Jets fans could get to know Vick, 34, a little better if the team opts to sign the free agent. New York hasn’t made much of a splash in free agency, but Vick could change that. Vick is also getting interest from the Bills and Bucs according to Adam Schefter.
The Jets are also looking at Josh McCown at the quarterback spot, in order to compete with second-year quarterback Geno Smith.
The question is, does Vick want to come to New York if he had to spend the season as Smith’s backup? Or to put it another way, do the Jets need to manufacture quarterback drama every single season?
Smith, who had a 66.5 quarterback rating and 21 interceptions in his rookie year, was serviceable last season after a season-ending injury to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is still on the Jets roster as a $2 million roster bonus is due on March 25.
But the quarterback isn’t the only position the Jets are shopping for. In the meantime, free agent wide receiver Eric Decker is visiting the Jets facility, according to multiple reports.
Decker -- at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds -- most recently played in Denver, where he had 87 catches for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns playing with quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Jets cut former No. 1 receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, and still have slot receiver Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and David Nelson still on the roster at the spot.
Trufant will be reunited with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the recently hired Browns coach. The 5-foot-7 Trufant played primarily on special teams for the Jets; he played in only 68 defensive snaps last season. He finished third on the team with 13 special-teams tackles.
He played four seasons with the Jets. They decided not to retain him after re-signing Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls.
1. Rough start: It wasn't a productive day for the Idziks. They lost right tackle Austin Howard to the Oakland Raiders, watched as the three highest-rated corners came off the board and began to hear the rumblings of a Darrelle Revis-to-the-New England Patriots scenario -- a potential nightmare. But, hey, they re-signed kicker Nick Folk to a long-term deal.
2. Patience: The lack of activity set off a near panic among fans who wanted general manager John Idzik to put in dent in that $39.6 million cap surplus. Relax, people. It was only the first day, when desperate teams throw ridiculous money at players not worthy of superstar paychecks. Championships aren't won in March. Jets fans should know that better than anyone.
3. Howard's end: The Jets liked Howard, they really did, but they liked him only to a certain point. Idzik didn't want to match the five-year, $30 million offer from the Raiders, and that was that. His fallback option appears to be former Seattle Seahawks right tackle Breno Giacomini, who was good enough to start for the Super Bowl champions.
4. They like Mike: It has been rumored for weeks, but now it can be confirmed: Yes, the Jets have interest in quarterback Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles), according to a league source. They also scheduled a visit with Josh McCown (Chicago Bears), who also has visits set up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the favorite) and the Houston Texans. Vick reportedly is drawing interest from the Buffalo Bills and Raiders. The Jets would like to get it wrapped up quickly, but it sounds like Vick will take his time. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez is twisting in the wind, waiting to learn his fate.
5. Dangerous corner: It's too soon to say the Jets are desperate at cornerback, but I bet Rex Ryan is feeling a bit uneasy about his current situation. The Jets expressed a strong interest in Vontae Davis, but he re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts for four years, $39 million. Alterraun Verner was on the Jets' radar, but he signed with the Buccaneers for four years, $25.5 million. The Denver Broncos took Aqib Talib away from the New England Patriots with a crazy contract -- six years, $57 million. The cornerback market isn't barren yet, but the Jets might want to get busy. Keep an eye on Captain Munnerlyn (Carolina Panthers) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Denver Broncos). And, of course, Antonio Cromartie is out there. Remember him?
6. 'Folk Hero' gets paid: Folk wore the franchise tag for only two weeks. On Tuesday, he signed a four-year, $12 million contract. The deal reportedly includes only $2.1 million in guarantees, about $1.4 million less than what he would've received if he had signed the $3.55 million franchise tender. Folk wanted a long-term deal for security, but in reality, it won't be hard to cut him if he has a bad year. Good deal for the Jets.
7. Quiet at receiver: Not much action for the free-agent wide receivers. Here's a name to watch: Miles Austin, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys. The receiver-needy Jets are expected to have interest. They're also showing interest in running back Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) at "the right price," a source said. They're eyeing other backs as well.
