Posts Tagged ‘New York Jets’

AFC East Preseason Grades

BUFFALO BILLS

Key Acquisitions: QB Josh Allen, QB AJ McCarron, DT Star Lotulelei, DE Trent Murphy, CB Vontae Davis, C Russell Bodine, RB Chris Ivory, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Harrison Phillips

Key Losses: QB Tyrod Taylor, OT Cordy Glenn, OG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, CB E.J. Gaines, WR Jordan Matthews, LB Preston Brown, OT

BUFFALO BILLS

Key Acquisitions: QB Josh Allen, QB AJ McCarron, DT Star Lotulelei, DE Trent Murphy, CB Vontae Davis, C Russell Bodine, RB Chris Ivory, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Harrison Phillips

Key Losses: QB Tyrod Taylor, OT Cordy Glenn, OG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, CB E.J. Gaines, WR Jordan Matthews, LB Preston Brown, OT Seantrel Henderson

Give Buffalo credit for recognizing that its playoff run, after being outscored by 57 points in the regular season, was a little fluky. The front office wisely took a longer view this offseason rather than spending to fight for a wild-card spot again.

Shipping off Tyrod Taylor (for the 65th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft) and Cordy Glenn (to jump nine spots in Round 1) was a start, and the returns helped the Bills trade up for Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds. Buffalo found bargains in AJ McCarron (two years, $10 million) as a bridge quarterback and Vontae Davis (one year, $5 million) as a buy-low cornerback. That said, the contracts for Star Lotulelei (five years, $50 million) and end Trent Murphy (three years, $22.5 million) were steep for players who affect quarterbacks less than they clog running lanes. Russell Bodine (two years, $5 million) doesn’t move the needle much, but the line was in desperate need of bodies.

That line didn’t get as many reinforcements as needed, in part because of the team’s trade-ups in the draft. It’s also fair to question the choice of Allen over Josh Rosen, who is clearly more pro-ready at this stage. If Allen can’t fix his accuracy issues and work through reads more quickly, it won’t matter that his arm can cut through Buffalo’s worst weather.

Our Take: The Bills were smart to exercise patience, but the offensive line remains leaky, which is worrisome as the team tries to develop its QB of the future — C

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Key Acquisitions: DE Robert Quinn, WR Danny Amendola, WR Albert Wilson, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, OG Josh Sitton, RB Frank Gore, TE Mike Gesicki, C Daniel Kilgore, LB Jerome Baker

Key Losses: DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Jarvis Landry, C Mike Pouncey, QB Jay Cutler, TE Julius Thomas, TE Anthony Fasano, OG Jermon Bushrod, K Cody Parkey

Adam Gase and the Dolphins were determined to “change the culture” in Miami, but the result was an awful lot of talent walking out the door. Three players whose resumes include a combined 11 Pro Bowls are gone after Jarvis Landry (three) was traded and Ndamukong Suh (five) and Mike Pouncey (three) were released.

The $14 million that Miami didn’t want to spend on Landry went to Danny Amendola (two years, $12 million) and Albert Wilson (three years, $24 million) in free agency. Meanwhile, Mike Gesicki was drafted to replace the ineffective Julius Thomas as the team’s receiving tight end, so Ryan Tannehill has some options. The QB, who has Gase’s full support as he returns from a torn ACL that kept him out for all of 2017, also received extra protection up front in Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore, who will replace Jermon Bushrod and Pouncey, respectively. Frank Gore should still be able to help the offense a bit, even at age 35. The trade of Jay Ajayi opens up an avenue for Kenyon Drake to take over as lead back.

Suh’s absence will certainly be felt in the interior pass rush, though Robert Quinn’s arrival via trade could bring more heat the edge. Drafting Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jerome Baker gives Miami better matchup pieces against opposing passing games, and their versatility could help defensive coordinator Matt Burke mix things up if he chooses.

Our Take: The Dolphins had a clear plan to prioritize character over talent, but it’s hard to see how they actually got better in the process. — C-

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Key Acquisitions: DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Trent Brown, OT/G Isaiah Wynn, RB Sony Michel, CB Jason McCourty, RB Jeremy Hill, WR Jordan Matthews, CB Duke Dawson

Key Losses: OT Nate Solder, WR Brandin Cooks, CB Malcolm Butler, RB Dion Lewis, WR Danny Amendola, TE Martellus Bennett, OT Cameron Fleming

It would easy to panic at the slate of names walking out the door, but each of the departures is understandable. New England wasn’t going to make Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history, nor was it going to hand Brandin Cooks the five-year, $80 million extension he received from the Rams. Malcolm Butler’s fate was sealed at the Super Bowl, and Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola each got much more money elsewhere than New England would offer.

The Pats did manage a Hail Mary to keep offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (and special-teams coordinator Joe Judge) in house, and they restocked the offensive line with Trent Brown (via trade) and Isaiah Wynn (first-round pick). One of the two should be the answer at Tom Brady’s blind side, while the other could provide an upgrade at guard. New England also jolted its offense (which didn’t need jolting) with the drafting of the dynamic Sony Michel, and Jeremy Hill or Jordan Matthews could pop as well.

On defense, Adrian Clayborn and Jason McCourty are typical Patriots additions — reliable veterans who do their jobs without much flash. Clayborn isn’t an explosive pass-rusher, but he sets the edge exactly how Bill Belichick prefers, and McCourty should pair with his brother, Devin, to soothe some of the communication issues that cost the secondary last year.

Our Take: The Patriots lost more talent than usual, but they regrouped and reloaded like they do every offseason. Until No. 12 declines, they aren’t going anywhere. — B-

 

NEW YORK JETS

Key Acquisitions: QB Sam Darnold, CB Trumaine Johnson, QB Teddy Bridgewater, OG/C Spencer Long, RB Isaiah Crowell, LB Avery Williamson, WR Terrelle Pryor, C Travis Swanson, K Cairo Santos, DT Nathan Shepherd

Key Losses: DE/DT Muhammad Wilkerson, LB Demario Davis, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DE Kony Ealy, RB Matt Forte, C Wesley Johnson, K Chandler Catanzaro

The Jets’ offseason will ultimately come down to the future of Sam Darnold, who the team was delighted to nab at No. 3 overall despite having to burn three second-round picks to get there. Combined with the re-signing of feted mentor Josh McCown and the arrival of Teddy Bridgewater — who drew rave reviews for his play in offseason workouts — the quarterback depth chart is markedly improved. Elsewhere on offense, Isaiah Crowell should help replace Matt Forte, and Spencer Long and Terrelle Pryor could each pay dividends after arriving from Washington via free agency.

GM Mike Maccagnan spent even more of the team’s wealth of cap space on defense, inking former Ram Trumaine Johnson (five years, $72.5 million) to be a matchup man-coverage cornerback in a blitz-heavy scheme that demands one. That should push Morris Claiborne, who re-signed at a reasonable price (one year, $7 million), and Buster Skrine into friendlier matchups, giving Todd Bowles more freedom with his game plans and play calls.

Bowles would have loved to reunite with former Cardinal Tyrann Mathieu, who opted instead to join Houston, but the defense still gained disruptive front seven pieces in Avery Williamson (free agency) and Nathan Shepherd (draft). The release of Muhammad Wilkerson was a necessary evil given his lack of commitment since receiving a big paycheck.

Our Take: The Jets were surprisingly competitive in 2017 and probably improved this spring while grabbing a possible QB of the future. Not a bad offseason’s work. — B-

–Field Level Media

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Darnold reportedly impressing Jets, could start at QB

Darnold reportedly impressing Jets, could start at QB

Rookie Sam Darnold was late to training camp but still "has a very fair shot" of opening the regular season as the New York Jets' starting quarterback, according to a report by ESPN.

Darnold is further along in his readiness than the

Darnold reportedly impressing Jets, could start at QB

Rookie Sam Darnold was late to training camp but still “has a very fair shot” of opening the regular season as the New York Jets’ starting quarterback, according to a report by ESPN.

Darnold is further along in his readiness than the Jets anticipated and although he still has work to do, he reportedly has impressed coaches so far.

After a three-day holdout over offset language, Darnold signed a four-year, $30.25 million contract and reported to camp on July 30.

Darnold, 21, was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Southern California. The Jets also have veteran quarterbacks Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater on the roster, and they’ve been trimming McCown’s reps lately in order to give the two younger players more chances.

Entering camp, coach Todd Bowles said McCown was the starter but that preseason performances could change that. Asked Monday if Darnold could realistically win the starting job, Bowles again pointed to preseason action and suggested the competition will take time to sort out.

“You have to play the preseason games,” Bowles said. “I’m not into hypotheticals and nothing that hasn’t happened yet. We’re going to let them play and, after the fourth preseason game, sometime that week I’ll make my decision and we’ll go from there.”

Nearly two years since sustaining a gruesome left knee injury with the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater impressed during the offseason and appears healthy, wearing a small knee brace for support. He told reporters Monday that he doesn’t expect any setbacks, despite some worries about him holding up to hits in games.

“I definitely feel like I’m good,” Bridgewater said. “With the training staff here, we’ve been definitely hitting it hard.”

With a chance at winning the starting job or being traded before the regular season, Bridgewater is not looking ahead, instead simply enjoying his time back on the field after a lengthy layoff.

“Right now, I’m doing everything I dreamed of doing — and that’s waking up and continuing to play football,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling. It gives me chills right now to think about it, knowing how the previous two years were.”

–Field Level Media

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What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch

The post What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

The New Jersey sports betting scene will gain a new player Saturday morning when the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., introduces the FanDuel Sportsbook at Victory Sports Bar & Club in a soft launch.

The post What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

The New Jersey sports betting scene will gain a new player Saturday morning when the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., introduces the FanDuel Sportsbook at Victory Sports Bar & Club in a soft launch.

The sportsbook will open at 9:30 a.m. for dignitaries and then to the general public at 11 a.m. “There will be 27 television screens and 10 sports betting stations,” FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessey said in an email Tuesday. “It features high-top tables, a VIP area, leaning rails, bar stools, sofas, and dining chairs.”

Patrons will be able to wager on baseball, bet futures and proposition wagers on football, wager on Wimbledon and on the World Cup finals taking place on Sunday night between France and the winner of Wednesday’s England-Croatia match. The sportsbook’s opening is significant for a number of reasons, especially those related to geography.

FanDuel Sportsbook Will Launch at Meadowlands Racetrack as New Jersey Sports Betting Scene Plants a Flag a Short Trip From New York.

the fanduel sportsbook's victory sports bar and club
Inside the Victory Sports Bar & Club.

Before we go into geography, one major milestone here is the official introduction of a heretofore daily fantasy sports operator into the legal U.S. sports betting market.

Either the 1B or 1A to DraftKings in the daily fantasy business, while DraftKings has also landed a couple partnerships, FanDuel’s foray will come first.

Tuesday, Meadowlands COO/general manager Jason Settlemoir confirmed in a conversation with Sports Handle that is indeed the FanDuel Sportsbook — and will not be branded in any way by the powerful Ireland-based bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB, or Betfair US), which in May announced its (pending) acquisition of FanDuel and the combining of their operations.

“There will be 10 towers or windows with live tellers for sports betting, plus spots for parimutuel horse racing,” Settlemoir said of the physical setup of the facility, which is temporary for now and will expand by the end of August. “And two self-service terminals in there for parimutuel as well,” he added.

Settlemoir would not speak to PPB’s and FanDuel’s discussions on branding, but noted PPB’s sizable investment in FanDuel and of the company’s value.

“From an operator standpoint,  the FanDuel name is totally recognizable within sports to people here in the United States,” he said.

Proximity to New York City — and Proximity to an NFL Stadium in the U.S. Unlike Ever Before.

As for geography, the Meadowlands is located in a very advantageous spot in the swamps of Jersey.

“We’re only eight miles away [from midtown Manhattan], and that really makes us, at this point in time, the only game in the area where you can make a legal sports bet,” Settlemoir said. “This is exciting and a welcome opportunity for us here.”

Previously, Jeff Gural, chairman of New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC and Tioga Downs LLC, expressed his thrill with the New York legislature’s failure to pass a bill legalizing sports wagering before the close of its session on June 20.

“New York did me such a favor by not passing sports betting,” Gural told the Associated Press in June. “That leaves me the entirety of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County. There are 15 million people that live within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the Meadowlands. They gave me a tremendous gift.”

As as a result, the Meadowlands will stand alone in the highly-populated area at least through the football seasons and likely through March Madness in 2019.

Also in the Meadowlands’ backyard — literally — is MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, roughly 0.4 miles away.

Another twist is that barring any oversight here, New Jersey will become the first state in which sports wagering is legal to host a regular season NFL game. While the Oakland and to-be Las Vegas Raiders have broken ground on their Nevada stadium, the Raiders will play at least one more season in California.

 

fanduel sportsbook at the meadowlands racetrack location
Alternatively, about a 9-minute walk.

For our younger and/or non-northeastern readers, MetLife Stadium was formerly Giants Stadium and briefly the New Meadowlands Stadium when it opened in 2010. Both the stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack are part of The Meadowlands Sports Complex.

As recently as December 2017, the NFL argued publicly and in the United States Supreme Court that sports wagering was a threat to the integrity of, and a scourge on their game. Meanwhile the league also held regular season contests in London, where there’s sports betting kiosks on nearly every street corner.

The NFL has since “evolved” on sports betting, put simply. Will the Giants and Jets get the league’s blessing to allow advertising of or to promote the Meadowlands sportsbook at their games?

[Also See: What Happens When Everyone Bets the Home Team?]

Promotions or events would make a lot of sense, maybe informational booths during tailgating parties or game day giveaways. Settlemoir indicated that the Meadowlands is not ready to make any such announcements on that front.

“Mr. Gural and the FanDuel and Betfair personnel management have a great relationship with the guys at the stadium,” he said. “And they’re currently working with the Jets and Giants ownership, and we’ll have to see how that goes, and where we go from here.”

How the FanDuel Sportsbook Will Grow.

First of all, Meadowlands/FanDuel-branded mobile sports wagering is in works. As of July 11, as permitted by the enabling legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy, any licensed operator may allow mobile betting. So far, none are prepared to do so, which may just mean that the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has not signed off on their software.

“We’re looking to try to roll that out by football season,” Settlemoir said.

Once it’s live, anyone located in the state — even temporarily, hey New Yorkers — will be able to establish an account deposit remotely via the app or online, based on our understanding of New Jersey’s bill.

And the FanDuel physical sportsbook space will expand as well.

“We’re still working on the exact square footage but it will have a much larger footprint by NFL season,” Hennessy explained. “We have plans for 65 television screens and 15 sports betting stations, making the retail location the ideal place to place bets for the upcoming NFL season and for the MLB playoffs. “

It’s not all about sports betting at the Meadowlands, though. They recognize sports betting as a distinct opportunity, but also one to introduce a new and probably younger crowd to harness or horse racing.

As for numbers, the facility is expecting big crowd on a Saturday that coincides with Meadowlands Pace Night — one of the biggest racing nights on the calendar, which Settlemoir says typically draws about 12,000-15,000 visitors.

“Hopefully the sportsbook will be able to help the horse racing side as well, exposing a completely different demographic,” he said. “People that bet sports coming here and being able to see horse racing, and hopefully we’ll see some crossover.”

The post What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

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Jets’ victory over Cleveland shows Todd Bowles’ rebuilding is working

Bowles

It's been five years since the New York Jets have been a relevant threat in the AFC East. Many fans wondered during the off-season if that trend would change in 2015. Well, after one game, it appears that the Jets may in fact have a legitimate shot at returning to the playoffs.

It’s been five years since the New York Jets have been a relevant threat in the AFC East. Many fans wondered during the off-season if that trend would change in 2015. Well, after one game, it appears that the Jets may in fact have a legitimate shot at returning to the playoffs.

Yes, it was just one game. Yes, it was against the lowly Cleveland Browns who have only made the playoffs once since returning to the NFL in 1999. And yes, the Jets still have a long way to go. But second-year head coach Todd Bowles looks like he’s prepared to go that distance, especially after an off-season defined by the punch heard round the world on the team’s probable starting quarterback Geno Smith.

The Jets weren’t good in 2014, and no one expected them to be. Bowles knew that he would be handed a team in need of major rebuilding, and the biggest question was exactly how long that process would take. This weekend’s 31-10 victory over the Browns was a sign that the process is working.

Journeyman backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played his usual smart and effective game in throwing two touchdown passes, while running back Chris Ivory scored two of his own on the ground.

On defense, it seemed like the Jets of old were out there running around against a Johnny Manziel-led Browns offense. New York forced five turnovers on the day, which added a little nostalgia for both teams probably.

