New York Jets interim GM Adam Gase has already made his first move since taking over the front office.
The Jets on Wednesday traded linebacker Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs. They are getting back a sixth-round pick in return, as first reported by Ian Rapoport.
The Jets had been shopping Lee and declined his fifth-year option, so this trade news is not a surprise.
Lee, 24, had 74 tackles and three interceptions in 12 games last season but became expendable after the team signed CJ Mosley in free agency. The former first-round pick should fit in nicely in Kansas City, which has lost some defensive playmakers like Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Eric Berry.
- Darron Lee
The New York Jets have already spent more money this offseason than any team in NFL history under the current collective bargaining agreement, and they may not be done making impactful moves just yet.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini is convinced that the Jets want to move down from their No. 3 spot in the upcoming draft, whether that means acquiring additional draft picks, players, or both. While they have made some huge signings, the Jets still have needs along the offensive line — particularly at center — as well as outside linebacker and cornerback. They only have six picks in the draft and one in the top 68, so Cimini believes general manager Mike Maccagnan will try to at least recoup a second-round pick.
New York is already set at the quarterback position with Sam Darnold. While the temptation to draft an immediate impact player like Nick Bosa could be strong, there will undoubtedly be teams looking to move up the board to draft a QB. The Jets would be silly to not listen to offers.
In addition to possibly trading down from No. 3, the Jets could shop 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee. They signed inside linebacker CJ Mosley to a five-year, $85 million deal earlier this offseason, so there has been talk that Lee has one foot out the door.
We know at least one player who is unhappy with the way the Jets have done business this offseason, but they appear to be committed to trying to break out of their recent funk. If New York can’t win more than five games for the first time since 2015 after spending all that money, heads are going to roll.
NFL players don’t walk onto the field as rookies and immediately become stars. They have to prove their worth on the field. Some have to bounce from team to team, and some were never even expected to be stars in the first place. Everyone gets there a different way, and every story is unique.
The 2018 NFL season has seen its share of breakout players. Some are rookies who were highly-anticipated but had to prove it on the field, while some were players once feared to be busts but finally put it together. Others were never expected to be anything more than squad players or roster filler, but have shown themselves to be capable of a whole lot more.
Here is each team’s biggest breakout player from the 2018 season.
Arizona Cardinals — Christian Kirk, WR
The rookie was only a second-round pick, but Kirk has offered the Cardinals some hope that their offense has a future beyond just Josh Rosen. Though he’s still searching for his first 100-yard game, he has several solid outings to his name, and has caught 3 touchdowns. He’s quickly become one of Rosen’s favorite targets and has racked up 536 yards receiving. He could end up in the 800-yard range when his season is over — a very solid rookie campaign.
- Benardrick McKinney, Byron Jones, Christian Kirk, Corey Davis, Damontae Kazee, Danielle Hunter, Darron Lee, Davante Adams, Derwin James, Eric Ebron, Jalen Richard, James Conner, James White, Jarran Reed, Jordan Hicks, Kerryon Johnson, Mario Addison, Matt Breida, Matthew Ioannidis, Nick Chubb, OJ Howard, Patrick Mahomes, Phillip Lindsay, Robert Woods, Saquon Barkley, Sheldon Rankins, TJ Yeldon, Tremaine Edmunds, Trey Burton, Tyler Boyd, Xavien Howard, Za'Darius Smith
Here’s a look at the NFL’s 15 most overrated players of 2017:
15. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
After a dismal offensive season in 2016, many expected the Giants to erupt in 2017 and establish themselves as Super Bowl contenders. The belief was a strong defense would get them to the postseason and then two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning would lead them the rest of the way. All of those expectations fell flat and the 37-year-old Manning even found himself benched — controversially — in favor of Geno Smith. Part of Manning’s struggles can undoubtedly be attributed to a terrible offense line and the lack of a ground game, but his Pro Football Focus grade of 75.5 speaks volumes about how far he’s fallen.
14. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
An incident during a weekend festival involving Darron Lee of the Jets appears to have been defused by teammate Leonard Williams.
Two videos posted to social media late Saturday night show a visibly agitated and irritated man (allegedly Lee) needing to be restrained (by a man reported to be Williams). You can see the footage below.
Part 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Mvrk1FxIcE
— JB™ (@gunnerpunner) June 4, 2017
Part 2/2 man getting picked up like a bag of groceries pic.twitter.com/Io7HGBS3Mr
— JB™ (@gunnerpunner) June 4, 2017
A Jets source confirmed to Benjamin Allbright it is in fact Williams and Lee in the videos.
Jets source confirms the two in the video are Leonard Williams and Darron Lee
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) June 4, 2017
According to the witness who uploaded the videos, Lee had had been aggressive with a woman and reportedly grabbed her, prior to Williams’ intervention.
The Jets issued the following statement on the matter.
— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) June 4, 2017
Lee, a linebacker, was the Jets’ first round pick in 2016 and recorded 73 tackles as a rookie. Williams, a defensive end, was a first round selection in 2015. He had 68 tackles and seven sacks last season.
Jets linebacker Darron Lee was the team’s first round pick in April’s NFL Draft, and he comes with a manager – his own mother.
Candice Lee, who has been a reporter and weekend anchor at WCMH-TV in Columbus for nine years, is quitting her job to manage her son’s NFL career.
“He calls me his ‘mom-ager,'” she told Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch.
Candice Lee will be tasked with handling marketing and endorsements in her son’s career, among other things.
“I want to be there for many of his games, and working weekends would not be conducive to traveling to see him play,” Candice said. “Plus, it was time – I have been in the business for 19 years.”
It sounds like the young linebacker is in good hands. Candice Lee is looking out for her son in New York, just like Eli Apple’s mother is.