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FREE AGENT dept. : some Targets ~ ~ ~

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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

The Jets have claimed WR/PR Quadree Henderson off waivers from the Giants. When coach Adam Gase was asked at the owners' meetings to name his return specialist, he said, "Good question." Well, Henderson is a candidate to replace All-Pro returner Andre Roberts, whom the Jets declined to re-sign as a free agent. (Bad move.) In five games with the Giants, the 5-9 Henderson returned nine punts (7.6 average) and five kickoffs (22.4).

>   http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters he’s open to re-signing free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne after the NFL draft, but he will have to act fast if he wishes to act on those words.

If New York does not re-sign Claiborne by May 7, the risk he signs elsewhere increases. Beginning on the seventh, teams can sign free agents without having them count toward the compensatory pick formula.Without a compensatory pick attached to him, Claiborne’s market will certainly heat up. The seven-year pro is currently rehabbing an undisclosed injury, but that shouldn’t keep teams away come May 7.

Even though the Jets claim they’re comfortable rolling with Darryl Roberts as their No. 2 corner, they still need depth at the position. Re-signing Claiborne would give New York a reliable, familiar face to help solidify the secondary.Maccagnan not taking a cornerback until the sixth round of the draft may indicate he is leaning toward bringing back Claiborne for his third season with the Jets. Rutgers product Blessuan Austin has potential, but is rehabbing a second torn ACL and will likely open 2019 on the PUP list.

Either way, it would behoove New York to bring back Claiborne. With the team primed to take the next step in 2019, solid cornerback play is imperative. 2018 was an up and down season for Claiborne, but he proved what he’s capable of throughout 2017.

>   https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/05/01/new-york-jets-mike-maccagnan-re-sign-morris-claiborne/

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It’s been almost two months since NFL free agency started in mid-March, and prominent veterans like defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Ezekiel Ansah are still available.But that could change this week for Suh, Ansah, and some of the best remaining 2019 free agents.That’s because after Tuesday, signing free agents no longer factors into the compensatory pick formula. That’s the simplest way of understanding why guys like Suh and Ansah and ex-Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne — all good to serviceable veterans — are still available.

As for a more involved explanation ...

Let’s start with compensatory picks, those 32 draft selections that are tacked on to the end of Rounds 3-7.

Teams acquire them via a complex formula that, in short, balances out lost and signed free agents, particularly high-dollar ones. If you lose a lot of valuable free agents and don’t sign that many, you’re likely to get more (and higher) compensatory picks. And if you spend big in free agency and don’t lose many players who get big deals, you probably won’t get any comp picks.Plus, starting with the 2017 NFL Draft, compensatory picks can now be traded. So it makes sense to try to accumulate them, since they’re the same as regular picks now.But this is important: The compensatory pick formula matters only for players whose contracts expired, like Suh, Ansah, and Claiborne. A veteran who was released, like safety Eric Berry, does not factor into the compensatory pick formula, for either his former or new team.

So while Tuesday (the May 7 comp pick formula cutoff) doesn’t matter for Berry (who is still a free agent), it does matter for Suh, Ansah, Claiborne, and others.It wouldn’t be a surprise to see all three of those players scooped up on Wednesday or Thursday, though Claiborne is rehabbing an undisclosed injury that could complicate his situation (which might include a return to the cornerback-needy Jets).Teams get credit for losing valuable, high-priced free agents — like the Patriots’ Trent Brown and Trey Flowers this offseason — but no such credit is given when a team cuts a player and he signs elsewhere.

On the flip side, teams like the Raiders and Lions will absorb a hit in the comp pick formula for signing Brown and Flowers, respectively, but they wouldn’t have to worry about absorbing that hit for signing a cut player like Berry.That explains why Suh’s 2019 free agency is so different from his 2018 free agency. Remember, the Dolphins released Suh early in the 2018 offseason — thus freeing him from any association with the comp pick formula — and he landed with the Rams about two weeks later, in late March, on a one-year contract.But this time around, in 2019, Suh’s contract simply expired. So he is now part of the comp pick formula for any team that signs him prior to that post-May 7 cutoff. And he especially would be part of that formula if he signs a high-value contract (which he surely wants), because those deals are weighted more heavily, generally speaking, in the comp pick formula.

Overthecap.com has a good breakdown of how the 2020 comp picks figure to work out, and which teams likely will get the most. (The NFL caps the yearly comp pick total at 32.)The Patriots are set to get a pair of third-round comp picks, due to the departures of Brown and Flowers. The Giants are in line for a third rounder, due to Landon Collins’ departure. (Overthecap.com projects two total 2020 comp picks for both the Giants and Eagles.)All told, the Patriots are projected to get four comp picks in 2020, tied with Seattle for most in the league. Meanwhile, the Jets are projected to get zero, after spending big in free agency (to patch roster holes caused by poor drafting) and not losing any high-dollar free agents.