When the Jets were challenging for AFC titles, they were wreaking havoc on defense. When the Browns struggle – which has happened a lot in recent years – it’s usually because of the inability to take care of the football.

Bowles needed this kind of start to the new campaign. While no one expects the Jets to contend for a Super Bowl trophy this season, again, progress is what matters. Cleveland was a team that New York should have beaten.

It did, and now Bowles and company prepare for a game that could spark even more progress.

The Jets will head to Indianapolis for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Colts in Week 2. Indy was a popular Super Bowl pick prior to the season, but after getting routed in Week 1 by the Buffalo Bills, the Colts showed that they aren’t invincible.

It will be a tough spot for the Jets coming off of a big win and facing an angry Colts team with something to prove. It’s the type of game where Bowles’ team can prove something of their own by carrying over the momentum from the Cleveland win.

If the Jets want to prove to the football world that they are for real, then they won’t take a step backwards Monday night.

They won’t be the favorite. However, a win isn’t necessary to show that Bowles has this team on the right trajectory.

The Jets just need to keep taking steps forward. Week 1 was the perfect start, but now it’s time to determine if this team is a contender or pretender.

Follow @joemess17 on Twitter

Joe is a co-founder of Rukkus, a web & mobile marketplace for sports tickets. As a former Division I pitcher, he has a deep love for sports and a passion for writing.

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Despite disappointing 2014, prices for both Giants and Jets tickets up on secondary market

A cautious optimism fills the air in East Rutherford, New Jersey ahead of the 2015-16 NFL season. Both the New York Giants and Jets will be looking to rebound following forgettable 2014 campaigns, and the two franchises

A cautious optimism fills the air in East Rutherford, New Jersey ahead of the 2015-16 NFL season. Both the New York Giants and Jets will be looking to rebound following forgettable 2014 campaigns, and the two franchises have seen ticket prices increase considerably on the secondary market from last season. The Giants own higher prices for home games at MetLife Stadium, however, and Big Blue hope to make noise in the NFC East after posting their worst record in a decade last season.

According to TiqIQ, the average secondary market price for Giants tickets over the team’s eight home games is currently $279.76, up 7.7% from 2014’s average of $259.66.Three upcoming games will average above $300, including the Giants’ top-priced games against the Dallas Cowboys on October 25 and New England Patriots on November 15.

With the Jets set to welcome Todd Bowles in his first season as head coach, ticket prices on TiqIQ have also jumped for the team’s upcoming home schedule at MetLife Stadium. Though not nearly as expensive as the Giants, Jets tickets across the 2015-16 season now average $185.72 on the secondary market, marking a 19.3% boost from the $155.65 average last season. Top-priced games come against the Patriots on December 27 and Philadelphia Eagles on September 27.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Giants’ divisional matchup with the Cowboys in late-October is easily the most expensive games on their home schedule this season. The average secondary market price for October 25 Giants vs Cowboys tickets is now $391.47, 39.9% above season average, and the cheapest ticket available is listed for $160. With Tom Brady tentatively scheduled to miss his first four games in the wake of the Deflategate controversy, his visit to East Rutherford on November 15 is greatly impacting ticket prices. Giants vs Patriots tickets on TiqIQ average $342.37, 22.4% above season average, and get-in price is $124.

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots will make the trip to the Garden State again in late-December when they take on the Jets on December 27. The NFC East battle hasn’t garnered as much ticket demand as their bout with the Giants, though Jets vs Patriots tickets still average $235.98 on the secondary market. That is 27% above season average, with the get-in price starting at $55 –more than half the price of that of the Giants-Patriots game six weeks prior.

If hoping to get out to a game this season, planning a trip to MetLife Stadium has never been easier. Hotels near NYC, including four, four-star hotel options starting at less than $175 per night, can be booked through Hipmunk.com for Giants and Jets fans traveling to watch a home game at MetLife Stadium. For those from further away, options for flights to New York through most major airline carriers can be found as Hipmunk as well.

Both the Giants and Jets enter the upcoming season with renewed spirits. After going just 6-10 last year the Giants will welcome back star wideout Victor Cruz and continue to watch blossoming second-year receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. come into his own. Under the new direction of Todd Bowles and the second tour of superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Jets will quickly look to forget their 4-12 effort from a season ago. And if secondary market ticket prices are any indication, both franchises may be talking postseason football come January.

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