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Posted 27 Jul 2016FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- With injury concerns at running back, the New York Jets signed veteran Bernard Pierce on Wednesday.
Two backups, Zac Stacy and Khiry Robinson, are returning from broken bones. Stacy was waived Wednesday with a failed physical designation because of a fractured ankle that required surgery. There's a good chance Robinson, who broke his leg last season, could begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Pierce must serve a two-game suspension to start the season because of a DUI arrest in March 2015.
Neither Stacy nor Robinson participated in the offseason workouts. Pierce and Robinson will compete for the No. 3 job, behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.
Bernard Pierce, who was arrested for DUI and released by the Ravens prior to last season, played only seven games for the Jaguars in 2015. Stephen B. Morton/AP
Players reported to training camp Wednesday.
Pierce, 25, played last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars after three years with the Baltimore Ravens. He was released by the Ravens after his drunken driving arrest.
In four seasons, Pierce has rushed for 1,345 yards and five touchdowns. His best year came as a rookie in 2012, when he rushed for a career-high 532 yards. He had no role last year in Jacksonville, where he had only six carries for 11 yards.
Posted 27 Jul 2016It took longer than expected, but the New York Jets and linebacker Darron Lee finally came to terms Wednesday on a rookie contract, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Lee, a former Ohio State standout, signed a four-year, $10.2 million contract, the standard amount for a player drafted 20th overall. The deal includes a $5.6 million signing bonus and a fifth-team team option, as do all first-round contracts. His cap charge for 2016 is $1.858 million. The contract is fully guaranteed.
Only two of the 31 first-round picks remain unsigned: San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (third overall) and San Francisco 49ers guard Josh Garnett (28th).
The sticking point for Lee and the Jets was the fourth-year guarantee. The players drafted ahead of him received a fully guaranteed salary for 2019, while the player in the 20th slot a year ago -- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor -- had only two-thirds of it guaranteed.
The Jets wound up giving the full guarantee in exchange for keeping the team's customary default language in the deal. In other words, the team has the ability to void part of the guarantee if it cuts Lee for, say, a non-football reason.
The Jets aren't planning to rush Lee into the starting lineup -- he'll play behind veteran Erin Henderson -- but they'd like him to have a significant role in the nickel package.
Lee, 21, played only two seasons at Ohio State, recording 11 sacks and three interceptions.
Posted 18 Jul 2016Just letting everyone know!! Man this place is so dead I cant believe that nobody has posted about this yet 4 days later.
The New York Jets announced today they have signed veteran DL Muhammad Wilkerson to a multi-year extension.
Wilkerson led the club with 12 sacks last season and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. He was a key cog up front for a defense that allowed a franchise low 83.4 yards per game on the ground.
A Temple product who joined the Jets as a first-round selection in 2011, Wilkerson has recorded 36.5 sacks and has paced the club in that category two of the past three seasons. In 2013, Wilkerson was voted the Curtis Martin Team MVP by his teammates after starting all 16 games and racking up 10.5 sacks along with a career-high 91 tackles. He started 16 games his rookie season and recorded a safety on the first sack of his career, when he got a hold of Luke McCown in Wilkerson’s second professional game.
The 6’4”, 315-pound Wilkerson has excelled over his five seasons as a 3-4 DE and has also thrived when shifting inside in sub packages. He is an elite player on one of the most talented positional units in football as the Jets also boast a pair of first-round talents up front in Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams. The Jets finished No. 4 overall defensively last season while finishing No. 1 in red zone and No. 3 in third down efficiency respectively.
Wilkerson, who broke his right leg in the regular season finale vs. the Bills, has continued to rehab throughout the offseason. After the Green & White placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Wilkerson in March, the two sides had until today at 4:00 p.m. to hammer out a multiyear contract or extension.
In 77 career games, Wilkerson has totaled 372 tackles along with 19 PDs, seven forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Posted 1 Jun 2016Gary Myers
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 10:02 PM
Ryan Fitzpatrick is ready to bet on himself. Will the Jets double down and take the wager?
The Daily News has learned Fitzpatrick is prepared to end his contract stalemate by letting the Jets know he will take a one-year deal for $12 million guaranteed. It’s the same money with the same guarantee the Jets are offering in the first year of their frontloaded three-year $24 million proposal that has backup money in the second and third year.
One year and $12 million is fair for Fitz and the Jets.
But at this point, the Jets are being stubborn and have not indicated they are willing to lock up Fitz for just one year, even if they are willing to pay him starter’s money for just one year and are lowballing him in the second and third year.
Fitzpatrick has given up on getting multi-year security from the Jets this free agent season after he set the franchise record with 31 TD passes last year. He is ready to take his chances in the free agent market again in 2017.
The Jets want it both ways: They want three years with a serious pay cut after the first year.
It’s now up to the Jets to take some risk, too, to settle this four-month Fitz Fight and end the nightmare of Jets Nation: Geno Smith taking first-team snaps.
