Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jets Would be Wise to Trade Down for Andrus Peat

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Anybody who follows the NFL Draft would tell you to view any report during the two weeks leading up to the draft with a high level of skepticism. Teams send mixed signals and even blatantly false information to scouts and anonymous sources in hopes of manipulating the draft position of certain players they may or may not have interest in.

With the being said, some rumors make too much sense to completely ignore. A recent report that several personnel directors said the Jets have "an affinity for" Stanford left tackle Andrus Peat is one that shouldn’t be wholeheartedly dismissed.

Peat was one of the first prospects to visit the Jets’ facility this offseason and New York has a serious need on the offensive line. With only six draft picks, trading down from No. 6 overall to draft Peat and add an additional pick or two is a strategy full of merit.

It seems highly doubtful the Jets would trade back if Marcus Mariota were on the board, but it looks just as doubtful that he’ll fall out of the first five picks Thursday night. The Jets have been widely connected to Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and multiple pass rushers, but new general manager Mike Maccagnan may feel that none of those options represent good value and decide to trade back.

Coming off an All-American junior season, Peat is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect. He has good size at 6-7, 313 pounds and an athletic profile similar to past first-round picks Anthony Costanzo, Gabe Carimi and Kyle Long. His play has also been compared to Jets left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who the team can move on from after the 2015 season if they so choose.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New York Jets’ Draft Day Targets: Guard

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 The Jets suffered from poor guard play last season, as Willie Colon looked over the hill while Oday Aboushi and Brian Winters endured their fair share of inconsistencies. The team signed ex-Seahawks guard James Carpenter to a four-year, $19.1 million contract this offseason to fill one guard spot, while re-signing Colon to battle with Aboushi and Winters at the other.

None of those three have done anything to convince the Jets they are long-term answers at the position, or that they can be serviceable this season. As a result, New York seems likely to use some draft capital to fortify their interior offensive line, likely in third or fourth round. Two intriguing options at these spots are Florida State’s Tre Jackson and Louisville’s John Miller.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Early returns say Yankees may regret dealing Greene

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Last season, a 25-year-old non-prospect burst onto the scene for the Yankees, solidifying a rotation set back by injuries. Shane Greene was a complete unknown until July 7, 2014, when he won his first career game after throwing six innings of two-run ball against the Indians. Greene followed that up with 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles at Camden Yards, including nine strikeouts.

Greene went on to allow three runs or fewer in nine of his final 12 starts, finishing the season with a modest 3.78 ERA despite an 81:29 K:BB ratio in 78 innings. His fastball velocity – Greene throws consistently in the low-90s – suggested that strikeout rate was fluky. In need of a replacement for Derek Jeter at shortstop, the Yankees were willing to “sell high” on Greene, sending him to the Detroit Tigers in a three-way trade that netted them shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Read the rest at Examiner.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jets Want To 'Move On' From Smith, But Can They?

Every move the Jets have made this offseason has pointed to general manager Mike Maccagnan and the team’s new regime being ready to "move on” from Geno Smith as their quarterback of the future. Reuniting Ryan Fitzpatrick with old offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was the first signal, despite public statements from Maccagnan and new head coach Todd Bowles in support of Smith.

On a conference call with season-ticket holders in early April, neither Maccagnan nor Bowles ruled out moving up in the draft to select either Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston or Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Jets sent a contingent to Oregon for a workout with Mariota in late March, and Winston is visiting with the team this week. Those moves further signal how serious the team is about finding an upgrade at quarterback, even with Fitzpatrick and Smith on the roster.

Despite what the Jets have said when asked directly about Smith, the team must feel confident in their chances of landing one of the draft’s top two quarterbacks. If they weren’t, it would be tough to go back to Smith and Fitzpatrick with any level of confidence after publicly expressing interest in an upgrade and striking out in the draft.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rough stat line doesn’t tell whole story on Sabathia

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CC Sabathia’s final line from Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays isn’t pretty. The left-hander allowed five runs - four earned - on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first start since May 2014. Behind those numbers, however, are some encouraging signs.

Unlike Masahiro Tanaka, whose first start of the season included few positives, Sabathia has things to build on. Of the 17 outs the veteran recorded, 15 of them came via strikeout (eight) or ground ball (seven). The five hits he allowed in Toronto’s four-run second inning were all singles, and while a few were hard hit, the Blue Jays weren’t able to lift the ball against him.

Read the rest at Examiner.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

Masahiro Tanaka struggles with control, approach in Opening Day loss

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Masahiro Tanaka made his long-awaited 2015 debut Monday on Opening Day, lasting just four innings in a 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays. Through two frames, Tanaka allowed just one baserunner with three strikeouts. Then everything fell apart in the third inning.

After falling behind No. 8 hitter Kevin Pillar 2-0, Tanaka allowed a single to left. He then walked No. 9 hitter Devon Travis and a throwing error by Chase Headley on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jose Reyes allowed Pillar to score. Russell Martin singled in Pillar and Reyes and two batters later, Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer on a fastball right down the middle of the plate to open up a 5-0 lead.

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Jets Shouldn't Waste Time Extending Muhammad Wilkerson

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Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will not attend the team’s voluntary offseason workouts that started Monday. Wilkerson, who is playing on the fifth-year year option attached to his rookie contract, is seeking a new deal that would presumably make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. Chad Weisling, Wilkerson’s agent, declined to mention whether the absence was contract-related in a public statement, but it’s easy to put the pieces together.

It’s possible that Wilkerson has planned to avoid OTAs all along despite no reports stating that, as many players prefer working out on their own in preparation for the season. It’s also possible that the Jets’ spending spree in free agency made the Second Team All-Pro end feel like less of a priority, as there is no money left for him under the 2015 cap. New general manager Mike Maccagnan initially met with Weisling at the NFL combine to start discussing an extension for Wilkerson and it’s obvious the Jets would like to get something done, although it seems likely they will wait until after this year’s draft picks are signed.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New York Jets leave Cortland, Distance Themselves Further from Ryan Era

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On Tuesday, the Jets announced they would not be returning to Cortland for training camp this season, instead choosing to keep their camp in Florham Park. The team has held camp at the University for five of the past six seasons with Rex Ryan at the helm. Now new head coach Todd Bowles and first-year general manager Mike Maccagnan are changing gears as the Jets move into a new era. It’s the right move.

The decision will hurt Cortland financially, as the Jets’ presence since 2009 has made Cortland County millions, including $5.8 million in 2010, $5.5 million in 2012 and $4.6 million in 2014. Despite those figures, it’s wise from the team’s perspective to move as far away from the previous regime as possible, which includes relocating training camp closer to their fan base.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot