Okay Jet fans. It's trivia time.
This quarterback who played for the New York Jets, while in college threw 98 touchdown passes, had 21 interceptions and had a four year QB rating of 153. Who is he?
A hint. He played for the Jets within the last 10 years.
(answer is later in this article)
The NFL is made up in such a way that teams that have a good young quarterback look at this as a quick gateway for a chance at the Super Bowl. Think about it. Look at teams like the Seattle Seahawks (before Russell Wilson’s big contract), the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams. Take the world champion Eagles for example. Carson Wentz signed a four-year rookie contract worth $26.6 million including a $17.6 million signing bonus. When this contract is up, what do you think he will get on a per year basis? 25 million? 30 Million? This is why a team like the Los Angeles Rams have been so active in the off-season. After coach Jeff Fischer was let go, new coach Sean McVay seemed to get a ton out of quarterback Jared Goff who signed a 4 year, $27,937,673 rookie contract including a $18,518,308 signing bonus, $27,487,673 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $6,984,418. Goff was a different quarterback in 2017 (28 TDs, 7 INT 3,804 yards) compared to 2016 ( 5 TDs, 7INT, 1,089 yards). The Rams have found their QB and have worked like crazy in the off season filling holes around him with acquisitions in free agency or trades with players: Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Brandon Cooks. Make no mistake, the LA Rams are going for it all this year and next. If a team finds this “franchise changer” they will do everything to strengthen other parts of the team knowing they won’t have a ton of money tied up with the quarterback position. The window is small and goes quickly. So this is the model for teams; find a young franchise quarterback, make sure he is the real deal, then use all your cap money to surround him with quality players knowing when his rookie contract is up he’ll be paid in the stratosphere like the other veteran super star QBs.
The only team working well without this luxury seems to be that team up I-95 with their quarterback always willing to take a pay cut for the good of the team. Of course it helps that his wife makes 100+ million dollars a year. What does this have to do with the New York Jets? If Sam Darnold ends up playing this year (and he must) say by the ninth or tenth game and looks like he is the real deal, the Jets hierarchy will have to decide whether to make a big push in 2019’ and 2020’ to shoot the wad and go for the whole thing. The Jets will do two things, trade a la the LA Rams and open up the cash register and exhaust their salary cap. If this is the case the Jets will look to surround Darnold with upgrades to put the Jets and him in a position to succeed. As of this writing the Jets have the most cap space out of any NFL team. This combined with a real good draft and some key free agent signings have put the Jets in position they have not been in for a while. There is a lot to do but things are looking bright!
Jet Undrafted Free Agents-Keep An Eye On Three Auburn Tigers plus Flowers
Auburn’s running back Kerryon Johnson drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round rushed for 1391 yards last season. Two of his blockers on the offensive line have signed as un-drafted free agents with the Jets. Offensive linemen Austin Golson and Darius James, as well as linebacker Tre' Williams all signed following the completion of the draft. Of the three Golson may have the best chance to make it as a pro. As a senior this 6’5” 315 pound player showed his versatility starting four games at center, seven at left tackle, two at left guard and two at right tackle. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn loved his flexible attitude doing and playing anywhere for the good of the team but admitted not playing one position all season probably hindered his development and might have been the reason he was not drafted. CBSSports.com had Golson rated as the 13th best center in the country. Darius James was a transfer from Texas where he played in over twenty games. For Auburn, the 6’4’ 327 pound tackle was a two year starter. Tre' Williams started at linebacker for two years. He was smitten by the injury bug but when he played he was very dependable. In 2017 he had 50 tackles with 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in 11 games. NFL Draft Geek had Williams ranked as the twenty eighth best linebacker in the country. With the Jets offensive line thin depth wise, I expect Golson and James to be given a fair chance to make the team. Williams also has about a 50/50 shot of sticking. I only wish Golson’s name didn’t sound so similar to a former Jet draft bust.
