Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Joe Douglas needs to tell leaker to pipe down – serves no purpose 03.26.20

What purpose does this serve? Just move on.

Talking about somebody leaking to WFAN’s Boomer Esiason that the Jets offered Robby Anderson a 4-year deal for $40 million. He ended up signing a 2-year deal for $20 million with Carolina.

Anderson called Esiason’s report: “Fake news.”

Esiason stands by his story.

Whomever you believe, what purpose did it serve, for somebody, likely from the Jets, to leak this to Esiason?

Just wish Robby luck in Carolina and move on.

What purpose did it serve to leak this, especially since there was no mention of the guaranteed money in the supposed Jets offer, which is all that really matters. Saying they offered him 4-years, $40 million doesn’t really mean much unless it’s with a big guarantee.

But the bottom line is Joe Douglas (unless he was the leak, which is unlikely) needs to have a staff meeting and tell everyone to “shut up” and not leak stuff. Just focus on your job.

Don’t worry about PR, just worry about making the Jets better.

Leaking that number was done for PR reasons – “Look, we made him a good offer.”

Douglas or Christopher Johnson needs to lay down the law – leakers will be fired or suspended!

There was no reason to leak this supposed Anderson contract offer. What purpose does it serve? It’s water under the bridge. He’s gone.

Just move on to Breshard Perriman, whose pretty talented in his own right, and keep moving forward.

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Who is Patrick Onwuasor and how can he help the Jets? 03.25.20

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced the Jets signed former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor.

The Portland State-product started 32 games at inside linebacker during his four years in Baltimore.

The Ravens valued him so much last off-season, they put a second-round tender on him.

But he lost his starting job in the middle of the 2019 season, so decided he needed a change of scenery this off-season, and signed with the Jets, an organization that loves former Ravens.

Onwuasor’s signing could make Avery Williamson expendable. We will see what Rapoport or ESPN’s Adam Schefter announces about Williamson, who has a big cap number.

But Onwuasor is a player who could challenge for the starting inside linebacker job next to C.J. Mosley, a player he already has chemistry with from their Baltimore days.

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Robby Anderson signs with Carolina. My take on this . . . 03.24.20

Robby Anderson signed with the Carolina Panthers. What it means.

Manish Mehta announced that Anderson signed a two-year deal for $20 million with Carolina.

Anderson will be joining his former Temple coach Matt Rhule with the Panthers.

Though Anderson didn’t want to be listed as a Temple-product last year, instead going with Valencia College. Anderson had to leave Temple due to grades, and go to Valencia, to get his grades up in order to return to the Owls.

Jets GM Joe Douglas wasn’t interested in spending big bucks on Anderson, perhaps due to the culture he’s trying to build. Anderson had some off-the-field issues with the Jets.

The 2020 draft is considered one of the best WR drafts in recent years, so the Jets could look to replace Anderson with one of their 2020 picks.

“This could be the best wide receiver draft since 2004,” said NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.

The Jets also have a receiver with world class speed in the building, Jeff Smith, who’s also a candidate to help replace Anderson’s speed in the lineup.

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Jets should consider signing this cornerback? 03.23.20

It’s no secret that Jets could use some corners, so perhaps this guy could help them.

One of the best corners in the XFL was Jamar Summers of the New York Guardians.

While the Jets signed CB Pierre Desir over the weekend, they still have some work to do at the position.

Summers, a UConn product, showed good cover skills in the XFL. He’s also a good special team’s player.

The product of Orange High School, very close to the Jets’ training complex in Florham Park, would make a nice addition to their cornerback room.

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Joe Douglas avoiding this bad free agency trap 03.19.20

It’s too early to really access Joe Douglas as a GM, but one good sign is that he avoided something at the beginning of free agency that’s a big mistake.

He’s clearly doesn’t believe in bidding against himself for players.

In the past, the Jets were guilty of this, like in the cases of Le’Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson and Darrelle Revis (his second stint with the team). That isn’t an ideal strategy in a salary cap sport.

Douglas has clearly avoided this with Robby Anderson.

Also, the Jets signed three starting offensive linemen to reasonable deals, and Adam Schefter announced that the Jets signed nickel back Brian Poole to a one-year, $5 million contract. It was leaked to Schefter by Poole’s agent Drew Rosenhaus. This was another smart, tight deal, and not a case of largesse.

