season practices.

The timing of this feature is kind of interesting – a few weeks before the Jets open camp. If Fitzpatrick is still unsigned, you wonder if this will impact the tenor of the negotiations.

Is this another lobbying effort from the Jets’ starting receivers to get a deal done?

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Be careful what you wish for 06.06.16

I keep reading this argument from some about Ryan Fitzpatrick, and I don’t entirely understand it.

It goes something like this – “I’m done with Ryan Fitzpatrick. This thing has dragged on too long. It’s time for the Jets to move on.”

I don’t get the logic.

To me, Fitzpatrick is the Jets’ best option at quarterback this year. He gives them the best chance to win in 2016.

Even with his shortcomings, he’s coming off one of the finest quarterback seasons in Jets history (31 touchdown passes) and is a great fit for Chan Gailey’s offense, a system he knows so well. The Jets’ talented starting receiving tandem of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker loves him, and wants him to be their starting quarterback.

So why would you want to move on from him now, in early June, just because of a protracted contract dispute?

Isn’t that cutting off your nose to spite your face?

I don’t get this argument.

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Judy sums up Fitz situation perfectly 06.03.16

NFL.com scribe Judy Battista, a former Jets beat writer for the New York Times, summed up the Jets-Ryan Fitzpatrick contract dispute perfectly in the final paragraph of her most recent column.

“Jets management is engaged in a delicate balancing act — managing a win-now roster while simultaneously beginning the transition to the future,” wrote Battista. “Fitzpatrick won’t be a part of that future. But the Jets won’t be a part of winning now without him.”

That summation encapsulates this contract battle with aplomb.

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In Fitz contract dispute, both sides have credible arguments 06.02.16

It’s kind of a wishy-washy position to take, but you can make a strong argument that both sides in the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract dispute have respectable points of view.

Even with his shortcomings, Ryan Fitzpatrick put together one of the finest QB seasons in Jets history last season with 31 touchdowns. It was some of the best QB play we have seen around here in quite some time.

So perhaps the Jets’ latest offer, a three-year deal for $24 million with $15 million guaranteed is a little low.

However, last year was Fitzpatrick best season in the NFL, so the Jets feel they need to hedge their bet a little. Who knows if he can repeat his 2015 campaign. Was it an outlier? Also, Fitzpatrick had a rough outing in a must-win game at Buffalo, which certainly hurt his bargaining position.

So you can really respect the positions of both sides.

To find a middle ground that works for Fitz and the Jets, perhaps they should look due south to Philadelphia.

The Jets’ current offer to Fitzpatrick is closer to what the Eagles are paying their backup Chase Daniel, than what they are paying their starter, Sam Bradford.

Early this off-season, Daniel signed a three-year deal for $21 million with $12 million guaranteed. Around the same time, Bradford signed a two-year deal for $35 million with $22 million guaranteed.

Bradford threw 19 touchdowns last year, 12 less than Fitzpatrick. Also, Fitzpatrick helped lead the Jets to a 10-6 season, and Bradford’s Eagles went 7-9.

So if Bradford can get $22 million guaranteed (with a twice blown-out left knee), why can’t Fitzpatrick?

How about getting the guarantee closer to Bradford than Daniel?

How about a three-year deal for $30 million with $20 million guaranteed?

Sounds fair, no?

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Boycott-gate – Did they or didn’t they? 06.01.16

Florham Park – In the long run, this story will be a fly speck in the ocean, pretty darn insignificant.

But for early June, “Boycott-gate” qualifies as an interesting story.

Did Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall miss (voluntary) practices last week to show solidarity with unsigned QB Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Last week, the New York Post reported that Decker’s absence was done as a statement, a show of support for Fitzpatrick.

Nobody was as definitive in their reporting about Marshall.

Decker and Marshall are back to work this week, and addressed the media today about their absences.

Marshall was asked repeatedly if he was making a statement by his absence, and didn’t give a straight answer to the myriad queries. And when he overheard a reporter in the scrum speculating on what he might have meant, he calmly said, “Don’t put words in my mouth.”

Decker said he was on vacation with his family last week and wasn’t boycotting.

“That’s not why I wasn’t here,” Decker said.

Todd Bowles doesn’t think the players’ absences last week were a political statement.

“I knew they were going to be gone last week,” Bowles said. “I talked to them and knew they were going to miss last week.”

So there you have it.

We report, you decide.