FB Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma
I also expect Dimitri Flowers to have a very good chance to make the Jets 53 man roster. More of an H-Back/Tight End, he is listed as fullback because of his blocking ability which is very good though not elite. Flowers played a very versatile role for the Sooners, but Pro Football Focus evaluated him as a tight end, since that’s where most of his snaps have come this season. And his 81.8 grade makes him the No. 20 tight end in the country. Interestingly enough, his grade is higher than teammate tight end Mark Andrews drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round, but they were evaluated at different positions. Andrews had spent most of his snaps this year split out as a more traditional wide receiver, and so he is rated as such. This past season Flowers listed at 6’2”, 248 pounds, rushed the ball 14 times for a less than modest 22 yards. In 13 games he caught 26 passes for 464 yards and 5 TDs. Even though the traditional fullback in the NFL seems to be going away, Flowers’ blocking and pass catching ability may land him a spot on the Jets.
Around The AFC East
The NFL will look into the circumstances of former team president Russ Brandon's resignation, the Associated Press' John Wawrow reported last Thursday….Undrafted free agent cornerback Levi Wallace, a walk on at Alabama is said to have a great chance to make the Bills roster….Kelvin Benjamin is entering his contract year, but he won’t get a new contract right away. The Bills plan to wait a bit before getting into extension talks with the wide receiver, GM Brandon Beane tells WGR…..
The Dolphins did not pick up the 5th year option of former first round draft pick linebacker Stephone Anthony. Anthony is now set for unrestricted free agency after the 2018 season unless he signs a new deal with Miami before hitting the open market…..The Dolphin coaching staff is ecstatic about two undrafted free agents they signed, Mike McCray, LB, Michigan, 6-1, 243 pounds (ESPN: 257th best overall player) and Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State, 5-9, 180 (ESPN: 271st best overall player)…..General Manager Chris Grier on picking tight end Mike Gesicki of Penn State with the 42nd overall pick, passed on tight end Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State, who many ranked higher. Grier tends to go more towards big-school players since taking over the Dolphins’ draft room.
On his future Tom Brady said, “I’ve talked two years with my wife [Gisele Bündchen]. I’ve negotiated that thus far. I’ve still got a little further to go.”…..The Patriots aren’t planning to exercise the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Danny Shelton a former first round pick traded by the Browns to the Pats, Mike Reiss of ESPN reports. New England still could sign him to a long-term deal, though…..The Patriots discussed trading up to the second overall pick to draft Baker Mayfield. According to The Athletic, the Patriots had been trying to get a visit with Mayfield scheduled, but Mayfield repeatedly declined because he didn’t think there was any way he would fall to No. 23. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told a member of Mayfield’s camp that the Patriots were considering a trade way up to No. 2, and that’s why Mayfield agreed to meet with the Patriots.
What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
If the Jets are seeking an ideal model, they should study Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams kept the 2016 No. 1 overall pick on the bench for half his rookie season, finally transitioning to him for the final seven games. It was ugly, but he blossomed last season, with the help of a coaching change. For all his physical ability, Darnold still is a raw talent with a lot to learn. He started only 24 games at USC and attempted just 846 passes, which means he still hasn't experienced a lot of football situations. By comparison, Baker Mayfield attempted 1,497 passes in college…..
Darnold will benefit greatly from being around Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and McCown, a coach in waiting. In fact, Darnold spent two hours with Bates in his pre-draft visit to the Jets' facility. He has a gym-rat mentality and will absorb their wisdom, but nothing beats on-the-job training.
The Jets must -- repeat, must! -- make sure Darnold starts at least half the season. The idea of "redshirting" a quarterback is an antiquated philosophy, and the reason is because the current collective bargaining agreement -- in effect since 2011 -- limits practice time during the offseason and training camp. If you're not playing, you're not getting a whole lot of reps.
Brian Costello, NY Post
One day in early March in Jupiter, Fla., a piece of New York’s football future met with a big piece of New York’s football past.
