According to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal, Jets top draft pick Dee Milliner has chosen his new representation after firing his agency after what he apparently deemed poor draft results.
Milliner fired Impact Sports back on May 10, though news didn’t reach journalists until late last week. Per Mullen’s report, the former Alabama corner has already signed with Pat Dye & Bill Johnson — and this has happened after waiting the necessary five-business-day waiting period expired. Dye & Johnson’s agency merged a few years back with Jimmy Sexton’s larger group. Under that larger banner some other Jets of note represented are Rex Ryan and Calvin Pace.
When Milliner made the switch, he has become the second Jets rookie to fire his representation, after West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith parted ways with Select Sports in late April.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
I hazarded a guess that Jay-Z might be sniffing around another New York athlete, but that seems to not be the case. Good to know that at least this is behind him. It’s extremely rare that two players drafted by the Jets would both leave their agency after disappointing draft results, but there’s a first time for everything. It seemed an odd move to fire an agency over four draft spots, but we don’t know the full story there.
A number of Jets players are already signed and now that this is settled we’ll expect that they will all get into camp on time and signed with their new agencies.
When the Jets drafted Sheldon Richardson the move initially seemed like a good chance to add a playmaker, but what seemed unclear was what exactly the defense would look like in 2013 between Wilkerson, Coples and the rookie Richardson. Now with a few practices and some instruction from the coaches, Richardson sounded very definitive on where he’s going to help the Jets in 2013 according to Kristian Dyer in Metro.
In fact, ask Richardson where the Jets ideally want him to play and the answer was clear and concise.
“They want me at the 3 for sure,” Richardson said, referring to lining up inside on a guard as opposed to a tackle.
He said he’s comfortable playing the 3 technique with the Jets, even if it is a different role than his responsibilities in college. In most 3-4 systems, the player in the middle tends to be a space eater who can stuff the run and occupy at least two blockers. The Jets have recently had success with the likes of Sione Pouha and Kris Jenkins in that role. Both players have significantly more bulk than the 6-foot-3, 294-pound Richardson. In many ways, Richardson looks more like an end.
The Jets might be looking at him another way.
“Right now, they’re just testing me out, seeing where I best play, best fit,” Richardson said. “They had me at the 3 technique. We’ll see, they want me to learn.”
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
The 3-technique lines up with his helmet shaded to the guard’s outside shoulder and they shoot the B-gap on the three’s side of the formation. Smart defensive coordinators employ line shifts, stunts and other wrinkles with the idea to get the 3-technique best shot at the passer, a big reason why players like Geno Atkins, Warren Sapp, John Randle, and Ndamukong Suh can accumulate such high sacks.
With an addition like Richardson and the removal of Bart Scott, the Jets could use the classic 4-3 Under front much more than they have in the past by way of ‘Scissors Shifts’ a technique that the Jets have shied away from to keep two classic 3-4 ILBs with Harris and Scott.
If Tommy Kelly is a common prototype of the player that Richardson could be with the Jets, then Geno Atkins could be the exemplary one. While there was some initial concern about Coples and what his role as an “OLB” would be with the Jets, as Bent has written about extensively, playing the rush linebacker role doesn’t necessarily mean he would start playing fulltime with his hand out of the dirt and the front four (of which Coples would still be a part) might be a much more exciting group to get after the pass rusher.
Mike DeVito was a much underrated player with the Jets and his flexibility and versatility to play all over the formation were a key part of the Jets versatility and success against the run. It’s going to take some time to replicate DeVito’s consistent success, but where DeVito struggled was in assisting the pass rush – he was shuttled off the field often on third downs. Richardson could quickly fill in DeVito’s old role, but also be a force in disrupting both the run and pass because his freakish athleticism.
Although his agents might have been unofficially meeting with teams back at the Combine, former Brown wide receiver and return specialist Josh Cribbs has had a hard time catching on with a new NFL team because of offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Cribbs, who will turn 30 in June, is now healthy and has started a tour visiting a number of NFL teams.
On Monday, Cribbs visited with the Raiders, where he apparently left with a contract offer, but was going to continue with his visits before making any decisions. After the Raiders, Cribbs flew east and landed in the New York area Tuesday night to visit with the Jets on Wednesday. There was no formal offer, but according to the Manish Mehta of the Daily News, “parameters” of the deal were discussed.
Already in the area from his meeting with the Jets, the latest news is that the Giants will meet with Cribbs today, and that there might be at least one other team interested in hiring him.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
Cribbs has never had more than 41 catches in a season, but he’s a versatile player and can be used in a number of ways. Here’s our impressions of Cribbs and how he might fit into the Jets current picture.
Cribbs was most often used in the “Z” receiver spot. Cribbs has been used in an (EARMUFFS!) Wildcat role and has demonstrated the ability to run the ball on option plays out of the backfield as well. He’s not the best route-runner and doesn’t have the best speed out of his cuts, but his strength and frame allow him to excel in comeback routes to block out defenders.