Maccagnan needs to add some caffeine to Fitz offer 05.31.16

Last week, New York Post columnist Mark Cannizzaro reported that the Jets offered quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a contract that includes $12 million in 2016.

The report was confirmed to myriad beat writers.

But what about the last two years of the reported three-year contract offer?

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson got that information a couple of days after the Cannizzaro report.

“I was told Jets offer to Ryan Fitzpatrick was 3 years, $24 mil. $12 mil year 1, average of $6 mil per final 2. Starter money year 1, then elite backup $,” Robinson tweeted.

Then NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the deal includes $15 million in guarantees.

It’s probably a long shot that Fitzpatrick accepts this offer.

A New York Post headline says it best – “Details of Jets’ offer show why Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t biting.”

The Jets probably need to sweeten the pot a little.

A few months ago, the Houston Texans gave Brock Osweiler a four-year deal for $72 million with $37 million guaranteed.

With just seven career starts, there is little evidence that Osweiler is better than Fitzpatrick. It’s too early to tell. You can’t just base things on height and arm. There is so much more to the position than that.

Also this off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles gave injury-prone Sam Bradford a two year, $35 million deal with $22 million fully guaranteed. It’s hard to make the argument he’s better than Fitzpatrick either.

Clearly the Jets can’t pay Fitzpatrick anywhere near what Houston paid Osweiler. I get that.

But they certainly can get closer to Bradford.

All this talk about Fitzpatrick being a “bridge quarterback.” Bridge to who? None of us know if either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg can play on the NFL level. That remains to be seen. So how can you say he’s a bridge, when there is no land on the other side yet?

Often NFL quarterbacks do their best work in their middle 30’s because mentally they have seen so much. They are very high on the growth curve at a very difficult position. Look at guys like Carson Palmer and Drew Brees, and retired players like Rich Gannon, Vinny Testaverde and Jim Plunkett.

There is no reason to assume Fitzpatrick is going to be replaced in 2017. Certainly Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker wouldn’t want that to happen.

At 34 and 35, Fitzpatrick might be prepared to do the best work of his career, especially in Chan Gailey’s offense, a system he knows like the back of his hand.

So to me, the pot needs to be sweetened in Year Two.

And the deal needs to get a little closer to Bradford’s guaranteed money.

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Details of new NFL instant replay procedure 05.24.16

2016 PLAYING RULE PROPOSAL NO. 7a

Amend Rule 15, Section 2 (Instant Replay, pgs. 63-64) to reflect the following:

The League will employ a system of Instant Replay Review to aid officiating as defined below. The following procedures will be used:

Article 1. COACHES’ CHALLENGE. In each game, a team will be permitted two challenges that will initiate Instant Replay reviews. The Head Coach will initiate a challenge by throwing a red flag onto the field of play before the next legal snap or kick. Each challenge will require the use of a team timeout. If a challenge is upheld, the timeout will be restored. A challenge will only be restored if a team is successful on both of its challenges, in which case it shall be awarded a third challenge, but a fourth challenge will not be permitted under any circumstances.

A team may challenge any reviewable play identified in Article 5 below, except when the on-field ruling is:

(a) A score for either team,

(b) an interception,

(c) a fumble or backward pass that is recovered by an opponent or goes out of bounds

through an opponent’s end zone, or

(d) a muffed scrimmage kick recovered by the kicking team.

A team may not challenge a reviewable play:

(a) After the two minute warning of each half,

(b) throughout any overtime period,

(c) after committing a foul that delays the next snap, and

(d) after exhausting all of its challenges or timeouts.

If a team initiates a challenge when it is not permitted to do so, it will be charged a timeout.

Penalty: For initiating a challenge when a team has exhausted its timeouts: Loss of 15 yards.

Article 2. REPLAY OFFICIAL’S REQUEST FOR REVIEW. A Replay Review will be initiated by a Replay Official from a Replay Booth comparable to the location of the coaches’ booth or Press Box when the on-field ruling is:

(a) A score for either team,

(b) an interception,

(c) a fumble or backward pass that is recovered by an opponent or goes out of bounds

through an opponent’s end zone, or

(d) a muffed scrimmage kick recovered by the kicking team.

A Replay Review will be initiated by a Replay Official:

(e) After the two minute warning of each half, and

(f) throughout any overtime period.

There is no limit to the number of Replay Reviews that may be initiated by the Replay Official. His ability to initiate a review will be unrelated to the number of timeouts that either team has remaining, and no timeout will be charged for any review initiated by the Replay Official. The Replay Official must initiate a review before the ball is next legally put in play.