> https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/05/nfl-rumors-why-notable-free-agents-like-ndamukong-suh-ezekiel-ansah-jets-morris-claiborne-could-find-landing-spots-this-week.html

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Why It’s a Very Important Day for the Remaining NFL Free Agents

May 7 doesn’t sound like it would be an important date on the NFL calendar, but it is! Or at least it is for the some teams. Starting today at 4 p.m. ET, teams can sign unrestricted free agents without hurting their standing in the league’s compensatory-pick formula for 2020. And while most of you may not be paying attention, some of the NFL’s best teams have been.

How does this all work? Here are a few things for you to file away …

The formula is based on net gain: That is to say, simply losing a big-time free agent doesn’t mean your team is getting a pick commensurate to his value. If you sign a free agent of equal value, in fact, you could wind up empty handed. Take the Ravens—they lost C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith. But they signed Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram. So, Baltimore may wind up with just one pick, or a combination of two lower-end picks, as a result. Same goes for Washington, which lost Preston Smith and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix but signed Landon Collins.

The formula is kept under lock and key: Not sure why, but it is. Smarter teams have a good handle on it. What we do know, per the NFL’s Management Council, is that it’s based on a combination of salary, playing time and postseason honors. And I know teams operate as if that formula is weighted toward the money players get.

Street free agents don’t count: To use the Ravens as an example again, they don’t get credit for Eric Weddle’s deal with the Rams, nor are the Rams hurt in the formula by signing Weddle. Likewise, the Jaguars don’t get credit for losing Malik Jackson, and the Eagles don’t dinged for signing him.

Teams don’t get credit/penalized after today, either: So if Ndamukong Suh signs somewhere later today it won’t benefit the Rams like it would’ve yesterday. Nor, for example, will the Eagles get credit for Jay Ajayi getting a deal somewhere.

Cap space is much shorter across the NFL right now: The league had a combined total of $623.98 million in cap room ($19.50 million per team) coming into today, and there were still rookie classes to be signed and space to be socked away for in-season churning, injury emergencies and trade possibilities. By comparison, the 32 teams carried a combined $1.124 billion in cap space into the week that free agency started.

Some veterans have been waiting for this: You’ll see most of the guys on the list are either past their second contracts or have significant injury history. Generally, rebuilding teams don’t take swings on guys like that. And a lot of the teams deep in the comp-pick game are contenders. Players who may not get what they were looking for in March often wait for this point, when better teams might jump in.

And which teams had reason to wait for today ?  Among the teams that lost significant free agents without huge gains back: the Patriots (Trent Brown, Trey Flowers), Steelers (Le’Veon Bell), Texans (lost Tyrann Mathieu, Kareem Jackson, added Bradley Roby), Seahawks (Earl Thomas, Justin Coleman), Bears (lost Adrian Amos, Bryce Callahan, added Ha Ha Clinton-Dix), Dolphins (Ja’Wuan James, Cam Wake), Eagles (Nick Foles, Golden Tate, Jordan Hicks), Chargers (Tyrell Williams), and Rams (Rodger Saffold, Lamarcus Joyner).

And seven of those nine teams (the Rams and Steelers being the exceptions) have more than $14 million in cap space. Who could they spend it on? Here’s the list …

Ndamukong Suh, DT: He was still a damn good player last year, and his disruption numbers have been pretty consistent the last four years. The question with him relates to money—I mentioned in yesterday’s Monday Afternoon Quarterback that teams believe his price remains very high.

Allen Bailey, DL: Bailey’s had some chances to sign, and is still a good player, raising some questions about his motivation to continue his career at age 30. (I’m told he’s not planning to retire now.)

Ziggy Ansah, DE: We all know how much potential Ansah—the fifth pick in the 2013 draft—has. He’s delivered on it in spots, with seasons of 12 and 14.5 sacks. But he’s turning 30 this month, and a bad shoulder turned some teams away.

Mo Claiborne, CB: Claiborne has ability, but has been wildly inconsistent over the course of his career and has extensive injury history. That said, he started 30 games the last two years for the Jets. He’s the type of player who, at this point, you’d love to have as a starter in a pinch, but maybe not so much as your full-time guy.

Mo Wilkerson, DL: A clearly declining player who can come in and play a role, just so long as that role isn’t full-time.

Pierre Garcon, WR: He’s clearly not the guy he once was, which is why the Niners tried to trade him ahead of the deadline last year. And he finished both his seasons in San Francisco on injured reserve. That said, he could be worth a flier for a needy team.

Brock Osweiler, QB: He’s now at the point where he’s settled into being a good backup option for some team. He played relatively well in five starts for the Dolphins last year.

Jay Ajayi, RB: The belief out there is that he can still play, and he’s only 25. But he has a mountain of injury issues, and the arthritic condition in his knee isn’t going away. Someone may see him as a one-year fix.

Bennie Logan, DT: He could be a good run-stuffing piece for your defensive front.