I’ve mentioned in the Daily News the last few weeks a one-year deal is the win-win compromise solution for Fitzpatrick and the Jets and allows them each to save face.
Fitzpatrick will get a big pay raise for the upcoming season, but isn't too keen on locking in on backup money for years two and three of any contract.
The advantage of a one-year deal for Fitzpatrick is if he has another big season, but this time instead of choking in the fourth quarter of the last game with three interceptions, he gets them into the postseason for the first time since 2010 and then cashes in with the Jets or another team.
The risk is he regresses and plays like he did for most of the first 10 years of his career and then the Jets don’t want him back even to back up Christian Hackenberg and he signs as a No. 2 with his seventh team and can only get the $1 million veteran minimum in 2017.
There’s been no negotiations between the Jets and Fitz’s camp for months. There’s been conversation but no new numbers from GM Mike Maccagnan.
Clearly, the Jets are not buying into the one-year contract idea or Fitz would be signed. The offer the Jets have had on the table is fair for 2016, even if it’s still below market value for starting quarterbacks. The second and third seasons make it impossible for him to sign:
-- 2016: $12 million guaranteed. The Jets can prorate the signing bonus money over the three years of the contract. Although the breakdown of the 2016 payout is unclear, if the signing bonus is $9 million, for example, the salary cap charge for this season would be a modest $6 million. The $12 million is a nice raise over the $3.25 million he made last year. The three-year offer makes sense from the Jets’ perspective: They get a low cap number for 2016 and get Fitz cheap the next two years.
-- 2017: $6 million with $3 million guaranteed. It’s a no-lose for the Jets. If Fitz is the starter, they get him for relatively next to nothing in NFL dollars. It he’s not the starter and they keep him, he’s a $6 million insurance policy for Hackenberg. If he gets cut, the Jets recoup the $3 million as long as Fitz signs with another team for at least that much. If he signs for less than $3 million, the Jets make up the difference. If he can’t find another job or retires after getting cut, they owe him $3 million.
-- 2018: $6 million, no money guaranteed.
There are $12 million in incentives in the three-year offer primarily tied to the Jets making the playoffs and then advancing. In the second and third years, there could also be incentives tied to number of starts.
What’s the downside of a one-year contract for the Jets?
It it’s a straight one-year deal, the 2016 salary cap hit would be $12 million. As of Wednesday, the Jets were just $3.1 million under the cap. They would have to clear $8.9 million. The more logical way to solve the cap issue is to put in an option for the second and third year that would require a huge payout before the start of the 2017 league year next March. That would guarantee the Jets cut Fitz, giving him the opportunity to test the market or sign a new deal with the Jets. That’s what the Patriots did in Darrelle Revis’ contract in 2014.
The Jets have the only starting job available to Fitzpatrick. The Jets don’t want to start Smith. Fitz and the Jets need each other.
“It’s double jeopardy,” said one source who has been keeping a close eye on the negotiations. “Fitz is stuck. The Jets are stuck losing games without him. They need a quarterback. A one-year deal is the answer. The Jets are making this a circus. They’re wrong on this one.”
The Jets stance makes you wonder, of course, if Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall want Fitzpatrick back a whole lot more than Maccagnan and Todd Bowles.
“What is odd about this is if you think about all the acrimonious contract negotiations that occur in the NFL, they almost never involve a starting quarterback,” said agent Leigh Steinberg, who has represented Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Warren Moon and has Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch. “Quarterbacks are almost never the subject of public contract negotiations. It’s the one position in football that teams treat gingerly.”
These are the Jets. Nothing comes easy. Say I do for one year and see if they want to renew their vows next year.
Posted 6 Apr 2016The inevitable now appears to be official: The Jets have asked D'Brickashaw Ferguson to take a pay cut.
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Jets have asked their three-time Pro Bowl left tackle to take a "significant" pay cut as part of the team's ongoing effort to re-sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The News reported the Jets approached Ferguson last week at the team facility. According to sources, "there is a sense" Ferguson would be open to playing at reduced salary -- within reason, of course.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick are currently in a contract stalemate with reports indicating the two sides are as much as $8 million apart in negotiations on an annual salary. Ferguson, who has been a rock on the team's offensive line for 10 seasons, is set to count $14.1 million against the cap in 2016.
The Jets may view that cost as untenable, and it's possible Ferguson could be released if a compromise cannot be worked out. This wouldn't be an optimal solution for several reasons, including the fact the Jets have no realistic alternative to plug in at left tackle. Cutting Ferguson would save $9 million in cap space.
Another factor? The 32-year-old Ferguson's play slipped in 2015. Jets coach Todd Bowles gave a far from glowing endorsement at the NFL Annual Meeting, saying: "He did some good things and he did some not-so-good things."
Ferguson has two years left on his 8-year, $73.6 million contract signed in 2010. He has never missed a snap due to injury in his entire career, one of the game's most remarkable stats.
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