Cribbs is most known for his return skills, but he is also one of the league’s best in coverage. Cribbs doesn’t have elite speed, but his field vision is impeccable and he knows where lanes will form, how to take angles to avoid tackles, but then also to use his size and body control to break tackles through force or perfectly timed spin moves. Cribbs was one of the league’s best returners in 2012 with a 27.4 average on kick returns (fourth best in the NFL) and 12 yards (sixth) per punt return .
Holmes’ Lisfranc recovery and Hill’s 2012 struggles would lead one to believe that Cribbs role could be determined in camp per John Idzik’s new “competetion” mantra. At worst, he’d be the team’s fourth receiver, but likely could see time as the team’s third, or even reaching a bit, the second all depending on the play of others. My guess is that he’d be the team’s fourth option for much of the season.
On special teams, his role would be unquestioned as the team’s new returner on punts and possibly kicks as well. As noted above, he’d also play an integral role in coverage and with a lot of uncertainty in the wide receiver position, adding a player like Cribbs would shore up special teams, add depth to the wide receiver spot and potentially help consolidate some other roster spots.
What does that mean? Interest in a player with Cribbs’ skillset would indicate more trouble for Joe McKnight. McKnight is out to win the starting running back job, but with two new backs on the roster and much of his utility on the roster due to his kick return skills, this seems like a move that, assuming the Jets can actually sign Cribbs, might help them consolidate their roster and swing the production to an area of roster weakness on the Jets right now, their wide receivers.
The Raiders have a contract, the Giants are recent world champions and have an excellent quarterback and sincere need to upgrade their return game, and then there’s one other team in play Cribbs might visit soon. If I had to guess, it’s the Patriots. All that to me lines up to indicate that the Jets are not in a position of power competing against other teams right now to sign Cribbs. Maybe we’ll be surprised, but I’d expect Cribbs to land elsewhere first.
OL Willie Colon
As the Jets headed into training camp, the biggest concerns on the offensive line were around the two openings at starting guard. While the Jets didn’t draft a player in the first or second round, the team gained lots of depth through the team’s free agent acquisitions and drafting.
Of that group, former Steeler Willie Colon is penciled in as a starting guard, but shared with Seth Walder of the Daily News that a year ago, it wouldn’t have been easy to identify himself as such. But when asked about his role last week, Colon told Walder that he was “definitely” a guard for the Jets.
“I like guard. I don’t think I could have said that a year ago. I don’t think I would have opened my mouth to say it because I had so much pride. [...] I was kind of like ‘I’m a tackle,’” Colon told Walder last week at the team facility. “I’ve played against the best, dominated. But I like being inside.”
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.comIt’s nothing that we didn’t already expect, but it’s good to hear Colon say it. Colon said when he came to the Jets back in March that he didn’t want to classify himself, preferring to say that he could play tackle or guard. The Jets are set at the two starting offensive tackle spots, so with the Jets Colon can’t be an upgrade at right tackle because of injury concerns. Howard had a good initial year in 2012, so a healthy Colon can be a much bigger help elsewhere.
Colon said it himself, there’s more pride in playing at tackle, but at this point in his career playing guard is going to keep him on the field and he will stay healthier longer. With Brian Winters (who projects to start), Oday Aboushi, Vlad Ducasse, Stephen Peterman and the rest of the guys on the roster the Jets look to have a robust group of backups that might be able to be plugged in wherever they are needed. For the first time in two years, the Jets depth on the line could be a very good thing.
Ian Rapoport hears the agreement is worth about $3 million annually.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
It’s a sign of how much the Jets believe in what Ivory brings to the table. Between what Ivory make and Goodson’s contract
, the team has to feel pretty secure about the running back position for the next two years at a minimum.
On the whole, Ivory will likely be the early down back to grind out hard yards and then the Jets will use Goodson take in more of the third down role.
When the trade between the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was announced yesterday, there was some public backlash on the compensation that the Jets received. In the trade, the Jets gave up Darrelle Revis for a first in 2013 and a conditional fourth that could move to a third should Revis stay on the Bucs roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.
While some in the media have panned the Jets on the trade, according to PFT who confirmed this with a source, there was only one team who was in the mix for Revis. This was something anyone who followed the story already knew all too well.
“If we had the luxury of time, if we had the luxury of Darrelle not having been injured, not having gone through rehab, then I think things would be a lot clearer both from our standpoint and in the case of potential trade suitors,” General Manager John Idzik told reporters Sunday night on a conference call.
Beyond the injury, beyond the compensatory component, the Bucs were also the only team who knowingly entered a contract with Revis knowing his penchant for holding or at least threatening to hold out. While they are paying him a premium per season, I guarantee that before the end of this deal there will come a time when either Revis feels undervalued yet again or the Bucs feel they are not getting the return on investment. In the end, this was the best deal the Jets and Revis got from any team, mostly because it was the only deal available to the Jets and Revis.
While the offseason can be a tough time for fans, it can also afford some great chances to interact with players. With that in mind, we’re proud to announce that on 1:30PM ET Friday, TheJetsBlog will host our second in a series of “Ask Me Anything” Q&As right here on TJB with Jets Defensive Tackle Kenrick Ellis. After discussing this with Kenrick, Kenrick is thrilled to come on the site and answer your questions.