The Replay Official and designated members of the Officiating Department at the League office may consult with the on-field officials to provide information on the correct application of playing rules, including appropriate assessment of penalty yardage, proper down, and status of the game clock.

Article 3. REVIEWS BY REFEREE. All Replay Reviews will be conducted by the Referee on a field-level monitor after consultation with the covering official(s). During the review, the Referee will consult with designated members of the Officiating department at the League office. A decision will be reversed only when the Referee has clear and obvious visual evidence available to him that warrants the change.

Each review will be a maximum of 60 seconds in length, timed from when the Referee begins his review of the replay at the field-level monitor.

All reviewable aspects of the play may be examined and are subject to reversal, even if not identified in a coach’s challenge or if not the specific reason for a Replay Official’s request for review.

Article 4. NON-REVIEWABLE PLAYS. The following play situations are not reviewable:

(a) Fouls, except for Article 5 (g) below.

(b) Spot of the ball and runner:

(1) Runner ruled down by defensive contact or out of bounds (not involving

fumbles or the line to gain).

(2) The position of the ball not relating to first down or goal line.

(3) Whether a runner’s forward progress was stopped before he went out of bounds or lost

possession of the ball.

(4) Whether a runner gave himself up.

(c) Miscellaneous:

(1) Field Goal or Try attempts that cross above either upright without touching

anything.

(2) Erroneous whistle.

(3) Spot where an airborne ball crosses the sideline.

(4) Whether a player was blocked into a loose ball.

(5) Advance by a player after a valid or invalid fair catch signal.

(6) Whether a player created the impetus that put the ball into an end zone.

Article 5. REVIEWABLE PLAYS. The Replay System will cover the following play situations:

(a) Plays involving possession.

(b) Plays involving touching of either the ball or the ground.

(c) Plays governed by the goal line.

(d) Plays governed by the boundary lines.

(e) Plays governed by the line of scrimmage.

(f) Plays governed by the line to gain.

(g) Number of players on the field at the snap, even when a foul is not called.

(h) Game administration:

(1) Penalty enforcement.

(2) Proper down.

(3) Spot of a foul.

(4) Status of the game clock.

In situations in which time is deemed to have expired during or after the last play of the first or second half, or of an overtime period in the preseason or regular season, or of an overtime half in the postseason, a timing error is defined as having occurred only when the visual evidence demonstrates that more than one second should be put on the clock.

In the first half, time shall be restored only if the additional play will be a snap from scrimmage. In the second half, time shall be restored only if it is a one-score game (eight points or less), and the additional play will be a snap from scrimmage by the team that is behind in the score, or by either team if the score is tied. A correction of a timing error for a team timeout may be made only if there is visual evidence of an official’s signal.

If an on-field ruling of a dead ball (down by contact, out of bounds, or incomplete forward pass) is changed, the ball belongs to the recovering player at the spot of the recovery, and any advance is nullified. The recovery must occur in the continuing action following the loss of possession. If the ball goes out of bounds in an end zone, the result of the play will be either a touchback or a safety. If the Referee does not have clear and obvious visual evidence as to which player recovered the loose ball, or that the ball went out of bounds, the ruling on the field will stand.

These reviewable play situations are explained in further detail in the Instant Replay Casebook.

Submitted by Competition Committee

Effect: Reorganizes rule, and expands reviewable plays to include administrative items.

Reason: Provides for more extensive use of Instant Replay system.


QB stats in the spring are reckless 05.24.16

Charlotte – Word out of Buffalo is the Bills are clamping down on what the media can report from spring practices.

The days of Rex Ryan being media-friendly seem to be coming to a close.

“Media cannot report who is on the 1st team, 2nd team, who is ‘rushing the passer, dropped passes, INT’s, QB completion percentage, etc,’ tweeted Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News.

I don’t agree with some of these new rules, but I do support disallowing the reporting of QB completion percentage.

That is reckless and irresponsible.

The spring is about teaching, learning, developing chemistry, things of that nature. To report a quarterback was, let’s say, “8-16 passing” in this sort of practice, is unfair. Often quarterbacks are working for the first time with new passing targets, like recently-acquired wide receivers and tight ends. In the spring, they are looking to get on the same page and work out the kinks.

So to report completion percentage is spring practices is devoid of context.

I’m glad the Bills are cracking down on that.

And I hope other teams follow suit.

As for some of the other new rules, a number of them are superfluous.

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