There "wasn't a big difference" between the Jets' offer and Howard's asking price, a source said Tuesday night. "It wouldn't have been a stretch for them, but Idzik drew a line in the sand." Talks broke off Tuesday afternoon and Howard got on a plane to the West Coast, becoming an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. Howard has a comfort level with Raiders offensive line coach Tony Sparano, formerly the Jets' coordinator, and that played a role in his decision.
So what does this mean for the Jets? Well, it means they have to replace the right side of their line -- and that's never a good thing.
Guard Willie Colon is a free agent and not likely to return. A possible replacement for Howard will arrive Wednesday for free-agent visit -- Breno Giacomini, who spent the last three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He started nine games in 2013, missing seven with a knee injury. Giacomini, originally a fifth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2008, has 33 career starts. Idzik, a former Seattle executive, likes him a lot. Giacomini, 28, is a serviceable player, but he doesn't have Howard's upside.
The Jets also made an inquiry about right tackle Zach Strief, whom many believe was the New Orleans Saints' best lineman last season. Evidently, the Jets aren't giving strong consideration to any in-house options. Howard's backup last season was Oday Aboushi, who didn't dress for a single game in what amounted to a redshirt rookie year.
Idzik will get ripped, no doubt, for losing an ascending player like Howard. Let's see how he fills the void before drawing any conclusions.
The Oakland Raiders have reached agreement with former Jets offensive tackle Austin Howard on a five-year, $30 million deal, including $15 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The 6-foot-7, 330-pound Howard hasn't missed a start since replacing Wayne Hunter during the 2012 preseason. Playing for $2 million last season, the amount of his restricted free agent tender, he allowed only two sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. The Jets ran behind their right tackle more often than all but one other team in the league, per NFL stats.
The Jets picked up Howard late in the 2011 season, signing him off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. The Ravens thought Howard had a bright future, but they couldn't promote him to the 53-man roster because they thought there were other pressing roster moves that had to be made.
Howard started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent from Northern Iowa. He played four games with the Eagles as a rookie in 2010.
ESPN.com Jets reporter Rich Cimini contributed to this report.
The Jets missed out on the top three cornerbacks Tuesday on the opening day of free agency, as Vontae Davis re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts and Alterraun Verner signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, essentially taking Revis' spot on the roster. The Bucs are expected to cut Revis on Wednesday. On Tuesday night, Aqib Talib signed with the Denver Broncos, meaning the New England Patriots could make a push for Revis.
There are two things standing in the way: Woody Johnson's pride and Revis' ego.
After years of acrimony, stemming from two nasty holdouts, Johnson couldn't wait to ship Revis out of town last spring. The Jets' owner was tired of the annual contract dramas, frustrated by the inability to sign him to a long-term contract. Unless Johnson does a 180, it's hard to imagine him signing off on Revis 2.0. Imagine how foolish they'd look if they sign him and, a year from now, he starts threatening another holdout. Fool me once ...
Others may take a different viewpoint, saying it would be a genius move to re-acquire their former best player only one year after trading him for a first-round draft pick. It would be like subletting your house for a year and receiving the full-sale price.
The big question is, would Revis' ego permit him to re-sign with the organization he accused of lying to him before last year's trade? He felt betrayed by general manager John Idzik, who was simply carrying out Johnson's trade order.
In the end, money talks. It talks loudly to Revis, as we know. He'll pick the team that offers the sweetest deal. If it's close, he'll go where he has the best chance to win a title, which means he'll probably be looking for a team with a franchise quarterback. That eliminates the Jets. If he returns to the Jets, it'll be a tail-between-the-legs moment. That would be a sight to see.
The Patriots are a better fit than the Jets, and you know Revis would love to stick it to it former team by signing with their No. 1 rival. He'll take revenge over reunion any day.
Two weeks after being slapped with the franchise tag, Folk signed a four-year, $12 million contract that includes $2.1 million in guaranteed money, a league source confirmed. The Jets announced the agreement on Tuesday, but did not confirm the terms.