Kenrick was drafted by the Jets in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Hampton University. In the last two seasons, Ellis started twice in 2012 and accumulated 17 tackles and his role has gradually increased as he’s honed his game against the run, with his one of his best games coming against the Steelers in replacement of the then-injured Sione Pouha.
Alongside new teammate Antonio Garay, Ellis now stands to be a major contributor in the center of the defensive line and will work with fellow emerging linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples to make the group a force to be reckoned around the NFL in 2013 and beyond.
Again, we’re very excited and hope to see you right here tomorrow on TJB for a Q&A with Kenrick Ellis. We’ll be using CoverItLive to run the event so you can submit questions for Kenrick and he will answer as many as he can in the time allotted.
Hope to see you and your questions tomorrow at 1:30PM ET!
In yesterday’s pre-draft press conference, John Idzik was asked about Tim Tebow whether or not he will be in the QB competition, via Seth Walder of the Daily News.
“I’m not saying he is, I’m not saying he isn’t,” the GM said at the Jets’ pre-draft press conference. “I’m just saying let’s let things play out.”
“I guess I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” said Idzik. “We just had two days of offseason conditioning. We’re running in shorts right now. We’re lifting weights. Unfortunately we can’t even throw a football for another two weeks.”
“He’s a Jet, and we’ve gone through some change here and that’s what I mean by letting things play out,” the GM added. “We have a new coordinator, we have a new quarterback coach, we have a new offensive system, I’m new. We have several new people within football administration. I think you just gotta let these things develop and evolve.”
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
Idzik wouldn’t say whether or not he had spoken to Tebow about his status, but it’s hard to imagine this situation playing out much longer. If any Jets quarterback would be a throw-in on the Revis trade, it’s not Sanchez, but Tebow. Maybe the Jets are waiting to see if they can get something for Tebow during the NFL draft, but I would be very surprised if he’s still with the team once OTAs start.
The Jets have re-signed linebacker Calvin Pace on a one-year deal, according to Adam Schefter.
Pace started all 16 games last season, and tallied three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Pace has only accumulated 13 sacks in the last three seasons.
Pace had previously signed a six-year, $42 million ($22 million guaranteed) with the Jets in 2008. The Jets had released him in February.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
This doesn’t come as a surprise after last week’s revelation about Pace’s imminent re-signing with the Jets by our own Jake Steinberg. The Jets cut Pace because of the salary cap number and since then, the market for his services has been light.
Adding Pace back to the roster alongside Antwan Barnes has its benefits, but also could create a logjam. Historically, Pace has been a stout run-stuffer while being negligible at best against the pass. In 2012, his ability to stop the run got much worse, so it begs the question of how the Jets see this playing out. Maybe he could play better in his respective area of strength if he didn’t have to play every down. One other benefit of adding Pace is that he can be a versatile player along the defensive front, shuttling in and out of different spots — albeit with varying results.
While both Barnes and Pace could do in a pinch as a starter, it could be that the Jets expect Pace to be a platoon player with Antwan Barnes on rushing and passing situations. It might end up being a good arrangement..
If that is the case, then the other OLB spot is still unsettled. Ricky Sapp is an intriguing prospect on the roster — much more athletic and versatile than Garrett McIntyre, but the Jets have been linked to defensive ends and pass rushers regularly through the draft process. Jones, Mingo, Jordan and others are often mentioned in connection with the Jets. Adding Pace to the roster will allow the Jets to not feel pressured to reach for a DE/OLB, but while the contract details haven’t been announced, we’d imagine that should they draft some better options, they wouldn’t feel beholden to keeping Pace for the full season.
Twenty-three top prospects are confirmed to attend the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the NFL announced this week. Here’s the list of 23 players that will attend the NFL Draft and are likely to be first round picks, listed alphabetically.
1) DE Ezekiel Ansah – Brigham Young
2) WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia
3) G Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
4) T Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
5) DT Sharrif Floyd – Florida
6) T D.J. Fluker – Alabama
7) T Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
8) T Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
9) DE Dion Jordan – Oregon
10) RB Eddie Lacy – Alabama
11) QB E.J. Manuel – Florida State
12) CB Dee Milliner – Alabama
13) DE Barkevious Mingo – Louisiana State
14) WR Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee
15) S Eric Reid – Louisiana State
16) CB Xavier Rhodes – Florida State
17) DT Sheldon Richardson – Missouri
18) QB Geno Smith – West Virginia
19) CB Desmond Trufant – Washington
20) S Kenny Vaccaro – Texas
21) G Chance Warmack – Alabama
22) T Menelik Watson – Florida State
23) DE Bjoern Werner – Florida State
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City (Between 50th and 51st Streets).
8:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 25 (Round 1).
6:30 PM ET, Friday, April 26 (Rounds 2-3).
12:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 27 (Rounds 4-7).
The first round will conclude on Thursday by approximately 11:15 PM ET. In 2012, the first round consumed exactly three hours. The second and third rounds will conclude on Friday by approximately 10:30 PM ET. The second and third rounds took three hours and 48 minutes in 2012. The draft will conclude by approximately 7:30 PM ET on Saturday with the final four rounds. Rounds 4 through 7 took seven hours and 17 minutes in 2012.