Some news and notes on this Tuesday:
– Looking over some numbers on New England Patriots QB Mac Jones this morning and his name appeared in some interesting areas. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones actually finished tied for 11th in Completed Air Yards with a 5.7 average, which tied him with Matt Ryan at that mark and it wasn’t all that far off from some of the league leaders. Fellow rookie Justin Fields led the way at 7.1, followed by Lamar Jackson at 7.0 and Matthew Stafford at 6.7. From there, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, James Winston all finished tied at 6.5, while Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, averaged 6.4. They were followed by Baker Mayfield (6.2), Trevor Siemian (6.1), Carson Wentz (6.0), along with Jimmy Garoppolo and Dak Prescott (tied at 5.9). Justin Herbert, Zach Wilson, and Kyler Murray were next with a 5.8 average. While people may not think much of that number, Jones finished ahead of Derek Carr (5.6), Tom Brady (5.5), Trevor Lawrence (5.4), Aaron Rodgers (4.9), Patrick Mahomes (4.8) and Ben Roethlisberger (4.4).
– Oddly enough, Nelson Agholor finished at 7th in the NFL in targeted air yards last season, averaging 14.5 and accounted for 21.93% of the team’s air yards. He was one of the more covered receivers last season, finishing with a separation average of just 2.6-yards, which put him in the bottom 3rd of receivers in the league. In fairness to Agholor, he often drew multiple players in coverage, which also hampered things. Newcomer DeVante Parker finished tied with the lowest separation average at 1.7-yards, but we already know that one key attribute is the fact he’s one of the better players in the league when it comes to making contested catches. He’s also got a fairly well-rounded group of talent around him and a better passer in Jones, which should also help him.
– Meanwhile, Kendrick Bourne finished last season with the 3rd highest catch percentage at 78.57% and was 7th in the NFL with Philadelphia’s Dallas Goedert in YAC (yards after catch) per reception at 7.1. ProFootballFocus.com also posted a stat on Hunter Henry where the tight end finished as a player who generated the highest passer rating when targeted among tight ends since 2016 at 119.7. Jones had a 66.7% completion percentage when targeting Henry last season, with Henry catching a team-high 9 touchdowns from the rookie quarterback. Those two have terrific chemistry and we’ll likely see an even bigger performance between those two heading into Jones’ second season.
– As for Jones, his offseason work continues. He was spotted last week working out with fellow teammates Kristian Wilkerson and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey. The team has a fairly loaded group heading into training camp and definitely appears to be in a little better shape at the lower end of their depth chart compared to recent years. N’Keal Harry remains a player who will play a key role in this, as the Patriots will hopefully need to see him have a productive training camp for the sake of moving him. If he’s on the roster for yet another season at the expense of one of the above players, that’s going to be a potential issue that could hamper them for yet another year. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Let’s hope Bill Belichick has moved past that.
– With Baker Mayfield now in Carolina, the Seattle Seahawks appear to be pondering interest in former Patriots QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo remains in San Francisco and coming off of offseason shoulder surgery, interest appears to have been fairly limited. However, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks have apparently been doing some due diligence on the 49ers signal-caller but they continue to wait things out. “A few executives I spoke to believe the 49ers are a bit stuck here because they need Garoppolo to pass a physical coming off the shoulder surgery, they need to renegotiate his contract with that new team on that $24 million salary, and the pool of suitors right now seems to be pretty small,” said Fowler. “I’m told that internally, [the Seahawks] have discussed the possibility of Garoppolo playing for them. They’ve done their filmwork to see how he would fit. Tricky certainly to do a trade inside the NFC West, but the 49ers and Seattle know they can maybe sort of wait this out because the 49ers have limited cap space right now, I think around $5 million. They want to re-sign Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel. To do that, they need some of Garoppolo’s $24 million in base salary. Seattle probably knows that, which means maybe they won’t try to make a trade, they’ll just wait for the 49ers to release him.”
– With Mayfield down in Carolina, he’s got the challenge of trying to win the starting role from Sam Darnold, but anyone wondering if there’s any potential issue between those two may be interested to know Darnold apparently took the first step in building that relationship. Mayfield reportedly heard from Darnold right after things went down and he’s looking forward to working with him. “Sam reached out, got my number first,” Mayfield said, via Panthers.com. “We’ve been talking about how to get the guys together the last minute before camp. It’s been great. Sam just wants to win. That’s just who he is. Our personalities might be different, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the same goal, and that’s to win and help this team out. I’m really looking forward to being in that room with him and just challenging each other, and elevating each other.” What’s a little crazy is that the Panthers kick off the season at home against Cleveland, who will likely be without embattled QB Deshaun Watson. If Mayfield gets the nod, it should be an interesting game to say the least.
– Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson came to Darnold’s defense in a recent appearance on the I Am Athlete Podcast and blamed the Jets handling of Darnold’s development for the quarterback’s current issues. “I will say this with Sam though. I feel like his development was all messed up coming into the league,” Anderson explained via NJ.com. “Look at (Patrick Mahomes), look at Lamar (Jackson), they didn’t play right away. I don’t feel like Sam should’ve played right away. I feel like his career got jumpstarted the wrong way. I feel, being in the building, the coaches, I was there, you know what I’m saying? It was all, it wasn’t right. So, in his defense, I don’t feel like he was developed 100 percent correctly.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Aaron Rodgers Baker Mayfield Ben Roethlisberger Bill Belichick Carson Wentz Dak Prescott Dallas Goedert Derek Carr Hunter Henry Jalen Hurts James Winston Jimmy Garoppolo Joe Burrow Josh Allen Justin Fields Justin Herbert Kendrick Bourne Kirk Cousins Kristian Wilkerson Kyler Murray Lamar Jackson Lil' Jordan Humphrey Mac Jones Matt Ryan Matthew Stafford N'Keal Harry Nelson Agholor Patrick Mahomes Russell Wilson Tom Brady Trevor Lawrence Trevor Siemian Zach Wilson