Folk was seeking at least $3 million per year. If he had played the season for the franchise amount, he would've earned $3.556 million.
At the end of the season, Folk expressed his desire for a long-term deal. Previously, he played on four one-year contracts with the Jets, earning $780,000 last season.
By rule, the two sides had until July 15 to work out a multiyear contract. Folk was one of only four players who received the franchise tag, and the only kicker.
Folk is coming off a career year in which he made 33 of 36 field goals, including three game-winners in the fourth quarter or overtime. He earned the nickname "Folk Hero," coined by coach Rex Ryan.
He enjoyed one of the best seasons for a kicker in franchise history, making a team-record 23 straight field goals to start the season. He also recorded a career-high 30 touchbacks.
The Jets have a definite interest in Vick, the source said. In an ideal world, they'd like to wrap it up quickly, but the former Philadelphia Eagles starter will have other suitors.
Ditto for McCown, who is scheduled to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and Jets -- in that order. The feeling around the league is that McCown, wildly successful last season when he replaced the injured Chicago Bears starter Jay Cutler, could land with the Bucs. No visit has been set up with Vick and the Jets, but there appears to be mutual interest.
The Jets are looking for an experienced quarterback to compete with Geno Smith.
Howard, regarded as an ascending player, became an unrestricted free agent. He will draw considerable interest on the open market, meaning there's a good chance he will sign elsewhere. That would be a blow to the Jets, who don't have a logical in-house replacement. Howard's backup last season was Oday Aboushi, a fifth-round pick who didn't dress for a single game.
The draft is deep at tackle, so the Jets probably could pick one with the 18th overall choice. But, with so many other needs, it would be counter-productive to address a position that could've been solved by locking up Howard on a long-term deal.
There are mixed signals on this one. The Jets "absolutely" would be interested in the star cornerback, according to a person familiar with the team's thinking -- assuming Revis is willing to take less than his current $16 million-a-year salary. Rex Ryan has a deep affinity for Revis and, according to a person close to the coach, he likely already has brought up Revis' name is discussions with general manager John Idzik.
While the football side of the organization would love a Revis reunion, the feeling probably isn't the same on the management/ownership level. Years of acrimony between the front office and Revis' camp culminated last April with a bitter divorce, and it's unlikely Woody Johnson would sign off on a Revis 2.0, according to a person familiar with the owner's thinking.
"Woody's not going to allow Revis back in the building," the person said. "He's so anti-Revis. It would happen over his dead body, and I don't think he's ready to leave us."
The biggest question might be, would Revis even consider returning to the Jets? Unless they meet his asking price (not likely), he'd have to be desperate.
This could all be moot, of course, because the Bucs are attempting to trade Revis. The Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders reportedly have interest. Both teams have New York ties to Revis. The Browns' coach is former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and the Raiders' assistant GM is Joey Clinkscales, the former Jets director of college scouting. The Bucs want to trade him before Wednesday. If not, they'll cut him before a $1.5 million roster bonus us due.
The New York Jets signed three veterans in recent days to new contracts. In breaking down the deals, you will notice they gave roster bonuses instead of signing bonuses. It's a smart play because a roster bonus is charged to that year's cap, while a signing bonus is pro-rated for cap purposes over the length of the contract. Granted, these are relatively minor contracts, but with so much cap space ($39.7 million), it pays to absorb the hit now.
Jeff Cumberland, tight end
Contract: Three years, $5.7 million. Includes a $1 million roster bonus (2014). Cap charges are $1.9 million for each year.
Ellis Lankster, cornerback
Contract: Two years, $1.6 million. Includes a $155,000 roster bonus (2014). Cap charges: $885,000 in 2014; $745,000 in 2015.
Darrin Walls, cornerback
Contract: Two years, $1.9 million. Includes a $350,000 roster bonus (2014). Cap charges: $1 million in 2014; $900,000 in 2015.
After three days of "legal tampering," the free-agent signing period kicks off at 4 p.m. ET. I know you have questions with regard to the New York Jets, so here goes:
Q: How much cap space do the Jets really have?