Sam Darnold, drafted by the Jets last week in the first round, made the trip along with fellow draft prospect Josh Allen, who was taken by the Bills in the first round, for a three-hour session of talking football with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells. The former Giants and Jets boss gave them some lessons and came away impressed by both players. When the Jets took Darnold No. 3 overall Thursday, Parcells texted Todd Bowles, his old assistant coach, and said, “You’ve got a great kid. Help him win.”
Parcells, now 76 and enjoying life away from football, believes the Jets found a quarterback.
“I really think he’s interested in winning,” Parcells told The Post on Sunday. “I say this in a complimentary way, I don’t think he’s ready to be a star, if you know what I mean. Some of these guys come out of the draft and they’re ready to be a star. I think he’s ready to be a football player.”
There is no higher compliment from Parcells than being called a football player. Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Curtis Martin and Vinny Testaverde were all football players.
Agent Jimmy Sexton arranged the meeting between Parcells, one of his former clients, and the two young quarterbacks, both represented by Sexton’s agency. Parcells said the meeting wasn’t “anything special,” but it was to Darnold and Allen. “I think the main thing was just, ‘Get back in the huddle,’ ” Darnold said of what he took from the meeting. “That was his phrase that he kept saying. No matter what the score is on Sunday, no matter what happens on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, just get back in the huddle that next week. There was a lot of things I took away from Coach Parcells. I have like two pages of notes.”
The “get back in the huddle” message is one Parcells has relayed to his quarterbacks for years from Simms to Tony Romo. “Well, it really stems from you’re not really going to find out about what your capabilities are until you just got beat 31-10 and you threw a couple of interceptions and you were obviously the one that influenced the outcome of the game,” Parcells said. “Maybe your nose is broken. Maybe the fans are booing you. Maybe the press is on your case. Maybe the coaches are looking at you sideways. Maybe the players are wondering a little bit about you.
“Now, it’s Wednesday, you’ve got to get back in the huddle and convince everybody you can lead that team. The essence of the message is no matter what’s going on, your job is to get back in there and lead the team.”
Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Robby Anderson got some good news Thursday after his arrest warrant issued 24 hours earlier was lifted due to a clerical error by the Broward County court. Anderson's attorney, Ed O'Donnell, told the Daily News that the miscommunication was a result of a change from the circuit court to the county court. After a felony charge of threatening harm to a public servant was dropped last month, Anderson's case was moved to county court and issued a new case number, which prompted the confusion. O'Donnell, Anderson and even the prosecuting attorney were not advised of a hearing earlier this week. A new procedural hearing is scheduled for July 19…..Lost in all the Sam Darnold euphoria is some relatively good news about another Jets quarterback trying to re-ignite his career. Teddy Bridgewater is on track in his recovery from a grievous knee injury (torn ACL/dislocation) that caused him to miss the better part of the past two seasons.General manager Mike Maccagnan offered a glass-half-full response when asked Tuesday whether the 25-year-old Bridgewater is healthy as the Jets participate in Phase 2 of the team's voluntary offseason program. "Yeah, he's actually out here throwing right now in our Phase 2 stuff today. And doing a nice job," Maccagnan told WFAN on Tuesday. "We have a plan for him just from a recovery or rehab standpoint. But he's doing quite well." You should take Maccagnan's assessment with a grain of salt given that Phase 2 is little more than players playing pitch and catch without helmets. The NFL limits this three-week portion of the offseason program to "individual and 'perfect play' drills" with coaches permitted on the field. There's no offense vs. defense simulations. One-on-one passing drills aren't even allowed. Again, players are basically moving around the field in sweatpants.
That said, my understanding is that Bridgewater is further along in his rehab than what the general perception is about it. That perception, of course, was fueled, in part, by some ominous words from former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who admitted that his medical staff had some reservations about Bridgewater's health.
The quarterback is non other than Geno Smith who statisically put together a stellar four year college career at West Virginia.
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