Jordan Mills, OT: Starting offensive linemen are hard to come by. And while he’s not a great option, Mills did start 48 consecutive games in Buffalo the last three years.

>    https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/05/07/comp-picks-may-7-deadline-free-agents-suh-ansah-ajayi

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The Jets signed the following 16 undrafted free agents to go along with their six-man 2019 draft class :

DEFENSE

Incarnate World DL Justin Alexandre

Fresno State LB Jeff Allison

LSU S John Battle

Akron CB Kyron Brown

Florida State DL Fred Jones

Alabama LB Jamey Mosley

Tennessee DL Kyle Phillips

Arkansas S Santos Ramirez

Troy DT Trevon Sanders

Appalachian St DL MyQuon Stout

OFFENSE

Wake Forest WR/Returner Greg Dortch

NC State G Tyler Jones

USC OL Toa Lobendahn

Central Florida OL Wyatt Miller

Appalachian St RB Jalin Moore

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The NFL’s free-agent market has started to heat back up.

The Eagles had their turn to get back in the game on Monday, as they re-signed Stefen Wisniewski.The veteran center/guard had visited with the Jets earlier in the offseason and could have been a potential option for general manager Mike Maccagnan, as he looks to upgrade – or at least add competition – to the team’s center position.Now that Wisniewski is off the board, who else could Maccagnan target to fill that spot on the depth chart?

Here’s a look at the three best options left for the Jets :

C John Sullivan, Rams

Sullivan is the oldest option of the bunch, easily. He’s 33. The Rams declined his option in March. He received a 51.7 overall grade (out of 100) from ProFootballFocus.com, which ranked 34th among centers – just marginally above Spencer Long, who the Jets let walk after his disappointing 2018. But he’s still a proven every-game starter, which Harrison is not, so there would be some value in adding him.

C Travis Swanson, Dolphins

Swanson actually battled with Harrison for the backup center job during training camp last season and lost out. Then he went to the Dolphins, where he played under Adam Gase. Perhaps his familiarity with both Gase and the Jets’ front office could make Swanson an option for this offense once again. Even if he were to lose a battle to Harrison again, the Jets could keep Swanson around as the backup, unlike last year.

C Jonotthan Harrison, Jets

Harrison is currently penciled into the starting job as the clear-cut best center on the roster. That would have been unthinkable at the start of the offseason, but at this point it seems very likely that he’ll be the team’s starter come September. That’s especially true after Gase’s comments last week, when he noted the chemistry that Harrison has with quarterback Sam Darnold – then explained just how vital a good relationship between a center and quarterback is to a healthy, efficient offense. It sure sounded like a vote of confidence for Harrison, who keeps inching closer to owning the job.

>    https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/05/nfl-free-agents-2019-what-are-jets-remaining-options-at-center-after-eagles-re-signed-stefen-wisniewski-3-best-choices-left.html

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Several talented players remain on the open market with organized team activities (OTAs) kicking off around the NFL.Teams with needs at defensive end, defensive tackle, safety and running back still have plenty of options in free agency. Players like Ndamukong Suh, Tre Boston, Derrick Morgan and Jay Ajayi are still looking for new homes.

Here is a list of the top remaining free agents at each position :

QUARTERBACK

- Josh McCown

- Matt Cassel

- Mark Sanchez

- Brock Osweiler

- David Fales

- Luis Perez

RUNNING BACK

- Jay Ajayi

- Marshawn Lynch

- Bilal Powell

- Corey Grant

- Chris Ivory

WIDE RECEIVER

- Pierre Garcon

Michael Crabtree

- Jermaine Kearse

- Terrance Williams

TIGHT END

- Jermaine Gresham

- Dion Sims

- Lance Kendricks

OFFENSIVE LINE

- Jermey Parnell

- Garry Gilliam

- Chance Warmack

- Byron Bell

- Ben Ijalana

DEFENSIVE LINE

- Ndamukong Suh

- Andre Branch

- Allen Bailey

- Corey Liuget

- Muhammad Wilkerson

- Benny Logan

- Danny Shelton

LINEBACKER

- Nick Perry

- Derrick Morgan

- Sam Acho

- Josh Bynes

- Connor Barwin

- Manti Te’o

- Stephone Anthony

- Shane Ray

CORNERBACK

- Morris Claiborne

- Brent Grimes

- Captain Munnerlyn

- Sam Shields

- Orlando Scandrick

- Davon House

- Shareece Wright

SAFETY

- Eric Berry

- Darian Stewart

- Mike Mitchell

- Tre Boston

- Ron Parker

- Kendrick Lewis

SPECIAL TEAMS

- Carson Tinker (LS)

- Garrison Sanborn (LS)

- Bryan Anger (P)

- Donnie Jones (P)

 Mike Nugent (K)

- Kai Forbath (K)

>    https://www.nj.com/eagles/2019/05/nfl-free-agency-who-are-best-remaining-players-on-open-market-eric-berry-ndamukong-suh-tre-boston-more.html

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