A: After cutting Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie in a 24-hour span, a $17.75 million savings, the Jets have $39.6 million in cap room, according to ESPN data. Only four teams have more cap space than the Jets, which means the Idziks can be big spenders, if they so choose.
Q: Could the Jets make a big splash on Day 1?
A: Yes. Those who sign players on the first day usually overpay. That doesn't appear to be John Idzik's style, but he has needs and money to burn. Prediction: They will land a cornerback in the first 24 hours. Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner, in whom the Jets have expressed interest, is expected to make a quick decision. Considering the hole at corner, he'd be a good get for the Jets -- as long as they don't pay a ridiculous price. They're also showing interest in Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, who also may sign quickly. Davis is Cromartie-esque -- talented, but flighty.
Q: How will they address the need at wide receiver?
A: The Jets have been fairly quiet in recent days on the receiver front, although most of the speculation is centered on Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders. I wouldn't be shocked if Julian Edelman draws some interest from the Jets. Idzik might be hesitant to pay No. 1 money for a No. 2 receiver, understandably so. Some people around the league believe Idzik will add a cheaper, second-tier receiver in free agency, leaning on the receiver-rich draft for an infusion of talent.
Q: Is Michael Vick really a possibility?
A: Yes, he is. The Jets can offer the chance to compete for a starting job and scheme familiarity (see Marty Mornhinweg, his old coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles). Vick will have other suitors, with the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers among those mentioned. I think he'd be a nice, short-term complement to Geno Smith. If they can't land Vick, the Jets could chase Josh McCown.
Q: Why is Mark Sanchez still on the roster?
A: This seems to be a popular question. His $2 million roster bonus isn't due until March 25, so they have some time. Idzik wants to have a replacement before he cuts the most experienced quarterback on his roster, so he probably will make Sanchez twist in the wind while he shops around. If he can't find a veteran quarterback, he'll have to convince Sanchez to take a hefty pay cut or release him, leaving himself vulnerable at the position.
Q: What's going on with Austin Howard?
A: Exactly what you'd expect to be going on: He's negotiating with the Jets while gauging interest from other teams. It's all a big poker game. The Jets want to re-sign their right tackle, but they've yet to find a landing spot in terms of price. If Howard hits the open market at 4 p.m., it could be the last we see of him in New York.
Q: Besides wide receiver and quarterback, what areas are they targeting?
A: They're showing interest in a few tight ends, including Brandon Pettigrew. They're also looking for secondary help -- corners and safeties. They've contacted a number of safeties, including T.J. Ward and Donte Whitner. The Jets had two big problems last season -- throwing the ball and stopping people from throwing it against them. Keep that in mind as we wade through free agency.
That would be a bad break for the New York Jets.
Per last year's trade agreement, the Jets received a conditional fourth-round pick (2014) that becomes a third-rounder if Revis is on the Bucs' roster for the third day of the league year -- Thursday. As Schefter reports, the Bucs won't wait past 4 p.m. Wednesday because they'd owe him a $1.5 million roster bonus and because they don't want the pick to rise to a third rounder.
There's a fairly significant difference between the Bucs' third-round choice (No. 69 overall) and the fourth-round choice (No. 100). At this point, it's impossible for the Bucs to avoid embarrassment -- this was one of the worst trades in recent memory -- but I suppose a lot of egg on the face is better than a whole lot of egg, so they'll drop him before the bill gets larger.
Talk about an all-time blunder: The Bucs traded a first-round pick (2013) for what looks like a one-and-done player. No wonder they have a new front office this season.
Obvious question: If Revis gets cut, would the Jets be interested? Two things are certain: They have a gaping hole at corner after releasing Antonio Cromartie and Rex Ryan absolutely loves Revis. (At first, he wasn't in favor of trading him.) That said, after the bitter divorce and the years of acrimony between the Jets and Revis' camp, I'd say a reunion is unlikely. I also can't see Revis wanting to go back; he'll go where the money is. The Jets will spend their millions on a younger cornerback, perhaps Alterraun Verner or Vontae Davis. They could have a new starting corner before Revis hits the market.