This is the best way to handle free agency. Don’t spend like a drunken sailor and throw around money recklessly, but instead, find quality talent, and sign them to pragamatic contracts that don’t blow up the team’s cap.

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This Jets signing didn’t work out very well 03.18.20

This signing turned into a very poor move by the Jets’ prior regime. What went wrong?

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport announced today that the Jets will officially release CB Trumaine Johnson on Wednesday. The original announcement of this move was by Daily News reporter Manish Mehta on March 9.

This turned out to be one of the worst signings in not just Jets history, but NFL history.

In 2018, the Jets signed Johnson to a five-year deal for $72.5 million with $45 million guaranteed. He pocketed $34 million in the first two years of the deal. He got elite cornerback money, but played like a league-minimum player. What happened?

There were a few issues, but the biggest problem was his speed, or lack thereof.

He ran 4.61 when he came out of Montana in 2012, and that’s one of the reasons he slipped to the third-round. And when he arrived in Florham Park in 2018, he was already 28, after six years in the league, with a lot of wear-and-tear, so he probably wasn’t even a 4.61 guy.

He should be playing safety in the NFL now, not cornerback. That’s a no-brainer.

With the Jets, he was exposed in space, and just didn’t have the speed to hold up on an island with speedy receivers on go-routes and crossing routes.

With the Rams, he had some decent seasons, and one reason is that team had a good pass rush with Aaron Donald and company. From a technique and ball-skill standpoint, Johnson isn’t a bad cornerback, as long as the pass rush gets there. But you ask him to hold up for 6-7 seconds, you’re asking for trouble, and that often was the case with the Jets, a team that had one of the NFL’s worst pass rushes during Johnson’s two seasons in green.

Not sure what the former GM, and his right-hand man, were thinking, giving a speed-challenged corner, who should be playing safety, that kind of money.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must-read for Jets fans. So much good stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else.

 

 

 


Where we ranked McGovern in our free agent issue . . . 03.17.20

In the last issue of Jets Confidential Magazine, we had an extensive free agent preview.

In this issue, the guards/centers were in one group, and the third ranked player at G/C was center Connor McGovern, a little behind Joe Thuney (New England Patriots), who was the second, and Brandon Scherff (Washington Redskins) was ranked first.

NFL Network’s Tom Pellisero announced the Jets are signing McGovern, a former Denver Bronco, to a three-year deal for $27 million with $18 million guaranteed.

Here was the scouting report on the newest Jet from our last issue . . .

Connor McGovern, Broncos • 6-4 • 306 • 26

McGovern is one of the most powerful pivotmen in the league, a weight-room superstar. He is adept at playing guard and center. He’s also very durable and doesn’t get penalized a lot. He has quick feet and does a nice job in space. The Fargo-native should be in demand in free agency as perhaps the best center available.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, a must-read for Jets fans, click below, call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. Check it out!


One trap Jets need to avoid in free agency 03.17.20

There is a line from a big hit song by the Beatles.

“Money can’t buy me love.”

That line can be applied to free agency.

In recent years, the Jets paid certain players a fortune to don the green and white, they took the money, but never seemed to be into playing for Gang Green.

They were there, but they weren’t really there, if you know what I’m saying.

At least linebacker Anthony Barr, who left the Jets at the altar last year after agreeing to terms, was honest about his feelings. He bolted at the 11th hour and returned to the Minnesota Vikings.

His heart wasn’t truly into playing for the Jets and moving to this part of the country.

So the Jets need to be careful.

Read the tea leaves, and stay away from players who just love the offer, but not the team.

The Jets need to keep these kind of individual contractors out of their locker room moving forward.

They’re bad for a team’s football culture.

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What does George Fant bring to the table? 03.16.20

A stealth move by Jets GM Joe Douglas.

While some people were misleading fans with names of offensive linemen the Jets might be targeting, Douglas quietly added Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that the Jets signed Fant to a three-year deal for $30 million with $13.7 million guaranteed.

Fant is a 6-5,  322-pound left tackle, with very quick feet and terrific mobility, thanks to his days as a forward for the Western Kentucky basketball team. To use an old scouting term – “He has the feet of a dancing bear.”

He played one year as a tight end on the Western Kentucky football team, and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks, who made him an offensive tackle.

The Seahawks spent the last four years developing him as an offensive tackle, and the Jets will benefit from that maturation process. The arrow is pointing up on this player.

He’s now a bona fide NFL offensive tackle, who the Jets got at a reasonable price, and is just 27-years-old.

Over the years, Douglas has displayed a keen eye for offensive line talent, and he really likes this player.

We will see how it turns out. None of us has a crystal ball.

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NFL announces new plan for draft 03.16.20

*In consideration of current information related to COVID-19 and guidance from medical experts such as the CDC, and in coordination with public authorities in Nevada and the City of Las Vegas, the NFL will modify its plans for the 2020 NFL Draft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today.

The clubs’ selection of players will proceed as scheduled April 23-25. The NFL is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted and will provide that information as it becomes available. The selection process will be televised.

Public NFL Draft events in Las Vegas next month will not take place.

“This decision reflects our foremost priority – the health and safety of all fans and citizens,” said Commissioner Goodell. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL Draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl.”

“After careful consideration, the Las Vegas Raiders, the NFL, the NFLPA and the LVCVA have decided to cancel the 2020 Las Vegas NFL Draft celebration,” said Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis. “Health and safety has always been our top priority, so despite it being a major disappointment, this was the right decision. I would like to thank Governor [Steve] Sisolak and the LVCVA for all of the passion they put into creating an event that would have been second to none. Although Las Vegas lost this chance to shine, there will be many more opportunities to show the world just what Las Vegas is made of. Whether it be the Draft, the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is ready!”

*Press release


Joe D needs to ignore all the noise and not worry about headlines 03.16.20

Jets GM Joe Douglas is about to embark on his first full NFL off-season running free agency and the draft. Free agency is supposed to open on March 18.

Douglas took over last June, after the draft, and most of free agency was run by the team’s former GM, Mike Maccagnan.

Now he’s about to handle his first entire off-season as Jets GM from square one.

The Jets have a lot of needs to fill in free agency and the draft. They desperately need an game-wrecking defensive end, a number-one cornerback, along with an offensive lineman or two.

But nothing Douglas does should be based on public opinion polls or the media. Everything he does, along with sidekicks Phil Savage, Chad Alexander and Rex Hogan, should be based on sound football decision-making, not trying to grab back-page newspaper headlines with splashy moves. Some people in the past have done that, and the results were often disastrous.

Two times in recent years, people were clamoring for a #1 corner, and the Jets went out and spent big money, and neither player worked out – both had lost a step. Another time they signed a defensive lineman to a monster deal before his broken leg fully healed. That made no sense.

Yes, Douglas needs to go out and knock free agency and the draft out of the park with pragmatic, well-researched moves, keeping football culture always in mind.

But there should be no pandering to sell tickets or grab headlines. Don’t spend like a drunken sailor to impress the masses and sports talk hosts.

That approach should be in the Jets’ rear-view mirror.

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Another mock draft has Jets picking this position and it’s not crazy 03.11.20

This is the second recent mock draft that has the Jets picking this guy, which might surprise some people.

In his latest mock draft, NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks, a former NFL player and scout, has the Jets picking Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson.

His colleague, and podcast partner, Daniel Jeremiah, also a former scout, recently did the same thing.

In the case of Jeremiah, the top four offensive tackle prospects were gone in his mock draft before the Jets selected.

In Brooks’ case, three were gone, but Louisville’s Mekhi Becton was still available.

But the bottom line is, if the Jets add a couple of offensive linemen in free agency, cornerback could be in play for them with the 11th pick of the first round.

It’s a big need for Gang Green.

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Big Joe knows how to spot these dudes . . . 03.11.20

This was a perfect example of his keen eye for talent at these positions . . .

On Tuesday, Baltimore Ravens guard Marshall Yanda, 35, announced his retirement from the NFL.

Yanda was an 8-time Pro Bowler during his Ravens career. He entered the league as a third-round pick in the 2007 draft, and the man who pushed hardest for the Ravens to pick him, was a scout named Joe Douglas, who worked in that organization for 13 years.

Douglas, a former offensive lineman at the University of Richmond, has a great reputation around the NFL as an evaluator, and he’s particularly attempt at finding O-Line talent.

So this should come in handy for Gang Green this off-season, in free agency and the draft, as they attempt to rebuild their offensive line.

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To subscribe to the one-and-only Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A monthly must-read for Jets fans with so much stuff about Gang Green you will not read anywhere else. Blunt, but fair.

 


ESPN Analyst on New York Jets – ‘This is not a Darnold issue’ 03.10.20

A former long-time NFL player, who now works for ESPN, feels Sam Darnold is the least of the Jets problems.

ESPN’s Jeff Saturday, a former NFL center, believes that if the Jets provide give Darnold the help he needs, he will be just fine.

“At the end of the day, this is not a Darnold issue,” said Saturday. “It’s what can you do to help him on the outside. How are you going to help him with an offensive line that is not going to get it done?”

So Saturday agrees with many Jets fans who believe that if the Jets get Darnold better weapons, and improve their off-season line, the young signal-caller will be just fine.

Jets GM Douglas is going to work hard this off-season to do just that.

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To subscribe to the monthly Jets Confidential Magazine, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. Check it out.


Jets should’ve considered this factor more before signing Johnson 03.09.20

Them not thinking this was a big deal is surprising. There is an old saying in sports: “You can’t teach speed.”

Trumaine Johnson is a cornerback who runs like a safety. And you could see this was a problem right out of the gate, when in his first game as a Jet, Gang Green’s 2018 opening-day win over Detroit, Johnson got beat by Lions receiver Kenny Golladay for gains of 25 and 26 yards on crossing routes.

In the Jets’ loss to Jacksonville in 2018, he was beat for a 67-yard TD down the right sideline by speedster Donte Moncrief.

In the 2018 Jets-Cleveland contest, Johnson got beat deep by wide receiver Antonio Callaway, but Tyrod Taylor underthrew the ball.

“Antonio Callaway is a 4.4 forty guy and he can fly, there is no way [Johnson] was going to be able to make up the ground – the ball floated on [Taylor] allowing Johnson to get back underneath,” said Fox’s Troy Aikman.

“[Callaway] was clear of Trumaine Johnson by five yards,” said Fox’s Joe Buck.

This was a 4.41 guy, against a 4.61 guy, one-on-one, going deep. How can you expect this to go well? And honestly, when we talk about Johnson’s 4.61 forty, keep in mind, he ran that at the 2012 combine. And after years of NFL wear-and-tear, he probably didn’t even run that fast when he joined the Jets at the age of 28 in 2018.

People act like since he was paid a fortune, he should be able to hold up on an island with anybody. That’s flawed logic because you can’t teach speed. Johnson is speed-challenged, and this is something the Jets’ former regime should’ve considered before giving him $34 million in guaranteed money.

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Jets Confidential free agent preview issue at convenience stores now. The most in-depth Jets’ free agent preview anywhere. To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). A must-read for Jets fans. Makes a great birthday gift. Blunt, but fair.


Jets need a corner, but who can they get after the first round? 03.05.20

If the Jets don’t pick a cornerback in the first round, who might they consider after round one?

Here are some names to consider courtesy of NFL Network draft analyst, and former scout, Daniel Jeremiah:

“A.J. Terrell from Clemson, who’s real tall, lean, real fluid. He’s somebody that plays a variety of techniques there. A really good blitzer coming off the boundary too. But he can be a little sticky when he has to work back downhill. But he’s a tall, long, athletic corner. I think he’s a late 1, early 2, could end up slipping a little bit in the second round, see what happens.
 
“I love Damon Arnette. He’s twitched up from Ohio State. He can find and play the ball. He’s a little bit tight, but you can play him in press. He’s somebody, I think, is going to go in the second round.
 
“Jeff Gladney from TCU, kind of he’s got some similarities to a Denzel Ward. Just undersized, real feisty. He plays off. He’s real fluid, very aware. I’ve watched the Iowa State game, one of the games I flipped on with him, it was a war watching him go up against that wide receiver.
 
“The one that I think is going to go in the second round that’s fascinating to me is the corner from Auburn, (Noah) Igbinoghene. He’s one that’s really explosive. A former wide receiver. He was a track guy. They moved him to corner. Really, really ultra twitched up. But he struggles to play the football. And that to me is my concern. He doesn’t have any interceptions. In the LSU and Alabama games, he just struggled to find and play the ball. So I think he’ll get drafted in the second round based off traits, but there’s still some development to take place there.

“We’ll see what happens with (Trevon) Diggs from Alabama who has got some Aqib Talib-type skills. But the question is just pure deep speed. But real fluid. Obviously Stefon’s brother there, the wide receiver with the Vikings. Former wide receiver, kickoff returner. Really skilled athlete.
The question is just how is his deep speed and he’s just okay as a tackler.”
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